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Four things we learned from Sunday's Pennzoil 400 in Las Vegas

Alex Andrejev, The Charlotte Observer on

Published in Auto Racing

Team Penske's Joey Logano won the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday. He was followed by Matt DiBenedetto of Wood Brothers Racing and JTG Daugherty's Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who finished in second and third place, respectively. Here are four takeaways from the first of the West Coast races:

LESS CRASHES, BUT CHAOTIC RESTARTS:

Sunday's race saw significantly less contact between drivers after Monday's brutal Daytona 500. There were no major wrecks this weekend, but on two restarts cars immediately ran three and four wide.

Then, in the final two laps off the restart, Logano sprinted ahead and then won under caution on the last lap for his first victory of the season, while DiBenedetto squeezed past Hendrick Motorsports' William Byron. DiBenedetto moved into second place, fending off Stenhouse Jr., who finished just behind him.

"(This) is a great day for Wood Brothers and Team Penske," Logano said after the race. He also noted that a final push from Stenhouse Jr. on the restart made the difference.

"He shoved me ahead, which was great," Logano said. "And then the block on the 24 (Byron), that was the winning move, I was able to get down in front of him and then be able to separate myself a little bit from the field."

 

Logano has now won a race in every one of the last nine seasons.

FIRST WIN FOR TEAM PENSKE:

Hendrick Motorsports, led by Chase Elliott, dominated the first two stages, but when it mattered, Team Penske capitalized. The Ford cars, driven by Logano, Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowkski ran in first, second and seventh respectively, in the final 20 laps. With 13 laps left, Blaney slid in front of Logano and the two battled just before a caution.

Logano, however, was able to move into first place and remain there riding on old tires. He did not pit in the final laps and instead sprinted to the end. The strategy paid off for Logano, while Blaney finished the race in 11th place. Keselowski finished seventh.

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