Joey Logano, driving the #22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford, wins the 18th Annual SYLVANIA 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, making it through to the Contender round by virtue of a victory. Logano gets his first victory at what he considers his home track, near his hometown of Middletown, Connecticut, leading 73 of the 303 laps at NHMS.
This is Logano’s fourth victory for the 2014 season and his seventh victory in 211 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. Logano has victories also at Texas Motor Speedway (Duck Commander 500), Richmond International Raceway (Toyota Owners 400), Bristol Motor Speedway (Irwin Tools Night Race). Along with Logano, Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski with his victory for the Chase opener gain entry into the Contender round early.
“We had some good restarts and was able to get ourselves back up there,” said Logano in victory lane. “This is my home race track, the coolest place to win for me, you can never pick a better race track to win, I watched my first cup race here when I was 5…It means so much to me.”
Logano took command of the race for the final time, after Kevin Harvick, the leader driving the Budweiser Designate a Driver Chevrolet, and Keselowski, driver of the Miller-Lite Ford, on the inside, took the restart, Harvick sped off going into Turn 2 when Keselowski bumped the back of Harvick, as Logano with a run passed them for the lead.
Caution bred cautions at New Hampshire Motor Speedway today, with the field needing to go into NASCAR’s version of overtime in the Green-White-Checkered after the final caution for coming out for Tony Stewart, driving the #14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, spun in Turn 4 shortly after the green flag dropped. The race surpassed the season high 14 cautions at Martinsville Speedway in March, with 15 cautions.
Logano was able to hold off a determined Harvick, restart after restart for the final 27 laps including 3 restarts in the final 10 laps.
Kyle Larson finished in 2nd, the highest finishing rookie. Harvick finished 3rd, Jamie McMurray finished 4th, and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top-5. Chase contender Aric Almirola finished in 6th, after his disappointing finish in Chicagoland with an engine failure.
The Chase contenders suffered notable problems that would drop them outside the top 20: Matt Kenseth finished 21st, Kasey Kahne finished 23rd, Jeff Gordon finished 26th was also the last driver on the lead lap, Kurt Busch finished 36th and Denny Hamlin finished 37th. The remaining Chase driver who dealt with problems but were able to rebound were; Keselowski finished 7th, Kyle Busch finished 8th, Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 9th and Ryan Newman finished 18th.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to Dover International Speedway for the AAA 400 Sunday, Sept. 28, with qualifying for the race on Friday, Sept. 26 with coverage on ESPN 2 beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET. Race coverage will begin at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN.