Newton, Iowa - Kevin Harvick is already a NASCAR Nextel Cup Series star. Chances are Joey Logano will be one someday. Especially if the 16-year-old continues on his current torrid pace. Logano won his third Grand National Division race in four...
Newton, Iowa - Kevin Harvick is already a NASCAR Nextel Cup Series star.
Chances are Joey Logano will be one someday.
Especially if the 16-year-old continues on his current torrid pace. Logano won his third Grand National Division race in four career starts in Sunday's Featherlite Coaches 200. And his latest win came over runner-up Kevin Harvick by nearly two and a half seconds - a day after Harvick won the NEXTEL Cup All-Star Challenge and three months after he won the Daytona 500.
"After he won last night, to beat him today is pretty cool," Logano said. "He just won a million bucks ... (to beat him is) as cool as it gets in my book."
The first NASCAR sanctioned event at Iowa Speedway drew a facility-record estimated crowd of 24,741. It was also one of the largest stand-alone crowds in NASCAR Grand National Division history.
The race was the second in three days in which the NASCAR Grand National Divisions - the West Series and the Busch East Series - ran together. But Logano, a development driver for Joe Gibbs Racing, and Harvick, the 1998 West Series champion, nearly turned into a two-man show.
The two swapped the lead 15 times, with Logano moving into first for the final time following on a lap 194 restart.
"I got a good start," Logano said. "We went down into (turn) 1 and I said, 'Here we go, checker or wrecker.' I drove it in there, I heard him on and off the gas, I was on and off the gas, we were both sideways ..."
Harvick said he was unable to mount a challenge in the closing laps because of engine problems.
"We were in trouble (early)," said Harvick. "The motor was on seven cylinders there and I think it's a huge credit to the race track because I could overdrive my car into the corner ... not use the brake, and use the banking to still race."
Jesus Hernandez, a development driver for Ginn Racing and a member of the Drive for Diversity program, finished third.
"I really tried to be patient and save the tires," said Hernandez, who qualified 23rd. "We were doing a good job until we got involved with someone and almost lost a lap.
"There at the end, the last couple of restarts, I knew whatever we had, we had to lay it down."
West Series drivers Johnny Borneman and Mike Duncan were fourth and fifth respectively. Justin Lofton, Brett Thompson, Jeff Anton, Eric Richardson and Tim McCreadie rounded out the top 10.
Sean Caisse, who won Friday night's combination race at Elko (Minn.) Speedway, had cut a tire twice and wound up 37th. Bryon Chew, second at Elko, had clutch problems and finished 39th.
In a reversal of Friday's race, in which the Busch East took 12 of the top 14 spots, the West Series had the upper hand Sunday. Eight of the top 11 finishers at Iowa were from the West Series, led by Harvick.
It was Harvick's first West Series race since January of 2005, when he ran at Phoenix International Raceway.
Harvick qualified on the pole Sunday at 23.547 seconds (133.775 mph), and Logano qualified second at 23.586 (133.554).
Harvick led the first 38 laps before Logano overtook him for the first time. By lap 166, the pair had traded the lead 12 times.
"We had a great race with Logano there," Harvick said. "It was a lot of fun to race here and come back to the Grand National Division and see all the great competition."
The two pitted following a caution on lap 97. Harvick came out 21st and Logano 23rd. Harvick made his way back through the field quicker than Logano, jumping from 12th to sixth on lap 114 and taking the lead on 136. Logano made a pair of three-wide pass to close ground and reached Harvick on lap 146.
"I really didn't want to put it three-wide, but you kind of had to," said Logano, who lost a chance for the win at Elko when he spun in the closing laps while battling for second. "I tried to be a little more patient and stay out of a wreck."
In the closing laps Sunday, Harvick made one bold move by splitting two lapped cars. Logano quickly followed.
"I saw him do that and I was like, 'Wow, okay,' " Logano said. "He went through there ... the hole was still open, I was like, 'I guess I have to stick it in there and go for it.' I did and thank God I didn't junk it."
Drivers received points, though, based on their finish in relation to the other drivers in their series. Fifty-three cars practiced Sunday morning for the 42-car field.