NASCAR highlights: Logano wins chaotic Nashville race in five overtimes

What a chaotic end of the day it was in Nashville!

Joey Logano emerged as the unlikely winner of the Ally 400 Sunday at Nashville Superspeedway, holding off Zane Smith and Tyler Reddick to take the checkered flag in quintuple overtime. Logano broke a long winless drought that dated back to the spring of 2023.

On the fifth overtime restart on Lap 330, Logano restarted on the inside of the front row with Chase Briscoe on his outside. Logano got a good launch, and Briscoe ran out of fuel, leaving an opening for Smith and Reddick to chase Logano down. But the Team Penske driver had just enough fuel to race for two laps and cross the finish line, finally ending the marathon race.

‘You have to give a lot of credit to our fueler, Nick Hensley, our engine department with Roush Yates building obviously some engines that could also manage fuel really well, and some guts – a lot of cajones made it happen,’ Logano said.

With a few laps to go, the race appeared to be coming down to a battle between Ross Chastain and Denny Hamlin for the win. But a late yellow flag resulted in overtime and led to a series of crashes that continued to extend the extra period. Chastain would crash during the first overtime, and Hamlin needed to refuel after the third overtime, leaving the top spot for the taking.

Logano took the victory with only nine laps led.

It was Logano’s first win of the season and his first win since driving his No. 22 to victory on March 19, 2023 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The victory will likely lock Logano into the playoffs and give him a chance to win his third NASCAR Cup Series championship after winning titles in 2018 and 2022.

‘It’s been a hard season and being on that (playoff) cut line, I tell you it sucks. It’s just not fun. It’s hard, and you just want a little bit of relief of the pressure,’ Logano said. ‘With seven weeks to go until the playoffs, it gives us a chance to breathe for a second and start just kind of working on our car a little bit differently and just sleep better, to be honest with you. I’m proud of this team and proud to be here in victory Lane, for sure.”

NASCAR Cup race at Nashville: Top 10 finishers

These are the top 10 finishers of Sunday’s Ally 400 at NASCAR Superspeedway:

Joey Logano, No. 22 Team Penske Ford
Zane Smith, No. 71 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet
Tyler Reddick, No. 45 23XI Racing Toyota
Ryan Preece, No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
Chris Buescher, No. 17 RFK Racing Ford
Ryan Blaney, No. 12 Team Peske Ford
Bubba Wallace, No. 23 23XI Racing Toyota
Kyle Larson, No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Daniel Hemric, No. 31 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet
Noah Gragson, No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

Zane Smith scores career-best NASCAR Cup Series finish

Zane Smith nearly caught Joey Logano coming to the checkered flag in the fifth overtime of the Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway, but came up just short to finish second. It marked the best career Cup Series finish for Smith, driving the No. 71 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet.

Smith was frustrated with finishing second, but said he was ‘obviously so happy with the result.’

‘When you hear for like 10 laps that ‘(Logano) is supposed to run out, he is supposed to run out’, and then you see him shaking the car across the line and you just finished second, that hurts,’ Smith said. ‘The winning side of it hurts, but just appreciate everyone at Spire Motorsports and appreciate the strategy there.

‘It’s been a rough, rough year, but this is a great momentum booster, confidence booster, all of the above. So, hopefully we can carry this on, but it was awesome to sniff your first Cup win.”

Another crash on fourth overtime restart

The race restarted for the fourth overtime on Lap 325, but like the previously three, the caution flag came out for another crash.

Two-time NASCAR Series champion Joey Logano had just taken the lead from Chase Briscoe when Josh Berry spun, hit the Turn 2 wall, stopping on the grass. That brought out the yellow flag again, just before Logano took the white flag, triggering a fifth overtime restart.

Kyle Busch crashes on third overtime restart

As the race restarted for the third overtime on Lap 320, Denny Hamlin was on the inside of front row and Kyle Larson was on the outside of the front row. When the green flag dropped, Larson could not get going, holding up the top line. Kyle Busch, who had restarted fourth, was pushed into the back of Larson and spun out, just after crossing the start-finish line.

Many of the leaders, including Hamlin, Larson and Martin Truex Jr. were nearly out of fuel, and were forced to come down pit road for has.

Joey Logano and Chase Briscoe had moved up to the front row for the fourth overtime restart.

Another crash in second overtime restart

Daniel Suarez spun through grass during the second green-white-checkered restart on Lap 313, triggering a multicar wreck on the backstretch.

Ryan Preece got into the rear of Harrison Burton in the middle of the pack turning him and collecting multiple cars, including Corey Heim, Justin Haley, Josh Berry, Todd Gilliland, Harrison Burton, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ryan Blaney, Daniel Hemric.

Chastain crashes during overtime, triggering a bigger wreck

Ross Chastain, who started on the outside of the front row with leader Denny Hamlin on the inside, hit the outside wall with the rear of his No. 1 Chevrolet on the overtime restart at Lap 305.

Kyle Larson, who restarted on the inside of the second row, pushed Denny Hamlin into Turn 1, catching the apron shooting him up the track and into Chastain. Kyle Busch, who had restarted fourth, were collected in the crash along with Ty Gibbs. That triggered a bigger wreck further back in the field, which involved Austin Dillon, John Hunter Nemechek, William Byron and Daniel Hemric.

Ally 400 at Nashville heads to overtime

Austin Cindric spun out after side contact with Noah Gragson, bringing out a caution with less than two laps remaining.

Denny Hamlin had passed Ross Chastain for the lead with six laps remaining and was heading for his season-best fourth win of the season before the caution came out for Cindric.

The Ally 400 now heads to a two-lap green-white-checkered overtime.

Chastain trying to win second straight race at Nashville

Ross Chastain, the defending race winner, leads with 20 laps to go. But he is being chased down by Denny Hamlin as the Ally 400 nears the end.

Chastain has yet to score a win this season and is looking to lock up a berth in the playoffs. Hamlin has three victories in 2024, which is tied with Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell and William Byron for the series lead.

Keselowski slams into the wall after contact from Dillon

Austin Dillon got into the back of Brad Keselowski in Turn 2 spinning the No. 6 Ford hard into the wall on Lap 242 to bring out the caution with 58 laps remaining. Keselowski and Dillon were battling for 16th position whenthe contact occurred.

While running under caution for Keselowski’s crash, Carson Hocevar hooked Harrison Burton on the backstretch.

Ryan Blaney and Ross Chastain were the top two drivers, while Christopher Bell was forced to retire after the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team could not repair his Toyota.

The race resumed with 52 laps remaining.

Christopher Bell slams into wall in Stage 3

Christopher Bell, the dominant car at Nashville today, crashed into the outside wall on Lap 228.

Bell had led 132 laps and swept the first two stages before spinning following a restart two laps earlier. Bell had fallen from the lead spot after pit stops following Chase Elliott’s spin Lap 218 and was running 15th when he slammed into the wall.

Ryan Blaney, who was leading at the restart and retained his lead before the caution came out for Bell.

Chase Elliott spins out to bring out caution

Hendrick Motorsports driver Chase Elliott got loose and spun out on Lap 218 of 300 coming out of Turn 4. The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion managed to avoid hitting the wall but plowed through the grass, bringing out the caution.

Most of the leaders came down pit road to change tires and hoping to fill up with enough fuel to make it the end of the race. But some, including reigning series champion Ryan Blaney stayed out or track position. Elliott managed to stay on the lead lap after his spin.

Christopher Bell wins second stage of Ally 400

Christopher Bell swept the first two stages of the Ally 400 at NASCAR Superspeedway.

Bell was leading Stage 2 when the race was red-flagged for rain, but he kept the lead when the race resumed with 45 laps remaining in the segment. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver, who won last week’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, has led over 100 laps so far today at Nashville.

Tyler Reddick of 23XI Racing finished second in Stage 2, followed by Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports.

Stage 2 top 10:

Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing
Tyler Reddick, 23 XI Racing
Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing
Brad Keselowski, RFK Racing
Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports
Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing
Ryan Blaney, Team Penske
Chris Buescher, RFK Racing
Noah Gragson, Stewart-Haas Racing

NASCAR resumes after rain delay at Nashville

Follow a delay of one hour, 21 minutes for rain, NASCAR officials rescinded the red flag for the Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway and brought out the yellow, allowing cars to change tires and refuel before the green flag.

The race went green a few minutes later with 159 laps remaining – 45 until the end of Stage 2.

Weather leads to red flag

At Lap 136, lightning was detected and the race was red-flagged. Kyle Busch, who has struggled early, received the free pass to get back on the lead lap. 

To make the race official, it needs to reach at least the halfway point, which is 150 laps. So expect a return to racing after the storms pass.

Another caution after collision

On the restart after a caution for John Hunter Nemechek’s spin-out, we have our first wide-scale yellow flag of the race.

Ty Gibbs and Alex Bowman got together, sending Gibbs’ Toyota careening into the infield.

Complicating matters even further, the rain and storms in the forecast are expected to arrive in the area within a half hour.

John Hunter Nemechek spins off Turn 4

John Hunter Nemechek spins on his own off of Turn 4 and through the grass. His right-front tire is shredding, making a mess of that part of the car.

Chase Elliott says his car is a little better on this run. He is up to 9th. Martin Truex Jr. is up to 7th. – Nashville Tennessean

Christopher Bell wins first stage

Christopher Bell beat Denny Hamlin off pit road when the two Toyota teammates came in together — and he maintained that advantage throughout the pit cycles to win the opening stage of a so-far caution-free Ally 400.

Bell led 36 of the 90 laps during the stage.

The leaders all came in to the pits to start Stage 2 with Hamlin taking only two tires to reclaim the lead as the race goes back to green.

The top 10:

Christopher Bell
Denny Hamlin
Tyler Reddick
Kyle Larson
Brad Keselowski
Ty Gibbs
William Byron
Chris Buescher
Martin Truex Jr.
Bubba Wallace

Pit strategy already playing a role in Ally 400

The first round of pit stops came a little earlier than expected on Lap 38.

Kyle Busch overshot his pit stall and had to back up just slightly before his crew could change tires. He’s currently one lap down.

Not all cars on the lead lap chose to pit immediately though. Ty Gibbs and Tyler Reddick both remained out to lead a couple laps on their original tires.

On Lap 45, Michael McDowell drove his No. 34 Ford into the lead when Reddick came in to the pits.

Now 65 laps into the 90-lap first stage, 24 cars are on the lead lap.

Bell passes Hamlin to take over lead

Denny Hamlin led the first 17 laps at Nashville Superspeedway before he ran up on lapped traffic and teammate Christopher Bell was able to slip by the pole-sitter and take over the lead.

Justin Haley tried hard to fight off Hamlin as the leader came up behind him. As Hamlin checked up, Bell — who won last week’s USA TODAY 301 in New Hampshire — sped past both cars on the outside.

Hamlin remains in second place with Brad Keselowski and Kyle Larson a couple seconds behind.

Green flag drops in Nashville

NASCAR racing may not be as familiar a pairing with Nashville as country music is, but the crowd at Nashville Superspeedway was clearly enthused as five-time ACM and two-time CMA award winner Hardy gave the command for drivers to start their engines.

Pole-sitter Denny Hamlin drove his Toyota to the front of the pack to lead the first of 300 laps around the 1.333-mile oval.

What time does the NASCAR Cup race at Nashville start?

The Ally 400 starts at 3:30 p.m. ET (2:30 p.m. local) at Nashville Superspeedway in Nashville, Tennessee.

How to watch NASCAR today

NBC is broadcasting the Ally 400.

Will there be a live stream of the NASCAR Cup race at Nashville?

The Ally 400 can be live streamed on the NBCSports website and the NBC Sports app. The race is also available to stream on Fubo.

NASCAR Ally 400 weather: Forecast for Nashville Superspeedway

Expect extremely hot and sticky conditions for Sunday’s Ally 400 race at Nashville Superspeedway.

How many laps is the NASCAR Cup race at Nashville?

The Ally 400 is 300 laps around the 1.333-mile oval for a total of 399.9 miles. The race will feature three segments (laps per stage) − Stage 1: 90 laps; Stage 2: 95 laps; Stage 3: 115 laps.

Who won the most recent NASCAR Cup race at Nashville?

Ross Chastain started on the pole and led 99 of 300 laps, including the final 34, before holding off Martin Truex Jr. by 0.789 seconds on June 25, 2023. It was the first of 2023 two victories for Chastain, who is seeking his first win this season.

Recent NASCAR Cup Series winners at Nashville

2023: Ross Chastain
2022: Chase Elliott
2021: Kyle Larson

What is the lineup for the Ally 400 at Nashville?

(Car number in parentheses)

(11) Denny Hamlin, Toyota
(4) Josh Berry, Ford
(20) Christopher Bell, Toyota
(5) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet
(6) Brad Keselowski, Ford
(45) Tyler Reddick, Toyota
(24) William Byron, Chevrolet
(54) Ty Gibbs, Toyota
(17) Chris Buescher, Ford
(2) Austin Cindric, Ford
(3) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet
(48) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet
(9) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet
(34) Michael McDowell, Ford
(77) Carson Hocevar, Chevrolet
(10) Noah Gragson, Ford
(19) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota
(12) Ryan Blaney, Ford
(14) Chase Briscoe, Ford
(1) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet
(7) Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet
(41) Ryan Preece, Ford
(47) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chevrolet
(23) Bubba Wallace, Toyota
(21) Harrison Burton, Ford
(22) Joey Logano, Ford
(8) Kyle Busch, Chevrolet
(16) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet
(50) Corey Heim, Toyota
(15) Riley Herbst, Ford
(99) Daniel Suarez, Chevrolet
(38) Todd Gilliland, Ford
(51) Justin Haley, Ford
(43) Erik Jones, Toyota
(42) John Hunter Nemechek, Toyota
(71) Zane Smith, Chevrolet
(31) Daniel Hemric, Chevrolet
(66) Chad Finchum, Ford

Denny Hamlin hoping to stop skid in Nashville

On pole, Denny Hamlin is hoping the good starting position will translate into a solid finishing position. The three-race winner this season has finished 24th or worse in the last three races and is ready to get back on track before the summer break in competition in three weeks. Hamlin has a pair of top-10 finishes in the three-race Nashville Superspeedway history, including a best showing of third place last year.

Hamlin’s No. 11 JGR Toyota turned a fast lap of 160.354 mph (29.859 seconds) around the 1.33-mile oval – only .095-seconds faster than Christopher Bell – to claim his second Nashville pole position in the four races the track has hosted.

‘Felt pretty good about it all day,’ the 43-year-old Hamlin said, ‘seems like we definitely have fixed some of the things we weren’t very good with last year. I definitely feel pretty good about it and we’ll certainly work on it overnight to make it a little bit better and I feel pretty confident that tomorrow we’ll be in contention.’ — Field Level Media

Kyle Busch hopes to ‘stop the bleeding’ in Ally 400

After being asked Saturday what needs to happen for him to regain his lofty status Kyle Busch said, ‘Fast cars cures all. Being able to have confidence and to go out there and run hard and run fast and put myself in positions to win, that’ll certainly make a lot of gains and make everybody happy.’

Busch’s frustrations continued last week at New Hampshire. He struggled for most of the first half of the USA TODAY 301 on the way to dropping to two laps down.

While trying to make a move back toward the front Busch spun out on Turn 1 and slid into the wall. Later in the race Busch got bunched up with several drivers on turn 2, spun out and hit the inside retaining wall. …

‘The last three weeks have definitely not helped, that’s been a huge setback,’ Busch said. ‘We just have to stop the bleeding. I think I’ve been saying that for the last six months and it hasn’t stopped. And the last week it’s been gushing pretty hard.’ — Mike Organ, The Tennessean

Chase Elliott pulling for more Nashville races

LEBANON – Chase Elliott might be NASCAR’s biggest proponent to move a Cup race to Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.

‘The racing has been better here in this car than the old car for sure,’ Elliott said. ‘I still think we should be at the Fairgrounds. If we were going to have two dates in a city, I think this would be the one to do it in. You could have one here and one (at the Fairgrounds). That would be totally fine.

‘This track has put on good races the last three trips.’ — Tom Kreager, The Tennessean

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