Joey Logano won his sixth race of the season Sunday barely holding off Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the win and the sweep of the Contender Round. It was a controversial finish after a sedate race that didn’t even see a caution until after the halfway point. Here’s how it all went down Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway.
Jeff Gordon led the field to the green with his second Talladega pole of the season, as he did in May, Kasey Kahne was second on the outside; Ryan Newman voluntarily went to the back from his 18th starting spot. Gordon was able to move out to the lead; Jimmie Johnson slid into second, Dale Earnhardt Jr. third. Kahne led a line on the outside just above Earnhardt. By lap 3 Kahne on the outside had slipped back and Kevin Harvick was fourth on the inside.
The two lines had met up by la six and Gordon was moving up and down to block; Earnhardt took over second as Harvick and Johnson dueled for third. Earnhardt slipped by and took the lead from Gordon on lap 7. Denny Hamlin was soon charging up the outside and took the lead on lap 11; the field was three wide behind. Earnhardt and Gordon were side by side in front of two lines, while Harvick led a third line low on the inside and further behind. On lap 13 Earnhardt dropped to the bottom and soon had a slight advantage over Hamlin. On lap 15 Earnhardt had a clear lead and was moving up and down to block. Hamlin was close behind as there were three lines. Hamlin went back to the lead to start lap 17. Hamlin was shuffled back behind a lapped car on lap 18 and Gordon was back at the front outside of Earnhardt.
Earnhardt was back into the lead on lap 19 ahead of Gordon, Johnson was third, Kahne fourth and Joey Logano fifth. MORE>>>