Nationwide at Dover: It's all Logano
DOVER, Del. (AP)
His chase for a Cup championship all but over, Joey Logano turned his pursuit toward Dover history.
Logano dominated at Dover International Speedway once more and took the checkered flag in the track's Nationwide Series race for the fourth straight time. Logano became the first driver to win four straight races at Dover in NASCAR's second-tier series.
He pulled away in the No. 22 Ford down the stretch Saturday and was never seriously challenged for the win on the mile track.
"It's been my favorite race track ever since I started here," he said.
With good reason. Logano has swept the two Dover races the last two seasons.
Logano's Ford, however, flunked post-race inspection because both sides off the front were too low. NASCAR will announce penalties later.
Logano, who started on the pole and led 106 laps, won for the third time this season. Four drivers have won 11 times in the No. 22 Ford, all with crew chief Jeremy Bullins. Brad Keselowski, AJ Allmendinger and Ryan Blaney have all won in the No. 22.
"There were a lot of streaks to be kept alive today and we managed to pull that off," Bullins said.
Kyle Larson was second, followed by Kevin Harvick, Brian Vickers and Elliott Sadler.
Sam Hornish Jr. was 17th and had his points lead shrink to four over Austin Dillon with five races left
"If we could have lived up to our potential today, I would feel a lot better about it," Hornish said. "We go to some tracks that I really like. There's not a place that I don't like that we're going to go, so I'm really excited about what we've got."
For all his Saturday success, Logano has yet to transfer those regular wins to the Sprint Cup series. He has had only one top-five finish in nine career Cup starts at Dover.
He blamed a string of bad luck that derailed his Dover Cup races.
"I've had a lot of fast race cars here there were capable of running top fives," he said. "I've had loose wheels, I've had a flat tire, I've had motors blowing up. I've gone through a lot at this race track."
Logano made the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship field in his first season at Penske Racing, though it came with a dash of controversy because of the Richmond scandal. His team was placed on probation after radio traffic appeared to show Front Row Racing's crew chief and spotter talking about David Gilliland giving Logano a pivotal spot on the track in exchange for something unidentified from Penske Racing.
He blew an engine in the first Chase race and finished 37th. He was 14th last week at New Hampshire and is buried in 12th in the standings.
"We're not out of it yet," Logano said. "We can still win it. We've got a tough road ahead of us. We really can't have a bad race in the next eight."
Logano would find some solace in helping Roger Penske win the Nationwide owners championship.
"I would love to be on the list of guys to help him do that," Logano said.
Cup drivers led the way at Dover, but Larson again showed why he could be a force in years to come.
Owner Chip Ganassi will promote the 21-year-old Larson to the Cup Series in his flagship No. 42 Chevrolet. Larson is among a new wave of young drivers considered to be the future of NASCAR.
He had a few hundred reasons to feel good about his Dover trip. Larson was legal to gamble in the track's adjacent casino and won more than $600 dollars on Friday night.
NASCAR said an unidentified crew member on Morgan Shepherd's team was hospitalized after the race.