Just as the Duck Commander 500 looked to be over, a game changing late yellow-flag made for a wild final restart. Joey Logano led prior to the caution, but strategy by other teams on pit road led to Logano having to restart third. However, his four tires prevailed over Jeff Gordon and Brian Vickers’ two, allowing Logano to save a win that almost got away.
Regardless of the race being run a day late due to rain, a great show was still put on Monday afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway. The action started early on as wild circumstances began the day.
Under the green and yellow flag conditions that started the race, many teams faced hood and roof flap problems. As the jet dryers finished drying the track, the powerful air hit the cars, loosening up some flaps which forced drivers to pit to have the damage evaluated.
The second caution featured a vicious wreck by Dale Earnhardt Jr. While racing through the dog-leg shaped frontstretch, Earnhardt Jr. got too low on the track and had part of his car go through the grass. That ripped his front bumper severely and sent him hard into the outside wall. The No.88 caught fire soon after, but it was extinguished quickly. Earnhardt Jr. was okay.
Jimmie Johnson was running behind Earnhardt Jr. at the time and suffered some front-end damage. Johnson was able to continue, but the damage hurt his performance throughout the race.
Logano kept creeping towards the front throughout the middle portion of the race. On Lap 227, he was able to get around teammate Brad Keselowski to take his first lead of the day.
The No.22 car remained out front from that point until the final caution came out. Logano was feet away from taking the white flag before Kurt Busch got into the wall and spread debris across the track.
The final pit stops then changed the restart order as Gordon and Vickers led the field to green with two laps to go.
As Gordon pulled out to the lead, Logano stalked him from behind and was able to make his move for the top spot on the white flag lap. There was no stopping Logano from that point on as he was able to grab his first victory of the season.
With Logano’s victory, the streak of different winners continues and is now at seven. NASCAR heads to the Darlington Raceway next where good hard racing could produce an eighth different victor.
Results via ESPN.com
|18||Martin Truex Jr.||Chevrolet||340||18||0||26||0||0|
|26||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Ford||338||31||0||18||0||0|
|43||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||12||19||0||1||0||0|