Logano locks in while Busch has issues; Hollywood Casino 400 recap
Joey Logano entered Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 with a 28-race winless streak but ended the day with a win and his fourth Championship Four berth.
Logano led 47 laps Sunday, including the final 45, and held off Kevin Harvick to earn his third win of the 2020 season. It is Logano’s second 1.5-mile track win of 2020 and first win since Phoenix in March, the last race before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States.
Harvick finished second to score his 20th Top-5 and 26th Top-10 of what has been a career-best year for him. Harvick holds the points lead heading into the second race of the Round of 8 at Texas Motor Speedway and is 41 points ahead of Chase Elliott, who currently would be the first driver to be eliminated.
Close behind Harvick and Logano was Alex Bowman, who finished third for his best finish since finishing second in the The Real Heroes 400, which was the first race back for the Cup Series from the COVID-19 break.
Bowman ran in the Top-10 for much of the day, scoring a sixth-place finish in stage one and a fourth in Stage 2, but moved up to battle for the win late.
Bowman’s third-place finish is his fifth Top-5 and 13th Top-10 of the season and he has now scored seven Top-10 finishes in the last nine races.
Bowman sits 27 points behind Brad Keselowski, who holds the final transfer spot with two races left in the Round of 8.
Top 10 finishers were as follows: Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Alex Bowman, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, William Byron, Martin Truex Jr. and Christopher Bell.
There were six cautions for 31 laps. The first two cautions were for a competition caution on lap 25 and a caution for the end of stage one on lap 80.
Stage one results were as follows: Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones, Alex Bowman, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Joey Logano, Tyler Reddick.
Matt Kenseth and Erik Jones made contact on in Turn 4 on lap 145, which brought out the first non-competition caution of the race. Kenseth retired from the race due to damage shortly after the incident happened.
The second stage ended on lap 160, which brought out the fourth caution of the race. The stage two results were as follows: Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, Matt DiBenedetto, Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer.
Kurt Busch’s day came to an end on lap 198 with engine issues. Busch had been running inside the top 10 but suffered a loss of power and fell back to 19th, which is where he ran when the engine blew. Busch entered the race 21 points behind the cutline and ended the day 73 points behind with a 38th-place finish due to the engine issues.
The final caution of the race flew at lap 222 when Tyler Reddick hit the wall in turn four. Joey Logano was able to get out ahead of Kevin Harvick to lead on the restart, which he never gave up en route to winning.
Logano is the first driver to lock into the Championship Four, which is his fourth Championship Four berth of his career. Logano has previously made the Championship Four in 2014, 2016 and 2018.
Brad Keselowski holds the final transfer spot as of now, with an eight-point advantage over Chase Elliott as the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Texas Motor Speedway for the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 (3:30 p.m. ET; TV: NBCSN; Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
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