For the second year in a row, Team Penske’s Joey Logano has opened the Contender Round of the post-season Chase with a victory and guaranteed himself a spot in the next round of the ten-race title hunt. Logano crushed the field Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, leading 227 of the 334 laps in notching his fourth victory of the season. He beat runner-up Kevin Harvick to the checkered flag by three-quarters of a second, keeping his Number-22 Ford in front over the final thirty-five laps. Martin Truex Junior finished third with Denny Hamlin and Kurt Busch completing the top five.
Pole sitter Matt Kenseth led seventy-two laps but was sidelined by an accident midway through the second half of the race. He finished next-
to-last in the forty-three-car field, tumbling to the bottom of the Chase standings with the post-season hitting the halfway mark next weekend at Kansas Speedway.
Chase drivers took eight of the nine top finishing positions with Austin Dillon the only non-title contender among them, in seventh place. The four other drivers in the Contender Round all finished outside the top ten and slipped to the bottom of the post-season standings. Ryan Newman was fifteenth, Kyle Busch twentieth, Dale Earnhardt Junior twenty-eighth and Kenseth forty-second.
The race was originally scheduled to be run Saturday night, but rain moved it to Sunday afternoon. For Logano, it’s his twelfth career victory … Carl Edwards finished sixth in his bid for a season sweep at C-M-S. He won the Coca-Cola 600 back on May 24th.