Logano Finishes Fifth After Dominating at Fontana; Leads 130 Laps From the Pole, But Roughed-Up on Final Restart Joey Logano and the No. 20 GameStop Toyota dominated Saturday's Stater Brothers 300 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.,...
Logano Finishes Fifth After Dominating at Fontana; Leads 130 Laps From the Pole, But Roughed-Up on Final Restart
Joey Logano and the No. 20 GameStop Toyota dominated Saturday's Stater Brothers 300 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., leading 130 (of 152) laps after starting from the pole position. It was a sparkling and near-perfect ride for the first 150 laps, as Logano led with apparent ease, assisted by very fast pit work by the Joe Gibbs Racing crew. However, on the final restart on lap 150, Logano led the field into turn one until being pushed up the track by Greg Biffle, sliding Logano back to fourth place. While fighting to the finish line, Logano spun through the infield grass and was credited with a fifth-place finish. The contact with Biffle is a repeat from the fall race at Fontana in 2009, when Logano came back to win after being pushed into the wall by Biffle. Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch took the victory, passing Biffle in the final mile. Brad Keselowski finished third.
Joey Logano: Regarding the contact on the final restart: "I got hit. I don't know-- We had an awesome race car that should have won the race. The 27 (Biffle) decided to hit us again. I don't know what his deal is with me, but for some reason in California he feels like putting me in the fence or hitting me towards the end. I know we were racing hard there at the end, but-- I don't know. I think he could have done it a little cleaner than that. Oh well. It was a good run for the GameStop Toyota. Obviously we were the dominant car. I should have won it. It's tough after leading that many laps and you don't get a victory out of it."
Race Recap: Logano grabbed his eighth career Nationwide Series pole position in 43 starts in the No. 20 GameStop Toyota, which this week carried the bright colors of the Mario Kart for Wii video game. It was his second consecutive pole position at Auto Club Speedway. The domination began at the drop of the green flag as Logano took the lead into the first corner, and surrendered it for only three laps in the first 79 circuits. With brisk pit work, Logano stayed in the front until a pit stop on lap 88 dropped him to ninth place when others chose not to pit. At the restart, it took Logano only nine laps to retake the lead on lap 100. At each subsequent restart, Logano would pull away from the field and was leading by more than two seconds when a spin on lap 144 brought out the final yellow flag of the race. On the final restart, Biffle was lined-up immediately behind Logano, and leveraged his way inside of the GameStop machine in turn one, sending the Mario Kart-clad Toyota up the racetrack.
What's Next: Joey and the GameStop car will be on-track again at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway for the Scott's Turf Builder 300.