Logano Rallies Back from Cut Tire to Finish 14th at Dover; GameStop Driver Makes Up Two Laps En Route to 10th Top-15 of 2008 Joey Logano overcame a cut left-rear tire and made up two laps to finish a solid 14th in Saturday's Camping World RV...
Logano Rallies Back from Cut Tire to Finish 14th at Dover; GameStop Driver Makes Up Two Laps En Route to 10th Top-15 of 2008
Joey Logano overcame a cut left-rear tire and made up two laps to finish a solid 14th in Saturday's Camping World RV Sales 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.
Logano, driver of the No. 20 GameStop Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), started ninth and was running 10th on lap 121 of the 207-lap race (extended seven laps due to a green-white-checkered finish), when he made contact with the car of David Reutimann, causing the left-rear tire of Logano's car to deflate, which force him to pit lane for an unscheduled pit stop.
Due to pitting under green, Logano returned to the track in 26th-place, two laps down and out of contention for victory lane.
"We were running top-10 and came off the corner and got crowded up in the fence by the 99 (David Reutimann)," Logano said. "It's a racing deal. I'm not going to blame anybody for anything -- it's just a racing deal. Running a little bit too hard probably. That cut down our left-rear tire so we had to make a green flag stop, get our tire changed and we were two laps down from there. I just tried to make it up from there."
And he made up a lot of it. The 18-year-old phenom never gave up and managed to gain one lap back and move into the top-20 by lap 166. When a caution came out on lap 190, Logano was the first car one lap down and was awarded the "lucky dog," which allowed him to make up his lap and rejoin the lead-lap cars.
From there, he moved from 20th to 14th throughout the final 14 laps, despite making contact with Reutimann again in turn three on the final lap.
"We got our laps back and tried to get some more there at the end, but then contact was made again by the 99," Logano said. "I don't know what was going on. He got caught up with the 38 (Jason Leffler) going into the corner there. I don't know if he didn't know I was there or what the deal was, but it didn't really matter anyway. It is what it is at that point. We were just trying to get everything we can get -- hard racing at the end of the race. The good thing is that we didn't lose a bunch of (owner) points to the 2 (Richard Childress Racing), but the bad thing is we could've gained a lot of points on the 2."
Logano's 14th-place effort kept the No. 20 car first in the Nationwide Series owner standings after 29 of 35 races, with a 65-point lead over the team's nearest pursuer -- the No. 2 entry of Richard Childress Racing.
Last year during the September race weekend in Dover, a 17-year-old Logano celebrated his NASCAR Camping World Series East championship. By simply starting the season finale at Dover, Logano clinched the title, and in doing so, became the series' first rookie champion since the inception of the division in 1989.
Now, the Middletown, Conn., native, who had to wait until after his 18th birthday to make his first Nationwide Series start, which came at Dover in June, is running the rest of the Nationwide Series schedule this year along with seven NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. It's all in preparation for a double-stacked campaign in 2009 of running the full Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup schedules.
Logano's JGR teammate, Kyle Busch, dominated the Camping World RV Sales 200 by winning the pole and leading three times for a race-high 157 laps. It was Busch's series-leading eighth win of the season and his first Nationwide Series win at Dover. The victory also gave Busch a win in each series at Dover, as he came into the Camping World RV Sales 200 having won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race earlier this year in June and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race in June 2005.