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Nashville Notes: Logano Steamed

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, April 2 2010

Joey Logano has been getting pushed around quite a bit lately and he's not enjoying it. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images)

By Jeff Hood | Senior Writer

Gladeville, Tenn. – The final laps of Nationwide Series races at Auto Club Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway this season weren’t kind to Joey Logano.

The 19-year-old driver was on the receiving end of contact from fellow competitors at the conclusion of each event.

When asked if the 1.33-mile Nashville Superspeedway is too fast for payback, Logano smiled and shrugged his shoulders.

“I don’t know. It seems like I’ve been pushed around a lot lately, which I’m not enjoying a whole bunch,” said Logano, who was turned by Kevin Harvick on the final lap of last month’s Nationwide Series race at Bristol.

“I don’t know if I need to make a statement back. I try to talk and nothing’s happened. But you never know. I race people the way I want to be raced and I race people the same way they race me. That’s the way I’ve always said it. And I’ve got to stick to my word.”

Shell game: Trevor Bayne scored the first victory of the weekend at Nashville Superspeedway Friday morning when he won the Easter egg decorating contest for NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers.

Series director Joe Balash, who served as the judge, chose Bayne’s Mr. Potato Head theme egg over the John Deere tractor with wheels egg crafted by Scott Lagasse Jr. and the fan-theme egg designed by Scott Riggs.

“I was talking to some of my friends this week and they said ‘dude, you’ve got to do Mr. Potato Head,’ Bayne said. “It worked.”

Guitar lovers: Kyle Busch created a stir at this event one season ago by destroying his guitar trophy in victory lane.

Carl Edwards, who has won three Nationwide races in Nashville, said he’s still got one of his winning guitars. The other two were given to close friends.

The lone guitar won by Kevin Harvick is still in his possession.

“I didn’t smash mine, that’s for sure,” Harvick said with a grin. “It sits right in the middle of the trophy case. It’s a pretty prestigious trophy, I think, as far as trophies go.

“You always know where that trophy came from. It’s definitely up on the list. That was one of the most exciting things about the 2006 season, winning the guitar here. Hopefully, we can come out of here with another one this weekend.”

Dashing behavior: Saturday’s 300 mile race is round one of Nationwide’s Dash 4 Cash program, which will pay a $25,000 bonus to an eligible driver if he wins.

All Nationwide Series regulars are eligible. Any Sprint Cup drive must compete in every Nationwide Series event to qualify for the extra payout.

Last year’s prize went unclaimed and rolled over to the inaugural Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway in August. Race winner Brad Keselowski collected a $100,000 bonus from the program.

“To go out there and win a race in front of a new genre of fans that really hadn’t been exposed to racing before, that was pretty cool doing it,” Keselowski said. “It’s something that I hold kind of hold near and dear to my heart. And to win the Nationwide Dash 4 Cash, it was just icing on the cake. It was a great weekend. It’s something I’ll never forget.”

Tornado alley: Last spring’s Nationwide Series visit to Nashville was marred by tornadoes in the area. The track was temporarily shut down on Friday after a tornado touched down in nearby Murfreesboro.

“I remember that there was a lady working security here in the media center and I think it was her son that called and said ‘you may want to come home. All of your clothes are spread out over the front yard and half of your house is gone,’” Justin Allgaier said.

“I remember the lady saying ‘well, I’m kind of busy. I’ll get there whenever I can. Pick up whatever you can find and put it in a box.’ And I can just remember thinking ‘wow, here we are enjoying doing what we’re doing.’ To hear somebody that has that kind of story really puts it into perspective for me.

“We didn’t run very well anyway, so that made it worse. But I think that the one thing that really stuck out in my mind was listening to that story and realizing just how lucky we are doing what we’re doing.”

Thinking green: The forecast of Saturday morning showers has drivers concerned about rubber from Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event being washed off the concrete oval.

“I don’t remember this place being that bad with the temperature,” Logano said. “But I know if it rains and it washes a lot of rubber away, we’re going to struggle with the amount of tires we have, I think.

“This place really grinds them down when it’s green. I can go back to when we used to test here and the track was green, you’d go out and make a 15 lap run and you’re on cords. Once you got going and rubbered it up a little bit, you’re good for a long time. Hopefully it doesn’t rain too much.”

– Jeff Hood can be reached at jhood@racintoday.com

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, April 2 2010
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