(photo by Leon Hammack)
NASCAR took a trip up to “LOBSTER COUNTRY” this weekend to The New Hampshire International Raceway at Louden. This track holds a special place in the season, NHIS is the place where the Chase starts in just nine more races!
Once again at Louden the rain and fuel mileage were factors in deciding the outcome in today’s Lennox Industrial Tools 301. For most of the afternoon the race seemed to boil down to a race between the #24 Dupont Chevy driven by Jeff Gordon, the #2 Miller Lite Dodge driven by Kurt Busch, and the #14 Office Depot Chevy driven by Tony “THE SMOKER” Stewart. That trio seemed to be battling back and forth throughout the middle to late stages of the race for the lead at different times.
It is extremely ironic that on lap 182 the #20 Home Depot Toyota driven Joey Logano blew a left rear tire that brought out the yellow flag. By the time he got back out on the track he was a lap down to the field. However, Logano got his lap back on a yellow flag at lap 193 brought out by a Scott Speed wreck. At that time, Logano came into the pits for tires and fuel.
As the leaders began cycling into the pits for their fuel and tires, Logano the #39 Haas Automation Chevy driven by Ryan Newman assumed the lead. As luck would have it, Newman ran out of gas trying on lap 264 while trying to stretch his fuel mileage. Shortly thereafter, the rain came and the race was yellow flagged for a few laps. At lap 273 the race was red flagged and ultimately the race was called as the rain intensity increased.
So it is today that we witness another record for the NASCAR history books. Joey Logano wins his first NASCAR Cup race at the tender age of 19 years 1 month and 4 days. He has just become the youngest driver in the history of NASCAR to win a Cup race obliterating the former record set by ol Kylie Busch of 20 years 4 months and 2 days old.
Even though young Mr. Logano wasn’t even remotely the fastest race car at Louden today, he takes the money and the trophy home to Joe Gibbs Racing! At best the #20 Home Depot Toyota was a 15th place car, but fuel strategy and a very gutsy call by Greg Zippidelli garnered the top spot at the Lennox Industrial Tools 301!
UNTIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!