Race Report- Darlington: Logano puts the Bumper to Byron and Wins Goodyear 400
8 MAY 2022
By Bob Francis, Managing Editor
Go Full Throttle Racing News
DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA — Joey Logano deployed the bump-and-run entering Turn 3 on the white-flag lap, moving Byron up the track and into the wall opening the door for the № 22 to win the Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway. For Logano, the victory ended a NASCAR Cup Series 40-race winless streak dating all the back to the March 2021 dirt race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Driving his Ford Mustang with a throwback paint scheme reflecting his first quarter-midget racer, Logano beat Tyler Reddick to the finish line by 0.775 seconds to earn his first victory at Darlington and the 28th of his career. Byron fell back to 13th at the finish. Logano now has won at least one race in 11 consecutive Cup Series seasons.
“Yeah, you’re not going to put me in the wall and not get anything back,” Logano said, apparently referring to earlier contact from Byron. “That’s how that works. Man, super proud of the Shell-Pennzoil team, getting a victory here in Darlington. You know what it’s like — I’ve never won here in a Cup race before.”
“So proud of this race team. Great execution all day long. I’ll tell you what, the coolest thing is getting this car into Victory Lane. This is the car where it all started for me back in ’95 in a quarter midget. Really, honestly, all the young kids racing out there right now — this could be you.”
Willam Byron Did not Agree
“We were really close off of (Turn) 2, and I think it spooked him and got him tight, and he was right against the wall, and I got the lead,” Byron said of a restart on Lap 268. “He’s just an idiot. He does this stuff all the time. I’ve seen it with other guys.
“He drove in there 10 mph too fast, and with these Next-Gen cars, he slammed me so hard it knocked the whole right side off the car, and no way to make the corner.
“Yeah, he’s just a moron. He can’t win a race, so he does it that way. I don’t know, we’ll … yeah, it was close racing on the restart. We were faster than him. Obviously, at the end the right rear (of Byron‘s car) started to go away, and, yeah, he didn’t even make it a contest.”
Darlington Top 5
P1 Joey Logano (#22 Team Penske Ford)
P2 Tyler Reddick (#8 RCR Chevrolet)
P3 Justin Haley (#31 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet)
P4 Kevin Harvick (#4 Stewart Haas Ford)
P5 Chase Elliott (#9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet)
Impressive finishes for both Harvick and Elliott as both had incidents in practice, did not qualify, and thus started at the rear of the field.
Many Prerace Favorites Have Trouble
A wreck on Lap 260 took out a number of front-running cars and set up the final restart. Martin Truex Jr. lost traction in the corner and made contact with Stenhouse. The wreck collected the cars of Kurt Busch, Bubba Wallace, Cole Custer who were done for the day. Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones, Chase Briscoe, Ryan Blaney and Elliott suffered some damage but were able to continue.
Then on Lap 112, Kyle Larson, who started P2, brought his № 5 Chevrolet to pit road with engine failure. Lap 167 saw the № 18 of Kyle Busch and the № 6 Ford of Brad Keselowski tangle in Turn 2 eliminating both cars from the race. On Lap 194, Chastain‘s № 1 Chevrolet spun coming off Turn 2 and nosed into the inside wall, ending his race.
At the checkered flag, 13 of the 36 cars already were in the garage.
At postrace inspection NASCAR noted the № 2 Team Penske Ford of driver Austin Cindric and № 31 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet of Justin Haley will be brought back to the NASCAR R&D Center for further teardown inspection.
Up Next: Kansas Speedway AdventHealth 400
Practice May 14
Qualifying (Impound) May 14
Race May 15