Joey Logano roars to Nationwide victory at Dover

Joey Logano, driver of the #18 Sport Clips Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series OneMain Financial 200 at Dover International Speedway on September 29, 2012 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

DOVER, Del. — The steep concrete banks of Dover International Speedway aside, Saturday’s OneMain Financial 200 was hardly a cliffhanger, as Joey Logano dominated the proceedings from start to finish in winning his seventh NASCAR Nationwide Series race of the season.

Momentarily, at least, a caution on Lap 177 for Tim Andrews’ blown engine injected a modicum of suspense, but Logano reasserted his superiority after a restart on Lap 182 and pulled away for his second victory at the Monster Mile and the 16th of his career.

Logano, who led 184 of 200 laps, crossed the finish line .876 seconds ahead of runner-up Paul Menard and won at Dover for the second straight time. Michael Annett ran third, tying his career best in the Nationwide Series, and fourth-place Elliott Sadler increased his series lead to nine points over defending champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who finished ninth. Kyle Busch completed the top five.

Logano said the winning moves actually started in Friday’s practice, after the track began to resemble what he and crew chief Adam Stevens believed would be Saturday’s racing conditions.

“The track changed a lot throughout practice,” Logano said, “and we knew the direction we needed to go for when the race started. Adam did a really good job of keeping his head in the game and knowing which way it was going to go — keeping my head in the game and knowing which way the race track was going to go. That helped.

“The first few laps, when the track was green (before it rubbered in), we were a second-place car behind the 31 (Justin Allgaier). Once it rubbered up, it was like, ‘OK, now I’ve got my old race car back,’ and we were able to stay out front most of the day after that.”

By the time NASCAR called a planned competition caution on Lap 46, Logano had opened a lead of roughly three seconds. Kasey Kahne took over the top spot with a two-tire call under the yellow, but Logano regained the lead moments after a restart on Lap 51.

The driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota held the point until the second caution of the afternoon — resulting from oil on the track from Jeremy Clements’ car — slowed the field on Lap 116. The brief interruption, however, didn’t slow Logano, who took off again from a restart on Lap 124 and built a lead of 1.5 seconds over Allgaier.

Menard, who took over the second spot after both Allgaier and Sam Hornish Jr., had tire issues, pointed to Logano’s advantage on restarts as the difference in the race.

“We had a really good long-run car,” Menard said. “I believe we were the fastest car on the track, faster than Joey, but he could just take off faster than us. I don’t think he got passed all day.”

Sadler and Annett likewise took advantage of the final restart, when Kahne held up the bottom lane and allowed drivers on the outside to leap-frog toward the front. For Sadler, the positions gained toward the end of the race vastly improved what had been a difficult afternoon.

“We just fought a loose race car all day,” Sadler said. “The guys did a good job, made some good adjustments at the end, and we got a pretty fortunate restart there. It was a good run all in all for us. I wish I had done a better job yesterday (in practice) of getting it ready for the race, but all in all, that’s a good finish for us.”

Darrell Wallace, 18, who claimed the top starting spot in Saturday’s time trials, is the first African-American driver to win a pole in the Nationwide Series. Wallace, part of NASCAR’s youth movement dubbed the “Next 9,” is a six-time winner in the K&N Pro Series East. He finished 12th Saturday to end a streak of three straight top-10 results in his first three Nationwide starts.


1.  (3) Joey Logano, Toyota, 200, $39,375.
2. (10) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 200, $29,675.
3. (12) Michael Annett, Ford, 200, $30,718.
4.  (4) Elliott Sadler, Chevrolet, 200, $26,893.
5.  (7) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 200, $17,650.
6. (13) Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 200, $24,218.
7. (38) Brian Scott, Toyota, 200, $22,528.
8.  (5) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 200, $14,920.
9.  (6) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 200, $22,018.
10.  (9) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 200, $21,818.
11. (15) Mike Bliss, Toyota, 200, $20,343.
12.  (1) Darrell Wallace Jr., Toyota, 200, $23,618.
13.  (8) Ryan Blaney, Dodge, 200, $20,118.
14. (11) Ryan Truex, Toyota, 200, $19,993.
15. (21) Jeff Green, Toyota, 200, $20,893.
16. (25) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 200, $19,843.
17. (24) Joe Nemechek, Toyota, 200, $22,368.
18. (14) Sam Hornish Jr., Dodge, 199, $19,918.
19. (16) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 198, $19,668.
20. (23) Jason Bowles, Dodge, 198, $20,293.
21. (29) Mike Wallace, Chevrolet, 197, $19,568.
22. (18) Blake Koch, Toyota, 197, $19,468.
23. (34) JJ Yeley, Ford, 197, $12,925.
24. (33) Timmy Hill, Ford, 197, $19,343.
25. (31) Jamie Dick, Chevrolet, 197, $13,300.
26. (37) Eric McClure, Toyota, 197, $19,243.
27. (27) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 194, $19,193.
28. (41) Brad Teague, Chevrolet, 193, $19,118.
29. (39) Tim Andrews, Ford, Oil Leak, 174, $12,575.
30.  (2) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 164, $19,293.
31. (30) Erik Darnell, Chevrolet, 148, $18,938.
32. (35) Justin Jennings, Chevrolet, Suspension, 108, $12,410.
33. (42) Tony Raines, Dodge, Engine, 53, $18,818.
34. (17) Kevin Lepage, Ford, Axle, 35, $12,315.
35. (40) Danny Efland, Ford, Overheating, 14, $12,285.
36. (43) Scott Riggs, Chevrolet, Suspension, 14, $12,260.
37. (32) Carl Long, Ford, Handling, 12, $12,240.
38. (26) Chase Miller, Chevrolet, Handling, 9, $12,176.
39. (20) Josh Wise, Chevrolet, Electrical, 6, $12,075.
40. (19) Michael McDowell, Toyota, Rear Gearing, 6, $12,020.
41. (36) TJ Bell, Chevrolet, Vibration, 6, $11,990.
42. (28) Kelly Bires, Chevrolet, Brakes, 4, $11,950.
43. (22) Charles Lewandoski, Toyota, Vibration, 3, $11,892.


Average Speed of Race Winner: 123.711 mph.
Time of Race: 1 Hrs, 37 Mins, 0 Secs.
Margin of Victory:  0.876 Seconds.
Caution Flags: 3 for 15 laps.
Lead Changes: 4 among 3 drivers.
Lap Leaders: J. Allgaier 1-13; J. Logano 14-47; K. Kahne 48-50; J. Logano 51-200.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): J. Logano 2 times for 184 laps; J. Allgaier 1 time for 13 laps; K. Kahne 1 time for 3 laps.
Top 10 in Points: E. Sadler – 1,054; R. Stenhouse Jr. – 1,045; A. Dillon – 1,029; S. Hornish Jr. – 994; J. Allgaier – 926; M. Annett – 916; C. Whitt – 843; M. Bliss – 781; B. Scott – 703; J. Nemechek – 678.

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.