Strategy propels Logano to third consecutive Dover win

Joey Logano calls Dover his favorite race track; and rightfully so.

In 2008, the then 18-year-old made his Nationwide Series debut driving for Joe Gibbs Racing. That day ended with Logano in the sixth-position; a finish that he said at the time “sucked”.

Last year – once again driving for Joe Gibbs Racing – Logano won both Nationwide races at Dover en route to winning a total of nine races; the most in the Nationwide Series in 2012.

Saturday was the first time Logano had raced at Dover driving for anyone else other than Joe Gibbs.

Now driving for Penske Racing, Logano was looking for his first victory with the team and his first NASCAR win for a team other than Joe Gibbs Racing.

Throughout most of the race, the Joe Gibbs machine driven by Kyle Busch dominated.

Leading three times for 72 laps, it looked as though Busch was going to cruise to his series-leading seventh victory of the 2013 season.

That was until the final round of pit stops when strategy became the deciding factor.

Opting to change four-tires, Busch dropped from the race lead to outside the top-ten as the pack exited pit road.

Logano – who’s crew opted to change just two-tires – took the lead as the race was set for what turned out to be the final restart.

“No, no….it was my fault,” Busch said after the race when asked if the call to change four-tires instead of two was a miscommunication.

“Just aggravated at myself. I made the wrong call there. I was just figuring more would take four [tires] there.”

Holding on to the lead for the remaining distance over the Joe Gibbs car in which he made his first start – now piloted by Brian Vickers – back in 2008, Logano won Saturday’s 5 Hour Energy 200 at Dover for his third consecutive win at the track known as the “Monster Mile”.

“Finally,” a somewhat relived Logano said in victory lane about beating his former team.

Saturday’s win was not only Logano’s first victory of the 2013 season, but it was also his first time in victory lane driving for Penske Racing.

“It’s great to get a win for Roger Penske, that’s the coolest part of this,” Logano said. “We’ve been fighting…trying to get a win….so this feels great to finally get back in victory lane.”

Regan Smith – finished ninth – holds a 22-point lead over Sam Hornish Jr. heading into next weekend’s race at Iowa (Newton) Speedway.

5 Hour Energy 200 Unofficial Results 

  1. Joey Logano
  2. Brian Vickers
  3. Matt Kenseth
  4. Trevor Bayne
  5. Kyle Busch
  6. Kasey Kahne
  7. Sam Hornish Jr.
  8. Austin Dillon
  9. Regan Smith
  10. Kyle Larson
  11. Parker Kligerman
  12. Justin Allgaier
  13. Michael Annett
  14. Brian Scott
  15. Travis Pastrana
  16. Cole Whitt
  17. Alex Bowman
  18. Mike Bliss
  19. Jeremy Clements
  20. Nelson Piquet Jr.
  21. Jeffrey Earnhardt
  22. Landon Cassill
  23. Ty Dillon
  24. Eric McClure
  25. Dexter Stacey
  26. Harrison Rhodes
  27. Danny Efland
  28. Elliott Sadler
  29. Reed Sorenson
  30. Tony Raines
  31. Mike Wallace
  32. Jason White
  33. Joe Nemechek
  34. Joey Gase
  35. Jeff Green
  36. Morgan Shepard
  37. JJ Yeley
  38. Josh Wise
  39. Matt Dibenedetto
  40. Blake Koch