Stage points help Joey Logano secure position in Round of 8

KANSAS CITY, KANSAS - OCTOBER 20: Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, is involved in an on-track incident during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway on October 20, 2019 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

Thanks to a brilliant pit call by crew chief Todd Gordon—staying out on old tires in the first stage of Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway, Joey Logano won the first stage of the race and collected 10 points for his effort.

In the second stage, he earned four points for a seventh-place finish—and put them to good use after contact from Ty Dillon’s Chevrolet sent him spinning through the infield grass near the end of the first lap of overtime.

Logano finished 17th, but buoyed by the stage points, he reached the Round of 8 in the Playoffs with nine points to spare over Team Penske teammate Brad Keselowski, who was the first driver eliminated.

“Today, whew, we got that stage win which was great, and that’s a (Playoff) point that will continue on, so that is a big deal,” Logano said. “We needed every point we could, and it looked like we were in a good spot. Next thing you know they are wrecking on the outside and I get hit and I’m going through the grass.

“I felt comfortable before that, but the next thing you know—I am watching it here on the replay for the first time—I didn’t hit anything so I got lucky for sure. I’ve been lucky a few times. We were able to finish Talladega, and I parked the thing and there was a hole in the radiator.

“It was hard-fought and blue-collar round for sure. We just have to smooth it out a little bit. We need to not have as much carnage out there and finish some of these things. On to the next round. We get to reset, thank God. We will fight from there.”