Joey Logano successfully held off teammate, Brad Keselowski in the closing laps of Penzoil 400 at Las Vegas to win his first race of the 2019 season and virtually guarantee himself a spot in the playoffs. The win was also the second of the season for Ford and comes only one week after his teammate, Keselowski netted a win at Atlanta.
With that being said, not everyone was happy about the on track racing that took place on Sunday and fans wasted little time voicing their displeasure after the race. Interestingly enough however, Logano actually defended the new aero package and hinted that NASCAR fans might just be hard to please.
“It’s intense,” Logano said. “You can’t get away. You’re constantly looking around. Mentally, I’m exhausted right now. There’s just so much going on in the race, and you’re trying to draft down the straightaways and get in the right gap and you’re trying to keep cars from being able to draft to you.
“You’re working lap traffic as best as possible. You’re getting into corners and you’re working different lanes. There’s so much strategy that goes into driving these race cars now that I thought it was entertaining as can be. I don’t really know what to say if you don’t like that.”
Of course some fans are probably upset by the fact that the race was caution free and that the same cars seemed to dominate all day, but they seem to forget the positives that played out during Sunday’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
For example, the lead was traded a handful of times in the last 100 laps, including the winning pass between Keselowski and Logano. Beyond that, the racing on the restarts were tremendously exciting and best off all, the leader seemed to never have too much of an advantage.
Another interesting and even positive sign of things was NASCAR Executive Vice President and Cheif Racing development officer, Steve O’Donnel, who talked about work still needing to be done to the aero package after Sunday’s race at Vegas
“We’ve said from the beginning that this is going to be a season that we’re going to analyze,” O’Donnell said. “We’re not going to go every race and say, ‘Was that a good race, was that not?’ I know fans do that, but for us, directionally are you improving upon where you wanted to be. And if you look at last year versus this year, I would say we are.
“Was it tremendous improvement? Probably not. But again as a fan, you want to see lead changes. We saw that today, and I think if you would’ve looked in the past with no cautions, we would’ve seen someone check out all race long and we wouldn’t have seen a lead change.”
In the end, its not perfect, but NASCAR seems keenly aware of that and they also seem more than willing to tweak the parts of this aero package that aren’t working. They also seem more willing to listen to the fans and what they find exciting, which is another promising sign.