“Bristol baby! I finally won here,” an excited Joey Logano shouted over the radio to his team during the cool-down lap following Friday night’s Food City 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Bristol (Ten.) Motor Speedway.
Prior to this year’s event, Logano had come close to Bristol wins several times, but something always kept him out of the track’s victory lane. Not on Friday.
“We’ve been so close to winning here,” Logano said in victory lane. “This is one of the top-three or four tracks to win at.”
Last-lap contact between Ricky Stenhouse and then-second-place runner Elliott Sadler resulted in a second-place finish for Stenhouse.
“That was my fault,” Stenhouse said after the race. “I should’ve lifted and gave him more room.”
Meanwhile, Sadler was relegated to a fifth-place finish.
“It’s just not the finish we deserved,” a disappointed Sadler said. “We should’ve finished second at worst.”
Logano took charge of the race early, taking the lead from pole sitter Trevor Bayne on lap one. He remainded out front until he gave up the top spot to head down pit road during a caution on lap 33. But pit strategy got him back into the top-three a few laps later when he stayed out during a caution on lap 46. Logano restarted third behind Stenhouse and Ryan Blaney, who also stayed out.
Logano moved back into the lead when he got by Stenhouse for the position on lap 106, but Kevin Harvick used pit strategy in the form of taking only two tires to assume the top spot during a caution on lap 113.
With 35 laps remaining, Logano retook the lead from Harvick, passing him on the race track. He went on to lead the remainder of the 250-lap race. Harvick eventually lost several more positions when he made an uscheduled pit stop under yellow in the final 25 laps.
Other drivers finishing in the top-five include Kyle Busch in third and Austin Dillon in fourth.
The yellow flag waved a season-high nine times in the race on Friday, something that made Logano a little uneasy.
“It was a long-run car, so it made me nervous on those restarts,” Logano said.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR
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