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Matt Kenseth Spins, And Joey Logano Wins At Kansas Speedway

Matt Kenseth Spins, And Joey Logano Wins At Kansas Speedway

by October 18, 2015 0 comments

Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – In the closing laps of the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on Sunday, Joey Logano spun Matt Kenseth and went on to win the second race of the Contender Round.

Matt Kenseth led 153 laps, most of any driver on Sunday afternoon, but coming off a 42nd place finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway, he needed a strong finish to stay alive in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. As the laps ticked away, the Hollywood Casino 400 came down between Kenseth and Team Penske’s Joey Logano. As the two drivers headed into Turn 1 with four laps to go, Logano made contact with Kenseth’s left rear, sending him sideways through the turn to bring out the caution on Lap 264.

“Yeah, it’s hard racing,” Logano said. “With 15 to go I got to the outside of him down the backstretch, and I had to lift not to wreck both of us at that point, and then kind of got put in the same situation down the front stretch, and then we just happened to go in the same corner and we both went for the same piece of real estate. I wanted that middle lane and so did he, and we collided there. So good hard racing, you know.”

Logano went on to win his fifth race of the season, following Sunday’s green-white-checkered finish. With the win, as well as the victory earned in Charlotte last weekend, Logano becomes the only driver that’s locked into the Eliminator Round as the series heads to Talladega Superspeedway for the last race of the Contender Round.

Logano said, “Yeah, really just we’re able to go into that race and be relaxed, and that’s something to be ‑‑ feel good about because our goal coming into this weekend was to win the race and keep everyone not feeling too comfortable with Talladega, and really the only way you feel comfortable is if you have a win, and for us we were able to get those two and set ourselves up in a good spot for that weekend and then obviously be able to move to the next round.”

As for Matt Kenseth, he finished a disappointing 14th and currently sits 12th in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings. Kenseth is 35 points behind the final transfer position (eighth) and will enter Talladega Superspeedway, basically needing a win to stay alive in the championship battle.

“I won’t talk to Joey (Logano), I don’t have anything to talk to him about really,” Kenseth said. “You make decisions every day, you make decisions every minute behind the wheel. To me strategically, that doesn’t seem like such a great decision for him, but it’s the one he made and that’s how he wanted to win. I’m one of the only guys that I think hasn’t been into yet with Joey and I’ve always raced him with a ton of respect, I’ve actually been one of his biggest fans – I’m certainly not anymore, but I always was. It’s a shame, I’m glad the cars not wrecked, we’ll just go onto Talladega and race them there.”

Finishing second was Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin. Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch rounded out the top-five. Completing the top-10 was Kurt Busch, Ryan Blaney, Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski and Jeff Gordon.

Matt Kenseth wasn’t the only Chase contender who had a bad afternoon. Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. also had their share of issues. All four drivers will have to do everything they can to avoid the “big one” at Talladega Superspeedway next weekend in order to transfer to the Eliminator Round.

Martin Truex Jr., who was coming off a strong third place finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway finished 15th this weekend after a costly mistake by his pit crew. During a pit stop just past the 200-lap mark, the crew had an uncontrolled tire, and Truex Jr. had to serve a pass thru penalty under green flag conditions on Lap 218. Truex Jr. fell five spots to eighth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship point standings.

“It was tough day,” Truex Jr. said. “We were in good shape before the penalty. We fought hard on the car all day got much better right when we got the penalty. We were fast at the end, but not enough time to get back up there.”

Kevin Harvick finished 16th after a mistake on pit road, as well. On lap 217, Harvick was forced to serve a stop-and-go penalty during green flag pit stops after equipment was removed from the pit stall. In the process, Harvick also lost his shifter handle, making for a long conclusion to the afternoon. Harvick lost three positions in the Chase standings following the Kansas performance. He now sits fifth.

“We are lucky to come out of it as good as we did with our Budweiser/Jimmy John’s team,” Harvick said. “We didn’t have a great weekend. A lot of things falling on and off and now we’ve got to go to Talladega and have a good week. All-in-all it could have been a lot worse and everybody kept digging.”

Following a loose tire under green flag conditions, Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished a disappointing 21st. Being 31 points back from the eighth position in the standings, Earnhardt Jr. enters the upcoming race at Talladega Superspeedway nearly having to win in order to advance to the Eliminator Round. The good thing for Earnhardt Jr. is that if anyone can win at Talladega Superspeedway, he probably has the best shot. Earnhardt Jr. has six career wins, and he finishes within the top-five, 35.5% of the time.

“I wouldn’t rather be going anywhere else than Talladega for the next race if we need a win,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “That is a good opportunity for us. Even over Daytona, I think we can go to Talladega and do the job. There is a little more room there to be aggressive and make the moves you need to make. I got the car. That car won the 125, ran third in the (Daytona) 500 and won Talladega and won Daytona. That is a good enough car. I wouldn’t want to be going anywhere else if it’s a win and you are in kind of deal.”

On Sunday, October 25, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will visit Talladega Superspeedway for the CampingWorld.com 500. Live coverage for the race will broadcast on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Kansas Lottery 400 Results:

1.) #22 Joey Logano

2.) #11 Denny Hamlin

3.) #48 Jimmie Johnson

4.) #5 Kasey Kahne

5.) #18 Kyle Busch

6.) #41 Kurt Busch

7.) #21 Ryan Blaney

8.) #19 Carl Edwards

9.) #2 Brad Keselowski

10.) #24 Jeff Gordon

11.) #31 Ryan Newman

12.) #33 Brian Scott

13.) #17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

14.) #20 Matt Kenseth

15.) #78 Martin Truex Jr.

16.) #4 Kevin Harvick

17.) #16 Greg Biffle

18.) #6 Trevor Bayne

19.) #27 Paul Menard

20.) #1 Jamie McMurray

21.) #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.

22.) #10 Danica Patrick

23.) #13 Casey Mears

24.) #43 Aric Almirola

25.) #55 David Ragan

26.) #51 Justin Allgaier

27.) #47 AJ Allmendinger

28.) #9 Sam Hornish Jr.

29.) #41 Kyle Larson

30.) #83 Matt DiBenedetto

31.) #7 Alex Bowman

32.) #34 Brett Moffitt

33.) #35 Cole Whitt

34.) #46 Michael Annett

35.) #14 Tony Stewart

36.) #38 David Gilliland

37.) #23 Jeb Burton

38.) #98 Reed Sorenson

39.) #32 Will Kimmel III

40.) #15 Clint Bowyer

41.) #3 Austin Dillon

42.) #26 JJ Yeley

43.) #40 Landon Cassill

 

Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Point Standings:

1.) #22 Joey Logano

2.) #11 Denny Hamlin -13

3.) #41 Kurt Busch -18

4.) #19 Carl Edwards -19

5.) #4 Kevin Harvick -24

6.) #24 Jeff Gordon -24

7.) #2 Brad Keselowski -24

8.) #78 Martin Truex Jr. -25

9.) #18 Kyle Busch -31

10.) #31 Ryan Newman -33

11.) #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. -56

12.) #20 Matt Kenseth -60

Hunter Thomas
Hunter Thomas is a journalist who grew up in Darlington, S.C. His first motorsports-based endeavor was working as the Public Relations Director at Dillon Motor Speedway in Dillon, S.C., and his journalism start came while he was freelancing at his hometown newspaper, the News & Press while in college.

Hunter has been working within the NASCAR industry since 2010, and throughout the years, he has done everything from PR/Marketing for drivers and teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, to working at Rockingham Speedway. As a journalist, Hunter has covered everything from regional short tracks to NASCAR, ARCA Racing Series, World of Outlaws, Red Bull Global Rallycross, NHRA and much more.

Follow Hunter Thomas on Twitter by following, @HunterThomas08

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