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Originally published Saturday, November 10, 2012 at 6:30 PM

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Joey Logano wins NASCAR Nationwide Series race | Auto racing

Joey Logano won in Avondale, Ariz., and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. moved a step closer toward successfully defending his NASCAR Nationwide Series championship with a third-place finish.

The Associated Press

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AVONDALE, Ariz. — Ricky Stenhouse Jr. moved a step closer toward successfully defending his NASCAR Nationwide Series championship with a strong run Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway.

Joey Logano won the Great Clips 200, beating runner-up Brian Vickers by 0.668 seconds. Stenhouse finished third.

Stenhouse and Elliott Sadler entered the race tied for the season points lead, but Sadler had a tough day and finished 22nd. Thus Stenhouse has a 20-point lead entering next weekend's finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida.

Sadler started from the rear because he hit a wall in time trials and went to a backup car. He triggered a three-car wreck on the last scheduled lap of the race.

"I did it to myself," Sadler said. "I put my team in a hole, qualifying like I did."

Sadler, who said the wreck was "100 percent my fault," apologized to his team.

"It's been a long, great season and my guys deserve better effort from me than wrecking the car on the last lap," he said.

If Stenhouse finishes 16th or better at Homestead-Miami, he is guaranteed of another title.

Logano, who started from the pole, won for the ninth time in 21 starts this season.

Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw finished fifth of 43; Derrike Cope of Spanaway was 24th.

Danica Patrick placed 10th, her fourth top-10 finish in 32 starts this year. Sources said she won't drive in next year's Indianapolis 500.

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