Joey Logano beats the Big 3 for his first NASCAR Cup Series title
Joey Logano is the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion for 2018! The 28-year-old driver of the #22 Team Penske Ford Fusion has won the Ford EcoBoost 400, the series’ finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, beating the Big 3 (Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch) in a championship fight. It was the third win of the season for Logano and his 21st Cup Series in a career.
Logano was leading the most of the Championship 4 contenders in the 167-lap race, 80 laps on the 1.5-mile track, against Harvick’s 58 laps, Busch’s 21 laps and Truex’s 20 laps. Besides them, Kyle Larson was in the lead 45 laps and pole-sitter Denny Hamlin 41 laps but they finished out of top 10.
Logano took the lead for the final time with12 laps remaining. Previously, he restarted third behind Busch and Truex Jr. with 15 laps remaining. On the finish line, Logano had a 1.725sec advantage over Truex.
“We proved why we’re not the underdog. This is the favorite, and I told you that before the race started. I’m so proud of everybody. Everyone rose to the occasion, executed under pressure like nobody’s business. Man, you just — I’ve worked my whole life to get here, to get to the championship. I’ve been so close. I spent 10 seasons fighting for this. I wasn’t sure we were going to get it, but, man, Todd made a good adjustment at the end, and it was a ‘no-quit’ attitude,” Logano said after the race.
Logano sealed the first manufacturer’s championship for Ford since 2002 and the first driver’s championship for the car maker since Kurt Busch won the first Playoffs in 2004. It was the first title for the Ford Fusion and the last title for the Ford Fusion, which will be replaced by the Mustang in the Cup Series next season. It was the second championship for Team Penske, who got his first in 2012 with Brad Keselowski.