Team Penske Ford drivers Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski put in a dominant performance to go 1-2 in the Toyota Owners 400 from Richmond International Raceway Sunday.
Logano had started at the very back of the field for the race after his No. 22 Ford Fusion had to undergo a gearbox change in between qualifying the race. He took the lead following a restart on Lap 384 of 400, passing a string of six cars that had elected to stay out under caution rather than pit for fresh rubber. With new tires, Logano surged to the front of the pack and held off a hard-charging Keselowski to win his first race of the 2017 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series season.
“The boys had a great stop which gave us good track position to pass the cars that stayed out,” Logano said post-race. “We were able to have a good start, work our way past those cars and tried to take off the best I could. I knew the 2 was so much faster than everybody and I had to get out there as quick and as far as I could. He was on his way to catch me.”
Keselowski crossed the finish line second after having battled for the lead with Stewart-Haas Ford driver Kevin Harvick for much of the day. The Michigan-native was confident that he could have passed Joey if the race were just 10 laps longer, or if he didn’t get caught in a line of slower cars that allowed his teammate to pull out a large gap on him but was happy with the 1-2 result.
“I just got stuck in a lane of cars that didn’t go,” he said. “By the time I did, he had a whole straightaway on me. I got it down to a couple of car lengths at the end. All and all I’m happy for Team Penske withe 1-2 finish. We’ll take it and move on.”
Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driver Denny Hamlin finished third while Roush Fenway Ford’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Stewart-Haas Ford’s Kevin Harvick were fourth and fifth, respectively.