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Joey Logano Tops Watkins Glen Xfinity Race

Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen
Saturday, August 4, 2018

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Joey Logano celebrates at Watkins Glen
Sarah Crabill/Getty Images

Joey Logano reaffirmed his mastery of the road course at Watkins Glen International, but it took a three-wide restart late in Saturday's Zippo 200 for the driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford to get the job done. 

After winning his fourth straight NASCAR Xfinity Series pole at the 2.45-mile track, Logano took teammate Brad Keselowski and Joe Gibbs Racing driver Ryan Preece three-wide into Turn 1 after a restart on lap 75 of 82.  

Logano's move forced Keselowski wide and Logano cleared his teammate before the entry to Turn 2. But Keselowski wasn't finished. He hounded Logano relentlessly until Keselowski spun in Turn 1 with two laps left.  

That gave Logano a comfortable margin, and he cruised to the finish line 3.362 seconds ahead of charging AJ Allmendinger, as Keselowski fell to 10th at the end. Allmendinger passed third-place finisher Justin Allgaier in the final corner to secure the runner-up spot. 

"That was all I had," said Logano, who came to the green for the final restart with six-lap fresher tires than Keselowski. "He was definitely faster. I thought the tires would have been enough to be faster than him. 

"I had a good restart and got in front of him, and he dogged me. These Xfinity cars draft quite a bit down these straightaways, and it's hard to pull away. It felt good to race each other really hard, so it's cool to see Penske cars doing that." 

The victory was Logano's third in four races at WGI, his second in four starts this season and the 30th of his career, breaking a tie with Matt Kenseth for seventh on the all-time list.   

Preece came home fourth, his fifth top 10 and fourth top five in six 2018 starts. Aric Almirola completed the top five. 

Joey Logano lead the field in the wet at Watkins Glen
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Logano won the race's first stage before a rainstorm forced a change to rain tires. Allmendinger showed his road racing superiority by pulling away to win the second stage before the sun came out and dried the track.  

Allmendinger drew a one-lap penalty for sliding too far and pitting outside his stall during a fuel-only green-flag stop on Lap 52, but he fought back to finish second after two late cautions bunched the field. 

"Just a dumb mistake on my part," Allmendinger said. "I was coming in for fuel there, and it was still a little bit damp on pit road... I rolled in and slid a little more than I expected and got the nose over the line, and they'd already started to refuel. 

"I just knew that, once we got the yellow, I was going to have to start roughing people up an driving up through there as hard as I could." 

Christopher Bell fell short in his attempt to match Sam Ard's series record of four straight victories. Bell recovered from a pass-through penalty (for crewmen over the wall too soon on a Lap 16 stop) and finished ninth. 

But Bell holds the series lead by 22 points over Cole Custer, who finished sixth on Saturday. Daniel Hemric (16th) is third, 23 points back, and fourth-place Elliott Sadler trials by 26 points.  

RACE RESULTS

 

Finish Start # Driver Sponsor/Make Laps Led Points Status
1 1 22 Joey Logano Snap On Ford 82 31 0 Running
2 4 23 AJ Allmendinger ISM Connect/AfterShokz Chevrolet 82 11 0 Running
3 10 7 Justin Allgaier BRANDT Chevrolet 82 0 50 Running
4 8 18 Ryan Preece Craftsman Toyota 82 8 40 Running
5 9 98 Aric Almirola Go Bowling Ford 82 0 0 Running
6 12 0 Cole Custer Haas Automation Ford 82 0 31 Running
7 20 19 Brandon Jones Toyota Service Centers/Mobil 1 Toyota 82 0 30 Running
8 19 16 Ryan Reed Drive Down A1C Lilly Diabetes Ford 82 0 31 Running
9 11 20 Christopher Bell
Rheem Toyota 82 0 35 Running
10 2 12 Brad Keselowski Wabash National Ford 82 26 0 Running
11 27 9 Tyler Reddick
Nationwide Children's Chevrolet 82 1 27 Running
12 13 1 Elliott Sadler Textron Off Road Wildcat XX Chevrolet 82 0 25 Running
13 14 60 Austin Cindric
LTi Printing Ford 82 0 24 Running
14 15 51 Jeremy Clements RepairableVehicles.com Chevrolet 82 1 27 Running
15 17 61 Kaz Grala
DMB Financial Ford 82 0 24 Running
16 5 21 Daniel Hemric South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet 82 0 35 Running
17 25 5 Michael Annett TMC Chevrolet 82 0 20 Running
18 7 11 Ryan Truex Leaf Filter Chevrolet 82 0 24 Running
19 21 36 Alex Labbe
Larue/Cyclops Gear Chevrolet 82 4 18 Running
20 23 4 Ross Chastain Buckle Up New York Chevrolet 82 0 20 Running
21 36 90 Brian HendersonFriends of Jaclyn Foundation Chevrolet 82 0 16 Running
22 37 35 Joey Gase Sparks Chevrolet 82 0 15 Running
23 32 0 Garrett Smithley teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet 82 0 14 Running
24 39 76 Spencer Boyd
Grunt Style Chevrolet 81 0 13 Running
25 6 3 Austin Dillon Bass Pro Shops/Cabela's Chevrolet 78 0 0 Running
26 28 39 Ryan Sieg Midstate Chevrolet 77 0 11 Engine
27 3 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet Accessories Chevrolet 77 0 0 Engine
28 24 15 Mike Skeen teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet 76 0 9 Running
29 35 40 Chad Finchum
Smithbilt Toyota 74 0 8 Running
30 22 8 Scott Heckert JW Transport LLC Chevrolet 73 0 7 Running
31 29 17 Victor Gonzalez Jr PMC Group Chevrolet 70 0 PE Running
32 38 45 Josh Bilicki
Prevagen Toyota 69 0 5 Running
33 34 52 David Starr Extreme Kleaner Chevrolet 49 0 4 Suspension
34 26 38 JJ Yeley RSS Racing Chevrolet 45 0 3 Brakes
35 40 1 Vinnie Miller
teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet 32 0 2 Accident
36 31 66 Timmy Hill CrashClaimsR.Us/MBM Motorsports Dodge 27 0 1 Rear Gear
37 16 2 Matt Tifft Tunity Chevrolet 26 0 1 Accident
38 18 24 Justin Haley FOE Chevrolet 26 0 0 Accident
39 33 93 Jeff Green RSS Racing Chevrolet 8 0 1 Brakes
40 30 78 Tommy Joe Martins JW Transport LLC Chevrolet 3 0 1 Accident

 

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