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Logano Dominates Cup Race In Michigan

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, June 12 2016
Joey Logano celebrates his victory Sunday at Michigan International Speedway.  (Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Joey Logano celebrates his victory Sunday at Michigan International Speedway. (Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)

RacinToday.com

Joey Logano led the most laps and won Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway.

The victory was the first of the season for the Team Penske driver who won six races a year ago and five in 2014. He led 139 of 200 laps.

sprint-logo-08The victory was the 15th of Logano’s career and it came in a race which featured NASCAR’s new low-downforce aero package. Logano started the race from the pole and the win puts him into the Chase playoffs.

“We’ve been knocking on the door for a win here all season,” he said. “We got that All-Star win but it’s nice to get that (points-race) win and lock ourselves into the Chase.”

Rookie Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports finished a career-best second, .88 seconds behind, while Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing was third.

Rounding out the top five were Brad Keselowski of Team Penske and Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing.

Logano dominated the first half of the race, leading 77 of the first 100 laps. Teammate Keselowski, who was pitting in a different sequence as Logano, led 1o of the other laps run in the
first half of the race.

At Lap 101, a caution flag came out and pitting began for leaders who did not pit under green flag stops which were underway when the caution came out.

Logano again had the lead when the race restarted on Lap 107.

With 84 laps to go, Elliott passed Logano for the lead on a restart. Once out front, Elliott took his turn at running away from the field.

Elliott kept the lead until a restart with 47 laps to go. On that, Elliott had a poor restart and was bumped from behind by Truex Jr. Taking the lead was Logano.

“I just did something dumb,” Elliott said of his restart. “You can’t do dumb stuff and win these races. Completely my fault. The guys gave me a great car today. This whole NAPA group has been working so hard these past few weeks and that one was on me. Like I said. You can’t do dumb stuff to win these things and I did today.”

Logano kept the lead and appeared headed to an easy win until Denny Hamlin blew a tire with 12 laps to go and bring out a final yellow.

On the restart, Logano got a good jump, pulled away from the field and became a 2016 winner.

Asked about his great restarts, Logano said, “I think we got lucky I guess. I don’t know. There is a lot of thought that goes into restarts with this race team, from every angle. It all kind of came together.”

Several top drivers encountered early race trouble.

Truex Jr., who led the race a couple of times, spun after contact with Clint Bowyer on Lap 46. Truex’s Furniture Row Racing Toyota suffered slight damage.

Kyle Busch, the defending series champion, was sent to the garages after his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota caught fire on Lap 54. The fire ended his day.

“At least I had a 30 lap warning that it was coming,” Busch said. “It had been shaking pretty bad and going south for a while and it had been building its own heat. It’s unfortunate, not just today, but man the last four races have been really, really bad. It’s a good thing we started off the season as good as we did with a lot of top-fives and we had three wins so it got us a good start and a good foundation, but we have to get this luck turned around and get going in the right direction and get ourselves back to where we feel we need to be. Our cars are fast – Adam (Stevens, crew chief) and the guys have done a great job each and every week, TRD (Toyota Racing Development) power has been great, just unfortunate circumstances have been coming our way a lot lately.”

On Lap 62, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was spun into the wall when rookie Chris Buescher clipped him. Also involved was A.J. Allmendinger. He headed to the garages and never came back out.

“The No. 34 (Buescher) just drove into the left front quarter panel,” Earnhardt said. “Oh, man. I don’t know; them restarts and all that. You’ve got a responsibility to try and take care of everybody out there even when you’re three-wide. I’m disappointed in that. But, we had a pretty good car and we were just kind of taking our time, there. And the car was great. So, it’s a shame.”

(This story will be updated shortly)

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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race – FireKeepers Casino 400

Michigan International Speedway

Brooklyn, Michigan

Sunday, June 12, 2016

  1. (1) Joey Logano, Ford, 200.
  2. (10) Chase Elliott #, Chevrolet, 200.
  3. (7) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 200.
  4. (15) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 200.
  5. (29) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 200.
  6. (11) Carl Edwards, Toyota, 200.
  7. (3) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 200.
  8. (8) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 200.
  9. (14) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 200.
  10. (17) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 200.
  11. (6) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 200.
  12. (2) Martin Truex Jr, Toyota, 200.
  13. (23) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 200.
  14. (19) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 200.
  15. (13) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 200.
  16. (16) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 200.
  17. (5) * Ryan Blaney #, Ford, 200.
  18. (32) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 200.
  19. (18) Greg Biffle, Ford, 200.
  20. (22) Chris Buescher #, Ford, 200.
  21. (25) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 200.
  22. (35) David Ragan, Toyota, 200.
  23. (34) Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet, 200.
  24. (21) Ty Dillon(i), Chevrolet, 200.
  25. (28) Landon Cassill, Ford, 200.
  26. (30) Aric Almirola, Ford, 200.
  27. (36) * Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 200.
  28. (39) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 200.
  29. (12) Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Ford, 199.
  30. (37) * Josh Wise, Chevrolet, 197.
  31. (40) * Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 194.
  32. (24) Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 189.
  33. (4) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, Accident, 188.
  34. (31) Matt DiBenedetto, Toyota, Accident, 185.
  35. (33) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 179.
  36. (26) Brian Scott #, Ford, Accident, 154.
  37. (38) Jeffrey Earnhardt #, Ford, Accident, 101.
  38. (20) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, Accident, 62.
  39. (27) Dale Earnhardt Jr, Chevrolet, Accident, 61.
  40. (9) Kyle Busch, Toyota, Engine, 52.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  134.241 mph.

Time of Race:  02 Hrs, 58 Mins, 47 Secs. Margin of Victory:  0.889 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  9 for 46 laps.

Lead Changes:  14 among 8 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   J. Logano 0; M. Truex Jr 1-10; J. Logano 11-40; B. Keselowski 41-47; J. Logano 48-93; K. Larson 94; R. Newman 95; B. Keselowski 96-98; J. Johnson 99-102; P. Menard 103; J. Logano 104-116; C. Elliott # 117-148; J. Logano 149; C. Elliott # 150-152; J. Logano 153-200.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  J. Logano 5 times for 138 laps; C. Elliott # 2 times for 35 laps; B. Keselowski 2 times for 10 laps; M. Truex Jr 1 time for 10 laps; J. Johnson 1 time for 4 laps; P. Menard 1 time for 1 lap; R. Newman 1 time for 1 lap; K. Larson 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 16 in Points: K. Harvick – 526; Kurt Busch – 496; B. Keselowski – 480; C. Edwards – 472; J. Logano – 455; C. Elliott # – 453; J. Johnson – 441; M. Truex Jr – 433; Kyle Busch – 417; M. Kenseth – 409; D. Earnhardt Jr – 383; A. Dillon – 381; D. Hamlin – 380; J. McMurray – 374; R. Newman – 369; *. Blaney # – 364.

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, June 12 2016
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