Logano dominates Charlotte race

Logano dominates Charlotte race

Joey Logano dominated the first leg of part two of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase at Charlotte with a crushing performance in the postponed race.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015 (2:53 pm)
The Penske Ford driver led 227 of the 334 laps and was generally able to hold a comfortable cushion over his rivals.

Reigning champion Kevin Harvick was Logano’s closest rival, though the final 0.7-second gap was flattered by late traffic.

The rare daylight Charlotte race – delayed from its planned Saturday night slot due to rain – was extremely short on overtaking among the frontrunners, and was most notable for the size of Logano’s advantage and the number of problems befalling other quick cars.

Polesitter Matt Kenseth suffered worse than most. He led the first quarter of the race before choosing to change all four tyres under a yellow in which many didn’t pit at all or just took two new tyres – dropping him to 13th.

He struggled to make up ground in traffic even before a tangle with Ryan Newman caused damage that prompted several pit visits and eventually a terminal trip into the wall.

Kenseth’s Joe Gibbs Racing team-mate and front row partner Kyle Busch was running strongly until a bizarre pit entry clash with Kyle Larson under yellow, as the Ganassi man made a late decision to dive in just as Busch appeared to back out of doing likewise. Busch ended up a lapped 20th.

JGR at least had Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards in fourth and sixth, chasing Furniture Row’s lonely third-place finisher Martin Truex Jr and split by Kurt Busch’s Stewart-Haas car.

Austin Dillon got among the Chase contenders to finish seventh for Richard Childres Racing.

It was a mostly terrible day for Hendrick. Dale Earnhardt Jr twice hit the wall and finished back in 28th, suggesting NASCAR had failed to effectively clear up oil from a midfield failure.

Jeff Gordon struggled with handling problems at first and was very relieved to salvage eighth from a race where it had appeared the top 20 would be his limit.

A week after his shock elimination from the Chase, Jimmie Johnson was ironically Hendrick’s top runner and held a top-three place for much of the race before retiring with an oil pump failure.

Completing Hendrick’s misery, its fourth driver Kasey Kahne was the first retirement following two early trips into the wall.

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