Regardless of a Jeff Gordon fan’s opinion on the current #24 driver William Byron, it probably did not feel good seeing a #24 blue/red flames car in the wall while leading with two laps remaining. Byron was battling with Joey Logano before the latter moved him aside and into the wall before pulling away to win Sunday’s Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway, as payback for earlier contact.
Logano started on the pole and was stout as he led 108 of 293 total laps, over twice as much as the next driver (Denny Hamlin’s forty-two). Although Kyle Larson was on point early on as he battled with Logano, his race fell apart following a lap 56 spin and engine failure on lap 112. By the end of Stage #1, Logano led Ross Chastain, Christopher Bell, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Byron, Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones, Tyler Reddick, and Bubba Wallace. Chastain won the second stage, with Truex, Logano, Hamlin, Byron, Jones, Bell, Chase Elliott, Aric Almirola, and Daniel Suárez in tow.
Despite getting stage points, Busch, Wallace, and Chastain would not reach the finish. Busch wrecked out on lap 168 after Brad Keselowski hit the wall in front of him, while Chastain spun while racing for the lead on lap 196. Wallace was involved in a nine-car crash that collected him and 23XI Racing team-mate Kurt Busch, Elliott, Hamlin, Jones, Truex, Ryan Blaney, Chase Briscoe, and Cole Custer.
Shortly after the ensuing restart, Byron squeezed Logano into the turn two wall, though Logano kept going. Although Byron had the pace, Logano gradually whittled the margin before catching him on the penultimate lap.
As they entered turn three, Logano hit Byron’s rear bumper, causing him to slide up the wall. With Reddick too far back and Byron dropping out of the top ten entirely, Logano took the white and checkered flags. The win is his first points payer of 2022 after winning the Busch Light Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and his second at Darlington in a national series after previously taking the now-Xfinity Series victory there in 2012.
“The coolest thing is getting this (throwback) car into Victory Lane,” Logano told FOX Sports. “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. I’ve got Silver City Quarter Midget Club on the back, all the cool things that went along with this car, and we got it into Victory Lane.”
To little surprise, Byron was not happy with the contact. He commented, “We were really close off of (turn) two and I think it spooked him and got him tight, and he was right against the wall and I got the lead.
“He’s just an idiot. He does this stuff all the time. I’ve seen it with other guys. He drove in there ten 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. He’s just a moron. He can’t win a race so he does it that way.”
During his interview, Logano said in kind, “You’re not going to put me in the wall and not get anything back. That’s how that works.”
|1||1||22||Joey Logano||Team Penske||Ford||293||Running|
|2||10||8||Tyler Reddick||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||293||Running|
|3||29||31||Justin Haley||Kaulig Racing||Chevrolet||293||Running|
|4||35||4||Kevin Harvick||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||293||Running|
|5||34||9||Chase Elliott||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||293||Running|
|6||3||20||Christopher Bell||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||293||Running|
|7||16||34||Michael McDowell||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||293||Running|
|8||26||47||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet||293||Running|
|9||14||3||Austin Dillon||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||293||Running|
|10||20||99||Daniel Suárez||Trackhouse Racing Team||Chevrolet||293||Running|
|11||12||10||Aric Almirola||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||293||Running|
|12||21||42||Ty Dillon||Petty GMS Motorsports||Chevrolet||293||Running|
|13||9||24||William Byron||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||293||Running|
|14||25||21||Harrison Burton||Wood Brothers Racing||Ford||293||Running|
|15||27||38||Todd Gilliland||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||293||Running|
|16||18||17||Chris Buescher||RFK Racing||Ford||293||Running|
|17||7||12||Ryan Blaney||Team Penske||Ford||293||Running|
|18||19||2||Austin Cindric||Team Penske||Ford||293||Running|
|19||31||51||Cody Ware||Rick Ware Racing||Ford||293||Running|
|20||13||14||Chase Briscoe||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||293||Running|
|21||22||11||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||292||Running|
|22||33||77||Landon Cassill*||Spire Motorsports||Chevrolet||292||Running|
|23||32||15||J.J. Yeley*||Rick Ware Racing||Ford||288||Running|
|24||4||19||Martin Truex Jr.||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||263||Accident|
|25||11||43||Erik Jones||Petty GMS Motorsports||Chevrolet||262||Accident|
|26||28||41||Cole Custer||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||260||Accident|
|27||17||23||Bubba Wallace||23XI Racing||Toyota||260||Accident|
|28||6||45||Kurt Busch||23XI Racing||Toyota||260||Accident|
|29||15||48||Alex Bowman||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||255||Accident|
|30||8||1||Ross Chastain||Trackhouse Racing Team||Chevrolet||194||Accident|
|31||24||16||Daniel Hemric*||Kaulig Racing||Chevrolet||188||Engine|
|32||36||78||B.J. McLeod||Live Fast Motorsports||Ford||184||Brakes|
|33||5||18||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||167||Accident|
|34||23||6||Brad Keselowski||RFK Racing||Ford||166||Accident|
|35||30||7||Corey LaJoie||Spire Motorsports||Chevrolet||152||Accident|
|36||2||5||Kyle Larson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||112||Engine|
* – Ineligible for Cup points