Winning is everything and at Dover International Speedway – which sits adjacent to a casino –Joey Logano (four) and Kyle Busch (four) have won eight out of the last twelve NASCAR Nationwide Series races at the famed one-mile concrete track. Dominant powerhouses on a high-speed, physically demanding track are what Logano and Busch have been and with this weekend’s owner championship implications on the line, the showdown between the two veteran drivers is that much more exciting.
Busch returns to the No. 54 Toyota for car owner Joe Gibbs this weekend. Busch has made 20 starts this season posting four wins, 19 top fives, six poles and an average finish of 3.2 – his series career best. Busch was dialed-in at Dover earlier this season; he won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, the NASCAR Nationwide Series event and may have had a clean sweep if not for an accident in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Busch has made 18 series starts at Dover posting four wins (spring 2014, 2010 sweep and fall 2008), nine top fives, and 13 top 10s.
Car owner Joe Gibbs will be looking for more of that dominance come this weekend, he is currently 37 points behind Roger Penske’s No. 22 Ford team in the owner championship standings with six races remaining in the season.
Team Penske has been exceptionally hot in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this season, so it’s not surprising the success has trickled down to the NASCAR Nationwide Series, especially with drivers like Joey Logano in the No. 22 car. Logano, who has 21 series career wins, has made eight series starts this season and is still looking for his first victory of 2014. In eight starts this season, Logano has posted six top fives and seven top 10s. He finished third behind Busch and Trevor Bayne after starting from the pole in the first Dover race of the season. Logano, 24, is looking to extend his streak of consecutive seasons with at least one NNS win to seven. Since Logano entered the series in 2008, he has won at least one race each season. Mark Martin holds the all-time record with nine straight years with an NNS victory.
Statistically Dover is Logano’s best track on the series schedule, in 11 starts he has posted four consecutive wins (2012 and 2013 sweeps), seven top fives, eight top 10s, four poles and an average finish of 5.2.
“I really want to get a win and I think we will,” said Logano. “I would like to extend that streak. I’d love to be able to fight with my teammate (Brad Keselowski) and see if one of us can get to nine straight years with Nationwide Series wins and match Mark’s (Martin) record. And I think we can do it, especially this weekend at Dover. It’s always been one of my favorite race tracks and the one I’ve run the best at. I just want to get this No. 22 team in Victory Lane again and help extend the point lead in the Owner Championship. That’s pretty important to all of us right now.”