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NASCAR Cup Series: Results and 3 takeaways from Sunday’s race at Talladega

NASCAR driver Joey Logano celebrates in Victory Lane with his family after winning Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. Logano has been near the top of the points standings all season, but had just never been able to break through – until this race.
NASCAR driver Joey Logano celebrates in Victory Lane with his family after winning Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. Logano has been near the top of the points standings all season, but had just never been able to break through – until this race. AP

Joey Logano won the GEICO 500 on Sunday, his first win of the season, but there are other implications from the race as well. Here are the three biggest takeaways from Sunday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway:

1. Finally the breakthrough for Logano

It's been a heck of a drought for Logano, whose encumbered win at Richmond last season was his last trip to Victory Lane. Logano has been near the top of the points standings all season, but had just never been able to break through – until Sunday. Now that he has a win under his belt and a playoff berth clinched, it will be interesting to see if he becomes more aggressive in trying to add to his wins total.

2. Kyle Busch looks human, for once

Busch had won three straight races coming into this weekend, and was looking to become the first person since Jimmie Johnson in 2007 to win four in a row. But even considering his dominance these past three weeks, Busch was never truly in contention on Sunday. He finished 13th, his second-worst this season (aside from Daytona, where he came 25th). Is it just 'Dega being crazy as always, or is that more indicative of a leveling-out to come?

3. Our top tier is solidifying

We've reached the point of the season, more than a quarter of the way through, where our top tier of contenders is solidifying. There's the same six or seven names seemingly in the Top 12 each weekend. You've got Busch, Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Logano, Brad Keselowski and even Martin Truex Jr. The top drivers are rising to the top, and quickly, and that doesn't figure to change anytime. The real question is this: Who is the next driver to join that elite mix?

BigOne
Austin Dillon (3) wrecks during Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. Russell Norris AP

Geico 500

The full race results, from the Associated Press:

NASCAR Monster Energy Cup

Sunday

At Talladega Superspeedway

Talladega, Ala.

Lap length: 2.66 miles

(Start position in parentheses)

1. (9) Joey Logano, Ford, 188 laps, 58 points.

2. (2) Kurt Busch, Ford, 188, 38.

3. (5) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 188, 34.

4. (1) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 188, 42.

5. (7) Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Ford, 188, 41.

6. (12) David Ragan, Ford, 188, 36.

7. (40) Aric Almirola, Ford, 188, 30.

8. (11) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 188, 29.

9. (18) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 188, 28.

10. (14) Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 188, 27.

11. (25) Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 188, 26.

12. (16) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 188, 30.

13. (19) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 188, 32.

14. (4) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 188, 28.

15. (29) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 188, 22.

16. (15) Darrell Wallace Jr, Chevrolet, 188, 21.

17. (26) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 188, 20.

18. (23) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 188, 31.

19. (33) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 188, 18.

20. (31) D.J. Kennington, Toyota, 188, 17.

21. (36) Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 188, 16.

22. (30) Brendan Gaughan, Chevrolet, 188, 15.

23. (32) Timothy Peters, Ford, 187, 0.

24. (37) Gray Gaulding, Toyota, 187, 13.

25. (35) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 186, 0.

26. (3) Martin Truex Jr, Toyota, accident, 184, 19.

27. (34) Joey Gase, Chevrolet, engine, 178, 0.

28. (27) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 174, 9.

29. (17) William Byron, Chevrolet, accident, 165, 10.

30. (13) Paul Menard, Ford, accident, 165, 23.

31. (8) Clint Bowyer, Ford, accident, 165, 6.

32. (20) Michael McDowell, Ford, accident, 165, 5.

33. (10) Brad Keselowski, Ford, accident, 165, 14.

34. (28) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, accident, 165, 3.

35. (24) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, accident, 165, 2.

36. (39) Timmy Hill, Chevrolet, engine, 151, 0.

37. (38) Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, suspension, 79, 1.

38. (21) Trevor Bayne, Ford, accident, 71, 1.

39. (6) Erik Jones, Toyota, accident, 71, 1.

40. (22) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, accident, 71, 1.

BoxerQueen
Deontay Wilder, right, the World Boxing Council heavyweight champion, talks with kids before Sunday’s GEICO 500 race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala. Butch Dill AP

Race Statistics

Average Speed of Race Winner: 152.486 mph.

Time of Race: 3 hours, 16 minutes, 46 seconds.

Margin of Victory: 0.127 seconds.

Caution Flags: 6 for 29 laps.

Lead Changes: 25 among 16 drivers.

Lap Leaders: K.Harvick 1-12; A.Bowman 13-38; D.Wallace 39-43; B.Keselowski 44-57; A.Allmendinger 58; B.Keselowski 59-61; W.Byron 62-63; B.Keselowski 64-66; W.Byron 67; C.Buescher 68; M.DiBenedetto 69-74; J.Logano 75-96; D.Hamlin 97-104; P.Menard 105-112; B.Gaughan 113; W.Byron 114-124; Ku.Busch 125-129; A.Allmendinger 130; R.Stenhouse 131-134; D.Hamlin 135-137; J.Logano 138-140; B.Keselowski 141; J.Logano 142-144; D.Suarez 145; K.Kahne 146; J.Logano 147-188

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Led, Laps Led): J.Logano, 4 times for 66 laps; A.Bowman, 1 time for 25 laps; B.Keselowski, 4 times for 17 laps; W.Byron, 3 times for 11 laps; K.Harvick, 1 time for 11 laps; D.Hamlin, 2 times for 9 laps; P.Menard, 1 time for 7 laps; M.DiBenedetto, 1 time for 5 laps; Ku.Busch, 1 time for 4 laps; D.Wallace, 1 time for 4 laps; R.Stenhouse, 1 time for 3 laps; A.Allmendinger, 2 times for 0 laps; C.Buescher, 1 time for 0 laps; B.Gaughan, 1 time for 0 laps; K.Kahne, 1 time for 0 laps; D.Suarez, 1 time for 0 laps.

Wins: Ky.Busch, 3; K.Harvick, 3; C.Bowyer, 1; A.Dillon, 1; J.Logano, 1; M.Truex, 1.

Top 16 in Points: 1. Ky.Busch, 447; 2. J.Logano, 417; 3. K.Harvick, 366; 4. C.Bowyer, 335; 5. Ku.Busch, 320; 6. B.Keselowski, 317; 7. D.Hamlin, 314; 8. R.Blaney, 313; 9. M.Truex, 303; 10. K.Larson, 280; 11. A.Almirola, 278; 12. A.Bowman, 238; 13. E.Jones, 234; 14. J.Johnson, 230; 15. R.Stenhouse, 217; 16. R.Newman, 214.

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