Photo: Luis Torres/Motorsports Tribune

Joey Logano Wins at Phoenix, Banks Second NASCAR Cup Series Championship

By David Morgan, Associate Editor

AVONDALE, Ariz. – Heading into the NASCAR Cup Series season finale, Joey Logano made it clear that his team would be the favorite to bring home the championship when all was said and done.

On Sunday, he proved those prophetic words to be true with a dominating run at Phoenix Raceway to score his second title for Team Penske and the No. 22 team.

After starting on pole, Logano made it known early on that whoever claimed the championship at the end of the night would have to go through him, leading for the duration of the first stage and keeping his Ford at the top of the board for much of the day.

Logano would wind up leading five times for 187 laps, rivaled only by his Team Penske teammate Ryan Blaney who led three times for 109 laps.

Blaney gave him a run for his money late in the race to try and score the win for himself, but Logano held steady in the race lead, crossing the line 0.301 seconds ahead of Blaney to bank his second Cup championship.

Following a classic Logano burnout in front of his team standing victoriously on the frontstretch wall at Phoenix, he climbed from his car, jumped onto the roof and thrust his arms into the air as champion once again.

“We did it! We’re champions again, yes! Oh, my God, I’m so excited,” Logano said. “Thank you to everybody, my team. You guys are amazing. Gave me a good race car, good pit stop there at the end, got us up in front. Boy, that was just intense there at the end.

“It’s all about championships. That’s what it’s all about, and we worked so hard the last couple weeks trying to put ourselves in position. And everything that happened in 2020, I knew we just wanted to have a solid run and do this today.

“I can’t thank Ford and Shell-Pennzoil enough for supporting me over the last 10 years, getting us a couple championships today. All our partners at Team Penske, everybody that works on these cars. It’s such a big deal to win these championships. It impacts so many people’s lives.”

During his victory celebration, Logano reiterated his confidence that the No. 22 team would be champions, noting that since the start of the season, he had a feeling that they would be triumphant at the end of the 36-race campaign.

When looking at his season long rundown, Logano started the year with a win in the Busch Clash at the L.A. Coliseum and after Sunday’s victory, ends the season with four trips to Victory Lane, 11 top-five finishes, 16 top-10 finishes, four poles, and 784 laps led.

“I knew going into this thing that we’re going to win the championship,” Logano said. “I told the guys we were the favorite from Daytona, and we truly believed it, and that’s the difference.

“Man, it’s like I said, I had a good team with a bunch of confidence, and we had all the reason in the world to be confident. I’ve never been truly this ready for a championship race, and yeah, we did it, man. I can’t believe it.”

As a bonus to winning the Cup championship on Sunday, Logano’s win also delivers team owner Roger Penske championships in both the NTT IndyCar Series and Cup Series with Will Power securing the IndyCar title in September.

“I think we’ve tried it for 31 years, so it’s about time,” Penske said.

“Joey did a great job. You’ve seen what he’s been able to do as he’s come on the team, and for us to have two championships in the same year, that’s what we’re here for. That’s the goal we have every year.

“I think we’ve been close, but we got it this year.”

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David Morgan is the Associate Editor for Motorsports Tribune. A 2008 graduate from the University of Mississippi, David has followed NASCAR since the early 90’s and became hooked at an early age after attending his first race at Talladega Superspeedway in 1993. He has traveled across the country since 2012 to cover some of the most prestigious events both IndyCar and NASCAR have to offer, with an aim to only expand on that in the near future.