Joey Logano wins first NASCAR title after winning Homestead


Joey Logano made a daring move to take the lead with 12 laps to go to win the Ford EcoBoost 400 and claim his first NASCAR Cup championship. He announced earlier Friday that he and crew chief Mike Wheeler are parting ways at the end of this season and Hamlin seemed emotional about the split. He started with Joe Gibbs Racing as a teenager, was pushed into the Cup Series prematurely when Gibbs needed a replacement driver for Tony Stewart, and was snagged by Penske when Gibbs let Logano go after the 2012 season.

Harvick and Busch have each earned eight victories so far this season while Truex Jr. has earned four and Logano has earned two. First, a parachuter participating in pre-race ceremonies got his chute tangled on the front stretch catch fence and it took a while to get him down from the fence.

He passed Truex with 12 laps remaining and pulled away to win for Roger Penske, the auto owner who celebrated this year his election into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, a 17th victory in the Indianapolis 500 and now a second title in NASCAR's top series.

The 21st NASCAR Cup Series win of Joey Logano's racing career was his biggest.

"My vehicle was really good on entry all day", Logano said, shrugging off any notion he had anxious about overdriving that corner.

"Every individual on that team is the best at their position and they showed it today", Logano said.

He is the second Cup champion for Penske, the titan of motorsports who has had a banner year.

"I'm not sure what else to say".

As the Big Three weaved through their individual issues, Logano just went fast.

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It marked the first championship for Ford since 2004. Logano was the favorite to win the 2015 title but missed the finale, was the championship runner-up in 2016 and a penalty kept his No. 22 out of last season's playoffs.

NASCAR's final weekend concluded with three new champions from three different teams representing all three manufacturers. But that title wasn't enough to keep the team's main sponsor from leaving and Furniture Row will close after Sunday's race rather than try to compete on the cheap.

Hopefully, both races will feature more late action than we saw Friday night, when Moffitt had relatively little trouble in the second and final stages en route to his victory.

"It's great to have the No. 1 pit stall for the race and I appreciate the teamwork by the guys on the 11", Busch said. This season's Championship Four is set and will make Sunday's event one to watch. Busch and Harvick ended the season with eight wins each, while Truex had four. But Logano kicked it into another gear to steal the title.

Logano also had the best 10-consecutive lap average in the final practice (165.018), followed by Truex and Busch. He finished second the next season, missed the playoffs previous year and used a late-season push to grab a spot in Sunday's race. Logano blew past Truex through Turn 1 on Lap 256 of 267 and beat the defending champ to the finish line by 1.725 seconds.

And in the final 15-lap shootout to the finish, Logano simply drove around the outside of Truex and pulled away.

Gibbs, the Super Bowl and NASCAR champion, said he made the call this time.

This format was created to award the first playoff contender across the finish line the Cup title, and the champion the last four years has also won the race.