Logano cruises to Meijer 300 victory in Kentucky

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

SPARTA, Ky. -- Joey Logano became the youngest winner in Nationwide Series history Saturday night, cruising to victory in the Meijer 300 at Kentucky Speedway.

The 18-year-old Logano, making his third series start, took the lead from teammate Kyle Busch with 53 laps remaining and rolled on after Busch spun out with 37 laps to go.

Logano, at 18 years, 21 days old, broke the age record of 18 years, 10 months, 26 days set by Casey Atwood in 1999.

Logano's father, Tom, watched from the pits as his son carefully guided his No. 20 car over the final laps at the 1.5-mile tri-oval, then celebrated with what he called the best Father's Day present ever.

"I figured about 10, but he did it in three," his father, Tom Logano, said when asked how long he thought it would take the driver to win his first NASCAR race.

Logano, hailed as a prodigy by NASCAR star Mark Martin when Logano was just 15, became the second Kentucky victor to win from the pole and the eighth different winner in eight races since the race's inception.

The way Logano dominated the field over the final 37 laps, the path to Victory Lane could become awfully familiar. He flattened two tires while showing off for the fans after the race, a show of youthful exuberance that belies the steady hand Logano showed while making history.

It was a run to history that got considerably easier when Busch ran into trouble on lap 163. Busch started at the back of the field after missing qualifying, but wasted little time getting to the front. The Sprint Cup star needed just 40 laps to take the lead and led 85 laps before getting loose in the second turn. He finished 30th.

"I don't know what exactly happened," Busch said. "I got loose and hit the wall I guess."

Series leader Clint Bowyer finished ninth after qualifying 25th.

Logano, who finished sixth in his Nationwide Series debut at Dover in May and won the pole last week at Nashville before ending up 31st, said he welcomes the pressure that comes with being the sport's next great hope. He certainly looked comfortable against his elders, driving flawlessly while leading 76 laps, including the final 54.

The victory was the eighth in the last 10 races for Joe Gibbs Racing.


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