Logano gets first Charlotte win and eighth of the season

Joey Logano drove the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota into victory lane at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday night following the Dollar General 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race to celebrate his first-career win at the track.

"I'm glad to get these guys in victory lane one more time," Logano said. "We've still got a few more left."

I should know better than to question Adam Stevens, he's absolutely amazing. He made some great calls.

Joey Logano

Logano's trip to victory lane on Friday may have been his first at Charlotte but it marked his eighth win of the season in only 18 starts, giving him a 2012 Nationwide Series win percentage of 44 percent.

"The key tonight was Joey Logano," crew chief Adam Stevens said. "He never gave up. There's no quit in this guy. We tried some crazy (setup) stuff that didn't work."

Kevin Harvick finished second in the No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, and series points leader Elliott Sadler finished third in the No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet to increase his points lead over the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to 13 points. Stenhouse finished seventh.

"There's still four races left," Stenhouse said. "That's still a lot of time."

Logano led a race-high 62 laps in the 200-lap event and was among the drivers who took two tires, along with a splash of fuel, on a green-flag pit stop in the final 20 laps. The call to take two tires was one Logano questioned at the time.

"I should know better than to question Adam Stevens," Logano said. "He's absolutely amazing. He made some great calls."

Several drivers, including Harvick, Brad Keselowski in the No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge and Kyle Busch in the No. 54 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota took fuel only on their final stops, but Logano was still able to come out on top by the time the final cycle of green-flag stops completed.

Keselowski was forced to give up several positions in the final laps when he was notified over the radio that his crew didn't get the car full of fuel. Despite slowing to save fuel, Keselowski ran out of gas with four laps to go and wound up finishing 18th after running at or near the front for most of the race.

"It was very fast," Keselowski said. "We had a car to win with tonight, but they won't go without gas."

Kevin Harvick
Kevin Harvick

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

Busch finished fourth, and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top-five in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

The race got off to a slow start when the yellow flag waved on lap one and then again on lap 13, just two laps after going back to green from the first lengthy caution for fluids on the race track. In all, the yellow flag waved five times throughout the race.

Logano's win marked the 10th time in the last 11 Nationwide races at Charlotte that a Sprint Cup driver has made his way to victory lane. Sadler, with his third-place finish was the highest-finishing championship-eligible driver. But his night was far from perfect. Sadler lost several positions on pit road during a cycle of green flag stops around lap 54 when a lug nut fell off while changing the right front tire.

The race wasn't exactly smooth sailing for his fellow-championship competitors, either. Stenhouse lost several positions on pit road during a debris caution with 69 laps to go when his crew attempted to repair a damaged spoiler.

Austin Dillon, driver of the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet and the third-place driver in the points standings, suffered his pit road problem earlier in the race. During a caution on lap 82, Dillon took only two tires to get off pit road second. But because of an equipment violation on pit road, he was relegated to the back of the lead lap for the restart. He was able to recover, somewhat, to finish sixth and hold on to his third position in the points standings.

Brian Scott finished eighth in the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, James Buescher was ninth in the No. 30 Turner Motorsports Chevrolet and Michael Annett was 10th in the No. 43 Penske Racing Ford.

Sam Hornish Jr.
Sam Hornish Jr.

Photo by: Getty Images

With his 10th-place race finish, Annett moved into the top-five of the points standings, replacing Justin Allgaier, driver of the No. 31 Turner Motorsports Chevrolet in fifth. Allgaier's race went south after contact with the No. 12 Penske Racing Dodge of Sam Hornish Jr. that brought out the second caution on lap 13.

"I got cleared and apparently I wasn't clear," Hornish said of the incident, going on to explain that it's rare for his spotter to make that kind of mistake.

Ten cars finished on the lead lap. Danica Patrick was the first driver to finish a lap down, falling off the lead lap on the final lap of the race in the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet and finishing 11th.

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Series NASCAR-NS
Article type Race reports
Tags featiured. vincent, gibbs, harvick, logano, nationwide, sadler