Joey Logano picks up his first road course victory in NASCAR.
Joey Logano was so good Saturday, he couldn’t even beat himself.
And he did a good job trying.
Logano, who started from the pole, had a dominating car but a mishap on pit road early in the race sent him to the back of the field.
It did little to slow him down as he drove through the field, as he reclaimed the lead from his Team Penske teammate Brad Keselowski and then held him off for the victory in Saturday’s Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.
The win is Logano’s fourth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this season in just eight starts and the 25th of his career.
“I was a little nervous about it, obviously,” Logano said of the penalty for removing pit equipment that sent him to the rear of the field. “When you start in the back at a road course, he likelihood of getting in a crash goes way up.
“We were able to pick our way through about as patient as I know how to be – which isn’t very patient. We worked out way back to the lead and got to race with Brad for the win.”
Logano’s patience may have won the day but several other drivers ran out of it during the race.
Regan Smith, who was involved in three on-track incidents during the race, angrily confronted driver Ty Dillon on pit road after the race just as Dillon had completed an interview with Motor Racing Network.
No punches were thrown and no one was injured.
“I hate what happened there, I was getting greedy on a couple restarts. It’s totally my fault,” Dillon said before the confrontation with Smith. “Those guys have a right to be upset. It’s just part of it.”
While leaving the pit road area, Smith was still incensed.
“I may have lost the championship today but he sure as hell did, too. There is zero chance that No. 3 car wins the championship and I’m going to make sure of it,” he said.
Told Dillon took blame for the incident, Smith was unmoved.
“Of course he did, he came out of all of them unscathed. I’d take responsibility as well if I knew the other car was back in 30th place and out of the way,” he said. “You don’t have to worry about it when you do that.”
Series points leader Chris Buescher finished third and holds a 24-point lead over both Chase Elliott and Dillon. Smith, now 57 points behind Buescher, finished 20th in the race after the incident.