NASCAR in Joliet: Joey Logano’s favor a winner
By Tina Akouris firstname.lastname@example.org July 21, 2013 9:18PM
Joey Logano (22), Sam Hornish Jr (12), Elliott Sadler (11), Austin Dillon (3) and Parker Kligerman (77) compete during the NASCAR Nationwide Series STP 300 auto race at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., Sunday, July 21, 2013. Logano won the race. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Updated: August 23, 2013 6:22AM
Roger Penske approached one of his drivers, Joey Logano, about two weeks ago with a request. And it was a favor that Logano knew he could not turn down.
“He asked what I was doing during the off week (this weekend) and I said, ‘Nothing. Just enjoying the off week,’ ” Logano said. “He said, ‘Want to run Chicago for me?’ How can you say no to R.P.? So I’m glad I did it.”
Logano was the only full-time Sprint Cup driver in the NASCAR Nationwide STP 300 on Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet and he and teammate Sam Hornish Jr. were able to help Penske get more owner points.
The teammates finished 1-2 for the iconic car owner known as “The Captain,” with Logano earning his 20th career Nationwide victory.
“Having a weekend with just Nationwide and focusing on it and getting some good changes, you are able to put together a better race car,” Logano said.
Hornish started from the pole and had the lead for the race’s first 48 laps. But at around the 50-lap mark, Hornish was assessed a speeding penalty for going too fast on pit road.
“There was too much communication and no one could talk and by the time I realized the pits were open, (it was too late),” Hornish said. “I knew when I went past the line that I’d be speeding.”
The penalty forced Hornish to the back of the field. But Hornish was able to pick his way through, and about 20 laps later he moved up to eighth.
With 60 to go, Hornish moved up to third and took the lead from Logano with 23 to go. Logano reclaimed the lead with 14 to go.
Hornish may have been upset with the finish, but he took over the Nationwide points lead from Regan Smith, who fell seven points behind.
In Hornish’s IndyCar days, he won the Delphi 300 in Joliet in 2002 and 2003. And he won the Indianapolis 500 in 2006.
“It only took me three years to figure out how to drive around here in stock cars and one time Joey wrecked me,” Hornish said. “But I like this track and it is completely different from when I ran here in Indy Car.”
Austin Dillon finished third and won a $100,000 bonus in NASCAR’s Dash for Cash program. It was the second consecutive week that Dillon won the bonus money.
Elliott Sadler finished fourth and Brian Vickers rounded out the top five.