Joey Logano found victory lane Sunday afternoon in the Team Penske No. 22 after holding off the field in overtime at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The win at Vegas marks Logano’s 24th career win in the Cup Series.
“Winning the Pennzoil 400 with the Pennzoil car, this is huge,” Logano said. “It means a lot to be able to do this two years in a row winning this race. I’m proud of the effort everybody here behind me did today. They prepared a great car and executed the race perfectly and that’s what we wanted. We fought hard and tried to keep every spot we possibly could and then ultimately, oh man, being able to pull it into Victory Lane here.”
Qualifying was rained out on Saturday morning and the lineup was set based on last year’s owner points.
Defending champion Kyle Busch was on the pole but was sent to the rear due to failing prerace inspection. Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin and rookie Christopher Bell were other notables that also failed inspection. Hamlin and Bell too would be sent to the back.
Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. would lead the field down to the green flag but issues in the back would plague Daniel Suarez as his No. 96 Toyota could not get up to speed, bringing out the first yellow.
Harvick brought the field to green again but was swiftly passed by Logano. A few laps later the two would swap the top position and on Lap 12 Truex joined the fray in a three-wide tussle for the lead. Harvick’s No. 4 held them off and continued to lead as the competition caution waved on Lap 25.
As the stage wound down, Chase Elliott’s car came to life as he inherited the race lead with 14 to go in Stage 1 and the No. 9 NAPA Chevy would win Stage 1.
Truex, Harvick, Ryan Blaney, Logano, William Byron, Kyle Larson, Jimmie Johnson, and Ross Chastain would round out the top 10 in Stage 1.
Elliott would lead the field to the beginning of Stage 2, but Harvick’s car would launch off well, easily passing Elliott for the lead.
A long run would ensue with Harvick going backward as Elliott took back the lead, with Truex following right behind the No. 9.
Bell had a close call in Turn 3 as the No. 95 would slide into the corner but he kept it straight, preventing a yellow.
Halfway into Stage 2 pit road became busy as the leaders started coming in. Johnson and Hamlin nearly collided when Johnson was coming out of his stall, while Hamlin was doing the opposite.
Truex would be the leader near the end of the cycle, but Stenhouse and the No. 47 crew would stay out on the track, banking on a yellow. However, they would pull down to pit road to take two tires and fuel.
Elliott would reel in Truex and pass the No. 19 for the lead and he would win Stage 2 under caution due to Bell crashing off of Turn 2.
Blaney, Truex, Byron, Logano, Harvick, Johnson, Larson, Alex Bowman, and Busch would round out the Top 10 for Stage 2.
Truex would beat the field off of pit lane but he had to come back down due to loose lug-nuts.
Blaney and Logano would push each other on the restart, with the two Penske cars pulling away until a spin by John Hunter Nemechek’s No. 38 would bunch the field back up together.
Another restart ensued and Truex would find trouble as the No. 19 would hit the wall on the frontstretch, giving the Toyota a right front tire rub before eventually hitting the Turn 3 wall, bringing out another yellow.
Logano and Blaney would continue to swap the lead and Harvick would also have his fair share of the lead with 84 to go between the two Penske cars.
With 63 to go, it was between Elliott and Blaney for the lead, with Elliott passing Blaney on the inside in Turn 1. The No. 9 would hold the gap from the No. 12 until pit stops began again.
The JTG Daugherty cars of Stenhouse and Preece, as well as Front Row’s Nemechek would stay out and a caution would fly as Elliott’s car had a left rear tire go down, sending the No. 9 into the Turn 1 wall with right rear damage.
Stenhouse and Nemechek were able to prosper due to the yellow, but Preece’s No. 37 would go behind the wall due to engine issues. The caution would change up the pit cycle leading to several of the frontrunners taking the wave around while Stenhouse and Nemechek pitted and maintained their track position.
The two would be swiftly passed on the restart as Logano and Harvick would take command. Blaney would follow closely behind, making it a three-way battle for the lead.
All three drivers were using different lines of the track as the laps wound down. Logano was passed by Harvick and Blaney, and soon Blaney would pass Harvick with 19 to go.
While the Fords battled it out, one other driver, Bowman, slowly worked his way into the picture.
Bowman’s No. 88 Chevy came to life as he reeled in the leaders. The Arizona native was coming up fast and disposed of Harvick and Logano quickly. With 9 to go, he was in the runner-up spot. A late yellow would fly as Chastain spun off of Turn 2 with 6 to go.
With a handful of laps left, the strategies were split as Blaney, Johnson, Bowman, and Harvick were notables that came into pit lane. Logano, Matt DiBenedetto, Wallace, and several others would stay out.
It came down to NASCAR overtime and Logano would get a push from Stenhouse. Then, after taking the white flag, a crash on the frontstretch would bring the yellow out, securing Logano’s win.
Logano credited spotter T.J. Majors on navigating him on the last 20 laps leading to his eventual win.
“T.J. does a great job up there being able to just call the lanes and where the runs are coming from, so trying to block those and then also just staring in the mirror trying to watch a run come along, so between all of that I had my hands full in there,” Logano said. “I think everyone had their hands full out there. It was a fun race. The track was wide and made it hard to maintain the lead when you got it.”
There were nine cautions for 37 laps and 25 different leaders for seven drivers.
- Joey Logano – 54 laps led
- Matt DiBenedetto
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – 30 laps led
- Austin Dillon – one lap led
- Jimmie Johnson
- Bubba Wallace
- Brad Keselowski
- Kevin Harvick – 92 laps led
- Kyle Larson
- Ty Dillon
- Ryan Blaney – 19 laps led
- Clint Bowyer
- Alex Bowman
- Chris Buescher
- Kyle Busch
- Corey LaJoie
- Denny Hamlin
- Tyler Reddick
- Cole Custer
- Martin Truex Jr. – one lap led
- Aric Almirola
- William Byron
- Erik Jones
- John Hunter Nemechek
- Kurt Busch – one lap down
- Chase Elliott – one lap down, 70 laps led, Stage 1 and 2 winner
- Ross Chastain – two laps down
- JJ Yeley – three laps down
- Brennan Poole – three laps down
- Daniel Suarez – four laps down
- Joey Gase – nine laps down
- Quin Houff – nine laps down
- Christopher Bell – ten laps down
- Reed Sorenson – 14 laps down
- Garrett Smithley – 15 laps down
- Michael McDowell – 45 laps down
- Ryan Preece – OUT, Engine
- Timmy Hill – OUT, Rear End
Cup Series Race Number 2
Race Results for the 23rd Annual Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube – Sunday, February 23, 2020
Las Vegas Motor Speedway – Las Vegas, NV – 1.5 – Mile Paved
Total Race Length – 267 Laps – 400.5 Miles
|3||26||47||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||267||0||0||0||34||Running|
|18||25||8||Tyler Reddick #||267||0||0||0||19||Running|
|19||17||41||Cole Custer #||267||0||0||0||18||Running|
|20||2||19||Martin Truex Jr.||267||2||3||0||34||Running|
|24||29||38||John Hunter Nemechek #||267||0||0||0||13||Running|
|29||33||15||Brennan Poole #||264||0||0||0||8||Running|
|30||35||96||* Daniel Suarez||263||0||0||0||7||Running|
|32||32||0||Quin Houff #||258||0||0||0||5||Running|
|33||22||95||Christopher Bell #||257||0||0||0||4||Running|
|38||38||66||* Timmy Hill(i)||175||0||0||0||0||Rear End|