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NASCAR: 2018 GEICO 500 Stage 3 Review, Joey Logano wins for the first time in over a year at Talladega

William Byron won the race off pit road during the pit break while Kyle Busch sent to the rear after going too fast.

Paul Menard may have lost two positions behind Blaney and Byron.

However, he isn’t yet ruled out for the contention to conquer the Dega when the green flag resumes next time around.

Matt DiBenedetto is also running well in P20; he too is seeking his fourth straight Top 25 finish today.

He created a miracle last weekend when he finished 16th at Richmond.

Can he repeat that feat today and beat other teams with twice the better equipment?

1st Green Flag Restart of Stage 3

William Byron maintains his lead while Ryan Blaney is in 2nd ahead of his old team, Wood Brothers at P3 with Paul Menard.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. moved towards from the inside to the high line.

He’s looking to challenge Menard for a spot but now dropped to P5 behind Joey Logano.

Kurt Busch now passes William Byron for the race lead with 64 laps to go.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. isn’t far behind Kurt Busch in 2nd as he could defend his race win from last year’s Spring race at Talladega.

4th caution of the day with Debris

The caution is out for debris at the start/finish line with 60 laps to go.

The leaders enter pit road as they seek to make adjustments and set out tactical changes.

Both drivers sent to the rear are Chase Elliott and Paul Menard for tire violation while pitting under caution.

However, Wood Brothers overturned that penalty after NASCAR further reviewed that outcome, so Menard restarted in P7.

Don’t forget that they have issues with the radio too.

Another Green Flag restart with 56 laps to go

Denny Hamlin leads the field, but Ricky Stenhouse Jr. quickly takes over the lead.

Joey Logano now passes Denny Hamlin for the lead with 50 laps to go.

Brad Keselowski isn’t far behind in 2nd as he chases his Penske teammate for the race win.

Three wides plus three Fords up in front with 47 laps to go.

But Daniel Suarez comes right as high as 3rd place, now into 2nd ahead of Keselowski.

Pit window is open with the green flag pit stop cycle now underway going with fuel and tire adjustments.

Only seven of the lead cars didn’t pit just yet such as Daniel Suarez.

Suarez overshot his pit stall while making a stop which is a shame, So does Denny Hamlin and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. when they went too fast on pit road.

Hamlin once again repeating the same way where he lost his cool on his last stop.

“Going too fast on pit road can bring the best out of frustration for you,” said Jeff Gordon on the FOX NASCAR booth.

Joey Logano still trying to keep pushing on with the lead although Matt Yocum reported on pit road about a possible vibration.

5th caution out with 35 laps left

Timmy Hill was two laps down before bringing out the fifth caution of the day.

His No.51 Chevrolet has smoke coming off his car as he’s out of the day.

The 14 lead lap cars chose to take the wave around while DJ Kennington wins the free pass.

We’re back to green flag racing with 30 laps to go as Joey Logano leads Aric Almirola.

Kyle Busch has no help on the outside as he lost places down to P7.

For the Stewart-Haas pair of Harvick and Ku. Busch, that’s a big boost for them as the race isn’t over yet.

6th caution is out with 24 laps to go

Clint Bowyer bumped into the rear of Jimmie Johnson at Turn 4 before going loose and collected other drivers:

  • Paul Menard
  • Michael McDowell
  • Ryan Blaney
  • Brad Keselowski
  • William Byron
  • Jimmie Johnson
  • Bubba Wallace
  • Austin Dillon
  • AJ Allmendinger
  • Brendan Gaughan
  • Cole Whitt
  • Kyle Busch

Great job by Kasey Kahne, Ty Dillon, and Gray Gaulding by dodging the bullet and escaping that wreck.

Denny Hamlin gets his lap back.

Back to Green Flag with 17 laps left

There are still 22 cars on the lead lap where this front 15 can turn into one winner at the end of the race.

Joey Logano leads the Ford pack ahead of the Stewart-Haas pair of Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch.

Now Ricky Stenhouse Jr. passed Chase Elliott for 4th place.

Interesting to hear that both Ku. Busch and Harvick haven’t been to pit road since Lap 147 which is a reliable tactic by both drivers.

Kurt Busch is looking for his first Top 5 of 2018 where he posted his highest finish so far in P7 at Texas three weeks ago.

Joey Logano has not won a race for about 36 times since the Richmond Spring race just over a year ago.

Stewart-Haas has never won a race at Talladega before, they’ve won everything else apart from Kentucky.

Can Joey Logano hold on until the checkered flag?

Yes, he can! Joey Logano wins the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

That’s now Team Penske’s 181st career victory in the history of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series while Joey Logano advances into the Playoffs.

It’s also Logano’s/Team Penske’s first win of 2018 as well as Logano’s 19th career win at the Superspeedway track.

Kurt Busch finishes in 2nd followed by Chase Elliott in 3rd, Kevin Harvick in 4th and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. rounds out the Top 5.

What about David Ragan? He too is excellent at superspeedway tracks as I said earlier in the week.

Ragan can shock the field with a Top 10 today as he came home in P6.

Fantastic job to him and the people at Front Row Motorsports for working tirelessly throughout the race out of the best from the limited-budget teams.

Aric Almirola finishes in 7th ahead of Alex Bowman in 8th followed by Ryan Newman in 9th, and Daniel Suarez completes out the Top 10 mark.

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References: Racing Reference (Image).


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