Defending Pro Stock champion Allen Johnson won the Mile-High NHRA Nationals for the fifth time Sunday, holding off Colorado native V. Gaines in the final round.
Making his seventh straight final-round appearance in the event in Morrison, Colo., Johnson raced to his fourth victory of the year with a 6.989-second run at 196.87 mph in a Dodge Avenger. He has two straight victories at the Colorado track and four in the past five years.
“My crew is the reason that we’ve had all of this success for the last seven races here,” Johnson said. “They are just so determined to win it every year. I have to thank them and give them all of the credit.”
Spencer Massey won the Top Fuel division, Cruz Pedregon topped the Funny Car field, and Shawn Gann won in Pro Stock Motorcycle.
Massey raced to his third victory of the season and 13th of his career, beating Bob Vandergriff in the final. Massey powered his dragster to a 3.974 at 309.27.
Pedregon won for the first time in Denver since 1993, powering his Toyota Camry to 4.233 at 295.46 to edge Bob Tasca III. Pedregon has three victories this year and 33 overall.
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Gann claimed his first victory since winning in Denver in 2004, riding his Buell to a 7.351 at 181.08 to beat points leader Hector Arana Jr.
Logano wins at Chicagoland
When “The Captain” asked, Joey Logano answered.
Did he ever.
Logano held off Sam Hornish Jr. to win the NASCAR Nationwide race at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday, leading a sweep of 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. That’s awesome,” Logano said. “To come out here, our goal is to win this thing. That’s why I came out here on my off week, it was to come out here and win.”
Penske, nicknamed “The Captain,” approached Logano this month during the NASCAR stop at Daytona and asked if 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 R. P.?” 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 win 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 2003.
Hornish looked in position to win before Logano roared into the lead. “I’m glad it wasn’t three or four more laps longer, because he was catching us,” Logano said.