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RICHMOND, Va. (April 27, 2014) -- Before this season, Joey Logano had never won more than one Sprint Cup Series race in a season, had never won on a 1.5-mile track and had never won on a short track.
Nine races into 2014, the Team Penske driver has already done all of those things.
Logano somehow emerged with the lead after a four-way battle for the top spot late in Saturday night's race at Richmond International Raceway, locking himself into NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup with his second win of the year.
He did it in unlikely fashion: By restarting fourth for the final nine laps -- in the non-preferred lane -- and slipping underneath Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski and Jeff Gordon as the three cars in front of him went high on the track.
The win surprised Logano, 23, because he had only one top-10 finish in the last six races at Richmond -- a track he said was not one of his best.
"I told (crew chief) Todd (Gordon) after practice, 'This is the best car we've had in practice since Michigan (last year),' " Logano said. "I felt really good about that, like, 'Man, we can win this thing.' That's saying a lot at a place like this for me."
Gordon finished second and retained the Sprint Cup Series points lead, calling it "one of the wildest races with 10 to go that I've ever seen at Richmond.
"We were having a lot of fun up there," Gordon said. "Joey was in the right position."
Keselowski didn't think it was as fun. He brake-checked Kenseth after the race and angrily gestured at him on pit road. Kenseth acknowledged "trying to stay in the way as much as I could" in hopes of getting a win.
"Just got ran off the racetrack, but that's racing and we'll move on," Keselowski said.
Responded Kenseth: "He was mad because I ran into him a little bit getting into (Turn) 3, but we're going for the win. I ran him up to the third groove or so, but I've witnessed him racing that way a lot like I think he did to Jimmie (Johnson) at Texas a few years ago.
"I guess he's upset about that. We were all going for the win, (and) that's what we're supposed to be doing."
Dale Earnhardt Jr., who finished seventh but contested for the lead late, said: "The 2 (Keselowski) was mad at the 20 (Kenseth) and he slammed on the brakes after the checkered. The 47 (AJ Allmendinger) ran into the 20 and I ran into the 20 and I don't know what that was all about. You know, get over it."
Logano joined Kevin Harvick as the only two-time winners so far.
"(The wins are) all great," Logano said with a laugh. "I've never had a bad one before."