Logano shows he's the real deal with a masterful debut at Dover
Joey Logano is the real deal. The teen phenom scored a sixth-place finish in his Nationwide Series debut and wowed everyone -- except himself.
- AP Photo/Rob CarrEighteen-year-old prodigy Joey Logano finished sixth in his long-awaited Nationwide Series debut.DOVER, Del. -- Joey Logano wowed everyone but himself.NASCAR's highly touted prodigy lived up to his billing in the rain-delayed Heluva Good! 200 Saturday, finishing sixth in his first Nationwide Series start.But the 18-year-old phenom wasn't happy about it. He felt an early pit-road mistake cost him a chance at a victory in his coming-out party.Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin won it, and his payoff for the day was padded by $200 because of Logano's effort."I bet Kyle Busch and Michael Waltrip that Joey would finish in the top seven," Hamlin said. "So he won me some money."Hamlin spoke with Logano immediately after the race."He congratulated me, but a sixth-place finish ain't much in my book,'' Logano said. "I had a decent car, but I screwed up in the pits and put myself in a position I didn't need to be in."Logano clipped the car in front of him as he left the pits during a caution, damaging his left-front fender. Logano had to come back to pit road before the green flag for the crew to pull out the fender. Logano entered the pits in sixth and restarted 28th."At that point, I was pretty ticked off at myself," Logano said. "But we knew what we had to do."What Logano doesn't know is some of the best drivers in NASCAR history have lost races from a pit mistake at Dover, which has the most difficult pit road in the sport.But few drivers could have overcome it as well as Logano did, patiently working his way through the field like a seasoned veteran. He moved up 14 spots in 30 laps.
When I was 18, I was still crashing my street car into trees in the snow. There's a lot of pressure on that young man, but I think he did a great job.
-- Carl Edwards
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