Joey Logano, Youngest Driver to Win a Sprint Cup Race, at New Hampshire
The drizzle slowly turned into heavy rain, forcing the NASCAR officials to stop the race. If the peace car hadn't entered the track, Logano would have hit the pit stops for refuel some 4 laps later. The Toyota driver had suffered a puncture mid-way through the race which demoted him one lap behind the leading pack, and stayed on track as much as he could to gain positions.
Until the rain start, it was Hendrick Motorsports' Jeff Gordon who looked set to taking his second win of the season, as the 4-time Sprint Cup champion led the race in most of its second part. Had Logano entered the pits, he was to regain the lead and power to the win. The rain had other plans, though, and Gordon had to settle for a strong runner-up place at the finish line.
“I guess I'd rather be lucky than good right now. Obviously, we didn't have the car to win, but we've overcame a lot (Sunday) – tires down and more issues than you can imagine,” said Logano after the race.
“I really don't know what to say right now. Especially after my debut here last year I didn't think I'd be this good. My team did a great job and we overcame a lot today. This is the first gamble we've taken since I started over here. We were lucky but a win is a win,” added the Toyota driver, who won his maiden Sprint Cup race at 19 years, one month and four days.
With championship leader Tony Stewart finishing in 5th place, second placed Gordon was not that unhappy with 2nd place, as he congratulated the local winner for his incredible win on Sunday,
“Looks like it's a Cinderella story for sort of a local guy Joey Logano and you've got to give him credit for the calls they made. I wasn't very good on the restarts and those guys there, the #2 (Busch) and the #14 (Stewart) and the #48 (Johnson) got me but I could ride right there with him. Then my pit crew, they did the job in the pits and they were phenomenal and got us out front,” said Gordon.
Kurt Busch and David Reutimann gambled their way to 3rd and 4th respectively, while Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Sam Hornish Jr, Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne completed the Top 10.
In the drivers' standings, Stewart is still leading from Jeff Gordon, with only 69 points separating the two drivers for the championship lead. Jimmie Johnson is exactly 100 points behind teammate Gordon, in 3rd place.