Joey Logano stood on top of the No. 20 high-fiving people in Victory Lane. Fists were pumped and throaty shouts of celebration could be heard all over the 21/2-mile track in Long Pond, Pa.
It’s what winning a Sprint Cup race is all about.
It’s what Logano has waited years to truly experience. Not rain or Mark Martin would deny him this feeling.
Logano gave the crafty Martin a well-timed nudge out of the way in the closing laps Sunday at Pocono Raceway to clinch his first victory since 2009 and become the first Sprint Cup driver this season to win from the pole.
The former prodigy and the grizzled veteran pushing hard down the stretch was a duel to remember.
“I didn’t stop screaming until I got to Victory Lane,” Logano said. “You work so hard to do this.”
This one felt like the first time for Logano after his only other career win in 125 Sprint Cup starts was a rain-shortened victory at New Hampshire. Wins count the same in the record book, but they sure do feel different.
“When you cross the line and you’ve won the race, to me, it’s an amazing feeling,” Logano said.
Logano had the top car all weekend, posting the fastest practice time Friday and then taking Saturday’s pole.
Logano, once a much-hyped phenom when he broke in with Joe Gibbs Racing, was under pressure to produce wins in the final year of his four-year contract.
But in Victory Lane, he hoped ending a 104-race winless streak sent a message to his critics.
“I hope it shuts them all up,” he said. “It means a whole lot.”
Tony Stewart was third, with Jimmie Johnson fourth.
Greg Biffle of Vancouver, Wash., was 24th, and Enumclaw’s Kasey Kahne was 29th.
HAMILTON WINS F1
Lewis Hamilton won Formula One’s Canadian Grand Prix for a third time, driving his McLaren Mercedes to a win in 1 hour, 32 minutes, 29.586 seconds in Montreal.
F1 has had an unprecedented seven different winners in the first seven races this season.
Hamilton finished 2.5 seconds ahead of Lotus’ Romain Grosjean, with Sauber’s Sergio Perez in third. Defending F1 champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull was fourth.
WILSON RULES OVAL
Justin Wilson, a road course specialist, picked up his first career win on an oval, his first since Watkins Glen in 2009 to snap a 46-race drought, by winning the IndyCar race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
“People think I can’t drive at this track, so I want to put that to rest. ... For me, this is a track I seem to have struggled on the most over the last few years, and like every driver I’ve got an ego, so I wanted to put that straight,” Wilson said.
Graham Rahal was second with Ryan Briscoe third.