Joey Logano was robbed of a shot at the title after a major pit road debacle.
Joey Logano was in the hunt for the title throughout most of the day and looked poised to battle for the crown, but when it was all said and done, he was left standing next to his car with tears in his eyes as the No. 4 did burnouts behind him.
We're all trying really hard, we're all trying to go as fast as we can. ... Obviously our pit crew has done a good job this year. I'm not putting them down over one thing. It just was bad timing on one of them.
Logano on pit road mistake
Kevin Harvick flat-out beat Ryan Newman and Denny Hamlin (who, to be fair, were on older tires), but Logano never even got the chance to throw down in the closing laps. The 11th caution proved to be the most critical moment of the race. The strategies utilized would eventually decide who would be crowned champion.
Hamlin stayed out, Newman took two, Harvick took four, and Logano sat motionless as the field roared by, falling off the jack and sending him to the rear of the field. He never recovered (and didn't have much time to do so), finishing 16th.
"Obviously when you're pushing hard to try to make 11-second pit stops or better, mistakes happen," Logano said in defense of his crew. "We can't afford to have a mistake like that. We're all trying really hard, we're all trying to go as fast as we can. It's like everyone running (along) the wall out there going as fast as you can."
"Sometimes you make a mistake, and we knew coming into this race you can't afford to make one mistake and put yourself behind. We just made a couple tonight which put us back. Obviously our pit crew has done a good job this year. I'm not putting them down over one thing. It just was bad timing on one of them."
Never gave up
In regards to what he felt as he watched the entire pack of cars race past him on pit road, Logano said, "I didn't have good emotions in the car. I was pretty pissed off, I guess, if that's an emotion. But you still -- there's still a sign of hope. You know your chances went down a lot. I didn't say it was over. We didn't give up. I just think at that point, try to pass as many cars as you can, try to work your way back up there and really hope those guys wreck each other, and that's really all I had going for me at that point."
Logano is officially scored as finishing the season fourth in points, 15 back of the champion.