FORT WORTH, Texas — Joey Logano had a big lead and was within a half-lap of taking the white flag at Texas.
The late caution and extra laps? They just made his victory Monday in the rain-delayed Sprint Cup race that much more exciting.
With a last-lap pass of Jeff Gordon in NASCAR’s version of overtime, Logano became the seventh different winner in as many races this season, with new rules for the championship Chase putting an increased emphasis on winning.
Logano had a 2.2-second lead on teammate Brad Keselowski while closing on in the white flag that would have guaranteed no extra laps. Then came out the caution for debris on the track after Kurt Busch went into the wall.
“My heart dropped,” Logano said.
“When you’ve got like 40-something laps after the last pit stop and a pretty sizeable lead, all you’re thinking is where’s the white flag, where’s the white flag,” he said. “Then you go into Turn 1, and you see the 41 up against the wall, please, no caution. ... You get so mad that you can barely control yourself.”
On the ensuing pit stop, Gordon took only two tires and exited first. Both Team Penske drivers took four tires, but Keselowski missed a chance to become the season’s first two-time winner when he was penalized for speeding on pit road and finished 15th.
“I was just trying to get a little too much on pit road. ... Tried a little too hard,” Keselowski said. “We’re in it for wins. We’re not in it for second. Second or 15th is the same for us.”
Logano, the only driver with top-five finishes in both Texas races last season, got his fourth career victory after leading 108 of 340 laps — six laps more than scheduled.
Team Penske joined Stewart-Haas Racing as the only teams with multiple winners this season.