DOVER, Del. – Joey Logano continued his domination of Dover Int’l Speedway on Saturday as he cruised to his fourth-straight NASCAR Nationwide Series victory at the one-mile concrete oval.
Strategy was the name of the game Saturday during the 5-Hour Energy 200. Early on in the race two caution periods allowed most of the field to come down pit road for fresh tires and fuel, but Kyle Busch opted not to pit during those caution periods.
That left Busch out front at the Monster Mile and he pulled away from the pack fairly easily at first. But soon it became obvious that Busch and his No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota team may have picked the wrong strategy.
Soon Busch was forced to come down pit road for his first pit stop, allowing polesitter Logano and the rest of the field to bypass him. Luckily for Busch the race stayed green and he was able to cycle back into the lead.
Busch’s luck didn’t last long. Logano, on fresh tires and a different fuel strategy, was charging to the front. On lap 142 Logano caught and overtook Busch for the race lead. Logano quickly pulled away from Busch, who was hoping for a caution flag to put him back on the same strategy as Logano.
That caution flag never came and Busch was forced to come down pit road for his final pit stop with 25 laps left. Meanwhile, Logano would not be denied as he became the seventh different driver in Nationwide Series history to score four-straight victories at a single track.
He beat rookie Kyle Larson to the checkered flag by more than 14 seconds.
“These guys gave me a great Hertz Ford. Man, what a fast car,” Logano said. “You just assume the caution is going to come out at some point and it never happened. This was just a fast car.”
The victory by Logano gave the Penske Racing No. 22 team its 11th win this season between four different drivers.
Larson finished second for the third time this season.
“Trent (Owens, crew chief) made a really good call there early in the race to gain us a lot of spots and we were lucky enough to get a really long green flag run,” Larson said. “We were good on the long run. I raced with the 22 (Logano) there for a little bit for the lead. I wanted to lead a lap. I thought that would have been pretty cool to drive by the best car in the field.”
Kevin Harvick finished third, followed by Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Brian Vickers and Elliott Sadler. Only the top four finished on the lead lap.