Michigan NASCAR: Joey Logano takes first win with Penske
|By Connell Sanders Jr||Sunday, August 18th 2013, 20:19 GMT|
Joey Logano fought off a late-race charge from Kevin Harvick to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan.
Logano started his Penske Ford from pole, and when a fractious opening to the race - with three cautions in 17 laps - settled down, he controlled the race from the front.
But his car did not work in traffic, and when he was caught up behind backmarker Johnny Sauter he dropped two spots to Kurt Busch and Dale Earhardt Jr in a flash.
The team kept working on Logano's car during a race blighted by cautions.
Veteran Mark Martin led from the final restart, but he was praying for a caution that never came in his bid to win his first race since 2009 and predictably his Toyota ran dry with three to go.
Logano was in the right place to capitalise, and he led home Harvick for an emotional win.
It was a race to forget for Jimmie Johnson, whose quest for a first Michigan win continues. After dropping to the back following a switch to the spare brought about by a shunt in practice, he worked his way forward into the top 10, and even led a lap during the first bout of green-flag stops.
But it was as he rejoined he noticed something was amiss with his Chevy's engine, and a handful of laps later his race was over with a blown motor.
It was a disappointing race for his Hendrick team-mate Dale Earnhardt Junior, who led the race in its first half and seemed nailed on for a top 10 finish when he suffered a right front puncture, which pitched him into the wall.
Kyle Busch had been a solid top 10 runner throughout the race too, but was forced off sequence when he felt the handling of his Toyota go off.
A chunk was found to be missing from his right front tyre, but that would be the end of his luck, and just a few laps later he spun backwards into the wall, ending any hopes of a good finish.
Kurt Busch had a strong car in the middle of the race, but a four-tyre change when most took two cost him track position. He made a great final restart, but lacked the pace to challenge for the win, finishing third.
Paul Menard drove a great race to take fourth, while Clint Bowyer recovered from an opening lap spin (due to a flat tyre) to take fifth.
Results - 200 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Joey Logano Penske Ford 2h45m59.000s 2. Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet +1.019s 3. Kurt Busch Furniture Row Chevrolet +4.370s 4. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet +5.525s 5. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota +6.499s 6. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford +6.912s 7. Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet +8.562s 8. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet +8.771s 9. Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford +10.660s 10. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford +12.159s 11. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet +14.055s 12. Brad Keselowski Penske Ford +14.718s 13. Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet +14.975s 14. Austin Dillon Stewart-Haas Chevrolet +15.474s 15. Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Ford +15.615s 16. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota +16.217s 17. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet +17.622s 18. Aric Almirola Petty Ford +18.405s 19. Ricky Stenhouse Jr Roush Fenway Ford +19.592s 20. Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Toyota +20.601s 21. Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Ford +22.617s 22. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet +27.340s 23. Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet +27.741s 24. David Ragan Front Row Ford +28.125s 25. Casey Mears Germain Ford +28.961s 26. David Stremme Swan Toyota +29.378s 27. Mark Martin Waltrip Toyota +1 lap 28. Travis Kvapil BK Toyota +2 laps 29. Timmy Hill FAS Lane Ford +2 laps 30. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet +3 laps 31. Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Toyota +3 laps 32. Landon Cassill Circle Sport Chevrolet +3 laps 33. Brendan Gaughan Phoenix Chevrolet +4 laps 34. Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota +8 laps 35. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota +14 laps 36. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet +29 laps 37. David Gilliland Front Row Ford +35 laps* 38. David Reutimann BK Toyota +47 laps * Not running at chequered flag Retirements: Josh Wise Front Row Ford 56 laps Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet 54 laps Scott Speed Leavine Ford 35 laps Johnny Sauter Parsons Ford 34 laps JJ Yeley Baldwin Chevrolet 12 laps