Joey Logana
Joey Logana. Photo by Michael Finnegan

JOEY LOGANO/No.18 Toyota won the 14th Annual Great Clips 200 NASCAR Nationwide Race Saturday afternoon at Phoenix International Raceway, leading 168 pf the 2004 laps. This made his ninth NNS victory – just this year. “Another great day, another great car. Good to lock up the most victories this year.” And all this from a driver ineligible for NNS points as he is a full-time Sprint Cup driver.

BRIAN VICKERS/No.20 Toyota was runner-up, 0.668 seconds behind JoLo.”I just wanted more. We gave it our all.” This was his first race with Joe Gibbs Racing. He and Logano were having a great battle when the last caution flew, and the race ran into overtime.

No.2 Chevrolet
No.2 Chevrolet. Photo by Michael Shaw

Co-Points leaders, ELLIOTT SADLER/No.2 Chevrolet and RICKY STENHOUSE, Jr. are no longer sharing the Driver Standings. Stenhouse finished third, and now is the lone points leader by twenty points.

Elliott Sadler & No.2 Toyota
Elliott Sadler & No.2 Toyota. Photo by Michael Shaw

Sadler had a character building race, what with crashing in the morning and running his back-up car, and starting from the back of the pack. Add to that a tire possibly going flat just as he was building up momentum. But he soldiered on to finish a disappointing twenty-second, after causing the last crash-induced caution. Sadler took all the blame. “I did it to myself.”

Another driver running a promising race, at least for awhile – DANICA PATRICK/No.7 Chevrolet. She ran as high as six but was shuffled back to tenth.

It wasn’t one of the more nail-biting races, with only four leaders and six lead changes. The ten cautions took 40 laps. At least two of the cautions were for drivers tapping other drivers for position. There was some positioning at the front for the lead, mostly jostling between cross-over Sprint Cup drivers.

The mid-pack drivers were having the fun. Some ran three and four wide through Turn Four. It was great action for the photographers.

The changing light, from clouds to sun and back – repeat as necessary – proved challenging for the photographers.

The announced attendance was 42,000.

The points possibilities for Stenhouse to win the NNS Championship at the season’s finale race next weekend at Homestead Motor Speedway: Finish P16 – no laps led; P17 – one lap led; or P18 – most laps led.

Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Photo by Michael Shaw

If Stenhouse wins the NNS 2012 Driver’s Championship, he will be the sixth NNS driver to win back to back.

No.18 Toyota
No.18 Toyota. Photo by Michael Shaw

The Owner’s Championship, currently being led by J.D. GIBBS, owner of No.18: Finish P29th or better with 0 laps led; P30 with one lap led; or P31 with most laps led.

Logano said the KN&N Pro Series – West cars racing right after the NNS race wouldn’t help the Cup drivers at the start of the Sprint Cup race, at least for the first two laps. The KN&N Series races with Goodyear radial tires and ran an hour-long race Saturday evening.

Sunday’s schedule calls for the one event – The 25th Annual AdvoCare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Race. It will run 312 laps/312 miles/500 kilometers. ESPN will broadcast live starting at noon local time/2pm ET.