Sunday, October 23, 2016

Logano Comes Up Clutch in Talladega, Hamlin Ties for Final Chase Spot

Originally written for CLNS Radio.

Joey Logano won the Hellman’s 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday afternoon to advance to the next round of the Chase.

Logano came into Talladega tied for the final spot in the Chase, and needed to finish ahead of Austin Dillon to move on to the next round.  Logano said his team came up big when he needed them.

“This feels good, to win in a clutch moment like that,” Logano said.  “To come in here with the pressure on, this team excels when that happens.”
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Logano had a problem on an early pit stop, when he dragged his team’s jack around the track, but the jack never came loose and his team was able to remove it with no damage to the car.  Logano said his team did a good job of staying calm when they’re season was on the line.

“Plenty early enough in the day that we had that mistake happen, and no one got worked up,” Logano said.  “I’m ready for the challenge ahead of us, and this team’s definitely ready.”

On the final lap, Denny Hamlin finished third by .006 seconds over Kurt Busch.  The finish tied him with Austin Dillon for the final Chase spot, which went to Hamlin due to the tiebreaker of best finish in the round.  Hamlin said he’s excited he may finally have good luck in the Chase.

“This is really the first true Chase fortune I’ve had in my 11-year career,” Hamlin said.  “I knew it was going to be a rough day…I knew this was the best case scenario for us, to go out here and finish in the top 5 and hope the chips fall in a good way for us.”

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

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