NASCAR Monster Cup Winner 2018: Joey Logano Tops Final Chase Standings and Grid

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 18, 2018

HOMESTEAD, FL - NOVEMBER 18:  Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates with his wife, Brittany, and son, Hudson, after winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 18, 2018 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Joey Logano won the battle and the war Sunday in the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida.

Logano captured the checkered flag, a result that also wrapped up his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship. Logano beat out Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch, who made up the championship four heading into the final race of the 2018 season.


Retweet to congratulate @joeylogano, your 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion! https://t.co/7gVa3w85RO

Here's a look at the final Chase standings, per ESPN.com:


2018 Chase for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Standings

1. Joey Logano (5,040 points)

2. Martin Truex Jr. (5,035 points)

3. Kevin Harvick (5,034 points)

4. Kyle Busch (5,033 points)

5. Aric Almirola (2,354 points)

6. Kurt Busch (2,350 points)

6. Chase Elliott (2,350 points)

8. Brad Keselowski (2,343 points)

9. Kyle Larson (2,303 points)

10. Ryan Blaney (2,299 points)

11. Denny Hamlin (2,285 points)

12. Clint Bowyer (2,272 points)

13. Austin Dillon (2,245 points)

14. Jimmie Johnson (2,242 points)

15. Erik Jones (2,220 points)

16. Alex Bowman (2,204 points)


Logano was 17th in a disappointing 2017 season but strung together four straight top-10 finishes between 2013 and 2016. He was runner-up to Jimmie Johnson in 2016. It felt like a matter of time before Logano would reach the top of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Granted, Logano didn't have much momentum heading into Sunday's race. He was victorious in the First Data 500 on Oct. 28 and placed third in the AAA Texas 500 a week later. But a wreck in the Can-Am 500 led to a 37th-place result in the year's penultimate event.

"I said before we weren't the underdog," Logano said of his victory, per USA Today's A.J. Perez. "We proved it why we're not. My team rose to the occasion and executed under pressure like nobody's business. I've worked my whole life to get here. We spent 10 seasons to get here. We are champions—NASCAR champions!"

Logano won't be able to rest on his laurels as he looks to defend his title in 2019. In addition to the usual suspects of challengers, Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott and Erik Jones represent the next crop of young stars. 

The 22-year-old Jones, who was Rookie of the Year in 2017, in particular exceeded expectations in 2018. Elliott, meanwhile, ended in a Chase position for the third straight year; he's only been a full-time driver for three seasons.

Logano was once exactly where Blaney, Elliott and Jones are, so he's well aware how hungry those three will be to have their breakthrough on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.