Team Interstate Sweeps Bristol; Kyle Busch Back in Wild-Card Picture
Team Interstate racing wrap-up for Aug. 24-25, 2012:
Team Interstate celebrated a familiar sight this weekend, but with a couple new faces. The familiar: A Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in Victory Lane both Friday and Saturday nights. The new: Both race winners celebrated their Bristol wins for the first time.
Friday night, Joey Logano won the Food City 250 Nationwide Series race at the famous half-mile track. Starting from the second position, Logano jumped out to lead the first 35 laps and kept his No. 18 Toyota near the front all night. By lap 216, Logano grabbed the lead and never looked back. The win was his sixth Nationwide win of the season and the 15th of his career.
“Man, it feels like it’s been a long time coming, but we finally got a victory here at Bristol. There are a lot of tracks that I’d like to win at, like all of them, but this is one of those places where I’ve always wanted to win and we’ve been so close over the years,” Logano said.
In Saturday night’s Sprint Cup Irwin Tools Night Race, it was Denny Hamlin’s turn. Hamlin started the No. 11 Toyota in eighth and was able to move into the top five shortly after the drop of the green flag. After contact on pit road with the No. 83 car, Hamlin reported that his car felt like it was handling even better than before. With various pit strategies at play, Hamlin would shuffle track position several times, but with 38 laps remaining, he took the lead and held on for the win. It was his third win of the season.
Kyle Busch, who has five career Sprint Cup victories at Bristol, started from the 10th position and found it difficult to pass through the first quarter of the race on the newly reconfigured track. A pit road speeding penalty pushed him to the back of the pack, but he raced his way back up and used pit strategy to return near the front. Busch would go on to finish the night in sixth place. Although it’s not the finish he’s used to at Bristol, the solid run put him back in the second of the two wild-card spots for The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship.
Logano used what he learned in Friday night’s race to muscle his way to the front early on. He would lead a race-high 139 laps before finishing in eighth place.
Two races remain before the field for The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship is set. The series moves south to Atlanta for a special Sunday night battle under the lights.
Also next week: AMA Motocross returns to action on Saturday with Team Interstate/JGRMX rider Davi Millsaps on the No. 18 Yamaha at Steel City Raceway in Delmont, Pa. NHRA drag racing also returns to Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis. Team Interstate’s Mike Edwards competes in the Pro Stock division.
- Hamlin wins at Bristol! (joegibbsracing.com)
- Busch Battles to 13th Place in Michigan (blogbattery.com)
- Kyle Sees Victory Slip Away on Last Lap (blogbattery.com)