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August 19, 2013

Logano holds on for crucial win at Michigan International Speedway

BROOKLYN, Mich. — Joey Logano gave Ford a Sprint Cup sweep in Michigan — and enabled team owner Roger Penske to celebrate a victory in his home state.

Now Logano can start to envision a happy finish to what has been an eventful season for the 23-year-old driver.

“We’re close, we’re close,” Logano said. “What a great place to win — what a great time to win, being in Ford’s backyard.”

Logano boosted his chances of reaching the Chase for the Sprint Cup, winning for the first time this season in a fuel-mileage race at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday.

Logano and Kevin Harvick both breezed past Mark Martin with just over three laps to go in the 400-mile, 200-lap race. Martin had been trying to stretch fuel, but when he faltered, Logano was able to hold off Harvick.

The win put Logano in 13th place in the standings. He’s seven points behind Martin Truex Jr. for the second wild card.

It’s been an up-and-down year for Logano. He and teammate Brad Keselowski were docked 25 points each after NASCAR inspectors confiscated parts from the rear suspensions of their cars before the April 13 race at Texas.

More recently, Logano has had to recover from back-to-back 40th-place showings at Daytona and Loudon, but he’s now right in the middle of a wild race for the final Chase spots.

“A roller coaster, to say the least,” Logano said. “We’ve just got to keep that momentum going. It just goes to show, as long as nothing goes wrong — knock on wood — we’ve been pretty good. We’ve had some good speed in our cars.”

Everything went pretty much according to plan at Michigan. Logano won the pole Friday and took Sunday’s race by a second over Harvick, who is safely in fourth place in the standings.

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