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Logano Bumps Way To Victory At Pocono

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, June 10 2012

Joey Logano had the fastest car and then the victory at Pocono on Sunday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Christa L Thomas)

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
RacinToday.com

Pole-sitter Joey Logano took the lead with just under four laps to go and went on to win the Pocono 400 Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway on Sunday afternoon.

The victory was the first of the year and the second of the Joe Gibbs Racing driver’s career. It came in his 125th Cup start. Logano won it with power as he led a race-best 48 laps Sunday.

Logano’s other Cup victory came in a rain-shortened race in 2009 at New Hampshire. He’s had to hear all about his lack of success ever since.

“I tell you what, it just means a lot for this whole team,” Logano said. “Jason Ratcliff (crew chief) to get his first Cup win for him, man, it means so much. You don’t understand. Man, it’s just cool.”

Part time driver Mark Martin finished second in a Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota.

Tony Stewart of Stewart-Haas Racing was third while Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports was fourth.

Fifth was Logano’s teammate, Denny Hamlin.

Rounding out the top 10 were Clint Bowyer, Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Paul Menard and Jamie

Joey Logano's victory at Pocono was the second of his Cup career: The first not aided by rain. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Alan Marler)

McMurray.

Kenseth – who started the day one point behind Roush Fenway Racing teammate Greg Biffle – took over the points lead with his finish.

“It’s better than being second,” Kenseth said, “but I’m just kind of disappointed right now because I thought we had a shot to win under the right circumstances. Us and the 88 were pretty strong when we were out front and it just didn’t happen. I couldn’t go on restarts. I thought I was getting a good roll at them, but they would just kind of drive by me. That’s frustrating. We’ll keep working on it, but I’m happy we got a decent finish and took over the point lead.”

Biffle was 24th after experiencing an engine problem early in the race.

“It’s unfortunate,” he said. “We’ve been on the edge with these engines all year and it’s just such a fine line with oil temperature, and you come here shifting and it just didn’t make it. It’s unfortunate. It’s a good thing we just lost a cylinder and could make it to the finish.”

To get the lead for the final time, Logano bumped Martin – who  took the lead away from Logano on a restart with eight laps to go – out of the way after Martin’s car slightly wiggled.

“Yeah,” Logano said, “I saw the bobble coming off of (Turn) 3 and it’s my chance. It’s so hard to pass. Had about one shot to get him and to really get it back. I was going to be on suicide watch if I gave it away like that. But, man, it was awesome to get it back.

“I didn’t want to get in the back of Mark there, but he was kind of running in with speed and he was getting free and I just kind of stayed right there.”

Martin, who helped “discover” Logano, held no hard feelings about the bump.

“We were racing hard man,” Martin said. “I wanted to win it so bad. I’m so thankful that I have a chance to bid for a win. I wanted it really bad. Believe it or not, I fought for it tooth and nail.”

RACE RESULTS

1. (1) Joey Logano, Toyota, 160, $226,725.

2. (6) Mark Martin, Toyota, 160, $153,535.

3. (22) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 160, $181,610.

4. (24) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 160, $159,346.

5. (5) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 160, $143,676.

6. (16) Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 160, $122,849.

7. (14) Matt Kenseth, Ford, 160, $135,646.

8. (8) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 160, $93,260.

9. (3) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 160, $92,810.

10. (11) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 160, $114,468.

11. (2) Carl Edwards, Ford, 160, $123,326.

12. (18) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 160, $119,243.

13. (9) Marcos Ambrose, Ford, 160, $105,868.

14. (21) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 160, $122,121.

15. (20) Jeff Burton, Chevrolet, 160, $115,235.

16. (7) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 160, $101,393.

17. (17) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 160, $104,826.

18. (31) Brad Keselowski, Dodge, 160, $108,930.

19. (12) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 160, $118,521.

20. (23) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 160, $102,449.

21. (25) David Reutimann, Chevrolet, 160, $97,868.

22. (27) Bobby Labonte, Toyota, 160, $95,518.

23. (36) David Gilliland, Ford, 160, $84,668.

24. (13) Greg Biffle, Ford, 160, $80,785.

25. (42) Dave Blaney, Chevrolet, 159, $72,985.

26. (37) Travis Kvapil, Toyota, 159, $89,757.

27. (34) David Ragan, Ford, 159, $71,935.

28. (29) Aric Almirola, Ford, 158, $108,721.

29. (10) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, Accident, 139, $79,135.

30. (4) Kyle Busch, Toyota, Engine, 76, $117,193.

31. (19) AJ Allmendinger, Dodge, Accident, 64, $112,910.

32. (40) Tony Raines, Chevrolet, Accident, 47, $68,160.

33. (43) Stephen Leicht, Chevrolet, Brakes, 39, $75,960.

34. (30) Michael McDowell, Ford, Rear Gear, 37, $67,760.

35. (26) Casey Mears, Ford, Brakes, 36, $67,610.

36. (32) JJ Yeley, Toyota, Accident, 33, $67,385.

37. (33) Joe Nemechek, Toyota, Brakes, 30, $67,205.

38. (28) Mike Bliss, Toyota, Brakes, 26, $67,053.

39. (39) Stacy Compton, Chevrolet, Transmission, 24, $64,225.

40. (38) Scott Riggs, Chevrolet, Overheating, 19, $64,075.

41. (41) Reed Sorenson, Ford, Accident, 12, $71,925.

42. (35) Josh Wise, Ford, Brakes, 12, $63,765.

43. (15) Landon Cassill, Toyota, Accident, 1, $90,493.

RACE STATISTICS

Average Speed of Race Winner: 131.004 mph.

Time of Race: 3 Hrs, 03 Mins, 12 Secs.

Margin of Victory: 0.997 Seconds.

Caution Flags: 7 for 35 laps.

Lead Changes: 19 among 10 drivers.

Lap Leaders: J. Logano 1-16; J. McMurray 17-22; D. Hamlin 23-31; J. McMurray 32; D. Earnhardt Jr. 33-43; M. Kenseth 44; G. Biffle 45-46; D. Ragan 47; D. Hamlin 48-59; D. Earnhardt Jr. 60-67; J. McMurray 68-74; G. Biffle 75-91; M. Kenseth 92-101; J. Logano 102-103; J. Montoya 104-106; D. Gilliland 107-108; D. Earnhardt Jr. 109-125; J. Logano 126-152; M. Martin 153-156; J. Logano 157-160.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): J. Logano 4 times for 49 laps; D. Earnhardt Jr. 3 times for 36 laps; D. Hamlin 2 times for 21 laps; G. Biffle 2 times for 19 laps; J. McMurray 3 times for 14 laps; M. Kenseth 2 times for 11 laps; M. Martin 1 time for 4 laps; J. Montoya 1 time for 3 laps; D. Gilliland 1 time for 2 laps; D. Ragan 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 12 in Points: M. Kenseth – 523; D. Earnhardt Jr. – 513; G. Biffle – 507; D. Hamlin – 504; J. Johnson – 493; K. Harvick – 470; M. Truex Jr. – 465; T. Stewart – 448; C. Bowyer – 443; B. Keselowski – 426; C. Edwards – 423; Kyle Busch – 420.

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, June 10 2012
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