LONG POND, Pa. — Joey Logano stood on top of his No. 20 car high-fiving everyone he could reach in Victory Lane. Beverages were sprayed, fists were pumped and throaty shouts of celebration could be heard well down the 2½-mile track.
It’s what winning a Sprint Cup race is all about.
It’s what Logano has waited years to truly experience. Neither rain nor Mark Martin would deny him this feeling.
Logano gave Martin a well-timed nudge out of the way in the closing laps Sunday at Pocono Raceway to clinch his first victory since 2009 and become the first Sprint Cup driver this season to win from the pole.
The one-time prodigy and the grizzled veteran pushing hard down the stretch offered a duel to remember at Pocono.
“I didn’t stop screaming until I got to Victory Lane,” Logano said. “You work so hard to do this.”
This one felt like the first time for Logano after his only other career win in 125 Sprint Cup starts was a rain-shortened victory at New Hampshire.
“When you cross the line and you’ve won the race, to me, it’s an amazing feeling,” Logano said.
Logano had the top car all weekend, posting the fastest practice time Friday and taking the pole Saturday.
Logano, once a much-hyped phenom when he broke in with Joe Gibbs Racing, was under pressure to produce victories in the final year of his four-year contract.
In Victory Lane, he said he hoped the victory sent a message to his critics.
“I hope it shuts them all up,” he said. “It means a whole lot.”
Pocono shortened the race by 100 miles this season and got a thrilling finish. Logano led a career-high 49 laps to become the youngest winner at Pocono.
The 53-year-old Martin, looking for his first win since 2009, took the lead with eight laps left. The 22-year-old Logano, though, bumped Martin out of the way and zipped past for the winning move with three laps remaining.
Tony Stewart was third, Jimmie Johnson fourth and Denny Hamlin fifth.