Four ousted from NASCAR's Chase as Logano wins Talladega

TALLADEGA, Ala. -- What you need to know from the Hellmann's 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, the second elimination race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup:

WINNER: Joey Logano won Sunday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway, giving him a berth in the next round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Others weren’t as fortunate. Championship favorite Martin Truex Jr. failed to advance, along with Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott and Austin Dillon.

The final eight include Logano, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin. That’s all four Joe Gibbs Racing cars, two Stewart-Haas Racing cars, one from Hendrick Motorsports and one from Team Penske.

Logano beat Brian Scott on the overtime restart to secure a spot in the Round of 8. The overtime was set up when Alex Bowman went spinning into the infield grass with four laps to go.

Logano also won this race last year, under caution. Sunday, he overcame a penalty early in the race when he left the pits with a jack still stuck under his car. He circled the track, trying to shake it loose, but had to come back down pit road to have it removed.

“Man, this feels good to win in a clutch moment like that," Logano said. "This team excels in situations like this. What a great day; it feels so good to win here. You never know you're going to have it until it's over. … We're going to the next round.

“It's all about attitude. This team has a lot of it. We showed it last year and we'll have it again. How can you not have confidence when you drive for Roger Penske?”

ELIMINATED: Hamlin finished third to secure a spot in the next round in a tie-breaker with Dillon.

“We did everything we could; just wasn't our day today," Dillon said. "We'll be strong next year. It's just disappointing when you tie. The tiebreaker went to (Hamlin), so what can you do. I just didn't get enough. One spot at the line, that's all it was.”

Engine troubles felled two serious title contenders.

Truex came into the race with a 13-point cushion, but was eliminated when his engine blew up on lap 41. Truex won four races this season – including two in the Chase – and was considered the championship favorite by many.

"It's disappointing. I mean, what else can you say?," he said in the garage as his team looked over his car. "I feel like we had a team capable of competing for the championship and it's unfortunate we're not going to be able to show that."

Then, with 44 laps to go, Keselowski suddenly blew an engine after dominating most of the race. Keselowski was in a must-win situation, so his motor failure knocked him out of the Chase after looking for most of the day like he might salvage his playoff hopes.

Keselowski, who led much of the race and was trying to tie Dale Earnhardt Sr. by winning three races in a row at restrictor-plate tracks, saw his engine expire on Lap 144 of a scheduled 188.

Keselowski won at Talladega in May and at Daytona International Speedway in July. A piece of debris attached to his grill while he was running up front and may have contributed to his engine overheating.

Keselowski said he had a "tremendous race going, but it just wasn't meant to be."

Keselowski entered the elimination race 11th of 12 drivers still eligible to advance; Truex was seventh.

Elliott, who won the pole here in May and led laps, ran up front for a while, but fell back and couldn't get anything going in the closing runs.

“We just tried to be as aggressive as we could, tried to make stuff happen," the rookie said. "Disappointed we came up short. We've had some awesome race cars in the Chase. It's just unfortunate.”

CRASH: There was also a multi-car wreck that took out three non-Chase contenders on lap 113. As the cars exited Turn 4, Greg Biffle and Jeffrey Earnhardt made contact and also collected Casey Mears. All three cars ended up crunching together on an interior wall near the entrance to pit road.

Copyright 2016 WCNC


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