Joey Logano leads 163 laps in dominating Michigan win

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<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nascar/sprint/drivers/1542/" data-ylk="slk:Joey Logano">Joey Logano</a> led 161 laps in his second win of 2019. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Joey Logano led 161 laps in his second win of 2019. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

No one could catch Joey Logano at Michigan on Monday.

The defending Cup Series champion led 163 of 203 laps from the pole and pulled away from Martin Truex Jr. and Kurt Busch on the race’s final restart for a convincing win.

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Erik Jones’ flat tire set up a two-lap dash to the finish that put Logano’s win in jeopardy. He was only passed by other drivers in the laps after restarts. But he accelerated away from Truex right away and kept Busch at bay over the final lap.

Truex thought Logano sprinted away from him a little too early ahead of the final green flag.

“Then the 22 just went like a whole car length before the restart zone, so I don’t know how you get away with that,” Truex said. “I thought you were supposed to go in the box.”

It’s worth noting that Truex and Logano aren’t exactly on the best terms. Logano roughed up Truex for the win at Martinsville in the fall and passed Truex for the race win and the championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

But it’s also worth noting that restart gamesmanship is of the utmost importance in the current state of NASCAR. With cars closer together than ever and defending positions on restarts more important than ever, drivers do whatever they can to make sure they have advantages on restarts. And that means going as early as you can get away with on restarts.

The win is Logano’s second of the season and means that Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske have combined to win 14 of the 2019 season’s 15 races so far.

Kyle Busch, the driver who has won four races so far this season, was fifth after falling from fourth on the final restart. Daniel Suarez finished fourth while Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman, Ryan Blaney and Alex Bowman rounded out the top 10 after the 2015 champion.

The race was run at 5 p.m. ET on Monday after rain postponed the race on Sunday and a poor early-Monday forecast allegedly pushed the race back to the early evening. But it’s also (very likely) about the TV windows that Fox had available. The network is broadcasting the Women’s World Cup and had a regularly-scheduled game that started at 3 p.m. ET. Putting the NASCAR race right after that Canada-Cameroon game was a logical fit, especially when there were two other soccer games that preceded it earlier in the day.

Results

1, Joey Logano

2. Kurt Busch

3. Martin Truex Jr.

4. Daniel Suarez

5. Kyle Busch

6. Brad Keselowski

7. Kevin Harvick

8. Ryan Newman

9. Ryan Blaney

10. Alex Bowman

11. Denny Hamlin

12. Daniel Hemric

13. Paul Menard

14. Kyle Larson

15. Jimmie Johnson

16. Chris Buescher

17. Aric Almirola

18. William Byron

19. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

20. Chase Elliott

21. Matt DiBenedetto

22. Ty Dillon

23. Corey LaJoie

24. Matt Tifft

25. Ryan Preece

26. Austin Dillon

27. Michael McDowell

28. Bubba Wallace

29. Landon Cassill

30. Garrett Smithley

31. Erik Jones

32. Quin Houff

33. Josh Bilicki

34. David Ragan

35. Clint Bowyer

36. Kyle Weatherman

Points standings

1. Joey Logano, 614 points (2 wins)

2. Kyle Busch, 605 (4)

3. Brad Keselowski, 541 (3)

4. Kevin Harvick, 539

5. Chase Elliott, 531 (1)

6. Martin Truex Jr., 499 (3)

7. Denny Hamlin, 491 (2)

8. Kurt Busch, 485

9. Ryan Blaney, 434

10. Alex Bowman, 433

11. Aric Almirola, 426

12. Clint Bowyer, 404

13. Daniel Suarez, 401

14. William Byron, 383

15. Kyle Larson, 369

16. Jimmie Johnson, 364

17. Ryan Newman, 361

18. Erik Jones, 357

19. Paul Menard, 336

20. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 326

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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