Logano In Victory Lane Again – Wins All-Star Showdown by Penny Aicardi
Current Year Champ Wins at Irwindale for First Time
Joey Logano in victory lane at Irwindale.  (NASCAR/Steve Grayson/Getty Images Photos)
Joey Logano put an exclamation point on a stellar season by winning the most prestigious race of the year at Irwindale Speedway (CA). Logano, who started the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown from the front row, took the lead from Brian Ickler at lap 164 and never looked back. The win earned the 17-year-old phenom a $33,284 paycheck and bragging rights for the next year. The NASCAR West Series won the team portion of the event finishing 174 points ahead of their Busch East Series counterparts.
“This is a real big one for us,” said Logano. “I definitely had a perfect year, and this is definitely the cherry on top. I had a great run all night and this was just the perfect way to end it.”

Logano was already a favorite heading into the event, a post-season big-money race for the developmental series, but his record spoke volumes. Logano’s five regular season wins mostly came at tracks he had never even seen before. Irwindale Speedway was no different. He quickly adapted, and became the first series champion in the five-year history of the event to win the marquee race.

“When the race started, we weren't that strong -- about a fifth-place car -- but my crew, they picked it up a ton,” said Logano.  “She was loose as a goose when we started that race. She was real free off the corner. I would get in through the center as good as anybody I just couldn’t get on the throttle. They gave me a lot more forward bite without screwing up my center a lot and that’s what it took.”

Despite his early race handling problems, Logano never ran lower than fifth in the first 100 lap segment. When action resumed on lap 101, Logano dove to the bottom and
moved up to third, before taking his place in second at lap 144 from 2006 Showdown winner Matt Kobyluck.

Logano immediately went to work on then-leader Mike Duncan, but it was Brian Ickler who would take the reigns over next part of the event. On lap 151, Ickler went soaring by Logano and then used lapped traffic to block Duncan up into the high groove before taking the lead on lap 155.

A wreck in turn one forced NASCAR to bring out the red flag and tightened the field up for a restart on lap 163. Logano, who attributes the cool down period to a key factor, used the outside to go by Ickler and take over the lead.

“We started on the outside there and we had a good run off of two. It was right after a red flag so the tires had cooled down. I drove it in there until I got scared and then just turned the wheel and romped on it. Once you get that run on the back straightaway I knew I pretty much had him. He worked the bottom real good though,” explained Logano.

At the second break on lap 100, NASCAR awarded the team win to the NASCAR West Series. Each year, the Showdown pits the east against the west in the all-star event by ranking drivers of each participating series by points. The team victory was worth $30,000, which is split among each of the drivers in the West Series. The East Series had only four drivers in the top-10 at the break despite holding some of the most valuable positions (first, second, fourth and sixth)

Logano only had Peyton Sellers to worry about in the last 50 laps of the event. Sellers had started ninth and was a factor throughout the race.
Logano's #20
“The team made some really good adjustments on each break and that’s why we ended up second,” said Sellers. “There were a few guys that had some bad luck to move us up but we also made good adjustments to get up there. This car took good care of us all year and it didn’t let us down tonight either.”

The final test, however, came on lap 248 when a caution had put Logano and Sellers side-by-side for a green-white-checker finish. The two made some contact, but Logano remained strong.

“I knew we were faster than him, but on a green-white-checker you are going to wheel as hard as you can. I knew that was going to happen,” said Logano. “Restarts were pretty big and I had been able to clear him at the corner every time, but I knew he was decent early. He got in the back of me a little bit, and that was cool. It was good racing. It was three to go and I would expect that. He’s a great guy to race with and it was fun.”

Sellers knew that he probably didn’t have enough to take the lead, but he was going to give it everything he had.
“I knew if I didn’t give it a valiant effort I was going to be sick about it from now on. I stuck it to him a little bit and tried to get him a little sideways. He didn’t choke though and he did a good job. We had a good race.”

The race spelled trouble for some of the favorites. Sean Caisse led the first 74 laps in dominating fashion before contact with a lapped car took him out of the race.

“We had a pretty good car,” said Caisse.  “The guys did a great job giving me a piece to run up front with. I’m just a little bit frustrated right now. Whatever happened, happened. I know the 78 [of Moses Smith] ended up getting into us, but that’s racing. You win some and lose some I guess. I’m frustrated more for my guys because I’m pretty sure this is my last race with ASM Motorsports and I wanted to go out on a high note and not like this.”
Kobyluck, who has the best average finish of all the drivers, fell victim to a flat right front before brushing the wall. He had to pit and was sent to the tail end of the lead lap cars – 18th – and had only 50 laps to try and get back to the front.

We kind of lucked out that it happened during a caution,” said Kobyluck.  “I made contact with the wall, but not race ending contact. Fortunately the caution came out when it did and we didn’t have that far to run before the break. We came in and changed the right front, pulled the fender out as much as we could. Under the break we tried to get the toe adjusted, change the tire and adjust the fender. It was a lot to do with only four guys being allowed over the wall,” he said. “It wasn’t a total loss, but before that happened we had a shot at the win.”

Ickler also had a flat tire take him out of contention, but like Kobyluck, soared through
the field to finish in the top-10.

“It just went down real quick,” Ickler said about the tire. “We don’t know what cut it, but
we kept our head up high and kept going. We came from a lap down to fifth or sixth so
I’m really proud of my whole team.”

Mike Olsen, running without the “Little Trees” sponsorship in the first time in 12 years,
had to start last after blowing the rear-end in qualifying, but drove a steady race and
finished eighth.

“I knew we had a pretty decent car, but by the end of that first 100 I had used up the
tires and the brakes pretty good. The only way I could get by them was to go to the
bottom. I didn’t think I was making any headway, but the guys told me to just keep
doing what I was doing. As it went on, we kept gaining and gaining and gaining.”

Sellers, Duncan, Kobyluck, and Eddie MacDonald rounded out the top-five finishers. The
NASCAR West Series crowned their champion the following day while the East Series will
celebrate Logano’s year-long accomplishments in December.

NASCAR Grand National Division
Toyota All-Star Showdown
Unofficial Results
At Irwindale Speedway
Irwindale, CA
Lap length: 0.5 miles

(Start position in parentheses)

1. (2) Joey Logano, Middletown, Conn., Chevrolet, 250 laps, 61.150 mph, $33,284.
2. (9) Peyton Sellers, Danville, Va., Chevrolet, 250, $22,684.
3. (3) Mike Duncan, Bakersfield, Calif., Chevrolet, 250, $17,000.
4. (6) Matt Kobyluck, Uncasville, Conn., Chevrolet, 250, $16,184.
5. (10) Eddie MacDonald, Rowley, Mass., Chevrolet, 250, $13,530.
6. (5) Brian Ickler, San Diego, Calif., Chevrolet, 250, $12,000.
7. (25) Eric Holmes, Escalon, Calif., Chevrolet, 250, $8,000.
8. (28) Mike Olsen, North Haverhill, N.H., Chevrolet, 250, $12,434.
9. (33) John Salemi, Nashua, N.H., Chevrolet, 250, $14,684.
10. (13) David Mayhew, Atascadero, Calif., Chevrolet, 250, $9,250.
11. (21) Eric Richardson, Bakersfield, Calif., Toyota, 250, $10,000.
12. (19) Jason Bowles, Ontario, Calif., Ford, 250, $9,500.
13. (16) Rogelio Lopez, Aquascaliantes, Mexico, Chevrolet, 250, $10,684.
14. (15) Mike David, Modesto, Calif., Ford, 250, $8,500.
15. (11) Johnny Borneman, Ramona, Calif., Ford, 250, $8,000.
16. (31) Jim Inglebright, Fairfield, Calif., Chevrolet, 250, $8,300.
17. (20) Daryl Harr, St Albert, AB, Chevrolet, 250, $7,700.
18. (29) Jamie Hayes, Norlina, N.C., Chevrolet, 250, $9,284.
19. (18) Ben Walker, Santa Clarita, Calif., Ford, 249, $4,550.
20. (30) Alex Haase, Las Vegas, Nev., Chevrolet, 248, $7,500.
21. (36) Greg Pursley, Newhall, Calif., Ford, 248, $5,400.
22. (27) Eric Hardin, Anaheim, Calif., Chevrolet, 247, $7,300.
23. (24) Andrew Myers, Newport Beach, Calif., Chevrolet, 243, accident, $5,250.
24. (8) Brett Thompson, Jerome, Idaho, Chevrolet, 243, accident, $7,200.
25. (7) Ryan Foster, Anderson, Calif., Chevrolet, 242, $7,150.
26. (38) Woody Pitkat, Manchester, Conn., Chevrolet, 236, $6,254.
27. (4) Marc Davis, Mitchelville, Md., Chevrolet, 231, $8,784.
28. (22) Justin Lofton, Westmorland, Calif., Ford, 214, $7,100.
29. (35) Mike Johnson, Salisbury, Mass., Ford, 212, rear end, $8,630.
30. (39) Chris Bristol, Columbus, Ohio, Chevrolet, 208, $9,784.
31. (40) Antonio Perez, Mexico City, Mexico, Dodge, 189, $9,734.
32. (12) Nick Lynch, Burley, Idaho, Dodge, 176, accident, $4,000.
33. (34) Moses Smith, Tempe, Ariz., Chevrolet, 155, accident, $7,000.
34. (23) Tim Woods, III, Chino Hills, Calif., Ford, 139, engine, $4,000.
35. (37) Ryan Philpott, Tracy, Calif., Ford, 129, suspension, $5,000.
36. (1) Sean Caisse, Pelham, N.H., Chevrolet, 74, accident, $11,684.
37. (17) Jeff Barkshire, Auburn, Wash., Dodge, 60, suspension, $4,000.
38. (14) Stephen Berry, Huddleston, Va., Chevrolet, 45, accident, $7,530.
39. (26) Andrew Ranger, Roxton Pond, Quebec, Chevrolet, 31, accident, $7,530.
40. (32) Michelle Theriault, Bristol, Conn., Chevrolet, 28, accident, $8,684.

Race Statistics
Time of Race: 2 hours 2 minutes 39 seconds
Margin of Victory:
Fastest Qualifier: S.Caisse (98.517 mph, 18.271 seconds)
Caution Flags: 13 for 61 laps.
Lead Changes: 3 among 4 drivers.
Lap Leaders: S.Caisse 1-74; M.Duncan 75-154; B.Ickler 155-163; J.Logano 164-250.

Kobyluck's #40
Caisse (#44) races with Mike Duncan (#9) early.