Logano wins second straight Meijer 300

SPARTA, Ky. -- With a red flag stalling the final laps of Kentucky Speedway's Nationwide race for nearly nine minutes Saturday night, defending champion Joey Logano had plenty of time to think about the task -- and the teammate -- in front of him.

The 19-year-old rising star was flawless after the restart, passing Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch with 10 laps to go and holding on to win the Meijer 300 for the second consecutive year.

"You're sitting in there," Logano said of the delay. "You're thinking about it, 'What can I do to beat Kyle Busch -- one of the best in NASCAR?' The opportunity was just right. I knew I had to have a run, and I knew he had to slip out a little bit."

That is exactly what happened as Logano made the move past Busch shortly after the red flag delayed the race to clean debris off the track created when another driver slammed into the wall.

Last year in the Meijer 300, Logano became the youngest winner in a Nationwide event. This time, he made history as the first repeat winner in the track's signature NASCAR race.

"It's really cool," Logano said. "This place is one of my favorite racetracks. It's one of those places that just suits you. To win two for two here, that's really cool for me and the whole team."

Most of the night, it was the more experienced Busch who dominated -- at one point leading 104 consecutive laps. Busch led a total of 162 laps, and Logano was the only other driver in double digits with 20.

NASCAR excused Busch from post-race interviews, but he expressed his disappointment afterward during the television broadcast.

"It always happens that way," Busch said. "We always lose at the end. Joey's just better than we are in these places."

It was Busch's second runner-up finish of the day after he lost the NASCAR truck race to Colin Braun hours earlier at Michigan International Speedway.

The teammates were facing off in a Nationwide race for the first time since two weeks earlier in Dover, when a late nudge from Logano may have cost Busch a shot at victory. Logano took the blame afterward, but later learned Busch also was experiencing a right front tire issue.

Brad Keselowski, who was the beneficiary of that collision and won in Dover, finished third in Kentucky.

"We'll take third," Keselowski said. "Strong run."

Busch was able to expand his Nationwide points lead over Carl Edwards to 137 points after Edwards had an abysmal performance, finishing 20th.

Edwards, who joined Busch and Logano as the only regular Sprint Cup drivers in Saturday's race, was forced into a long pit after complaining about problems with the car's back end. He also was penalized twice for speeding off pit road.

Logano received the same penalty but made few mistakes after that, showing a strong familiarity with the track that some drivers complained was bumpier than usual Saturday.

Logano's win this year ended a streak of three straight Meijer 300s that were won by a driver who didn't regularly compete in the Cup races.

It was his third career victory and second of the season. He also won the pole at Kentucky Speedway for the second straight year with a lap speed of 174.865 mph and started alongside Busch up front.

"Experience means a lot," Logano said. "It means a whole bunch. I'm starting to get a little more of that, so it helps out."