Darlington, SC – Joey Logano won a NASCAR Nationwide Series race for the second week in a row by taking Friday night's VFW Sports Clips Help a Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway.
Logano wrecked Elliott Sadler after a restart in the closing laps and then grabbed the lead from his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Denny Hamlin, during a green-white-checkered finish to win for the third time in his last five Nationwide races.
Sadler, who gambled with a two-tire change during his final pit stop, held the lead for the restart with five laps remaining in the scheduled 147-lap race. Logano, who held the third spot for the restart, bumped Sadler from behind and punted him into the outside wall.
"It's a shame," Sadler said. "I understand what [Logano] was trying to do, but you just don't bump draft everywhere you go, especially a place like Darlington and everybody is on used tires. There's a time and place for everything. I just hate that we're on the losing end of it."
Logano apologized for the incident over his team radio during the final caution.
"I want to apologize to Elliott," Logano said in Darlington's victory lane. "That was obviously not on purpose. We worked so well together at Talladega last week that we were helping each other again there. I pushed him ahead on the restart before and got him out in front. Then we did the same thing. I guess he was just spinning his tires, and I was trying to push him ahead. His car got a little bit squirrely, and then he just started going to the right."
Just before the caution flag was displayed, Hamlin was ahead of Logano to take the lead for the two-lap overtime finish. But after the final restart, Logano quickly passed Hamlin and then held him off at the finish line by 0.25 seconds for his 12th career Nationwide win.
"I had a little game plan figured out during the caution for what I had to do to win this thing," Logano said.
Last Saturday at Talladega, Logano made a last-lap pass on Kyle Busch for the lead and then beat Busch to the finish line by inches. This is the second time Logano has won back-to-back Nationwide races. He first did it in October 2009 at Kansas and California.
Hamlin, who dominated most of this race by leading 103 laps, settled for second place after experiencing engine problems during the final laps.
"I lost a cylinder and the water temperature pegged, so that's why we couldn't take off," he said. "That's the way it goes."
Brad Keselowski finished third, followed by Sam Hornish Jr. and rookie Austin Dillon.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., the pole sitter, placed sixth and widened his points lead to 23 over Sadler, who ended up finishing 24th. Sadler came to Darlington trailing Stenhouse by five points.
"We got a lot of points to make up," Sadler added.
Brian Scott, Kurt Busch, James Buescher and rookie Cole Whitt completed the top 10. Busch rebounded after blowing his right-front tire and scraping the wall within the last 25 laps. Whitt had to start from the rear of the field in a backup car after wrecking his primary vehicle in practice earlier in the day.
Danica Patrick finished 12th in her first Nationwide race at Darlington. Shortly before the event, Patrick qualified 38th for Saturday night's 500-mile Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington. It will be her second start in NASCAR's premier series.
Action sports superstar Travis Pastrana bounced back from a two-lap deficit to finish 17th.
"It was very, very difficult," he said. "I had a really good time. We weren't driving the fastest, but I couldn't be more happy right now."
Ryan Blaney, the 18-year-old son of NASCAR veteran Dave Blaney, crashed on the second lap and finished 43rd. He took personal responsibility and apologized to his Tommy Baldwin Racing team for the incident.
"We got loose there, and I wasn't able to catch it," he said.
Both Pastrana and Blaney competed in their second Nationwide race. They made their series debut two weeks ago at Richmond.