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article imageNASCAR: Logano races to front of the field with second Chase win

By John Duarte     Oct 6, 2014 in Sports
Kansas City - Joey Logano got his second victory in 2014's Chase for the Sprint Cup and took control in the hunt for the NASCAR top-level series title with the win at the Hollywood Casino 400 on Sunday.
Logano wasted no time in securing his place in the Eliminator Round and a place in the final eight in this year's playoff-like Chase for the Sprint Cup.
“This was most important,” said Logano. “We're excited about our shot to win this championship this year. We've just to keep doing what we've been doing.”
One of the things Logano has been doing is winning races. The Hollywood Casino 400 was his fifth win of the year and the second in four races in 2014's Chase. Perhaps most importantly is the fact that the victory puts Logano through to the next round of races and a chance to relax for the next two weeks, especially at Talladega Superspeedway, where his best in 11 races is a fifth-place finish in 2010.
“We came here thinking we need a solid finish. This is as solid as it gets,” he said. “This is nice to get this win and get us through to the next round and not have to worry about Talladega.”
Kyle Larson continues a very successful season, after moving to Target Chip Ganassi Racing. Though he did not make it into the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Larson has finished in the Top 10 in 14 of 30 races to this point. Being runner up in the Hollywood Casino 400 has Larson looking optimistically ahead.
“We'll get some wins here soon, hopefully before the end of the year,” he said. “I think once we get one, we should be up here more often as a winner.”
Also looking forward is Kyle Busch, who finished third in Sunday's race. He goes into the next race sitting second overall in the Chase standings at a track — Charlotte Motor Speedway — where he has posted relatively good results, finishing in the Top 10 in 13 of 21 career races there, including nine times in the Top 5 and finished in the Top 3 six of those races.
“I love that place. I love racing there. Having good runs,” Busch said. “Hopefully, our test that we did a couple of weeks ago is good for us, that we're able to have a fast race car there and, again, just keep knocking away there Top 10s, Top 5s.”
However, despite having a positive outlook going into the next race at a track he likes, Busch said the key is to continue the momentum, getting strong results and grabbing a win when the opportunity presents itself.
“Racing is a fickle business,” he pointed out. “It's early. Anything can happen.”
While in past years drivers looked for consistent finishes and maximum points over the 10 races making up the Chase for the Sprint Cup, this year's format, where four drivers are eliminated from contention every three races, winning is the sure way to move on in the competition. One of the drivers on the bubble after one race in the Contender Round is 2013 title holder and six-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, who is last among the 12 challengers for the 2014 Sprint Cup. The good news is that Johnson's record at Charlotte Motor Speedway is a good one — he is second only to Logano in average placings at the track in recent years. But don't expect Johnson to rely on that statistic.
“I'll certainly need Ws, I assume, going forward,” he said. “This puts a premium on next week and the weekend after it. It means we've got to be on our game at Charlotte and Talladega.”
The Bank of America 500 is the fifth round of the 2014 Chase for the Sprint Cup and the second race in the Contender Round in the NASCAR series schedule. The night race goes at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 11, 2014.
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