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Joey Logano dominates late restarts to win Xfinity Series race in Las Vegas

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Joey Logano fended off Kyle Larson twice on late restarts to secure a win in the Xfinity Series’ Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

In his first Xfinity start of 2017, Logano held off Larson for the last time on a restart with four to go. Logano committed to the outside lane on both restarts.

“It was hard to figure out what to do, what lane to pick,” Logano told Fox Sports 1. “Those restarts are crazy though. You don’t know what lane to pick and it depends on whose a good pusher and you’re trying to remember what (happened) on the last one.”

Filling out the top five was Larson, Daniel Suarez, Justin Allgaier and Austin Dillon

It’s Logano’s 28th Xfinity win and comes in his first series start at the 1.5-mile track.

Logano, who led the final 55 laps, used a big push from Dillon on the next to last restart to get by Larson. The Chip Ganassi Racing driver earned his best Xfinity finish at Las Vegas in three starts.

“I thought Joey and I were pretty equal,” Larson told FS1. “I think clean air was big. When I was out front I could pull out similar to how he was. I probably needed some longer runs there. We just kept getting cautions there at the end. Maybe needed some lapped traffic for sure.”

Larson led 33 laps to Logano’s race high 106.

Allgaier was the highest finishing Xfinity regular. He led the four that finished in the top 10.

Stage 1 winner: Kyle Busch

Stage 2 winner: Brad Keselowski

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: After two 30th-place results to start the year, Allgaier was the top placing Xfinity regular in the first two segments, finishing the race with 14 stage points … Darrell Wallace Jr. finished sixth after a day of battling with flu symptoms. It’s his second sixth-place finish in a row … Elliott Sadler finished eighth for his second top 10 of the season. … Blake Koch finished 12th for his best result through three races.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Brad Keselowski finished 10th after pitting for a cut right-rear tire with 92 to go and getting bogged in traffic for the rest of the race … Vegas native Brendan Gaughan fell off the pace early in Stage 2 for mechanical issue and went to the garage. He later spun with 10 to go in the stage. He finished  35th, 11 laps down … Matt Tifft spun on his own on Lap 71 in Stage 2 and backed into the outside wall. The rookie stayed on the lead lap but later went to the garage after spinning with nine to go from contact with Spencer Gallagher. Tifft finished 34th.

NOTABLE: In 21 Xfinity races held at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Logano was the 15th different winner. Mark Martin was the last repeat winner in 2011 …

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I’ve been racing for 15 years and that always makes me feel better anytime I can climb in a race car, so that helped out a lot. It was tough, though. Under caution I just wanted to go to sleep every time … Being fast, hell, I’ll do it with the flu every time when we’re that good.” – Darrell Wallace Jr. after finishing sixth with flu symptoms.

WHAT’S NEXT: DC Solar 200 at Phoenix Raceway at 4 p.m. ET on March 18 on Fox Sports 1

Atlanta Motor Speedway to delay repave at least a year

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The cries of drivers have been heard. Atlanta Motor Speedway will not repave its track as previously scheduled. Instead, track officials will evaluate the surface following the 2018 race there.

Speedway Motorsports Inc., which owns the track, had planned to have the track surface repaved beginning in late March. It would have been the first repave there since 1997.

Engineers examined the track after the March 5 race to determine if the track surface could last another year with modest repairs. Track officials also consulted with Goodyear and others.

“There’s no question that the surface is worn out, but probably the most powerful lobby this side of Washington, D.C., was the biggest influence,” Ed Clark, president of Atlanta Motor Speedway, told NBC Sports of the drivers. “They kind of put the pressure on. I understand.”

After winning there, Brad Keselowski made his pitch not to repave the track.

“Drivers hate repaves,” he said. “We want to see the surfaces last as long as they can.  But the reality is nothing lasts forever, and this surface has made it a really, really long time, 20 years, I think, this season, and they should be really proud of that.

“My hope is they can get another year or two out of it, and I understand if they can’t, and you have to kind of leave it to their expertise and so forth.”

Clark said that work will need to be done to the track before next year’s race.

“The worst part is down the frontstretch in front of the grandstands,” Clark told NBC Sports. “There’s a lot of issues there. We’re actually going to have to cut a few areas and patch … to make it last through 2018. We consulted with Goodyear on that. They don’t think, as long as it is on the straightaway, it is a big issue from a tire standpoint.”

Clark said that the track surface will be sealed in October and should have the patching done before then.

“Let them go ahead and slip and slide one more time in 2018,” Clark said.

Clark said that while anything can change, he doesn’t foresee being talked out of a repave job too many more times.

“You have to see how the weekend goes and what happens,” Clark told NBC Sports. “We had to patch some places after the Saturday events this year, small places. Hey, if we could go two more, great. All you’ve got to do is walk out there and look at it. It is absolutely worn out. But if the drivers say, hey our choice is to race on this surface as it is.

“There comes a point (when a repave is needed). We do have a few drainage issues we do need to correct, some other things when the time comes. Right now, we’re going to get through 2018 and evaluate and see if that is the time or when is it.”

Clark said that when the track is repaved, Goodyear has expressed interest in having two test sessions to determine the proper tire for that 1.5-mile track instead of the customary one because of the track’s challenging surface.

Clark warns that with the excitement of Tuesday’s news, the day is still coming when the track will have to be repaved.

“I can’t see this going two more seasons, maybe only one,” Clark said.

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NASCAR America — My Home Track: 50 States In 50 Shows — Arkansas

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On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, we continued our series of My Home Track: 50 States in 50 Shows as our trucks rolled into Arkansas!

We visited two short tracks in the state that produced President Bill Clinton and Basketball Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen.

Plus we talked to NASCAR Hall of Famer and Arkansas native Mark Martin about racing in his home state.

NASCAR America: Is there cause for concern with Jimmie Johnson’s performance thus far?

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It’s no secret that Jimmie Johnson is off to a slow start in 2017.

The defending and seven-time NASCAR Cup champion has a starting average of 21.8 and a finishing average of 18.8 in the first five races of this season.

He has just one top-10 finish (ninth at Phoenix), along with 34th at Daytona, 19th at Atlanta, 11th at Las Vegas and 21st Sunday at Fontana.

And let’s not forget he’s 17th in the NASCAR Cup standings heading to one of his strongest tracks, Martinsville Speedway, this Sunday.

On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, we discussed this: After such a slow start to the season, is there a cause for concern over Johnson’s performance?

NASCAR America: Mark Martin is definitely a Kyle Larson fan

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On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin shared his experience of racing in his home state of Arkansas, as well as the excitement he feels watching  Kyle Larson compete in the Cup series.