Joey Logano Spanks NASCAR Xfinity Field At Fontana

Joey Logano celebrates in victory lane after winning Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Auto Club Speedway. Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images

The best measure of Joey Logano’s dominance in Saturday’s Roseanne 300 at Auto Club Speedway came during one of the rare instances when the driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford didn’t have the lead.

Off-cycle on pit stops late in the race, Logano chose to pit under caution on lap 122 while most of the other contending cars stayed out on tires that had only six green-flag laps of use. Logano restarted 16th on lap 125. By lap 126 he was third.

On lap 127 Logano passed Justin Allgaier for second. One lap later he sailed past Elliott Sadler for the lead.

In claiming his first NASCAR Xfinity Series victory of the season and the 29th of his career, Logano survived a late restart on lap 143 and pulled away to win by 1.429 seconds over Allgaier, who passed Sadler for the runner-up spot.

“It was a great car – oh, my gosh,” said Logano, who led 139 of 150 laps in winning for the third time at the two-mile Fontana track. “It’s one of those races where you feel relieved when you win. It wasn’t a cheerful one – you’re supposed to win when you have a car that fast.”

That didn’t keep Logano from second-guessing crew chief Brian Wilson for choosing to keep Logano on the track after a lap 110 caution for Dylan Lupton’s blown engine.

“Brian opted (to stay out),” said Logano, who won the first and second stages of the race. “That was not my thought at all. But it ended up working out. I thought we were going to lose more track position than we did. We were able to stay out front, actually, on older tires, which I didn’t think we had a chance of doing.

“It just showed how fast our car was. It was an amazing day.”

Allgaier edged Sadler for the runner-up spot by .047 seconds, but much earlier than that Allgaier realized he was probably racing for second place, the position he also claimed a week earlier in Phoenix when Brad Keselowski drove the No. 22 to victory for Team Penske.

“The 22 was definitely the class of the field today and had everybody covered,” Allgaier said. “So hats off to those guys.

“I’ve been following the 22 for a couple of weeks now, and that’s getting kind of depressing.”

Austin Dillon ran fourth behind Sadler, followed by Richard Childress Racing teammate Daniel Hemric. Cole Custer, Tyler Reddick, Matt Tifft, Ryan Preece and Ross Chastain completed the top 10.

Pole winner Christopher Bell brushed the wall early, spun off turn 4 on lap 97 and was collected by the No. 5 Chevrolet of Michael Annett eight laps later. Bell salvaged a lead-lap, 21st-place finish and held fourth place in the series standings.

Sadler leaves Auto Club with a slim lead over his JR Motorsports teammates. Reddick is second in the standings, four points back, with Allgaier five points behind Sadler in third.

NASCAR Xfinity Series
Auto Club Speedway – Fontana, CA
Roseanne 300 – March 17, 2018

1. (2) Joey Logano(i), Ford, 150.
2. (6) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 150.
3. (11) Elliott Sadler, Chevrolet, 150.
4. (19) Austin Dillon(i), Chevrolet, 150.
5. (5) Daniel Hemric, Chevrolet, 150.
6. (4) Cole Custer, Ford, 150.
7. (16) Tyler Reddick #, Chevrolet, 150.
8. (20) Matt Tifft, Chevrolet, 150.
9. (8) Ryan Preece, Toyota, 150.
10. (13) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 150.
11. (15) Spencer Gallagher, Chevrolet, 150.
12. (10) Ryan Truex, Chevrolet, 150.
13. (9) Brandon Jones, Toyota, 150.
14. (12) Kaz Grala #, Ford, 150.
15. (22) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 150.
16. (23) Joey Gase, Chevrolet, 150.
17. (7) Ryan Reed, Ford, 150.
18. (18) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 150.
19. (21) Alex Labbe #, Chevrolet, 150.
20. (17) Ryan Sieg, Chevrolet, 150.
21. (1) Christopher Bell #, Toyota, 150.
22. (26) B.J. McLeod, Chevrolet, 150.
23. (25) Garrett Smithley, Chevrolet, 149.
24. (31) Tommy Joe Martins, Chevrolet, 149.
25. (27) Josh Williams, Chevrolet, 148.
26. (36) David Starr, Chevrolet, 148.
27. (34) Vinnie Miller #, Chevrolet, 148.
28. (14) Austin Cindric #, Ford, 147.
29. (3) John Hunter Nemechek, Chevrolet, 147.
30. (29) Spencer Boyd #, Chevrolet, 147.
31. (37) Stephen Leicht, Toyota, Brakes, 132.
32. (38) Josh Bilicki #, Toyota, Engine, 122.
33. (40) Dylan Lupton, Ford, Engine, 109.
34. (24) J.J. Yeley, Chevrolet, Power Steering, 76.
35. (35) Timmy Hill, Dodge, Vibration, 56.
36. (28) Chad Finchum #, Toyota, Engine, 45.
37. (30) Matt Mills #, Chevrolet, Accident, 29.
38. (33) Morgan Shepherd, Chevrolet, Suspension, 22.
39. (32) Jeff Green, Chevrolet, Brakes, 10.
40. (39) Mike Harmon, Chevrolet, Engine, 6.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 127.283 mph.

Time of Race: 2 Hrs., 21 Mins, 25 Secs. Margin of Victory: 1.429 Seconds.

Caution Flags: 7 for 32 laps.

Lead Changes: 6 among 5 drivers.

Lap Leaders: C. Bell # 1-4; J. Logano(i) 5-121; J. Allgaier 122-123; E. Sadler 124-127; J. Logano(i) 128-140; R. Sieg 141; J. Logano(i) 142-150.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): J. Logano(i) 3 times for 139 laps; E. Sadler 1 time for 4 laps; C. Bell # 1 time for 4 laps; J. Allgaier 1 time for 2 laps; R. Sieg 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 22,7,00,1,9,20,42,21,4,11

Stage #2 Top Ten: 22,9,20,1,7,00,21,3,18,5

Top 10 in Points: 1. Elliott Sadler – 199; 2. Tyler Reddick – 195 (1 Win); 3. Justin Allgaier – 194; 4. Christopher Bell – 172; 5. Daniel Hemric – 169; 6. Cole Custer – 144; 7. Spencer Gallagher – 143; 8. Ryan Truex – 140; 9. Brandon Jones – 139; 10. Matt Tifft – 132.

 

About Reid Spencer-NASCAR Wire Service