Lagano wins Jalapeno 250 at Daytona

With restrictor plate racing, drivers raced around the high banks of Daytona International Speedway in two-car tandems with "the big one" coming on the final lap in the Nationwide Series race.

DAYTONA BEACH -- Joey Logano took the checkered flag Friday in a last-lap crash-marred Jalapeno 250 at Daytona International Speedway.

Logano, whose No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota rolled off 40th due to an unapproved adjustment after qualifying, survived a spin in lap 27 and paired up with Jason Leffler with 30 laps to go.

He found himself in sixth position at the white flag and as drivers scrambled behind them, Logano nipped Leffler by .040 seconds for the victory. 

"I always said if you win a bicycle race here at Daytona it's the coolest thing in the world," Logano gushed. "So you can imagine how I feel right now. It would be really cool if it was one level up tomorrow, but right now I'm on such a high. This has to be up there as one of my coolest wins, if not the coolest."

NASCAR Nationwide Series points leader Reed Sorenson finished third and Kyle Busch fourth.

"I was trying to help make sure Joey was going to win this thing," Busch said of his JGR teammate. "We got the lead through Turn 1 and 2 and I'm like, 'Alright man, this is his race so it's going to be good.' I knew (Logano and Leffler) were going to have a run coming down off of Turn 4 and I told Joey to keep it straight and just win this thing. I didn't care if I was going to wreck just as long as he was going to win."

Teammates played a big part throughout the race. Kevin Harvick Inc. had a strong showing with Harvick, Tony Stewart, Elliott Sadler and Clint Bowyer taking the top-four positions in qualifying. Sadler, who led seven times for a race-high 31 of the 100 laps, finished eighth and leaves the "World Center of Racing" second in the point standings.

JR Motorsports teammates Danica Patrick and Aric Almirola also proved to be a powerful pair as Patrick led five times for 13 laps in her first summer race at DIS and third overall NASCAR Nationwide Series appearance at the 2.5-mile tri-oval. Both of them looked like a contender for the win before being shuffled back in the closing laps and getting involved in an incident in the tri-oval coming to the checkered flag.

FAST FACTS

The 43-car field included 12 drivers who are pulling double duty and also racing in tomorrow night's Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola. Twelve drivers exchanged the lead a record-tying 35 times. There were six cautions for 23 laps.

Editor's Note: Information from NASCAR was used for this report. The Joey Lago head shot was taken by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories nearly evenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in West Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.