Team Penske drivers Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano swapped the lead three times over the final 40 laps of Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vega Motor Speedway.
For a moment, it appeared there would be a fourth — coming out of Turn 4 on the final lap.
But Keselowski’s sweeping, attempted slide job just missed the mark as last week’s race winner took second place in the No. 2 Ford, watching teammate and defending series champion Logano win his first race of the year.
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Keselowski caught and passed Logano for the lead on Lap 240, then lost it back to the No. 22 Ford on Lap 244. But Keselowski cut significantly into Logano’s lead with just two laps to go, then timed his last-gasp move nearly perfectly.
“I passed Joey with the lapped traffic there and caught a break there, and then lapped traffic cost me the lead to Joey and he pulled a good slide job,” Keselowski told FOX reporters after the race. “I tried to pull it back, and I was just a touch too nice to him.”
The implication, of course, is that Keselowski could have initiated contact or even wrecked the No. 22 vying for the win. As it stands, the teammates finished 1-2 for the fifth time in their respective careers.
That both cars had plenty of speed set up both the last-lap showdown, and also could portend future strong showings between the two — and perhaps similar finishes.
“Brad’s been doing a good job of doing that late in the race of getting all he can out of it, and we’ve had some really good cars, so that’s encouraging,” No. 2 crew chief Paul Wolfe said. “It was good racing with the 22, obviously. Brad’s pretty respectful of his teammates, and Joey’s been that way. I thought he raced him hard, but raced him clean. Thought it was a good race there at the end.”