Logano dominant en-route to victory in Zippo 200

By Tyler Head
August 7, 2016

WATKINS GLEN–For the second consecutive year, Joey Logano took the checkered flag in the Xfinity Series’ Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International.

Logano dominated from the pole in the NASCAR Xfinity Series’ first stop at a road course in 2016, leading 67 of the 82 laps. His Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski never led a lap, but did hound Logano for the lead throughout the race.

“Brad gave me a run for my money that is for sure,” Logano said in Gatorade Victory Lane. “He was just as fast as me, maybe faster. I never ran so many qualifying laps inside the car.”

The threat from Keselowski ended when a mechanical failure took his No. 22 Fleetwood/REV Group Ford Mustang out of contention. When all was said and done Keselowski was scored 24th, three laps down.

“It looked like a bad weld broke,” a disappointed Keselowski said after the race. “I don’t know what to say about that. You can’t win races in the garage.”

Logano’s victory was the 26th of his Xfinity Series career and the first for Penske Racing in 2016.

THROUGH THE FIELD
Sprint Cup Series regulars Paul Menard and Kyle Larson finished second and third respectively. Xfinity Series regular Daniel Suarez was best-in-class, leading six laps in his No. 19 Arris Toyota on his way to a fourth place finish.

“I’m feeling good,” he said. “I think we needed something like this to build some momentum for next week. We have had two rough weekends the last couple and were really not happy about those situations but that’s part of racing,” Suarez said.

“Hopefully we can keep getting these results and hopefully we can get our next victory at a road course race track. That would be definitely very special for me and for my team.”

Suarez closed to within 11 points of Elliott Sadler for the top spot in the Xfinity Series driver standings. After a spin early in the race Sadler rebounded to finish sixth.

Contact between Ryan Sieg’s No. 39 and Todd Bodine’s No. 90 at the top of the esses on lap 18 set off an eight car crash, forcing a red flag that stopped the action for 14 minutes and four seconds.

Among those involved was Kyle Busch, whose No. 18 was one of the favorites entering the race. Busch never returned to the race and finished 37th after completing just 17 laps.

Also involved was the No. 11 of Blake Koch, who also was unable to continue after the crash. Koch finished 35th and now sits 12th in the driver standings, two points ahead of Ross Chastain for the last spot in the Chase for the Championship.