Chaos Reigns at Charlotte, Chase Field Scrambled


As Hurricane Matthew roared up the Southeastern coast this weekend one of the storm’s causalities was the Saturday night shootoutFord Nascarscheduled for NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Drivers at Charlotte Motor Speedway. However, the postponement until Sunday afternoon did not dampen the intensity of the 12 Chase drivers vying for the eight spots in the next round of the playoffs. The first race in the round of 12 resulted in the type of mayhem that might very well be seen in two weeks at Talladega. Tire troubles in the first third of the race caused Chase contender Joey Logano to slam the wall and while Logano’s pit crew was able to repair the cosmetic damage and return his Ford Fusion to the track, suspension damage from the impact resulted in another tire failure just after lap 150. The damage from the second wreck sidelined Logano for 75 laps, although he returned to the track for the final third of the race. He was only able to pick up one position due to the misfortune of A.J. Allmendinger who wrecked on lap 252 of the 344 that make up the Bank of America 500. Fellow Chase contender Kevin Harvick lost power to his race car just prior to Logano’s troubles and was unable to correct the issue (loss of oil pressure) leaving Harvick in 12th place after the first race in this round.Allmendinger’s wreck resulted in a caution and during the restart on Lap 259, two of the race leaders, Martin Truex Jr. and Austin Dillon tangled just after taking the green flag. The resulting chaos was reminiscent of the “Big One” often seen at Daytona or Talladega. With the field closely bunched, the spinning cars of Dillon and Truex Jr. collected a number of competitors including Chase driver’s Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards, and Chase Elliott. The carnage further scrambled the chase standings, fortunately for Logano and Harvick the potential for a drastic points day was somewhat minimized by trouble that their fellow competitors encountered.Jimmy Johnson led a race high 155 laps and automatically punched his ticket to the Round of Eight, it was the first win in 24 races for the six-time Sprint Cup Champion. Brad Keselowski finished seventh, the only Ford in the top 10, giving the Team Penske driver a good shot at advancing to the next round of playoffs. The bottom of the 12-man playoff standings has Denny Hamlin holding onto the final advancement position, 16 points behind seventh place Martin Truex Jr. The four driver’s in jeopardy are Dillon and Elliott, three points behind; then Logano six points back, followed by Harvick who trails Hamlin by just eight points. While no driver faces certain elimination, none of these teams can afford another bad performance next week at Kansas Speedway.

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Steve Sweitzer
Steve is the Sports Editor for the Lasco Press and highlights our coverage of the NASCAR Cup Series. Steve is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association and a nationally published author of automotive related articles for industry trade magazines. He is also a freelance technical writer and accomplished photographer. A 25-year resident of Southeast Michigan, Steve’s passion for reporting on our community, it’s residents, and our automotive connections allow us to use his skills to cover a number of events. Steve’s ability to seek out the unique behind the scenes accounts that tell the often-overlooked aspect of a story makes for entertaining reading. Follow Steve at with weekly NASCAR updates and featured articles.