BRISTOL, TENN. – Joey Logano spoiled what was expected to be a rout by Joe Gibbs Racing at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Logano won the Bristol night race for the second consecutive year, grabbing the lead on the final restart Saturday night when he zipped past Team Penske teammate Brad Keselowski. He had to hold off a handful of challenges from Kevin Harvick, but ultimately cruised to his third win of the year.
Logano has won on a superspeedway in the Daytona 500, on the road course at Watkins Glen and now Bristol’s short track as he readies for the start of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Two races remain before the playoffs begin.
“We are hitting it at the right time, that’s for sure,” Logano said.
Logano led 176 laps, second only to JGR driver Kyle Busch, who led a race-high 192.
Harvick finished second for the 10th time this season. The reigning Sprint Cup champion has a career-best 17 top-five finishes this year.
“Obviously, you want to win races, but we’re in position and feel like we can get that momentum swing at any point,” Harvick said. “Just really excited to be able to run like this at Bristol. This hasn’t been notoriously my best racetrack.”
Many believed JGR would pick up its 10th win of the season, particularly after Denny Hamlin, Busch and Carl Edwards swept the top three spots in qualifying. Then Busch won Friday night’s Xfinity Series race.
Busch dominated early, but he had faded a bit as the laps clicked off. Then he was hit with a speeding penalty on the final round of pit stops and finished eighth. Edwards led 74 laps but had a tire go flat when he was out front, costing him two laps.
“All right, we’ll still get this,” Edwards said on his radio. “We’ve got a good car.” He took seventh.
An engine failure 177 laps in did in Matt Kenseth, the winner for JGR in the spring race at the track.