Reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Joey Logano led team-mate Brad Keselowski in a close finish at Las Vegas to win his first race of the 2019 season.
Logano was a front-runner throughout the 267 lap race, finishing third in stage one before winning the second stage.
Despite battling with stage one winner Kevin Harvick at the start of the final segment, Atlanta race-winner Keselowski emerged as Logano’s chief challenger in the latter stages of the race.
Keselowski had surged from sixth at the start of stage three to lead the race with 27 laps remaining.
However, Logano soon wrestled the lead back from his team-mate and while Keselowski was within inches of the #22 Penske Ford’s bumper on the run out of the final corner on the final lap, Logano held on to win.
Polesitter Harvick’s fading pace meant that he ended up finishing fourth, after being passed by Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch – who had won both the Truck and Xfinity Series races earlier in the weekend – with five laps remaining.
Busch’s third-placed finish seemed unlikely at mid-distance. The Las Vegas-born racer was handed a drivethrough penalty for speeding on entry to the pitlane.
Slipping from the race lead to 23rd, Busch fought his way back through the pack throughout the remainder of the race.
His brother Kurt Busch ended up fifth after climbing to the front of the field with an alternate strategy adopted at the end of stage two.
Extending his stint at the end of the second stage, Busch was able to stay out when the rest of the field pitted at the start of stage three. Leading 23 laps at the start of the final stage as a result, Busch was able to match the field in making just one more stop to reach the finish.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Aric Almirola and Martin Truex Jr contested sixth place in the final laps, with Roush Fenway Racing’s Stenhouse edging out the #10 and #19 cars.
An aggressive race from Stenhouse included a close battle with JGR’s Erik Jones early on, with the two twice making contact.
Almirola finished in seventh and Truex ended up eighth. The 2017 series champion finished the second stage in third but had slipped outside the top 10 during the final stage as he complained of “chattering” and instability in his Toyota Camry.
Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott was ninth and Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin rounded out the top 10.
Hamlin finished stage one and two in fourth and fifth respectively, but slipped down the order with a slow pitstop in the final segment.
Barring the stage ending cautions periods, the race was free of yellow flag interventions.