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Logano finishes 1st, after Johnson

- dscott@charlotteobserver.com
Sunday, May. 19, 2013

Joey Logano knew he had his work cut out for him in the final segment of Saturday’s Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Although he was starting in the second row alongside Kyle Busch, Logano knew Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne – starting on the front row – were going to be tough to catch.

Especially Johnson.

“I was where I needed to be and we had made the most of what we had,” said Logano of his Penske Racing Ford. “I gave it all I had, but when the 48 (Johnson) was out there in all that clean air, that made it tough.”

Neither Logano, Kahne nor Busch were able to track down Johnson, who won the all-star race for a record fourth time.

But Logano did beat Kahne and Busch to the finish line to finish second.

“(Finishing) second is nothing to hang our head down about,” said Logano. “But it also sucks because at the same time, because you’re like, ‘That was so close.’ It doesn’t mean much when there are no points, though. It was all for $1 million (tonight).”

It was Logano’s third all-star race – his first since 2010 – and his best finish. It was his third top-10.

He started Saturday’s race in fifth position. He had the fifth-highest average finish through the race’s first four segments, but he beat Kurt Busch out of the final pit stop so he was able start the final segment on the second row and in the fourth spot.

Logano has three top-five finishes this season. He’s still got a lot of work to do in the points standings, where he is 19th heading into this week’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte.

“We’ll come back and try to be better,” said Logano.

But he knows the competition will be tough again, as it is each week.

“You’re gonna have the same (heavy) hitters up there like we do every week,” he said.

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