HOMESTEAD, Fla. – The Big 3 was speaking about the 2018 season. They dominated and sometimes saw untouchable. Many thought…
HOMESTEAD, Fla. – The Big 3 was speaking about the 2018 season. They dominated and sometimes saw untouchable. Many thought nobody could beat them.
But on Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Joey Logano made.
And he has the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship Trophy to prove it.
“If you look at it, it was Big 3 and I right,” said 22-year-old Todd Gordon. “So we were the fourth wheel of the group and could compete all night… It’s just surreal to think that he had to race Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch for a championship and perform.”
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Logano emerged from his No. 22 Ford on Framstretch after to have taken the checkered flag for the title. He hit the roof of his car because his crew members pushed around to hang and celebrate with the new champion. They raised him on the shoulders.
As the parties continued, the front tire switch Thomas Hatcher clung on it blue-painted surface. He wiped his face and looked at his team members, who were now the champion.
“You are trying so hard, you get so close and everyone does it. And I’ve just hit it with it, “Hatcher told NASCAR.com about the emotional moment later.” It was tough. When I say it was tough, I mean that it was emotional, that was all that came together. And honestly, the last pit stops … we could not beat (Martin Truex Jr.) and I did not know if it was over. But Joey got up on the wheel and holy smoke. “
No. 22 front decker Thomas Hatcher takes a moment after Joey Logan’s Miami victory to win the 2018 championship. (Jessica Ruffin | NASCAR Digital Media)
Hatcher has been a crew member for 14 years and part of Logan’s crew for five years. He was there for the heart in 2014 when Ford No. 22 fell off the jack at the final pit stop, the team costed valuable seconds and finally the title. He was there when Logano and Carl Edwards ripped 10 turns to go, with Jimmie Johnson continuing to take the championship that night.
And he was there for the lightest moment of the team tonight on NASCAR’s biggest stage.
“I got my expectations really high in 14 and I also did” 16, especially “16. I did not want to let my feelings take over tonight,” said Hatcher. “I I think everyone was pretty calm, everyone was pretty loose. We are not trying to get our hope, but Joey motivates us and I feel we motivate him. … When he makes movements as I said on the track we want to crush it on the pit. And you feel like we’re crushing it on the pit, it motivates him to do this on the track.
“It’s a team sport.”
It’s partly because of his team that Logano knew he was not the underdog title of the competition, David in a David-and-Goliath situation.
“We built a good race car as a customer be good at short runs … my race team, I was not worried about them at all, “said Logano.” And I had to do my job. “
But this job is often a tough task. than 35 competitors on the track every week, race wins – much less championships – is challenging to earn. A winning distance is even harder to maintain throughout the long racing season. And while Logano decided to be a favorite before the Championship 4 Media Day, he was not so sure of their chances before the 10 race race in NASCAR Playoffs.
“Twenty weeks ago, I thought the man, if we got to run to round 8, is pretty good this year from where we were at the time” he said. “We were consistent, that’s it which kept us in the points all year round. We did not have many bad breeds throughout the season.
“But I guess just like Playoffs went, everyone got up to the point. Everyone picked it up. We talked about it on Playoffs Media Day … and I talked about how to find a little bit inside you just to keep when the playoff begins because everyone can get a little better. When we do that, we just started running better … I do not think anybody scored more points than us in the whole playoff. …
“It shows that we drove under pressure, not only today or the last five races, but the last 10 are when I felt, “We got a shot on this matter.” “
The 28-year-old driver did not really look like an underdog under the lights in florida he paced the field for a race-high 80 lap, reboot third behind championship 4 challenger busch and truex jr with 15 laps left. truex caught the lead but with 12 laps left Logano was charged to take it back .
In the outgoing yards he went further to take d a most important checkered flag of his young career. Beat Truex over the starting line-up, with 2014 champion Harvick and 2015 title winner Busch behind him.
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When everything was on the line, he performed.
Maybe he was never really underdog.
“We proved why we are not (underdog)”, says Logano. “This is the favorite, and I told you before the competition started. I’m so proud of everyone. All the steps at the moment, carried out under pressure as no business. …
” Man, you only – I’ve been working the whole my life to come here to come to the championship. I’ve been so close. I spent 10 seasons fighting for this. I was not sure we’d get it, but the man made Todd a good fit at the end, and it was an “uninterrupted” attitude.
“I’d pass that car no matter what.”