BRISTOL, Tenn. — Joey Logano spoiled what was expected to be a rout by Joe Gibbs Racing at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Logano won the Bristol night race for the second straight year, grabbing the lead on the final restart in Saturday's Irwin Tools Night Race when he zipped past Team Penske teammate Brad Keselowski. He had to hold off a handful of challenges from Kevin Harvick but ultimately cruised to his third win of the year.
Logano has won on a superspeedway in the Daytona 500, on the road course at Watkins Glen and now Bristol's short track. He has won twice this month as he readies for NASCAR's Sprint Cup Chase for the Championship.
There are two more races before the playoffs begin.
"We are hitting it at the right time, that's for sure," Logano said. "I feel like we are right where we need to be. I can't wait for the Chase to start."
Logano led 176 of 500 laps on the 0.533-mile bullring, second only to JGR driver Kyle Busch, who led a race-high 192 laps.
Harvick finished second for the 10th time this season. The reigning Cup champion has a career-best 17 top-five finishes this year and had his 250th career top-10 finish in 526 starts.
"Obviously, you want to win races, but we're in position and feel like we can get that momentum swing at any point," Harvick said. "Just really excited to be able to run like this at Bristol."
Many believed JGR would pick up its 10th win of the season, particularly after Denny Hamlin, Busch and Carl Edwards swept the top three spots in qualifying. Then Busch won Friday night's Xfinity series race.
Though Busch dominated early, he had faded a bit as the laps clicked off. Then he was hit with a speeding penalty on the final round of pit stops and finished eighth. Edwards led 74 laps but had a tire go flat when he was out front and it cost him two laps.
He finished seventh.
Matt Kenseth, the winner for JGR in the spring race at the track, had no chance to sweep the season. An engine issue 177 laps into the race ended his night. He finished 42nd and said he had no warning that his engine was faulty.
"They never warn you, it would be cool if they would send you a text or something," Kenseth said. "It broke in the middle of the straightaway — it had that hop and that noise that it makes when you know you dropped a valve."
That left Hamlin to carry the banner for JGR. He finished a team-best third but said he just didn't have the same speed as Logano and Harvick.
Clint Bowyer sustained minor damage in a wreck involving Michael Waltrip Racing teammate David Ragan but rallied to finish fifth and stayed in the 16th and last Chase spot.