Logano, Busch fall short to ‘Superman’ on race’s final restart
NASCAR Wire Service
— Joey Logano and Kyle Busch raced toward the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship late into the evening Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and both saw their shots disappear in the closing laps.
Logano took the hardest hit – literally. On a restart with 10 laps to go, Logano chased Carl Edwards, who then was the leader of the Championship 4, with all the finesse that Logano has shown on restarts throughout the season. He shot to the inside with the idea of beating Edwards into the first turn and perhaps taking the lead for the final time. Instead, Edwards dropped low to block. They collided, causing Edwards to crash hard.
On the night’s final restart, Jimmie Johnson drove away from Logano, who never had a chance to duplicate his fierce challenge of Edwards. Johnson raced on to his record-tying seventh title, and Logano was left to try again.
Busch, who was trying to repeat his 2015 championship, was a factor late in the race, but he fell back after
the restart that ended in the Logano-Edwards wreck. He was 13th on the night’s final restart after he pitted for tires, and he raced up to sixth but wasn’t a threat to Johnson.
Logano said he wasn’t sur- prised that the race ended in calamity.
“Any time you put so much on the line and you have a late restart, you know it’s going to get crazy, and then you add two or three of them on top of that, it’s go- ing to get crazier,” he said.
Logano called the incident with Edwards “great racing. I understand why he had to throw the block, and he understands why I had to make the move because that was for the win. That was the only shot that I had. That was for the race win.
“It’s 10 to go. What do you expect? It’s for a championship. I did that move earlier in the race — actually the first start of the race. I knew that was my play. I knew that was what I was going to do as soon as I restarted. We just ran out of real estate to the point, it’s like, OK, we’ve got to do something different.
“You know, that’s just racing, and it hurt both of us — ultimately, Carl a little bit more. But it’s unfortunate.”
Busch said he was too far back on the night’s final restart to be a threat. Pitting for tires put him in a deep hole.
“In order to make up that many spots, we were going to need more than just two laps, but we were going to be able to do it if there were more laps, but that’s the choice we made, and we didn’t feel like we had a shot to win if we didn’t come down [pit road],” he said. “So we were going to just be fighting them off from that point.”
Busch called rally remarkable.
“Johnson was nowhere all night long,” he said. “He couldn’t even keep up with us, really. We were the thirdbest car, and I never even saw him in my mirror. He just came out of nowhere there at the end and did what he needed to do and was Superman and won the championship, so that’s when it matters.” Johnson’s
Jimmie Johnson, right, races during the Ford EcoBoost 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship race on Sunday at HomesteadMiami Speedway in Florida.