Joey Logano made NASCAR history Monday at the famous Bristol Motor Speedway. The likeable 30-year-old Connecticut native seized the lead from Daniel Suarez in a daring move, and led the final 61 laps on the rough and dusty Bristol half-mile oval to win the rain-delayed Food City Dirt Race.
Logano’s historic victory in his No. 22 Team Penske Mustang GT was the first NASCAR Cup Series race on dirt since Oct. 30, 1970 when NASCAR icon Richard Petty won on the North Carolina State Fairgrounds dirt circuit in Raleigh.
An elated Logano celebrated his first win of 2021 (which earns him a berth in the 2021 NASCAR playoffs) and his 27th NASCAR Cup career victory with a earth-scorching and red dust creating burn-out in front of the cheering Bristol fans. He emerged from his red-clay dirt covered, yellow Shell-Pennzoil Mustang and waved to the crowd. Logano ran to the flag man and was given the traditional checkered victory flag. He proudly waved toward the jubilant fans. Just like his victorious Penske teammate Ryan Blaney had done last weekend after winning at Atlanta, Logano picked out an excited young race fan and handed that special, race winning checkered flag to a child who will no doubt talk about and cherish that special moment forever.
An elated Logano, who had limited dirt track racing experience prior to his big Bristol dirt win, said: “How about Bristol on dirt? We got the win to make the playoffs! It’s so amazing to get the Shell/Pennzoil Mustang into victory lane at Bristol. There’s nothing like winning at Bristol, but putting dirt on it and being the first to win it is really special!”
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished second about three car-lengths behind Logano, with Denny Hamlin, Daniel Suarez and Hoosier Ryan Newman rounding out the top five finishers.
The NASCAR teams and drivers take off this weekend for Easter before returning to racing April 10 at Martinsville.