Joey Logano is The Luckiest One at Adirondack by Penny Aicardi
Youngster Wins After Wacky and Controversial Finish
Joey Logani in victory lane. (Mike Keon / NASCAR Photos)
Joey Logano posted his fourth win in eight starts in the NASCAR Busch East Series Saturday night at Adirondack International Speedway (NY) when he capitalized on a late-race accident that sent the leader scrambling - opening up a hole wide enough for the 17-year-old ace to squeeze in and take the lead coming off the last corner on the last lap.
It was a controversial race that Logano was in no position to win just ten laps before the conclusion.
“It’s definitely one of the coolest wins – to be able to win it like that,” said Logano after the race. “I was going for a top-10. I was going backwards pretty quick at the beginning of the race. I didn’t know what was going to happen.”
The Edge Hotel 150 will definitely not be forgotten for some time to come: not by the spectators who witnessed one of the most exciting finishes this year, and not by the competitors, who either got burned by a bad call or benefited from it.
The fireworks began to fly at lap 141 when the field lined up for a restart. Matt Kobyluck, who had dominated the event by leading all but 14 laps of the first 142 circuits, received the black flag from NASCAR for jumping the start. This came after NASCAR had spoke with Kobyluck’s spotter asking them to give Bryon Chew, the second place car, a spot back. Kobyluck had let off the throttle and let Chew come up side-by-side to him during green flag action to accommodate NASCAR’s request. It didn’t do the driver any good, however, and on lap 143, Kobyluck drove into the pits for his penalty.
“When I was at Thompson, they warned me a couple times for jumping the start,” said Sean Caisse, who finished third. “They warned me after the caution came back out, but they never actually told me to give a spot back. I feel bad for Matt because he had the dominant car. He was the car to beat. I had nothing for him. It wasn’t that bad of a jump where it should have cost him the race like that.”
But it did cost him the race, and the nine-year veteran wasn’t very happy about it. After the checkers flew, Kobyluck drove his No. 40 Mohegan Sun Casino Chevrolet to victory lane and parked it there. Kobyluck exited the car, stood in front of it for all to see, and signaled a thumbs down to the cheering crowd.
“I was extremely, extremely aggravated to the point where I needed to make it a point. I didn’t want it to go unnoticed that with a bad call the fans got robbed, my sponsor got robbed, and my team got robbed,” Kobyluck said.
“It’s discouraging. The event was manipulated and it put a bad taste in everyone’s mouth,” he continued. “We’re not able to go out there and race. We have to worry about the politics. When the fans catch on that our sport is more about politics than it is about racing than no one will have to worry about going anymore.”
But that wasn’t the only controversy in The Edge Hotel 150. Bryon Chew, who had inherited the lead after Kobyluck’s departure, seemed to have the race wrapped up. On the final lap, however, the leaders bunched as Rogelio Lopez spun to grass at the bottom of turn four. Unaware the leaders were about to overtake him, Lopez returned to the track with Chew leading Logano and Caisse toward the checkered flag. Chew, trying to get around the 63 car who had come out of the pits, lost the lead to Logano when the driver of the Joe Gibbs Driven Oil Chevrolet drove it hard into four hard between Chew and Lopez to lead the most important lap of the day.
The 63 car came right out so I started going around the outside of him because that’s what we are supposed to do. Then he moved right in front of me so I dove underneath him and by that time the cars were all over the track and me and Joey were hitting each other. I don’t know why the caution wasn’t out,” Chew said. “He (Joey Logano) stuffed his nose in there and I would have done the same thing. That was it. I really think that if someone else was in the lead the caution would have been thrown.”
Logano never expected to be standing in victory lane, but did not have any apologies for it.
“I’ve won and lost races like this. We capitalized this week, but next week, it might be the other way around. It’s a call up there (in the tower) and whatever they say you’ve got to run with it,” he said. “They started wrecking there in four and I just dive-bombed it in there and hoped for the best. I came out on top and it’s pretty awesome!”
Chew held on for second while Sean Caisse finished third.
Joey Lagno (#20) and Matt Kobyluck (#40) had very different outcomes to their races.
“Things definitely got rowdy in the end. It’s unfortunate. This track is flat and tough to pass and the guys did a great job putting on a show,” said four-time Champion Andy Santerre, who is the owner of Caisse’s third place car. “The 40 car was pretty dominant and the 99 seemed to be right there with him. I thought when the 99 got around us and those two got together I thought it was going to be a great race. It was set up to be. They decided to black flag the 40 and I thought the 99 had it hands down. I don’t know what happened. I didn’t see it all because there was a bunch of cars spinning.”
When asked if they should have thrown the caution on the last lap, Santerre responded, “I think they were sitting on a tough call. If they had thrown the flag it would have gone to overtime. They’ve been trying to cut back on the cautions. It’s tough because they had a split second to make the call. Cars were still moving and things were happening. It could have gone either way. It wasn’t a terrible call. There was one bad call made tonight and it wasn’t that one. One of our full time teams jumped the restart supposedly. He dominated the race. He had the car to beat. You just don’t do that. If he had done it two or three times and they had warned him I could see it. But to do it once and get blackflagged is the worst deal I’ve seen in a long time.”
Marc Davis, Peyton Sellers, Eddie MacDonald, Dion Ciccarelli, Chase Austin, Jerry Marquis, and James Pritchard, Jr. rounded out the top-10.
NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series
Edge Hotel 150 Results
Adirondack International Speedway - Beaver Falls, NY
Lap length: 0.5 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (1) Joey Logano, Middletown, Conn., Chevrolet, 150 laps, 65.693 mph, $7,800. 2. (6) Bryon Chew, Mattituck, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150, $4,300. 3. (5) Sean Caisse, Pelham, N.H., Chevrolet, 150, $3,300. 4. (11) Marc Davis, Mitchelville, Md., Chevrolet, 150, $2,800. 5. (4) Peyton Sellers, Danville, Va., Chevrolet, 150, $2,300. 6. (21) Eddie MacDonald, Rowley, Mass., Chevrolet, 150, $2,800. 7. (16) Dion Ciccarelli, Severn, Md., Chevrolet, 150, $2,225. 8. (17) Chase Austin, Eudora, Kan., Dodge, 150, $1,575. 9. (12) Jerry Marquis, Broad Brook, Conn., Chevrolet, 150, $1,025. 10. (22) James Pritchard, Jr., Wharton, NJ, Chevrolet, 150, $1,500. 11. (2) Matt Kobyluck, Uncasville, Conn., Chevrolet, 150, $1,956. 12. (24) Jeremy Clark, Concord, NC, Chevrolet, 150, $925. 13. (14) John Salemi, Nashua, N.H., Chevrolet, 149, $1,400. 14. (7) Rogelio Lopez, Aquascalientes, Mexico, Chevrolet, 149, $1,375. 15. (10) Jamie Hayes, Norlina, N.C., Chevrolet, 149, $1,350. 16. (8) Jeff Anton, Russell, Mass., Chevrolet, 149, $1,325. 17. (20) Max Dumarey, Gent, Belgium, Chevrolet, 149, $1,300. 18. (26) Robert Humphreys, Elbridge, NY, Chevrolet, 149, $775. 19. (25) Dustin Delaney, Mayfield, Conn., Chevrolet, 149, $775. 20. (13) Michelle Theriault, Bristol, Conn., Chevrolet, 148, $1,275. 21. (18) Scott Bouley, Wolcott, Conn., Chevrolet, 147, $1,275. 22. (23) Jeffrey Oakley, Prince George, VA, Chevrolet, 147, $775. 23. (3) Mike Olsen, North Haverhill, N.H., Chevrolet, 134, $1,875. 24. (19) Chris Bristol, Columbus, Ohio, Chevrolet, 126, $775. 25. (9) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Mooresville, N.C., Chevrolet, 65, $1,275. 26. (15) Jonathan Smith, Beacon Falls, Conn., Chevrolet, 63, $1,275.
Time of Race: 1 hour 8 minutes 30 seconds
Margin of Victory: .221 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: Field set by points
Caution Flags: 7 for 46 laps.
Lead Changes: 6 among 5 drivers.
Lap Leaders: M.Kobyluck 1-6; M.Olsen 7-19; M.Kobyluck 20-75; S.Caisse 76; M.Kobyluck 77-142; B.Chew 143-149; J.Logano 150.
Standings: 1. J.Logano, 1494; 2. M.Kobyluck, 1302; 3. P.Sellers, 1266; 4. B.Chew, 1232; 5. S.Caisse, 1227; 6. M.Olsen, 1221; 7. M.Davis, 1165; 8. R.Lopez, 1162; 9. J.Anton, 1156; 10. J.Hayes, 1155.
Sunoco Rookie Standings: 1. J.Logano 70; 2. R. Lopez 58; 3. M.Davis 48; 4. J.Hayes 48; 5.J. Earnhardt 48; 6. J.Hernandez 46; 7. M.Theriault 39; 8. C.Austin 35; 9. J.Smith 26; 10. T.Schendel 26; 11. Max Dumarey 23; 12. J.Pritchard 16; 13. R.Jarvis, Jr. 12; 14. German Quiroga 4; 15. A.J.Lane 2; 16. Jonathan Cash 1.