The Clash began with fellow Team Penske driver Brad Keselowski taking pole position during qualifying, though Logano was able to close that gap almost immediately at the drop of the green flag. The No. 22 team opted for four tire rather than two tire pit stops and small chassis setup tweaks to eke out every second of time from the fire-spitting Ford.
Despite the longer pit stops, the vastly improved grip allowed Logano to knife his way through the grid. On the final lap, Keselowski made a move for the inside and Joey Logano used the opportunity to push him into front-runner Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing and skate by, using momentum to help take the win. Interestingly, this marks the 10th time that the Clash has been won by a pass on the final lap.
“It’s cool to win the Clash. We came close last year and it’s really neat to be in Victory Lane and a good start to our day,” said Logano. “That was the play. The Toyotas are so selfless, I guess is the way to look at it. They are able to work together and think of one car of winning, and they’re really good at that. We had to think the same way as Ford and with Stewart-Haas and the Team Penske cars and we were able to get a good enough run to work together enough to break them up and make the passes and then there at the end was kind of a mess. Everything was going really fast. Everything was going on and I was just in the right place at the right time.”
Logano, Keselowski and the rest of Team Penske are expected to make a strong showing at the Daytona 500 which is set to occur on Sunday, February 26th at 2pm Eastern time.