Joey Logano became the first driver to win from the pole this season on his way to his second victory and supplanting Kyle Busch as the points leader. On his way to Victory Lane, Logano won Stage 1, led 163 of 203 laps and held off the field during a wild final restart with just a few laps to go. How Kyle Busch of him.
Kurt Busch was clawing for his first win but finished just shy of the goal. A win by Busch would have broken the stranglehold that Penske and Gibbs have on the field right now. Kevin Harvick challenged and led 15 laps, the only other significant number of laps led by anyone other than Logano, but he fell to 7th. A win by Harvick would have been popular and given the organization a shot in the arm, again breaking the Penske/Gibbs chokehold. Harrvick is certainly not living up to his nickname, The Closer. Harvick has led only 297 laps this season, has no wins, five Top 5, ten Top 10 finishes and 2 DNFs. His 3 Stage wins leave him in 7th place in the playoffs right now.
Harvick teammate Clint Bowyer started the day with high hope but he got into Erik Jones, before Erik Jones got into Erik Jones, that left him with a DNF in 35th place. Teammate Daniel Suarez led 1 lap and ended up in 4th, a decent day for him. If he can keep this kind of pace up, he should really jump in the standings.
Martin Truex, Jr. also challenged for the lead but didn’t really have anything for Logano on the restarts. Kyle Busch held on for 5th but led no laps. That should tell you just how well Logano was hooked up.
Overall, the racing was pretty good this weekend. Drivers could pass, although not many passed Logano. With that said, the gap between first and second was respectable quite often and even the gap between first and fifth wasn’t too bad for much of the day.
Ford led the way with the win and six cars in the Top 10. Chevy continued to struggle with Alex Bowman the lone survivor in 10th. Chevy tied Ford with seven cars in the Top 20, but that can’t even be considered a moral victory at this point. Toyota had three cars in the Top 11 but no other Toyota team finished in the Top 20. But with only five cars on the track, having three in the Top 11 is decent for Toyota.
The Xfinity and Gander Outdoors series are in Iowa this weekend whole the Cup drivers have a week off before heading to Sonoma.
Harvick is the top rated Cup driver at Sonoma and this may be his chance to get the money off his back. He’ll have to hold off Bowyer, Truex, both Busch brothers to do that. And you can even include Chase Elliott as a threat at Sonoma. You could even add Jimmie Johnson into this mix since this all about turning left and right and less about straightaway speed or aero. If Johnson finishes and fails to score a Top 10 at this race, you can write him off for the season. If he has anything left to give this year, he needs to do it in races like this.