Joey Logano returned to winning form Sunday afternoon taking the checkered flag of the 2023 Ambetter Health 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It was the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Champion’s first win of the young season.
Logano dominated most of the day from his pole position in the Auto Trader Ford Mustang leading 140 of the 260 laps. “The Auto Trader Mustang – this thing was an animal,” exclaimed Logano. “Very, very fast.”
“Yeah, first off so special to win Atlanta for me,” Logano explained in reference to his father running to hug him after the race. “So many memories of me and my dad racing right here on the quarter mile. This is the full circle for us. So many memories gritting over there with the Legends car, racing, having a big time.
The first stage ended as it started with Logano, Austin Cindric, Brad Keselowski, and Ryan Blaney running strong.
Penske teammate Austin Cindric claimed the second stage of the race.
Keselowski had a strong hold of the lead with 44 laps remaining as Logano faded to the fifth spot.
The number 22 Ford car returned to challenge for the lead 10 laps later but was unable to keep pace falling back to third with 13 laps to go.
It wasn’t until the final lap that Logano made his decisive move. Out of the third spot, Logano received a little help in the form of a bump from Christopher Bell (20-Dewalt Toyota). It was just enough to propel the Connecticut native to victory.
Keselowski settled for second nearly a full car length behind Logano. “We were right there,” said Keselowski. “Proud of my team and the effort. Nothing much we could do there at the end.”
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All photos copyright © Jason McDonald, JM Photography for CORE360 Sports