NASCAR at Texas 2014: Winners and Losers from Duck Commander 500

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NASCAR at Texas 2014: Winners and Losers from Duck Commander 500
Mike Stone

There’s an old song that goes…

It’s just a matter of time.”

And it was just a matter of time before Joey Logano would end up celebrating in a Victory Lane at a Sprint Cup race.

The 23-year-old Team Penske driver had been a bit overshadowed by teammate Brad Keselowski (who scored a win at Las Vegas) for a good deal of the 2014 season. On Monday, he finally got the opportunity to step into the spotlight by winning the rain-delayed Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

“I felt like we had a car that could win this thing today,” said Logano in his Victory Lane interview. “At the beginning we didn’t, and then Todd and the guys made good adjustments and had good stops all day.”

The race itself was, unfortunately, an unforgettable affair, something fans were promised would become a thing of the past given the new rules package for the 1.5-mile tracks. 

For those fans who hung in there through all the miserable weather on Sunday, and then played hooky from school or called in sick to work to watch the race in person, they did not get to see the kind of exciting finish we’d become accustomed to seeing in several of the races this season.

This was true despite NASCAR’s best attempt at livening up the final laps by throwing out the caution flag just prior to young Logano taking the white flag.

Logano was so angry when the caution came out, he could barely control himself. He tried his best to stay calm.

“When you’ve got forty-something laps after the last pit stop and a pretty sizable lead, really, all you’re thinking is, ‘Where’s the white flag, where’s the white flag.’  

“Brad (Keselowski) was able to catch us a little bit and then you go into turn one and you see the 41 up against the wall and you’re like, ‘Please, no caution.  Please, no caution.’  And, of course, boom, it comes out and you’re like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’ 

“I had to make sure I stayed calm and try to give Todd (crew chief Gordon) the information I needed to, and then he had to make the right call.  Really, I was just so mad.”

The right call was for four tires. On the final lap, Logano passed Jeff Gordon, who took only two tires on the same pit stop, and then he cruised to victory by a margin of 0.476 seconds. Kyle Busch finished third.

Rookie Kyle Larson delivered another solid performance, finishing fifth.

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