LAS VEGAS, NV (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Joey Logano beat Matt DiBenedetto to win Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube. The victory was Logano’s first of the season and the 24th of his career.
“Winning the Pennzoil 400 with our Pennzoil Ford is so huge,” said Logano. “It means a lot to be able to do it two years in a row winning this race. I’m proud of the effort everybody here behind me did today. They prepared a great Ford Mustang and executed the race perfectly and that’s what we wanted. We fought hard and tried to keep every spot we possibly could and then ultimately, oh man, being able to pull it into Victory Lane here.”
The victory came after the final restart of the race which was set-up when Ross Chastain spun the No. 6 Ford Mustang on the backstretch on lap 263. Several cars elected to pit for fresh tires but the No. 22 Pennzoil Ford stayed out on the track
“We talked about this scenario,” said Logano. “If it comes down to it, can we get clean air and at what point do we feel comfortable staying out. Paul (Wolfe, crew chief) came over the radio and said ‘stick to the plan’. Ultimately it was a good call and got us in good position to get a good restart.”
JTG Daugherty Racing’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr and Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon finished third and fourth with Hendrick Motorsports Jimmie Johnson rounding out the top-5.
Richard Petty Motorsports Bubba Wallace finished sixth followed by Penske’s Brad Keselowski in seventh. Stewart Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick, who led a race-high 92-laps, finished eighth. Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kyle Larson finished ninth and Germain Racing’s Ty Dillon finished tenth.
The race featured 25-lead changes among seven drivers and was slowed by 9-caution periods for 37-laps.
Penske’s Ryan Blaney leads the point standings by three points over Logano with Harvick one point back in third.
Chase Briscoe Wins Rain-Delayed NASCAR Xfinity Series Boyd Gaming 300
Stewart Haas Racing’s Chase Briscoe beat Team Penske’s Austin Cindric by 2.874-seconds to win Sunday’s rain-delayed Boyd Gaming 300.
“It’s definitely nice to get one early,” Briscoe said. “Now maybe we can go to California next week and win on a 2-mile track (Auto Club Speedway).”
“It was definitely a track position sensitive race after the sun went down,” said Cindric. “We knew it was going to tighten up and tried to adjust for it on the final stop and didn’t get quite enough, and then obviously lost a little track position. I tried to hang it wide-open on Chase’s (Briscoe) door, but track position is important and then just fell off too tight following him there.”
Ryan Seig finished third followed by Noah Gragson and Harrison Burton.
Martin Truex Jr Victorious At Martinsville Speedway
MARTINSVILLE, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Martin Truex Jr passed teammate Denny Hamlin on lap 485 and went on the win the rain-delayed NASCAR Cup Series Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. The victory was Truex’s second of 2021 and 29th of his Cup Series Career.
“He (Hamlin) started getting tight, our car was getting better and better,” said Truex of the late race pass. “We were able to take advantage of it. Really happy. For whatever reason our car really turned on when the lights went down. Always good when a plan comes together and it works out the way you hoped it would.”
Hendrick Motorsports Chase Elliott finished second, his seventh top-10 finish in 13-races at Martinsville and fourth top-10 of 2021.
“Really, really hard-fought second actually for us,” said Elliott. “We were not great, but had some, I guess our strong suit was kind of early on in the run, then really faded hard, too hard there in the latter part of a run. But we never got one of those super long runs, which is probably a good thing for us because we were struggling on that end. But, yeah, proud we could fight back.”
Hamlin settled for third after leading the most laps in the race (267).
“Had a really good car on the short run all day,” said Hamlin. “Got great restarts. Was fast for 25, 30 laps. Then it seemed like guys would start catching us. Unfortunately it was just too many laps there at the end that we couldn’t hold those guys off.”
Hendrick Motorsports teammates William Byron and Kyle Larson finished fourth and fifth respectively, giving HMS three cars in the top 5.
The race featured 18-lead changes among 7-drivers and was slowed by 15-caution flags for 105-laps.
The next NASCAR Cup Series race is April 18, 2020 at Richmond Raceway.
Josh Berry Gets First Career Xfinity Series Win At Martinsville Speedway
MARTINSVILLE, VA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Josh Berry passed Ty Gibbs for the lead on lap 223 and stayed out front for the final 27-laps to get his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series win in the rain-delayed Cook Out 250 at Martinsville Speedway. The victory was the first career victory for Berry in 13 Xfinity Series starts.
“Man, I wanted to win so bad for these guys,” said Berry referring to his No. 8 JR Motorsports team. “They’re such a great group. I knew this would be a good opportunity to win. (Crew chief) Taylor (Moyer) called a perfect race. The car was good, and we just kept tweaking on it. The tires were pretty worn out there at the end. I was struggling a little bit with wheel-hop. This is just unbelievable.”
Berry’s JR Motorsports teammate Noah Gragson finished second and picked up a $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus, which eased the pain of being the runner-up.
“One hundred thousand dollars richer,” said Gragson. “Great 1-2 finish for our team at JR Motorsports. I really wanted to win there, but I was having to protect the bottom to keep the guys behind me from moving me out of the way. I couldn’t open up my arc the way I needed to and make speed.”
Daniel Hemric finished in third position followed by Gibbs, who faded to a fourth place finish. Gibbs’ teammate Brandon Jones finished fifth. Jones was the leader Friday night when storms red-flagged the event after completing 91-laps.
The race featured 13-lead changes among 9-drivers. The race was slowed by 12-caution flags for 75-laps.
The next race for the NASCAR Xfinity Series is April 24, 2021 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Mother Nature Wins At Martinsville Speedway
MARTINSVILLE, VA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Mother Nature is throwing a wrench into this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series and Xfinity Series Schedules at Martinsville Virginia.
Friday’s Xfinity race is under a red flag following 92-laps of the scheduled 250-lap event after rain showers put an end to NASCAR’s attempt to get the event finished. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Brandon Jones is scored as the leader of the race.
NASCAR has rescheduled the remainder of the event for Sunday at Noon ET.
The Cup Series race was red flagged on lap 43 because of showers. JGR’s Denny Hamlin is scored as the leader. Hamlin has led 38-laps. Team Penske’s Joey Logano started on the pole position and led the other laps.
NASCAR will restart the event on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET.
Per NASCAR rules, an event is considered official after half of the scheduled distance has been completed.
Both races will be broadcast live on FS1, the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.