Joey Logano earns clutch win in the NASCAR Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 on Sunday, October 18th at Kansas Speedway.
One final round remains for NASCAR Cup Series teams to move on to the championship race. Beginning this past Sunday at Kansas Speedway, playoff competitors were in for a 400-mile battle. A victory here gives the winning team two more races to earn stage points, and those points will give them an edge in the championship race. With some big contenders already knocked out, some teams are trying to take advantage and advance to the championship for the first time.
The First Stage
Chase Elliott is on the pole to begin Sunday’s race. Elliott paces the field up to the competition caution on lap 26. All cars came down pit road for service then, William Byron wins the race off pit road.
Kevin Harvick has a strong restart and passes Byron quickly. Harvick takes control, but Chase Elliott stays with him. On lap 63, Elliott makes the pass for the lead on Harvick. Elliott increases his lead on the field while Harvick continues to fall back. Elliott does not look back and wins the first stage.
The Second Stage
Denny Hamlin takes the lead to begin the next stage. He has an early battle for the top spot with Ryan Blaney and retakes the lead right away.
With Hamlin in front, teams began to come down pit road under the green flag. Hamlin cycles through to retain his lead. With 16 laps remaining in the stage, Matt Kenseth spins on the front stretch to bring out the first driver caution of the afternoon.
Several teams return to pit road, but Hamlin and five other drivers stay out. The move pays off as Hamlin wins the second stage.
Logano Earns Clutch Win in the Third Stage
Kyle Busch paces the field to the green flag in the final stage, but Kevin Harvick makes a quick pass for the lead. Shortly after the restart, Kurt Busch brings out another caution when his engine expires. Harvick continues to lead after the quick caution.
Shortly after the restart, another yellow flag waves for another caution. This time it is Tyler Reddick bringing out the caution after he hit the wall. Joey Logano cycles into the lead after winning the race off pit road.
The race enters a 40-lap sprint to the finish with Logano leading. Kevin Harvick stays right on Logano’s bumper the whole time. However, Logano fights off every run that Harvick has. Joey Logano wins the Hollywood Casino 400 for his third victory of the season.
This is a big-time win for Joey Logano. Coming into the race he sat outside the cutline, and now he is looking at another chance to win a championship.
Now Alex Bowman, Martin Truex Jr., and Kurt Busch are looking at must-win scenarios if they wish to compete for the title. Chase Elliott sits eight points back from the cutline. A worst-case scenario for him is a Brad Keselowski win next week at Texas Motor Speedway. However, the best way to solidify the chance to advance is to earn a win. This is how most playoff teams are expecting to move on to the Championship 4 race at Phoenix in November.