Joey Logano Wins Xfinity Race At Talladega With Stellar Last Lap

Joey Logano Wins Xfinity Race At Talladega With Stellar Last Lap

May 3, 2015

​By Mike Hembree, Special for USA TODAY Sports, May 3, 2015


TALLADEGA, Ala. — Joey Logano ran a masterful final lap to win the Winn-Dixie 300 Xfinity Series race Saturday afternoon at Talladega Superspeedway.

Logano, an invader from the Sprint Cup Series, took the white flag side by side with Chris Buescher, and Buescher, on the outside, pushed slightly ahead on the backstretch. But Logano used a push from Elliott Sadler to lead through turns three and four and blocked Buescher and other contenders down the frontstretch to outrun Brian Scott by .13 of a second.

The runner-up run is the fourth of Scott's Xfinity career.

Finishing third through fifth were Austin Dillon, J.J. Yeley and Joey Gase, who started 39th. Buescher, whose last-gasp frontstretch charge was blunted by Logano's block, finished sixth.

"It's such a combination of old-school drafting and cars bumping," Logano said. "It's so intense out there. I was just looking at everything in the mirror all the time."

Joey Logano Wins Xfinity Race at Talladega
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The tenor of the race changed on lap 74 when congestion at the entrance to pit road caused a 10-car crash, created danger on pit road and brought out the red flag.

The crash began as several leaders dropped low on the track out of the fourth turn with plans to drive onto pit road under green. Some cars in the front pack slowed, but others didn't, and suddenly cars were sliding across the grassy area separating pit road from the racing surface while others sailed onto pit road to avoid the spinners.

Brendan Gaughan lost control of his Chevrolet in the middle of the mess and slammed into a pit wall with the front of his car. Crew members from several teams scattered behind the pit wall as Gaughan's car approached.

Two crewmen for Aric Almirola's No. 98 team were taken to the infield care center after apparently being hit by a tire. One was treated and released at the track's infield care center. The other, Troy Brady, was transported to a local hospital with unspecified injuries. Brady was released from Trinity Medical Center in Birmingham late Saturday night, according to the team.

The incident comes one week after a pit road fire during an Xfinity Series race at Richmond International Raceway injured three crewmen, two from Gaughan's team.

"You never want to hit that wall," Gaughan said. "That's the wall where you've got people. So you never, ever want to go near that wall. I'm still frustrated. I felt like I should have saved that race car, but we're on pit road, we're sliding, it's just slick. All the debris is down there. I kept tail-swapping and trying, but I couldn't get it saved.

"Look, we're not playing tiddlywinks. You can't put the bubble wrap around the whole place and around us. We hit pit wall at a rate of speed – I'm sure it's not a rate anybody wants, but it's not like we were 200 mph off the track on pit road. I was down to probably 60 mph when we hit pit wall."

Other drivers involved in the crash were Daniel Suarez, John Wes Townley, Harrison Rhodes, Ryan Sieg, Ty Dillon, Ryan Reed, Chad Boat and Gase.

NASCAR threw a red flag to facilitate cleanup on and near pit road. It lasted almost eight minutes.

The race's second "Big One" crash occurred 20 laps later in the same neighborhood. Seven cars became involved in the wreck after drivers in the center of the lead pack lost control, causing the race's sixth caution. Points leader Ty Dillon, who ultimately finished eighth to stay atop the standings, also was involved in the second crash.

Contributing: Jeff Gluck