Logano's magic didn't last entire race

HUNTERSVILLE – Joey Logano held off Jeff Gordon as long as he could.

Ultimately, Logano ran out of trickery and the better car (Gordon’s) won the Michigan 400 Aug. 17  at Michigan International Speedway. Logano, who lives in Huntersville and drives the No. 22 Ford for Team Penske, finished third. He led 86 laps, more than anyone else in the race, and battled to win most of the restarts.

But Gordon took the lead on a restart with 17 laps left. Logano tried a low pass but was denied, which dropped him to fourth place. He gained another spot toward the end to finish third.

“We were battling on restarts pretty hard and used basically every trick in the book that I had,” Logano said. “Every game that could be played was being played on the restarts. … We’re doing everything we need to do … just, I wish that last caution (flag) wouldn’t have come out. I’m going to relive that for the next two weeks.”

Logano is fourth in the Sprint Cup standings and would be seeded fifth in the Chase based on his two wins.

 

Menard snaps out of slump

CORNELIUS – Paul Menard’s fourth-place finish in the Sprint Cup race at Michigan was huge improvement from the past three races in which he finished 30th or worse.

Menard, who lives in Cornelius and drives the No. 27 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, had his best finish in the past eight races.

 

Up-and-down month for Busch

HUNTERSVILLE – It’s been very good or very bad for Kyle Busch lately.

He finished 39th at Michigan last weekend, after being 42nd and 40th the previous two races. Busch, who drives for Huntersville-based Joe Gibbs Racing, rammed the wall Aug. 17 at Michigan International Speedway and his car was forced to the garage.

Busch, who has just one win this season (at California in April) has fallen from sixth place to 15th in the Sprint Cup standings in the past three weeks. In the four weeks before that, he was on a hot streak with three second-place finishes.

 

RACER RANKINGS

We rank Herald Weekly-area drivers in the racing world:

1. Joey Logano – Finished third in the Sprint Cup race at Michigan last week, his fourth straight top-10 finish. He’s fourth in the driver points race, too.

2. Paul Menard – Cornelius resident was fourth in the Sprint Cup race at Michigan last week, his best finish in the past eight races. A turnaround, perhaps?

3. Matt Kenseth – Consistency this season has paid off with fifth-place standing in the Sprint Cup drivers’ points race. Can he win a title without winning a race?

4. Elliott Sadler – He’s third in the Nationwide Series points race and has 16 top-10 finishes in 27 starts.

5. Clint Bowyer – Finished sixth in Sprint Cup race last week for Huntersville-based Michael Waltrip Racing. That’s two top-six’s in the past three races.