The Pit Stop

October 13, 2009 11:55 PM

Post Race interviews from the Nationwide Series race at California...

Nationwide Report - California (October).mp3

Joey Logano NASCAR Nationwide Series Champion Interview - Auto Club Speedway Saturday

When Joey Logano took the checkered flag in Fontana it was the fifth Nationwide Series win of the year and his second straight but it wasn't easy. Starting from the pole in the GameStop Toyota, Logano was stuffed into the wall on an early race restart by Greg Biffle who was attempting to settle a score from last weekend's race. Then, Logano retaliated, he went to the front, the madder he got the faster he went.  

Joey Logano:
Yeah I don't know why it seems like I dig a little harder. I think it happens to a lot of people, you get mad you fight a little bit more. The best revenge is putting that thing in Victory Lane.

But he couldn't of done that without an incident with just under 10 to go when fighting for the lead, Brad Keselowski crowded Denny Hamlin who had climbed into the 18 after the race started for his ill teammate Kyle Busch and as Hamlin worked up the track and turned forward to avoid Keselowski, he crashed into Greg Biffle. After the mess was cleaned up, Logano took the lead away from Keselowski on the restart then survived a green-white and checkered flag finish.

It was crazy to say the least. At the start of the race I felt like we were OK, needed to do a little bit of work to the car but I felt like we had a really good car and on the restart the 16 got underneath us and decided to fence me down the straight away for no apparent reason so that was crazy, that was not the race I thought I'd have a shot at winning, I was sitting there back at 15th and I was like I hope I can salvage a top 10 out of this thing and I'll settle on passing for the lead. That was really cool; I had a blast doing it.

Brian Vickers wound up the runner-up, with Carl Edwards third, Kevin Harvick forth and Keselowski faded to fifth. Six to 10 it was Michael Annett, Brendan Gaughan, David Gilliland, David Ragan and Jason Keller. Then 11 to 15: Paul Menard, Jeremy Clements, Mike Bliss, Greg Biffle and Mike Wallace. Going back now to the race's two major incidents, first here's Brad Keselowski talking about the late race wreck he was involved in with Biffle and Denny Hamlin, a driver he has a heated history.

Brad Keselowski:
We were just all racing hard, nothing to be ashamed of. The 18 held me tight like I would do to him, there's nothing wrong with that, all cool and the 16 got a run and took it and then he just came up across him. It's just one of those deals.

Denny Hamlin:
You know we were racing pretty hard right there. The 88 gave us a shot getting into turn three and got low on us and got positioned and then he started picking up a push and started coming up into us and I was trying to carry it up off the corner to make sure I didn't get clipped by him and all the while the 16 was up high and got a big run off the corner and we came up into him.

Between Busch and Hamlin the 18 car lead three times for 66 of 152 laps but Busch would be credited with a 31st place finish that really hurt him in the Nationwide Series Championship standings. His lead now over Carl Edwards cut from 245 to 155. And after the race Edwards talked about his 90-point gain.

Carl Edwards:
There's six races left, five races left, that's only 32 points a race or something and we can do that, that can happen. We needed that today, that's good.

As for the incident between Biffle and Logano, Biffle hinted he was settling a score with his 19-year-old rival.

Greg Biffle:
I don't know what his issue was, he smashed my left front fender in last week at Kansas and I fell back the rest of the race, so I'm not sure what his issue is.

The Biff also didn't appreciate Joey's dad, Tom Logano, rushing up to his car after the race and giving him the one finger salute.

I saw him flick me off, they've got short memories. They don't remember last week when he smashed my left front fender in. See it's all about their self and it's not always about you. He was lucky he had time to fix it, I got mine smashed in on the last run of the day. So I didn't have time to fix mine, I fell back to fifth and finished wherever I did.

Logano's crew chief Dave Rogers was so mad after what happened he called Biffle a coward.

Dave Rogers:
You know I probably got caught at the heat of the battle, I'm an emotional guy but I don't think what he did is right and I think the victory here is good revenge.

That it was.

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