Logano faces must-win this week | NevadaAppeal.com

Logano faces must-win this week

Some anonymous jokester posted a fake report on the internet after Joey Logano's blown tire took him out of contention at Texas last Sunday. The report said NASCAR had suspended Goodyear for two races for wrecking Joey, an obvious dig at the benching of Matt Kenseth for doing the same. I don't imagine Joey found it humorous, as he's now in a must-win situation this weekend at Phoenix. If he's to advance in the Chase, he can't do it on points. Logano's teammate Brad Keselowski led 312 of the 334 laps at Texas, but not the one that counted. Jimmie Johnson hunted down and passed Keselowski in the waning laps of the Texas race. It was Johnson's fifth 2015 win and 75th of his career, putting him within one victory of tying Dale Earnhardt's win tally.

•••

Sunday will set the four-car field for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup championship race at Homestead. Jeff Gordon is the only driver currently locked in with a win, so at least two and maybe three are going to advance on points. Phoenix is Kevin Harvick's best chance, as he has won the last four races there, and five of the last six. If he doesn't win, a second place clinches a berth in the final for Harvick; third with a lap led and fourth with the most laps will also do it. Kyle Busch will clinch with a third or better, and fourth with a lap led or fifth with the most laps. Keselowski, Carl Edwards, Kurt Busch, and Martin Truex Jr. have to go for the win, or hope Harvick and Kyle Busch have a bad day. But Johnson, with four wins at the one-mile desert oval, could play spoiler just as he did in Texas. Other potential non-Chase drivers who could win are Dale Earnhardt Jr. with two Phoenix victories, and Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman, and Tony Stewart with one win each. Gordon could also capture his third career Phoenix victory, denying another Chase driver a ticket to the big show.

•••

The Manufacturer's championship is almost a done deal in the Sprint Cup series. If the top finishing Chevrolet is 10th or better at Phoenix, Chevy scores its 13th consecutive manufacturers' title and the 39th in the history of NASCAR.

•••

Recommended Stories For You

Young Erik Jones leads the Camping World Truck Series with 824 points. He's followed by 2013/2014 champion Matt Crafton, 17 points behind. Tyler Reddick is third, 21 points back, and Johnny Sauter has a mathematical chance with a 71-point deficit. The owner points are identical to the driver points, as each truck has had only one driver all season.

•••

NASCAR's other two top series are also on the final leg of their championship runs. Without the Chase to add complexity and excitement, it's a straight points race to the finish for these teams and drivers. There are two races to watch. In the Xfinity Series, four drivers have a mathematical shot at the title. Chris Buescher is in the lead with 1,126 points, with defending champion Chase Elliot 24 points behind. Ty Dillon is 30 points off the lead, and Reagan Smith is 31 points in arrears. Roger Penske's No. 22 Ford Mustang is pretty much a shoo-in in the owner points, with a 98-point advantage over the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 54 Toyota. The Roush/Fenway No. 60 Ford is third with 100 points, so there could be a change in second and third place in the final two races.

•••

Formula One is back in action with the next-to-last race of its season in Brazil. With the drivers' and constructors' championships already settled, the race is for personal goals and bragging rights. Newly crowned champion Lewis Hamilton has never won in Brazil, and Brazilian native Felipe Massa of Williams wants to show well for the home crowd.

•••

Finally, Fernley 95A Speedway held its awards banquet last Saturday at the track, and awarded trophies to the top points finishers in each division. Congratulations to 2015 track champions Rich Innis (Pure Stock), Dennis Crook (Super Stock 4), Dwight Bolton (Street Stock), Joe Frock (Dwarf Car), Gary Nevers (Pro Stock) and Robert Miller (IMCA Modified).

Go back to article