Joey Logano captured his first win in the Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona to become the 22nd different winner in the annual non-points race.
Logano took advantage of last lap contact between Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski racing for the lead to speed by for the top spot en route to the win.
“It’s a momentum builder,” Logano said after his first win in the Clash. “It knocks the rust off for everybody. The only way I was going to beat those Gibbs cars was to break them up. We were able to get our ways up front to make the big move there. Brad was going to make the move and I was going to follow him.
“When the 11 (Hamlin) came down I saw the writing on the wall and decided to move up. It’s a great way to start Speedweeks.”
Hamlin had the lead as the field took the white flag and raced through the first turn. Keselowski tried to make a pass to his inside but the two touched and went up the track.
NASCAR kept the green flag out and Logano inherited the top spot and never relinquished it racing back to the checkered flag.
“The 2 (Keselowski) was coming with a huge run and I was doing everything I could to block, but he was coming at such a high rate of speed that I didn’t have time to block,” Hamlin said.
Kyle Busch edged Alex Bowman for second with Danica Patrick and Kevin Harvick rounding out the top five.
Wendal Ebach is off to a great start in his second season in the league. Last year he had somewhat of a tough rookie season after finishing in 35th place. He did finish the year on a high note with a 5th place finish at Homestead. He picked enough polesitters to make make the Clash and he made the most of it. After scoring a total of 167 points, he was able to win and get a head start by getting the first win of the season. Wendal doesn't have a points win yet but this has happened two other times in league history.
Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona Top 5 Finishers
1. Wendal Ebach
2. Charquillia Addison
3. Terry Howell
4. Dave Smith
5. Jordan Hunt
HOMESTEAD, Fla. – Daniel Suarez took the checkered flag in Saturday’s Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway to claim the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series championship.
Suarez became the first International NASCAR touring series champion when the Mexican-born driver scored the title on Saturday night.
“It doesn’t feel real,” Suarez said, fighting back tears in Victory Lane.
Suarez got a jump on the night’s final restart with four laps to go and was able to outrun the field to the checkered flag.
“I can’t believe this is happening and I am so happy,” said Suarez, who said he leaned to speak English by watching American cartoons on television.
“I’m just so proud of this team and everyone who has helped me get to this point. I just can’t believe this.”
The race was set up for the dramatic finish when Ray Black Jr. spun on the front stretch and that sent the leaders including all four Championship 4 drivers to pit road. Suarez, Erik Jones and Justin Allgaier took four tires while Elliott Sadler took two.
But Cole Whitt decided to remain on track and was the leader when the green flew to restart the race. Whitt spun his tires as the field roared to life and that stacked up Jones and others behind him, allowing Suarez to get the jump.
"I thought the 14 (Whitt) would at least attempt to go, he just sat there and didn't even attempt to go,” Jones said. "It is what it is, but just kind of unfortunate," says he expected the 14 team to have more respect for the Championship teams.
When the checkered flag flew it was the 24-year-old native of Monterrey, Mexico scoring the historic win and championship.
In the first season of Xfinity and Truck series Chases, Lou Demian was able to make the Chase in both series and the championship four as well. Yesterday he had the chance to win his third truck series title but unfortunately fell short. He didn't lose focus and more than made up for that loss by having a big day in the Xfinity series. Lou ended up scoring a total of 201 points, tied with two other members, but he won the tiebreaker to win the race. That allowed him to the Xfinity Series championship.
Lou wins his fourth title in this series and now has championships under the Busch, Nationwide and Xfinity series titles. He won in 2005, 2009, 2011 and now 2016. It's also his seventh championship in Lucky Dog Racing.
Ford EcoBoost 300 Finishers
1. Lou Demian
2. Dean Higley
3. Terry Smith
4. Kevin Sullivan
5. Jack Thesier
HOMESTEAD, Fla. - Johnny Sauter celebrated his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship Friday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Sauter’s third-place finish in the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 200 was good enough for the 38-year-old driver to capture his first title in eight full seasons in the Truck Series.
The GMS Racing driver finished second in the season championship back in 2011 and became the 15th different driver to win a title in 22 years.
Sauter had his best overall season since moving into the series. He won three races, had 12 top-five finishes and capped it off with a solid Chase that ended in the crown. Sauter won back-to-back races at Martinsville and Texas also finishing second at Phoenix last week. Sauter's 13 career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victories tie him for 11th most all-time in series history.
“Well, this championship means a lot, obviously. I just I don't think it's completely sank in quite yet, but you know, it wouldn't be possible without these two guys sitting next to me,” Sauter said of team owner Maury Gallagher and crew chief Joe Shear Jr.
“That's for sure. I can remember last September when I flew to Las Vegas and the Gallagher family brought me to their house and cooked me a wonderful meal and said this is our goals and this is what we want to do. You know, when I went and checked out the shop and saw their ultimate vision for where they wanted GMS Racing to be, I knew it was something that I wanted to be a part of.”
Indeed Sauter joined GMS this year in a move felt to be risky, but it paid off in a title.
Greg Miller started his career in Lucky Dog Racing on fire. He won the 2005 Cup series championship in his rookie year and then followed that up by winning the championship again the following year. After that he left the league for a few years but returned in 2009. He didn't quite have the same performance but managed a few top 10 finishes in the Cup and Xfinity series. He struggled a lot in the Truck series though. In seven seasons his highest finish was 12th and he wasn't even able to win a race until this season.
This season was a complete turn-around, he really found his groove. Greg won two races, led the standings and made the championship four. At Homestead it all came together one more time, Greg was able to have a dominant race to score a total of 177 points to win the Ford EcoBoost 200. The win gave him the Truck series championship making it the third in Lucky Dog Racing and the first in 10 years.
Ford EcoBoost 200 Top 5 Finishers
1. Greg Miller
2. Matt Steinfels
3. Wendal Ebach
4. Kelly Wolfe
5. Jack Thesier
Lucky Dog Racing finished in second place for 2 years in a row to P10 Select. For the 2017 season they are looking to finally get their 5th championship. This year they have another strong team. Randy Cook is the defending LROC champion and he will be leading the charge for the team again.
Joining Randy will be Jose Rodriguez who is no stranger to championships. Jose won the Cup series championship last season and now has titles in all three series. He'd love to add a LROC Championship as well. Lou Demian keeps his LROC streak appearance going to 10 straight years after he won the Xfinity series.
Greg Miller won the Truck series championship but is ineligible to run for Lucky Dog Racing since he is the team owner of Fantasy Sport Site. Nate Bishop represents Lucky Dog Racing for the first time after winning the Yahoo group championship. Ray Perrotta returns for the 2nd time after winning the Streak to the finish title. Jessy Turgeon also returns for a 2nd time after a long 7 year absence. Jessy won the Chaser Eraser last year.
Be sure to cheer on our drivers as Lucky Dog Racing's drive for five continues in 2017!
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