Originally written on Start 'N' Park Blog  |  Last updated 10/16/14

KANSAS CITY, KS - OCTOBER 01: Joey Logano, driver of the Home Depot Toyota, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Price Chopper 400 on October 1, 2010 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Joey Logano started first, finished first, but it took him outlasting Mark Martin on fuel for him to pick up the victory in the Pure Michigan 400 at the Michigan International Speedway. It was an almost mirrored performance from last year at Pocono, site of Logano’s last win, where Martin and Logano battled late for a victory. Again Logano came out on top. “I noticed he (Martin) was lifting early because I was catching him on entry. He was able to pull me on exit. I wanted to get by him because I knew the 29 was fast too and trying to get the clean air on the Ford. It is so cool to be here in Victory Lane. It is crazy racing Mark Martin, my childhood hero, I was able to race against him in Pocono last year for the win. It is so cool racing against a guy like that. This is huge for our Chase hopes. We needed this to have a shot at getting in the Chase. We are close now but we can’t make any mistakes. This sure does help a lot.” The cautions flew early and often when the race went green. On lap 3 Clint Bowyer spun his 5-Hour Energy Toyota, then on lap 9 David Reutimann got into the wall, and then on lap 14 Austin Dillon and J.J. Yeley got together. Bowyer and Dillon continued on while Reutimann and Yeley’s days were set back because of damage. Point leader Jimmie Johnson retired after 54 laps due to an engine failure. Engine failures bit the Hendrick Motorsports teams in the June race as well. “Then we had an issue there with the engine as I came out of the pits and got back up to speed dropped a couple of cylinders.  We were trying to get it figured out and see what would happen.  On my way into the pits it finally locked up and that’s the end of it.  Unfortunate day, but I’m happy that we have had such a strong opening part of the season and we have points on our side and some wins on side so we are not in jeopardy of anything going into the Chase.” Johnson’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt, Jr. cut a tire on lap 136 and hit the wall. After going to the garage for repairs, he came back out to finish 36th. While he’s still in the top-10 in points and in the Chase, it was a tough hit for Earnhardt who had high expectations for this track. It was a tough day for Kyle Busch as well, he got loose and spun twice. The first was on lap 158, which created damage to the rear of his car. A few laps later on lap 174 Busch spun once again. This set up a tough spot for some of the teams on whether to gamble on fuel or play it safe. After Busch’s first spin, Brad Keselowski stayed out and led 16 laps. At that point he and his Miller Lite crew knew they were short on fuel, so they decided to pit when Busch spun again. “The yellows fall exactly the wrong way to screw up our strategy. That can’t keep going that way. It’s like Black Jack, you aren’t going to keep turning 15 or 16 on every hand. Eventually you are going to turn a good hand. We just didn’t catch it today.” The gambler was Martin at that point, so staying out and hoping for a caution was what he and his Michael Waltrip Racing team did. Martin held on until pulling off to pit with three laps to go, handing the lead to Logano who had the fuel to hold on. Martin was gambling on what could be his last race with Michael Waltrip Racing. Earlier in the week it was announced that Brian Vickers would drive the #55 Toyota next year and MWR has been contacted by Stewart-Haas Racing about Martin’s availability to drive the #14 Chevrolet while Tony Stewart continues to recover from a broken leg. Look for Martin to be released from the #55 car to drive for SHR and Vickers slide into the #55 for the rest of the year. Logano’s win was the third of his career and first for Penske Racing. It also put him on the cusp of one of the two Wild Card spots. Right now Kasey Kahne, with two wins, and Martin Truex, Jr., with one win, out rank Logano. He sits seven points behind Truex, but in victory lane was too excited about the win to worry about points. “I am pretty stoked right now. It means so much and so much to get Ford in Victory Lane here at Michigan. To win with RP here, that means so much too. I know he is running around here somewhere.” Even with the 40th place finish, Jimmie Johnson continues to lead the points over Clint Bowyer, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick, and Kyle Busch who make up the top-5. Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch, and Greg Biffle round out the top-10. Next week the Sprint Cup Series goes under the lights to run the IRWIN Tools Night Race from the Bristol Motor Speedway. The action starts at 7:30 PM EST on August 24th and can be seen on ABC. Fin St # Driver Sponsor Car Laps Money Status Led Pts 1 1 22 Joey Logano Shell-Pennzoil Ford 200 $252,393 Running 51 48 2 15 29 Kevin Harvick Rheem Chevrolet 200 $180,731 Running 0 42 3 2 78 Kurt Busch Furniture Row Racing-Serta Chevrolet 200 $136,315 Running 43 42 4 20 27 Paul Menard Menards / Nibco Chevrolet 200 $143,486 Running 0 40 5 11 15 Clint Bowyer 5-Hour Energy Toyota 200 $140,293 Running 0 39 6 26 9 Marcos Ambrose DeWalt Ford 200 $123,399 Running 1 39 7 31 5 Kasey Kahne Pepsi MAX Chevrolet 200 $108,135 Running 0 37 8 5 31 Jeff Burton Cheerios Chevrolet 200 $106,135 Running 0 36 9 16 16 Greg Biffle FIRST Ford 200 $105,435 Running 28 36 10 19 99 Carl Edwards BB/Geek Squad Ford 200 $127,110 Running 0 34 11 6 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Target Chevrolet 200 $119,549 Running 0 33 12 9 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Ford 200 $139,151 Running 17 33 13 21 39 Ryan Newman Quicken Loans/PTA Chevrolet 200 $123,568 Running 0 31 14 27 14 Austin Dillon Mobil 1 / Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet 200 $131,510 Running 0 0 15 12 20 Matt Kenseth Dollar General Toyota 200 $124,676 Running 0 29 16 17 56 Martin Truex Jr NAPA Auto Parts Toyota 200 $119,535 Running 0 28 17 13 24 Jeff Gordon Standox Chevrolet 200 $130,346 Running 0 27 18 14 43 Aric Almirola Eckrich Ford 200 $123,621 Running 0 26 19 22 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Fifth Third Bank Ford 200 $132,621 Running 0 25 20 8 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Freight Toyota 200 $103,460 Running 9 25 21 18 21 Trevor Bayne Motorcraft / Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford 200 $85,660 Running 1 0 22 29 1 Jamie McMurray Philips Chevrolet 200 $111,680 Running 0 22 23 28 10 Danica Patrick GoDaddy.com Chevrolet 200 $85,010 Running 0 21 24 24 34 David Ragan Taco Bell Ford 200 $110,868 Running 1 21 25 33 13 Casey Mears Valvoline NextGen Ford 200 $109,043 Running 2 20 26 36 30 David Stremme Widow Wax-Lean1 Toyota 200 $98,093 Running 0 18 27 4 55 Mark Martin Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota 199 $96,835 Running 23 18 28 38 93 Travis Kvapil Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota 198 $102,718 Running 0 16 29 34 32 Timmy Hill U.S. Chrome Ford 198 $89,932 Running 0 15 30 42 7 Dave Blaney TBA Chevrolet 197 $81,785 Running 0 14 31 10 18 Kyle Busch Interstate Batteries Toyota 197 $125,568 Running 0 13 32 43 33 Landon Cassill Little JoesAutos.com Chevrolet 197 $80,060 Running 0 0 33 39 51 Brendan Gaughan Phoenix Construction Chevrolet 196 $87,985 Running 0 0 34 37 87 Joe Nemechek TBA Toyota 192 $79,885 Running 0 0 35 30 47 Bobby Labonte Kingsford Charcoal Toyota 186 $87,735 Running 0 9 36 7 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr National Guard Youth Foundation Chevrolet 171 $97,685 Running 20 9 37 23 38 David Gilliland Long John Silver’s Ford 165 $79,616 Engine 1 8 38 25 83 David Reutimann Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota 153 $74,825 Running 0 6 39 40 35 Josh Wise MDS Transport Ford 56 $70,825 Vibration 0 0 40 3 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe’s Chevrolet 54 $115,936 Engine 3 5 41 32 95 Scott Speed Leavine Family Racing Ford 35 $62,825 Vibration 0 3 42 41 98 Johnny Sauter Phil Parsons Racing Ford 34 $58,825 Vibration 0 0 43 35 36 J.J. Yeley TBA Chevrolet 12 $55,325 Accident 0 1
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