NASCAR Talladega: Logano completes sweep of Chase second phase

Joey Logano scored a third-straight NASCAR Sprint Cup victory in a dramatic finish at Talladega, completing a clean sweep of the second part of the 2015 Chase

NASCAR Talladega: Logano completes sweep of Chase second phase

The Penske Ford driver sat second when a second caution period was triggered with just five laps remaining, as smoke billowed from the Chevrolet of Jamie McMurray, who was running inside the top 10.

Greg Biffle had been around 40 seconds clear of the field after staying out as the rest pitted inside the last 20 laps, but headed for fuel after the race went over its scheduled distance under caution.

Logano therefore took over the lead as the field prepared for a single attempt at a green-white-chequered finish, under a new rule introduced for the race.

At the restart, Jimmie Johnson spun onto the infield after contact, and because the caution flag was thrown just before the pack reached the start-finish line, it did not count as an attempt at a restart.

There was then more carnage at the next restart, as a slow Kevin Harvick clipped Ryan Blaney and triggered a pile-up.

This time, Logano had crossed the line to commence a GWC attempt and, after a lengthy deliberation, he was declared the winner.

After recovering from a penalty for having crew over the wall too soon at a pitstop, Dale Earnhardt Jr had been second at the restart, needing to win in order to be one of the eight drivers through to the next round of the Chase.

He was on the inside of Logano but wasn't quite alongside when the caution came, forcing him to settle for second and be knocked out.

Polesitter Jeff Gordon took third ahead of Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards, with all three making the next round.

Behind Paul Menard in sixth was Martin Truex Jr, who spent much of the race a lap down after starting at the rear due to an infringement in qualifying and later losing touch with the pack.

The race's first caution on lap 131 of the planned 188 - when Justin Allgaier's engine let go - gave Truex the free pass, enabling him to climb the order and make the next phase of the Chase.

Denny Hamlin was eliminated after ending up four laps down. He had spells in the lead in the first 20 laps but was plagued by a loose roof flap that required numerous attempts from his pitcrew to be secured.

Also out of contention is Matt Kenseth, classified 26th after being caught up in the final wreck.

It took a while for the final results - and therefore the identity of the final drivers qualifying for the next round - to be made official.

Kurt and Kyle Busch make it through after finishing 10th and 11th respectively, as does Harvick, 15th after triggering the final melee.

Ryan Newman therefore joins Hamlin, Earnhardt and Kenseth in being eliminated, a 12th place finish not enough for him to move forward.

RESULTS - 186 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 3h06m58.s
2 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 0.465s
3 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 0.672s
4 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 0.823s
5 Carl Edwards Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 0.867s
6 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 0.909s
7 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet 1.159s
8 Clint Bowyer Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 1.241s
9 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 1.377s
10 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 1.635s
11 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 2.620s
12 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 3.006s
13 Michael Waltrip Phil Parsons Racing Toyota 3.241s
14 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 3.558s
15 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 3.839s
16 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 4.078s
17 Sam Hornish Jr. Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 4.163s
18 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 4.166s
19 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 4.315s
20 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 4.583s
21 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing Ford 5.037s
22 Cole Whitt Front Row Motorsports Ford 5.124s
23 Bobby Labonte Go FAS Racing Ford 5.594s
24 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 5.962s
25 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 8.808s
26 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 59.086s
27 Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 1m29.829s
28 Michael McDowell Leavine Family Racing Ford 1 Lap
29 Josh Wise Front Row Motorsports Ford 1 Lap
30 David Ragan Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 1 Lap
31 Casey Mears Germain Racing Chevrolet 1 Lap
32 David Gilliland Front Row Motorsports Ford Accident
33 Alex Bowman Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet Accident
34 Landon Cassill Hillman Smith Motorsports Chevrolet 2 Laps
35 Travis Kvapil Circle Sport Chevrolet 3 Laps
36 A.J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 3 Laps
37 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Accident
38 J.J. Yeley BK Racing Toyota 4 Laps
39 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Engine
40 Matt DiBenedetto BK Racing Toyota 19 Laps
41 Timmy Hill Premium Motorsports Ford Electrical
42 Justin Allgaier HScott Motorsports Chevrolet Engine
43 Ryan Blaney Wood Brothers Racing Ford Engine

CHASE STANDINGS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Joey Logano 4000
2 Kevin Harvick 4000
3 Kyle Busch 4000
4 Kurt Busch 4000
5 Carl Edwards 4000
6 Brad Keselowski 4000
7 Martin Truex Jr. 4000
8 Jeff Gordon 4000


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