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March 2, 2024

Joey Logano soars to Busch Light Pole at Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS- For the second NASCAR Cup Series race this young season, Joey Logano will start on the pole.

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After speeding around windswept Las Vegas Motor Speedway at 184.357 mph in the final round of Saturday’s time trials, Logano will occupy the top spot on the grid for Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

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A three-time winner at the 1.5-mile intermediate speedway — tied with Brad Keselowski for most among full-time active drivers — Logano beat Hendrick Motorsports driver Kyle Larson (184.225 mph) for the pole position by 0.021 seconds.

The Busch Light Pole Award was Logano’s third at Las Vegas and the 30th of his Cup Series career. It was also unexpected, based on Logano’s performance in practice.

“I didn’t expect it when I saw our short-run speed in practice,” Logano said. “We showed that we had great long-run speed. Our second run, we made an adjustment and went back out and like, ‘Oh, wow, we’re really competitive.’ The car was driving pretty good.

“So I felt really good about that, but our short run, our fire-off, we weren’t real fast… and I barely made it through the first round (of qualifying) by the skin of our teeth.”

Logano said the wind, which stiffened between rounds, was a significant factor in his pole-winning run in the No. 22 Team Penske Ford.

“I’ve got to think it’s wind that made the difference,” Logano said. “The first run, I was pretty slow through (Turns) 1 and 2 all the way through the corner… we (must have) had a big gust the first run, or something that held us back a little bit.

“That doesn’t seem to make sense. We were really good through 1 and 2 the second time. The first time we were horrible through there.”

Logano’s Team Penske teammate Austin Cindric (184.093 mph) qualified third, followed by Daytona 500 winner William Byron (183.911 mph), as Fords and Chevrolets split the top four grid positions.

Bubba Wallace (183.648 mph) was fifth in the fastest Toyota. Chase Briscoe, Martin Truex Jr., Ty Gibbs, Chris Buescher and Christopher Bell will start sixth through 10th, respectively, in Sunday’s race.

Logano, who won the pole for the Daytona 500, qualified second for last Sunday’s race at Atlanta using a webbed glove on his left hand, presumably for an aerodynamic advantage by blocking more airflow through the car.

But the glove did not conform to mandated safety standards. For the violation, he lost his starting spot and incurred a fine of $10,000.

MORE: Logano’s gloves, SHR roof rails in post-penalty focus at Las Vegas

“I’m going to take a portion of the responsibility for that, too,” said Logano. “I didn’t build the glove. I didn’t make it on my own — I can’t sew, OK? That’s what it was, and we had a conversation about it.

“What I’m proud about is that, as a team, even though it was a tough situation to us and hard to go through, embarrassing for sure, but the fact that we got through it and just move on and focus on the next week. We showed we have speed in our race car and put it on the pole.

“To me, it’s a statement-type lap.”


Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain set the fastest time in practice at 184.269 mph. The No. 1 Chevrolet bested Noah Gragson (183.661 mph), Ty Gibbs (182.859 mph), Tyler Reddick (182.846 mph) and Denny Hamlin (182.723 mph), who all rounded out the top five.

RELATED: Full practice results | Las Vegas schedule

Bubba Wallace (182.673 mph), Chase Briscoe (182.439 mph), William Byron (182.346 mph), Kyle Larson (182.328 mph) and Chris Buescher (182.094 mph) completed the top 10.

Practice only had one pause in the action when Ryan Preece spun and hit the Turn 2 wall with the left side of his No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford during Group A.