Jimmie Johnson Shows Speed in Strong Fifth-Place Run at Vegas

Jimmie Johnson at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with first Top-Five finish since 2019 July race at Daytona.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 21: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Ally Chevrolet, drives during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on February 21, 2020, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway provided Jimmie Johnson with just the sort of consistent strong he needed after two winless seasons in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Driving the new sleeker Camaro introduced into NASCAR’s top series this year, Johnson finished ninth in Stage 1, seventh in Stage 2 and fifth in the race after surviving a chaotic restart with two laps left.

The seven-time champion was upbeat after posting his first top-five result since last year’s July race at Daytona International Speedway.

“It was a strong day,” Johnson acknowledged. “With about 15 to go or so, I got into the outside wall and lost some spots. But we didn’t have a strong enough tire rub to cause any problems. We put rights (right-side tires) on before that final restart. Chaos was happening in front of me and I was able to sneak through to get a top-five finish…

“We’re trying to just understand this new Camaro body and the setup that needs to go with it. We’re close, but there’s still a little bit more work for us to do on our car to get the balance between the clean air and the traffic closer. But for the first try on a downforce track, the guys did a really nice job.”

Chase Briscoe Closes the Deal at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Chase Briscoe celebrates winning the Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 23: Chase Briscoe, driver of the #98 Ford Performance Racing School Ford, poses with the trophy after winning the rain-delayed NASCAR Xfinity Series Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on February 23, 2020, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

LAS VEGAS – Before the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series season started, Chase Briscoe suggested he could win as many as eight to ten races this year.

In Sunday’s rain-delayed Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Briscoe got No. 1 in his second start of the season, winning the battle between the only two Fords in the race.

The driver of the No. 98 Stewart-Haas Racing Mustang held the lead after the final restart on lap 170 of 200 and won going away, beating fellow Ford driver Austin Cindric to the finish line by 2.874 seconds.

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Joey Logano Defends his Win in NASCAR Cup Race at Las Vegas

Joey Logano celebrates winning the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – FEBRUARY 23: Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on February 23, 2020, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

LAS VEGAS – In a final two-lap scramble that ended with a multicar crash on the frontstretch at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, it was Joey Logano finding a way to defend last year’s victory in Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 NASCAR Cup Series race.

Joey Logano sped away after a restart on lap 266 of 267 and led runner-up Matt DiBenedetto to the finish under caution to win for the second time at Las Vegas, the first time this season and the 24th time in his career, breaking a tie with Ricky Rudd for 35th all-time.

To further clarify, Logano was one of seven lead-lap drivers who stayed out on older tires when Ross Chastain’s spin in turn two brought out the eighth caution of the afternoon on lap 261. That yellow flag changed the complexion of the race. 

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