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Logano Wins, Leads Chasers Into Third Round

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, October 23 2016
Joey Logano won Sunday at Talladega and earned a berth in the Round of Eight. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Rusty Jarrett)

Joey Logano won Sunday at Talladega and earned a berth in the Round of Eight. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Rusty Jarrett)

Joey Logano held off rookie Brian Scott on an overtime restart, went on to win Sunday’s Alabama 500 at Talladega Superspeedway and in doing so, claimed a berth in the Round of Eight in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship.

sprint-logo-08Also advancing to the third of four playoff rounds were Kevin Harvick, who finished seventh Sunday, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin.

Harvick and Johnson had won the previous two Round of 12 races for automatic entry. Hamlin tied Austin Dillon for the final berth in the next round but got in on the tie-breaker.

Hamlin secured that berth earning tie by edging Kurt Busch at the finish line by inches to finish third.

“This is really the first true good Chase fortune I’ve had in my 11-year career,” the Joe Gibbs Racing driver said.

The victory was the second of the year for Team Penske’s Logano, who got the win even after
though he was penalized earlier in the day when he left the pits with his jack still attached to his No. 2 Ford.

“It happened early enough in the day,” Logano said of the penalty, “that that mistake happened and nobody got worked up and stayed focused on their job. Man, this feels good to win on a
clutch moment like that. We come in here with the pressure on and this team excels when that happens.”

For Scott, second sounded like a tense but good day.

“It was nerve wracking,” the Richard Petty Motorsports driver said. “I felt like guys were going to do what they could to hang me out and shuffle me out just because I’m a rookie. But the Ford was strong all day and we worked hard all day in the draft to make a lot of friends and show we belonged up front wand we had a good car.

“All in all, a great day. We didn’t make any mistakes and when you come into Talladega we knew we needed that kind of day.”

In addition to Dillon, the other Chasers who didn’t advance were Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Keselowski.

On Lap 42, Truex’s wonderful, four-victory year was trashed when his Furniture Row Racing Toyota blew its engine. His DNF cost him his shot at a berth in the Round of Eight and, hence, his shot at a championship for him and his Colorado-based, one-car team.

“Just developed a vibration and starting losing a little bit of power,” Truex said. “Originally, I thought it may have been a tires because it was shaking and got worse and worse and worse until it was time to pit. But once I slowed down and hit pit road and felt the vibrations still there in the engine I knew we were in trouble. Tough way to go out.”

With 44 laps to go, Brad Keselowski blew an engine while leading. That ended his hopes to advance to the next round. The Team Penske driver, who won last year’s race at Talladega, had the dominant car in the field and led 90 laps.

But twice during the race, his car picked up debris on its radiator which sent oil temperatures into the danger zone. The final debris problem occurred just before the engine failure. Asked if he thought the overheating incidents contributed, Keselowski said he would leave that determination to the experts.

But he did say, “We came here to win and we were doing what we needed to do to win and it just didn’t play out.”

Taking over Keselowski’s lead was teammate Logano. Logano was still leading when, with seven laps to go, Kasey Kahne spun out and wrecked to bring out a caution. That setup a restart with three laps to go.

Restarting next to Logano, who chose the top line, was Harvick. Behind them were non-Chasers Brian Scott and Alex Bowman.

Logano cleared Harvick for the lead but as he did with two laps to go, Bowman wreck to bring out a yellow and set up the overtime. Logano started on the bottom with Scott next to him. Logano quickly cleared Scott and once out front was able to block all the way to the finish.

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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race – Hellmann’s 500

Talladega Superspeedway

Talladega, Alabama

Sunday, October 23, 2016

  1. (16) Joey Logano (C), Ford, 192.
  2. (25) Brian Scott #, Ford, 192.
  3. (8) Denny Hamlin (C), Toyota, 192.
  4. (7) Kurt Busch (C), Chevrolet, 192.
  5. (6) Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Ford, 192.
  6. (24) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 192.
  7. (22) Kevin Harvick (C), Chevrolet, 192.
  8. (26) Aric Almirola, Ford, 192.
  9. (9) Austin Dillon (C), Chevrolet, 192.
  10. (32) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 192.
  11. (15) * Ryan Blaney #, Ford, 192.
  12. (4) Chase Elliott # (C), Chevrolet, 192.
  13. (10) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 192.
  14. (20) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 192.
  15. (5) Greg Biffle, Ford, 192.
  16. (34) Michael McDowell, Chevrolet, 192.
  17. (11) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 192.
  18. (36) Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet, 192.
  19. (23) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 192.
  20. (30) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 192.
  21. (31) Landon Cassill, Ford, 192.
  22. (33) Chris Buescher #, Ford, 192.
  23. (17) Jimmie Johnson (C), Chevrolet, 192.
  24. (40) David Ragan, Toyota, 192.
  25. (29) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 192.
  26. (18) * Ryan Reed(i), Ford, 192.
  27. (35) * Matt DiBenedetto, Toyota, 192.
  28. (3) Matt Kenseth (C), Toyota, 192.
  29. (13) Carl Edwards (C), Toyota, 192.
  30. (14) Kyle Busch (C), Toyota, 192.
  31. (38) Bobby Labonte, Ford, 192.
  32. (21) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 192.
  33. (37) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 192.
  34. (39) Jeffrey Earnhardt #, Toyota, 192.
  35. (27) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 191.
  36. (19) Alex Bowman(i), Chevrolet, 191.
  37. (12) * Reed Sorenson, Toyota, 179.
  38. (2) Brad Keselowski (C), Ford, Engine, 144.
  39. (28) Casey Mears, Chevrolet, Accident, 113.
  40. (1) Martin Truex Jr (C), Toyota, Engine, 41.

 

Average Speed of Race Winner:  159.905 mph.

Time of Race:  03 Hrs, 11 Mins, 38 Secs. Margin of Victory:  0.124 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  6 for 25 laps.

Lead Changes:  31 among 14 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   M. Truex Jr (C) 0; B. Keselowski (C) 1-11; M. Truex Jr (C) 12-13; B. Keselowski (C) 14-25; C. Elliott # (C) 26-27; B. Keselowski (C) 28; C. Elliott # (C) 29-31; B. Keselowski (C) 32-37; D. Hamlin (C) 38; M. Kenseth (C) 39; Kyle Busch (C) 40; B. Keselowski (C) 41; R. Stenhouse Jr 42-47; B. Keselowski (C) 48-62; C. Elliott # (C) 63; G. Biffle 64-76; C. Elliott # (C) 77-78; B. Keselowski (C) 79; C. Elliott # (C) 80; D. Hamlin (C) 81; C. Edwards (C) 82; M. Annett 83-88; B. Keselowski (C) 89-110; R. Blaney # 111; D. Hamlin (C) 112-116; A. Dillon (C) 117; D. Hamlin (C) 118-122; B. Keselowski (C) 123-143; R. Blaney # 144-145; T. Stewart 146; Kyle Busch (C) 147; J. Logano (C) 148-192.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  B. Keselowski (C) 9 times for 90 laps; J. Logano (C) 1 time for 45 laps; G. Biffle 1 time for 13 laps; D. Hamlin (C) 4 times for 12 laps; C. Elliott # (C) 5 times for 9 laps; M. Annett 1 time for 6 laps; R. Stenhouse Jr 1 time for 6 laps; R. Blaney # 2 times for 3 laps; M. Truex Jr (C) 1 time for 2 laps; Kyle Busch (C) 2 times for 2 laps; C. Edwards (C) 1 time for 1 lap; T. Stewart 1 time for 1 lap; M. Kenseth (C) 1 time for 1 lap; A. Dillon (C) 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 16 in Points: J. Johnson (C) – 3,100; Kurt Busch (C) – 3,099; J. Logano (C) – 3,089; M. Kenseth (C) – 3,088; Kyle Busch (C) – 3,084; K. Harvick (C) – 3,082; C. Edwards (C) – 3,082; D. Hamlin (C) – 3,078; A. Dillon (C) – 3,078; M. Truex Jr (C) – 3,060; C. Elliott # (C) – 3,050; B. Keselowski (C) – 3,043; K. Larson – 2,155; T. Stewart – 2,141; J. Mcmurray – 2,110; C. Buescher # – 2,109.

 

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, October 23 2016
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