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2018:

Logano Now a Cup Series Champ

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By Ben White

Driving the No. 22 Team Penske Ford, Joey Logano, of Middletown, Connecticut, collected three wins and 26 top-10s results on the way to capturing his first NASCAR Cup Series championship.

Logano was quiet but productive throughout the 2018 season. He finished fourth behind Austin Dillon in the season-opening Daytona 500 and put together a steady string of top-10 finishes, with the exception of a 19th-place effort at Phoenix in the fourth race of the year. His first win of the season came April 29 at Talladega, securing his spot in the playoffs.

Logano was running at the end of every race up until he was involved in a multi-car crash during the July event at Daytona International Speedway. Weeks later he finished last at Watkins Glen due to a cracked radiator. The rest of the regular season was filled with top-10 finishes as he ended up sixth in the regular-season standings.

In the playoffs, Logano finished fourth at Las Vegas, 14th at Richmond, 10th at Charlotte, third at Dover and fifth at Talladega. After the Kansas playoff race, he became the sole Penske driver in the Round of 8 after teammates Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney were eliminated.

Entering the Round of 8, Logano won the Martinsville race after a battle with Martin Truex Jr. at the finish line, claiming a spot in the Championship 4. He dominated the event, leading 309 of 500 laps, and took home his first grandfather clock trophy.Logano was third at Texas and 37th at Phoenix. He then won at Homestead after passing Truex with 12 laps remaining and was crowned Cup Series champion.

PHOENIX, AZ – NOVEMBER 10: Kevin Harvick drives the #4 Busch Light Ford through the garage area during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Can-Am 500 at ISM Raceway on November 10, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

2018

PRESIDENT: DONALD TRUMP

NO. 1 AT THE BOX OFFICE: BLACK PANTHER

MOVIES TO WATCH: AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR AND DEADPOOL 2

NO. 1 SONG: “GOD’S PLAN” BY DRAKE

GALLON OF GAS: $2.57 

POP CULTURE: THE BRITISH ROYAL FAMILY CELEBRATED THE WEDDING OF PRINCE HARRY AND AMERICAN ACTRESS MEGHAN MARKLE ON MAY 19. THE GRAND CEREMONY TOOK PLACE AT WINDSOR CASTLE IN THE UNITED KINGDOM.

BEST DRIVER

Kevin Harvick, driving the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford, amassed eight wins, 29 top-10 finishes and four pole positions while enjoying one of his best seasons in the NASCAR Cup Series standings. Harvick ended up third behind Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr. after seeing his championship hopes evaporate simply through track position at the end of the Homestead finale. Otherwise, the Bakersfield, California, native enjoyed an impressive season as one of the sport’s top drivers.

BEST RACE

Erik Jones, driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, was in position during the closing laps to win the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. In overtime, Kevin Harvick took the lead from Kasey Kahne, but Clint Bowyer spun and collected Harvick, Brendan Gaughan and others. On the second restart of overtime, Jones drove past Martin Truex Jr. to score his first career victory as the seventh different winner of the season.

TOP CARS

Joey Logano’s No. 22 Team Penske Shell-Pennzoil Ford visited Victory Lane three times and had 26 top-10 finishes in 36 races.

The No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Busch Beer Ford driven by veteran Kevin Harvick won eight times with 29 top-10 results.

2018 Season Recap

DATE | LOCATION | WINNER

Feb. 18 | Daytona International Speedway | Austin Dillon

Feb. 25 | Atlanta Motor Speedway | Kevin Harvick

March 4 | Las Vegas Motor Speedway | Kevin Harvick

March 11 | Phoenix Raceway | Kevin Harvick

March 18 | Auto Club Speedway | Martin Truex Jr.

March 26 | Martinsville Speedway | Clint Bowyer

April 8 | Texas Motor Speedway | Kyle Busch

April 16 | Bristol Motor Speedway | Kyle Busch

April 21 | Richmond Raceway | Kyle Busch

April 29 | Talladega Superspeedway | Joey Logano

May 6 | Dover Motor Speedway | Kevin Harvick

May 12 | Kansas Speedway | Kevin Harvick

May 27 | Charlotte Motor Speedway | Kyle Busch

June 3 | Pocono Raceway | Martin Truex Jr.

June 10 | Michigan International Speedway | Clint Bowyer

June 24 | Sonoma Raceway | Martin Truex Jr.

July 1 | Chicagoland Speedway | Kyle Busch

July 7 | Daytona International Speedway | Erik Jones

July 14 | Kentucky Speedway | Martin Truex Jr.

July 22 | New Hampshire Motor Speedway | Kevin Harvick

July 29 | Pocono Raceway | Kyle Busch

Aug. 5 | Watkins Glen International | Chase Elliott

Aug. 12 | Michigan International Speedway | Kevin Harvick

Aug. 18 | Bristol Motor Speedway | Kurt Busch

Sept. 2 | Darlington Raceway | Brad Keselowski

Sept. 10 | Indianapolis Motor Speedway | Brad Keselowski

Sept. 16 | Las Vegas Motor Speedway | Brad Keselowski

Sept. 22 | Richmond Raceway | Kyle Busch

Sept. 30 | Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL | Ryan Blaney

Oct. 7 | Dover Motor Speedway | Chase Elliott

Oct. 14 | Talladega Superspeedway | Aric Almirola

Oct. 21 | Kansas Speedway | Chase Elliott

Oct. 28 | Martinsville Speedway | Joey Logano

Nov. 4 | Texas Motor Speedway | Kevin Harvick

Nov. 11 | Phoenix Raceway | Kyle Busch

Nov. 18 | Homestead-Miami Speedway | Joey Logano

North Carolina Moonshine and Motorsports Trail

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