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Logano Wins, Sadler Fades at PIR

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, November 10 2012

Joey Logano got the Nationwide victory in Arizona on Saturday. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Erik J. Perel)

Joey Logano got his ninth victory of the season Saturday as he dominated the Great Clips 200 Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Raceway.

Logano out-fought new Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Brian Vickers over the final laps to get his first at PIR.

“To finally win at Phoenix is awesome,” Logano said. “I feel like I’ve been close here over the years so to finally win a race here was big. Plus, winning from the pole was huge. We were able to wrap up the awards for most wins and most poles in the season and took over the lead of the most laps led this year. Also, we were able to extend the points lead in the Owner’s Championship. That is huge and that is really important for JGR and this No. 18 team. That is a goal of our and getting a chance to extend the points lead gives us a little bit of cushion heading into next week. We still need to go out there and do our thing though next week. We need to be on our game.”

Elliott Sadler, meanwhile, may have lost his bid for the championship when he wrecked to force a green/white/checkered-flag finish.

Defending NNS champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ran third and opened his lead in the series standings to 20 points over Sadler, whose late crash led to a 22nd-place finish.

Stenhouse can lock up his second straight title with a finish of 16th or better at Homestead, 17th if he leads a lap and 18th if he leads the most laps.

“We’ve got to keep doing what we’re doing,” Stenhouse said. “We’ve given up 20 points in one race, so it’s not even close to over… It’s going to be tough, because obviously I’m going to have to not push the limits as much as I like. I like going for race wins, too, so it’s going to be a fine balance there.”

Coming to the white flag in 12th position Saturday, Sadler tangled with the Chevrolet of Cole Whitt, backed into the outside wall and turned sideways into the path of Richard Childress Racing teammate Brendan Gaughan.

The blow from Gaughan’s Chevy tore the nose off Sadler’s car. NASCAR red-flagged the race, and Sadler sat in his crippled car, after driving away from the accident scene. Sadler lost a lap in the pits while his car was repaired and rolled across the finish line at half speed.

“I did it to myself,” Sadler said. “I put my team in a hole, qualifying like I did. We tried to work on this car as much as we could, and I just got a little loose there, getting under the 88 (Whitt).

“I just wanted to say, ‘My fault.’ I should have done a better job for these guys. I just apologized to them for putting them in this position heading to Homestead (site of next Saturday’s season finale). We’re going to go there and fight, but I definitely dug ourselves a hole.”

Sadler started from the rear in a backup car after slapping the wall during qualifying. From the drop of the green flag, he worked his way toward the front, climbing to the 18th position before John Blankenship’s spin on Lap 32 brought out the second caution.

After a two-tire call on Lap 71, under the third yellow for Blankenship’s second spin, Sadler restarted eighth. When Paulie Harraka looped his car in Turn 4 on Lap 89, NASCAR called the fifth caution. Sadler stayed out and restarted fourth — and quickly gave back almost everything he had gained to that point.

Sadler went wide into the marbles on the restart on Lap 95 and nearly lost control of the No. 2 Chevrolet. By the time he had regained his momentum, Sadler was 15th and running behind Stenhouse, who had pitted for fuel and tires.

Running 11th on Lap 148 when Mike Wallace tapped Timmy Hill’s Chevrolet and sent it spinning, Sadler chose to pit for four tires under caution on Lap 149, leaving him 14 spots behind Stenhouse in fourth for a restart on Lap 154.

Sadler, however, gained five positions to 13th before contact from Kyle Busch’s Toyota turned Sam Hornish Jr. on Lap 155. By then, Stenhouse was running second to Logano.

RACE RESULTS

1. (1) Joey Logano(i), Toyota, 204, $55050.

2. (5) Brian Vickers(i), Toyota, 204, $34300.

3. (8) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 204, $40318.

4. (2) Kyle Busch(i), Toyota, 204, $27265.

5. (7) Kasey Kahne(i), Chevrolet, 204, $23740.

6. (3) Austin Dillon #, Chevrolet, 204, $31358.

7. (17) Michael Annett, Ford, 204, $25908.

8. (10) Brian Scott, Toyota, 204, $24833.

9. (6) Brad Keselowski(i), Dodge, 204, $18000.

10. (14) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 204, $25233.

11. (12) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 204, $23908.

12. (9) Jason Leffler(i), Chevrolet, 204, $23758.

13. (15) Mike Bliss, Toyota, 204, $23608.

14. (4) Sam Hornish Jr., Dodge, 204, $24248.

15. (22) Alex Bowman, Toyota, 204, $24538.

16. (20) Joe Nemechek, Toyota, 204, $23253.

17. (27) Jason Bowles #, Toyota, 204, $25643.

18. (36) Jamie Dick, Chevrolet, 204, $22883.

19. (34) Mike Wallace, Chevrolet, 204, $22773.

20. (18) Eric McClure, Toyota, 204, $23338.

21. (23) Paulie Harraka(i), Ford, 203, $16085.

22. (16) Elliott Sadler, Chevrolet, 203, $22443.

23. (19) Jeff Green, Toyota, 201, $15840.

24. (33) Derrike Cope, Chevrolet, 200, $15725.

25. (39) John Blankenship, Chevrolet, 200, $22608.

26. (11) Brendan Gaughan(i), Chevrolet, Accident, 199, $22098.

27. (42) Timmy Hill, Chevrolet, 199, $22063.

28. (38) Daryl Harr, Chevrolet, 199, $21993.

29. (13) Cole Whitt #, Chevrolet, Accident, 198, $21918.

30. (37) Dexter Stacey, Ford, 197, $22183.

31. (41) Derek White, Toyota, 188, $21848.

32. (40) Noel Dowler, Ford, Accident, 182, $21813.

33. (21) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, Oil Pump, 86, $21778.

34. (26) Kevin Lepage, Ford, Axle, 39, $15275.

35. (32) Morgan Shepherd, Chevrolet, Engine, 20, $15240.

36. (43) Mike Harmon, Chevrolet, Overheating, 18, $15205.

37. (25) Erik Darnell, Chevrolet, Ignition, 18, $15160.

38. (28) JJ Yeley(i), Chevrolet, Rear Gear, 17, $15125.

39. (24) Blake Koch, Toyota, Brakes, 17, $14865.

40. (29) Josh Wise(i), Chevrolet, Electrical, 15, $14830.

41. (35) Carl Long, Ford, Brakes, 12, $14795.

42. (30) Chase Miller, Chevrolet, Brakes, 8, $14745.

43. (31) Tony Raines(i), Toyota, Vibration, 5, $14677.

RACE STATISTICS

Average Speed of Race Winner: 98.077 mph.

Time of Race: 02 Hrs, 04 Mins, 48 Secs. Margin of Victory: 0.668 Seconds.

Caution Flags: 10 for 40 laps.

Lead Changes: 6 among 4 drivers.

Lap Leaders: J. Logano(i) 1-71; R. Stenhouse Jr. 72-74; J. Logano(i) 75-121; B. Keselowski(i) 122-153; J. Logano(i) 154-197; B. Vickers(i) 198; J. Logano(i) 199-204.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): J. Logano(i) 4 times for 168 laps; B. Keselowski(i) 1 time for 32 laps; R. Stenhouse Jr. 1 time for 3 laps; B. Vickers(i) 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 10 in Points: R. Stenhouse Jr. – 1,212; E. Sadler – 1,192; A. Dillon # – 1,187; S. Hornish Jr. – 1,105; M. Annett – 1,050; J. Allgaier – 1,043; C. Whitt # – 960; M. Bliss – 877; B. Scott – 816; D. Patrick – 806.

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, November 10 2012
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