Logano's Win at NHIS Unofficially Seals Up Title by Penny Aicardi
Matt Kobyluck's Chance for Title Gets Derailed
After leading the most laps, Logano went on to a convincing victory over Sean Caisse in the Aubuchon Hardware 125 by taking the lead for the final time with ten laps to go. Kobyluck’s 33rd place finish sealed the deal – at least unofficially – on his championship season.

NASCAR has not, and most likely will not, declare him the champ until this week’s event at Dover. But for Logano, things are looking pretty good.

“Definitely getting this championship, which we don’t have it yet, is really cool,” Logano said after the race. “I didn’t know how many points I needed to get to win the championship. I always had points on my mind, and I was just going to run smart. It really sucks for (Kobyluck). I really hate to get (the championship) this way, but it was a really good year for us. We have one more to go and we’re going to try and win that one too.”

Current calculations show Logano having a 171-point lead over Caisse, who should move into second in points with his runner-up finish. To officially have clinched the season title, he would have needed 190 points (that would mean he wouldn’t even have to start the race at Dover). But assuming Logano finishes last at Dover, which typically has a 30-car field, Logano will receive 73 points. If Caisse wins the race and leads every lap, he still won’t have earned enough points to surpass Logano in the championship. So, yes, Logano needs to start the race at Dover to win the series title, but he could park it the next lap if he wanted to and still win.
Logano climbs from his #20 a NHIS winner and perhaps a champion.  (Jim DuPont Photo)
The scenarios were set before the green flag dropped on the Aubuchon Hardware 125 at New Hampshire International Speedway Friday. Some were saying Kobyluck had to finish in the top-six, others were saying there couldn’t be more than a 22-position difference between the two drivers at the race conclusion. Logano just concentrated on the task at hand: winning the race.

But in one swift moment, one driver’s dreams were realized while another’s were crushed. Eleven laps before the race conclusion, the winningest driver on the series made a rookie mistake. While battling with Matt Kobyluck, a championship hopeful, Kelly Moore made contact with the Mohegan Sun Casino Chevrolet and both of them spun into the wall. The damage forced Kobyluck to prematurely end his race and cleared the way for 17-year-old Logano to earn the 2007 series title.

The 17-year-old used patience and pit strategy to win the race at NHIS. Knowing that they were only going to take fuel in the pit stop, Logano just rode around while Sean Caisse led the first quarter of the race. When a caution did wave and allowed the field to pit, Logano entered the pits in second and came out in third. Caisse, on the other hand, came in as the leader and came out in 16th.

“We had a little bit of a miscue in the pits,” explained Caisse. “We were really, really tight rolling through the middle of the corner – especially in three and four. I told my team we needed to go up three rounds on the right rear track bar and down in wedge on the right rear jack screw. They did the opposite by accident. They went the other way.”

Logano, who is well known for his determination to win, thought newcomer Mark McFarland, a regular in the USAR ProCup Series, might just keep him out of victory lane.

“I just kind of rode around there, and then the 81 got by me. I didn’t think we had anything for him because on the long runs I got real tight,” Logano said.

Logano was able to reclaim the point after a series of caution flags allowed him to overcome McFarland on lap 113.

When racing resumed at lap 119, Caisse made a return to contention. Cars were going three-wide behind the battling Logano and McFarland with Caisse capitalizing and emerging in third. Before the checkers dropped, Caisse was able to get by McFarland and take the checkers in the runner-up position.

Matt Kobyluck's crew goes to work repairing the damaged #40 after the contact with Kelly Moore (51 Photo)
"On that restart, Rogelio (Lopez) spun his tires a little bit and I took advantage of it. He spun his tires and I was able to shoot down low. Me and McFarland actually made a little bit of contact coming off two. I had him clear in one and two and I guess he put his nose up on me on the rear quarter panel. My spotter called me clear and we made a little bit of contact. He seemed to be a little bit upset, and rightfully so, at the end of the race. Once again, it was a good race for us. We came back to the front and got a top-three finish.”

Kobyluck retired from the event at lap 115 after the team found that the control arm was broken in three pieces. Kobyluck was obviously dejected with the results.

“He just drove into the side of me. He drove in down on the apron,” Kobyluck said of the incident with Moore. “I gave him plenty of race track to get his car turned down in there, and he still drove into the side of me and wrecked me. I would have thought that Kelly would have shown a little more respect than that to someone trying to win a championship.”

Lopez, who was the Busch Pole Award winner, finished third followed by Peyton Sellers and Jamie Hayes.

Logano’s win at the ‘Magic Mile’ also earned him the Merriam-Graves New Hampshire International Speedway track championship.

NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series-Aubuchon Hardware 125 presented by Hardwarestore.com Results
Friday, Sept. 14, 2007
At New Hampshire International Speedway
Loudon, N.H.
Lap length: 1.058 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (6) Joey Logano, Middletown, Conn., Chevrolet, 125 laps, 103.030 mph, $14,800.
2. (3) Sean Caisse, Pelham, N.H., Chevrolet, 125, $10,000.
3. (1) Rogelio Lopez, Aquascalientes, Mexico, Chevrolet, 125, $10,500.
4. (9) Peyton Sellers, Danville, Va., Chevrolet, 125, $7,500.
5. (21) Jamie Hayes, Norlina, N.C., Chevrolet, 125, $6,700.
6. (11) Jerry Marquis, Broad Brook, Conn., Dodge, 125, $5,900.
7. (14) Brad Leighton, Center Harbor, N.H., Chevrolet, 125, $5,600.
8. (18) Ryan Moore, Scarborough, Me., Chevrolet, 125, $4,800.
9. (17) James Buescher, Plano, Tex., Chevrolet, 125, $5,000.
10. (24) Eddie MacDonald, Rowley, Mass., Chevrolet, 125, $4,500.
11. (7) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Mooresville, N.C., Chevrolet, 125, $4,000.
12. (28) John Salemi, Nashua, N.H., Chevrolet, 125, $3,800.
13. (32) Mike Johnson, Salisbury, Mass., Ford, 125, $4,700.
14. (10) Jesus Hernandez, Fresno, Calif., Chevrolet, 125, $3,600.
15. (19) Tim Schendel, Sparta, Wisc., Dodge, 125, $3,500.
16. (4) Bryon Chew, Mattituck, N.Y., Chevrolet, 125, $3,400.
17. (23) John Freeman, Huntersville, N.C., Dodge, 125, $3,200.
18. (13) Mike Olsen, North Haverhill, N.H., Chevrolet, 125, $3,850.
19. (30) Jonathan Smith, Beacon Falls, Conn., Chevrolet, 125, $3,200.
20. (26) Michelle Theriault, Bristol, Conn., Chevrolet, 125, $3,176.
21. (12) Marc Davis, Mitchelville, Md., Chevrolet, 125, $3,150.
22. (5) Mark McFarland, Mooresville, N.C., Chevrolet, 124, $2,600.
23. (8) Ruben Pardo, Mexico City, Mex., Dodge, 124, $3,075.
24. (33) James Pritchard, Jr., Wharton, NJ, Chevrolet, 124, $3,050.
25. (41) Laine Chase, Beverly, Mass., Chevrolet, 124, $2,525.
26. (22) Antonio Perez, Mexico City, Mex., Chevrolet, 123, $2,500.
27. (16) Kelly Moore, Scaeborough, Maine, Chevrolet, 121, $2,500.
28. (40) Patrick Dupree, Saranac Lake, N.Y., Dodge, 121, $2,500.
29. (25) Jeff Anton, Russell, Mass., Chevrolet, 121, $3,000.
30. (15) Chase Austin, Eudora, Kan., Dodge, 118, $3,000.
31. (27) Stephen Berry, Huddleston, Va., Chevrolet, 117, $2,500.
32. (31) Glenn Sullivan, Westbury, NY, Chevrolet, 116, $2,500.
33. (2) Matt Kobyluck, Uncasville, Conn., Chevrolet, 115, accident, $3,000.
34. (20) Scott Lynch, Burley, Idaho, Dodge, 114, accident, $2,500.
35. (36) Joe Masessa, Franklin Lakes, N.J., Chevrolet, 114, $2,500.
36. (29) Max Dumarey, Gent, Belgium, Chevrolet, 106, accident, $3,000.
37. (37) Dion Ciccarelli, Severn, Md., Chevrolet, 94, brakes, $3,000.
38. (38) Jason Cochran, Marion, N.C., Chevrolet, 63, handling, $2,500.
39. (34) Scott Bouley, Wolcott, Conn., Chevrolet, 62, $3,000.
40. (35) Todd Peck, Glenville, Pa., Chevrolet, 33, overheating, $2,500.
41. (39) Robert Humphreys, Elbridge, NY, Chevrolet, 16, handling, $2,500.
Race Statistics
Time of Race: 1 hour 17 minutes 1 second
Margin of Victory: .544 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: R.Lopez (124.674 mph, 30.319 seconds)
Caution Flags: 6 for 34 laps.
Lead Changes: 10 among 6 drivers.

Sean Caisse's second-place finish should leapfrog the #44 into second in points.  (DuPont Photo)