NNS: Logano continues Gibbs Racing winning streak at Auto Club Speedway

March 24, 2012 No Comments

Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for NASCAR

The last time any team, besides Joe Gibbs Racing won a Nationwide series race at Auto Club Speedway was five years ago, Saturday that streak continued.

Joey Logano won the Royal Purple 300 from Auto Club Speedway. He held off hard charges from Keselowski and a late race caution to capture his tenth career victory in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

“Adam Stevens gave me a great car,” Logano said to ESPN pit reporters in victory lane. “It was the class of the field all day.”

Logano’s car had earlier in the day showed that it was the car to beat, when during qualifying Logano out qualified every car in the field and started on the pole position. The first 26 laps of the race, Logano was able to hold off the rest of the field as he led them through the first green flag run.

Right before the first green flag pit stops of the day, Brad Keselowski was able to get passed Logano to take away the lead.

When the first caution flag wove for debris on the backstretch, Logano was able to use his pit stall to regain the advantage on the field and he went on to lead a majority of the middle of the race.

“[The field] had plenty of shots at me all day, the restarts were hairy,” Logano said. “Man that was awesome,[I] had a lot of fun today too.”

During the middle part of the race, Logano held off challenges from Elliott Sadler, Justin Allgaier and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to stay in, or near the lead.

After the third of four cautions came out, Logano found himself battling the winner of the last four Nationwide Series races at Auto Club Speedway for the lead, as Kyle Busch, who had made his way from the back, battled Logano for the lead. Logano and his Gibbs Toyota continued to find the lead late though.

“I knew we were going to race each other hard,” Logano said about racing Busch. “We’re still teammates on Sunday.”

Busch would have a bad pit stop on the last stop and finish eighth.

“This was a very even race today,” said Adam Stevens, Logano’s crew chief.  “It really put it into the drivers hands, who could get the most  out of their car.”

A late race spin, by Blake Koch, made for a mix of pit strategy on the races final pit stop. Logano and crew choose to take two tires and were shuffled back in the starting lineup.

However, by the time the field got back to the start/finish line after the restart, Logano had re-taken the lead and started to drive away from the field.

With four and five-wide racing behind him, Logano became the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver to win in the Nationwide Series in 2012, and it was also the first Nationwide series victory for Joe Gibbs this season.

Rounding out the top five were Stenhouse in second, Keselowski in third, Brian Scott in fourth and Austin Dillon in fifth.

Points leader Elliott Sadler recorded his fifth top-ten of the season with a ninth place finish, he still holds the points lead.

The next race for the Nationwide Series will be in Texas in two weeks on April 13.

Race Results:

  1. Joey Logano
  2. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  3. Brad Keselowski
  4. Brian Scott
  5. Austin Dillon
  6. Brad Sweet
  7. Kenny Wallace
  8. Kyle Busch
  9. Elliott Sadler
  10. Brendan Gaughan
  11. Michael Annett
  12. James Buescher
  13. Sam Hornish Jr.
  14. Trevor Bayne
  15. Jason Bowles
  16. Tayler Malsam
  17. Mike Bliss
  18. Mike Wallace
  19. Joe Nemechek
  20. Jeremy Clements
  21. Robert Richardson Jr.
  22. Benny Gordon
  23. Joey Gase
  24. Erik Darnell
  25. Blake Koch
  26. Eric McClure
  27. T.J. Bell
  28. Daryl Harr
  29. Tim Schendel
  30. Cole Whitt
  31. David Green
  32. Justin Allgaier
  33. Kevin Lepage
  34. Morgan Shepherd
  35. Danica Patrick
  36. Tim Andrews
  37. Scott Riggs
  38. Chase Miller
  39. Josh Wise
  40. Mike Harmon
  41. Scott Speed
  42. John Jackson
  43. Jeff Green
Tags: , , , , , , , , Coverage

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.