No Repeat for Logano at Michigan

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Nascar MIS Pure Michigan 400Despite winning the pole for the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway, Joey Logano was unable to pull off theseason sweep at NASCAR’s fastest track. Logano led the first 24 laps of the race, but was never a factor after that, the 22 Ford finishing 10th. Brad Keselowski had another solid day coming in 3rd behind first time winner Kyle Larson and rookie Chase Elliott. While Logano dominated the last half of the race in June, four different drivers led over 30 laps at various stages of the humid August   afternoon. Larson took the lead during a restart with 10 laps to go and was never challenged, he led a race high total of 41 circuits around the two-mile oval.Larson’s win locks him into the Chase for the Cup and jumbles the playoff chances of a number of teams. Chris Buescher hit the accelerator when the green flag dropped only to have his Ford Fusion sputter and not come fully up to speed. Desperate for a solid finish that would improve his position in the points standings, Buescher had to struggle all day with an ill-running engine. Buescher’s 35th place finish allowed him to maintain his hold onto the 30th spot in the points, just 7 points ahead of David Ragan. Provided Buescher remains in the top 30 his win at Pocono will gain him entry into the Chase; only 3 non-winning teams will qualify based on points. Currently Chase Elliott, Austin Dillon, and Jamie McMurray hold the final playoff qualifying positions. Ryan Blaney, in the Wood Brother’s Ford, finished 4th but sits 71 points behind McMurray; with just two races left the number 21 will likely miss this year’s run for the Sprint Cup title. Similarly, Roush Fenway Racing driver Trevor Bayne trails McMurray by 58 points and will need a win to avoid the same fate as Blaney.  The final two races before the Chase, next week at Darlington, and then Richmond, both hold promise for the possibility of another 1st time winner. It’s down to the wire for any driver in the top 30 who is yet to enter victory lane. Win and you are in, it will be interesting to watch how aggressive these drivers become in their final two attempts to secure a playoff spot.