Perfect restart leads Joey Logano to first career Truck win


Joey Logano knew if he was to win Saturday’s Kroger 250 Camping World Truck Series race, it would come down to the final restart.

Logano couldn’t have done it better, getting past Matt Crafton and sailing two final laps to earn his first career truck race victory.

“We just had a great restart,” Logano told Fox Sports 1. “Tires hooked up well, we prepped them well on the back straightaway and made sure they were clean enough.

“We got a good jump. We drove it in there and hoped for the best.”

Logano won in a green-white-checkered finish, the race going an extra laps over the scheduled 250 laps.

“It’s a lot of work here at Martinsville,” Logano said. “They make you work for these things here.”

Logano becomes the 26th driver in NASCAR history to now have won in all three pro series: Sprint Cup, Xfinity and now the Truck Series.

“It’s cool to say I’ve won in all three series now, so that’s pretty special,” Logano said.

Runner-up Crafton agreed that Logano got him on the restart.

“He timed it right,” Crafton said. “He lagged back on the restart and got a big run. I knew it was going to be chaos going into Turn 1 and I knew if I tried to block him, he was going to move me at that point.

“It’s racing at Martinsville. I had a blast.”

Rookie Cole Custer, 17, looked like he might steal the win, passing Crafton and Logano by forcing them into each other with five laps to go in regulation time. But Crafton rallied back two laps later and punted Custer, relegating him to a disappointing 16th place finish.

“I knew he was going to come back and nudge me a little bit,” Custer said of Crafton. “He did it respectfully. I was giving him all I had just to try and stay up there.”

Logano looks for a complete weekend sweep in Sunday’s STP 500 Sprint Cup race at Martinsville.

Thus far, he’s earned poles for both the Truck and Cup races, and after his Truck win, just needs to win Sunday to complete a perfect two-day effort.

Erik Jones finished third, followed by Johnny Sauter and Tyler Reddick.

Final results of the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway:

1 Joey Logano
2 Matt Crafton
3 Erik Jones
4 Johnny Sauter
5 Tyler Reddick
6 Daniel Suarez
7 James Buescher
8 John Wes Townley
9 Matt Tifft
10 Justin Boston
11 Cameron Hayley
12 Daniel Hemric
13 Ray Black Jr.
14 Spencer Gallagher
15 Brandon Jones
16 Cole Custer
17 Gray Gaulding
18 Timothy Peters
19 Ben Kennedy
20 Tyler Young
21 Caleb Holman
22 Mason Mingus
23 Korbin Forrister
24 Jennifer Jo Cobb
25 Tommy Regan
26 Jake Griffin
27 Cody Ware
28 Norm Benning
29 John H. Nemechek
30 David Gilliland
31 Bryan Silas
32 Travis Kvapil

Average Speed: 68.214 mph
Time of Race: 01 hrs, 59 mins, 22 secs.
Margin of victory: 0.431 seconds
Lead changes: 14 among 5 drivers
Cautions: 9 for 61 laps

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Alex Bowman confident as he returns to racing from back injury


CONCORD, N.C. — Alex Bowman watched the rain-filled skies over Charlotte Motor Speedway Saturday with more than a touch of disappointment.

As weather threatened to cancel Saturday night’s scheduled NASCAR Cup Series practice at the speedway, Bowman saw his chances to testing his car — and his body — dissolving in the raindrops. NASCAR ultimately cancelled practice and qualifying because of rain.

MORE: Wet weather cancels Charlotte Cup practice, qualifying

Bowman suffered a fractured vertebra in a sprint car accident last month and has missed three Cup races while he recovers. Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600, the season’s longest race, is scheduled to mark his return to the Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet.

“It would have been really nice to kickstart that with practice today,” Bowman said. “I haven’t raced or competitively driven a race car in a month. I’m trying to understand where my rusty areas are going to be and where I’m still good.”

Bowman ran 200 laps in a test season at North Wilkesboro Speedway this week, but, of course, that doesn’t compare with the faster speeds and tougher G-forces he’ll experience over 400 laps Sunday at CMS.

Bowman admitted that he is still experiencing pain from the back injury — his car flipped several times — and that he expects some pain during the race. But he said he is confident he’ll be OK and that the longer race distance won’t be an issue.

“I broke my back a month ago, and there’s definitely things that come along with that for a long time,” he said. “I have some discomfort here and there and there are things I do that don’t feel good. That’s just part of it. It’s stuff I’ll have to deal with. But, for the most part, I’m back to normal.

“I’m easing back into being in the gym. I’m trying to be smart with things. If I twist the wrong way, sometimes it hurts. In the race car at the end of a six-hour race, I’m probably not going to be the best.”

The sprint car crash interrupted what had been a fine seasonal start for Bowman. Although winless, he had three top fives and six top 10s in the first 10 races.

“I’m excited to be back,” Bowman said. “Hopefully, we can pick up where we left off and be strong right out of the gate.”

He said he hopes to return to short-track racing but not in the near future.

“Someday I want to get back in a sprint car or midget,” he said. “I felt like we were just getting rolling in a sprint car. That night we were pretty fast. Definitely a bummer there. That’s something I really want to conquer and be competitive at in the World of Outlaws or High Limits races. Somebody I’ll get back to that. It’s probably smart if I give my day job a little alone time for a bit.”




Charlotte NASCAR Cup Series starting lineup: Rain cancels qualifying


CONCORD, N.C. — William Byron and Kevin Harvick will start Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series 600-mile race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on the front row after wet weather cancelled Saturday night qualifying.

Rain pelted the CMS area much of the day Saturday, and NASCAR announced at 3:45 p.m. that Cup practice and qualifying, scheduled for Saturday night, had been cancelled.

MORE: Alex Bowman confident as he returns to cockpit

The starting field was set by the NASCAR rulebook.

Following Byron and Harvick in the starting top 10 will be Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Bubba Wallace, Ryan Blaney, Christopher Bell and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

The elimination of the practice session was particularly problematic for Alex Bowman, scheduled to return to racing Sunday after missing three weeks with a back injury, and Jimmie Johnson, who will be starting only his third race this year. Johnson will start 37th — last in the field.

Charlotte Cup starting lineup

Wet weather cancels Charlotte Cup Series practice, qualifying


CONCORD, N.C. — NASCAR Cup Series drivers will start the longest race of the season with no practice or qualifying.

Wet weather and predictions of more to come led NASCAR to cancel Saturday night’s Cup Series practice and qualifying in mid-afternoon. The field for Sunday’s 600-mile race was set by the NASCAR rulebook, placing William Byron and Kevin Harvick on the front row for the  scheduled 6 p.m. start.

MORE: Charlotte Cup starting lineup

MORE: Alex Bowman confident as he returns to cockpit

Weather also could be an issue Sunday as more rain is predicted for the speedway area.

Drivers were scheduled to practice at 7 p.m. Saturday. That session was to be followed by qualifying at 7:45 p.m. The cancellations were announced at 3:45 p.m.

The time-trial cancellation marked the first time in 64 years that qualifying has been canceled for the 600.

Charlotte Xfinity race postponed to Monday by weather


CONCORD, N.C. — Persistent rain forced the postponement of Saturday’s scheduled 300-mile NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway to Monday.

The race is scheduled to start at noon ET. It will be televised by FS1 and broadcast by the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Driver introductions and other pre-race activities were held at the track Saturday, but rain that had dampened the track in the morning hours returned. After several attempts at drying the track, the race was postponed after heavier rain returned in mid-afternoon.

Justin Allgaier will start the race from the pole position.