Joey Logano Holds Off Kevin Harvick to Win at Kansas and Punch his Ticket to the Final 4

Jamie Squire / Getty Images

KANSAS CITY, KS – RIS – Joey Logano held off the season’s biggest winner to win the NASCAR Cup playoff race at Kansas Speedway on Sunday. Logano used every bit of the track Sunday to hold off the winningest driver this season, Logano took the checkered flag on a cold, blustery Sunday to secure a spot in the championship round of the playoffs. Harvick was followed across by Alex Bowman and Brad Keselowski as postseason contenders swept the top four spots in the opener of the round of eight.

“It’s on your mind every lap. You come into this race knowing if you win this thing you have an amazing advantage,” said Logano, who experienced the same perk on his way to the 2018 title. “I can’t believe it, especially the way the beginning of the race was going, running back there around 10th and not scoring any stage points.”

Harvick, who already has won nine times this season, kept pulling up to Logano’s bumper after the final restart for a caution brought out by Tyler Reddick. But he simply couldn’t make a pass stick as Logano moved all over the track to block him while taking advantage of lapped traffic that kept Harvick from making a clear run.

“We just needed to get off pit road first. It came down to controlling that restart,” Harvick said. “All our guys did a great job. We had a fast car. We moved all over the track. We weren’t the best behind other cars, but I had a lot of options.”

It was the third win this season for Logano, but the first since the series was shut down in March over corona virus precautions became the rule for NASCAR. 

"You gotta want it man. What an amazing team this Shell Pennzoil team is. I am worn out. I spent more time in the mirror than I did in the windshield there," an exuberant but exhausted Logano said after climbing out of his car. "The 4 (Harvick) was fast, real fast, especially down the straightaways. I thought if I could hold him off the first 15 laps that I would have a chance.

Kyle Busch was fifth and Chase Elliott, who won the opening stage, wound up sixth after dealing with radio problems that at one point caused him to mistakenly pit. Elliott tried using a backup radio and even resorted to hand signs with his team on pit road to convey what he wanted done with the car.

Ryan Blaney, William Byron, playoff driver Martin Truex Jr. and Christopher Bell rounded out the top 10. Kansas native Clint Bowyer, who is retiring after the season and taking a spot in the Fox Sports commentary booth, was competitive early but wound up finishing 26th in what could be his final race at his home track.

Harvick’s second-place run was good for his own championship hopes. He now has a 41-point cushion over the cut line with two races left before the championship, while Denny Hamlin is 20 points above it after a mistake caused him to brush the wall and he wound up 15th. Keselowski is eight points above Elliott, the first driver below the cut line.

Hamlin managed to hold off the 2014 series champion to win his 10th stage of the season.

Meanwhile, Truex and Kurt Busch spent the day trying to overcome mistakes.

 Truex’s team failed inspection twice before finally making it through, but that sent his No. 19 Toyota to the back of the field for the start. He quickly worked his way into the top 10, where he spent much of the rest of the afternoon, but in the end, it was not so good.

The Texas Motor Speedway is next for the Cup drivers on Sunday, March 25th.  Harvick has won four of the last six races at the 1.5-mile track in Fort Worth.  In the other races, he has finished third and fourth. He will be one to watch next week along with all the playoff drivers.

Unofficial Results, Hollywood Casino 400, Kansas Speedway

Fin, Str, Driver, Car, Laps, St1, St2, Tms, Laps, Playoff Pts, Pts, Status
1) 2, Joey Logano (P), No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, 267, 9, , 2, 47, 5, 42, Running
2) 4, Kevin Harvick (P), No. 4 Jimmy John's Ford, 267, 7, 2, 3, 85, , 48, Running
3) 6, Alex Bowman (P), No. 88 ChevyGoods.com/Truck Hero Chevrolet, 267, 6, 4, , , , 46, Running
4) 8, Brad Keselowski (P), No. 2 Discount Tire Ford, 267, 2, 6, 1, 6, , 47, Running
5) 20, Kyle Busch, No. 18 M&M's Halloween Toyota, 267, 10, , 1, 4, , 33, Running
6) 1, Chase Elliott (P), No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, 267, 1, 5, 3, 48, 1, 47, Running
7) 9, Ryan Blaney, No. 12 Menards/Moen Ford, 267, 4, 3, , , , 45, Running
8) 10, William Byron, No. 24 Hendrickcars.com Chevrolet, 267, , , 1, 3, , 29, Running
9) 5, Martin Truex Jr. (P), No. 19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota, 267, 8, 8, , , , 34, Running
10) 22, Christopher Bell #, No. 95 Germania Insurance Toyota, 267, , , , , , 27, Running
11) 17, Austin Dillon, No. 3 American Ethanol Chevrolet, 267, , , , , , 26, Running
12) 18, Matt DiBenedetto, No. 21 Menards/Wrangler Ford, 267, , 7, 1, 12, , 29, Running
13) 16, Aric Almirola, No. 10 Smithfield Ford, 267, , , , , , 24, Running
14) 13, Cole Custer #, No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford, 267, , , , , , 23, Running
15) 7, Denny Hamlin (P), No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota, 267, 3, 1, 3, 58, 1, 40, Running
16) 23, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 47 NOS Energy Drink Chevrolet, 267, , , , , , 21, Running
17) 32, John Hunter Nemechek #, No. 38 Speedy Cash Ford, 267, , , , , , 20, Running
18) 24, Bubba Wallace, No. 43 Cash App Chevrolet, 267, , , , , , 19, Running
19) 26, Michael McDowell, No. 34 Love's Travel Stops Ford, 267, , , , , , 18, Running
20) 11, Erik Jones, No. 20 Reser's Fine Foods Toyota, 267, 5, , , , , 23, Running
21) 21, Chris Buescher, No. 17 Fastenal Ford, 267, , , , , , 16, Running
22) 28, Ryan Newman, No. 6 Hy-Vee Ford, 267, , , 1, 1, , 15, Running
23) 29, Corey LaJoie, No. 32 Plan B Sales Foundation Ford, 267, , , 1, 1, , 14, Running
24) 25, Ty Dillon, No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet, 266, , , , , , 13, Running
25) 15, Tyler Reddick #, No. 8 Caterpillar Chevrolet, 266, , , , , , 12, Running
26) 12, Clint Bowyer, No. 14 DEKALB Ford, 266, , 10, , , , 12, Running
27) 27, * Daniel Suarez, No. 96 GF Machining Solutions Toyota, 265, , , , , , 10, Running
28) 35, Brennan Poole #, No. 15 THRIV5 Chevrolet, 263, , , , , , 9, Running
29) 19, Ryan Preece, No. 37 Kroger Chevrolet, 262, , , , , , 8, Running
30) 34, JJ Yeley(i), No. 27 UBC Foundation Chevrolet, 261, , , , , , 0, Running
31) 14, Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Ally Chevrolet, 261, , , , , , 6, Running
32) 33, James Davison, No. 53 Playseat Ford, 258, , , , , , 5, Running
33) 31, Quin Houff #, No. 00 CREEK Enterprises Inc. Chevrolet, 258, , , , , , 4, Running
34) 37, * Timmy Hill(i), No. 66 CrashClaimsR.US Toyota, 256, , , , , , 0, Running
35) 39, * Josh Bilicki(i), No. 7 Insurance King Chevrolet, 254, , , , , , 0, Running
36) 36, Reed Sorenson, No. 77 Marwin Sports Chevrolet, 250, , , , , , 1, Running
37) 38, Joey Gase(i), No. 51 Page Construction Ford, 228, , , , , , 0, Running
38) 3, Kurt Busch (P), No. 1 Monster Energy Chevrolet, 197, , 9, 1, 2, , 3, Engine
39) 40, * Chad Finchum(i), No. 49 LasVegas.net Toyota, 154, , , , , , 0, Transmission
40) 30, Matt Kenseth, No. 42 AdventHealth Chevrolet, 144, , , , , , 1, Accident
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series, (#) Rookie, (P) Playoffs qualified

Time of Race: 2 hr, 53 min, 43 sec
Race Length: 267 laps, 400.5 miles
Average Speed: 138.329 mph
Margin of Victory: .312 sec

Stage 1 Top 10: 9, 2, 11, 12, 20, 88, 4, 19, 22, 18

Stage 2 Top 10: 11, 4, 12, 88, 9, 2, 21, 19, 1, 14

Comments: Joey Logano won the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway, his 26th victory in the NASCAR Cup Series.

Prior to the start, the following vehicle(s) dropped to the rear of the field under penalty for the reasons indicated: Nos. 19, 53 (multiple inspection failures).

Caution Flags: 6 for 31 laps;
Laps: 27-30 (Competition [27]);
82-86 (Stage 1 Conclusion [32]);
145-149 (No. 20, 42 Incident Turn 4 [8]);
162-167 (Stage 2 Conclusion [17]);
199-205 (Fluid On Track From No. 1 [20]);
222-225 (No. 8 Incident Turn 4 [13]).

Lead Changes: 17 among 11 drivers;
C. Elliott (P) 1-27;
W. Byron 28-30;
K. Harvick (P) 31-63;
C. Elliott (P) 64-83;
D. Hamlin (P) 84-86;
C. Elliott (P) 87;
D. Hamlin (P) 88-124;
B. Keselowski (P) 125-130;
K. Busch (P) 131-132;
M. DiBenedetto 133-144;
R. Newman 145;
D. Hamlin (P) 146-163;
K. Busch 164-167;
J. Logano (P) 168-169;
K. Harvick (P) 170-201;
C. LaJoie 202;
K. Harvick (P) 203-222;
J. Logano (P) 223-267.

American Ethanol Green Flag Restart Award: Kevin Harvick, No. 4
Busch Pole Award: Chase Elliott, No. 9

Sunoco Rookie of the Race: Christopher Bell, No. 95

Ron Fleshman with John Davison

RIS NASCAR Editor.  Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.

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Volume 2020, Issue 10, Posted 7:21 PM, 10.18.2020