NASCAR Cup Series

Joey Logano clinches Final Four spot with Vegas win amid Wallace/Larson crash

3 Mins read
Credit: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Joey Logano has reason to celebrate as he is the first driver to lock a spot in the NASCAR Cup Series Championship Round. On the other hand, Bubba Wallace will likely prefer to have what happened in Vegas stay there.

Logano passed Ross Chastain for the lead with three laps remaining and held on to score his third win of 2022 and third at Las Vegas Motor Speedway; he also reaches the thirty-win mark in his Cup career. Interestingly, he has made the Championship Round every other year since the introduction of the system in 2014, with 2018 and 2020 also seeing him advance by winning the first race in the Round of 8.

“All you want to do is get to the Championship Four when the season starts and race for a championship, and we’ve got the team to do it. I don’t see why we can’t win at this point,” said Logano. “Things are looking really good for us. […]

“Just a lot of adversity fought through the last fifty laps or so. I thought we were going to win and then we kind of fell out and then had the tires, and racing Ross was fun. He was doing a good job air-blocking me, and just trying to be patient, and eventually, I was like, ‘I’ve got to go here.'”

While Logano has plenty of reason to be upbeat, however, fan discourse mainly surrounded Wallace. On lap 94, after leading much of and winning Stage #1, he was squeezed into the wall by Kyle Larson on the frontstretch, prompting him to retaliate by hooking Larson. As the two were shot at the outside wall, Wallace’s Toyota ally Christopher Bell was also caught in the crossfire as he got clipped and spun.

After exiting their cars, Wallace pushed Larson multiple times though the latter did not attempt to hit back before they were separated.

“When you get shoved in the fence, deliberately like [Larson] did, trying to force me to lift, the steering was gone, and he just so happened to be there,” stated Wallace. “I hate it for our team. We had a super-fast car, not on short run speed, we were kind of falling back there and Larson wanted to make it a three-wide dive bomb. He never cleared me. I don’t lift. I know I’m kind of new to running up front, but I don’t lift. I wasn’t even in a spot to lift, he never lifted either and now we are junk. Piss poor move on his execution.

“He knows what he did was wrong. He wanted to question what I was doing, and he never cleared me. I just hate it for our team.”

The wreck immediately puts Bell at a disadvantage as he sinks to the bottom of the playoff standings. He described it as “disappointing because our performance is capable of racing for the championship,” but did not explicitly condemn Wallace for the move as he believed NASCAR will “follow protocol of whatever they’ve done in the past.”

“The good thing is I feel better about winning one of those two races than I did winning the Roval,” he continued. “We’ve just had really, really strong Camrys, really all year long. We will see if we can go pull another rabbit out of the hat.”

Race results

1522Joey LoganoTeam PenskeFord267Running
2111Ross ChastainTrackhouse Racing TeamChevrolet267Running
31818Kyle BuschJoe Gibbs RacingToyota267Running
41614Chase BriscoeStewart-Haas RacingFord267Running
53111Denny HamlinJoe Gibbs RacingToyota267Running
618Tyler ReddickRichard Childress RacingChevrolet267Running
72719Martin Truex Jr.Joe Gibbs RacingToyota267Running
82243Erik JonesPetty GMS MotorsportsChevrolet267Running
92116A.J. Allmendinger*Kaulig RacingChevrolet267Running
10103Austin DillonRichard Childress RacingChevrolet267Running
111748Noah Gragson*Hendrick MotorsportsChevrolet267Running
12134Kevin HarvickStewart-Haas RacingFord267Running
13324William ByronHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet267Running
142831Justin HaleyKaulig RacingChevrolet267Running
151217Chris BuescherRFK RacingFord267Running
16699Daniel SuárezTrackhouse Racing TeamChevrolet267Running
17256Brad KeselowskiRFK RacingFord267Running
182310Aric AlmirolaStewart-Haas RacingFord267Running
191534Michael McDowellFront Row MotorsportsFord267Running
202441Cole CusterStewart-Haas RacingFord267Running
21209Chase ElliottHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet267Running
221923Ty Gibbs*23XI RacingToyota267Running
232947Ricky Stenhouse Jr.JTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet267Running
24307Corey LaJoieSpire MotorsportsChevrolet267Running
253538Todd GillilandFront Row MotorsportsFord267Running
26821Harrison BurtonWood Brothers RacingFord266Running
273451Cody WareRick Ware RacingFord264Running
28412Ryan BlaneyTeam PenskeFord260Running
2922Austin CindricTeam PenskeFord259Running
303678B.J. McLeod*Live Fast MotorsportsFord256Running
312615J.J. Yeley*Rick Ware RacingFord253Running
323277Landon Cassill*Spire MotorsportsChevrolet246Accident
333342Ty DillonPetty GMS MotorsportsChevrolet237Suspension
34720Christopher BellJoe Gibbs RacingToyota94DVP
35145Kyle Larson^Hendrick MotorsportsChevrolet94Accident
36945Bubba Wallace23XI RacingToyota94Accident
Bold – Currently in playoffs
^ – Currently in owner playoffs
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for points
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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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