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Logano Learns & Picks Up Sixth Top-10 in Eighth Series Start

GameStop Driver Finishes Seventh at The Glen in Only Second Road Course Race

Joey Logano
Joey Logano
Joey Logano used patience, track position and fuel mileage to score his sixth top-10 result in eight career NASCAR Nationwide Series races as the 18-year-old finished seventh in Saturdays Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.

Logano wheeled his No. 20 GameStop Toyota from 20th in the 43-car field to 10th by lap 75. With the steadying voice of crew chief Dave Rogers on his radio, Logano kept his fenders straight and his nose clean around the 2.45-mile, 11-turn road course to outlast many of his more experienced competitors.

I learned a lot this weekend, and I picked up a whole lot through the whole race, said Logano, who was headed to a top-five finish last week at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve Formula 1 road course in Montreal before a downpour sent him hydroplaning into another car and then into the wall. Dave Rogers made an awesome call on our fuel mileage and that got us the finish we ended up with. Ill take what I learned and be happy with it. Im glad Ive got something to go back to next time we race here.

In a race that featured 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regulars and seven road course specialists, Logano appeared right at home turning left and right, despite his thoughts to the contrary.

I wasnt feeling very confident in myself at one point during the race, but Dave worked really hard to pick me up, Logano said. I think we got a really good points day out of it after that whole mess. It turned out to be a race of survival and a race of fuel mileage. Thats what it came down to, and Ive got to hand it to the team for staying behind me. We picked up a ton from the beginning of the race to the end of the race. Thats the positive we leave here with. Im glad I learned a lot, but Im also glad its over. Im looking forward to running the ovals again.

Rogers, who helped steer Logano to his first career Nationwide Series win on June 14 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta giving Logano the designation of youngest Nationwide Series winner ever at 18 years, 21 days continues to be impressed with his young driver.

Joeys got really high expectations for himself, said Rogers, who has led the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team to nine wins thus far in 2008 once with Logano, five times with Tony Stewart, twice with Denny Hamlin and once with Kyle Busch. We try to be optimistic with him, but we try to be realistic, too. There were a lot of great race car drivers here. Joeys amongst the best. He just needs more seat time here. He came here not knowing where the turns are, where the curbs are it was something different. And we havent had the best Watkins Glen package, either. If you look back over the years, the 20 car really hasnt been that strong here. So Im not going to blame anything on the driver. This GameStop Toyota Camry race team did really, really well today. We made the best of it. We got a top-10 out of it. The driver learned a lot. Joey was fastest at the end of the day. When we got here, my goal was to get better from the time we unloaded to the time we loaded. Id say that goal was satisfied, so Im really proud of this effort. Well take it and go on to Michigan.

Loganos seventh-place effort kept the No. 20 car first in the Nationwide Series owner standings, extending its lead to 282 points ahead of the No. 2 entry of Richard Childress Racing after 24 of 35 races on the Nationwide Series schedule.

There were five caution periods for 14 laps, with 12 drivers failing to finish the 82-lap race.

Marcos Ambrose won the Zippo 200 to score his first career Nationwide Series victory. Finishing second was Busch, who drove for Braun Racing. Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick and Dario Franchitti secured the rest of the top-five. Brad Keselowski, Logano, Jason Leffler, David Ragan and Brad Coleman comprised the remainder of the top-10.

The next event on the Nationwide Series schedule is the Aug. 16 Carfax 250 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. The race starts at 3:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by ESPN2 beginning with its pre-race show at 3 p.m. The race will also be broadcast live on SIRIUS Satellite Radio Channel 128.

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