Mustang and Joey Logano dominated the competition Saturday, putting the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang in victory lane, and there was never much doubt.
Logano led 176 of the 200 laps, besting Matt Kenseth and Kevin Harvick for the win, his second career XFINITY series triumph at Phoenix International Raceway.
“I was able to take off faster on restarts and get a nice lead and then Matt’s (Kenseth) car was looser than mine so that is why I was able to get a lead,” Logano noted post-race. “Once we started running a few laps I would get tight and he would start catching up to me because his balance was a little more free. I kept hoping for lap traffic because I was better in traffic and that is where I made up time.”
Logano led pretty much wire to wire after capturing the Coors Light Pole Award earlier in the day Saturday, only relinquishing the lead for 24 laps to Kenseth (14), Austin Dillion (4) and Brennan Poole (6).
The win marked the first for the 22 team this season and the firs for Greg Erwin as crew chief of the squad.
“I don’t know if it was handling perfectly,” Erwin said. “We came here working a lot off of everything that this team has been able to generate over the last couple of years and I feel like we have been knocking on the door the first couple of races and it was just a matter of time until we stepped through.”
The Roush Fenway Racing quartet all came home in single file, led by Elliott Sadler and his 12th place effort. Ryan Reed (13th), Chris Buescher (14th) and Darrell Wallace Jr., (15th) followed.
“None of us like running outside of the top-10,” Daytona winner Ryan Reed said. “We have the right people, we just have to put the right pieces together and go out there and run better. I am happy for Roush Yates and Ford to get a win today with the 22, so that is cool, but we want to be the ones putting the Ford Mustang in victory lane. It isn’t from a lack of effort. We will keep trying and we will get there.”
Dakoda Armstrong rounded out the Ford effort with an 18th place effort.
Reed leads Ford in the XFINITY point standings with 135, good for third. Wallace ranks fifth (132), Sadler eighth (114) and Armstrong 13th (97).