Originally Published: August 25, 2014

Sprint Cup: Logano rolls to third win

Sprint Cup: The haves and have-nots get feisty

By K. Lee Davis | ESPN.com

With Joey Logano's third victory of the season Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway, the number of winners in the Sprint Cup Series held at 12.

If it stays that way the next two weekends -- at Atlanta on Sunday and Sept. 6 at Richmond -- four drivers are going to make NASCAR's expanded Chase based on points.

That's looking like good news for Matt Kenseth, who at 73 points ahead of 17th-place Kyle Larson can lock up a playoff spot with a decent finish at Atlanta, or of course, a victory. Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer and Greg Biffle, 14th through 16th respectively, have more work to do, but can look at the next two races as genuine opportunities to lock themselves in with a win.

Sean Gardner/Getty ImagesThere was plenty of twisted metal to go around after Saturday night's race at Bristol.

For Larson, 26 points behind Biffle, on back to the last driver with a reasonable mathematical chance at getting to 16th -- Paul Menard at 20th and 45 points back -- the odds are getting longer.

"Atlanta is a fun track," Larson said. "I hope we can go there and get a win and stop worrying about points.

"I think 26 behind Biffle is a long way to go for two races. Hope for some bad luck for him, but we will see."

Menard fought back from a lap down but never could find the speed to get to the front. He'll need a win or a lot of problems for those ahead of him -- Kasey Kahne and Austin Dillon are 18th and 19th -- to salvage his playoff hopes.

"Definitely wanted more," said Menard, who finished ninth. "We had a really good car. We had two runs where we just got off."

Kahne is 33 points behind Biffle and a two-time winner at Atlanta. Another victory on Sunday would soothe the sting of a disastrous 35th-place finish at Bristol.

For Dillon, his 28th-place finish at Bristol was the second race in a row he failed to finish on the lead lap.

So the current have-nots are feeling the pressure to get in, but many of the haves felt frustration after Bristol proved to be a wild and caution-filled affair.

Kevin Harvick plowed through Denny Hamlin for the lead, leaving Hamlin 40th and fuming he didn't have enough car left to give Harvick some payback. He did have the wherewithal to throw part of his HANS device at Harvick's car as the No. 4 circled the track after the incident.

So is the old Bristol back? Yes and no, according to Hamlin.

"This is kind of a product of everyone fighting for track position," he said. "While I believe, in my opinion, when they tried to fix the racetrack by grinding the top it just made the top better, and now you just see a ring around the top, which it was a good thought, it just didn't work.

"And now you almost need to grind the bottom or something to give it some grip as well. It's still a great racetrack. I mean, look at the fan turnout that was here tonight. It's one of the most exciting races all year. This is Bristol. It's the Bristol night race and that's why that adds to the emotion and the frustration that I had tonight is that we're here in front of a big crowd and we wanted to run well."

Cup Rundown: Not enough to catch Joey


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