Joey Logano led the most laps, and he made the right move when it counted, as he passed Brad Keselowski on his outside on the final lap to win at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, March 19. It’s the defending series champion’s first win of the season, and his first at Atlanta.
Keselowski led 29 of the final 30 laps, but he had to settle for a runner-up finish, his best result since joining RFK Racing. Christopher Bell was the highest Toyota in third, while Corey LaJoie recorded a career-best Cup finish of fourth. Tyler Reddick completed the top five.
Denny Hamlin crossed the line in sixth, while Logano’s Penske teammate Ryan Blaney finished seventh. Erik Jones, Ty Gibbs and Kyle Busch completed the top 10.
Logano picked up the stage one win while his teammate Austin Cindric did the same in stage two. The race was largely incident-free for the first two stages, with only Bubba Wallace’s early spin bringing out a caution.
Stage two went green all the way, with green flag pit stops tripping up Blaney, who was caught speeding on exit. He would lose a lap but would return to the front of the field and factor in the finish.
The final stage produced the two biggest crashes of the day. The first was The Big One that the superspeedway-style tends to produce, as Ross Chastain got too close to Kevin Harvick with 73 to go. Harvick spun in front of the field, collecting Josh Berry, Chris Buescher, William Byron, Busch, and Harrison Burton. Only Busch would recover to finish well.
The next involved Kyle Larson and Aric Almirola. Almirola blew a tire in front of the field on lap 209, and Larson had a big hit into the outside wall after being unable to avoid the No. 10 car. Both drivers were checked and released from the care center.
The NASCAR Cup Series returns to Circuit of the Americas on Sunday, March 26 at 3 p.m. ET on FOX.
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