NASCAR Cup Series: Joey Logano Lives Dream, Claims Ambetter Health 400 At Atlanta Motor Speedway

ambetter health 400 ooey logano pit c hange (1)

NASCAR Cup Series driver Joey Logano remembers when he was a youngster with big dreams. 

As an aspiring driver, Logano cut his teeth – and wrecked a few machines along the way – in the Bandolero and Legends series at a few of the smaller tracks at the Atlanta Motor Speedway complex in Hampton, Georgia.  

Logano recalls looking over at the “big track,” yearning for the moment he would visit Victory Lane. 

Some dreams do come true. 

Logano, executing a clutch last-lap maneuver to pass Brad Keselowski and receiving a crucial push from Christopher Bell, claimed the checkered flag for Sunday’s Ambetter Health 400. 

It was tough to tell who was more joyous immediately after the win, Logano executing victory burnouts, or his father scrambling down the stairs in the stands to greet his son.

Joey Logano: ‘It’s So Special To Win At Atlanta For Me’

Moments after exiting his Team Penske Ford, Logano tried to express his emotions for earning his first win “at the big track” at Atlanta.

“It’s so special to win at Atlanta for me,” Logano said, as reported by “So many memories of me and my dad racing right here on the quarter-mile (track). This is the full circle for us. To finally win here means so much to me personally.”

The 2022 Cup points champion, Logano won his first race of the season in dominating fashion Sunday.

Logano, who started on the pole, captured Stage 1 points and led a race-high 140 laps.

The final time around the 1.54-mile track, though, proved to be the money lap.

Battling Keselowski over the final several laps, Logano ran in second place, angling for position. Coming into Turn 1, Logano benefited from a push by Corey LaJoie and started to make his move. He moved to the outside of Keselowski’s bumper.

“And then right there, I saw the 20 (Bell) was pinned in so I checked up to him,” Logano said, as reported by “He gave me a push there, which cleared me.

“At that point, it was kinda blocking either lane, seeing which one was gonna have the run. Once they (Keselowski and Bell) were side-by-side, I had ‘em.”

Brad Keselowski: ‘Today Was A Heck Of A Battle’

Since becoming owner/driver for RFK Racing in 2021, Keselowski has struggled to maintain consistency. In 36 races last season, he compiled just one top-five finish and his average finish was 18.9. In his second season as driver/owner, Keselowski said the difference is significant. In five outings in 2023, his average finish stands at 8.2 and he remains the lone pilot to have led at least one lap in all five Cup events this season.

“Today was a heck of a battle,” Keselowski told Fox Sports immediately after the race. “We were right there.

“Night and day from where we were a year ago. We keep running like this and the (first-place) finishes will come.”

LaJoie earned a career-best fourth-place finish.

Logano, who led 136 laps through two stages, was passed by Kevin Harvick on Lap 189. The advantage didn’t last long as he was taken out by a bump from Ross Chastain, igniting a 10-car pileup that included William Byron, who had captured the past two Cup races.

“It looked like the 1 (Chastain) and 4 (Harvick) got connected there into Turn 1,” Byron said. “That’s just part of racing. That’s not really in our control.”

That wasn’t the lone accident that took out contenders. On Lap 208, race leader Aric Almirola’s machine blew a tire, collecting four other racers, including 2021 champ Kyle Larson, who competed in his 300th career Cup race.

“I didn’t have nowhere to go,” Larson said. “I wasn’t expecting somebody to have tire issues in front of me. Even if I did, I didn’t have time to react so just a bummer, just frustrating.”

Logano’s dream; Larson’s nightmare.

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