Pit strategy decided the 5-hour ENERGY 200 on Saturday, as Joey Logano won at Dover International Speedway for a record-setting third straight time in NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
After a caution on lap 163, race leader Kyle Busch took four tires. Meanwhile, most of the other top drivers took two tires, including Logano, who pulled out of the pits in first place.
The decision by Logano's crew chief proved to be the right one, as Busch fell back to 10th after the caution, and Logano pulled away and wasn't seriously challenged the rest of the race.
The win made it three in a row in the Nationwide Series races at Dover for Logano – a record – after he swept both races in 2012, but that was when he was driving for Joe Gibbs Racing.
In an interview on ESPN after the race, Logano said he was excited to win for the first time with his new team, Penske, especially since he was able to defeat the favored Kyle Busch who now races for Logano's former team.
"Finally," Logano said. "I felt like this was our best shot to get them…I'm pretty pumped up about this right now...It's great to get a win for Roger Penske…It feels great to finally get back into victory lane."
Busch led the most laps, 72, while Logano led 66, Austin Dillon, 43; Kasey Kahne, 14; and Trevor Bayne, five.
DILLON WINS POLE
Austin Dillon won Coors Light Pole Award for the 5-hour Energy 200 with a lap of 23.537 seconds, at 152.951 mph.
At the start of the race, Dillon held the top spot for the first 34 laps, until Busch passed him on lap 35.
The first caution flag waved at lap 47 when Joe Nemechek scraped the wall.
After pit stops, Dillon moved back to the front of the field.
During the caution, Parker Kligerman took off from his pit box while the jack was still attached. The jack hit and injured a tire changer on his crew, and Kligerman dragged the jack all the way around the track for a lap.
Logano passed Dillon for the lead on lap 53, as Busch quickly recovered from a bad pit stop, moving up through the field into second place.
The second caution flag fell when Elliott Sadler spun and hit the inside wall on lap 79.
Dillon took just two tires and got back in front, but Bayne passed him on lap 85.
Once again, Busch worked his way back to the front, passing Bayne for the lead on lap 90.
On lap 114, Kahne tapped the back of Mike Wallace's car, causing Wallace to spin and hit the inside wall.
Page 2 of 2 - After pit stops, Kahne took over the top spot on lap 120.
Then on lap 123, Reed Sorenson's car lost power and he couldn't coast back to pit road before his car stopped on the track.
Kahne continued to lead until Busch passed him on lap 129.
Busch cruised around the track until the caution flag flew on lap 163 for a spin by Dexter Stacey.
Busch took four tires and dropped back to 10th place, while most drivers only took two tires including Logano who took over first place.
The two-tire call proved to be the winning strategy, as Logano was able to pull away, while Busch could only make up five positions before the checkered flag fell.
TOP 10 FINISHERS
Here were the top 10 finishers in Saturday's race:
1. Joey Logano
2. Brian Vickers
3. Matt Kenseth
4. Trevor Bayne
5. Kyle Busch
6. Kasey Kahne
7. Sam Hornish Jr.
8. Austin Dillon
9. Regan Smith
10. Kyle Larson
Regan Smith still holds the first spot in the Nationwide Series, with Sam Hornish Jr. 27 points behind.