Joey Logano breaks through for first win of season at Atlanta
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[March 20, 2023]
Joey Logano broke Chevrolet's 2023 NASCAR Cup Series
stranglehold Sunday afternoon, but he had to do it at the very end.
Logano passed fellow Ford driver Brad Keselowski on the final lap to
claim victory in the Ambetter Health 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway
in Hampton, Georgia.
Following a pair of separate crashes up front that brought out
cautions for Kevin Harvick and Kyle Larson, Keselowski paced a
44-lap, side-by-side dash to the finish -- leading almost the whole
But Logano, who led a race-high 141 laps, made a pass on the high
side off Turn 2, completed it going into the third turn and won for
the 32nd time in his career and first ever at AMS.
"It's so special to win at Atlanta for me," Logano said. "So many
memories of me and my dad racing right here on the quarter-mile.
This is full circle for us. ... To finally win here means so much to
Following second-place Keselowski were Christopher Bell, Corey
LaJoie and Tyler Reddick.
Keselowski was beside Logano on the backstretch, but Bell and his
No. 20 Toyota Camry gave Logano a major shove to the front.
"The bottom (line) came with a huge run, and I don't know how. I
thought I had it blocked," Keselowski said. "I couldn't get the push
down the back. ... The 20 car just hauled down there.
"The coolest thing about this was that two veterans showed you can
run a race here -- side-by-side, bump-drafting -- and not wreck the
[to top of second column]
Mar 19, 2023; Hampton, Georgia, USA;
NASCAR Cup Series driver Joey Logano (22) wins at Atlanta Motor
Speedway. Mandatory Credit: David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports
Chevy had won the first four races of the season.
The last time a manufacturer claimed five victories to open a season
was in 1995 -- also by Chevy.
The 260-lapper was the first of two 400-mile races at AMS this
season -- the first year ever without a 500-mile event at the
Logano, who put his No. 22 Ford on the pole for the second time in
2023, led Team Penske teammates Austin Cindric and Ryan Blaney in
the season's fifth event.
In Stage 1, Logano topped the field for the entire 60 laps around
the 1.54-mile track ahead of Cindric for Logano's first stage win
However, Cindric -- who ran as far back as 25th at one point --
mounted a run off Turn 4 and was able to maneuver his No. 2 Mustang
by his stablemate on the final circuit to win Stage 2.
After staying out on old tires and getting the lead, Aric Almirola
blew a tire off Turn 4 and collected Hendrick Motorsports' Larson
while the pair was running 1-2 on Lap 209.
--Field Level Media
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