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Logano pushes Martin aside for Pocono win

Joey Logano became that rarest of things in recent times in NASCAR Sprint Cup competition: a polesitter able to go on and claim the race win itself in Sunday's Pocono 400.
Joey Logano proved himself the master of the triangles, as he converted pole position at the uniquely shaped Pocono Raceway 2.5-mile "oval" to a win - and a victory over one of the sport's most enduring and experienced competitors at that in the shape of Mark Martin, albeit in slightly controversial circumstances.

Between them, the two men had dominated all the practice and qualifying sessions leading into Sunday's race, although when it came to the green flag Logano was joined on the front row of the grid by Carl Edwards.

Edwards' race did not go to plan, however, when he was involved in contact with Logano's Joe Gibbs Racing team mate Denny Hamlin going into the very first turn of the race, shortly before Landon Cassill, AJ Allmendinger and Martin Truex Jr. all got involved in an incident behind them after Cassill got sideways, moved down and collected Truex.

Edwards and Hamlin had to go to pit road for repairs under the ensuing caution and Edwards also got a penalty for not lining up properly at the restart, during which Logano pulled away from Paul Menard and Dale Earnhardt Jr. But the race was back under caution six laps later after when JJ Yeley, Reed Sorenson and Tony Raines all managed to wreck against the wall in turn 3, triggering a new yellow that replaced the competition caution previously scheduled for lap 20 for teams to be able to check tyre wear on the brand new asphalt surface at the raceway.

Jamie McMurray, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin opted to stay out and assumed the lead of the race ahead of Logano and Earnhardt, and it was Hamlin who quickly passed McMurray on the lowside for the lead and started to pull out a comfortable safety margin over the field which he kept until he (and McMurray and Keselowski) came in for their deferred pit stops a dozen laps later.

That left Earnhardt in the lead ahead of Logano, Jeff Gordon and Marcos Ambrose, and they stayed in place until their own turn for pit stops another dozen or so laps down the line. That saw another flurry of pit road speeding penalties fly, in an afternoon that would end up seeing NASCAR issue a record high 22 penalties during the course of the afternoon, the vast majority being for speeding on pit exit.

"Cars were speeding," Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president for competition said when asked about the sheer volume of penalties imposed. He denied that it was a result of NASCAR's equipment being miscalibrated and said that it had been down to team or driver misjudgement.

"You go through that time to time," said Pemberton. "Maybe going off last year's notes and short-cutting what you do. I don't know. It's up to the race team."

The repaving of Pocono since the last Cup outing here had changed the layout of the timing lines down pit lane that calculates a car's speed based on how quickly the car passes over each point. This layout is available to teams for reference so that they can tell how fast they can get away with running between each line.




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AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge, spins into the grass as Landon Cassill, driver of the #83 Burger King - Real Fruit Smooothies Toyota, spins into Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, during and on track incident in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pocono 400 presented by #NASCAR at Pocono Raceway on Sunday in Long Pond, Pa. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Joey Logano, driver of the #20 The Home Depot Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pocono 400 presented by #NASCAR at Pocono Raceway on June 10, 2012, in Long Pond, Penn. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)
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Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
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Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane with team owner Dale Earnhardt jr. after winning the series championship during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
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Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
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Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the series championship and placing ninth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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