MARTINSVILLE, VA (AP) – Joey Logano has snagged one of the four spots in NASCAR’s title race by holding off reigning champion Martin Truex Jr. in a sideways slide across the Martinsville Speedway finish line.
Logano led 309 of the 500 laps Sunday in the opening race of the third round of the playoffs. Eight drivers are racing for four slots and a win earns an automatic berth into the championship event.
Truex came from 31st in the field to close in on Logano with 10 laps remaining. The two raced door-to-door down the stretch and Truex pulled ahead of Logano with one lap remaining. But Logano used his bumper to give Truex a wiggle and Truex spun sideways as they hurtled to the finish line.
Logano wiggled but managed to keep his Team Penske Ford straight as he crossed the line.
Logano was booed by the Martinsville crowd and that included Truex, who stood next to his second-place car with his thumbs down as Logano was interviewed over the address system.
In his television post-race interview, Truex made clear how unhappy he was about Logano’s move.