Logano Wins Richmond Battle
By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone | MRN.com on April 26, 2014 | 10:34 P.M. EST
Logano captured his fifth career win. (Photo: Getty Images)
Joey Logano came from fourth on the final restart to win his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race of the season in Saturday night's Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway.
Logano triumphed in a furious battle over the last five laps with Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski to score his fifth career win.
He joins Kevin Harvick as the only two drivers to have won more than one race this season.
"It feels great,” said Logano. “I want to start winning some races in the Chase now. These cars right now are so good and (Team) Penske is doing such a great job with these cars right now. I am just the lucky guy that gets to drive these things."
Emotions boiled over after the race when Keselowski expressed his anger at Kenseth for an incident between the two in the closing laps. Then Marcos Ambrose and Casey Mears were involved in a garage area scuffle with punches thrown.
“Yeah it was a wild finish,” said Keselowski, who confronted Kenseth on pit road after the race. “It just came down to really a four way battle between the 2 (Keselowski), the 20 (Kenseth), the 24 (Gordon) and 22 (Logano) and we had a great car for the short runs and we got up there challenging for the lead. The 20 car ran me off the race track so I made sure to give him a bump and that was what Joey needed to win the race.
"I had a shot at winning the race and he ran me off the track," Keselowski said of Kenseth. "It was just a mind-boggling move to me. ... I thought it was uncalled for."
Gordon, Kyle Busch, Keselowski and Kenseth rounded out the top five.
"I had a blast tonight," said Gordon, who remained on top of the point standings. "Great short-track racing here at Richmond. And to have a race car like that to drive from 25th up to the front was so much fun."
AJ Allmendinger, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards and Martin Truex Jr. completed the first ten finishers.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series now heads to Talladega Superspeedway for next Sunday’s Aaron’s 499.
How Logano Won: Logano got around Kenseth, Gordon and Keselowski in the intense closing laps battle and was finally able to pull away to score the victory.
What Else Happened: Gordon led 173 laps but got passed by Penske teammates Keselowski and then Logano as the laps wound down to the finish….A number of drivers experienced tire problems that were attributed to set-up choice, although a representative for Goodyear said the tire manufacturer would more than likely hold a Richmond test before the series returns in September. Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Reed Sorenson were among those that dealt with tire issues.
Who Else had a Good Day: Kyle Busch was able to charge to the front of the field after taking four tires on the final pit stop and raced home to a third place finish…..Allmendinger scored his career best finish for JTG Daugherty Racing coming home sixth….Martin Truex Jr. overcame the rough start he’s had to the 2014 season with a 10th-place performance.
Who had a Bad Day: Clint Bowyer got into pole sitter Kyle Larson in Turn 1 on the very first lap and battled problems the rest of the night. Bowyer had tire issues that also included one causing a fire to break out on the right front of the No. 15 Toyota….Ricky Stenhouse Jr. suffered a similar fate when he made contact with the wall and before driving his damaged car to pit road fire also broke out on the No. 17 Ford…..Jimmie Johnson was another driver battling tire challenges and wound up 32nd.
Quote of the Night: "How in the hell were we that good in practice and this bad?” – Clint Bowyer
Other Notables: Friday night’s Nationwide Series winner Kevin Harvick was strong early but faded to an 11th-place finish…..Kasey Kahne’s 14th-place run was a strong rebound from the Hendrick Motorsports driver’s Darlington disappointment….Justin Allgaier had a late race encounter with the wall but still managed to finish 21st.