Joey Logano led only one lap of the Cheez It 355 at Watkins Glen, but as the adage goes, he led the only one that mattered. The Team Penske driver also won the NASCAR Xfinity Series race Saturday, completing the first ever dual series sweep at Watkins Glen and giving Roger Penske his first Sprint Cup victory at the 2.45-mile road course.
Kevin Harvick led the field through a long 30-lap green flag run to the finish, however Logano pressured him throughout, knowing the Stewart-Haas racing driver was low on fuel. As the pair approached Turn 10 on the final lap, Harvick’s car finally ran dry, giving Logano the lead as they turned onto the front straight. Harvick had enough momentum to carry his Chevrolet SS past the finish line, but not before Kyle Busch narrowly beat him there to take third.
“I’m still just trying to catch my breath,” Logano said post-race. “I was really excited after that one. I was running down Harvick there for a little bit, and once I got close to him, he started to pick up his pace a little bit, which was good, because I needed him to run out of gas.
“I started to catch him a little bit, and I drove into (Turn) 1 too hard (on the final lap) and started to wheel hop. I just about lost it, and at that point you just hope he runs out of gas, which he did in the last corner. It makes up for last week (at Pocono). We lost the race last week the same way, so it makes up for it to get it this week.”
Busch’s second place finish gives the Joe Gibbs Racing driver much needed points towards his Chase berth. After missing 11 races due to injuries sustained in an Xfinity Series race, Busch must finish in the top 30 in the four remaining regular season races in order to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Other potential Chase drivers Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne all had bad points days at The Glen, finish 40th, 41st and 42nd, respectively.
NASCAR heads back to the oval next week next for the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Click here for full results from Watkins Glen, and here for a schedule of next weekend’s NASCAR festivities.