With second win, Logano practically in Chase
April 26, 2014, Staff report, NASCAR.com
Joey Logano won the Toyota Owners 400, surging to the lead with four laps to go during a frantic finish followed by a restart on Lap 392.
With the win, Logano joins Kevin Harvick as the only two drivers to have two wins this season in the Sprint Cup Series. Both drivers have all but locked up spots in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Logano led four times for a total of 46 laps, but had not led since Lap 337 until the closing four circuits. Matt Kenseth held the lead on the restart with nine laps to go and was able to maintain it through Lap 396, when Logano emerged with the lead as Kenseth fought to hold off Logano, Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski.
The victory is the fifth of Logano's career in the Sprint Cup Series and his first at Richmond International Raceway.
Combined with his win at Texas, Logano has all but assured himself one of the 16 spots in the new postseason format. As long as he finishes among the top 30 in points and attempts to qualify for every race, his ticket is punched.
Gordon led a race-high 173 laps at Richmond and was dominant for long stretches, but ultimately the four-time champion couldn't snag his first victory of 2014. He did, however, maintain his lead in the point standings.
In addition to two-time winners Logano (Texas and Richmond) and Harvick (Phoenix and Darlington), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Daytona), Keselowski (Las Vegas), Carl Edwards (Bristol), Kyle Busch (Fontana) and Kurt Busch (Martinsville) already have wins.
Drivers with one win through the first 26 races, and a top-30 ranking in the points standings, could also potentially qualify for the Chase. If the points leader does not have a win, that driver will also qualify for the Chase.
After the ninth race of NASCAR's regular season, here is how the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings look:
||Winner: Texas, Richmond
||Winner: Phoenix, Darlington|
|5.||Dale Earnhardt Jr.
||Winner: Las Vegas
|9.||Matt Kenseth||2nd in points|
||8th in points|
||9th in points|
||10th in points|
||11th in points|
||12th in points|
||13th in points|
||14th in points|