Logano spins Kenseth with 7 laps left, goes on to win at Kansas

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Joey Logano pushed Matt Kenseth out of the way with seven laps remaining and then sailed on to his second consecutive win in Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.

Logano, who already is qualified for Round 3 of the Chase after last week’s race at Charlotte, clipped the left rear of Kenseth’s car after the latter attempted to block Logano.

Kenseth told NBC: “I pulled up in front of him and he just lifted my tires off the ground and wrecked me. I won’t talk to Joey. I don’t have anything to talk to him about really. … I’ve always raced him with a ton of respect and have been one of his biggest fans. I’m certainly not anymore.”

Logano defended his actions: “I felt like I got pinched twice on the straightaways. He raced me hard and I raced him hard back. If I get raced like that, I’ll race the same way.”

Kenseth led the most laps (153) and finished 14th.

MORE: Race results

MORE: Points standings

The scheduled 267-lap race was extended to 269 laps due to a green-white-checker finish brought about by the caution for Kenseth’s spin.

It was Logano’s 13th career Sprint Cup win and his second consecutive fall Chase victory at Kansas.

Denny Hamlin finished second, followed by Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch.

 

HOW LOGANO WON: Kenseth blocked Logano and the latter wasn’t going to let it happen again. The contact caused Kenseth to spin and put Logano into the lead.

WHO ELSE HAD A GOOD DAY: Despite what happened to Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing had yet another strong run with its other three drivers in the top eight: Denny Hamlin (second), Kyle Buch (fifth) and Carl Edwards (eighth). … Hendrick Motorsports also had a strong day – with the exception of Dale Earnhardt Jr., who finished 21st. Jimmie Johnson, who was eliminated from the Chase after the first round, finished third. New father Kasey Kahne was fourth, and Jeff Gordon finished 10th. … Ryan Blaney finished seventh.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Clint Bowyer wrecked his Toyota on Lap 170. Bowyer finished 40th. … Dale Earnhardt Jr. finds himself in a must-win situation next Sunday at Talladega after finishing 21st. … Tony Stewart and Kyle Larson both spun in the first half of the race. Stewart finished 35th, six laps down, while Larson was 29th, four laps down. … Austin Dillon was running as high as fifth when he lost a right front tire on Lap 155, just past the halfway mark. Dillon suffered significant damage to the right side of his car after it hit the wall, leading to a 41st-place finish.

NOTABLE: AJ Allmendinger and Trevor Bayne had a scrum on Lap 108. Allmendinger told his team on the radio that Bayne forced him into the wall, so Allmendinger retaliated with a number of bumps into the rear end of Bayne’s car. … Kevin Harvick lost his bid to win when the gas can fell out of his pit stall after Harvick pulled away, leading to a stop-and-go penalty that caused him to lose at least one lap. When he came to serve his penalty, the shifter handle in his car broke, forcing him to shift manually for the remainder of the race. Harvick finished 16th. … Martin Truex Jr. is eighth in the standings, just six points ahead of Kyle Busch, who is one of four drivers below the Chase cut-off line heading to Talladega.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I got some air, it bit and turned me. I probably should have just spun to the inside, but I thought I could save it. Guess what? I did not save it. It was a hard hit. It was a wake-up call.” – Clint Bowyer after his crash.

WHAT’S NEXT: The most unpredictable race of the Chase is on tap next Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway in the CampingWorld.com 500. This is the final race of Round 2 of the Chase; the four lowest-ranked drivers afterward will be eliminated from further advancement in the Chase.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

My Home Tracks: New Mexico’s the Land of Enchantment and home of Cardinal Speedway

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The state of New Mexico is known more for IndyCar racing, with the Unser family being the state’s favorite sons.

Al Unser won four Indianapolis 500s, brother Bobby three and Al’s son Al Jr. a two-time winner (this weekend’s 500 marks the 25th anniversary of Little Al’s second 500 triumph).

But there’s a strong grassroots racing scene in the Land of Enchantment, particularly in the far southeast corner of the state at Cardinal Speedway, a half-mile dirt track in the little town of Eunice.

NASCAR America continues its My Home Track series of 50 states in 50 shows.

Wednesday, we visit New York state.

2018 NASCAR schedule changes: EVP Steve O’Donnell breaks it down (video)

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On Tuesday’s edition of NASCAR America, NASCAR executive vice president Steve O’Donnell joined us to discuss the NASCAR Cup schedule changes in 2018, including running a road race at Charlotte and having Indianapolis be the final race before the playoffs.

“I’m real excited about these changes,” said O’Donnell, who cited unprecedented cooperation between NASCAR, its teams, drivers and sponsors to reach agreement on the schedule changes.

Among the key changes: Las Vegas will kick off the 10-race playoffs in 2018 (Chicagoland Speedway, which will have hosted the last seven playoff openers, will return to its more traditional race date in early July/late June and serve as a run-up to the Coke Zero 400 in Daytona.

Several other changes include:

  • The fall playoff race at Charlotte will move up a couple weeks in the schedule and also incorporate competition on both the infield road course and part of the speedway itself.
  • After 14 years as the deciding race to qualify for the NASCAR Cup playoffs, Richmond International Raceway will now become the second race of the playoffs.
  • Indianapolis Motor Speedway will see it’s Brickyard 400 go from late July to become the final qualifying race for the playoffs in early September.

Catch up on all the changes in the above video.

Tony Stewart pulled over by state trooper, but it’s not for speeding

Photo courtesy Damein Cunningham Twitter account
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Retired NASCAR Cup driver and team co-owner Tony Stewart was stopped by an Illinois State Trooper over the weekend near DeKalb, Ill., about 90 minutes west of Chicago.

But before you think Stewart was stopped for speeding by Trooper Damein Cunningham, he wasn’t.

Rather, Cunningham pulled Stewart over for improper lane usage, although exactly what the infraction was is unclear.

After getting a verbal warning, Stewart gladly posed with Cunningham for a selfie, which the trooper promptly tweeted out.

“Just pulled over NASCAR LEGEND Tony Stewart on I-88 in DeKalb, IL, what you think I got him for? #NASCAR #ISP”

But according to the Chicago Tribune, Cunningham’s bosses apparently didn’t have a sense of humor about the incident or realize the good PR it meant for the Illinois State Police.

That, or they’re not Stewart or NASCAR fans. They ordered Cunningham to delete the tweet, which he did.

It’s unclear what Stewart, who was stopped on his 46th birthday, was doing in the Land of Lincoln.

But his luck went from bad to worse a few hours later. According to USA Today, Stewart and others were stuck in an elevator in a Madison, Wisconsin hotel for about 20 minutes before being rescued by firefighters.

We can just imagine what the elevator riders talked about while trapped.

How much do you want to bet Stewart said, “Man, do I have a story about a cop that I have to tell you.”

Cunningham then posted another tweet on Sunday after attending church services.

 

Follow @JerryBonkowski

All-Star Race will remain at Charlotte in 2018

Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images
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NASCAR confirmed that the All-Star Race will be held again at Charlotte Motor Speedway despite more of a push from competitors and others to move the event.

Criticism was raised after last weekend’s 70-lap event featured only three lead changes. Kyle Busch took the lead on the restart to begin the final 10-lap stage and went on to win. It marked the fourth time in the last five years the All-Star winner led every lap in the final stage. In 12 All-Star Races at Charlotte since the track was repaved, there have been two lead changes in the final five laps.

Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations, was clear in a call with reporters Tuesday that the All-Star Race is set for Charlotte.

“We’ve finished our discussions for ’18,” he said. ” We’ll begin looking at ’19 and beyond in the near future.”

The All-Star Race debuted at Charlotte in 1985, moved to Atlanta in 1986 and returned to Charlotte the following year. It has been held at Charlotte ever since.

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