11 October 2009
Logano wins Fontana Nationwide race
Resurrecting his hopes after sustaining early damage to his #20 Toyota, polesitter Joey Logano won Saturday's Copart 300, an event he described as 'the most fun race I've ever had in my life'.
For others, particularly Nationwide Series points leader Kyle Busch and his relief driver, Denny Hamlin, the race at two-mile Auto Club Speedway was anything but a barrel of laughs.
Taking over for Busch after 39 laps - because of a case of the 'flu that wouldn't let up - Hamlin collided with Greg Biffle off turn four while fighting for the lead on lap 141, exited the race with an irreparable car and was credited with a 31st-place finish.
The accident put a substantial dent in Busch's points lead over third-place finisher Carl Edwards, who now trails Busch by 155 points with five races left in the season. Brad Keselowski, who rallied from a slow restart on a green-white-chequered finish that took the race two laps beyond its scheduled distance, finished fifth and is third in points, 227 behind Busch.
Logano rallied from 25th position after Biffle forced him into the backstretch wall while passing for the lead on lap 50 of 152.
"I didn't think we had a shot at it after Biffle decided to put us in the wall," said Logano, who pulled away from runner-up Brian Vickers after the final restart on lap 151. "Apparently, that was the only way he thought he could beat us, but you can't put this #20 team down.
"We never quit, kept digging all day. I definitely didn't think we had a shot at it. It was just amazing. That was the most fun race I ever had in my life. I went through a point there where [I said to myself] 'I don't have a shot at this' to 'try to salvage a top ten out of it' to bringing home a W."
Though 19-year old Logano got his second straight Nationwide win, his fifth this season and the sixth of his brief career, the race ended in controversy, with Logano's father, Tom, confronting Biffle as the driver sat in his car on pit-road.
"Oh yeah, I saw him flip me off, yeah," Biffle said in a radio interview with PRN's Steve Richards, "They've got short memories, you know? They don't remember last week [at Kansas] when they smashed my left front fender in. See? It's all about theirselves - and it's not always about you. He was lucky that he had time to fix it. I got mine smashed in on the last run of the day. I didn't have time to fix mine. I fell back and finished wherever I did."
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