Joey Logano’s victory in Monday’s weather-delayed race in Michigan was the perfect Father’s Day send-off for the Team Penske driver.
The father of 1-year old son Hudson retook the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points lead from Kyle Busch and gets to bask in victory for two weeks instead of one because of the Cup off weekend.
It’s a strong and important statement that the reigning Monster Energy Series champion is very much in the hunt to defend his title and become the first to win back-to-back series trophies since Jimmie Johnson won five straight from 2006-2010.
It is also a well-needed dose of confidence heading into the Toyota/SaveMart 350 at Sonoma (California) Raceway on June 23 at 2 p.m. on FS1, one of nine tracks on the schedule where he has yet to post a Cup win.
The driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford has a pair of top-five finishes and four top 10s in 10 previous starts at Sonoma. His best finish was third in 2016. Both his top-five finishes have come in the last four-race stretch.
He hasn’t led a lap at Sonoma, however, since 2014 and his 18 laps led total is the third-lowest mark of any track on the schedule.
The only places he’s led fewer laps in his title-winning career is at the other road courses in Watkins Glen, New York, with nine and the Charlotte ROVAL with none.
While Logano has comparatively speaking struggled at Sonoma Raceway, rival Kyle Busch has a pair of wins at Sonoma – in 2008 and 2015.
Busch has finished seventh or better in the last four races there, including three top-five finishes.