Milwaukee: Joey Logano race report

Logano Finishes Second at The Milwaukee Mile Eighteen-year-old Joey Logano proved once again why he is one of the most notable up-and-coming drivers in NASCAR by leading 35 laps and finishing second in Saturday night's Camping World RV Rental...

Logano Finishes Second at The Milwaukee Mile

Eighteen-year-old Joey Logano proved once again why he is one of the most notable up-and-coming drivers in NASCAR by leading 35 laps and finishing second in Saturday night's Camping World RV Rental 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at The Milwaukee Mile. The driver of the No. 20 GameStop/Ninja Gaiden II Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing was a top-10 mainstay throughout the 250-lap race around the 1-mile oval, and after only four career Nationwide Series starts, he has led a total of 175 laps.

"We started off and my car wasn't where it needed to be," said Logano, who last week at Kentucky Speedway became the youngest winner in Nationwide Series history at 18 years, 21 days. "We were way off, we kept going backward. But the GameStop team kept working on it and never gave up. We finally got the car where it needed to be and we were running down the leaders pretty fast on the longer hauls.

"But then a caution would come out and we'd get new tires. I just wasn't good on new tires all night. It took me five to 10 laps for the car to come in on them. I lost positions on the restarts and you can't afford to do that. It's hard to come back from that. We were just too tight at the end to catch Carl (Edwards). I don't think we adjusted to the race track enough. I think the track got a lot tighter over the course of the race. But, overall, from where we started today to where we ended was a big plus."

In his march to the lead, Logano was racing Brad Keselowski for the top spot when they made contact, but Logano was able to hold on and take the lead on lap 172.

"The contact was definitely my fault," Logano said. "We were racing hard for the lead and I felt my car was good enough to get up there. I was a little bit loose on the front side of a run. We were both driving it really hard. I just overdrove it into the corner, got loose and had to chase it up the track. Unfortunately, Brad and I made contact and he had some damage."

Logano's No. 20 GameStop/Ninja Gaiden II Toyota was hindered by brake and handling issues for much of the night, but he hung tough and drove to his second straight top-two finish.

"My brakes were pulsating most of the night," Logano said. "It was really bad at the beginning of the night. It was rattling my teeth. For some reason, it kind of went away at the end of the night. They were still pulsating, but nowhere near as bad as it was at the beginning of the race.

"My car was also really loose getting in, and when I needed to cut, it was really, really tight. I was also really loose off the corners. I told Dave (Rogers, crew chief) when we would come in for pit stops that we were going to have to do some serious work to this thing to get it even close to where it needed to be. The car kind of went back and forth tonight. We went to the front a little bit, went back a little bit and then back to the front. It was an adventure."

As the final laps of the race counted down, several caution periods give Logano an opportunity to overtake race leader Edwards. Handling issues would again derail any forward progress, with Logano taking the checkered flag 1.589 seconds behind Edwards, who scored his 14th career Nationwide Series victory.

"When I was behind him, it looked like he was loose," said Logano of Edwards. "As soon as you put a heat cycle in these tires, the cars get a lot tighter. I think it probably played into his hands and played against me a bit. I was already tight, but it made me even tighter. He was loose and it probably made him better. I think that was the biggest thing in the end. I was catching him, but I think that last heat cycle got us."

Logano's second-place finish at The Milwaukee Mile brings his career stats in the Nationwide Series to one win, two top-fives, three top-10s and two poles in only four series starts.

The Middletown, Conn., native is no stranger to the historic 1-mile oval, as he tested a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car there numerous times in 2007. He also competed at the facility with the American Speed Association (ASA) series as a 14-year old.

"We didn't get the win like we wanted to tonight," said Logano, who will return to the seat of No. 20 GameStop Toyota July 19 in the Nationwide Series race at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill. "But we had a pretty good race considering how much we fought the car. I'm looking forward to getting back in the car at Gateway for my fifth Nationwide race of the year."

Logano's second-place effort kept the No. 20 car first in the Nationwide Series owner standings, extending its lead to 121 points ahead of the No. 2 entry of Richard Childress Racing after 17 of 35 races on the Nationwide Series schedule.

There were nine caution periods for 34 laps, with 13 drivers failing to finish the 250-lap race.

-credit: jgr

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Drivers Brad Keselowski , Joey Logano
Teams Richard Childress Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing