Joey Logano Wins The Hellmann’s 500 At Talladega To Advance In The Chaseby Hunter Thomas October 23, 2016
TALLADEGA, Ala. – Joey Logano held off the field in NASCAR Overtime to win Sunday’s Hellmann’s 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
The win marks Logano’s second of the 2016 season. The driver of the Team Penske No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford has now also won the last two Chase races at Talladega Superspeedway. On Sunday, Logano led the final 45 laps en route to the victory; however, his dominance was challenged during a NASCAR Overtime restart, following a caution involving Alex Bowman that came out on lap 187. In the end, Logano outran Brian Scott and Denny Hamlin to capture his 16th career win.
“Todd (Gordon, crew chief) made some good adjustments during the race and found some speed in the car, so that was pretty neat to see some of that,” Logano said. “We got that track position and just hung onto it. I was able to stay on the bottom and try to run the bottom and keep everyone in line, and that worked out really well.”
Richard Petty Motorsports’ Brian Scott finished second in the No. 44 Goody’s Ford. The runner-up finish marks Scott’s first top-five in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He earned the impressive result in his 49th career start. On the final lap, Scott was in the draft behind Logano, but in the end, he just couldn’t make a strong enough move to get out in front of the field.
“I gave it everything I had,” Scott said. “I mean, if I could have stuck my feet through the floorboard and ran to try and get a little more horsepower, I would have done it. Joey just did all the right moves up front. I’ve got to thank Denny Hamlin and everybody that worked with me and tried to push me up there. I probably wasn’t their first choice, but I gave them no choice but to work with me and I’m just proud of these guys. It was a solid day with no mistakes. We capitalized on every opportunity we had and brought home a good finish.”
Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. rounded out the top-five. Completing the top-10 was Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick, Aric Almirola, Austin Dillon and AJ Allmendinger.
Following the race, Stewart-Haas Racing teammates, Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick had a few words. After the conclusion of the race, Busch and Harvick banged doors on the cool down lap. Once on pit road, Harvick walked over to Busch, who was still in his car and jabbed through the window.
“Yeah, the final laps everybody is just pushing and shoving and then he (Kurt Busch) cleaned the side of our car out after the checkered flag,” Harvick said. “I don’t really understand that, but all-in-all the Jimmy John’s Chevrolet team did a great job and didn’t have a scratch on it until then. That is pretty good for Talladega.”
During post-race, Kurt Busch said, “He has a misunderstanding of the call at the end of the race. He will understand it and I’m sure he will clear it up in his interview. For us, we are great teammates. We are doing good together. We have to work together to beat all these other teams out there and he knows that.”
Throughout the afternoon, there were six cautions for 25 laps; however there were only two yellow flags for multi-car accidents.
The second caution of the day came on lap 115, when Casey Mears, Greg Biffle and Matt DiBenedetto crashed on the frontstretch. As the field exited Turn 4, Biffle and DiBenedetto made contact. Biffle slid across the nose of DiBenedetto’s car and collected Casey Mears. The three drivers pounded the inside wall at pit entrance and ricocheted into the frontstretch grass, where they eventually came to a rest.
“We were just on the bottom,” Mears said. “I think we were probably about five (laps) away from pitting I think it was. At that point we just kind of move down to the bottom and were waiting for the cycle of pit stops to come around and something happen with the No. 16 (Greg Biffle). I couldn’t tell out of the corner of my eye, I thought maybe he got clipped on the outside and then it swung him back into whoever was below him. We were just cruising along there and all of a sudden just got taken out; a pretty hard hit to the inside wall. I felt like I had a car that had pretty good speed. It was a matter of kind of being up there inside that top 10 or 15 when it really counted to make a move.”
On lap 183, the final multi-car accident occurred during the fifth caution of the afternoon. Kasey Kahne spun in Turn 3 and collected Jamie McMurray and Trevor Bayne.
Sunday’s race was the final event of the Round of 12. The drivers, who aren’t transferring to the Round of 8 include: Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski, Austin Dillon and Chase Elliott.
Truex Jr. started on the pole, but he blew an engine on lap 41 and finished 40th. Keselowski led 90 laps, more than any other driver on Sunday, but he retired from the event on lap 144 after a possible engine failure as well. Keselowski finished 38th. Dillon had a strong top-10 finish, but it wasn’t enough to catapult him into the Round of 8. Elliott crossed the finish line in the 12th position, but he also didn’t earn enough points to transfer.
The drivers that will make up the Round of 8 include: Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch.
The first Round of 8 race will be the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday, October 30. Live coverage of the race will broadcast on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) at 1 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images