Talladega, AL – Joey Logano edged Kyle Busch by inches at the finish line to win Saturday's Aaron's 312 Nationwide Series race at Talladega Superspeedway.
The scheduled 117-lap, 312-mile race was marred by a vicious 10-car accident that occurred along the backstretch after the first of two green-white- checkered finish attempts.
Eric McClure slammed head on into the inside retaining wall at a high-rate of speed. Safety workers had to cut the roof off of McClure's car before they could pull him out and place him on a stretcher.
McClure, the 33-year-old son of former NASCAR team owner Larry McClure, was transported by ambulance to the track's infield care center and then airlifted to the University of Alabama Birmingham Hospital for further evaluation and treatment.
The incident occurred when it appeared that Sprint Cup Series regulars Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski got turned around in a tight pack of cars.
"I was trying to push the 87 [Joe Nemechek] and just got turned around, so it's just part of it. That's Talladega," Harvick said.
On the final lap, Busch held the lead with pushing help from Logano, who is his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate in the Sprint Cup Series. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., the defending Nationwide champion, and Cole Whitt, who is a rookie in the series this year, were hooked up in a draft behind Busch and Logano.
Yards away from the finish line, Logano made a sling-shot pass on Busch for the lead and then beat him by just 0.034 seconds for his second Nationwide win of the season and the 11th of his career.
"You've got to position yourself for the end of these things," Logano said. "It was a last-lap pass, and I had to do it at the right time. Kyle knew it was coming."
Logano also gave Toyota its 200th win in NASCAR national series competition (42 in Sprint Cup, 67 Nationwide and 91 Camping World Truck Series).
"It's cool to win superspeedway races," he said. "You never know what's going to happen. And when you get around on the last second, those are the most exciting ones."
Busch was attempting to win a Nationwide race as both the driver and owner of his No. 54 car. Last weekend, his elder brother, Kurt, gave Kyle Busch Motorsports its maiden victory in the series at Richmond International Raceway.
"I was hoping [Stenhouse Jr. and Whitt] would get up alongside of us, and then we would have to drag race it, and Joey would have to push me to the checkered flag," said Busch, who led the most laps with 36. "They couldn't quite get up alongside us, and it gave Joey an opportunity to make a move at the end. He deserved to win. That's what you do in these races."
Logano pushed Busch to the win in last year's Nationwide race at Talladega. The two were also teammates in Nationwide at that time.
Stenhouse and Whitt finished third and fourth, respectively, while Dale Earnhardt Jr. completed the top-five.
"At the end there, I was trying to push Cole as hard as I could to get a draft and get up alongside those guys [Busch and Logano] and fan out at the finish line, but we just couldn't quite get there," Stenhouse said.
Kurt Busch, driving the No. 1 car for Phoenix Racing in this event, placed sixth, followed by James Buescher, who won the last Nationwide restrictor- plate race in February at Daytona International Speedway.
Justin Allgaier finished eighth, Kenny Wallace ninth and Elliott Sadler 10th.
After bumping into the back of Mike Bliss late in the race, Sadler sustained slight damage to the front end of his car. He fell back to 23rd in the field.
Stenhouse moved atop the point standings. He holds a five-point advantage over Sadler.