Joey Logano Conquers Rockingham in Career-1st ARCA RE/MAX Series Attempt From Series PR
Rockingham 500 Becomes the "Joey Logano Show"
Most say that Rockingham Speedway is one of the toughest, most challenging tracks on anyone's tour. However, someone forgot to tell ARCA RE/MAX Series rookie Joey Logano, who made his victory in Sunday's Carolina 500 look simple.
Logano, in the no. 25 Venturini Motorsports-prepared Joe Gibbs Racing Oil-Gresham & Associates Chevrolet, led 257 of 312 laps to conquer the "Rock" in his career-first ARCA RE/MAX Series start. Logano also earned the Aaron's Lap Leader award for leading the most laps.
Joey Logano raises his hands triumphantly after winning in Rockingham. (ARCA/Bob Costanzo Photos)
"I have to thank the Joe Gibbs crew for pitting me," said Logano. "They kept me out front. We're going to get a shot at Dover coming up, and hopefully we'll see victory lane there too. I wasn't running flat out the whole race. You've got to pace yourself. That's a really big deal here at The Rock."
Outside of a late-race wrestling match with Ken Schrader and mid-race battle with Michael Annett and Matt Hawkins, Logano had nary a challenger during the 500 kilometer/312-mile race.
With only five drivers on the left on the lead lap, Logano pitted for fresh tires 10 laps from the finish. Logano, who restarted fourth, was leading before the field completed one lap. From there, the Middletown, Connecticut driver pulled away by more than four seconds over Schrader, who finished second in his own no. 52 Four Winds Motorhomes Dodge.
"I would have loved to have won but it's neat to see the fastest car win a race and that's what happened today," said Schrader. "I have to thank Johnny Benson who came out here and practiced the car for us on Friday. It was good. We just didn't have anything for [Joey] Logano. We didn't pit for tires at the very end there because we didn't have any tires, but even if we did, we probably wouldn't have pitted. We're low budget so if there is an opportunity to cut costs anywhere, we do it."
Roush Fenway Racing's Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., the only other driver who pitted with Logano during that final stop, finished third.
"All of the guys had great pit stops," said Stenhouse. "Lumpy left us a set of tires for the end and that was good pit strategy. I just can't thank these guys enough. It was a blast. You go back to sprint car days, you just come in put a right rear on and it just lights the thing up."
Stenhouse, who moved to third in championship points, was also the SunTrust Highest Finishing Rookie.
Logano has gotten pretty used to doing burnouts in the last year or so.
Hawkins, in the JaniKing-Black's Tire Dodge, finished fourth. Annett, in the Bill Davis Racing Pilot Travel Centers Toyota, finished fifth, the last driver on the lead lap.
At one point, Logano had lapped the entire 50-car field with the exception of the second place driver. Only varying pit stop sequences and the Aaron's Lucky Dog award got more machines back on the lead lap for the chance to challenge in the final stages.
Logano, who earned the SIM Factory Pole Award on Saturday with a new ARCA RE/MAX Series one-lap track record (146.645 mph), also posted the Accel Fastest Lap of the Race with a top speed of 140.812 mph. Logano's crew chief Billy Venturini won the Cometic Crew Chief of the Race honors.
Chad McCumbee finished sixth in the Danco Electrical Contractors Chevrolet in front of Austin Dillon, who finished seventh in his career-first series attempt in the Garage Equipment Supply Chevrolet. Current ARCA RE/MAX Series point leader Matt Carter finished eighth in the Stine Seed-NuSouth Lemonade Ford. Tom Hessert III finished ninth in the Maaco Auto Painting-Boudreaux's Butt Paste Ford, moving to a tie with Stenhouse for third in series points. Frank Kimmel finished 10th in the FordDriveOne.com-ECC Ford.
Four drivers traded the lead 10 times while 13 cautions slowed the race for 92 laps. Lap leaders included Hawkins (25), Annett (17) and Schrader (13).