DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Joey Logano led the only lap that counted, capturing his first-ever win at historic Daytona International Speedway in Friday night’s SUBWAY Jalapeno 250 Powered By Coca-Cola.
Logano, whose No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota rolled off 40th due to an unapproved adjustment after qualifying, survived a spin in lap 27 and paired up with Jason Leffler with 30 laps to go. He found himself in sixth position at the white flag and as drivers scrambled behind them, Logano nipped Leffler by .040 seconds for the victory.
“I always said if you win a bicycle race here at Daytona it’s the coolest thing in the world,” Logano gushed. “So you can imagine how I feel right now. It would be really cool if it was one level up tomorrow, but right now I’m on such a high. This has to be up there as one of my coolest wins, if not the coolest.”
NASCAR Nationwide Series points leader Reed Sorenson finished third and Kyle Busch fourth.
“I was trying to help make sure Joey was going to win this thing,” Busch said of his JGR teammate. “We got the lead through Turn 1 and 2 and I’m like, ‘Alright man, this is his race so it’s going to be good.’ I knew (Logano and Leffler) were going to have a run coming down off of Turn 4 and I told Joey to keep it straight and just win this thing. I didn’t care if I was going to wreck just as long as he was going to win.”
Teammates played a big part throughout the race. Kevin Harvick Inc. had a strong showing with Harvick, Tony Stewart, Elliott Sadler and Clint Bowyer taking the top-four positions in qualifying. Sadler, who led seven times for a race-high 31 of the 100 laps, finished eighth and leaves the “World Center of Racing” second in the point standings.
JR Motorsports teammates Danica Patrick and Aric Almirola also proved to be a powerful pair as Patrick led five times for 13 laps in her first summer race at DIS and third overall NASCAR Nationwide Series appearance at the 2.5-mile tri-oval. Both of them looked like a contender for the win before being shuffled back in the closing laps and getting involved in an incident in the tri-oval coming to the checkered flag.
Point leader Sorenson won the first leg of the four-race “Dash 4 Cash” bonus program which kicked off tonight. The “Dash 4 Cash” bonus program rewards the highest-finishing eligible driver a $100,000 bonus. The four drivers in contention for the bonus were Sorenson, Sadler, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Justin Allgaier. Sorenson is eligible for the award again at Iowa Speedway along with Leffler, Allgaier and Michael Annett.
The 43-car field included 12 drivers who are pulling double duty and also racing in tomorrow night’s Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola. Twelve drivers exchanged the lead a record-tying 35 times. There were six cautions for 23 laps.
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