Logano earns free pass into Round 3 of Chase with Charlotte win

Joey Logano cashed his ticket to the Eliminator Round with his first career win at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday.

Logano took the lead for the third and final time on Lap 242 in the rain-delayed romp to score his 12th career Sprint Cup win and his fourth in 2015.

“Holy cow guys, awesome, what a car.” Logano said. “Thank you. It feels good now.”

Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin and Kurt Busch rounded out the top-five finishers in the Bank of America 500. 

“We could hang in, but it was extremely hard to pass,” Harvick said. “To come out of here second and be up front all day says a lot about the team. It wasn’t or best day, but it wasn't bad. 

"Obviously you want to win, but with so many guys having trouble you want to capitalize on a top‑5 run, too. It was definitely one of those days that could have been better but could have been a whole lot worse."

“We’re going to keep our head down at Kansas and grind away."

Carl Edwards, Austin Dillon, Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski and Aric Almirola rounded out the top ten.

Drama for several Chase drivers

Several Chasers experienced difficulties on Sunday starting with Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Lap 6 when he tagged the wall after contact with Edwards. Following repairs, he restarted 35th on Lap 82 but slid in fluid on Lap 189 and dropped to 35th — three laps down. He finished the day 28th.

Polesitter Matt Kenseth led 72 laps prior to a costly pit road mistake during the fifth caution on Lap 168 that mired the No. 20 Toyota in traffic. Four laps into the restart, Ryan Newman clipped Kenseth on Lap 177 and destroyed the right front of the No. 20. Newman recovered to finish 15th, but the incident set off a rash of problems that ended with Kenseth in the Turn 3 wall in on Lap 240 — and inevitably in the garage. He finished 42nd. 

Kyle Busch had two run-ins with Kyle Larson. The first as he was exiting the pits during on Lap 170 and he had to check up to avoid hitting the No. 42 Chevy. But the second incident, on Lap 195, was triggered when Larson made a last minute decision to pit and crashed into the nose of the No. 18 Toyota. After massive repairs, Busch restarted 23rd. He fought back for a 20th-place result, one lap off the pace. 

."Good job working on it,” Busch said "Getting us back into it, that's just the way this (crap) goes."

Avoiding Talladega unpredictability

For Logano, the win offers him a pass from a lot of sleepless nights between now and Talladega Superspeedway — the race many competitors consider the wild card race of the Chase.

“It’s hard to sleep knowing Talladega is in the Chase,” Logano said. “To come out of the first round and to secure a spot here and to go onto the next round, we can sleep well and really focus on the next round to make sure we can get through that. 

“I couldn’t be more proud of this team and what they’re doing right now.”  The No. 22 Team Penske win gives Logano a six-point lead over Harvick.

Logano led four times for 227 laps and the race was slowed by nine cautions for 44 laps.

PosDriverTeamCarTime
1 Joey Logano  Team Penske Ford Fusion 3:35:05.0
2 Kevin Harvick  Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet SS +0.703
3 Martin Truex Jr.  Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet SS  
4 Denny Hamlin  Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry  
5 Kurt Busch  Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet SS  
6 Carl Edwards  Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry  
7 Austin Dillon  Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet SS  
8 Jeff Gordon  Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet SS  
9 Brad Keselowski  Team Penske Ford Fusion  
10 Aric Almirola  Richard Petty Motorsports Ford Fusion  
11 Clint Bowyer  Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota Camry  
12 Jamie McMurray  Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet SS  
13 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Roush Fenway Racing Ford Fusion  
14 Ryan Blaney  Wood Brothers Racing Ford Fusion  
15 Ryan Newman  Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet SS  
16 A.J. Allmendinger  JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet SS  
17 Sam Hornish Jr.  Richard Petty Motorsports Ford Fusion +1 lap
18 Casey Mears  Germain Racing Chevrolet SS +1 lap
19 Danica Patrick  Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet SS +1 lap
20 Kyle Busch  Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry +1 lap
21 Kyle Larson  Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet SS +1 lap
22 Trevor Bayne  Roush Fenway Racing Ford Fusion +2 laps
23 Landon Cassill  Hillman Smith Motorsports Chevrolet SS +2 laps
24 Greg Biffle  Roush Fenway Racing Ford Fusion +3 laps
25 Michael Annett  HScott Motorsports Chevrolet SS +3 laps
26 Tony Stewart  Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet SS +3 laps
27 David Gilliland  Front Row Motorsports Ford Fusion +4 laps
28 Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet SS +4 laps
29 Matt DiBenedetto  BK Racing Toyota Camry +4 laps
30 Brett Moffitt  Front Row Motorsports Ford Fusion +4 laps
31 Michael McDowell  Leavine Family Racing Ford Fusion +5 laps
32 Alex Bowman  Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet SS +5 laps
33 J.J. Yeley  BK Racing Toyota Camry +6 laps
34 Alex Kennedy  Circle Sport Chevrolet SS +8 laps
35 Reed Sorenson  Phil Parsons Racing Ford Fusion +9 laps
36 Paul Menard  Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet SS +9 laps
37 David Ragan  Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota Camry +45 laps
38 Cole Whitt  Front Row Motorsports Ford Fusion +72 laps
39 Jimmie Johnson  Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet SS +77 laps
40 Justin Allgaier  HScott Motorsports Chevrolet SS +83 laps
41 Jeb Burton  BK Racing Toyota Camry +90 laps
42 Matt Kenseth  Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry +98 laps
43 Kasey Kahne  Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet SS +276 laps

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Event Charlotte II
Sub-event Sunday race
Track Charlotte Motor Speedway
Article type Race report