Joey Logano cemented his status as a master when it comes to NASCAR Nationwide Series racing at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. He won the 5-hour Energy 200 Nationwide race at Dover on Saturday, making for his fourth-straight Nationwide Series win at the track. He’s the only driver to ever win four-consecutive races at Dover in any of NASCAR’s three national series. His win on Saturday was also the second-straight, overall, for the No. 22 team, adding to Ryan Blaney’s win in the No. 22 a week earlier at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.
“It’s a huge deal,” Logano said of winning four-straight. “Just fun being in victory lane and getting four-in-a-row. This is my favorite race track.”
Kyle Larson finished a distant second after getting close to the front from his 17th starting spot with pit strategy early in the race.
“(Crew chief) Trent (Owens) made a great call early in the race to get us to the front, and fortunately, we had a long green-flag run.”
Only four cars finished on the lead lap. The other two lead lappers were Kevin Harvick, who finished third, and Brian Vickers in fourth.
Logano started on the pole and led the way until being overtaken by Kyle Busch on lap 19 of the 200-lap race. But Busch stayed out during two cautions early in the race, and the call wound up backfiring on his No. 54 team.
Most drivers outside the top-10 pitted when the first yellow flag waved on lap 24, while the front runners, except for Busch, pitted during the second and final caution that came out on lap 35. Busch was able to remain out front until he was forced to make a green-flag pit stop on lap 87.
By that time, Logano had made his way back toward the front after restarting 18th on the second restart to take the lead when Busch hit pit road. A few laps after Busch made his first stop of the race, the rest of the field cycled through green flag pit stops. The cycle put Busch back in the lead, but he still had one more stop to make while almost everyone else was able to go the rest of the way.
After leading 89 laps, Busch lost the top spot to Logano with 59 laps to go. With 25 laps remaining, Busch headed down pit road for the final time. He wound up finishing the race in the eighth position, one lap down.
While Logano was able to make his way back toward the front after his first pit stop, Penske Racing teammate and Nationwide Series points leader Sam Hornish Jr. was not. Hornish got mired back outside the top-20 for the remainder of the race, battling an ill-handling race car. Matters got worse for the points leader when he was caught speeding down pit road on his final pit stop and then was told by his team to conserve fuel the rest of the distance. He wound up finishing 17th.
Hornish was able, though, to hold on to his lead in the standings, but his cushion was cut from 15 to four points by Austin Dillon, who finished in the sixth position.
Elliott Sadler finished fifth, Parker Kligerman was seventh, Trevor Bayne ninth and Mike Bliss rounded out the top-10.
– Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR