Last week Joey Logano won at Charlotte Motor Speedway to solidify his spot in the NASCAR Eliminator Round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. He didn’t stop there. He went on to win at Kansas Speedway in order to keep any other competitor from locking himself into that next round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Logano’s trip is not without controversy. In the final laps he was in second place to Matt Kenseth. Kenseth was doing all he could do to keep the faster Logano behind. He took his line up high and then took the low line when he moved down. Joey Logano did what Kenseth did in order to protect his position on the track. Unfortunately, Kenseth was spun out and finished 14th.
There wasn’t too many seasons ago when Logano wouldn’t have done that. Not that he did anything wrong. Kenseth was blocking. Blocking like Tony Stewart bitches about but does the same. Now that I said that, I can also say I don’t blame Matt Kenseth one bit. That is how it’s done, and to some extent Joey Logano learned it and dealt with it.
Roger Penske said, “I saw a couple times Joey got squeezed off of two and I think over in three, and as they went down into one Joey had a fender up inside. He was on the outside of the 20 and he got in the wall. I don’t know if you saw that or not, and then he turned down, Joey did, to take the lower lane and there was another car up there – I think a slower car – and then Kenseth came down. Unfortunately, they got together. I don’t like to see that any more than anybody else does. It’s one of those racing accidents. It’s real tough when it’s in this kind of a situation, but there was no question that Kenseth was doing everything he could to keep Joey from going by.”
Joey Logano said, “Yeah, it’s hard racing. With 15 to go I got to the outside of him down the backstretch, and I had to lift not to wreck both of us at that point, and then kind of got put in the same situation down the front stretch, and then we just happened to go in the same corner and we both went for the same piece of real estate. I wanted that middle lane and so did he, and we collided there. So good hard racing, you know. We ran each other hard. He ran me hard, I ran him hard back. That’s just the type of driver I am, the type of racer I’m going to be, and it just comes to that point sometimes to — it’s unfortunate that those things happen, you know, and it’s just hard to — it doesn’t take anything away from our win today.”
This is racing, racing that NASCAR has given us via the Chase, and I love it. We not only have actually racing for a Championship late in the season but we have defensive racing in order to keep a competitor from making a Championship run. Joey Logano has now taken it to an even higher level in the second year of this knock out format of the Chase. He won two races in a round keeping others from guaranteeing themselves a spot in the next round.
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