Logano Stays Hot, Wins Second-Straight Chase Race

Logano+Stays+Hot%2C+Wins+Second-Straight+Chase+Race

Matt Kenseth led over 150 of the 267 laps in Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway, and he was the leader of the race with about 10 laps remaining. But when Joey Logano got to his back bumper, he blocked him down the backstretch. Logano re-gained his momentum, got a good run on Kenseth entering turn one, and put the bumper to him, sending the No. 20 car spinning.

Kenseth managed to keep the car off the wall, but after being forced to pit, and not having enough time to recover, he came home in 14th place, seeing a potential win and automatic bid into the next round of the Chase, the Eliminator Eight, spin out of sight.

“It was really cut and dry,” Kenseth said in an interview with NBC. “He [Logano] picked my rear tires off the ground and wrecked me, so there’s no debate about that one. He was a little bit tighter on that short run than I was, and I couldn’t get away from him […] He just decided to take us out,” the 2003 champion added.

Kenseth, being the calm, mild-mannered guy that he is, was very calm in his interview. We saw Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch in the past be too hot-headed to do post-race interviews in the types of situations, but Kenseth remained calm and realized the situation was over.

One more thing Kenseth added was that it’s “unfortunate” and he’s “really disappointed” this had to happen because he was a “big fan” of Logano for the past few years, but that clearly is not the case now.

The eventual winner, Logano, had a different perspective on the incident.

“It was good, hard racing,” he said. “We were racing each other really hard, and I got in the fence twice on the straightaways. He raced me hard, and I raced him hard back. That’s the way I race. If I get raced like that, I’ll race the same way. That’s how I’ve always been, and it will always be that way.”

The driver of the No. 22 added that Kenseth and himself were just “going for the same piece of real estate,” and Kenseth got the bad end of the stick.

However, when asked if he thought the bump was intentional, Kenseth said, “100 percent.”

He now sits 12th in the standings, 35 points behind the cut-off to make it to the next round. He, along with others, are in a win-or-go-home scenario at Talladega.

On lap 165, Jr. Nation ran into some trouble again, as Dale Earnhardt Jr. was forced to pit for a loose wheel. He could never recover, as the cautions didn’t fall his way, and finished in 21st, two laps down. The No. 88 sits 11th in the standings, 31 points behind the cut-off and also faces a win-or-go-home situation heading to one of his favorite tracks, where he won earlier this season, Talladega Superspeedway.

Kevin Harvick was running in the top five for the majority of the race, just as he had done all season. But on the last round of green flag pit stops, he was penalized due to the gas can being removed from the pit box (stop and go penalty). He fell one lap down, and finished 16th.

The problems could have been much worse for Harvick, as his shifter handle broke off, but he was able to shift fine on the restarts and made the best out of a bad situation. He sits fifth in the standings, however only one point ahead of eighth place, along with Jeff Gordon and Martin Truex Jr., who finished 10th and 15th and sit sixth and seventh, respectively, also only one point to the good for the next round.

Denny Hamlin came home second at one of his historically worst tracks, and sits second in the standings, a great spot for him. As long as he, along with Kurt Busch (finished sixth), Brad Keselowski (finished ninth) and Carl Edwards (finished eighth) don’t get involved in a crash this upcoming weekend, you can expect them to safely advance to the next round. Kyle Busch (finished fifth) and Ryan Newman (finished 11th) are on the outside looking in, barely, as they sit ninth and tenth on the Chase grid.

As for some non-Chasers, Jimmie Johnson finished third, the youngster for Wood Brothers Racing, Ryan Blaney, finished seventh after running in the top ten all afternoon, Kasey Kahne finished fourth, Brian Scott finished 12th and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 13th, grabbing his third-straight finish inside the top fifteen.

On-track activity at Talladega Superspeedway for the CampingWorld.com 500 begins this Thursday afternoon with practice sessions. Earnhardt Jr. won at this track earlier this season, and will have to again if he wants to advance to the next round. Kenseth, Newman and Kyle Busch will be drivers to watch all weekend, especially toward the back end of the race. We all know what Talladega can do to drivers when they least expect it. We also know that it’s going to come out and bite somebody, but who will it be this year?

The Talladega CampingWorld.com 500 will be televised on NBCSN on Sunday, October 25 around 2:30 p.m.