Logano Wins Nationwide Stop At Chicagoland
JOLIET, Ill. -- When "The Captain" asked, Joey Logano answered.
Did he ever.
Logano held off Sam Hornish Jr. to win the NASCAR Nationwide race at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday, leading a sweep of top two spots for Roger Penske after the owner asked him to drive the No. 22 car on a rare weekend off for the Sprint Cup series.
"Really big for us to get a 1-2 finish for Penske. That's awesome," Logano said. "To come out here, our goal is to win this thing. That's why I came out here on my off week, it was to come out here and win."
Penske, nicknamed "The Captain," approached Logano this month during the NASCAR stop at Daytona and asked if he would drive in the first of two Nationwide races at Chicagoland this season. Penske wanted a boost in the race for the owners' championship, and Logano sure delivered on the request.
Logano, the lone Sprint Cup regular in the race, earned his second Nationwide win of the year and No. 20 for his career. He also won at Dover in June. Hornish held on for second and moved into the top spot in the series standings, seven points better than Regan Smith.
Austin Dillon led two times for a total of 24 laps and finished third to earn a $100,000 bonus. Dillon is third on the points list, but is still looking for his first victory of the year.
Elliott Sadler had the lead on a restart with 24 laps remaining. But the defending race winner faded as Hornish moved in front on the track where he won consecutive IndyCar races in 2002 and 2003.
Hornish looked in position to secure the victory when Logano roared into the lead and went on to the win.
Sadler finished fourth, and was followed by Brian Vickers, Parker Kligerman and Trevor Bayne. Illinois native Justin Allgaier, Brad Sweet and Matt Crafton rounded out the top 10.
The series returns to Chicagoland in September on the same weekend that the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship begins at the track.
Sadler and Smith did not see very much of each other one week after their collision at New Hampshire led to a midweek phone call to clear the air. Sadler confronted Smith right after the race, promising he would not win the series title, and then said he would race the No. 7 Chevrolet differently in the future.
There were no such problems at Chicagoland, with Sadler racing near the front and Smith struggling with the feel of his car all day long. Smith, who entered the race with a five-point lead over Hornish in the series standings, slid into the infield on Lap 129 and finished 13th.
Sadler was still upset with Smith when the series arrived in Chicagoland this week. The dispute started when Smith spun Sadler around on the final restart in last Saturday's race at Loudon, costing him a shot at a solid top-10 finish and a potential $100,000 bonus.
Smith took responsibility for the accident, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., the co-owner of Smith's car, also reached out to his longtime friend Sadler. But it did little to assuage Sadler's anger.
Perhaps fueled a bit by the incident, Sadler led three times for a race-high 81 laps on the 1.5-mile, D-shaped track right outside of Chicago. But he just couldn't stay with Logano and Hornish at the end.
"By the time that his car started falling off, it was too late for me to do enough," Hornish said. "Ran him down, only finished a couple car lengths behind him, but really good day for the Penske organization."
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