Joey Logano won the Can-Am 500 in a wild overtime finish Sunday, earning a place in the Championship 4 at next week's Ford Ecoboost 400.
Kyle Busch also grabbed a spot in the top four thanks to his second-place finish, joining Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards as the only remaining competitors for the 2016 Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Matt Kenseth was on the brink of winning the race and securing a spot in the next round before a yellow flag came out with two laps remaining.
He then suffered a disappointing crash on the restart, as NASCAR showed:
Logano was the beneficiary, as he took the next restart and pulled away for the win, followed by Busch and Kyle Larson. Kevin Harvick also had a chance to become a spoiler down the stretch but couldn't gain enough spots.
Here's at look at the results from Sunday's race at Phoenix International Speedway:
|Can-Am 500 Final Results|
|Pos.||Driver||Car||Behind Leader (Seconds)|
This finish cut the list of remaining Chase drivers in half:
|Chase for the Sprint Cup Standings|
|1||Joey Logano||22||1 win|
|2||Jimmie Johnson||48||1 win|
|3||Carl Edwards||19||1 win|
|Highlighted drivers advanced; Source: NASCAR.com|
Dale Earnhardt Jr. summed up what many were thinking as the race changed in the final moments:
Kenseth ended up falling out of contention with a wreck, and Logano was able to take control and earn his own spot in the Chase finale.
While the big story coming into the day was the battle for the final two spots in the Championship 4, a driver who wasn't even in the Chase stole the show for much of the day.
Alex Bowman started in the pole position after winning qualifying and took advantage of the opportunity by leading most of the race.
Logano first took over the lead after 92 laps, but Bowman returned to the front before long.
Michael Waltrip had high praise:
Per Tom Jensen of Fox Sports, Bowman played the role of spoiler well:
Of course, every spot mattered in such a race, which made passes like this one by Kenseth important, via NASCAR:
In other cases, going for first place required plenty of risk. George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel described Denny Hamlin's decision:
The Chase drivers eventually took over as the top contenders for the final 50 laps, with Bowman falling slightly behind.
Marty Smith of ESPN broke down the excitement of the race:
Kenseth started to pull away, with Bowman behind him, creating havoc for Busch, Logano and Harvick, who were all jockeying for position in both the race and the overall standings.
NASCAR focused on the battle between two of the drivers searching for key points in the final few laps:
A caution with two laps to go then sent the race into overtime, creating plenty of drama for those watching along, as NASCAR on NBC showed:
Jeff Gluck of USA Today summed up what was on the line:
After Kenseth's crash, Logano was able to take control and cruise to the victory, via NASCAR on NBC:
While unfortunate circumstances ended Kenseth's season, the remaining drivers won't feel too sorry about taking his spot.
There is now just one race remaining in the 2016 season, with everything on the line. Logano, Busch, Edwards and Johnson are the four drivers looking for one more win to earn the Sprint Cup title.
The Ford Ecoboost 400 will begin at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Kenseth's crash was the big story of the race, and his spotter, Chris Osborne, took the blame for not keeping the driver safe:
Kyle Busch was the beneficiary, but he wasn't happy about taking a spot in the Championship 4 from a fellow Joe Gibbs Racing driver.
"Essentially, I guess I wrecked a teammate," Busch said after the race, per NASCAR.com. "I feel horrible about it."
As for Logano, there is no remorse about taking home the all-important win.
"This feels so good. I've never felt this good about a win before," Logano said, per Joe Menzer of Fox Sports. "There was so much on the line and everyone brings their A-game when it comes to winning championships—and this team did it."
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