Logano’s Gamble Pays off at Vegas, Locks Him into Championship Four

Championship Four
Joey Logano (22) does a burnout after winning a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP)

A late charge from Joey Logano locks the Penske Racing Driver into the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series Championship Four. Logano raced past Ross Chastain with three laps to go and held off the hard charging young gun to hold on for the win in Las Vegas. He was one of two former champions still alive for this year’s title and has guaranteed there will be at least one champion in the finale.

Logano pitted late to get fresher tires and that wound up being the difference as the Connecticut native was able to get by this year’s fast rising star. Ross Chastain has made some enemies this year with his style of driving, but Logano had nothing but praise for how Chastain raced on Sunday. Logano commended Chastain’s use of racing air to block him and said he had to go when he did, or he wasn’t sure he would’ve been able to get around him. It was a great day for both as Logano locked himself in the finale at Phoenix and Chastain collected a lot of points to keep him solely in the Top Four heading to Homestead.


In the middle of the race defending series champion Kyle Larson got into it with Bubba Wallace as aggressive driving by both led to a crash and then a fight. This is a case where nobody is right, but Bubba is more wrong. Larson ran into the corner a little too hard and got into Bubba forcing Bubba into the wall. That was clearly too aggressive driving by Larson that damaged both cars. It’s understandable for Bubba to be upset, but both cars were still fixable at that point. Bubba overreacted. He sped up and intentionally drove into Larson wrecking both cars. Then, after crashing out of the race, Bubba tries to pick a fight with Larson. It was a lame fight, because Larson clearly didn’t want to fight, while Bubba was still overreacting.

If Bubba had kept his cool, it’s possible both drivers finish the race. Because he didn’t both drivers wrecked, and a playoff contender wound up being collected as part of the collateral damage. Bubba deserves some type of punishment for his reckless driving. What that will be, I don’t know. Given the recent point punishment and then repeal of said punishment for William Byron for wrecking someone under caution, I’m not sure if Bubba’s punishment should be just money or points as well.


The innocent victim in the Larson-Wallace fiasco was Christopher Bell. Last week’s winner was collected as the two cars spun and sustained serious damage to his car. Bell is now sitting eight in the standings, 23 points below the cutoff line. He will either need a win in one of the final two races or two great finishes and a lot of help if he hopes to make the Championship Four. Bell did nothing wrong and it’s a real shame he was taken out by the actions of someone not contending for a title.


Following the race in Las Vegas, Logano, Chastain, Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin are currently sitting in transfer spots. But Byron, Chase Briscoe and Ryan Blaney are not far behind. It will be interesting to see what happens in the final two races of the Round of Eight. I picked Denny Hamlin to win the title, and I’m sticking with him; but I’m rooting for William Byron.

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