UPS Game-Changing Moments: New Hampshire
July 14, 2013, Staff report, NASCAR.com
Moments that changed the course of the race at the Magic Mile
BLOWN TIRE COSTLY FOR LOGANO
For the second consecutive week, Joey Logano fell in the standings – from 10th before Daytona to 18th after New Hampshire. A blown tire on the fourth lap led to the first caution of the day and relegated Logano to a 40th-place finish.
“It isn’t like we touched anyone and rubbed it to make it go down; it just blew out,” Logano said. “It is unfortunate for our Shell Pennzoil team. That is two weeks in a row we are going to have probably 43rd place finishes. I am just mad right now.”
Logano sits 36 points out of the top 10 and only 11 points ahead of 21st place as he attempts to climb back into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup contention with only seven races left in the regular season.
VICKERS SAVES FUEL TO GET TO THE FINISH
Tony Stewart was leading and in full fuel-conservation mode when contact between the Chevys of Paul Menard and Jeff Gordon sent Gordon spinning in Turn 2 on Lap 258. NASCAR called the 11th caution of the race because of the accident, leaving Stewart and Busch to restart side-by-side on Lap 263.
Stewart held the top spot for 24 laps, but Vickers -- who stayed out with Stewart at lap 219 -- showed his muscle late in the race, passed Kyle Busch for second on Lap 283 and powered past Stewart on the frontstretch four laps later. Vickers was cruising toward his first victory in four years, when NASCAR called a caution on Lap 297 of 301 and sent the race to overtime.
But the caution only forestalled Vickers’ triumph for one extra lap, as he beat Busch to the finish in a two-lap sprint. Vickers, however, did not have enough Sunoco Green E15 to celebrate his first win in nearly four years.
“I'm pretty sure we ran out of gas but either way, it shut off or wouldn't start, and it was the end of my burnout but it was a special burnout,” Vickers said.
STEADY JOHNSON CLIMBS FROM LAST TO SIXTH
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points leader Jimmie Johnson, whose qualifying time was disallowed because of a ride-height violation on Friday, rallied from the 43rd starting position to finish sixth.
“It was tough it wasn’t easy by any means,” Johnson said. “You had to make quick work of people on the restarts and then we all kind of fell in line.
“You would have to wait for the guy in front of you to bobble and make a mistake. These guys are all pretty good out there. There were not many opportunities to get. We just fought through the day and got our Lowe’s Chevrolet to sixth.”
NASCAR Wire Service contributed to this report.