Logano bumps Byron to win Goodyear 400
By Hunter Thomas
With a bump and a run, Joey Logano drove past William Byron and won the Goodyear 400 on Sunday at Darlington Raceway.
On the final restart of the race, Byron and Logano led the field to the green flag. As the two drivers battled, Byron pinched Logano into the wall coming out of Turn 2.
Logano lost ground but quickly made it back, and when he got to Byron, he ran into the back of him and put him in the wall in Turn 3 with two laps to go. Logano held on to win the Goodyear 400, which marked his first Darlington victory in 17 starts at the track.
“Obviously, really, really cool day today to be able to drive that car into Victory Lane,” Logano said. “I think about that throwback, back in ’95 is where it started for me, in Meriden, Conn.
“If I was a 5-year-old self and I told my dad, someday I’m going to put this thing on the pin in Darlington, I’m going to roll up next to you while you’re driving an old Mustang and then we’re going to go win the race on Mother’s Day, you’d never be able to imagine that, right. So God just works in mysterious ways sometimes.”
Following the race, Byron, who limped his car home in 13th, wasn’t happy at all with Logano, and he didn’t mince words.
“No, I mean, 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. “He’s just an idiot. He does this stuff all the time. I’ve seen it with other guys.
“He drove in there 10 miles an hour 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.”
On the flip side, Logano doesn’t regret the move that sent him to Victory Lane for the first time in 2022.
“I mean, to me, I probably would have gone straight to the bump-and-run if it wasn’t for how he got the lead,” Logano said. “He came off of Turn 2 and drove me right into the wall. At that point, I’m lucky my car isn’t broken. I’m a very angry driver, and I think anyone in the field would probably agree, if someone is going to be willing to do that to you, well, the gloves are off at that point. I knew if I got back there what I was going to do and what I had to do.
“That was the way he wanted to race, so I said, let’s go. If he passed me clean, it wouldn’t have looked like that.”
Logano led a race high of 107 laps en route to the victory. He also won Stage 1 as well.
Ross Chastain won Stage 2, but soon after, he crashed out of the race while battling for the lead.
“We had a super strong day for our No. 1 Coca-Cola Chevy Camaro,” Chastain said. “We were fighting the balance all day. We were racing with those guys for the lead. I just thought I could run the bottom there off of turn two and the exit of the patch. I just got loose on the transition and spun out.”
Finishing second on Sunday was Tyler Reddick. The impressive run for the Richard Childress Racing driver marked his fourth top-five effort of the season.
Justin Haley finished third, earning his first top-five finish since winning a rain-shortened race at Daytona in 2019.
Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott both came from the back to round out the top-five. Christopher Bell finished sixth, followed by Michael McDowell, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Austin Dillon and Daniel Suarez.
Throughout the 293-lap race, there were nine cautions for 47 laps. Two of the cautions were for multicar accidents.
On Lap 168, Brad Keselowski blew a right front tire and pounded the outside wall in Turn 2. He bounced off the wall and collected Kyle Busch who had been strong early in the race.
The largest crash of the race came on Lap 262. Contact involving Martin Truex Jr. in Two 2 on a restart ignited a chain reaction that included a total of nine cars. Drivers involved included Cole Custer, Kurt Busch, Bubba Wallace, Chase Elliott, Erik Jones, Denny Hamlin, Chase Briscoe and Ryan Blaney.
The NASCAR Cup Series will visit Kansas Speedway on Sunday, May 15, for the AdventHealth 400. Live coverage will broadcast on FS1 and MRN at 3 p.m.