Originally posted on Race Review Online  |  Last updated 5/5/12

KANSAS CITY, KS - OCTOBER 02: Joey Logano, driver of the Sport Clips Toyota, stands on pit road prior to the NASCAR Nationwide Series Kansas Lottery 300 on October 2, 2010 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Saturday’s Nationwide Series race at Talladega Superspeedway saw yet another last-second pass for the lead. Joey Logano used a textbook slingshot move to outgun his Sprint Cup teammate but Nationwide rival Kyle Busch to the finish line. It was Logano’s second Nationwide win of 2012 and the 11th of his career.

Qualifying for the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega was rained out, forcing the field to start by points standings. This put point’s leader Elliott Sadler and last year’s champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. starting on the front row.

With tandem racing comes overheating and Johanna Long was the first driver to bite the overheating dust on Lap 22 to bring out the caution. On Lap 27, two laps after the restart, Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the lead for the first time of the race with help from veteran Joe Nemecheck. Just a few laps later, a wreck on the front stretch involved Brian Scott and Kurt Busch. Scott spun off the nose of Busch after the field bunched together. Morgan Sheppard, Josh Richards, and Jason Bowles were also involved in this incident.

On the restart, Earnhardt, Justin Allgair, and Danica Patrick restarted 1-2-3 after not pitting under caution. After repeated lead changes between Earnhardt, Logano, and Elliott Sadler, the caution flag waved again on Lap 62. Just past the start finish line, Brad Sweet was turned hard into the wall. John Wes Townley also suffered front end damage after the incident. Earnhardt was leading the race at the time of the accident, but gave up the lead to pit under caution.

With 37 to go, after running up front for most of the race, Kurt Busch was forced to take his HendrickCars.com Toyota down pit road for overheating issues. Only a few laps later Richards blew a tire coming out of Turn 4 and spun his car down the front stretch. During this caution Timmy Hill stepped out of his racecar due to illness and allowed Blake Koch to take over driving duties for the rest of the race as Hill suffered from dizziness and the stomach flu.

With 30 to go on the restart, we all knew the big one was coming – we just didn’t know when. On the start it was Sadler pushing Joey Logano on the low line and Kenny Wallace pushing Kyle Busch on the high line. Three laps later, Kyle Busch took over the lead and Earnhardt made his way to second position. The two worked together to stay up front, until Sam Hornish Jr. decided he wanted to take the lead spot. Busch wasn’t too happy about losing the lead and made it three-wide half a lap later to get it back. This allowed himself and Earnhardt to take over the top spots once again.

Caution was thrown once again with nine laps to go when Mike Bliss blew a tire. The restart occurred with four laps to go, with Busch on point. The plan was for Earnhardt and rookie Austin Dillon in the No. 3 car to work together and take over the top spot. Earnhardt ended up getting pushed to the back, while Busch held onto the lead. With just three laps to go, the No. 1 and No. 4 car did some synchronized spinning coming out of Turn 4 to bring out another caution. The restart was a green-white-checkered finish with Busch continuing to lead.

Just after the restart, the big one occurred involving the top running cars. Drivers involved included: Kevin Harvick, Danica Patrick, Robert Richardson Jr., Jeffery Earnhardt, Brad Keselowski, Eric McClure, Taylor Malsam, and Michael Annet. Danica Patrick was able to get new tires and continue on in the race. Eric McClure crashed extremely hard into the inside wall, completely destroying the SAFER barriers. The safety crews had to remove the roof off of McClure’s car to extricate him from the destroyed race car. He was then put on a backboard and air-lifted to the local hospital for further evaluation. According to NASCAR, McClure was “awake and alert” while he was being removed from the car.

After a lengthy red flag period, the second G-W-C set up with Kyle Busch leading Nemecheck and Logano. The battle came down to Busch and Logano against the tandem of Cole Whitt and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Logano jumped out of line just before the start-finish line and was able to steal the victory from Busch. Busch led the most laps of any driver with 36.

Just before the checkered flag flew, while racing side by side, Hornish squeezed Patrick into the wall. Then, during the cool down lap, Patrick spun Hornish into the Turn 1 wall. Hornish and Patrick finished the race in 12th and 13th position, and neither driver was called to the NASCAR hauler after the incident.

Aaron’s 312 at Talladega top 20:

1. Joey Logano
2. Kyle Busch
3. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
4. Cole Whitt
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
6. Kurt Busch
7. James Buescher
8. Justin Allgaier
9. Kenny Wallace
10. Elliott Sadler

11. Ryan Truex
12. Sam Hornish Jr.
13. Danica Patrick
14. Erik Darnell
15. John Wes Townley
16. Danny Efland
17. Austin Dillon
18. Mike Bliss
19. Joe Nemecheck
20. Brad Keselowski, -1 lap

Nationwide Series standings

1. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
2. Elliott Sadler, -5
3. Austin Dillon (R), -35
4. Sam Hornish Jr., -60
5. Cole Whitt (R), -77
6. Michael Annett, -84
7. Justin Allgaier, -97
8. Tayler Malsam, -123
9. Mike Bliss, -124
10. Joe Nemecheck, -136

Other notables

11. Danica Patrick, -138
12. Trevor Bayne, -145
15. Jason Bowles (R), -182
16. Brian Scott, -183

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