Joey Logano picked up his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win since moving to Penske Racing this offseason on Sunday afternoon at Michigan International Speedway. The win has Logano in the thick of the battle to make the 2013 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
"This is unbelievable," Logano said in victory lane. "I couldn't ask for anything more. We needed this four our Chase hopes and we're not out of it yet."
The win is the third of Logano's career and first in 44 races. He is now only seven points out of the second wild card. He passed Mark Martin with four laps to go when Martin ran out of gas. Logano then stayed ahead of Kevin Harvick to pick up the win. Kurt Busch finished third, Paul Menard fourth, and Clint Bowyer fifth.
The Pure Michigan 400 got off to a slow start with three cautions in the first 13 laps. Joey Logano was on the pole but lost the lead to Kurt Busch in Turn 1. The first caution came out on the first lap as Clint Bowyer got loose and spun off of Turn 4. He did not receive any damage but pitted to change flat spotted tires.
On the lap 5 restart Logano took the lead back from Kurt Busch in Turn 1. The second caution then came out on lap 8 when David Reutimann got out of the groove and hit the outside wall. He lost several laps as the team fixed his car and finished in 38th.
The race restarted on lap 11 and Logano held the lead. On lap 13 the third caution flew when Austin Dillon got loose under JJ Yeley. Yeley's car backed hard into the outside wall while Dillon hit the right side of his Stewart-Haas Racing No. 14 Chevrolet into the wall. Yeley was done for the day and finished 43rd. Dillon's team worked all day to get the car back up to speed and got a lap back that he lost because of the accident. He ended up finishing in 14th.
The race restarted on lap 18 and Logano again was able to maintain the lead. On lap 25 the top five was Logano, Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Brad Keselowski, and Matt Kenseth. Jimmie Johnson was up to 17th after starting in the back due to a practice crash on Saturday. On lap 33 Kurt Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr passed Logano as Logano lost momentum passing the lap car of Johnny Sauter.
Green flag pit stops began on lap 38 with Martin Truex Jr hitting pit road. Kurt Busch pitted from the lead along with Logano on lap 42. Busch's team dropped a lug nut on the left-front which cost him time and positions on the track. Dale Earnhardt Jr and Brad Keselowski pitted on lap 43. That put Jimmie Johnson in the lead since he had pitted on the early caution flags and could stay out a little longer. Johnson then pitted on lap 46. Marcos Ambrose, Denny Hamlin, and Casey Mears also led before the lead cycled to Dale Earnhardt Jr after all the stops were made. Keselowski was second, Jeff Burton third, Matt Kenseth fourth, and Kurt Busch fifth.
Jimmie Johnson was running in eighth when on lap 55 he slowed and pulled off the track with engine issues. The points leader retired from the race and finished 40th.
The fourth caution came out on lap 71 and took away Earnhardt's lead which was over 2.5 seconds. Ricky Stenhouse Jr was running tenth when he blew a tire and hit the outside wall. His team made repairs but the damage slowed him from the pace he ran early. Stenhouse finished in 19th.
Denny Hamlin did not pit with everyone else and led for the lap 76 restart over Earnhardt Jr, Keselowski, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, and Joey Logano. Earnhardt got a bad restart and dropped to seventh. On lap 78 it was Kurt Busch who took the lead from Hamlin. Hamlin made a green flag pit stop on lap 91 from the ninth position.
At the halfway mark of the race on lap 100 Kurt Busch led over Keselowski, Logano, Edwards, and Harvick. The fifth caution then flew on lap 105 for debris. Mark Martin had just made a pit stop and got the free pass back to the lead lap while Hamlin used the wave around to get back to the lead lap. Greg Biffle made his name known for the first time at the front of the field by getting off pit road with the lead on a two tire stop. Kyle Busch got off second, Keselowski third, Logano fourth, and Clint Bowyer fifth. Kurt Busch took four tires and dropped from the lead to eighth for the lap 111 restart.
Greg Biffle, the winner of the last two Michigan races, pulled away in the clean air and on lap 130 led over Logano, Jeff Burton, Keselowski, and Paul Menard.
The sixth caution then came out on lap 134 when Dale Earnhardt Jr had his good run come apart. He was seventh when he blew his right-front tire and slammed the outside wall. His No. 88 team had to make repairs behind the wall. Earnhardt Jr finished in 36th.
Joey Logano got the lead off pit road with two tires and Brad Keselowski was second off. Greg Biffle was third, Kevin Harvick fourth, and Paul Menard fifth. Jeff Burton took four tires and restarted in 16th on lap 140. Matt Kenseth got a great restart and moved up to third behind Loagno and Harvick.
The seventh caution then came out on lap 149 when Bobby Labonte got loose off Turn 4 and spun into the grass which did some damage to his car. He finished in 35th. Brad Keselowski, Ryan Newman, Mark Martin, Jeff Burton and others decided to pit and stretch their fuel from this point to the finish while others including the lead cars of Loagno and Harvick stayed on the track. Keslowski restarted in 15th on lap 153.
Matt Kenseth who restarted third got loose and lost several positions on the restart. Logano still led when the eighth caution came out on lap 156 when Kyle Busch spun out and back into the outside wall off Turn 2. With significant damage Busch finished in 31st.
Brad Keselowski, Mark Martin, Aric Almirola, and David Ragan stayed out while everyone else pitted to make their final stop of the race. Loagno would restart in fifth with Harvick in sixth, Ryan Newman seventh, Carl Edwards eighth, Jeff Burton ninth, and Greg Biffle tenth on lap 161.
On lap 165 David Gilliland blew his engine but no caution came out. He finished in 37th. On lap 170 the running order up front was Keselowski, Martin, Almirola, Havick, Logano, and Kurt Busch. The ninth caution came out on lap 173 for another spin by Kyle Busch in his damaged car.
Keselowski and Almirola changed their strategy and decided they would not make the finish on their tank of fuel so they decided to pit while Mark Martin stuck to the strategy and took over the lead. Harvick would restart alongside Martin in second on lap 177 with Logano in third, Kurt Busch fourth, and Paul Menard fifth. Keselowski restarted in 17th.
The action was wild the first three laps back green as the drivers scrambled to gain key positions with the race on the line. That allowed Martin to open a good size lead and Logano won the battle with Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Paul Menard to come out in second. Harvick then passed Busch for third on lap 181.
Martin knew he needed another caution to stretch his fuel to the finish but had to stay out front and ride hard. He maintained a lead over Logano and Harvick all the way to lap 197 when he finally ran out of gas. Martin would come to pit road and finish one lap down in 27th. Meanwhile Logano took the lead and held it over the final three laps without any pressure from Harvick.
In all Logano led 51 laps which was the most of any driver. Harvick finished second. Kurt Busch was third and Paul Menard was fourth for his best finish of the season.Fifth went to Clint Bowyer. Marcos Ambrose was sixth which was also his best finish of 2013. Kasey Kahne was seventh, Jeff Burton eighth, Greg Biffle ninth, and Carl Edwards tenth.
Juan Pablo Montoya was 11th, Brad Keselowski 12th, Ryan Newman 13th, Austin Dillon 14th, Matt Kenseth 15th, Martin Truex Jr 16th, Jeff Gordon 17th, Aric Almirola 18th, Ricky Stenhouse Jr 19th, and Denny Hamlin 20th. Trevor Bayne was 21st, Jamie McMurray 22nd, Danica Patrick 23rd, David Ragan 24th, Casey Mears 25th, and David Stremme was the last lead lap car in 26th. Other finishing positions were Travis Kvapil in 28th, Timmy Hill 29th, Dave Blaney 30th, Landon Cassill 32nd, Brendan Gaughan 33rd, Joe Nemechek 34th, Scott Speed 41st, and Johnny Sauter 42nd.
After 23 races and now with only three races left until the Chase field is set the points standings are important. Jimmie Johnson has a 41 point lead over Clint Bowyer and is the only driver that has clinched a Chase berth. Bowyer is 113 points ahead of 11th. Carl Edwards is third and +103. Kevin Harvick is +90 in fourth, Kyle Busch +47 in fifth, Matt Kenseth +29 in sixth, Dale Earnhardt Jr +20 in seventh, Brad Keselowski +8 in eighth, Kurt Busch +6 in ninth, and Greg Biffle +4 in tenth.
Kasey Kahne is 11th and holds the first wild card position due to his two wins. Martin Truex Jr is -10 from tenth and in 12th in points. He holds wild card number two due to having one win. Joey Logano is 13th and is seven points behind Truex for the second wild card. Jeff Gordon is 14th and 26 points out of tenth. He does not have a win. Ryan Newman is 15th and has a win. He is 17 points out of the second wild card.
Next up for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, August 24th.
Gearing up for the fantasy season? Try weekly fantasy football games this year at DraftDay.com. DraftDay has awarded over $15 million to fantasy fans like you, so don't miss out on the newest way to play fantasy football! Create your free account and use promo code GIFT for an instant cash bonus.
- Joey Logano Takes Pole for Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway
- Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway Notes & Entry List
- Joey Logano Won the 5-Hour Engery 200 at Dover International Speedway
Short URL: http://sport-ne.ws/z9u