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Logano Makes Use Of Clash Crash; Rolls To Win

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, February 19 2017

Joey Logano claimed the victory in Sunday’s non-points Clash event at Daytona. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Ashley R Dickerson)

Joey Logano took advantage of a bout of fender-bending at the front of the field on the final lap to win Sunday’s weather-delayed NASCAR Clash exhibition race at Daytona International Speedway.

Logano blew past front-runners Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski – who made contact while fighting for the lead – on that final lap and cruised to the win.

“Everything was going really fast,” Logano, driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford, said. “Everything was going on and I was just in the right place at the right time.”

Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing finished second while Hendrick Motorsports’ Alex Bowman was third.

Bowman, driving the No. 88 Hendrick Chevrolet which normally is occupied by Dale Earnhardt Jr., ended the race not know when he will next drive as Earnhardt will now return to the seat.

“It wasn’t a bad day by any means,” Bowman said. “It was all we could hope for. To come home third is really gold. Just thankful for the opportunity to drive this thing.  Had a lot of fast Chevrolet’s out there for Hendrick these 12 races. Just very thankful for the opportunity.”

Not thankful was Busch. After the race he gave a little talk to Bowman. The gist?

“Just that when the 22 (Logano) got so far out in front that he was a lone duck and I feel like if we both could have worked together then we could have tracked them back down and then the three of us could have gone for the win instead of just automatically giving it to the 22,” Busch said.

“Just trying to see what his mindset was with it all and figure out what got him to that decision.”

The 75-lap, 187.5-mile race was split into two segments, with a competition caution at Lap 25 separating the segments. Logano was the leader after the first stage.

Keselowski started on the pole in the No. 2 Penske Ford, and led for 18 laps. Hamlin, the defending race winner, started on the front row and led for a race-high 48 laps.

The two made contact on the final lap as Hamlin sought to prevent Keselowski from passing for the lead, and moved to block too late. Keselowski still managed to finish sixth.

“It’s unfortunate,” Keselowski said. “I had to make the move.  I know all the other drivers are back watching and they know not to make that block on me again.”

Hamlin, asked about the wreck, said, “The 2 (Keselowski) was coming with a huge run and I tried to do everything I could to block and cover the bottom before he got there but he was coming at such a higher rate of speed I probably didn’t get there in time.”

(This story will be updated shortly)

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, February 19 2017
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