|No help from the rain here, just great driving by Joey Logano (Getty)|
LONG POND, Pa. -- On a speedway with a fresh coat of asphalt, Joey Logano may just have gotten a fresh start.
After reclaiming the lead from veteran Mark Martin on Lap 157 of 160, Logano pulled away to win the Pocono 400 presented by #NASCAR at Pocono Raceway, his first victory since a rain-shortened win at New Hampshire in 2009.
More important, the second triumph of Logano's career couldn't have come at a better time -- during a contract year in which doubters have considered the 22-year-old a prime candidate to lose his ride at Joe Gibbs Racing to a more established star.
Logano, who gave crew chief Jason Ratcliff his first Cup win, beat Martin to the finish line by .997 seconds -- the first time in 31 Sprint Cup events a driver has won from the pole. Tony Stewart ran third, followed by Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin.
Matt Kenseth ran seventh and took over the series lead by 10 points over second-place Dale Earnhardt Jr., who came home eighth after leading 36 laps, second only to Logano's 48.
When NASCAR called the sixth caution of the race after Kasey Kahne pounded the Turn 2 wall on Lap 37, Earnhardt -- short on fuel -- brought his Chevrolet to the pits for fuel, while Logano, Martin, Hamlin, Stewart and Kenseth remained on the track.
Earnhardt restarted 16th and worked his way back to eighth before Logano took the checkered flag.
Pocono 400 Results
Pocono 400 Post Race Notes
• The Pocono victory was Joey Logano's second Cup win in his 125th start.
• His last win was at New Hampshire in June 2009 (104 stats between).
• Logano grabbed his first Pocono win in his seventh start.
• He is the 31st driver to win at Pocono in the 69th race at the track.
• Logano's 104 race winless streak is the longest ever broken at Pocono.
• He is the 10th different Cup winner in 2012.
• Logano ended a 30 race winless streak for the pole winner -- the longest streak in Cup history.
• The Joe Gibbs Racing driver is the youngest winner at Pocono (22 years, seven days).
• His crew chief Jason Ratcliff notched his first Cup win.
• Joe Gibbs ties Penske Racing with nine Pocono wins, second behind Hendrick's 12.
• Gibbs picked up 97th Cup win.
• It's the fourth win for Toyota in 2012, and third overall at Pocono.
• Mark Martin (second) got his seventh second place finish at Pocono in his 51st start.
• Tony Stewart (third) grabbed his fifth top-five finish of 2012.
• Denny Hamlin (fifth) has his seventh top-five finish of the season.
• Matt Kenseth (seventh) nabbed his 10th top-10 finish of the season, giving him the points lead by 10.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. (eighth) earned his Cup-best 11th top-10 finish of 2012, taking over second in points.
• Greg Biffle (24th) has worst finish this season, dropping to third in the standings.
• The 22 speeding penalties in the race are the most in documented infraction history (since 2006).