Joey Logano held off Kevin Harvick to win the opening race of the round of 8 of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.
Like two years ago, Team Penske’s Joey Logano entered the round of 8 of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs having not won a race in several months. Also like two years ago, he won the round of 8 opener to become the first driver to clinch a spot in the Championship 4.
The driver of the #22 Ford, who had not won since before the coronavirus pandemic struck when he won at Phoenix Raceway back on Sunday, March 8, won the Hollywood Casino 400 after holding off a late charge by Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick behind the wheel of his #4 Ford to secure his third Championship 4 berth in the last five years.
Hendrick Motorsports’ Alex Bowman arrived on the scene late amid this battle and settled for third place in this 267-lap race around the four-turn, 1.5-mile (2.414-kilometer) oval in Kansas City, Kansas behind the wheel of his #88 Chevrolet. Logano held off Harvick by 0.312 seconds, with Bowman a further 0.348 seconds back.
Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski capped off a top four sweep by round of 8 drivers with a fourth place finish behind the wheel of his #2 Ford. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch led all drivers who are not championship eligible with a fifth place finish behind the wheel of his #18 Toyota.
The other four round of eight drivers, Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott, Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin and Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kurt Busch, finished in sixth, ninth, 15th and 38th place behind the wheels of their #9 Chevrolet, #19 Toyota, #11 Toyota and #1 Chevrolet, respectively.
All four drivers experienced some kind of issues at some point throughout the event. Elliott experienced radio connectivity issues throughout much of the race while Truex was forced to start at the rear after his #19 Toyota failed pre-race inspection twice.
Hamlin, who entered the race as the two-time reigning winner at the track and the reigning winner of the playoff race there last year, went a lap off the lead lap after making contact with the wall. Busch was forced to retire after an engine failure and is now all but in a must-win position with two races remaining in the round of 8.
Elliott, who started from the pole position, won stage one while Hamlin won stage two. The race featured 17 lead changes among 11 drivers. Harvick led the field with 85 laps led.
Here are the full race results of the 2020 Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.
1st – Joey Logano
2nd – Kevin Harvick
3rd – Alex Bowman
4th – Brad Keselowski
5th – Kyle Busch
6th – Chase Elliott
7th – Ryan Blaney
8th – William Byron
9th – Martin Truex Jr.
10th – Christopher Bell
11th – Austin Dillon
12th – Matt DiBenedetto
13th – Aric Almirola
14th – Cole Custer
15th – Denny Hamlin
16th – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
17th – John Hunter Nemechek
18th – Bubba Wallace
19th – Michael McDowell
20th – Erik Jones
21st – Chris Buescher
22nd – Ryan Newman
23rd – Corey LaJoie
24th – Ty Dillon
25th – Tyler Reddick
26th – Clint Bowyer
27th – Daniel Suarez
28th – Brennan Poole
29th – Ryan Preece
30th – J.J. Yeley
31st – Jimmie Johnson
32nd – James Davison
33rd – Quin Houff
34th – Timmy Hill
35th – Josh Bilicki
36th – Reed Sorenson
37th – Joey Gase
38th – Kurt Busch
39th – Chad Finchum
40th – Matt Kenseth
Here are the updated playoff standings following Logano’s win.
Rank – Driver: Points (Behind), (Wins/Playoff Points), (+/- cut line)
1st – Joey Logano: 4064 (-51), (3 WINS/27 PP), (CLINCHED)
2nd – Kevin Harvick: 4115 (0), (9 WINS/67 PP), (+41)
3rd – Denny Hamlin: 4094 (-21), (7 WINS/55 PP), (+20)
4th – Brad Keselowski: 4082 (-33), (4 WINS/35 PP), (+8)
————CHAMPIONSHIP 4 CUT LINE————
5th – Chase Elliott: 4074 (-41), (3 WINS/28 PP), (-8)
6th – Alex Bowman: 4055 (-60), (1 WIN/9 PP), (-27)
7th – Martin Truex Jr.: 4051 (-64), (1 WIN/17 PP), (-31)
8th – Kurt Busch: 4009 (-106), (1 WIN/6 PP), (-73)
The round of 8 of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs is scheduled to continue with the second of three races on Sunday, October 25. This race, the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500, is set to be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network from Texas Motor Speedway beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET.