TC Daily Pit Stop: Joey Logano Prevails at Atlanta; LaJoie Impresses (Again) at Atlanta; Highlights and Storylines from Atlanta
TC Daily Pit Stop: Monday, March 20th, 2023
Joey Logano Prevails in Hard-Fought Atlanta Battle with Brad Keselowski
Photo Credit: Jonathan McCoy, TobyChristie.com
There wasn’t anybody questioning the fact that Joey Logano was the quickest car in the field during Sunday’s Ambetter Health 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. However, not far behind was Brad Keselowski, and the two former teammates put on an amazing show.
Over the final green-flag run of Sunday’s event, which surprisingly lasted 47 laps, it was a chess match between Logano and Keselowski, with the driver of the No. 6 Ford Mustang continuously defending advances against the Team Penske driver.
As the field approached the final laps of Sunday’s event at Atlanta, Keselowski looked like he would be the driver to beat, controlling the runs and keeping the inside and outside line at bay, that was until Joey Logano’s final-lap move.
Logano, who started Sunday’s 400-mile contest from the pole position, squeaked to the outside of Keselowski in the middle of turns one and two with his Ford Mustang, getting track position and the advantage of a push from Christopher Bell to blast to the win.
Corey LaJoie Impresses Again, Moves to 14th in Points After Career-Best Finish at Atlanta
Photo Credit: Jonathan McCoy, TobyChristie.com
There’s just something about Corey LaJoie and this newly reconfigured Atlanta Motor Speedway. The driver of the No. 7 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro always finds himself rising to the occasion at the 1.54-mile superspeedway. Sunday, in the Ambetter Health 400, he was once again in the mix in the closing laps, and he even was the driver who initiated the Herculean push that led to Joey Logano going to victory lane.
While he ultimately came up just a little short for the third time in as many tries at the newly configured oval, LaJoie scooted over the finish line in fourth place, which marks his new career-best finish, besting his fifth-place run in this event a season ago.
Sure, it isn’t the win that LaJoie certainly hopes and believes is coming someday soon, but at the end of the day, LaJoie is pleased that his team is hitting on all cylinders, and he’s not sure if there was anything else that he or his team could have done that would have changed the outcome.
“I don’t think we could have done better,” LaJoie said. “I don’t think there is anything we could have done differently. Our green flag sequence, I think was a net positive. Got a Stage Point there.”
Ambetter Health 400 - In-Race Highlights:
Video: Joey Logano Makes Slick Last-Lap Move Around Brad Keselowski to Win at Atlanta
Joey Logano scored the victory in Sunday’s Ambetter Health 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, making a last-lap move around the outside of Brad Keselowski to capture his 32nd NASCAR Cup Series win.
Video: Aric Almirola Blows Right-Rear Tire, Triggers Five-Car Wreck at Atlanta
Aric Almirola, Kyle Larson, and Daniel Suarez were forced to retire from Sunday’s race early after a multi-car accident in the closing stages of the race, which started when the No. 10 Ford Mustang blew a right-rear tire from the lead.
Video: Kevin Harvick Turned From Lead by Chastain; Massive Pileup Ensues
Ross Chastain and Kevin Harvick triggered a massive 12-car pileup in the middle portion of Sunday’s Ambetter Health 400, which collected William Byron, Josh Berry, Chris Buescher, Kyle Busch, and several others.
Video: Bubba Wallace Loses Control on Lap 10, Crashes Into Inside Wall
Bubba Wallace’s chance to win Sunday’s Ambetter Health 400 went out the window just 10 laps into the race, after losing control of his No. 23 Toyota Camry off of turn two, spinning into the inside wall.
Additional Storylines from Atlanta:
Chad Knaus: NASCAR’s Hood Louver Situation ‘Ugly’ and ‘Doesn’t Help Anybody’
PHOTO CREDIT: Craig White, TobyChristie.com
Heading into this weekend at Atlanta, the hot-button topic of the week was the penalties assessed to Hendrick Motorsports and Kaulig Racing, for the apparent illegal modification of the single-source parts, specifically hood louvers.
On Friday, Chad Knaus, VP of Competition at Hendrick Motorsports, spoke to members of the media, and explained his position on the penalties, which brought the views of the two penalized teams more into line than previous.
“So, through a tremendous amount of back-and-forth with NASCAR, the OEMs, and the teams, there’s been conversations about whether we can clean up the parts, not clean up the parts. And it’s changed, quite honestly, every couple of weeks. So it’s been challenging for us to navigate and we’re just going to have to see what happens when we get through the appeal.”
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