As a journalist, I can say this. Joey Logano is a very talented driver, an aggressive driver who knows what he has to do and has the desire and the ability to pull it off. He is a very deserving Cup champion. I say that as a journalist.
However, in these days of “fake news”, I should mention that I write this as a columnist. A true journalist, of whom there are very few these days, observe and chronicle events impartially and objectively, without bias or partisanship, giving you information based on only what they see and not on how they feel.
I am a fan who writes a column, complete with my observations, my opinions and even my emotions on the subject. So, as a journalist, I applaud and recognize the talents of our new champion. As a fan, I must say I am just a bit disappointed. I mean, Joey Logano? You got to be freaking’ kidding me. Him?
I did not see the post-race interviews or celebration. They did not interest me. I did not feel satisfied with the outcome of the race. Martin Truex Jr.? I only wish. Kevin Harvick? He is my man. Kyle Busch? The man is a top-drawer talent, a sure Hall of Famer one day. Logano? One day I may come to embrace him, to love him as a fan, to celebrate his deeds. Sadly, that day has not yet arrived.
Every one of our four championship contenders was right there in the mix until the last half dozen laps or so. Busch started on the front row, but it was Harvick the top dog after the opening stage. In the second, Harvick was again the man, even though Kyle Larson managed to beat him at the line to claim the stage. When they came back on the track after pit stops, Logano was up front, followed by Harvick, Busch, and Truex in that order. The best was going up against the best. They survived, they thrived, as the four contenders led the way ahead of the 35 pretenders.
With 48 laps to declare a champion, Truex had gotten by Logano. Green flag stops saw Harvick the best of those who stopped, but Busch had not and led his closest rival by 22 seconds, with Logano right behind Harvick running fifth. Daniel Suarez got sent for a skid and after more pit action it was Busch still ahead. With 17 laps to run, Busch had the lead exiting the pits but Truex took off as the action returned to green. He looked gone, but looks can be deceiving. Just four laps later, with the Jaws-theme playing in our heads, Logano tracked the defending champion down. He made the pass, and it was he who disappeared into the sunset to claim the 2018 Cup championship. He had the talent and the horses to seal the deal.
Truex was second. Harvick finished third. Busch concluded his season in fourth. However, it was the 28-year-old from Middletown, Connecticut making up for his 2016 runner-up season. It was his third win of the year and the 21st of his Cup career. It was freaking Joey Logano.
Like it or not, it was a well-deserved victory. It matters not that I did not like it. An objective observer would wish to celebrate. However, few fans are that objective. Me included.