Joey Logano Wins The Daytona 500 With Help From Last Lap Caution

The Daytona 500 just isn’t the same if a huge wreck doesn’t happen sometime during the race. Fortunately for Joey Logano, the always anticipated “big one” didn’t happen until the last lap, when he was in the lead. The caution flag cemented his victory as he was leading the race, but with challengers quickly moving up on him.

The Daytona 500 victory was a first for Logano and just a second for team owner “The Captain” Roger Penske. To be fair, Logano would have probably won the race on his own as he had a fast car during the race and ran up at the front all day. However, heading toward the finish line, both the No. 4 of Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 88, were making their move to overtake him when a pile-up happened way behind them. NASCAR officials decided to throw the caution flag with less than a lap to go in the race.

As Yahoo! Sports reported, the biggest race of the year for the Sprint Cup series was decided on a green-white-checker as the No. 51 of Justin Allgaier spun and hit the wall with only three laps to go. Under NASCAR rules, whoever is leading the race after all the cars have passed under the white flag and a caution comes out wins the race. Today, that was Logano.

The race was fairly quiet for the first three-quarters of it. The only drama happened when Tony Stewart’s car, No. 14, hit the wall and he had to leave the race. Several laps later, Logano’s teammate, Brad Keselowski, had an engine failure in his No. 2 car that also resulted in a DNF (did not finish) for him.

While Logano ran well all day, Jeff Gordon was in the spotlight for much of the race as he led the most laps in his last Daytona 500. However, he was caught up in the last lap wreck and finished 33rd. Kevin Harvick ended up coming in 2nd and Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished in 3rd.

As CBS Sports reported, Logano said he was nervous throughout the race and he was still holding onto the steering wheel when he exited his No. 22 Ford in Victory Lane.

“Daytona 500, oh my God! Are you kidding me? I was so nervous the whole race.”

As he was heading into the last lap, he said his headset got quiet as everyone suddenly stopped talking.

“It’s funny because the whole team gets pretty quiet when you’re about to win the Daytona 500.”

As the Inquisitr reported, more drama happened off track before the race than on it, especially with both Busch brothers out of the race. Kyle Busch was injured the night before, during the Xfinity race, and it isn’t certain when he will be back in a race car. Brother Kurt was suspended from NASCAR indefinitely after a domestic violence incident.

[Image by the Associated Press]