Logano Captures Second NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown Victory

IRWINDALE, Calif. – Joey Logano got his second NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown trophy and Sergio Pena nearly made a historic debut on the national stage.

Logano, 19, held off the 16-year-old Pena and two-time race winner Matt Kobyluck for the victory in the 225-lap race Saturday before a sold-out crowd at the Toyota Speedway at Irwindale.

It was Pena’s first career race in NASCAR’s top developmental series and it came in the non-points, postseason event, which has earned the moniker the “Daytona 500 of short-track racing.”

Logano made his mark by winning as a 17-year-old rookie in the 2007 edition; Pena, who only has one year of Late Model racing on his resume, nearly out-did that.

Logano and Pena waged a race-long battle for the lead from drop of the green. For most of the race it was the Pena in heated pursuit of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year. Pena was able to grab the lead on several occasions. Logano, however, got the best of two late-race restarts to pull away for the victory.

Kobyluck got by Pena briefly on Lap 218, and by the time Pena got back to second four laps later he didn’t have enough time to track Logano back down.

Logano wound up leading a race-high 171 laps. Pena led the other 54 and they swapped the lead five times. Following Logano, Pena and Kobyluck across the line was Matt DiBenedetto and Andrew Myers. Eric Holmes, David Mayhew, Eddie MacDonald, Paulie Harraka and Steve Park rounded out the top 10.

Reigning NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Champion Jason Bowles finished 11th while K&N Pro Series East 2009 titlist Ryan Truex was relegated to 26th after a late-race accident.

It’s been a whirlwind weekend for Pena, a Winchester, Va., native.

Pena, driving for Revolution Racing and Drive For Diversity, beat out three teammates Thursday in a race-off for a chance to qualify for the Showdown. He easily did that, earning the pole in Friday’s qualifying.

The win was a vindication, of sorts, for Logano, who crossed the line first in last year’s NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, but was penalized to last place for aggressive driving on the last lap.

This was the second year the postseason event was held in January. The first five – 2003-2007 – were held in the Fall.