2009-07-02 / Sports

Logano Gets First Cup Win

By Gerald Hodges THE RACING REPORTER

Joey Logano Joey Logano LOUDON, N.H. - Nineteen year-old Joey Logano won Sunday's rain-shortened Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Speedway to become the youngest driver to ever win a Cup race.

With skies threatening, Logano's crew chief, Greg Zippadelli, decided to keep his driver on the track as long as possible, even during green-flag stops. He conserved fuel and was in the lead as the rains came, ending the race after 273 of the scheduled 301 laps.

"We didn't have anything to lose," said Logano. "It was our opportunity and we took advantage of it. It was a great call by "Zippy." We saved just enough fuel to make it here."

"This is my home track so it makes it all that more special."

Logano is from nearby Middletown, Conn.

During a restart on lap 176, Kyle Busch got into the back of Martin Truex, causing a 14-car pileup that sent eight cars to the garage for repairs. The cars that had to go to the garage included, Truex, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton, Brian Vickers, Jamie Mc- Murray, David Reutimann, and David Ragan.

NASCAR red flagged the race immediately after the big wreck so speedway workers could clean up the mess of debris and metal on the front straightaway.

"I guess Kyle just didn't want to wait," said Truex, who was not able to return to the race.

Jeff Burton was another one of the cars knocked out of the race.

"We didn't do anything wrong today," he said. "We didn't cause the wreck. We had about as fast a car as anyone out here. When you have aggressive racing, you're going to have wrecks and that's what we had today."

Stewart remains the series points leader, holding a 69-point edge over Gordon.

Top-10 finishers: 1. Joey Logano, 2. Jeff Gordon, 3. Kurt Busch, 4. David Reutimann, 5. Tony Stewart, 6. Brad Keselowski, 7. Kyle Busch, 8. Sam Hornish, 9. Jimmie Johnson, 10. Kasey Kahne

Top-12 Chase Contenders after 17 of 26 races before the Chase begins: 1. Stewart-2524, 2. J. Gordon-2455, 3. Johnson-2355, 4. Kurt Busch-2254, 5. Edwards- 2157, 6. Hamlin-2132, 7. Newman- 2127, 8. Kyle Busch-2108, 9. Biffle- 2106, 10. Kenseth-2054, 11. Martin 2052, 12. Montoya-2049

Kyle Busch gets fifth Nationwide win

After back-to-back secondplace finishes in the past two Nationwide Series races, Kyle Busch got back into victory lane by winning Saturday's Camping World RV Sales 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.

Busch earned the win by beating his teammate, Joey Logano, to the stripe by .617 of a second. It was Busch's fifth Nationwide Series win of the season and his first since taking the checkered flag three weeks ago at Nashville.

Top-10 leaders after 16 of 35: 1. Kyle Busch-2581, 2. Edwards- 2419, 3. Keselowski-2338, 4. Leffler 2261, 5. Logano-2040, 6. Bliss- 1910, 7. Allgaier-1864, 8. Gaughan 1844, 9. S. Wallace-1823, 10. Keller-1810

Hornaday dominates Memphis truck race

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Ron Hornaday Jr. took home his second straight Elvis trophy with an overpowering victory Saturday in the Camping World Truck Series race at Memphis Motorsports Park.

Hornaday led 175 of 201 laps on the .75-mile track. The driver of the Kevin Harvick Inc. Chevrolet had a commanding lead over Brian Scott's Toyota before a late-race caution forced a greenwhite checkered finish. Hornaday pulled away on the final restart and won by .653 seconds over Scott.

It was the second straight week Hornaday has led almost from start to finish. He led 180 of 200 laps at Milwaukee, where he took the points lead. Hornaday expanded it to 76 over Matt Crafton at Memphis with his third victory of the season and 42nd of his career, tops in the history of the series.

Top-10 leaders after 11 of 25: 1. Hornaday-1713, 2. Crafton- 1637, 3. Skinner-1579, 4. Bodine- 1564, 5. Starr-1482, 6. Scott-1468, 7. Malsam-1418, 8. Cook-1415, 9. Crawford-1397, 10. Braun-1381

Battle for chase heats up

With nine races left before the Chase begins, several drivers currently among the top-12 points leaders are not locked in, while several others still have a shot at making this year's Chase.

Tony Stewart finished second for the fourth time this season at Infineon and increased his lead over Jeff Gordon. Stewart can roll the dice as many times as he wants to secure more victories and the 10-point Chase bonus that comes with each win.

Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, and Ryan Newman also seem secure, but from seventh spot on back, it's iffy.

Denny Hamlin has had a rollercoaster season, and if it continues, he could find himself out.

Kyle Busch has had lots of successes but, his performance has been spotty.

Greg Biffle has shown that he has good stuff, but like Hamlin, he has come up short several times.

Matt Kenseth started the season off with two wins but since then has mostly flopped.

Mark Martin also has two wins but needs more consistent finishes.

A rough outing at Infineon Raceway in California pushed Richard Childress Racing''s Jeff Burton from the 12th and final spot to 15th. Meanwhile, strong showings by sixth-place finisher Juan Pablo Montoya and winner Kasey Kahne put them back in contention, with Montoya taking over the 12th spot and Kahne just three points behind him. Michael Waltrip Racing's David Reutimann has been in and out of the Chase in recent weeks and is currently 40 points outside of the top 12.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans are going to have to wait until next year for a championship. Team owner Rick Hendrick switched crew chiefs on Earnhardt's team three weeks ago in hopes that he could turn the season around, but it hasn't happened.

Weekend racing: Racing returns to Daytona International Speedway this weekend as the Cup and Nationwide cars take on the 2.5-mile track. The Camping World Trucks have an off weekend.

Friday, July 3, Nationwide Series Winn-Dixie 250, race 17 of 35; starting time: 7:30 p.m. (EDT); TV: ESPN2.

Sat., July 4, Sprint Cup Coke Zero 400, race 18 of 36; starting time: 6:30 p.m. (EDT); TV: TNT.

Racing trivia question: How many Cup championships does Tony Stewart have?

Last week's question: Who is the driver of the Sprint Cup No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet? Answer. Mark Martin.

You may contact the Racing Reporter at: hodgesnews@earthlink.net.

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