BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) — Joey Logano led flag-to-flag Saturday to win the Xfinity Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Erik Jones started from the pole but was passed by Logano before he completed the first lap. Logano led all 300 laps in cruising to his second Xfinity Series victory of the season.
“I’ve never led every single lap in a race before,” Logano said. “Gosh this is fun. This is amazing. You’re just waiting for something to go wrong.”
In three starts in NASCAR’s second-tier series, Logano has driven his Ford to two wins and a second-place finish for Team Penske.
Daniel Suarez, a rookie for Joe Gibbs Racing, finished a career-best second. He needed a big save of his Toyota about halfway through the race, eventually moved into second, but never had a challenge for Logano.
“I just can’t believe it — I can’t explain to you in words right now what I’m feeling in Spanish or English,” said Suarez, who was born and raised in Mexico and didn’t speak any English when he first visited North Carolina three years ago to pursue a NASCAR career.
Chris Buescher was third in a Ford for Roush Fenway Racing and moved into a tie with Ty Dillon for the series points lead. He said he wasn’t looking too far ahead at a potential championship race.
“We recognize that we’re in a very, very good spot right now and we’ve worked very hard to get to that point, but it’s early,” Buescher said. “We’re going to keep going at these races and trying to win. If we can keep that mindset that we just need to go run as well as possible and try to win these races, even if it means taking some chances, I think it will pay off better for us in the long run.”
Jones was fourth, followed by Dillon, Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick and Brian Scott.
Brendan Gaughan, Elliott Sadler and Brennan Poole rounded out the top 10.
Only 12 drivers finished on the lead lap.
Harvick appeared to be Logano’s biggest competition, but he never could get around Logano for the lead. Then a speeding penalty on pit road during the fourth caution sent Harvick to the back of the longest line on the ensuing restart.
Regan Smith, a championship contender, finished 30th after losing power in his car.
The race had a red-flag period just over 10 minutes when J.J. Yeley spun into the wall and damaged a SAFER barrier that had to be replaced.