Joey Logano rackin’ up the miles this weekend

Leave a comment

With dates in the Nationwide Series at Iowa Speedway and the Sprint Cup Series at Pocono Raceway this weekend, Joey Logano could likely be one exhausted driver by the time it’s all over.

As detailed by USA Today’s Nate Ryan, Logano has a packed docket. With Cup practice and qualifying rained out at Pocono today, Logano shuttled off to the 7/8-mile Iowa bullring for two practice sessions this afternoon for the stand-alone DuPont Pioneer 250 (Sat., 8 pm ET). Weather permitting, Saturday will see him do two Cup practice sessions in the morning at Pocono and then head back to Iowa for qualifying (5:05 pm ET) and the “250.” After that’s done, he’ll then fly back to Pennsylvania for Sunday’s Cup race, the Party in the Poconos 400.

If you’re thinking that this is not an ideal situation, “Sliced Bread” has already beaten you to it.

“Does going to Iowa make perfect sense to run? No, it doesn’t,” Logano told Ryan. “I’m not going to lie about that, but it was either [teammate] Brad [Keselowski] or me to drive this thing. We’re going run into the same situation in the second Iowa race [in August], so I told them I would do the first one and then we’ll go from there.”

Logano does indeed have momentum on the NNS side after winning last weekend at Dover International Speedway, but it’d be really impressive if he can do it again in Iowa with the hectic schedule he’s got right now. The Penske Racing driver is the sole Cup pilot that will face the NNS regulars in the cornfields.

Still, one of those NNS regulars, Justin Allgaier, isn’t counting on an easier day at the office just because most of those pesky Cup drivers are busy at “The Tricky Triangle.”

“I think we’ve seen it in all the stand-alone [races] – it’s like the less Cup guys you have, the more challenging the [Nationwide] races are,” Allgaier told the Associated Press in Iowa. “Because the Nationwide regulars, everybody steps up their game and pushes that much harder.”

Toyota No. 8 car wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans for third consecutive year

24 Hours of Le Mans
JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images
3 Comments

LE MANS, France — Toyota Gazoo’s No. 8 car comfortably won the 24 Hours of Le Mans by five laps Sunday to secure a third straight victory in the prestigious endurance race.

It was also a third consecutive win for Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi and Japan’s Kazuki Nakajima driving. Brendon Hartley was the other driver, having replaced two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Buemi and Hartley sat on the side of the car as Nakajima drove toward the podium. Hartley won for a second time after tasting success with the Porsche LMP Team in 2017 before an unhappy season in Formula One.

The Swiss team’s Rebellion No. 1 featured American driver Gustavo Menezes and Brazilian Bruno Senna – the nephew of late F1 great Ayrton Senna.

It finished one lap ahead of Toyota Gazoo’s No. 7, with Rebellion’s No. 3 finishing in fourth place.

For much of the race it looked like Toyota’s No. 7 would win after leading comfortably from pole position. But late into the night the car encountered an engine problem and the 30-minute stop in the stands proved costly.

The race was first held in 1923. A total of 252,500 spectators attended in 2019, but there were none this year when the race started three months late because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We miss the fans,” New Zealander Hartley said. “I look forward to seeing all the fans again.”

In other divisions:

United Autosports won the LMP2 division with the entry of Filipe Albuquerque, Paul Di Resta and Phil Hanson.

–In LMGTE Pro, the victory was claimed by Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Maxime Martin, Alex Lynn and Harry Tincknell (who drives for Mazda in the DPi division of IMSA).

–TF Sport won the LMGTE Am class.

The Toyota No. 7 took pole after former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi narrowly edged out the Rebellion No. 1 team in qualifying.

In damp and humid conditions Mike Conway got away cleanly from the start, while Senna held off Buemi.

After nearly seven hours, Toyota’s No. 8 fell back after a 10-minute stop in the stands to fix a brake-cooling problem on Kazuki Nakajima’s car. Rebellion’s No. 1, driven by Frenchman Norman Nato, took advantage to move into second place behind Toyota’s No. 7.

Then came the decisive moment at 2:40 a.m. as the No. 7 – also featuring Argentine Jose Maria Lopez – encountered a turbo problem. When the car came back out it was back in fourth.

“We had a few problems early in the race,” Nakajima said. “Later they had a bigger issue than us.”

Rebellion’s No. 1 encountered a problem on the hood at around 9 a.m. and the change took six minutes, allowing the Rebellion No. 3 (Nathanael Berthon-Louis Deletraz-Romain Dumas) to close the gap.

It was becoming a tight battle between the two Rebellion cars behind Toyota’s No. 8.

At 12 p.m. Rebellion No. 3 with Dumas behind the wheel was only one second ahead of No. 1 driven by Menezes. Then both cars came in for a driver change with Deletraz swapping for Dumas on a lengthy stop, and Nato for Menezes as Rebellion No. 1 suddenly moved ahead of its team rival.

Dumas, a winner in 2016 with Porsche, appeared unhappy at the strategy decision to bring his car in first and the length of the stop. There were tense explanations in the team garage.

Colombian Tatiana Calderon, an F1 test driver with Alfa Romeo, was in the Richard Mille Racing Team in the LMP2 category. She was joined by German Sophia Florsch – an F3 driver – and Dutchwoman Beitske Visser. They placed ninth out of 24 in their category.