Joey Logano comes through for Nationwide victory

JOLIET, Ill. — When “The Captain” asked, Joey Logano answered.

Did he ever.

Logano held off Sam Hornish Jr. to win the NASCAR Nationwide race Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway, leading a sweep of the top two spots for Roger Penske after the owner asked him to drive the No. 22 car on a rare weekend off for the Sprint Cup series.

“Really big for us to get a 1-2 finish for Penske,” Logano said. “Our goal is to win this thing. That’s why I came out here on my off week.”

Penske, nicknamed “The Captain,” approached Logano this month during the NASCAR stop at Daytona and asked whether he would drive in the first of two Nationwide races at Chicagoland this season. Penske wanted a boost in the race for the owners’ championship, and Logano sure delivered.

“How do you say no to RP?” Logano said, grinning. “I’m glad I did it.”

Logano, the lone Sprint Cup regular in the race, earned his second Nationwide win of the year and No. 20 for his career. He also won at Dover in June. Hornish held on for second and moved into the top spot in the series standings, seven points better than Regan Smith.

Austin Dillon led two times for a total of 24 laps and finished third to earn a $100,000 bonus. Dillon is third on the points list but is still looking for his first victory of the year.

“We just keep inching on this first win,” he said. “We’re getting closer and closer. These top-threes, we’ll take them all day, we just want to get that win here pretty soon.”

Elliott Sadler had the lead on a restart with 24 laps remaining. But the defending race winner faded as Hornish moved in front on the track where he won consecutive IndyCar races in 2002 and ’03.

Sadler finished fourth, followed by Brian Vickers, Parker Kligerman and Trevor Bayne. Illinois native Justin Allgaier, Brad Sweet and Matt Crafton rounded out the top 10.

The series returns to Chicagoland in September on the same weekend that the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship begins at the track.