LOUDON, N.H. – Teenage sensation Joey Logano took the lead on lap 110 and survived a green, white, checkered sprint to the finish to win the caution-plagued New England 125 NASCAR Busch East Series race Friday evening at New Hampshire International Speedway.

Logano, 17, of Middletown, Conn., started on the pole and led the first 21 laps before surrendering the lead to Peyton Sellers. After a pit stop on lap 48, he started a march up through the field which resulted in his third victory of 2007.

Former series champion Brad Leighton, of nearby Center Harbor, N.H., got a jump on Logano on the final restart, and NASCAR officials were going to bring him in for a stop-and-go penalty had he not backed off and given the position back to Logano. Leighton was not penalized and came home second in his first start of the season. Tim Schendel, of Sparta, Wis., ran among the leaders all day and finished third, while Landon Cassill and Vermont’s Brian Hoar completed the top five.

“The car was tremendous today,” said Logano. “This whole Joe Gibbs Racing team has been doing a great job. Every week we have a top-five car in contention to win. We’ve run this car three times and won all three, so this is just awesome. To win in my first start here is pretty special.”

Logano becomes the youngest-ever driver to win a NASCAR race at New Hampshire International Speedway. Ten cautions slowed the pace, while 24 cars finished on the lead lap.

Leighton was pleased with his performance, and talked about all the new faces in this series compare to the late 1990s when he reigned supreme in the old Busch North Series. Leighton’s new team is owned by Steve and Peg Griswold, the same owners he recorded two titles with in his heyday.

“We were really happy with the car’s performance today,” said Leighton. “I’ve never driven a car with a spec engine before. This was kind of a new piece for us, and it just didn’t fit my driving style. Andy Santerre put it together for us. It’s a strong piece, and once I get used to it, we’ll be fine. Joey did a great job out there. I wish we could have held him off, but this was still a great day for the Irving Oil/Grizco Racing team.”

Leighton sits atop the win list here at NHIS with eight victories to his credit.

Rounding out the top 10 in the New England 125 were Matt Kobyluck, James Buescher, Ruben Pardo, Sellers and Jamie Hayes. The race took just over two hours to complete, while 28 of the 43 starters were running at the finish.


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