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Logano Wins Royal Purple 300

  • By Shel Segal
FONTANA - Joey Logano dominated most of the Royal Purple 300 on Saturday and won by nearly 1.1 seconds for his second-ever victory at Auto Club Speedway as part of NASCAR's National Nationwide Series.
Logano led most of the first 100 laps, then fell behind drivers Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski intermittently the next 35 laps. But a poor pit stop by Busch on lap 135 coupled by a solid restart on lap 138 by Logano put him ahead for good.
Logano's win also meant his owner, Joe Gibbs Racing, has won the last eight NNS races at Auto Club Speedway.
"You want to be the guy who keeps it going," said Logano, a native of Connecticut. "You don't want to be the guy who breaks the streak."
Logano also won the pole with a speed of 178.984 mph.
Finishing second was Ricky Stenhouse Jr. with Keselowski coming in third. In addition, Austin Dillion finished fifth as the top rookie and Ontario resident Jason Bowles came in 15th place.
Logano said he really enjoyed the race.
"It was a lot of fun," said Logano, who picked up his 10th career victory. "No one really took off and dominated the field. It was a close race. We know what we had to work on. We focused on that. It feels good to finish, be back in Victory Lane. Let's keep it rolling."
He added his team did its best to get him a victory.
"I had a car that was good enough to take off that last restart," Logano said. "We weren't able to do that most of the race."
Gibbs was also thrilled with the win.
"These things are so hard to win," Gibbs said. "I don't know what's happened. It's a credit to all our guys and we do a lot of it in our (Sprint Cup) operations. I really appreciate these guys. And Southern California. We love coming here. It's fun for me to come here and I appreciate our fan base here."
Keselowski said he was pleased with his finish.
"We started off really strong driving up to the line," he said. "A great day really. Had some pit stop problems. Up to that last caution was running second. Had a strong run all day."
Busch said the racing was really good all day.
"It was intense, a lot of three-, four-wide racing, a lot of good restarts," Busch said. "We put a good show on for the fans and hopefully they'll start coming out here more. I feel this is an exciting race track for the fans to watch."
Dillon said he has much to learn to become a star driver.
"I was frustrated in practice," he said. "In the middle of the race it showed. I got a lesson there. You really got to run that top groove and we weren't able to do that, so I learned a lesson."
(Shel Segal can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .)

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