DARLINGTON, S.C. — Joey Logano wrecked leader Elliott Sadler five laps from the end, then broke free during a green-white-checkered finish at Darlington Raceway for his second consecutive Nationwide Series victory.
Logano was in third place after the fifth caution period tightened up the race at the end. Logano bumped leader Sadler at the restart, turning the lead car into the wall. Logano then shot past Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin during NASCAR’s version of overtime and held on for his third series victory of the season.
Hamlin finished second, giving him five top-two finishes in his seven Nationwide races here. Brad Keselowski was third followed by Sam Hornish Jr. and Austin Dillon.
Danica Patrick was 12th and extreme sports star Travis Pastrana was 17th in his second series race.
LOW EXPECTATIONS: Tony Stewart has very modest goals for Patrick’s Sprint Cup debut at Darlington.
He knew “the Track Too Tough to Tame” is going to be difficult, which is why he put tonight’s race on her schedule.
Patrick is scheduled to run 10 Cup events this season, and Darlington will be her second start.
“This is a hard place. It’s not an easy track,” Stewart said Friday. “It’s going to be a long weekend for her. It’s like I told her, I said, ‘You are going to hate me by the end of tomorrow night.’ She goes, ‘Yeah, but I’m going to love you next year when we come back and run this full-time.’ She understands the value of why we picked this as one of the races.
“I think she is keeping the big picture in mind.”
INDYCAR: Honda could be getting a bigger boost than expected at this year’s Indianapolis 500.
Less than 24 hours after IndyCar officials announced each car would have additional horsepower for next week’s qualifying, the series’ longtime engine-manufacturer learned Friday that it also could keep a new compressor cover on its single turbocharged engine -- a move that should help Honda drivers find more speed in Indy’s long, flat straightaways.
On Friday, a retired Indiana Supreme Court judge upheld a ruling series officials made last month, which allowed Honda to use the cover at Sao Paulo. Chevrolet appealed even though it’s won all four races this season, all by Roger Penske’s team.
Those relying on Honda engines say they hope the changes will put some parity back in the series.