Joey Logano landed a Championship 4 berth, scoring his third victory of the season in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series event at Kansas Speedway.
Logano led 47 of 267 laps in the Hollywood Casino 400, the first of three races in the Round of 8 elimination round. The driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford netted his third win at the 1.5-mile Kansas City track and the 26th of his Cup Series career.
“Hell, yeah,” Logano told his crew over the No. 22 radio. “Racing for a championship!”
Kevin Harvick led the most laps (85) and claimed second place in the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford, crossing the start-finish line .312 seconds off the lead at the checkered flag. Alex Bowman corraled third place with Brad Keselowski fourth and Kyle Busch finishing out the top five.
The event was the first of three races in the Round of 8, the final elimination bracket that will determine the final four drivers who will contend for the Cup Series crown in the Nov. 8 finale at Phoenix Raceway. Logano automatically advanced to the championship race with Sunday’s victory.
A handful of the eight remaining title-eligible drivers encountered trouble in Sunday’s 400-miler. Faring worst was Kurt Busch, who was sidelined after 197 laps after the engine in his No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet expired. He entered the Round of 8 in eighth place and will exit Kansas with a major points deficit after a 38th-place finish.
Chase Elliott (Stage 1) and Denny Hamlin (Stage 2) divided the stage wins to add one playoff point each to their season-long totals, but each ran into their own pitfalls. Elliott started from the Busch Pole and led 48 laps but battled radio communications issues through most of the event. Hamlin pitted on Lap 180 after a scrape of the Turn 4 retaining wall, losing one lap and falling to 29th place before a final-stage rally. Elliott finished sixth with Hamlin 15th.
THE FRATERNAL ORDER OF THE GO FAST
The unlikely duo of Edie The Las Vegas Super Star and Jeremy The Coach were hooting and hollering as the checkered flag fell in “The Land of Oz” because they both were stowaways inside Sliced Bread’s hot rod Sunday! For their support at Kansas Joey Logano delivered to each player 42 much needed points in the closing weeks of this segment!
THE MOVERS AND THE SHAKERS
As happens from time to time, with the advent of stage racing, the race winner may not produce the highest point totals. That was definitely the case again at Kansas. The driver depositing the most points into a players 3rd segment bucket was Blazingly Bad Brad Keselowski, and receiver of said 47 points was none other than the player who is under investigation for a lurid and illicit potential connections with some unsavory insiders, Amber The Extremely Lucky Cheddar Head. Even though there could be some potentially questionable connections that could be uncovered, I am not at liberty to discuss those particulars of the pending investigation at this time. All I can mention is there is a possible charge of racketeering (RICO Act) that could be levied pending empaneling a grand jury. Stay tuned for more info as it is leaked to me!
Meanwhile, the former points leader, Bernie The Bay Area Bandit, pulls another good Sunday out of thin air, remains in the 3rd segment title contention, and pockets 29 points into her bucket. La Bandita was stalking and riding shotgun with the young kid from Charlotte driving Mr. H’s No. 24 Chevy, William Byron.
Not to be outdone, Jim, aka Chiefy and Carlton The Doorman were banding together to cheer on the soon-to-be-unemployed Jones Kid, Erik. Both players were rewarded with 23 points for the afternoon.
Rounding out the top five scorers is Linda The Cookie Mom. Cookie Mom was truly hoping that Clint Bowyer could notch a home track victory in his last attempt at Kansas. That would have been a really cool storybook ending to his wild and crazy career. However, there was not a yellow brick road leading to Victory Lane today for Bowyer. However, she was able to add 12 points to her totals.
Nine out of the eleven players changed zip codes today. The only two players to remain in their previous locales are Linda The Cookie Mom and Dan The Numbers Cruncher. (More on that later in the post!)
The largest mover of the week is Carole, aka Rudy. Rudy is one of the four players who was hanging out with Kurt Busch this week and paid a dire price for that association. Rudy dropped like a boiling hot potato five (5) positions to now rest in 7th place!
Conversely, Edie The Las Vegas Super Star rocketed up the scoring pylon like she was heading to the Space Station! The Vegas Super Star went from languishing near the entrance of The Outhouse to land in 5th place this week! Lookout world!
Likewise, both Amber The Extremely Lucky Cheddar Head and Jeremy The Coach had a really great Sunday! Both players climbed up the leaderboard three (3) spots to now own 1st and 3rd places, respectively.
Lastly, five players moved next door when the checkered flag waved at Kansas. Bernie The Bay Area Bandit, Jim, aka Chiefy, Carlton The Doorman, Snoopy Dawn, as well as Leon Your Benevolent and Most Humble Sheriff all lost one position this week, sitting now in 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, and 9th, places respectively.
STRAIGHT FROM THE CRAPPER
All four players who were rooting loud and proud for the driver formally known as The Outlaw, Kurt Busch, are sharing The Crappiest Pick of The Week award this week. Those four players include Leon Your Most Humble Sheriff, Snoopy Dawn, Carole, aka Rudy, as well as Dan The Numbers Dude could only must 3 microscopic points. This may be the first time that we celebrate the ineptitude of four players simultaneously in one week!
Once again our resident accountant, Dan The Numbers Cruncher, gets another all expense paid one week vacation in the friendly confines of The Outhouse! But it appears that Linda The Cookie Mom is making a last ditch effort to evict him before the segment ends!
For those players who compose the last two paragraphs of this post (straight from the crapper) all I can say is that if you click your heals together and wish really hard, there is bound to be something better somewhere over the rainbow!
Next week it is on to Texas Motor Speedway.
TIL NEXT TIME, PULL YOUR BELTS TIGHT AND LET’S GO RACIN’!