"It makes Talladega a lot easier, that is for sure," Logano said.
"To know we are onto the next round, we can focus on a few more
races coming up, and we will keep trying to capitalize on what we
Larson finished second, Kyle Busch was third, Martin Truex Jr.
fourth and Carl Edwards rounded out the top-five.
Logano claimed the second spot at the start of the race and was a
mainstay at or near the front throughout the event. He routinely
lost positions on pit road during cautions with four tire pit stops
as some of his fellow-competitors would take only two. But when the
race would return to green, he would work his way back up to the
"We had such a fast Shell Pennzoil Ford, again. It is so much fun to
race these cars lately. Everyone at Team Penske has given me great
stuff to work with," Logano said. "I felt we had a good car all
weekend, but I wasn't 100 percent sure but once that top opened up,
to just took off and there were a couple cars that could run up
there, and it was me and the 42 (Larson) that were the fastest up
Logano restarted fourth on four tires after a lap 229 caution and
was up to second by the time another yellow flag waved soon after.
He then took the lead from Ryan Newman on the restart that followed
and remained in the top spot the rest of the way.
Busch got up to second on the final restart but then lost that
position to Larson. Larson then closed on Logano and the lead, but
as the laps wound down, Logano was able to put some distance on his
"I don't know if he was better than us, and I don't know if we were
better than him," Larson said. "I thought we were pretty equal and
were running about the same laps there on the last run."
Kansas Speedway was unkind to several drivers still a part of the
Chase for the Sprint Cup, especially those from Hendrick
Motorsports. After starting in the back, Jimmie Johnson was caught
up in an incident that brought out the third caution of the race on
lap 85. He sustained enough damage to his car to spend a significant
amount of time in the garage.
"Just got tagged in the left-rear," Johnson said. "I was cruising
along the top, thought everything was fine, and then found myself
sideways down the back straightaway."
Johnson was joined in the garage by Hendrick Motorsports teammate
Dale Earnhardt Jr. on lap 122 after a right-front tire issue while
leading the race sent Earnhardt into the wall and then to the
After returning to the track nearly 60 laps down, Earnhardt reported
running on only seven cylinders.
A third Hendrick driver, Kasey Kahne, saw the yellow flag fly just a
lap after making a green-flag pit stop on lap 228. To add insult to
injury, on the restart that followed, Kahne hit the wall like his
teammates before him.
[to top of second column]
Their teammate Jeff Gordon made contact with Jamie McMurray while
racing near the front earlier in the race. As a result, Gordon lost
several positions but was able to continue on the track and
recovered, moving back toward the front.
Team Penske driver Brad Keselowski also hit the wall and spent
significant time in the garage, bringing out the fifth caution of
the race on lap 160.
"We blew the right-front tire," Keselowski said. "I am not sure why.
We didn't have an aggressive setup or anything; we just blew the
Pole sitter and Chaser Kevin Harvick ran up front for much of the
race, as did McMurray. Harvick suffered a tire issue that
necessitated a green-flag pit stop just before the yellow flag waved
on lap 229. McMurray fell off the pace and hit pit road because of
an engine issue suffered while running eighth in the late laps.
Newman finished sixth, Denny Hamlin was seventh, Austin Dillon
eighth, Paul Menard ninth and Brian Vickers 10th.
NOTES: Chase for the Sprint Cup drivers Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick
finished first and second in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at
Kansas on Saturday. ... Kevin Harvick's pole-winning lap was a track
qualifying record and resulting in his Sprint Cup Series leading
eighth pole of the season and his third-straight at Kansas Speedway.
... Reigning and six-time Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson
started farthest back of any driver still in the Chase, starting
32nd after spinning in qualifying on Friday. ... Jeff Gordon headed
into the Hollywood Casino 400 as the winningest driver at Kansas
Speedway with three victories at the track, including a victory in
the most recent race at the track in May. ... The two races
remaining in the Contender round of the Chase are the Oct. 11 race
at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Oct. 19 race at Talladega (Ala.)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.