Logano Rolls to "Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo" Victory
Joe Gibbs Racing rookie Joey Logano became the eighth different NASCAR Nationwide Series race winner at Kentucky Speedway tonight in front of a track-record sellout crowd of 73,195 assembled for the "Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo." The Middletown, Conn., driver known as "Sliced Bread" became the youngest victor in series history at age 18 years and 21 days as well as the third straight first-time series winner at the track after guiding his No. 20 GameStop Toyota across the finish line a series track-record 2.259 seconds ahead of Scott Wimmer in the No. 29 Holiday Inn Chevrolet.
"It's unbelievable. I've got to thank all the guys here and all the fans. I couldn't think of a better Father's Day gift, that's for sure. I was wondering what I was going to give my dad, I think this will work.
"I didn't think we had the car today. When I unloaded for practice I said, 'shoot, we'll be lucky to get a top five out this deal tonight.' We got it going, got it going and got the pole. It was too tight and Kyle got by us. We freed it up and got by Kyle then he got loose and hit the fence.
"How 'bout this team? It's frickin' amazing," Logano said.
Mike Wallace took third in the No. 7 Geico Toyota, Brad Keselowski posted his second straight top-five finish by taking fourth in the No. 88 Navy Chevrolet and Bryan Clauson closed out the top-five in the No. 40 Fastenal Dodge.
Logano led the race five times for a total of 76 laps including the opening 17. He took the lead for the second time on Lap 54 and the final time on Lap 147. He virtually secured the win on Lap 165 when his nip-and-tuck-battle with teammate Kyle Busch at the front of the field ended with Busch's No. 18 Farm Bureau Insurance Toyota spinning out and making contact with the Turn 2 wall.
Busch, who finished seventh in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Michigan International Speedway earlier this afternoon, ended the race 30th. He was forced to start tonight's event at the rear of the field because back-up Jeremy Clements qualified and practiced the car throughout the day at Kentucky Speedway. Busch led the race four times for a race-high 85 laps and slipped from second to fifth in the series standings.
"It was pretty devastating, pretty frustrating. All these guys hate it, and I hate it for them. It was tough luck, I guess. I think we had a car that was capable of winning. I was behind Joey, seeing if we could pass him late, but I just lost it.
"It was a little tight all night, but we made some adjustments on it, got it a little loose, a bit freed up. Then it started getting tight there and I was just riding along seeing if I could catch Joey and seeing how the race was going to play out," Busch said.
Wimmer snared his second top-five and sixth top-10 finish of the season in his ninth start.
"I thought the racing was great tonight. It's a great racetrack and it's great to see 73,000 people in the stands for a Nationwide Series race.
"The No. 20 has been the class of the Nationwide Series all year long and the No. 18 looked like it was real good tonight. We just need to do our homework. We can beat those guys, we can beat whoever's driving it. We just need to get a little bit better. We took a big step toward that tonight, we just have a little more work to do," Wimmer said.
Wallace moved from ninth to eighth in the standings with his first top-five and sixth top-10 finish of the season. Keselowski moved to second in the series standings following his fifth top-five and eighth top-10 finish of the season while Clauson delivered his first top-five and second top-10 finish in his 11th start of the campaign. He advanced three spots in the standings to 26th.
Clint Bowyer retained the lead in the series standings with a ninth-place finish that marked this 13th top-10 showing of the season. He will hold a 170-point lead over Keselowski when the series resumes action at the Milwaukee Mile June 21.
The Kentucky Speedway season continues July 18 and 19 with visits from the ARCA RE/MAX Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
Roush Fenway racer Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., will shoot for his second 150-mile ARCA RE/MAX Series win of the season at Kentucky Speedway when drivers take the green flag at 8:00 p.m. July 18. The day will also include NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series practice sessions.
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will battle in the "Built Ford Tough 225 Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" July 19. Race time is set for 8:00 p.m. and the full day of activity also will include a 40th Anniversary Tour stop from classic rock band Blood Sweat & Tears.
Race tickets can be reserved online through the "Tickets" pages of this Web site, by phone at 888-652-RACE, by visiting the speedway ticket offices located at 400 Buttermilk Pike, Suite 100, in Ft. Mitchell, Ky., near Montgomery Inn and the Sparta, Ky., Fan Center located off of I-71 Exit 57 and Ky. Hwy. 35 N, and at Meijer stores.
"Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo" Kentucky Speedway Extras:
-Tonight's track-record crowd of 73,195 marks the eighth consecutive NASCAR Nationwide Series sellout at Kentucky Speedway. The eight-year average event attendance at Kentucky Speedway is 71,241.
-Joey Logano was the eighth different race and pole award winner in as many races at the facility. He is the second driver to win a Kentucky Speedway Nationwide Series race from the pole position and the fifth to win in his first series start at the track. Carl Edwards was the first to win a Nationwide Series race at the track from the pole position on June 18, 2005.
-Joey Logano's winning 2.259 second winning margin was the widest in series track history. Stephen Leicht set the previous record with his 2.011 second win last season.
-Joey Logano is the youngest race winner in NASCAR Nationwide Series history, however Kyle Busch is the youngest race winner in Kentucky Speedway history. Busch earned an ARCA RE/MAX Series win at the track at the age of 18 years and eight days on May 10, 2003.
-Scott Wimmer posted his series-best second-place finish at the track and his fourth consecutive top-five finish in Kentucky. He owns four top-five and top-10 finishes in five career series starts at the facility.
Story by Mike Schmaltz
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