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Logano dominates for second win at Dover

September 29, 2012, NASCAR Wire Service, NASCAR.com



Logano dominates for second win at Dover

The steep concrete banks of Dover International Speedway aside, Saturday's OneMain Financial 200 was hardly a cliffhanger as Joey Logano dominated from start to finish in winning his seventh Nationwide Series race of the season.

Momentarily, at least, a caution on Lap 177 for Tim Andrews' blown engine injected a modicum of suspense, but Logano reasserted his superiority after a restart on Lap 182 and pulled away for his second victory at the Monster Mile and the 16th of his career.

OneMain Financial 200

Results
Pos.DriverMake
2.P. Menard Chevrolet
3.M. Annett Ford
4.E. Sadler Chevrolet
5.Ky. Busch Toyota
Pos.+/-DriverBehind
2.--R. Stenhouse Jr.-9
3.--A. Dillon-25
4.--S. Hornish Jr.-60
5.--J. Allgaier-128

Logano, who led 184 of 200 laps, crossed the finish line 0.876 seconds ahead of runner-up Paul Menard to complete a season sweep at Dover. Michael Annett ran third, tying his career-best in the Nationwide Series, and fourth-place Elliott Sadler increased his series lead to nine points over defending champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who finished ninth. Kyle Busch completed the top five.

Logano said the winning moves actually started in Friday's practice, after the track began to resemble what he and crew chief Adam Stevens thought would be Saturday's racing conditions.

"The track changed a lot throughout practice," Logano said, "and we knew the direction we needed to go for when the race started. Adam did a really good job of keeping his head in the game and knowing which way it was going to go -- keeping my head in the game and knowing which way the race track was going to go. That helped.

"The first few laps, when the track was green [before it rubbered in], we were a second-place car behind the 31 [of Justin Allgaier]. Once it rubbered up, it was like, 'OK, now I've got my old race car back,' and we were able to stay out front most of the day after that."

By the time NASCAR called a planned competition caution on Lap 46, Logano had opened a lead of roughly three seconds. Kasey Kahne took over the top spot with a two-tire call under yellow, but Logano regained the lead moments after a restart on Lap 51.

The driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota held the lead until the second caution of the afternoon -- resulting from oil on the track from Jeremy Clements' car -- slowed the field on Lap 116. The brief interruption, however, didn't slow Logano, who took off again from a restart on Lap 124 and built a lead of 1.5 seconds over Allgaier.

Menard, who took over the second spot after both Allgaier and Sam Hornish Jr. had tire issues, pointed to Logano's advantage on restarts as the difference in the race.

"We had a really good long-run car," Menard said. "I believe we were the fastest car on the track, faster than Joey, but he could just take off faster than us. I don't think he got passed all day."

Sadler and Annett likewise took advantage of the final restart, when Kahne held up the bottom lane and allowed drivers on the outside to leap-frog toward the front. For Sadler, the positions gained toward the end of the race vastly improved what had been a difficult afternoon.

"We just fought a loose race car all day," Sadler said. "The guys did a good job, made some good adjustments at the end, and we got a pretty fortunate restart there. It was a good run all in all for us. I wish I had done a better job [Friday in practice] of getting it ready for the race, but all in all, that's a good finish for us."

Notes-n-Nuggets

• Joey Logano got his 16th career win in his 105th career start.
• It was Joey Logano's second Dover win, both in 2012.
• Joey Logano led 184 laps, the most he has led in a single race; his previous best was 154 at Dover in the spring.
• It was Joey Logano's career-best of 2012, most of all drivers, and a single-season career best for Logano.
• It is the third consecutive year a driver swept both races at Dover.
• Joey Logano is the sixth driver to sweep the Dover races in a season.
• Joe Gibbs Racing earned its 75th Nationwide win and its seventh win at Dover, most of all teams.
• Joe Gibbs Racing's seventh win of 2012 is tied for most with Richard Childress Racing.
• Joe Gibbs Racing has won seven of the past 11 Dover races.
• Toyota earned its seventh win of the season.
• Paul Menard (second) had his best Dover finish in his 10th start; he has finished in the top 10 in his past 14 starts.
• Michael Annett (third) matched his career-best finish, set in July at Daytona.
• Elliott Sadler (fourth) got his best Dover finish in his 10th race and leads the point standings by nine over Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
• Kyle Busch (fifth) has top-10 finishes in his past six Nationwide starts but is winless in 201 after winning at least once in the previous eight years.
• Cole Whitt (sixth) rebounded from a Lap 47 speeding penalty that dropped him to 20th to get his 12th top-10 finish of 2012 and first at Dover.
• Brian Scott (seventh) earned his third top-10 finish in six Dover starts, including both races in 2012.

Darrell Wallace, 18, who claimed the top starting position during Saturday's qualifying, is the first African-American driver to win a pole in the Nationwide Series. Wallace, part of NASCAR's youth movement dubbed the "Next 9," is a six-time winner in the K&N Pro Series East. He finished 12th to end a streak of three straight top-10 results in his first three Nationwide starts.