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NASCAR Cup: Joey Logano out duels Kyle Busch at WWT Raceway

MADISON, ILLINOIS – JUNE 05: Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Enjoy Illinois 300 at WWT Raceway on June 05, 2022 in Madison, Illinois. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)


The NASCAR Cup Series’ debut at World Wide Technology Raceway near St. Louis on Sunday was extended by an overtime restart. After Kyle Busch and Joey Logano traded the lead back and forth, Logano emerged victorious in the inaugural Enjoy Illinois 300. It was his second win in the first 15 races of the 2022 season.

“Thanks for coming out, guys. I hope you enjoyed that race,” Logano said. “It doesn’t get much better than that. Racing for the lead like that with Kyle, one of the best. It was a lot of fun. Crossing each other back and forth. I knew it was coming. I did it to him; I knew he was going to do it to me. We crossed back-and-forth, there, in the last lap, there, a couple of times. Good for the Pennzoil Mustang, for sure. Nice to get a few wins on the season, here, start collecting those points, playoff points. I’m out of breath. Jamie (Little, FS1 reporter), I’m way out of breath, here. What a great car, though. Really fast. I kind of messed up in qualifying, and Paul (Wolfe, crew chief) made a great call putting two tires on. Blaney did a great job with the push down in turn one, which kept me close, at least, and being able to make the move. Good racing, there.” 

After a 10th caution for a Kevin Harvick wreck resulting from a tire problem on lap 236 of the race that was scheduled for 240 laps, Busch was the race leader with Logano alongside in second for the final restart that extended the race to 245 laps. After a back-and-forth battle between the drivers, Logano took the lead for good out of turn four, heading for the white flag.

“My car was better on the outside, but it took a few laps for it to get rolling up, there. Cold tires, firing off on that restart, didn’t have the help behind me,” Busch said. “I was going to put my hand out the window and signal to Kurt (Busch) to push me along, and Joey was half a car back out my window trying to see it, so the hand signal was going to be irrelevant, so I didn’t do it, which kind of made Kurt too far back. Got into turn one by myself and was too far back. When you are the guy on the inside, you just flush the guy on the outside, and it’s over. I got a crossover, though, but threw it into (turn) three too far. It chattered all four tires. Just didn’t have any grip to get off the corner well enough to be on his outside, so I don’t know. Way better than Phoenix, overall. We were more in the running than there, for sure. The guys on this JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing), Toyota, Snickers, M&Ms, Interstate Batteries, Rowdy Energy, Breathe Right team did a good job to improve, and it’s something to work off of.”

Kyle Busch finished second, Kurt Busch was third, and Ryan Blaney and Aric Almirola rounded out the top-five.

A Joe Gibbs Racing trio of Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Christopher Bell were up front to restart for the final 100 laps of the race after a pit strategy of potting late in stage two and staying out at the end of the stage. After Erik Jones got off pit road first for the lead during the next caution for a Tyler Reddick spin on lap 182, Kyle Busch took the lead on the lap-190 restart.

Logano soon moved up to second, and he and Kyle Busch ran first and third for the remainder of the race. Logano took the lead on lap 208, but Kyle Busch retook the position on a lap-228 restart that followed a Cole Custer wreck that began with contact from Todd Gilliland.

Austin Cindric won the first 45-lap stage. He started on the front row alongside pole sitter Chase Briscoe. Briscoe led the first 27 laps before suffering a flat left-rear tire on lap 28. Cindric, after running second to Briscoe to that point, inherited the race lead.

Kurt Busch won the longer second stage that ended on lap 140 after leading a group of drivers that stayed out during the final caution of the stage for a Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr.\Ricky Stenhouse Jr. incident on lap 130.

Blaney led early in stage two before an incident between Denny Hamlin and Ross Chastain resulted in a caution on lap 65. Hamlin’s JGR teammate Kyle Busch restarted with the lead after staying out during the caution.

The next caution was for Blaney when his left-rear tire went flat on lap 95. Like Kyle Busch before him, Michael McDowell took the lead during the caution with the pit strategy of staying out.

Pit strategy also cost McDowell the lead when he pitted, handing the lead over to Kurt Busch during the Wallace/Stenhouse caution.

Finishing the race sixth through 10th were Truex, Jones, Chastain, Bell and A.J. Allmendinger.

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Posted by on June 6, 2022. Filed under Breaking News,Cup Series,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.