Sunday, November 13, 2016

Logano Wins at Phoenix, Will Fight for Sprint Cup Title

Originally written for CLNS Radio.

Joey Logano won the Can-Am 500 from Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday afternoon to clinch his spot in the Championship Round next weekend at Homestead.

Logano came into the race needing a good finish to make the final round of the Chase, and the race was decided over two late restarts.  Logano took the lead on the final restart in overtime, and was able to get to victory lane.
Jonathan Ferrey (Getty Images)
Logano said the win was one of the biggest of his career.

“I’m speechless right now, I feel like I just won the Daytona 500 again,” Logano said.  “I never felt this good about a win before, and with so much on the line.”

Needing a finish no worse than second, Logano said his team stepped it up with the season on the line.

“Everyone brings their ‘A’ game when it comes to winning championships, and this team did it,” Logano said.  “We did exactly what we had to do; we get to go to Homestead to do the same thing.”

Over the final run of the race, it looked as if Matt Kenseth was going to win to clinch a spot in the final round.  But after a caution sent the race into overtime, contact with Alex Bowman sent Kenseth into the wall and out of the Chase.

Kenseth said he was disappointed his team couldn’t get it done.

“We had that race in control, even that last restart, and ended up giving it away,” Kenseth said.  “[Bowman] was laying way back on that restart…and I got out at the start/finish and it looked okay.”

“I got turned and was headed towards the fence.  I really don’t know what happened.”

On that late restart, Bowman threw a block on Kyle Busch, which sent Bowman’s car into Turn 1 with more speed than it could handle.  Busch said he didn’t mean for the contact to take out his teammate, and that he didn’t think Bowman would block him when he had such a big run.

“I got a little bit better restart than [Bowman] did, and I felt like I got a run on him,” Busch said.  “I got enough to the inside of him that if he chopped me he was going to get hit and wrecked, and that’s what happened.”

“It carried on into the 20 [of Kenseth], so I guess I essentially wrecked a teammate.”

Next weekend at Homestead, the Championship 4 will fight for the Sprint Cup Championship.  Logano, Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards will fight for the championship, and the top finishing driver will be crowned the champion. 

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

Robert Laberge (Getty Images)

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