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MOTOR RACING

Joey Logano wins Copart 300 in wild finish at Fontana

The 19-year-old holds off Brian Vickers and Carl Edwards in a two-lap overtime shootout in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race.

October 11, 2009|Jim Peltz

After Joey Logano's Toyota got shoved into the outside wall by Greg Biffle's Ford early in the race, Logano was resigned to hoping he wouldn't finish worse than 10th.

But after a spree of caution periods kept bunching the field and knocking out other leaders, Logano moved back to the front and then won the Copart 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race in a wild finish at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana.

The 19-year-old Logano held off Brian Vickers and Carl Edwards in a two-lap overtime shootout to win his second consecutive Nationwide race after winning a week earlier at Kansas Speedway.

Vickers and Edwards finished second and third, respectively.

"That was the coolest race of my life," Logano said. "I didn't think we had a shot at it," but his team "never quit, kept digging all day. That was just amazing."

The race had 10 caution periods, a record for a Nationwide race at the two-mile Fontana oval. And one, with only nine the regulation 150 laps remaining, came after Biffle also collided with Denny Hamlin, whose No. 18 Toyota appeared to be the strongest car.

Hamlin had taken the wheel car after Kyle Busch, his teammate at Joe Gibbs Racing, started the race and led 33 laps but then needed relief because of flu. "It was just temperature," Busch, 24, said after climbing out of the car. "When I get in the car and I get hot, I start not being able to see exactly straight."

Hamlin then battled with Biffle, Edwards, Vickers, Brad Keselowski and others until his late accident that occurred when they were racing three wide through the fourth turn.

With Hamlin trapped between Biffle on the outside and Keselowski on the inside, "it was going to be a bad situation," Hamlin said.

Keselowski finished fifth and Biffle was 14th.

Busch, whose first Sprint Cup Series win came at Auto Club Speedway in 2005, said he came out of the race also "to be able to compete the full 500 miles" in today's Pepsi 500 Cup race at Fontana.

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james.peltz@latimes.com

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