News & Media


Logano charges to Nationwide win at Dover

June 02, 2012, NASCAR Wire Service, NASCAR.com

DOVER, Del. -- Joey Logano smashed the glass slipper Saturday at Dover International Speedway.

Charging forward from the seventh position after a restart on Lap 158 of 200, Logano overtook pole-sitter Ryan Truex for the lead on Lap 195 to win the 5-Hour Energy 200, leading a 1-2-3 finish for Joe Gibbs Racing.

5-Hour Energy 200

Results
Pos.DriverMake
2.Ryan Truex Toyota
3.Brian Scott Toyota
4.Kurt BuschToyota
5.Justin Allgaier Chevrolet
Pos.+/-DriverBehind
2.-1R. Stenhouse Jr.-12
3.--A. Dillon-14
4.--S. Hornish Jr.-50
5.+1J. Allgaier-78

In winning his fourth Nationwide race in 10 starts this season and the 13th of his career, Logano finished 1.526 seconds ahead of Truex, who was 11 days removed from an emergency appendectomy.

When Logano came to the pits on Lap 152 after spinning Tim Bainey Jr. to cause the sixth and final caution on Lap 151 (an incident Logano attributed to a rookie not giving the leader enough room), Truex inherited the lead and appeared headed for a fairy tale finish until Logano caught him with five laps left.

Brian Scott ran third, followed by Kurt Busch and Justin Allgaier.

Logano led 154 laps in claiming his third victory in his past four Nationwide starts. The driver of the No. 18 Toyota said his current success was due to improvements made during the offseason.

"Last year we struggled a little bit, and we were able to really diagnose some of the things we could do better as a team," Logano said. "We also did a great job making our cars better -- better aero, better motors, all that stuff adds up. We're coming to the race track with a better package and are able to make small adjustments to tune it in better, and that all transfers to the race."

Logano trailed Truex by more than two seconds with 12 laps left, but Truex was slowed by two lapped cars on Lap 195, enabling Logano to close quickly and make the pass.

"We were pretty free that last run, and Joey was catching us on new tires," Truex said. "I don't think he would have caught me in five laps, but I just caught traffic at the wrong time. For some reason, those guys were racing each other 20 laps down in front of me, and I had nowhere to go, and that was the end of it."

The surgery was not an issue for Truex at all.

"From the second I got in the race car, I didn't even remember that I had surgery," Truex said. "That was no issue. That was the last thing that would come to my mind as I was racing."

The race was not yet 27 laps old when the championship battle turned upside down. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., running second to Logano at the time, lost control of his No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford off Turn 2 and slammed nose-first into the inside wall on the backstretch.

"I just lost it," Stenhouse said. "I wasn't up on the wheel and just kind of riding around until that competition caution [scheduled for Lap 40] and just got behind on the steering. "It was driver error, totally my fault."

For the second straight week, Stenhouse took a major hit in the standings. A broken drive shaft May 26 at Charlotte cost him most of his championship lead. With Saturday's trouble -- even though he returned to the track on lap 94 -- Stenhouse finished 32nd and fell from first to second, 12 points behind Elliott Sadler (seventh Saturday) and two ahead of third-place Austin Dillon (sixth Saturday).

After the competition caution, which ran from Laps 42-45, the race settled into a long green-flag run, with Logano blitzing the field. After a cycle of green-flag stops that ended on Lap 123, there were seven cars left on the lead lap, and Logano had been out front for 120 of the 123 circuits.

But when Timmy Hill spun in close-quarters racing in front of Sam Hornish Jr. on Lap 124, Sadler got a free pass back to the lead lap as the highest scored lapped car.

Notes-n-Nuggets

• Joey Logano earned his 13th career win in his 98th start.
• It was Logano's first win at Dover in his sixth race. His best previous finish was second twice (Sept. 2009 and June 2010).
• Logano is the 40th different driver to win at Dover, tying Bristol for the most different winners at a track.
• Logano has wins on nine different tracks.
• It was Logano's fourth win of 2012, the fastest he has reached that mark in a season (10 races).
• It was Logano's eighth career win from the front row and second of 2012.
• He led 154 laps, including the last six.
• Joe Gibbs Racing's 72nd career win was its sixth at Dover, most of all organizations.
• JGR has won six of the past 10 Dover races with three different drivers.
• It was the first 1-2-3 sweep by a team in the Nationwide Series.
• Toyota got its fifth Dover win and fifth win of 2012, most of all manufacturers.
• Ryan Truex (second) had his career-best finish in his 29th start.
• Brian Scott (third) matched his career-best finish for the third time.
• Kurt Busch (fourth) got his sixth top-10 finish in seven races this season.
• Justin Allgaier (fifth) got his seventh top-10 finish of 2012, including four in the past five races.
• Elliott Sadler (seventh) took over the points lead by 12 after getting his 10th top-10 finish of the season.
• Ty Dillon (eighth) is the fourth driver in 2012 to get a top-10 finish in his Nationwide debut.
• Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (32nd) had his worst finish of the season, dropping him to second in the standings; he lost 46 points to Sadler in the past two races.

Two laps after the subsequent restart, Hornish's Dodge broke loose under Danica Patrick's Chevrolet. Patrick clobbered the outside wall in a wreck that also collected Brad Sweet. Patrick took her car to the garage and was credited with a 30th-place finish.