Logano rules at Pocono
Outlasts Martin for NASCAR win
Joey Logano stood on top of the No. 20 high-fiving everyone he could reach in Victory Lane. Beverages were sprayed, fists were pumped, and throaty shouts of celebration could be heard well down the 2 1/2-mile track.
It’s what winning a Sprint Cup race is all about.
It’s what Logano has waited years to truly experience. Not rain or Mark Martin would deny him this feeling.
Logano gave a crafty Martin a well-timed nudge out of the way in the closing laps Sunday at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., to clinch his first victory since 2009 and become the first Sprint Cup driver this season to win from the pole. The one-time prodigy and the grizzled veteran pushing hard down the stretch was a duel to remember.
“I didn’t stop screaming until I got to Victory Lane,’’ Logano said. “You work so hard to do this.’’
This one felt like the first time for Logano after his only other career win in 125 Sprint Cup starts was a rain-shortened win at New Hampshire. Wins count the same in the record book. But they sure do feel different.
“When you cross the line and you’ve won the race, to me, it’s an amazing feeling,’’ Logano said.
Logano had the top car all weekend, posting the fastest practice time Friday and then taking the pole Saturday.
Logano was a season-high eighth in the Cup race at Dover last week and now has three top-10s in his last four starts. It could be a sign that things are finally falling into place in his first season with crew chief Jason Ratcliff. Logano has fared much better on the second-tier Nationwide Series. He has 13 career Nationwide wins, four this season, including last week at Dover International Speedway.
Pocono shortened the race by 100 miles this season and got a thrilling finish. Logano, 22, led a career-high 49 laps to become the youngest winner at Pocono.
Martin, 53, looking for his first win since 2009, took the lead with eight laps left. Logano, though, bumped Martin out of the way and zipped past for the winning move with three laps remaining.
“I’d call that a bump and run,’’ Martin said. “It’s been acceptable in this racing for a long time. It’s not how I would have done it. Had I had a fast enough car, he would have gotten a return.’’
Tony Stewart was third, Jimmie Johnson fourth, and Denny Hamlin fifth.
Formula One - Lewis Hamilton won the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, becoming the seventh different winner in the first seven races of the season - an unprecedented display of parity on the circuit. Romain Grosjean was second to the McLaren Mercedes and Sergio Perez was third, followed by Sebastian Vettel.
Hamilton drove his McLaren Mercedes to a win in 1 hour, 32 minutes, 29.586 seconds, taking advantage of fresh tires he picked up during a second pit stop while the other contenders only made one. Hamilton finished 2.5 seconds ahead of Grosjean, with Perez in third.