CP MOTORSPORTS - LOGANO GRABS XFINITY WIN AT THE GLEN WHILE TEMPERS FLARE
Joey Logano got behind the wheel of the No. 12 Snap On Ford with a mission. He wanted to get more road course seat time and win.
Logano accomplished both by taking the checkered flag for Saturday's Zippo 200 at The Glen in NASCAR's Xfinity series. Logano, who won the pole with a record time, was sent to the rear of the field following a pit road penalty still managed to lead 39 of the race's 82 laps. The victory is Logano's fourth on the 2015 Xfinity season but it's his first ever win at Watkins Glen.
"It's pretty special," Logano said. "As a driver you always want to have a road course win on your resume, you'd like to have one on the Cup side but it's nice to have one on the Xfinity side now and we've come close to winning this race a few times but I've never been able to make it happen. I had a really good Snap On Ford and it kind of goes to show how well Team Penske is and the depth that they have got when they can throw together a second Xfinity car like that and make two cars as equal as those two were out there today and be the two fastest cars. That's something to be real proud of."
Logano's Team Penske teammate Brad Keselowski led 40 laps and finished in the runner up position. Keselowski now has seven top ten finishes in seven Xfinity series starts at Watkins Glen.
While Keselowski came up short for the victory, he believes Team Penske came to Watkins Glen with a purpose and the duo accomplished it.
"It was kind of an up and down day," Keselowski said. "Joey (Logano) was really, really fast and we knew that he had a little bit of trouble himself on pit road and drove through the field so quickly. He was running like times three or fourth tenths faster than I was when we were leading. It was just all I could do to really keep up with him there at the end. We fought through some issues there, I made a mistake on pit road. I finally figured something out and just overfigured it out. I'm excited about that for tomorrow. All in all, I think I was just a tad bit slower than Joey was.
"I made one too many mistakes but mistakes are a part of these Xfinity races at least for us because we're pushing trying to grow and be better race car drivers, better race teams. That's not easy to do, you've really got to hang it out to do that and I probably hung it out a little too far there and it cost me."
Xfinity series regular Chris Buescher was able to snag a third place finish and extend his lead in the series' points standings to 24 over defending champion Chase Elliott. Road course specialist Boris Said was able to guide the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota to a fourth place finish with Ty Dillon taking home a fifth place finish.
Dillon was confronted after the race by an angry Regan Smith, who appeared to receive a good bit of contact from Dillon's No. 3 Yuengling Light Chevrolet. The two were separated by NASCAR officials and team members and no punches appeared to be thrown.
Dillon owned up to the contact and admitted it was a mistake on his part but believes Smith could've handled it differently.
"He (Regan Smith) didn't say much," Dillon explained. "He said he's going to wreck me, but we'll see. I hate that for his guys. It was a mistake and my fault. Honestly, I was going to talk to him about it, but I guess he didn't want to talk.
"If he wants to do that, we'll handle it in the bus lot. I'm not afraid. I took full blame for it, but coming down here and picking a fight is a different game"
Smith, who finished in 20th place, spoke loud and clear about his intentions toward Dillon for the remainder of the season.
"I got dumped in Turn 1, I think it's pretty plain and simple," Smith said. "I don't think I was the only one he dumped today. It's disappointing for TaxSlayer and all the guys at JR Motorsports that work really hard on these race cars. I guarantee you, I may have lost the championship today, but he sure as hell did, too.
"There is zero chance that 3 car wins this championship, and I'm going to make sure of it."
Smith wasn't satisfied by Dillon taking blame for the contact, either.
"Of course he did, he came out of all of them unscathed," Smith added. "I'd take responsibility, as well, if I knew the car was back there in 30th place and out of my way. You don't have to worry about it when you do that."
Brian Scott finished in sixth place followed by Chase Elliott, Elliott Sadler, Paul Menard and Brendan Gaughan rounding out the top ten.