Four NASCAR Nationwide Series wins, apparently, weren’t enough for Joey Logano. He added to his series tally on Saturday, holding off James Buescher in the final laps to win the Alliance Truck Parts 250 at the newly-repaved Michigan International Speedwy.
“It’s a combination of a lot of things,” Logano said of his recent dominance of the Nationwide Series. “I have a lot of confidence right now.”
Confidence is understandable. After all, this most recent win is Logano’s fourth in his last five series starts and already his fifth of the season.
By the way, the Michigan win was also the first NNS win for Toyota at the track.
After a brief red flag to clean up the track following an incident between the No. 39 car of Josh Richards and the No. 23 of Jamie Dick with about seven laps remaining, Logano and Buescher restarted the race first and second.
The two drivers pulled away from the rest of the race field for the final laps to make it a two-man battle for the win.
The rest of the field was in the distance, but Logano was unable to get away from Buescher in the closing laps.
“These cars punch such a big hole in the air, it’s hard to get away from anyone,” Logano said.
Buescher was able to get up beside Logano on the final lap but was unable to get by to take the win.
“There’s a lot of moves at the end of the race that got us in this position,” Buescher said. “We just didn’t have all the speed we needed getting through the center of the corner.”
Logano first took the lead on lap 21, but that lead was short-tived, as the caution came out just a few laps later. Sam Hornish Jr. assumed the top spot by taking only two tires on his pit stop to get off pit road first.
Hornish stayed up front until another caution came out on lap 49. Paul Menard then inherited the lead when he, like Hornish before, took only two tires. Another caution came out just a few laps later, and while most of the front-runners stayed out on the race track, Logano headed down pit road because of a cut tire.
Buescher moved into the lead for the restart that followed, but lost the top spot to Menard on lap 61. Elliott Sadler then took second from Buescher and the Richard Childress Racing duo of Menard and Sadler ran first and second for several laps, with Menard up front and his teammate in the runner-up spot.
Sadler got by Menard for the lead during a cycle of green flag pit stops that got underway with just under 40 laps to go, but with just over 20 to go, Logano got by both of them to retake the top spot.
The yellow flag waved soon after, and Sadler dropped back several positions on the restart, moving Menard into second. But Menard, like his teammate, lost several spots on a restart when the caution came out again with 13 laps remaining.
Buescher then moved into second to join Logano up front just before the yellow and then red flag came out late in the race.
Once the race went back to green, Logano and Buescher pulled away from the field to claim the top-two spots inthe finishing order. Kurt Busch was third, Cole Whitt fourth, and Austin Dillon rounded out the top-five.
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