Home USA News Joey Logano wins at Phoenix to earn 2nd NASCAR Championship

Joey Logano wins at Phoenix to earn 2nd NASCAR Championship

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AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Joey Logano won his second NASCAR championship and gave Roger Penske two titles in the same season with a winner-take-all finale at Phoenix Raceway on Sunday.

It was the fourth win of the season for Logan, who opened the year with a January exhibition race victory at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in the debut of NASCAR’s new Next Gen car. Less than a month later, rookie teammate Austin Cindric won the Daytona 500 on Penske’s 85th birthday.

Will Power added the IndyCar championship to Team Penske’s trophy case in September, and Logan’s dominant run on Sunday marked the first time Penske won both the NASCAR and IndyCar championships in the same season.

“I knew we were going to win the championship. I told the guys we were the favorites coming out of Daytona and we believed it and that’s the difference,” Logano said. “I had a good team with a lot of confidence and we had every reason in the world to be confident. I’ve never been so ready for a championship race, and yeah, we did it, man. I can’t believe it.”

Logan was greeted after the win by his wife and 4-year-old son Hudson, the oldest of his three children and the only one who made the trip to Phoenix. Logano took Hudson’s hand and ran to shore to retrieve the checkered flag.

His son galloped back down the track, waving the flag and holding his champion father’s hand. Logano promised Hudson to win the championship.

“I told him he’d meet me here if we won the race, and I couldn’t be a liar to my son,” said Logano, who was also slated to drive Hudson in the No. 22 Ford to the championship round.

“I always wanted to do this with Hudson. He’s such a little driver, so it was a special moment to ride together.”

This is Penske’s third Cup championship, having won with Brad Keselowski in 2012, and Logan’s first title in 2018. Logano joined Kyle Busch as the only active drivers with multiple Cup titles.

Logano won the pole and was never threatened on Sunday as his Ford led 186 of the 312 laps and was just one lap shy of the top contender for the title.

Ross Chastain finished third in his debut championship race and Christopher Bell was 10th. Bell was racing hours after Joe Gibbs Racing learned that vice chairman Coy Gibbs, son of the team’s Hall of Fame owner, had died in his sleep at the age of 49.

“You wake up this morning and you’re fighting for a championship, you’re happy, you’re excited, and then your world comes crashing down,” Bell said. “Anytime you get news like this, it definitely shows that there’s a lot more to it outside of racing.”

At the start of the final stage, Chastain spun Chase Elliott, his Chevrolet hit the wall, and he was immediately out of contention. It ended Hendrick Motorsports’ streak of two consecutive Cup titles.

NASCAR’s most popular driver won a record five races this year and the regular-season championship, but Elliott lost his second championship when he crossed Chastain and Chastain refused to get up. The contact sent Elliott spinning into the wall, he dropped to 30th and down a lap during repairs to finish 28th.

Logano, who started his career at JGR and spent five seasons there before being fired after the 2012 season, gave the Gibbs family his congratulations after the win.

“I don’t know what to think, but obviously my condolences to the Gibbs family,” Logano said. “But just an incredible day for us and some mixed emotions at the moment.”

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