Sunday, November 19, 2017
Sports

Joey Logano takes Sprint Cup victory at Bristol

RECOMMENDED READING


BRISTOL, Tenn. — Joey Logano surged past Matt Kenseth with 44 laps to go Saturday night and won at Bristol Motor Speedway for the first time in his Sprint Cup career, foiling Kenseth's gambling attempt to secure a spot in NASCAR's playoffs.

Logano became the fifth driver this season to win three times, joining the Hendrick Motorsports trio of Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr., and his Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski, who finished second in the Irwin Tools Night Race.

"I woke up this morning and I wasn't sure if we had a winning car or not," Logano, who led 76 of 500 laps, told ESPN. "(Crew chief) Todd Gordon, he's a good salesman, he really sold me on thinking that we had a winning car."

Said Keselowski, "(In the final laps) we were about equal to Joey. He just had a little track position on me."

Kenseth stayed on the track as most of the field pitted under caution with 67 laps to go, picking track position and fresh air over new tires. It seemed the strategy could work, especially if he could stay in the high racing groove that gave drivers decidedly more speed off the corners.

But the Penske Racing teammates quickly proved the strategy faulty.

"I just knew that clean air was going to be worth more than new tires," Kenseth said after finishing third. He said he also felt his car wasn't as strong as he liked on fresh tires. "They cleared everybody way too fast."

He still remains in great position to make the playoffs, standing fifth in points and first among nonwinners.

But a victory would have sealed his spot in the 10-race Chase for the Championship; there are two races left before the Chase field is set.

Johnson, slowed early by two pit speeding penalties, rallied to finish fourth, and Kurt Busch was fifth.

Gordon remained the points leader despite a 16th-place run. He's 27 points clear of second-place Earnhardt and 42 up on No. 3 Keselowski.

With 100 laps to go, it looked like the series might get its 13th winner of 2014.

Jamie McMurray, who led a race-best 148 laps, was leading, followed by Kenseth, and Ryan Newman was ninth. As the final laps clicked off, though, McMurray faded to eighth, and Newman, once as high as seventh, dropped to 13th.

McMurray pitted with 67 laps to go but did not second-guess the decision.

"I see that Matt (Kenseth) wasn't able to win staying out," McMurray said. "I don't know what happened. Our car got really tight with about 100 laps to go. We freed it up in the last pit stop, and it didn't really help."

Kasey Kahne, another driver desperate for a victory or a surge in points, led 40 laps. But he pitted under green with a loose wheel and went two laps down. He wound up 35th.

It was another rough night for Tampa's Aric Almirola, who has had six of those in a row since his first career victory, in the Coke Zero 400 on July 6 at Daytona, secured his Chase spot.

Almirola, who started 42nd after crashing in qualifying, completed just 37 laps before crashing. He wound up completing 123 laps to finish 41st. "What an amazing race car these guys brought me — two of them — and to go out like that is certainly disappointing. But that's racing at Bristol," he said. "You get caught up in other people's wrecks."

Comments
Figures from FSU case enter latest allegation against Jameis Winston

Figures from FSU case enter latest allegation against Jameis Winston

MIAMI GARDENS — The case of Jameis Winston and a female Uber driver in Arizona took more twists Sunday, with Winston getting some level of corroboration, and his unnamed accuser retaining a familiar, high-profile attorney.Eagles cornerback Ronald Dar...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Resilient Saints rally, win eighth straight

Resilient Saints rally, win eighth straight

NEW ORLEANS — Alvin Kamara climbed into the Superdome stands, stood in the first row with his arms folded and soaked in the adulation of fans who had stuck around after all had looked lost. Kamara’s celebration of his 18-yard touchdown reception had ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Jones: Even in victory, dread hangs over the Bucs

Jones: Even in victory, dread hangs over the Bucs

MIAMI GARDENS — A dark cloud is hanging over this football team.It’s a heaviness. A dread. A dread for what might have happened in the past and what might happen in the future.And that makes it hard for fans to truly enjoy what happened Sunday.The Bu...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs-Dolphins journal: Patrick Murray on winning kick: ‘I knew I was going to make it’

Bucs-Dolphins journal: Patrick Murray on winning kick: ‘I knew I was going to make it’

MIAMI GARDENS — Patrick Murray has been so consistent since taking over as the Bucs’ kicker that he had no doubt when called upon to make a go-ahead field goal with four seconds left in Sunday’s win.Ryan Fitzpatrick completed three passes for 55 yard...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs-Dolphins report card: Grading Tampa Bay’s 30-20 victory

Bucs-Dolphins report card: Grading Tampa Bay’s 30-20 victory

MIAMI GARDENS — That was one ugly football game.The Bucs had a bad game. The Dolphins had a really bad game. And who had the worst game of all? The officials.In fact, the best part of Sunday’s game was before the game even started, thanks to a stirri...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs-Dolphins: How Ryan Fitzpatrick steadied Tampa Bay

Bucs-Dolphins: How Ryan Fitzpatrick steadied Tampa Bay

MIAMI GARDENS — For chaos, there was Jameis Winston missing his second game with a shoulder injury and an NFL investigation swirling around him.For calamity, there was the Bucs forcing four of their five turnovers in the first half and building a two...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bucs-Dolphins:  How rookies like O.J. Howard carried the day

Bucs-Dolphins: How rookies like O.J. Howard carried the day

MIAMI GARDENS — From start to finish, the Bucs’ wobbly 30-20 win over the Dolphins on Sunday was made possible by game-changing plays made by rookies.The Bucs’ top three picks in this year’s draft — tight end O.J. Howard, safety Justin Evans and rece...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Ariya Jutanugarn rallies past Lexi Thompson to win LPGA’s Tour Championship

Ariya Jutanugarn rallies past Lexi Thompson to win LPGA’s Tour Championship

NAPLES — Lexi Thompson never had a putt so short that was potentially worth so much. She had a one-shot lead when she settled over a 2-foot par putt on the final hole Sunday at the Tour Championship. A victory would be worth $500,000 in prize money ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bucs-Dolphins: Social media reactions to Tampa Bay’s 30-20 victory

Bucs-Dolphins: Social media reactions to Tampa Bay’s 30-20 victory

The Bucs won their second straight and snapped a six-game road losing streak Sunday. And they did it after blowing a 13-point lead.Here’s a sampling of reactions on social media to Tampa Bay’s 30-20 win over the Dolphins in Miami Gardens:...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning’s rare loss produces reality check

Lightning’s rare loss produces reality check

TAMPA — Jon Cooper stood at the podium late Saturday night to address the media after a regulation loss for only the third time this season."Let’s be honest," he said, "we’ve had one hell of a start."The loss, he added, was frustrating, even when you...
Updated: 3 hours ago