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Joey Logano holds on in overtime to win at Bristol

BRISTOL, TENNESSEE – MARCH 29: Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Joey Logano is the first NASCAR Cup Series driver to win on dirt in over 50 years.

Stage one had three of the JGR Toyota’s in the front of the pack running 1-2-3 with Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, and Martin Truex jr. running respectively. It did not take long for the Truck Series winner, Martin Truex jr., to make the pass on his teammate Busch to take the lead. The 18 car of Busch was overheating, most likely due to the amount of mud and dirt that was clogging the grill.

The first caution of the day happened on lap 41 after Aric Almirola spun-out and Anthony Alfredo slammed into him. The leader, Truex, narrowly avoided the incident and almost got collected in the mess. This ended the day for Aric Almirola, Anthony Alfredo, Corey LaJoie, and Shane Golobic. On lap 47, Martin Truex jr. led his career 10,000th Cup Series lap.

Shortly after, William Byron makes contact with Ryan Newman and gets spun-out, and causes other smaller incidents as drivers attempt to not hit the number 6 of Newman. Lap 50 was the first competition caution, where teams were allowed to take their time changing tires and making adjustments as no cars were allowed to gain position off of pit road.

Three laps after the competition caution, Christopher Bell spins out trying to ride the top lane and Kyle Larson crashed directly into the side of him, collecting Ross Chastain in the process. This was a particularly dramatic moment, considering the two most decorated dirt racers in the Cup Series had damaged cars in the same incident. Kyle Larson was able to continue with the damage, but Bell and Chastain were not so lucky and had to bring their cars to the garage.

Truex led most of the first stage and had as much as a 3-second lead before hitting lap traffic. Martin Truex jr. easily won stage 1, continuing his momentum from his win earlier in the afternoon in the Truck Series.

Stage two begun with Martin Truex jr. and William Byron leading the pack from the front row. Truex quickly jumped ahead as Byron fell back, with Daniel Suarez moving up to second. 35 laps into stage 2, Daniel Suarez bump-and-ran Truex for the lead and quickly jumped out to a fairly large lead. Not too long after that, William Byron passed Truex for second in what appeared to be worn-out tires for Truex.

50 laps into stage 2, the race had its second competition caution, which couldn’t come soon enough for some drivers. About one lap into the restart off that competition caution, there was a massive pile-up of about 10 cars. Kyle Busch got into Ryan Blaney, which in turn created a massive pile-up behind them due to the amount of dirt kicked up and the sun shining through it, making it next to impossible to see. There was a great deal of damage to the 18 of Busch, 12 of Blaney, 48 of Alex Bowman, and 5 of Kyle Larson.

With 31 laps to go in stage 2, NASCAR decided that all restarts going forward would be single-file restarts, due to all of the dust that was making it difficult to see. Joey Logano had a great restart and was able to make the pass on Daniel Suarez to take the lead. With only a few laps to go, Logano held on to the lead to win stage 2.

The final stage was a 50-lap shootout, where Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin were fighting hard for the lead early on in the first ten laps. With about 20 laps to go, Logano started hitting lap traffic, only building to the suspense. Joey kept running the bottom of the track, getting more into traffic, while Hamlin kept the gap to less than a second for most of the stage, and was running up on the wall.

That top lane was too slick, and inevitably Denny Hamlin slid up into the wall, allowing his teammate Martin Truex jr. to pass him for second. With only 4 laps to go, Mike Marlar cuts his tire and spun-out bringing out the caution to trigger a NASCAR overtime.

Joey Logano stuck to running the bottom and Denny Hamlin up high, which was Hamlin’s downfall as Logano had way more speed running down low. This allowed Joey Logano to win at Bristol dirt race.

Top 5 Finishers

122Joey LoganoTeam Penske
247Ricky Stenhouse jr.JTG Daugherty Racing
311Denny HamlinJoe Gibbs Racing
499Daniel SuarezTrackhouse Racing
56Ryan NewmanRoush Fenway Racing
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