LOUDON, N.H. — Nineteen-year-old Joey Logano won Sunday’s rain-shortened Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Speedway to become the youngest driver to ever win a Cup race.
With skies threatening, Logano’s crew chief, Greg Zippadelli, decided to keep his driver on the track as long as possible, even during green-flag stops. He conserved fuel and was in the lead as the rains came, ending the race after 273 of the scheduled 301 laps.
“We didn’t have anything to lose,” said Logano. “It was our opportunity and we took advantage of it. It was a great call by ‘Zippy.’ We saved just enough fuel to make it here.
“This is my home track, so it makes it all that more special.”
Logano is from nearby Middletown, Conn.
During a restart on lap 176, Kyle Busch got into the back of Martin Truex, causing a 14-car pileup that sent eight cars to the garage for repairs. The cars that had to go to the garage included Truex, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton, Brian Vickers, Jamie McMurray, David Reutimann and David Ragan.
NASCAR red-flagged the race immediately after the big wreck so speedway workers could clean up the mess of debris and metal on the front straightaway.
“I guess Kyle just didn’t want to wait,” said Truex, who was not able to return to the race.
Jeff Burton was another one of the cars knocked out of the race.
“We didn’t do anything wrong today,” he said. “We didn’t cause the wreck. We had about as fast a car as anyone out here. When you have aggressive racing, you’re going to have wrecks and that’s what we had today.”
Stewart remains the series points leader, holding a 69-point edge over Gordon.
Top 10 finishers: 1. Joey Logano, 2. Jeff Gordon, 3. Kurt Busch, 4. David Reutimann, 5. Tony Stewart, 6. Brad Keselowski, 7. Kyle Busch, 8. Sam Hornish, 9. Jimmie Johnson, 10. Kasey Kahne.
Top 12 Chase contenders after 17 of 26 races before the Chase begins: 1. Stewart-2,524, 2. J. Gordon-2,455, 3. Johnson-2,355, 4. Kurt Busch-2,254, 5. Edwards-2,157, 6. Hamlin-2,132, 7. Newman-2,127, 8. Kyle Busch-2,108, 9. Biffle-2,106, 10. Kenseth-2,054, 11. Martin-2,052, 12. Montoya-2,049.