Logano Wins Chaotic, Caution Filled Atlanta Race

Story posted March 22, 2023 in CommRadio, Sports by Ethan Ellis

Sunday was the fifth installment of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series and it provided us nothing short of a close, down to the wire finish. The culmination of two big wrecks set up a battle for the ages between former teammates Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano. Here’s how it all went down.

Since its reconfiguration, the Atlanta Motor Speedway has raced like a restrictor plate track (like Daytona or Talladega). The racing mainly saw two fully formed lines throughout the race, with Ford driver Logano leading 140 of the 260 laps in the race.

Speaking of the Fords, they seemingly took over as the dominant manufacturer for the Cup Series this weekend, a title formerly held by the Chevys. Logano’s win in his Ford was the first win for a manufacturer other than Chevy this year.

The former champion started off the race, making a statement in stage one. Logano led all 62 laps in the first stage with his Ford teammates following behind.

Stage two was relatively uneventful and saw the dreaded single-file racing that is consistently present at restrictor plate tracks. Austin Cindric, Logano’s teammate, wound up taking the stage, securing a clean sweep of the stages of the Fords.

The final stage of the race, however, is where the action started. This stage saw multiple hard-charging contenders have their day ended by the two “big ones.”

The first incident started in turn two between Kevin Harvick and Ross Chastain. Chastain tucked his car in behind Harvick, disrupting the air on the number four car and causing him to spin in front of the field.

This accident took a good couple caution laps to clean up and only heightened the intensity of the race after the green flag flew. Aric Almirola emerged as the car to beat after this as he led the race for most of the rest of the way, until disaster struck.

Coming off of turn four, Almirola’s right rear tire blew out, once again in front of the field, causing yet another pile up and only leaving a handful of laps left in the race. With this restart, Keselowski found himself in the lead.

The end of the race was a sprint that pitted Keselowski and Logano against each other. For a while, Keselowski led the field with pushes from Tyler Reddick helping him to stay there. However, as the laps wound down, Logano formed the bottom lane up to where he became a real contender with Keselowski.

Logano waited in the weeds to make his move, until the white flag dropped. With a big push, Logano passed Keselowski with ease and took home his first win of the season.

After that action-packed race, the NASCAR Cup Series heads off to twisty turns of Circuit of the Americas. The race, won by Ross Chastain last year, will be a completely different look for the Cup Series compared to the first couple of races.

Ethan Ellis is a second year student majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, please email ece5133@psu.edu.