Monday, August 19, 2013

Logano Wins from the Pole in Michigan

Written for CLNS Radio.

Joey Logano started on the pole and led 52 of 200 laps on his way to victory in the Pure Michigan 400.

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
Logano started on the pole, but he lost the lead when the green flag fell.  Logano was able to retake the lead when the restarted after the first caution of the day, and he would lead until lap 33 when Kurt Busch took the lead.  Logano wouldn't lead again until lap 139, but he lost the lead by lap 162.

Logano took the lead for the final time on lap 197 when Mark Martin ran out of gas just three laps from the finish.  Logano said he knew that Martin would run out, but that he wanted to get ahead of him before it happened.

"I knew he was two laps short, but I wanted to get by him just in case they were fooling me," Logano told ESPN.

The win also helps Logano's chances of making the Chase.  Logano said the win was a much-needed one for his team.

We needed this for our Chase hopes, and we're not out of it yet," said Logano.  "We have another good track coming for us.  We had a really good car at Bristol earlier in the year.  I don't see why we can't go back-to-back."

Logano started on the pole, but he quickly lost the lead to Kurt Busch.  The race wasn't green for long, as Clint Bowyer spun to bring out the caution on lap three.  When the race went back green, Logano got around Busch for the lead.  The second caution of the day came out on lap nine, for David Reutimann.

The race restarted on lap 11, but the caution flag fell again on lap 13 for a crash between Austin Dillon and J.J. Yeley.  Logano led the field to the green flag on lap 18, and this time the race stayed under green.

Busch took the lead back on lap 33, and he led until green flag pit stops on lap 43.  Jimmie Johnson, who started in the rear after going to a back-up car, took the lead on lap 44.  Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the lead when Johnson had to pit on lap 54.

Johnson started to slow on lap 59, and he took his car to the garage with what was diagnosed as an engine problem.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. brought out the fourth caution of the day on lap 72 when he got out of the groove and into the wall. 

Denny Hamlin took the lead when the race restarted on lap 76, before Kurt Busch took the lead on lap 78.

The fifth caution of the day came out for debris on lap 106.  Greg Biffle led when the green flag fell on lap 111.  He led until Earnhardt hit the wall on lap 135 to bring out the sixth caution.

When the race went back green on lap 139, Logano was back in the lead.  On lap 149, Bobby Labonte spun off turn 4 to bring out the seventh caution.  Logano led the field back to the green flag on lap 154, but the caution came back out when Kyle Busch spun on lap 158.  Under the caution, the leaders came down pit road, but Brad Keselowski and Mark Martin stayed out.

Keselowski led the field back to green on lap 162, but Kyle Busch spun again on lap 173 to bring out another caution.  Keselowski pitted for fuel under the caution, which allowed Martin to take the lead.

Martin was the leader when the green flag came back out on lap 178.  Martin led until lap 197, when he ran out of gas going into Turn 3.  Logano was able to take the lead and go on to win the Pure Michigan 400.

Here are the unofficial results:

1. Joey Logano
2. Kevin Harvick
3. Kurt Busch
4. Paul Menard
5. Clint Bowyer
6. Marcos Ambrose
7. Kasey Kahne
8. Jeff Burton
9. Greg Biffle
10. Carl Edwards
11. Juan Pablo Montoya
12. Brad Keselowski
13. Ryan Newman
14. Austin Dillon
15. Matt Kenseth
16. Martin Truex Jr.
17. Jeff Gordon
18. Aric Almirola
19. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
20. Denny Hamlin
21. Trevor Bayne
22. Jamie McMurray
23. Danica Patrick
24. David Ragan
25. Casey Mears
26. David Stremme
27. Mark Martin
28. Travis Kvapil
29. Timmy Hill
30. Dave Blaney
31. Kyle Busch
32. Landon Cassill
33. Brendan Gaughan
34. Joe Nemechek
35. Bobby Labonte
36. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
37. David Gilliland
38. David Reutimann
39. Josh Wise
40. Jimmie Johnson
41. Scott Speed
42. Johnny Sauter
43. J.J. Yeley

Next Saturday, the Sprint Cup Series returns to Bristol Motor Speedway for a Saturday night race.  The Irwin Tools Night Race can be seen Saturday at 7:30 p.m., only on ABC.

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