USAR: Mansfield: Joey Logano race report

Joey Logano Makes History - Wins Hooters Pro Cup Race at Age 15 Youngster Wins at Mansfield (OH) In Just His Second-Career Start MOORESVILLE, NC (June 13, 2005) -- Most victories racecar drivers celebrate in Victory Lane with a swig of ...

Joey Logano Makes History - Wins Hooters Pro Cup Race at Age 15
Youngster Wins at Mansfield (OH) In Just His Second-Career Start

MOORESVILLE, NC (June 13, 2005) -- Most victories racecar drivers celebrate in Victory Lane with a swig of Champaign or their favorite alcoholic beverage. Well, that wasn't an option for 15-year-old Joey Logano Saturday night. He wasn't even be able to drive himself back to the hotel following his victory at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway (OH).

Logano made USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series history in a big way on Saturday night in the Northern Division's Mansfield 250 presented by Hooters Air. Logano, just weeks after becoming eligible to run with the Pro Cup Series by celebrating his 15th birthday, became the youngest winner to win in the prestigious series by taking the checkers in just his second-career Pro Cup Series start.

Logano took the lead on lap 230 and held off one of the series biggest and most intimidating veterans, Mardy Lindley, during a green-white-checkered finish to grab the victory, one that Logano easily penned as the biggest of his career.

The win put Logano in the history books ahead of current NASCAR Nextel Cup star Brian Vickers, who was the series' youngest winner before Saturday night when he won a race at the age of 16 in 2000.

"This is awesome," said Logano. "It is the biggest win of my life for sure. I really didn't plan on winning this soon. I thought we might be able to win a race this year sometime, but I never thought it would be in the second race that I ever ran.

"After the race, I didn't know what to do. It was a lot of fun. I never won a race that big, you know, a 250-lap race in a series that's so recognizable. It was awesome. It was cool to do this in just the second start. I just wish there was a two-week gap like after my last race so I could enjoy the win even more."

Logano looked more like a veteran than just a kid at the half-mile track on Saturday night. The youngster kept his #51 Logano Motorsports Ford in one piece on a night when the caution flag waved like mad. Logano positioned himself near the front of the field near the end of the night after adjustments by his team. Then he was in the right spot at the right time to grab the lead on lap 230 when two other drivers tangled.

Logano eventually pulled out to a comfortable lead before a late caution resulted in a green-white-checkered finish.

"We weren't as fast as we were at Jennerstown, but we were still pretty good," added Logano. "We qualified sixth, but we weren't really good at the beginning of the race. We made an adjustment and the car got a lot faster near the end. We were pretty good on the long runs. Unfortunately, we had a lot of cautions there at the end, but we were able to hold them off.

"I was bummed out when I saw the caution come out coming to the white flag. I was like 'no, don't happen now.' I had a decent lead before that. I knew I wasn't great on the short runs, but we got a good start. Mardy was trying to drive hard and I saw him get sideways in my rearview mirror and I got a four-or five-car length lead there until the end."

With a veteran like Mardy Lindley in his rearview mirror, Logano spent plenty of the last two laps looking in the rearview mirror.

"I was probably looking more in my mirror than I was in front of me. We were still running quick times though. Everyone was running quick times at the end. Tires didn't make a big difference. Passing was hard, so you just had to be in the right spot at the right time. We had a really fast car. We were in the right place at the right time and it all worked out well."

After the race, Logano got a special call in Victory Lane from mentor and NASCAR Nextel Cup Series legend Mark Martin.

"He just said good job and a couple of things.  He was happy that we did
that good so early.  That was cool."

Now, after all the other records Logano has, he owns the one he really wanted.

"Last week, I read that that Brian Vickers had the record [of being the youngest Pro Cup winner], and I really wanted to break it," said Logano. "I was looking at a program and was looking at all of the records. It said the youngest winner was 16 and I said that I wanted to beat that. It is pretty cool to be able to do it."

Logano will have little time to celebrate. The Hooters Pro Cup Series is right back at it this coming Saturday, when the Northern Division visits Lake Erie Speedway.

"We have a fast car. We have been fast everywhere we have tested at. I think we can win more races and do just as good other places."

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About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Brian Vickers , Joey Logano , Mark Martin