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Logano holds off Busch in Toyota Nashville romp

Nationwide Series race
Saturday, April 11, 2009

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Joey Logano celebrates in victory lane with the Sam Bass designed guitar trophy
John Sommers II/Getty Images for NASCAR

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Joey Logano slipped past teammate Kyle Busch with nine laps to go and hung on to win the Nashville 300 Nationwide Series race at Nashville Superspeedway.

The victory was Logano’s first of the season and second of his young career. The 18-year-old also won last year at Kentucky Speedway.

“It’s been awhile,” a smiling Logano said after the race. “We had a really good run here the last time we were here and got caught up in a wreck. It was awesome to be able to get that win this time. Ever since I’ve been coming to Nashville … I’ve been wanting to that that guitar, and this is just awesome.”

The track awards a unique trophy to the race winner, a Sam Bass-painted Gibson Les Paul guitar, which Logano proudly carried home in a case after the race.

The race was a battle between the Gibbs teammates, and Busch and Logano led 172 of the race’s 225 laps.

“He had a better car on the short run, and we had a better car on the long run,” Busch said. “(The team) did a great job, and it was just a shame we weren’t able to get out there and win this thing. That’s kind of frustrating, but we finished second today.”

The victory was also the first of the season for JGR’s No. 20 team and crew chief Dave Rogers, and Rogers’ first since his suspension last year.

Busch completed the JGR 1-2 finish by coming home second. JR Motorsports’ Brad Keselowski was third, followed by Kevin Harvick Inc.’s Kelly Bires and Roush Fenway Racing’s Carl Edwards.

Sixth through 10th were Braun Racing’s Jason Leffler. Roush Fenway’s David Ragan, Phoenix Racing’s Mike Bliss, Rusty Wallace Racing’s Steve Wallace and CJM Racing’s Scott Lagasse Jr.

Busch cut into Edwards’ points lead and now trails by 23 after the sixth race of the season.

JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 GameStop Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Finishing Position:  1st
How much does this win mean to you? "It's been a while.  We had a really good run the last time we were here and got caught up in a wreck.  It was awesome to be able to get that win this time.  Ever since I've been coming to Nashville - even at the fairgrounds I've been wanting to get that guitar and this is just awesome.  I have to thank GameStop and all the fans for coming out here today."

How strong was your car this weekend? "The car was good right off the bat.  We qualified great, we practiced great yesterday.  We started going and Kyle (Busch) got by us and the car just kept getting tighter and tighter on the long runs and Dave (Rogers, crew chief) just kept adjusting on it. We were really good on the short runs and then we kind of kept tightening up as it kept going.  I was able to get Kyle (Busch) back there at the end of the race and get the clean air back on my nose.  I know he was tight so that kind of made it worse for him.  It was good enough to hold him off.  It's cool to have a Joe Gibbs Racing one-two finish - that's a big deal for all the guys at the shop too."

Did you need the final caution to hold off Kyle Busch? "The short runs were good for us - that's pretty much what it came down to.  Like every run we would get back to the lead and then we would go back a little bit and that's just how it was the whole day.  It was cool and it was great to be able to get this win because it's been a while.  To get Dave (Rogers, crew chief) back and get his team back in victory lane is just really cool."

Were you nervous with Kyle Busch behind you on the final restart? "I wasn't too nervous, I was just driving as hard as a I can.  That last restart I knew I had to have a good restart and it was decent, but he had a good one too and I was able to get through (turns) one and two really good and get out there in a big enough lead.  Funny because on Monday I was texting Dave (Rogers, crew chief) and told him that we had to win this race.  It had been way too long since we won and to get up there and succeed and win this race - this is one of the tracks that I really like so to get this win is huge."

Does this win boost your confidence? "It's big for me, it's an awesome confidence booster for sure.  Looking and saying, 'Hey, I can do this, I am here for a reason, I can win races.'  That's big.  Just to reinsure yourself of that and I'm sure this is just going to keep carrying on and now we just have to build on this momentum and keep going."

How do you feel about the Joe Gibbs Racing crew chiefs sharing information? "It's part of it - I think you have to in order to have a successful team in Nationwide or Cup.  The guys have to work together. You know everyone else is so if you're a two-car team and work as a one-car team that ain't going to help anyone.  You might as well just be a one-car team.  Kyle (Busch) and Denny (Hamlin), they help me out so much as a driver on the Cup side and then all those three crew chiefs over there work well together just like they do over here and you have to be a team.  That's what we are - Joe Gibbs Racing is a team.  Not the 18 (Kyle Busch) versus the 20 (Joey Logano) all the time.  It's cool that we race against each other like that, but at the same time we are still a team."

Results

FIN ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 2 20 Joey Logano Toyota GameStop 195/10 225 Running
2 4 18 Kyle Busch Toyota Z-Line Designs 175/5 225 Running
3 19 88 Brad Keselowski Chevrolet GoDaddy.com 165/0 225 Running
4 10 33 Kelly Bires Chevrolet Charter Comm. 160/0 225 Running
5 1 60 Carl Edwards Ford Save-A-Lot 160/5 225 Running
6 21 38 Jason Leffler Toyota Great Clips 150/0 225 Running
7 8 6 David Ragan Ford Discount Tire 146/0 225 Running
8 7 1 Mike Bliss Chevrolet Miccosukee Resort & Gaming 142/0 225 Running
9 6 66 Steve Wallace Chevrolet US Fidelis 138/0 225 Running
10 38 11 Scott Lagasse Jr. * Toyota Jason Aldean "Wide Open" / America's Incredible Pizza Company 134/0 225 Running
11 16 29 Stephen Leicht Chevrolet Holiday Inn / Holiday Inn Express 130/0 225 Running
12 15 27 Jason Keller Ford Scott Tissue / Kleenex / Kroger 127/0 225 Running
13 17 32 Burney Lamar Toyota Dollar General 124/0 225 Running
14 35 70 Shelby Howard Chevrolet Foretravel Motorcoach 121/0 225 Running
15 3 47 Michael McDowell * Toyota Tom's Snacks 123/5 225 Running
16 12 99 Michael Waltrip Toyota Best Western 115/0 225 Running
17 14 62 Brendan Gaughan * Chevrolet US Fidelis 112/0 225 Running
18 18 09 John Wes Townley * Ford Zaxby's 109/0 225 Running
19 13 15 Michael Annett * Toyota Pilot Travel Centers 111/5 225 Running
20 34 26 Dennis Setzer Dodge Dusty's Collision 103/0 224 Running
21 36 81 Jeff Green Dodge D.H. Griffin Companies 100/0 224 Running
22 23 05 Casey Atwood Chevrolet 31-W Insulation 97/0 224 Running
23 5 16 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford CitiFinancial 94/0 224 Running
24 37 28 Kenny Wallace Chevrolet U.S. Border Patrol 91/0 223 Running
25 24 10 Brian Scott Toyota Dollar General 88/0 223 Running
26 31 24 Eric McClure Ford Hefty 85/0 223 Running
27 32 234 Tony Raines Chevrolet Long John Silver's 82/0 223 Running
28 29 40 Scott Wimmer Chevrolet Stop Repair Bills.com 79/0 222 Running
29 9 12 Justin Allgaier * Dodge Verizon Wireless 76/0 222 Running
30 41 61 Brandon Whitt Ford Nationwide Insurance "Dash 4 Cash" 73/0 222 Running
31 39 89 Morgan Shepherd Chevrolet Lagina Plumbing / Eldora Speedway 70/0 221 Running
32 22 01 Danny O'Quinn Jr. Chevrolet Cash4Gold.com / Racing 1-800-527-1801 67/0 221 Running
33 27 31 Tim Andrews Chevrolet Zona Health 64/0 220 Running
34 26 87 Joe Nemechek Chevrolet Nationwide Insurance "Dash 4 Cash" 61/0 218 Accident
35 40 42 Kenny Hendrick Dodge Smith-Ganassi Racing 58/0 194 Oil Leak
36 43 172 Benny Gordon Ford Samuel Metals / VSI Racing 55/0 157 Handling
37 30 23 Ken Butler III * Chevrolet Aaron's Dream Machine 52/0 145 Accident
38 42 07 David Green Toyota PMCLife.com 49/0 144 Accident
39 28 150 Jeremy Clements Chevrolet Saxon Group 46/0 132 Sway Bar
40 20 49 Kertus Davis Chevrolet GetMoreVacations.com 43/0 46 Brakes
41 33 196 Brian Keselowski Dodge Schweitzer Title 40/0 32 Handling
42 11 91 Terry Cook Chevrolet MSRP Motorsports 37/0 20 Brakes
43 25 90 Johnny Chapman Chevrolet MSRP Motorsports 34/0 15 Brakes

* Denotes Rookie

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