AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Joey Logano led all but 24 laps Saturday as he routed the field to win the Xfinity Series at Phoenix International Raceway.
The Daytona 500 winner raced to his first Xfinity Series victory since 2013 with his dominant win for Team Penske. He led 176 of the 200 laps and had the field covered from the drop of the green flag.
He won in the No. 22 Ford sponsored by Discount Tire, which is headquartered in nearby Scottsdale.
“We have been so close here the last four races or so, we have been so close to winning an Xfinity race, and it is so great to get Discount Tire in victory lane in their home area,” Logano said. “I have been driving this car for a few years but haven’t got Discount Tire in victory lane with me driving, so that is a big deal.”
Logano has run two Xfinity races this season, starting from the pole in both. He finished second at Atlanta and now has a win.
Matt Kenseth was second, followed by Kevin Harvick, Austin Dillon and Erik Jones. It’s the first top-five of Jones’ career.
“It’s nice to finally get the finishes that I thought we deserved,” Jones said. “We struggled with getting caught up in other people’s messes early on and just nice to run up front and get that finish that I thought we deserved.”
Ty Dillon was sixth and defending Xfinity Series champion Chase Elliott was seventh, recovering from a spin on Lap 138.
Brendan Gaughan, Regan Smith and Brian Scott rounded out the top 10.
Logano started from the pole in his No. 22 Ford, got a jump on Harvick at the start of the race and led the first 50 laps until he was passed on pit road during a caution.
He led 85 of the first 100 laps.
Still, Logano needed a strong final restart at Lap 143 to seal the win.
“I was able to take off faster on restarts and get a nice lead, and then Matt car was looser than mine so that is why I was able to get a lead,” Logano said. “Once we started running a few laps, I would get tight and he would start catching up to me because his balance was a little more free. I kept hoping for lap traffic because I was better in traffic and that is where I made up time.”
The race had just four different leaders, with Kenseth leading 14 laps and rookie Brennan Poole out front for six near the end. Austin Dillon, winner of last week’s race in Las Vegas, led four laps.
Harvick, in the No. 88 for JR Motorsports on Saturday, will start from the pole on Sunday with Joey Logano next to him on the front row.
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