Logano wins Las Vegas Xfinity race

Logano wins Las Vegas Xfinity race

Joey Logano, driver of the #12 REV Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Saturday. — AFP
Joey Logano, driver of the #12 REV Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Saturday. — AFP

LAS VEGAS — Joey Logano believes the evolving strategy of restarts has made it one of the most challenging aspects for a NASCAR driver.

Logano got plenty of chances to test his skills Saturday in the Xfinity race, and made all the right moves.

Logano pulled away from Kyle Larson on a restart with four laps left and held on to win his 21st race in the second-tier circuit.

Logano chose the outside lane and moved in front of Larson out of the fourth turn at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for his first Xfinity victory since October at Charlotte.

Daniel Suarez put Cup regulars in the top three spots. Justin Allgaier was fourth, followed by Austin Dillon and Darrell Wallace Jr., who needed medical attention after the race because of illness.

NASCAR Cup regulars Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski won the first two stages of the 200-lap race.

Elliott Sadler finished 10th and retained the series lead by four points over Ryan Reed, who was ninth.

Logano, who started fourth in the Team Penske No. 12 Ford, was in front to start the final stage with 102 laps left and re-took the lead after a cycle of green-flag pit stops with 55 laps left. Logano was first out of the pits after a debris caution and held the lead on the restart with 33 laps remaining.

Logano then held on following three more cautions, the last coming when Matt Tifft ran into Spencer Gallagher and spun out.

Busch started from the pole and just edged Larson to win the first 45-lap segment despite dealing with vibration issues.

Larson beat Busch out of the pits on the ensuing caution, but later gave up the lead to get new tires, as teams still work on the proper strategy for segment racing.

But the move allowed Keselowski, who will start from the pole in Sunday’s Cup race, take the second stage after 90 laps ahead of Busch.

Power wins pole again

Will Power won the pole for IndyCar’s season-opening race at St. Petersburg, proving he still is the best driver at navigating the temporary street circuit. It was a record seventh pole in eight years at St. Pete for Power, who also won the pole for this race last year. He’s a two-time winner at St. Pete and will try for win No. 3 in Sunday’s opener.

Power ran the course Saturday in his Team Penske Chevrolet with a lap of 1 minute, 1.0640 seconds (106.118 mph).

Scott Dixon qualified second Saturday in the new Honda that Chip Ganassi Racing is fielding this year, followed by James Hinchcliffe. New Penske driver Josef Newgarden qualified fourth while Takuma Sato, now driving for Andretti Autosport, and Tony Kanaan round out the final six for Sunday.

Juan Pablo Montoya won this race the last two years, but isn’t part of the field because he took a deal with Team Penske to run only the Indianapolis 500. — Agencies