The NASCAR Cup Series playoff race at the Kansas Speedway was not one of the usual action-packed races. However, it was a race that demanded a lot from the drivers with everything at stake for the playoff contenders.
Joey Logano stunned the field with his first win since March and one that took him straight to the championship race. Logano was ready for what was to come in the 260-odd laps at Kansas, as reflected in his confidence just before the start.
“We’ve got the best team, the best car. Let’s execute and do our job,” Logano said on the team radio.
Just as the drivers readied themselves for the green lap, NASCAR asked Clint Bowyer to lead the field on the pace lap. The Kansas race marked Bowyer’s last race at his home track. Bowyer, in his usual cheerful manner, joked with his spotter.
“Might be the only damn lap I ever led around this freaking place. Hahaha,” Bowyer said.
Elliott’s radio issues; Blaney’s anger towards Hamlin
Soon after the race started, so did Chase Elliott’s radio issues that became a big talking point of the race. Elliott and his team had major communication issues as he was unable to hear his spotter; nonetheless, held his nerve and won the stage.
Early in Stage 2, Ryan Blaney fought Denny Hamlin for the lead but got caught in some lap traffic. “Run in the **** lane you’ve been running in. For **** sake,” a frustrated Blaney said to one of those cars.
Elliott’s troubles continued as he and his team kept trying to catch hold of each other on the radio. Meanwhile, Denny Hamlin pipped Kevin Harvick in a fine battle to win the second stage. Blaney found himself in the thick of things yet again and was unhappy with Hamlin for some reason.
“I’ll hook the damn 11 next time. Tell him that,” he said on the radio. Soon, Hamlin’s lead was wiped away after he slipped and hit the wall. Blaney was then heard on his radio, saying, “Hahaha, that’s funny.”
Logano keeps his calm in the NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas
Then, the final bit of the action started. Logano won the race off pit road and snatched the lead from Harvick. The No. 4’s spotter urged him to stay close to Logano. Or in other words, “Try to push his a** along here. Push his a** along,” Tim Fedewa said.
Logano then blocked Harvick on his way to a massive win and yelled on the radio in excitement as his pit crew jumped up in delight. “Build that Phoenix car, baby! Whooo!” said an elated Logano.
After a tight race, things are just bound to get tougher as the NASCAR Cup Series field moves to the Texas Motor Speedway this Sunday with just two races left for the championship race.