NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Joey Logano Grabs Thrilling Phoenix Victory Toward Championship 4 Berth

When the No. 20 of Matt Kenseth left a wall of smoke in the first turn of Phoenix International Raceway, it was a now-or-never moment for Joey Logano.

Sitting in a tie with Kyle Busch for the final position in the Championship 4, Logano took advantage of a late crash to grab the victory in the Can-Am 500.

Standing as his third win of 2016, Logano earned his first Phoenix win and punches his ticket to the Championship 4 next week at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

“Man, this feels so good,” Logano said. “I’ve never felt this good about a win before. There was so much on the line. This team did it. It feels so good. I had a good restart at the end to hold off Kyle [Busch] to get this thing into Miami. We’re racing for a championship now! I’m speechless, I feel like I just won the Daytona 500 again.”

Kyle Busch , who indirectly caused the late spin by race leader Matt Kenseth, came home second – a result good enough to join Logano in the Final 4.

Despite the hard-earned position, Busch was heartbroken for Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kenseth, who came home 21st.

“Really unfortunate and devastating to have the race come down to the end like that,” Busch said. “I got a little bit better restart than the No. 88. It carried onto the No. 20 and essentially, I guess I wrecked a teammate. Man, that’s just so frustrating. I feel horrible about it.”

With more than three seconds to spare, Sunday was looking like a Kenseth kind of day with two laps to go in the scheduled 312-lap distance.

That all blew apart – literally – down the backstretch when Michael McDowell cut a tire and crashed into Turn 3. Within minutes, Kenseth’s championship hopes got turned into the Turn 1 wall on the first Overtime attempt after an apparent spotter issue when the No. 88 of Alex Bowman held the inside line.

“It’s more than disappointing,” Kenseth said. “The No. 88 was laying way, way back for that restart – more than a car width. Shortly thereafter, Chris [Osborne, spotter] cleared me. I really don’t know what happened, I was just goign off the information I had.”

Bowman, who led a race-high 194 laps from pole said the contact was unintentional, yet, admitted there would have been contact made for the win due to his uncertain future in the Sprint Cup Series.

Completing the top 5, Kyle Larson overcame a first-lap spin to rally to third followed by the Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch – the two who needed to win to advance to Homestead.

“All in all, it was a great effort by our No. 4 team,” Harvick said. ” We were off all weekend. They made great adjustments t oat least get us in the ball park. That’s all you can ask, go down swinging.”

Joining the SHR guys on the outside of the Final 4 is Denny Hamlin, who finished seventh in what was only a decent day for the No. 11 Toyota.

“When I saw that we were the only ones to stay out, I knew we had an uphill climb,” Hamlin said. “I still thought we were OK, but we had that second caution, that put me on the bottom and I just got shuffled from there.”

Jimmie Johnson was another driver who got shuffled throughout the race. Leading the race for 13 laps early, Johnson received a penalty for passing the pace car while entering pit road under caution. Johnson was highly frustrated following the penalty and was later caught up in a crash with Austin Dillon to end his day in the 38th spot.

“I’m scratching my head big time on that,” Johnson said. “This is the first time it happened.”

Completing the top 10 is Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott and Paul Menard. Kasey Kahne, who ran top 5 throughout the afternoon for Hendrick Motorsports, fell to 13th.

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18 Comments
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rg72

So the winner next week gets a newborn? Otherwise, someone will need to enlighten me on what a Championship 4 Birth is.

DoninAjax

Guess who the top 4 cars will be for 400 miles on Sunday? Any driver who messes with them will receive a penalty for something. The other 36 might as well stay home and save the owners some money.

By the way, isn’t it about time Brian indicated the prize money won for each race? There’s probably a reason why it isn’t.

rg72

We can only hope that Smoke has a score or two to settle on the way out the door.

tcfromaz

What, a score to settle with Danica, Jeffrey E, Cole Whitt or those other spooks he races with these days?

DoninAjax

I suppose the Logano fans are cheering now instead of the Kenseth fans. Has Kenseth blamed Logano yet?

kb

Amen..notice the narrative “this time” with Matty taking himself out again like (Kansas 2015)? When Logano held his line last time and Kenseth dropped down, it was all Logano’s fault…my, my, my. Exact same scenario and all quiet on the old lady whiny front. What a bunch of flucking selective hypocrites.

spot1

You still can’t see the obvious but, then, you ain’t worth arguing over.

kb

And as usual the asshole Spotty is still compelled to comment. Too much hits on the snout with a newspaper has dulled what little brain cells were present.

spot1

And how thick are your rose colored glasses? And, I have noticed that every one of your comments are still bitching about nothing. Damn, I’m glad I don’t have to live with your sour disposition. If something constantly pissed me off like NA$CAR obviously does to you, I’d never watch it again. You are the board expert on the old lady whiny front. And, speaking of brain cells, every time you post you kill off completely the very few you have ever had. I wouldn’t doubt someone has to remind you to inhale and exhale once in a while.

spot1

Yada, yada, yada. Same ol’ shit as always from you. I can’t wait for the crap you’ll spew if your lil’ Joey doesn’t win. And, if he should win, you’ll still find something to carp about. And DoninAjax, I don’t care if Kenseth admits his fault or not, it doesn’t matter to me. But did you notice the hag still brings up the Kansas race a year ago. There’s someone that needs to learn to let it go. Even her Joey admits he learned some lessons from last year that obviously has helped him this year. Now let’s see if the hag can retain knowledge.

kb

He did not admit wrong doing, he admitted to not playing the “Hey YOU flucked me, but I will make nice anyways” game. The video Spotty, does not lie.

“Hag” BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA

As for who “wins” that one race charade, I have no illusions as to the outcome. Nice of your puss-puss move to reply to a very decent poster, but it basically directed at me. LOL. Again, me bringing up Kansas over a year ago, shows you don’t grasp what I am saying regarding the drivers hypocrisy as to what happened or the media and what they say in same situations just different people. The narrative is 360 degrees in the opposite direction. Hypocrisy astounds all around. Did you suffer a serious fall from a tree, or something similar? I

DoninAjax

Take a deep breath and exhale when Kenseth admits it was his fault.

kb

Spotty, thanks for the predictable bullshit, but a correction on a few things. I am not “old” far from it. For all your pablum spewing and your obvious flaw I always come back to is what the fluck do you care? It obviously causes you great emotional and no doubt physical stress, you care too much, way too much, every time I post (just about) Comical actually. I picture you exploding every time you read a post and anal fissures popping right and left along with your head going boom. What a hard on for misery you are. You and your alter…Go hug a puppy, you will feel better..or go to those safe room places they are promoting these days for fragile Snowflakes. Psycho!

spot1

Yawn, you’re getting more and more boring every time. Can’t hardly stay awake reading the same ol’ boring tripe that you spew. You’re getting to be way to easy to get going. Of course, the way it seems, you get yourself going first.

Biff Baynehouse

No, but his fans are blaming Joey. Btw, former JGR driver, Joey Logano also loosened the #18 lugs on the last pit stop before hopping back in the #22 & whooping their lower backs on the track, hehehe….

Ken

All I can say is, darn it! A Ford somehow made it into the final-4! It was supposed to be an All-Gibbs/All Toyota final until Jimmie screwed it up at Martinsville, and now, a Ford has made it in! I was so looking forward to the season ending (for me, at least) after Talladega, but Joey screwed that up too! Now, this diehard Ford fan will have to have some interest in the Homestead race. Well, at least until one of the Gibbs drivers who didn’t make the final-4 takes him out!

kb

I am sure Nasty Cheatin’ Marty will be employed again to do the bidding of his real boss…Jesus Joe and Toyota.

Biff Baynehouse

Congrats & thanks to Joey Logano & the Team Penske, Shell/Pennzoil, Roush Yates Engines & Ford Performance crews! Yahtzee!
Awesome P8 run by Ryan Blaney in the #21 Wood Brothers Racing & Motorcraft and Quick Lane Racing Ford too. Of which, highlighting one of many “chase” format gimmick flaws. This was another phenomenal run & oustanding effort by this driver & crew, yet this top 10 effort, their 8th of the season, was NEVER mentioned, not ONCE by the NBC sensationalists all day, smh.
And I can not help but delight in the satirical irony but poetic justice of “The Brat” tripping over his own “richard” two years running! Perhaps “The D**k” should be his nickname, yeah? Dear JGR: thank you forgiving this choke artist a new home & releasing Joey Logano! Ha!
Go Team Penske!

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