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Race report
NASCAR Cup North Wilkesboro

NASCAR All-Star Race: Joey Logano runs away with $1 million win

Joey Logano capped an impressive day for Team Penske with a dominating win in Sunday night’s NASCAR All Star Race at North Wilkesboro (N.C.) Speedway.

Hours after team owner Roger Penske’s IndyCar drivers swept the front row for this year’s Indianapolis 500 in qualifying, Logano added a $1 million prize with his win in NASCAR’s annual all-star event.

Logano, who has yet to win a points-paying NASCAR Cup race this season, started on the pole and led 199 of the 200 laps, which included the use of multiple tire compounds this season.

Denny Hamlin ended up being Logano’s toughest challenger, nearly grabbing the lead on a three-wide move midway in the race but also closed the gap in the final laps before Logano edged him by 0.636 seconds.

It’s the second All Star Race victory of Logano’s NASCAR career.

"My car was so fast," Logano said. "We came here and tested and ran over 800 laps at the tire test. Paul (Wolfe, crew chief) really figured out what it would take to win this race. We executed fantastic (pit) stops. 

"A lot of fun when you’ve got a car this fast. It's just so great to get in Victory Lane. All of our sponsors and everyone who stuck with us to get a win, it feels nice. It’s been a while. I wish it was for points, but a million bucks is still a lot of money and works as well."

Asked about the sticking with the 'option' tire for the entire race, Logano said, "Well, we did the first 100 (laps on it), so why wouldn’t it last the second 100? That was our thought. So, it was definitely an aggressive strategy, but it worked out good.”

The race got off to a wild start which ended with a fight in the garage between Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Kyle Busch.

Busch got loose and up into the outside wall on the opening lap and then on lap 2, Busch hit Stenhouse and sent his No. 47 hard into the Turn 2 wall, knocking him out of the race. A frustrated Stenhouse then parked his wrecked car in Busch’s team’s pit stall.

 

After the race, Stenhouse – who waited around until the end of the race since there is no infield tunnel – confronted Busch after the race, which started as a heated confrontation and ended with fists flying.

Chris Buescher ended up third, Kyle Larson – who qualified fifth for the Indy 500 earlier in the day – was fourth and Ryan Blaney rounded out the top five.

Completing the top 10 were Bubba Wallace, Ross Chastain, Chase Elliott, Michael McDowell and Busch.

NASCAR displayed a caution on lap 102 of 250 – the first of two planned ‘All Star’ cautions in the race. All teams were required to complete a four-time pit stop but could utilize either a prime tire or an ‘option’ tire, which was softer but also supposed to wear faster.

Logano was the first off pit road as all teams elected to use the ‘option’ tire as it showed virtually no noticeable fall off during the first 100 laps. On the restart with 92 laps to go, Logano led Buescher, Christopher Bell and Brad Keselowski.

With 82 to go, Ty Gibbs spun around in Turn 1 after contact from Busch which brought out another caution. Tyler Reddick and Daniel Suarez put under the caution and took on the prime tire as Logano led on the restart on lap 124.

Blaney got around Hamlin to take over the runner-up spot with 60 laps remaining and quickly began making up ground on Logano.

On lap 152, NASCAR displayed the second of two planned ‘All Star’ cautions and this time teams were not required to pit.

Logano and several others remained on the track while Larson was the first off pit road of those who pit. The race returned to green with 42 laps remaining.

Within five laps, Larson – the first car on new tires – had moved from 10th to third, behind Logano and Hamlin. Larson’s charge eventually stalled out as the finish became a battle between Logano and Hamlin.

Following the race, there was a physical altercation between Busch and Stenhouse. Stenhouse punched Busch, instigating a brawl between members of both teams.

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