A late pass on a restart gave Joey Logano a first-place finish Sunday at the Drive for the Cure 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Logano was pulling double duty in the XFinity racing after competing in the Bank of America 500 earlier in the afternoon. He only finished in 36th place due to a crash in the Sprint Cup race, but he was much better in the second session as he earned his first-place finish.
Elliott Sadler was the top driver in the Chase for the Cup with his second-place finish, although he had already secured his spot with his earlier playoff win.
Daniel Suarez ended up in third place, while Kyle Larson finished in fourth at the end of what had been a dominant performance throughout most of the day.
Here is a final look at the top finishers from Charlotte:
|Drive for the Cure 300 Results|
|Pos.||Driver||Car||Time Behind Leader|
|2||Elliott Sadler||1||0.462 seconds|
|3||Daniel Suarez||19||1.721 seconds|
|4||Kyle Larson||42||2.535 seconds|
|5||Erik Jones||20||2.642 seconds|
|6||Justin Allgaier||7||3.094 seconds|
|7||Kevin Harvick||88||3.502 seconds|
|8||Matt Tifft||18||4.700 seconds|
|9||Brad Keselowski||22||4.706 seconds|
|10||Ryan Sieg||39||1 lap|
|11||Ty Dillon||3||1 lap|
|12||Blake Koch||11||1 lap|
|13||Brendan Gaughan||62||1 lap|
|14||Austin Dillon||2||1 lap|
|15||Ryan Reed||16||2 laps|
Erik Jones was among those who helped his case with a strong showing Sunday, leading to this separation in the Chase:
The bottom four drivers are now eliminated as we head into the round of eight:
|XFinity Series Chase for the Cup Standings|
|7||Darrell Wallace Jr.||6||3,000|
Logano was trailing for most of the day, but a caution with 12 laps remaining gave him an opportunity to battle with the leaders. It was this restart that eventually put him into the lead, via NASCAR's official Twitter account:
Just a few laps later, he was celebrating his victory, as XFinity Racing captured:
Despite the finish, much of the race Sunday was a showcase of Larson truly dominating the rest of the field. With qualifying canceled due to Hurricane Matthew, the No. 42 started the race on the pole thanks to his practice speed from Thursday. He used this to his advantage to lead 165 laps on the day, competing with Jones for much of the competition.
Talladega Superspeedway quoted Jones' team as it discussed the battle up front:
He was finally able to pass Larson inside at about the quarter mark of the race, via XFinity Racing:
This didn't last long, however, as Larson was quickly able to regain the lead with him and Jones battling back and forth through the early part of the competition.
While Jones was able to keep things close relatively, the race quickly became a one-man show. Larson built up a two-second lead at the halfway mark and then eventually up to 10 seconds over the next 40 laps.
Hermie Sadler of Fox noted the impressive showing from the leader:
Jones was able to move in front for a few laps, although it was only until he finally went into pit road. When he finally pitted with 25 laps to go, it was all about the No. 42 car on the lead lap by himself.
A short time later, a bad mistake put Jones a little further down the line:
XFinity Racing provided a look at the loose tire:
The cautions and restarts allowed the rest of the field to catch up, keeping things really interesting with 12 laps to go.
Justin Allgaier provide a close battle, although it was Logano who came away with the lead. After Larson hit the wall on one of the final laps, Chase drivers Sadler and Suarez were able to move ahead of him to help their case in the standings.
Ty Dillon, who ended up in 11th place in Charlotte, just missed the round of eight by one point.
The next portion of the playoffs will only feature more drama as the list of eight drivers gets cut in half. Every win in the next three races secures a spot in the Championship 4, and you know no one wants to let it come down to points.
Kansas Speedway will host the next event on Saturday with the Chase drivers doing whatever they can to come away with a victory.
Despite competing in two events, Logano had the stamina to handle both, per Summer Bedgood of Frontstretch.com:
Meanwhile, the Chase was what matter for Jones, who is just happy to get through, per Chicagoland Speedway:
Everyone is looking for something different in the XFinity Series.
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