Team Penske’s Joey Logano Storms Into The Semifinal Round

Team Penske’s Joey Logano stormed into the semifinal round of the 2016 Chase on Sunday with another victory at Talladega Superspeedway.  He put the Number-22 Ford in front for good late in the race and kept it there over the final forty-five laps to notch his sixteenth career victory and second this season.  Logano also won last fall’s race on the sprawling two-point-six-six-mile Alabama oval and is just the second driver in fourteen years with back-to-back victories in this event.  Clint Bowyer is the last one to do it, in 2010 and 2011.  Richard Petty Motorsports rookie Brian Scott challenged Logano down the stretch but fell twelve one-hundredths of a second short at the checkered flag.  Denny Hamlin finished third to lead a parade of four Joe Gibbs Racing drivers into the Round of Eight.  Kurt Busch and Ricky Stenhouse Junior completed the top five.  Pole sitter Martin Truex Junior led only two laps before retiring with engine failure midway through the first half of the race.  His fortieth-place finish eliminated Truex from the post-season Chase.  He’s joined on the sidelines by Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott and Brad Keselowski – who also was knocked out by engine failure on Sunday, after leading a race-high ninety laps.  Dillon finished the Round of Twelve tied with Hamlin for the eighth and final transfer spot but lost the tiebreaker, based on a driver’s best finish in the current round of the post-season.  Dillon’s was sixth last weekend at Kansas Speedway, Hamlin’s was third on Sunday … Yesterday’s race went four laps past its scheduled distance because of a late caution for Alex Bowman’s spin.


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