Newman to start alongside Logano on the front row RELATED: See the full 43-car field " Full race starting lineup MARTINSVILLE, Va.—For last year's spring race at Martinsville Speedway , Joey Logano set a track record during qualifying but didn't win the pole. On Friday at the paper-clip-shaped track, Logano reversed the outcome. Though he failed to match his record of 100.201 mph, he saved his best lap for the final round of knockout qualifying in claiming the top starting spot for Sunday's STP 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race (1 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1). Trailing Logano in the 27th starting position will be Chase Elliott , the heir apparent to Jeff Gordon 's No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, who qualified for his first Cup race, one of five starts he plans to make this year. Logano covered the .526-mile distance in 19.232 seconds (98.461 mph) to win the 10th Coors Light Pole Award of his career, his second of the season and his first at Martinsville. Logano's Team Penske Ford edged the No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet of Ryan Newman (98.328 mph) for the right to lead the field to the green flag in the sixth Sprint Cup race of the year. Martin Truex Jr ., who has a string of five straight top 10s to start the season, qualified third at 98.048 mph, followed by Gordon (97.613 mph) and Jimmie Johnson (97.583 mph). Logano went out late in the second round and put just two laps on his tires in posting the eighth fastest time and advancing to the final round. Keeping laps off his tires was the factor Logano thought was decisive in winning the pole. "I'm pretty sure we ran less laps than anybody going into the third round," said Logano , who ran five laps combined in the first two rounds, a number matched by Gordon. "That was the advantage that we had going for us, that we were able to see how many cars had run and know what we had to run to get into the next round. "So in the second round, all we had to make was two laps, and we felt pretty confident about where we were. Keeping those laps off the tires was good." As well as Logano has run in Martinsville time trials in the past, he was elated to add a pole to his list of accomplishments. "It feels great to finally get the pole here. We've been close so many times," he said. "Throughout my career, I feel like we've always qualified well here but I've never been able to get a pole. I caught pretty much of a hard time about getting the track record here but not getting the pole here, so to have a pole to back it up feels great." If Logano was delighted, Elliott was relieved that he had made the field—and that rain that had been forecast for the area failed to materialize in the afternoon. "That was goal number one, to get in," Elliott said. "So it's definitely a big relief for us. We're excited. It's weird being excited about qualifying, wherever we qualified, 27th, but we're in the show, our first Sprint Cup Series race with (sponsor) NAPA on board. We're excited for Sunday." Brendan Gaughan and Ron Hornaday Jr . failed to make the 43-car field. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today
Cole Custer will join Logano on the front row for the Kroger 250 Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live RELATED: Full lineup for Kroger 250 Joey Logano won the Keystone Light Pole Award for Saturday's Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway (2:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1). Logano turned the fastest lap in the final round of the three-round group qualifying session to earn the top starting spot, setting a new track record with a lap of 97.088 mph. It was a sweep of poles this weekend for the 24-year-old driver as Logano also took the Coors Light Pole Award for Sunday's STP 500 (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1). Joining him on the front row will be Cole Custer (96.622 mph), who is making the first Camping World Truck Series start for JR Motorsports. The second row will consist of Cameron Hayley (96.499 mph) and Erik Jones (96.357 mph). Tyler Reddick enters the race as the series points leader, while two-time defending series champion Matt Crafton is just two points behind him. Reddick will start seventh, while Crafton, the defending race winner, will start 13th. The Kroger 250 is the third of 23 races this season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. After the Martinsville race, the series is off again for just over a month before resuming its schedule on May 8 at Kansas Speedway. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Joey Logano sits down in the media center at Martinsville Speedway following his win in the Kroger 250.
Joey Logano talks to Hermie Sadler after winning the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway.
Team Penske driver leads 176 of 200 laps, ends XFINITY dry spell Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live " RELATED: Race results AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Joey Logano summed up his dominating victory in one word. "Finally!" Logano exclaimed after taking the checkered flag in Saturday's Axalta Faster. Tougher. Brighter. 200 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Phoenix International Raceway . Logano had reason to be frustrated. He had finished second in his last four XFINITY Series starts, the last three after winning the pole. And the driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford hadn't been to Victory Lane in the series since Sept. 28, 2013 at Dover International Speedway . On Saturday, however, Logano won the pole and closed the deal. Though race runner-up Matt Kenseth dogged his rear bumper all day long and closed to .294 seconds at the finish, he couldn't catch the No. 22 Ford, which led 176 of the 200 laps at the one-mile track. "It felt good," said Logano , who collected his second win at Phoenix and the 22nd of his career. "It took a long time to get our next win. We've been so close to winning -- obviously, a lot of poles and things are going well. We just needed a little more speed, and it was awesome to get it today." Logano , who posted the second perfect driver rating of his career, pulled away after a restart on Lap 144 and stayed out front the rest of the way, with Kenseth in close pursuit. "I was able to take off faster on restarts and get a nice lead and then Matt's car was looser than mine, so that is why I was able to get a lead," Logano said. "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 lapped traffic, because I was better in traffic, and that's where I made up time." Kenseth said he thought he had a better car for the longer runs, but traffic and dirty air proved his downfall. "For whatever reason, after our last pit stop, we just didn't fire off as fast," Kenseth said. "I had way less grip than (after) every other pit stop. ... He ( Logano ) got away pretty good, and then when it was time to go, I just got tight running him down with all the lapped cars, and I couldn't quite get there." Kevin Harvick ran third, followed by Austin Dillon and Erik Jones , subbing for injured Kyle Busch in the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Ty Dillon came home sixth and retained the series lead by 14 points over 14th-place finisher Chris Buescher . The NASCAR XFINITY Series will be back on track next weekend at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Contributing: Staff report s MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Passes Matt Crafton in dramatic green-white-checkered finish
Gordon needs good day to reverse 22.2-place average finish
Joey Logano gets back to Victory Lane in the NASCAR XFINITY Series after four consecutive second-place finishes, dating back to 2014.
First victory in the Great American Race for Team Penske driver SHOP: Buy Daytona 500 gear RELATED: Get full race results " Series standings DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- No one seemed more surprised than Joey Logano as he stood atop his No. 22 Penske Racing Ford in Daytona International Speedway Victory Lane celebrating his first-ever Daytona 500 victory on Sunday. Logano -- who in 2009 at the age of 19 became the youngest winner in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series history -- emerged from a tight pack of pre-race favorites on a green-white-checkered overtime restart and held off reigning Cup champion Kevin Harvick as the caution and checkered flag flew to win at Daytona and clinch a berth in the 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in the process. "I can't believe it," said Logano , whose previous best finish in this race was ninth in 2012. "That is really amazing. The Daytona 500. Oh my God. Are you kidding me? "I was so nervous pretty much the whole race. We worked so hard in the offseason and this is my weakest race track, the superspeedways, and we worked so hard at them. I couldn't be more proud. "Unbelievable." Defending Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished third, frustrated after having what he thought was a race-winning car. Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top five. Jeff Gordon, who started on the pole for the race and led six times for a race-best 87 laps, was collected in a last-lap wreck on the backstretch. But he drove his dinged-up No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet around the track to take his final Daytona 500 checkered flag in 33rd place. "For some reason I'm still smiling and enjoyed every moment of it," said the four-time Cup champ, who is stepping away from full-time NASCAR competition after this season. "I obviously enjoyed the first half (of the race) more than the second half. … This is an amazing week and an amazing day. I'm just in this different place that is so foreign yet so incredible, just soaking it all in. "I'm more upset I didn't have a chance at winning it. … I'm not going to miss those final laps. That was just crazy." The final restart came after a 6-minute red-flag period caused by a Justin Allgaier wreck on the frontstretch and created the kind of frantic finish fans are accustomed to in NASCAR's biggest race. But for the most part, Sunday's show on a Chamber of Commerce day with sunny skies and temperatures in the high 70s was tame by restrictor-plate racing standards. The final lap eight-car mid-pack melee was the sole "Big One" that most have come to expect on the superspeedways. Mostly, the day was characterized by exciting three-wide racing with familiar faces leading the way. Overshadowed amid other dramatic storylines that have dominated the 2015 Daytona Speedweeks, six-time Sprint Cup Series champion Johnson quietly and doggedly went about his business Sunday and looked to be in good position to hoist his third Daytona 500 trophy, and second in the past three years. Rallying from a mid-race pit road penalty that dropped him to 40th place, Johnson strategically maneuvered his No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet in the waning laps to be in position for the win, but lamented the fact his line of drafting cars just didn't have the get-up-and-go when they needed to be gone. "With 10 to go, I thought we were going to win the Daytona 500, but with plate racing you have no clue what's going to happen really," Johnson said. Earnhardt echoed the disappointment. "I made a real bad decision on that restart with 19 to go, made a poor choice and got shuffled back and lost a ton of spots," Earnhardt said. "I'm real disappointed because the guys gave me the best car and we should have run the race." It was a touch-and-go day for several race favorites -- their strategy complicated after receiving pit road penalties in the season debut of NASCAR's new high-tech camera monitoring system on pit road. Johnson was called for a pit road violation when his crew was ruled to have jumped over the pit wall too soon on a mid-race stop. Carl Edwards and Martin Truex Jr. -- who like Johnson were running among the top five much of the race -- were called for speeding penalties. And Sprint Cup Series sophomore Kyle Larson was caught speeding and then later for his team "throwing equipment over the wall" on consecutive stops forcing him into a day of catch-up. He was running top 15 in the final 10 laps but also got collected on the last-lap crash and finished 34th. Fan favorite Tony Stewart continued his dismal Daytona 500 fortune. While running among the top 10 cars 41 laps into the race, his No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevy suffered from a tight condition and slid up into the outside wall, nicking rookie Ryan Blaney's Ford. The Toyotas of Matt Kenseth and Michael Waltrip also suffered minor damage in the incident but continued. "I'll take the blame for that one, 100 percent my fault," said Stewart, the three-time Cup champion who is now 0-for-17 in the Great American Race. His 42nd-place effort Sunday is his third finish of 40th or worse in the last four years here. Former Daytona 500 winners Jamie McMurray and Ryan Newman also struggled on Sunday -- with McMurray's No. 1 Cessna/McDonald's Chevy sustaining body damage in an early race dust-up and Newman -- the 2014 Sprint Cup championship runner-up -- hitting the wall after getting caught in the aftermath of Blaney's blown engine with less than 25 laps remaining. Substitute drivers Regan Smith and Matt Crafton finished 16th and 18th, respectively. Smith drove the No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevy for Kurt Busch, who has been suspended indefinitely by NASCAR following off-track legal troubles. Crafton filled in for Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch, who is recovering from broken right leg and broken left foot suffered in Saturday's XFINITY Series season-opener at Daytona. Logano's triumph was the second Daytona 500 win for legendary team owner Roger Penske and made the 24-year-old Logano the second youngest driver to win the race. "We knew what we had to do and had a really fast car and just need to make sure I didn't get snookered on the restarts," Logano explained. "I can't explain how cool this is. … It feels just like the way you dream it. This is better than Disney World in here." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Costner Merrifield recaps a dominate performance by Joey Logano at Phoenix International Raceway and the rest of the highlights from the Axalta Faster. Tougher. Brighter. 200.