By Justin Tucker
Joey Logano scored his second consecutive win in the Zippo 200 at The Glen on Saturday Afternoon at Watkins Glen International.
Logano, who started on pole dominated much of the 82 lap event leading a race high 67 laps as he scored his 26th career XFINITY Series win and the first for Team Penske this season snapping a 21 race win less streak that dated back to November.
Logano and his Team Penske teammate, Brad Keselowski, appeared to be heading toward a one – two finish when with six laps to go, the track bar broke on Keselowski’s No.22 Ford leaving Logano clear sailing holding off Paul Menard by almost two seconds to score the victory.
“I had to drive really, really hard. Brad (Keselowski) was I think faster than me. I remember last year racing here and whoever was behind was faster, just because of the draft,” Logano said. “I had a lot of fun racing with Brad. What an awesome win for Team Penske, getting the XFINITY car in Victory Lane. This has been a long time coming for the XFINITY here.”
Logano’s laps led total was the most laps led by a driver at The Glen in an XFINITY Series race.
“It’s so hard to drive away from people in these XFINITY cars,” Logano said. “As soon as you get any bit of a draft, they drive right back up to you.
“We learned some important things I think. I am not going to tell you but we did learn some good things. I will talk to (Sprint Cup crew chief) Todd Gordon here in a little bit when we get done celebrating and having fun and we will get back to work on tomorrow.”
Kyle Larson finished third followed by: Daniel Suarez and Trevor Bayne rounded out the top five.
Elliott Sadler, Justin Allgaier, Brendan Gaughan, Ryan Reed and Brennan Poole completed the first ten finishers.
The race was red flagged for over 22 minutes when on lap 18, Ryan Sieg and Todd Bodine triggered a multi car incident that also involved Kyle Busch, Blake Koch, Darrell Wallace Jr., and JJ Yeley.
“Sometimes you’ve got to give,” Bodine said. “You can’t always take. You’ve got to give a lot in this sport. And I think that was probably one time he needed to give and didn’t, so we’ve got a wrecked race car.”
Wallace was frustrated about the latest in a string of bad outings.
“All I see is we have bad luck and it is getting old, my friend,” he said. “It is unfortunate for my team. We come here and I messed up on the first lap in the first practice we had and then we were sitting pretty for the rest of the weekend. It is just getting old. We will go on to Mid-Ohio and try to have some luck there.
Busch found himself in the melee after having to put earlier for a broken splitter. Busch finished 37th on the afternoon.
“Not sure yet what happened with the front splitter, if we just hit the point of one of the new higher corners just right, but it pushed the whole front piece down about three inches,” said Chris Gayle, crew chief, No. 18 Toyota. “We did a good job to secure it but we weren’t sure if that fix was going to hold for long, and we made a decision to make a larger brace to ensure the splitter didn’t drop again later in the race. That extra time on pit road unfortunately put us back in the part of the field where we’d rather not be.”
The most bizarre incident happened on lap 59 when Derrike Cope’s No.70 exploded under the hood as he slowed in the inner loop and came to a stop.
“In my 35 years of racing, I’ve never experienced anything like that,” said Cope after being evaluated and released from the infield care center. “It blew up in my face.”
NASCAR impounded Cope’s car and will inspect it further at the R&D center in Charlotte later this week.
The NASCAR XFINITY Series heads to the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio next Saturday Afternoon.