By Jason Schultz
A few cautions late in the race helped Joey Logano beat his JGR teammate Denny Hamlin for Logano’s second straight Nationwide Series win. After an incident where race leader Elliot Sadler was involved in a wreck on a late restart, Logano was able to hold the rest of the field off for the win. The first caution came out on lap two when rookie Ryan Blaney got into the wall hard to end his day.
Also involved in the first caution were Chase Miller and Jeremy Clements. The restart came out on lap nine with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. leading. Ten laps later Denny Hamlin would take his first lead of the race. The next caution came out on lap 35 when Mike Wallace got into the turn three wall. On the restart Joey Logano would take the lead but soon his teammate Denny Hamlin would regain the lead.
The third yellow flag came out when T.J Bell crashed into the front stretch inside wall. On the ensuing restart Kurt Busch, driving the No.54 Monster Camry, made a daring move going three wide under Hamlin and Logano to take the lead for the first time of the night. Then on lap 54 Hamlin would regain the lead from Busch.
Hamlin’s No.18 Sports Clips car needed a few laps to get going after each restart throughout the race. With 21 laps to go while Denny Hamlin was leading, Kurt Busch, who was running second, blew a tire and made significant contact with the wall bringing the caution out. Busch was able to continue.
A risky move on the final round of pit stops was made by Elliot Sadler’s crew who took only two tires and was able to gain the lead. A few laps following the restart, Hamlin was catching Sadler fast for the lead, but just as Hamlin got along side Sadler the caution came out for Brendan Gaughan who blew a right front tire and got into the wall. Coming to the restart with five laps to go, Sadler leads the race followed by Hamlin, Logano, Dillon and Keselowski. Soon after the leaders passed the start finish line, Logano got into the back of race leader Sadler sending Sadler hard right up into the wall. Sadler got a little assistance from Hamlin as well. Kasey Kahne also was caught up in the incident.
Sadler’s car was done for the night. Over the radio before the restart Logano said “I did not mean to do that at all.”After the race in victory lane Logano apologized to Sadler and let him know he didn’t do it on purpose. Sadler said in an interview with ESPN “Fighting for my life out here to be a part of this sport… Stuff like this is disappointing.” Sadler is trying to revamp his career in the Nationwide Series for the next few seasons. The green-white-checker finish would decide the finish of the Nationwide race for the second straight week.
On the final restart Hamlin realized he had blown a cylinder which likely cost him the race. Logano managed to hold off a last-ditch effort by Hamlin to win his second straight Nationwide race. Joey mentioned in victory lane that Darlington is “Such a cool place to win at,” While Logano celebrated in victory lane, his teammate Hamlin was frustrated with having such a good car and not be able to pull it into victory lane. Hamlin said “All I could do is hold it wide open for the last few laps.”
The most notable rookies finished as followed; Travis Pastrana 17th, Ryan Blaney 43rd, and Danica Patrick 12th. Danica commented after the race “Really good to come away with a good finish at Darlington.” Logano wins his third Nationwide race of the season and continues to dominate in the series. Brad Keselowski said after the race “Feeling pumped for tomorrow’s race” a statement we can all agree on. The green flag for tomorrow’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 is scheduled to drop at 7:16 PM EST.
Top 5 Results
- Joey Logano
- Denny Hamlin
- Brad Keselowski
- Sam Hornish Jr.
- Austin Dillon
Top 5 Points
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
- Elliot Sadler
- Austin Dillon
- Sam Hornish Jr.
- Cole Whitt
Results via Nascar.com
|1||5||20||Joey Logano||Toyota||Dollar General||0||151||Running|
|2||2||18||Denny Hamlin||Toyota||Sport Clips||0||151||Running|
|3||13||22||Brad Keselowski||Dodge||Snap-On Tools||0||151||Running|
|4||8||12||Sam Hornish Jr.||Dodge||Alliance Truck Parts||40/0||151||Running|
|5||3||3||Austin Dillon *||Chevrolet||AdvoCare||39/0||151||Running|
|6||1||6||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Ford||Blackwell Angus Beef / Cargill||39/1||151||Running|
|7||7||11||Brian Scott||Toyota||Dollar General||37/0||151||Running|
|8||4||54||Kurt Busch||Toyota||Monster Energy||0||151||Running|
|9||14||30||James Buescher||Chevrolet||AccuDoc Solutions||0||151||Running|
|10||40||88||Cole Whitt *||Chevrolet||TaxSlayer.com||35/1||151||Running|
|14||22||43||Michael Annett||Ford||Pilot Flying J||30/0||151||Running|
|15||12||44||Mike Bliss||Toyota||Tri-Star Motorsports||29/0||151||Running|
|17||25||199||Travis Pastrana||Toyota||Boost Mobile||27/0||151||Running|
|18||9||38||Kasey Kahne||Chevrolet||Great Clips||0||151||Running|
|19||26||14||Jeff Green||Toyota||Hefty / Reynolds Wrap||25/0||149||Running|
|20||36||4||Danny Efland||Chevrolet||EMS Speak||24/0||148||Running|
|21||32||81||Jason Bowles *||Toyota||American Majority||23/0||148||Running|
|22||37||89||Morgan Shepherd||Chevrolet||Racing With Jesus / MorganShepherd.com||22/0||147||Running|
|23||28||23||Jamie Dick||Chevrolet||Viva Auto Group||21/0||144||Running|
|24||6||2||Elliott Sadler||Chevrolet||OneMain Financial||21/1||143||Accident|
|25||19||39||Josh Richards||Ford||NSW Kids||19/0||143||Running|
|26||11||33||Brendan Gaughan||Chevrolet||South Point Hotel & Casino||0||138||Accident|
|27||43||70||Derrike Cope||Dodge||ML Motorsports||17/0||138||Running|
|28||42||108||Matt Frahm||Ford||New Lifestyle Diet / Maui Jim Sunglasses||16/0||125||Engine|
|31||30||19||Tayler Malsam||Toyota||G-Oil / NOYS||13/0||60||Transmission|
|32||18||50||T.J. Bell||Chevrolet||Twin Oaks Services||12/0||44||Accident|
|33||23||51||Jeremy Clements||Chevrolet||Clements Automotive||11/0||42||Running|
|35||41||52||Kevin Lepage||Chevrolet||Second Chance Race Parts||9/0||25||Engine|
|36||34||10||Tony Raines||Toyota||TriStar Motorsports||0||14||Vibration|
|37||39||174||Mike Harmon||Chevrolet||Koma Unwind Relaxation Drink||7/0||10||Brakes|
|38||38||175||Scott Riggs||Chevrolet||Rick Ware Racing||0||7||Vibration|
|39||24||42||Josh Wise||Chevrolet||Curtis Key Plumbing||0||7||Electrical|
|40||27||124||Casey Roderick *||Chevrolet||West Virginia Miners / Linda K. Epling||4/0||3||Accident|
|41||29||46||Chase Miller||Chevrolet||Curtis Key Plumbing||3/0||2||Accident|
|42||33||47||Scott Speed||Chevrolet||Curtis Key Plumbing||0||2||Clutch|
|43||17||136||Ryan Blaney||Chevrolet||SealWrap.com / Advance Auto Parts||1/0||1||Accident|