Logano and Harvick eliminated from the Playoffs after Bristol

Logano and Harvick eliminated from the Playoffs after Bristol

Joey Logano lost the chance of successfully defending his 2022 NASCAR Cup Series championship when he was involved in a multiple car crash on Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Logano, who was the Cup champion in 2018 and 2022, had trouble right away at Bristol. He got off to a slow start and didn’t accumulate any stage points.

Nevertheless, despite a poor performance at Bristol, he had a 12-point lead going into the race, which kept his title hopes alive.

Logano’s fortunes turned out to be detrimental after the No. 22 Team Penske Ford was spun out of first place by Corey LaJoie just after the halfway point of the race.

LaJoie collected a number of other drivers as he slid back across the track. One of them was Logano, who was unable to continue and retired on lap 262 of the 500-lap race.

The Team Penske driver came in 34th and was expecting his playoff rivals to drop out, but they never did.

“Obviously, it’s a real bummer,” said Logano. “You get out of the race like that and you’re behind the wall and you’re in denial for a minute.

“You don’t want to believe that it happened and you want to think that it’s fixable, but the car was tore up too bad.

“I knew my situation and what I needed to do, but it’s Bristol and there’s not really many things you do differently depending on your scenario,” Logano later added.

“There’s nothing I could have done there in that wreck. It’s just a product of being back there and the way we raced or anything like that didn’t affect that.

“The only thing that affected that is we were back there, so that’s it.”

Logano was among a group of four drivers who were eliminated from the playoffs at Bristol, and he wasn’t the only Cup champion to lose his chance to win the 2023 championship.

Also eliminated was Kevin Harvick, who is taking part in his final season of racing before retiring permanently.

The 2014 Cup winner finished the night in 29th place and five laps behind the leaders. Harvick and Logano both failed to advance to the Round of 12 by barely four points.

After the Bristol disappointment, Harvick didn’t say much, but it was obvious that he was frustrated.

“We’ve been like that all year,” Harvick said. “We’ve been hit or miss. Tonight we just missed by a mile.”

The Stewart-Haas Racing driver spoke about Saturday’s underwhelming performance despite having previously won at Bristol.

“I’ve had some good days and bad days,” he added. “But that’s definitely the worst one I’ve had with fenders on it.

“I didn’t really have many expectations with as up and down as the year has been. It is what it is. It’s probably about what we deserve.”

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