Logano continues Gibbs' Nationwide winning streak at California
Fontana, CA (Sports Network) - Joey Logano gave Joe Gibbs Racing its eighth
consecutive Nationwide Series win at Auto Club Speedway by taking Saturday's
Royal Purple 300.
Logano started on the pole and led 92 laps, but had to fend off numerous
challengers for the lead throughout the 300-mile race. He ran in the third
spot for the final restart with 12 laps remaining but quickly drove past
Elliott Sadler and Trevor Bayne to take the top position for good. Logano then
beat defending series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to the finish line by one
second for the win.
"The car was awesome and the class of the field all day," Logano said. "The
restarts were hairy. I was good for a few laps and then I would fall off and
my car would come back."
It was Logano's 10th career Nationwide win, including his second at this two-
mile Southern California racetrack. His first victory here came in October
Logano also became the first Sprint Cup Series regular to win a Nationwide
race this season.
His most recent victory in the series came last July at Daytona.
"It's good to finally be back in victory lane, and it means a lot to win these
things," he added.
JGR's Nationwide win streak at California began with Tony Stewart's victory in
the spring 2008 race. Kyle Busch won five of the next six Nationwide events
here while he drove for Gibbs.
"I'm just really excited for all of our guys, and Joey did a great job today,"
team owner Joe Gibbs said.
Brad Keselowski bounced back from two pit road blunders to finish third.
Keselowski pitted too close to the wall during both stops, which slowed the
progress of his crew tending to the left side of his car.
"It was good racing all day here at California," said Keselowski, who led a
total of 37 laps. "I think the Nationwide cars put on an awesome show here,
the way they draft and get around here. I think this is one of the best races
of the year for the Nationwide Series, and I was glad to be a part of it."
Brian Scott, who is Logano's teammate at JGR, took the fourth spot, while
rookie Austin Dillon completed the top-five.
Brad Sweet, competing in a Nationwide race at California for the first time,
finished sixth, followed by Kenny Wallace, Busch, Sadler, the current points
leader, and Brendan Gaughan. Busch recorded his best Nationwide finish so far
since becoming a driver/owner of the No. 54 car this year.
Danica Patrick retired in the early going when she suffered engine trouble. A
piece of debris went through Patrick's front grille and damaged the radiator.
She ended up finishing 35th.
"I feel like it's been a little bit of a tough start for the [team] this
year," Patrick said. I have to imagine that it's for a better reason and that
it will turn for me at some point, and perhaps it will be a really awesome end
to the season. It's just a shame to keep getting knocked out."
Sadler holds an 18-point lead over Stenhouse, as the series takes the next two
weeks off before racing again on April 13 at Texas.
"It was a great points day and a good momentum going into the two off
weekends," Stenhouse said.
03/24 21:58:33 ET
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