You can hardly fault Joey Logano if the young driver had been counting the days since his last NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win. Well, he can stop counting.
Logano, whose last trip to Victory Lane in June 2009 was also his first Sprint Cup win, notched his second career win at the Pocono 400 with a determined drive on Sunday. The 22-year-old took the lead from NASCAR veteran Mark Martin with three laps remaining in the race and pulled away from his challengers. Martin was second and Tony Stewart finished third.
“It was just an amazing weekend,” Logano said. “Mark (Martin) was getting better, every restart he was getting a little better, and he got me on the last one.”
On the restart on lap 157, Martin slipped ahead and Logano knew he had to stay in contact if he was to have any chance for the win. When Martin made a slight mistake, Logano knew he had to make his move.
“I said, I’m giving one away here,” recalled Logano, about trying to outbreak the NASCAR veteran as the two jockeyed for position into Turn 1. Logano said he was not sure if the two cars touched, but he was able to get by Martin.
“Making sure I cleared him was a very important moment,” Logano said. “And from there, you’re just waiting on that white flag and hoping that thing comes out before the next caution comes out.”
Martin commended Logano for his composure on the race track.
“He certainly didn’t get that one handed to him. He raced for it,” said Martin. He added that Logano is beginning to show he belongs in NASCAR’s top-level of racing. “I’ve always know since I saw him drive at 11 years old that he could be a (Sprint) Cup champion. I knew it then.”
Just 17 days after turning 22, Logano became the youngest NASCAR driver to win at the Pocono Raceway since Jeff Gordon did it 16 years ago at the age of 24.
Matt Kenseth takes over the Sprint Cup standings, leading Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 10 points and 16 points ahead of Greg Biffle, who dropped two places in the standings.
Next on the NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule is the Quicken Loans 400, at the Michingan International Speedway on June 17.