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Joey Logano spins Matt Kenseth late, wins Sprint Cup race at Kansas

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Joey Logano kept peeking around Matt Kenseth as the laps ticked away in Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway, the two of them in entirely different situations in the Sprint Cup Chase for the Championship.

Logano had nothing to lose. Kenseth had just about everything.

So when Logano got under Kenseth entering Turn 1 with about five laps left and sent him spinning across the track, it left many eyebrows raised long after the Penske Racing driver pulled away on the final restart to win his second straight race.

"That's good, hard racing," Logano said. "He raced me hard, so I raced him back."

Logano already had his spot in the next round of the Chase after his victory last week at Charlotte, though. Kenseth's team, 42nd at Charlotte and last among the 12 remaining Chase drivers, arrived at Kansas knowing a victory Sunday or next weekend at unpredictable Talladega might be mandatory to reach the next round.

That's why Kenseth did everything possible to block Logano.

"I'm really disappointed," Kenseth said. "I was running the lane he wanted to run in, but my goodness, isn't this racing? Strategically, I think it wasn't the smartest move on his part. He'll probably sleep good tonight. I hope he enjoys that one. It's not what I would have done."

Kenseth led a race-high 153 laps, but his wild ride with a handful to go dropped him to 14th. He's still 12th in points, now 35 behind the top-eight cutoff.

"I'm sure we'll talk about it," Logano said after holding off Denny Hamlin in a green-white-checkered finish. "I just felt like I raced hard. I got fenced twice. I wasn't going to put up with it."

Kenseth has other plans concerning a chat.

"I won't talk to Joey. I don't have anything to talk to him about," Kenseth said. "I'm one of the only guys that I think hasn't been into it yet with Joey, and I've always raced him with a ton of respect. I've actually been one of his biggest fans. I'm certainly not anymore."

Already eliminated from contention, Jimmie Johnson wound up behind Hamlin in third. Hamlin's second-place finish allowed him to climb to second in points.

"It was a very good day," he said. "I wanted to be seventh or better entering this weekend, and obviously second was a good run for us."

When the field pitted under green with 53 laps left, Martin Truex had a tire roll away and served a pass-through penalty, then Kevin Harvick drove off with his fuel can and had to serve a stop-and-go penalty. Both lost a lap. Truex got his lap back and finished 15th. Harvick came across in 16th.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a wheel go loose during a long run and pit under green. He finished 21st, two laps down, and is 11th in points heading to Talladega.

"There's no place I would rather go next week," said Earnhardt, one of the best restrictor-plate drivers in the series and the winner at Talladega in the spring.

Then there's Kenseth, now 35 points out of the final spot.

"I thought we did an excellent job this weekend of controlling the things we could control," Kenseth said. "We did everything as a team to win the race, just couldn't get away enough to keep him from pulling that move on me there at the end."

NHRA: Erica Enders got her eighth Pro Stock victory, breaking the NHRA single-season record for female drivers, at the Fall Nationals in Dallas. Angelle Sampey won seven Pro Stock Motorcycle titles in 2001. Enders extended her points lead to 154 over Greg Anderson with two events left Richie Crampton won in Top Fuel, Del Worsham in Funny Car, and Jerry Savoie in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Sprint Cup points

Through five of 10 races in the Chase for the Championship. After the Oct. 25 race at Talladega, the Chase field will be cut from 12 to eight drivers:

Driver Pts Back

Joey Logano* 3,095—

Denny Hamlin 3,082 13

Kurt Busch 3,077 18

Carl Edwards 3,076 19

Kevin Harvick 3,071 24

Jeff Gordon 3,071 24

Brad Keselowski 3,071 24

Martin Truex 3,070 25

Kyle Busch 3,064 31

Ryan Newman 3,062 33

Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3,039 56

Matt Kenseth 3,035 60

* Clinched advancement

Gearhead stats

Winner's average speed: 135.732 mph

Time of race: 2 hours, 58 minutes, 22 seconds

Margin of victory: 0.491 seconds

Caution flags: Seven for 39 laps

Lead changes: 21 among nine drivers

Lap leaders: Keselowski 1-28; Harvick 29-49; Logano 50-66; Mears 67-68; Edwards 69-71; Kenseth 72-109; Logano 110; Kenseth 111-155; Logano 156; Kenseth 157-177; Logano 178-185; Kenseth 186; Logano 187-194; Kenseth 195-213; Johnson 214; Blaney 215-219; Edwards 220-222; Menard 223-229; Kenseth 230-243; Johnson 244-247; Kenseth 248-262; Logano 263-269

Joey Logano spins Matt Kenseth late, wins Sprint Cup race at Kansas 10/18/15 [Last modified: Sunday, October 18, 2015 9:56pm]
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