NASCAR's Joey Logano continues to plead his innocence after Las Vegas

NASCAR's Joey Logano continues to plead his innocence after Las Vegas

The Elk Grove native finished in second place for the third consecutive NASCAR Monster Cup Series race Sunday.

Logano was fastest in Happy Hour practice for the Camping World 500k at Phoenix International Raceway Saturday afternoon. When the race restarted on Lap 32, it was still Logano in the lead followed by Larson, Earnhardt Jr., McMurray, Ryan Blaney and Keselowski.

Newman won his 18th Cup race but his first since the 2013 Brickyard 400.

"I'm not going to lie to you", he said. That's how the races play out.

"But it's really, really cool to be the point leader right now". But once Elliott and Larson got by Logano early in the second stage, they maintained their positions throughout the second 75 laps.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the fall race in 2015 and was fifth at this race past year. This one stings, because I feel like I was in the best spot out of anybody there to line up fourth on two tires.

"Just a heck of a gutsy call by (crew chief) Luke (Lambert)".

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Led, Laps Led): Ky.Busch, 2 times for 112 laps; C.Elliott, 4 times for 102 laps; J.Logano, 3 times for 79 laps; R.Newman, 1 time for 5 laps; K.Larson, 3 times for 0 laps; C.Buescher, 1 time for 0 laps; Ku.Busch, 1 time for 0 laps; R.Sorenson, 1 time for 0 laps. Logano was passed by Elliott and Larson on lap 84, but it was Elliott who would take the lead and dominate the stage. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top five. St. Petersburg resident and Grand Prix of St. Petersburg victor Sebastien Bourdais raced with teammates Joey Hand and Dirk Muller in the GT LeMans class, finishing 14 laps back. "That was a goal of mine going into today".

"We kind of struggled a little bit in traffic", Busch said, "but the auto liked the clean air and we were sitting pretty, but that's racing".

"Well, as far as leading into it, my plan was to just go in there and be honest", Logano said.

The Weather: it was 90 degrees at race time, rising to 94 by the end of the race, making it one of the hottest races in Phoenix history.

The series of runner-up finishes gave Kyle Larson the Cup points lead, the first time Chip Ganassi Racing has led the points race this late in the season since 2002.

The caution flew eight times for 45 laps.

Site: Phoenix Schedule: Sunday, race, 3:30 p.m., FOX.

Lead Changes: 15 among 8 drivers.

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