HomeSportsNascarJoey Logano Dominates Ambetter Health 400, Takes Checkered Flag at Atlanta

Joey Logano Dominates Ambetter Health 400, Takes Checkered Flag at Atlanta

by Nick Geddes
Joey Logano
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Joey Logano notched his first victory of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season with a dominating performance in the Ambetter Health 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway Sunday.

The win is Logano’s first at Atlanta and the 32nd of his career. Logano entered the day as the pole-sitter and led every lap in Stage 1, narrowly missing out on repeating in Stage 2. In total, Logano led 139 laps. The reigning Cup Series champion is off to a hot start in 2023, in the playoff picture after a trip to victory lane and a second place finish in the Daytona 500.

“Winning here at Atlanta means so much to me,” Logano told PRN. “I remember driving my legends car at 9 years old and standing right here. This one is so special.”

Logano entered the final lap needing some work to do to get around the leader, Brad Keselowski. Keselowski put on a masterclass of blocking, until Logano eventually broke through, aided by a nice push from Christopher Bell.

“There were plenty of times I wanted to move up but I didn’t want to leave my teammates,” Logano said. “If I could pick my lane, the top was the one I wanted but I didn’t want to leave them. Got a good push, enough to get to the outside of the 6 and it was the difference.”

Joey Logano Races By Brad Keselowski on Final Lap

Keselowski gave credit to Logano, saying he was racing for second after the run Logano got on the final lap.

“The run that came by me was huge,” Keselowski said. “I thought I had it stalled but it didn’t stall. Joey’s car was super fast, he made a great move and took advantage. I was in a spot where I was gonna wreck us all or finish second and I couldn’t win with that.”

Sunday’s race was additionally a high for Corey LaJoie, who finished a career-best fourth. One year after finishing fifth in the spring Atlanta race, LaJoie moved even closer to his first-career victory.

“It was hectic there. It was two- and three-wide. You were just waiting for somebody to hit you and put you in the fence,” LaJoie said. “A good points day, good money day. We’ll go on to COTA and keep it rolling.”