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BROOKLYN, Mich. - After three caution flags in the first 13 laps of Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400, it looked like a long day was on top for all involved. The day ended up finishing just how Ford Racing had hoped, however, as Joey Logano drove to victory, his first of the season, outlasting Mark Martin and Kevin Harvick down the stretch.
The win is the third straight at the track for Ford and marks the first win with Penske Racing since the two rejoined forces prior to the season. For Logano, it is his third career Sprint Cup victory and positions him nicely for a wild card spot and inches his that much closer to a 2013 Chase spot.
The Fords were stout all day long, with Greg Biffle leading the initial charge, taking the lead on lap 107 after Logano had lead most of the early laps from the pole position.
On lap 145 it was Logano back to the lead, and he held it until fuel and pit strategy on lap 158 when teammate Brad Keselowski was one of a handful of drivers to stay out under caution. He, along with Aric Almirola, were able to parlay the move into top-five positioning until the yellow came out again on lap 172 and Keselowski had to come down pit road to avoid running out of fuel. That positioned the 2 team in 17th on the lap 176 restart.
On the ensuing restart, Logano lined up second and was chasing Mark Martin, who had put together a strong late run but ran out of fuel with three laps remaining, opening the door for the 22 team win.
Marcos Ambrose came home sixth, Greg Biffle ninth and Carl Edwards 10th to give Ford four cars in the top-10.
Points wise it was a good day as Edwards inched up closer to leader Jimmie Johnson after the five-time champion left after lap 54 with a blown engine. Edwards is now 51 points behind in third place. Keselowski finds himself in eight place and Biffle 10th with three races remaining before the Chase.
Logano’s win gives him two paths to The Chase. He is seven points back of the second wild card position, and only 17 points back of the top-10.