MOORESVILLE – Joey Logano is driving in new territory.
He snagged his second Sprint Cup Series victory of the season by winning the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Speedway on April 26.
Logano, a Huntersville resident who drives for Mooresville-based Team Penske, sped the No. 22 Ford car to a late victory. It didn’t look overly promising with nine laps left as Logano was in fifth place. But he rallied, passed leader Matt Kenseth with three laps remaining and won by 9/10 of a second.
Logano’s second win is more than he had in any of his five seasons driving in the series. He and Kevin Harvick are tied for the victories lead through nine races this season.
“You know, any time you’re down to the end of the race there really is no patience,” Logano said. “It’s wide open. Obviously, I was able to see that in front of me and wanted to make sure I was close enough when something happened, I was able to take advantage of it, and that’s what I was able to do. You’ve got the new point system where everyone just goes for wins and you’ve got late-race cautions, and everyone has the same attitudes. Everyone is the heck with it. If we crash, we crash. We’re going for wins.”
Logano is sixth in the point standings, 49 points behind leader Jeff Gordon heading into the Aaron’s 499 on May 4 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
Elliot leads Nationwide Series
MOORESVILLE – Chase Elliott’s shot at winning three straight Nationwide Series races fell short, but only by one painful spot.
Elliott, a Mooresville resident, finished second at the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway after winning races at Texas and Darlington.
Eliott, 18, was attempting to become the first Nationwide Series driver to three-peat since Dale Earnhardt Jr., his team owner, did it in 1999. Elliot has a 19-point lead in the point standings over JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith, who win at Richmond to log the organization's first 1-2 finish.
Allmendinger has season-best finish
HUNTERSVILLE – A.J. Allmendinger, a Huntersville resident, had a season-best sixth-place finish in Richmond.
He drove the No. 47 Bush's Grillin' Beans Chevrolet and has rallied after finishing 25th or worse in three of the first four races this season.
We rank lake-area drivers in the racing world:
1. Joey Logano – Strong late finish to snag his second Sprint Cup Series victory last week at Richmond. Essentially locked up a Chase berth. Has won two of his past three races, sandwiched around a 35th-place finish.
2. Matt Kenseth – A scant five points behind Sprint Cup leader Jeff Gordon after finishing fifth at Richmond. Performing well consistently. In the past five races, he’s been seventh or better.
3. Kyle Busch – Finished third at Richmond, despite not leading on any lap. Fourth in the points standings. Last three races: Third, sixth and third.
4. Chase Elliott – Teen sensation’s past three Nationwide Series starts have results in finishes of first, first and second. He’s the series points leader and seems to be establishing a dominant groove.
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. – He’s a weekly contender with six top-10 finishes in nine races this season. Carried over the momentum from season-opening win at Daytona. More active on Twitter, too.