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Logano dominates at Dover, wins Nationwide Series event

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Associated Press
9/29/2012 6:56:16 PM
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DOVER, Del. -- Joey Logano romped his way to a season sweep at Dover.

Logano dominated on the concrete Saturday to win the Nationwide Series race at Dover International Speedway.

This win was never in doubt.

Logano has struggled to transfer his success in the second-tier series to Sprint Cup racing, one reason why he's leaving Joe Gibbs Racing for Penske Racing in 2013. But in Nationwide, few drivers can match Logano.

He led 184 of the 200 laps in the No. 18 Toyota and raced to his series-leading seventh victory of the season. He won his 16th race in 105 career Nationwide starts. Logano moved into a tie for 16th on the on career victory list in Nationwide.

"My monster trophy from last time was lonely and needed a friend," Logano said. "I'm glad I was able to get one for him."

Paul Menard was second, followed by Michael Annett, points leader Elliott Sadler and Kyle Busch.

Sadler has a nine-point lead over Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the points race. Stenhouse was ninth in the race.

Darrell Wallace Jr. finished 12th after winning his first career pole earlier Saturday. Wallace, 18, is the first black driver to win a NASCAR pole in the Nationwide Series.

Wallace had trouble on the restarts to spoil his day.

"That's the way it goes. I'll figure it out one day," he said.

Wallace is a Joe Gibbs Racing development driver. He should have plenty of years ahead to figure it out -- but he has no sponsorship for next season.

Logano worked harder to win the June race. He powered his way to the lead with six laps left to overtake Ryan Truex.

Logano was on cruise control in this one.

There were only three cautions for 15 laps, all but eliminating his closest competitors to make much of a dent in his lead.

Menard couldn't even make a serious run at Logano.

"That's really the first time I saw him all race, at the end," Menard said. "He could just take off faster than us. I assume faster than everyone else. I don't think he got passed all day."

Annett said Logano was just too fast.

"I think we knew before we even got here that he was the car to beat, just looking at his performance here last time," he said.

The 22-year-old Logano is a two time Cup winner in his fourth full season. He is leaving Joe Gibbs Racing for the seat that opened when AJ Allmendinger was released after a failed drug test.

Logano was also the youngest winner in Nationwide Series history when he won at Kentucky at the age of 18 in 2008. A year later, he won at New Hampshire to become the youngest winner ever in Cup competition. He was the 2009 Sprint Cup Series rookie of the year.

Logano is 18th in the points standings in Sprint Cup and never made the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship field in four full seasons.

He hopes the change to Penske can change his luck,

"Racing these cars definitely helps for the Sprint Cup Series," Logano said. "As long as you realize what the differences are for tomorrow, we'll be fine."

Joey Logano (Photo: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

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(Photo: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
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