Joey Logano used a last-lap push from teammate Kyle Busch to win the Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway.
Logano, coming off a breakthrough weekend on the road course at Sonoma, was the unlikely winner Friday night after Danica Patrick flirted several times with the victory. She had help at various times from Tony Stewart, and was paired in the closing laps with JR Motorsports teammate Aric Almirola.
Stewart at that point had hooked up with Elliott Sadler and was committed to pushing his Kevin Harvick Inc. teammate to the win.
The Sadler-Stewart pairing took the lead from the Patrick-Almirola tandem, and Patrick had to weave her way back to mount another pass. Then Logano-Busch charged to the front on the final lap, leaving all the other contenders stuck in a tight pack of traffic.
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As Logano closed in on the finish line, Mike Wallace squeezed Patrick against the wall, she bounced back into the pack and an eight-car accident marred the finish. Sadler and Stewart were also in the wreck, and Almirola had to climb from a car engulfed in flames.
“It just looks like a bit of a cluster,” Patrick said. “I kept my foot in it, which might not be the best thing here, but I was going for broke. I learned a lot, that’s for sure.”
It was Logano’s first win at Daytona, and ninth of his Nationwide career.
“It’s nice to be on the other side of the fence, usually I’m the guy in second,” Logano said.
SPRINT CUP -- Mark Martin bumped Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne from the pole at Daytona International Speedway with a qualifying run that put him in elite company.
Martin turned a lap of 182.065 mph in a Chevrolet to win his first pole of the season, but 50th of his career. He’s only the eighth driver in NASCAR history to win 50 poles.
“I’ve had the pleasure of driving a lot of fast race cars and working with a lot of great teams and people through the years and I’m really grateful for that,” Martin said. “This is really special because I know how much work goes into the four restrictor plate races each year by Hendrick Motorsports. It’s really pretty cool to be a part of that team.
“I really didn’t expect to get the pole. When I ran, it could have been first or 21st.”
Clint Bowyer, who had a chance to win the 500 until he was involved in a late accident, qualified third in a Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing. He was followed by Jeff Gordon, who is Martin’s teammate at Hendrick Motorsports and has already said he’s committed to working with Martin in tonight’s race.