Joey Logano wins,
advances forward in Chase

Photo by Corey Carpenter/TheRacingExperts.com
Joey Logano leads Kevin Harvick at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Logano led 227 laps to win the Bank of America 500.






By Justin Melillo
Staff Reporter
October 12, 2015
jmelillo@theracingexperts.net

 

 

CONCORD, N.C.—Joey Loagno’s victory in Sunday’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway will guarantee the driver a spot in the third round of the Chase.

Logano led a race high and career high 227 laps, and was able to hold on and win in the first round of the Contender round of the Chase. He becomes the first driver locked into the next round, no matter his finishes at Kansas Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway.

Logano took the lead on lap 77, leading all but 31 circuits during the final 256 laps run.

“We had a great car,” Logano said in victory lane. “We led a ton of laps… This makes Talladega way easier.”

Logano scored his fourth win of the 2015 season, his 12th career NSCS victory, and first career victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Logano talked about how special it is to win at Charlotte post-race in the media center.

“I think it's on everyone's bucket list to win here mainly because everyone's race team is here,” he said. “This is home turf for everyone. You want to win in front of your race team that doesn't typically get to come to the racetrack and get to celebrate with guys that you don't typically get to have in victory lane when we travel far away from here, so that's special.”


THROUGH THE FIELD

Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, and Kurt Busch rounded out the top-five finishing positions. All four sit at least ten points above the Chase cutoff. Yet, none of those drivers led a lap during the event.

After the race, both Harvick and Truex Jr. commented in the media center that it was difficult to pass.


Photo by Corey Carpenter/TheRacingExperts.com

Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s pit crew attempts to fix damage on the No. 88 Chevrolet on pit road Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.


“I think it was one of those days where the cars were so equal, once you would get going, that you had to make a lot of ground on the restarts,” Harvick said.


“It was so hard to pass out there today, nearly just impossible,” Truex Jr. said. “And with the cool temperatures and the speed in the racetrack and everybody pretty much running the bottom, I think that was part of it.

“You see a little bit of a gap and you've got to stick your nose in there and try to get next to somebody because if you don't get them off the bottom they slow you down two, three tenths.” 

Matt Kenseth was an early favorite to win, as he started from the pole position. Even after yielding the lead to teammate Kyle Busch on the initial start, he took it back on the next restart and looked like he could dominate the day. 

Unfortunately for the No. 20 team, a pit call early put them in the middle of the pack, and after contact with Ryan Newman and the wall, his day went south quickly. Kenseth ended up nailing the wall a final time on lap 241 and would end his day in the garage, finishing 42nd.

Kenseth’s teammate, Kyle Busch, received contact on lap 195 with Kyle Larson during yellow flag pit stops. Kyle Busch had looked to be pitting, and Larson looked to be staying out. At the commitment cone, they both changed direction, colliding into one another. 

Both Busch and Larson would never recover, and came home 20th and 21st, respectively.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., like Busch and Kenseth, sit on the outside of the Chase cutoff heading into Kansas Speedway next Sunday.

Junior ended up in the wall on lap 72 after getting a bump from Carl Edwards. Laps later, he was in the wall with a flat tire. Later in the race, he found oil on the track on a restart and slammed the wall again. Earnhardt Jr. ended up finishing 28th, four laps down.

The Sprint Cup Series heads to Kansas next week for the Hollywood Casino 400, where Logano looks to defend his victory from one year ago.

Which driver currently under the Chase cutoff will most likely advance to Round 3?
Ryan Newman
Kyle Busch
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Kyle Busch
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