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Logano's Victory Lane plans derailed at Michigan

June 14, 2014, Kenny Bruce, NASCAR.com

Late-race cut tire thwarts Team Penske driver's Nationwide hopes

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BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Joey Logano, a winner of 21 NASCAR Nationwide Series races, appeared to be headed toward yet another Saturday at Michigan International Speedway.

But that was before a cut tire with less than six laps to go sent the Team Penske driver to pit road. 

When the Ollie's Bargain Outlet 250 ended, Logano pulled into the garage instead of Victory Lane.

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"I ran over something," Logano said after finishing 16th, his No. 22 Ford the final car on the lead lap. "That pretty much sucks." 

Logano, 24, led Paul Menard by 1.5 seconds down the stretch, with the latter closing on the leader. "We were going to have a race," Logano said, "because he was catching me a little bit."

But "a little bit" quickly became a lot when the right-rear tire began to go soft.

"I could tell something was wrong on the back straightaway," Logano said, "and then it made us go up the race track.

"I hate to give them away like that. You look at the silver lining I guess, which is we had a fast … car and should have won this race. You win some this way and lose some this way." 

Menard, one of three drivers in the No. 33 Chevrolet this season for Richard Childress Racing, ended up in Victory Lane. Sam Hornish Jr., Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch and Brian Scott completed the top five.

The Michigan start was just the fourth of the season in the series for Logano. It looked to be his best finish, although his past efforts weren't shabby -- fourth at Auto Club Speedway, fifth at Darlington and third at Dover

Logano qualified ninth and didn't fall out of the top 10 until the tire problem. His 43 laps led was second to only Kyle Larson's 46. 

"That's just racing for you," he said. "… You think you are in good shape and you are worried about a caution more than anything else and then the next thing you know you hear (the tire) starting to come apart on the back straightaway. Things happen. … We move on."

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