The sun came out and the number 22 car of Joey Logano came alive. Logano took the checkered flag at Monday’s rain delayed race the Texas Motor Speedway, becoming the seventh different winner in seven races.
“Just awesome,” said Logano. “We've been in contention every race this year to win these things. To get the Shell-Pennzoil Ford in Victory Lane, it means a lot. It's such a tough racetrack. We have had plenty of time to think about this the last couple days. Pretty cool place to win.”
The race on Monday started under caution to help dry the track. When the sun came out, Logano and Kansas native Clint Bowyer were among the cars that really came alive with the heating of the track. But that is where their fortunes diverge.
Bowyer, who ran as high as second in the race, had a lug nut missing during a pit stop on lap 256 dropped him from fourth to 16th. He would rebound for an eighth place finish.
Logano, dodged most of the bad luck, but he would have to fight for the win in the final laps. The 22 saw its large lead evaporate when caution came out as Logano was coming to the white flag. On the green, white, checkered finish Logano would hold off Jeff Gordon for the win, the fourth of Logano’s career.
“When you got like 40 something laps after the last pit stop, you got a pretty sizable lead, really all you're thinking is, Where is the white flag? Where is the white flag?” said Logano. “Brad was able to catch us a little bit. Then you go into turn one, you see the 41 up against the wall. You're like, Please no caution, please no caution. Boom, it comes out. You got to be kidding me.
“I tried to stay as calm as I could. I'm young. I got a lot of fire in me. I get mad. I feel like I should, as any competitive person would. But I also stayed calm enough to keep my eyes on the prize, do what I had to do to get back in the situation to be sitting here right now.”
Gordon was second and takes over the points lead. Kyle Busch, Brian Vickers and rookie Kyle Larson round out the top five.
NASCAR’s most popular driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr had a strange and short day at the track. The 88 car ran off into the grass on lap 12 and then shot back up the track hit the wall and burst into flames. Earnhardt would walk away, but the accident effectively took out his teammate, six-time champion Jimmie Johnson as well.