With three laps left in Saturday’s Kansas Lottery 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the 1.5-mile track, the 19-year-old Joey Logano surged past Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch to the outside as their Toyotas raced toward the finish line.
By Reid Spencer
Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Apparently, Joey Logano is none the worse for wear.
Six days after tumbling down the banking in a spectacular Sprint Cup Series wreck at Dover, Joey Logano found his way to a far more friendly environment — Victory Lane at Kansas Speedway.
With three laps left in Saturday’s Kansas Lottery 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the 1.5-mile track, the 19-year-old Logano surged past Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch to the outside as their Toyotas raced toward the finish line. Logano pulled away to win the race by .574 seconds.
Busch, who led 173 of 200 laps and set a record for laps led in a Nationwide Series season, finished second to Logano for the fourth time this season. Nevertheless, Busch extended his lead in the series standings to 245 points over seventh-place finisher Carl Edwards and by 307 over Brad Keselowski, who ran third.
Kevin Harvick, Greg Biffle and rookie Justin Allgaier came home fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.
“The good thing about this win is it should shut everyone up about, ‘Am I’m going to be ready, am I going to not be as good because I rolled over like that?’” Logano said. “Hopefully, that will put things to rest. … I had no fear. If you can barrel-roll a car like that and come out OK, that’s going to give you all the confidence to drive harder.
“That’s all I’ve got — dig as hard as I can every lap for everything I’m worth. After I got by the 88 (Keselowski), then we had another restart, and I’m like, ‘I’ve got a shot at it.’ I felt like I was pretty good the long green-flag run before the restart, and then there was another restart, and I felt like I was gaining on him (Busch).
“I knew I had to go up to the high side (to pass). My car was just too aero-tight when I got behind cars. So I had to go where no one was, pretty much, for me to go fast. I got out there and had a big run and got outside of him and kept digging. It was a blast.”
Busch, naturally enough, was disappointed with the result, which extended his winless streak in the series to 10 races. Five times in those 10 events, Busch has finished second.
“Unfortunately, I got beat,” Busch said succinctly. “The kid outdrove me. That’s what you’ll have sometimes. The Nos Energy Drink Camry was good today. Unfortunately, I couldn’t drive it hard enough in order to get a win out of it.”
As a consolation prize, Busch set a series record. On Lap 94, he eclipsed Sam Ard’s 1984 mark of 2,127 laps led in a single Nationwide Series season. Busch finished the race with a total of 2,226 laps led thus far in 2009.
Notes: Polesitter Parker Kligerman, who ran 16th, was the 10th driver to win the pole for his first start in the Nationwide Series. … Busch tied Jack Ingram’s 1983 single-season record for runner-up finishes (10).