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Nationwide: Logano adds to JGR's Fontana run

Joey Logano made it eight Nationwide wins in a row at Fontana for Joe Gibbs Racing, winning the Royal Purple 300 race after leading for 92 of the 150 laps of the race.
Joe Gibbs Racing clearly pretty much owns the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, southern California: in making it to victory lane this weekend, their driver Joey Logano's win was the eighth time in a row that a Joe Gibbs Racing car has emerged triumphant at Fontana in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, a quite remarkable statistic.

Polesitter Logano led for the first 26 trouble-free green flag laps of the Royal Purple 300 Nationwide race, before the top spot was finally wrested from him by Brad Keselowski on lap 27. Behind them the top ten was reasonably stable and consisted of familiar faces including Justin Allgaier, Brian Scott, Austin Dillon, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Elliott Sadler, Sam Hornish Jr. and Trevor Bayne through the first third of the 150 lap race distance.

Having qualified in 15th position, Kyle Busch was sent to the back before the start for missing pre-race driver introductions; but that didn't phase him at all, and within 12 laps he had made up all that lost ground, although making the final leap into the top ten proved a different order or magnitude and took him somewhat longer to achieve.

The first caution of the day came out on lap 57 for debris, nicely timed to allow the cars to come in for their second round of pit stops under yellow having previously stopped under green some 20 laps earlier. Unfortunately Keselowski stopped too close to the pit wall to allow his pit crew enough space to work cleanly, and the time lost as a result saw him drop eight places for the restart.

That put Logano back on the top spot for the green flag, alongside Nationwide Series points leader Elliott Sadler. Sadler briefly took the lead at the restart but Logano quickly struck back underneath the #3 to reclaim the position. Justin Allgaier also proved stronger than Sadler and slid into second position and pulling Stenhouse with him into third, while Keselowski was also on the way back and already in the top five again after his pit stop mishap.

A second caution came out on lap 92 when Sam Hornish lost the backend of the #12 through turn 4, tried to control the spin and ended up overcorrecting onto the infield grass area. The leaders all took the opportunity to come in for a fresh round of pit stops: Logano comfortably kept the lead ahead of Allgaier while Brendan Gaughan gained positions and moved to third place ahead of Stenhouse and Busch. Keselowski had another slow stop and slumped back five places again.

Allgaier had a lacklustre restart on lap 97, allowing Logano to easily pull away in the lead, but a new caution debris quickly materialised on lap 104. Logano maintained the lead through a quick cycle of pit stops for fuel top-ups and led at the the restart ahead of Stenhouse as Allgaier's engine blew up on him. Further down the running order, things got frantic right away with cars stretched across the full width of the speedway as they jockeyed for position at what appeared to be the crucial stage of the race.

Logano's hold on the lead proved at and end when faced with a challenge from Kyle Busch, finally in a position to claim the lead by going underneath Logano in turn 3 on lap 111. His time on point only lasted 13 laps before Brad Keselowski returned to the fray, and for the next eight laps there was a close quarters scrap between Keselowski, Busch and Logano for position that was finally interrupted by the fourth caution of the day for Blake Koch spinning out of turn 4 on lap 132 just as the leaders were putting a lap on him.

That was good news for all concerned as most cars were marginal on fuel; the big question was what tyre strategy to pursue. Trevor Bayne and Elliott Sadler went for two tyres only and took the front row for the restart ahead of Logano, who had gone for four. Keselowski also went for four and took the green flag in fifth place; and this time it was Kyle Busch's turn to lose out badly in pit lane, as indecision about whether to go for two- or four-tyres resulted in confusion and a costly delay dropping him all the way down to 17th place.




Related Pictures

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Danica Patrick, driver of the #7 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Royal Purple 300 at Auto Club Speedway on March 24, 2012 in Fontana, California. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Joey Logano, driver of the #18 Trans-Lux Toyota, leads the field to the green flag waved by honorary starter Hank Baskett to start the NASCAR Nationwide Series Royal Purple 300 at Auto Club Speedway on March 24, 2012 in Fontana, California. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, receives a lobster in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS finished in 2nd place and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS finished in 26th place Sunday, September 21, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Gordon is in the Chase which continues in next week`s Challenger 16 race. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, loses control of the car after making contact with Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Will Schneekloth/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, drives with damage to his car after crashing during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, leads the field at the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brendan Gaughan, driver of the #62 South Point Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NSACAR Nationwide Series VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway on September 20, 2014 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo Credit: Andy Lyons/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brendan Gaughan, driver of the #62 South Point Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway on September 20, 2014 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brendan Gaughan, driver of the #62 South Point Chevrolet, celebrates with his crew after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway on September 20, 2014 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo Credit: Andy Lyons/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Ty Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying first for the NASCAR Nationwide Series VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Sparta, Kentucky. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet SS qualified for eleventh position September 19, 2014 for Sunday`s Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Earnhardt, Jr. is in the Chase which continues with the Challenger 16 for this and next week`s race. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates setting the pole position during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, speaks at a press conference following practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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