RELATED: Bristol results " Chase Grid " By the numbers since Busch's return With only two races left until the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs, it's time to check in on Kyle Busch , driver of the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing , as he tries to rebound from missing 11 races to early season injuries and make the Chase. He is currently the only driver with multiple wins who has yet to mathematically clinch a spot in the Chase. WHAT JUST HAPPENED: Busch started second in Saturday's Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway , sharing the front row with pole-sitting teammate Denny Hamlin 's No. 11 Toyota. He followed a win in Friday night's green-white-checkered finish in the XFINITY Series with an eighth-place finish in the Sprint Cup race. A green-flag stop for a loose wheel and a penalty for speeding on pit road cost Busch a shot at winning the race despite leading the most laps, 192 of 500. WHAT HE NEEDS: Staying out of trouble remains a priority. Busch must remain in the top 30 in the drivers points standings and is in 29th after Bristol , 46 points ahead of 31st-place driver Cole Whitt . But after Saturday's race, Busch is closer to 28th place, just one point behind Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., who finished 21st at Bristol . There is a good chance Busch could lock up his Chase spot at Darlington next week. WHAT'S NEXT: The Sprint Cup Series heads to Darlington Raceway for the Bojangles' Southern 500 on Sept. 6 (7:30 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). "The Lady in Black" is a tough track to tame, and the low downforce package that teams ran at Kentucky Speedway will also be used at Darlington. Busch won at Kentucky and was among the drivers who raved about the new aero package. He also has one win at Darlington, in 2008, and has an average finish there of 13.6.
RELATED: Full results from Bristol " Updated standings BRISTOL , Tenn. -- With Kevin Harvick hounding him mercilessly for 63 laps, Joey Logano kept his No. 22 Team Penske Ford out front after taking the lead on a Lap 438 restart and held on to win Saturday's Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway . Successfully defending last year's victory at Thunder Valley, Logano won his third race of the season, his second at the .533-mile short track and the 11th of his career. Harvick recovered from two pit-road penalties to finish second, a mere .220 seconds behind Logano. Polesitter Denny Hamlin ran third, and Clint Bowyer got a much-needed fourth place result in his No. 15 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota. RELATED: Ragan, Bowyer get turned at Bristol It was a fascinating chase over the final 63 laps, as Harvick would bury his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet into the corner at the top of the track, catch Logano in the turns and watch as Logano dived to the bottom on corner exit and pull away. "There's not much time to look in the rearview mirror, but I realized how different his line was than mine," Logano said. "He'd drive in so hard and almost get to my back bumper, and then I'd drive off really good. "It's kind of interesting to watch a race like that, when two cars are a similar speed, but in two completely different ways. That's what's so fun about Bristol is you can drive the car about five or six different ways and make it fast, so it's fun to race here." Harvick said Logano's ability to diamond the corner gave the Ford an advantage when it came to working traffic. "He was just one step ahead of me in traffic," Harvick said. "I couldn't get my car to rotate across the center like I needed it to, and every time I tried to force it, it would snap the back out. He was able to go in really high and before the center of the corner drive down the corner and I was just having to wait just a split second to be able to put the throttle back down, and I couldn't do that, that huge diamond all the way to the bottom like he could, and that was really beneficial for him through traffic… "He was able to get those huge runs up off the exit of the corner and just stayed one step ahead of me through traffic, I felt like, and in clean air we probably were a little faster, but it didn't really matter. I had to be in front of him to show that." Brad Keselowski came home fifth, followed by Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch , who led a race-high 192 laps but was hit with a pit road speeding penalty on his last stop under yellow on Lap 432. Logano took over from there and racked up 176 laps out front in a race that saw 14 lead changes among five drivers. The runner-up finish was Harvick's 10th of the season. Dale Earnhardt Jr . finished ninth, followed by Ryan Newman and Jamie McMurray , who solidified their positions in the fight for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup berths on points. McMurray and Newman are 10th and 11th in the standings, respectively, the highest-scored drivers without a victory this season. Given that there have been only 11 different winners in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this year, at least three drivers are certain to qualify for the Chase on points. Kyle Busch , a four-time winner and 29th in the standings, also moved closer to locking up a Chase berth, padding his advantage to 46 points over 31st-place Cole Whitt . Busch, who missed the first 11 events of the season because of injury, must remain in the top 30 for the next two races to qualify for the Chase. Busch wasn't pleased when NASCAR flagged him for the speeding penalty, but he made a masterful drive from the rear of the field to eighth place. "I was proud of Kyle, keeping his cool and getting back up, because I think that gave us some more points, some more cushion there," team owner Joe Gibbs said. "I think he's doing a really good job of focusing and not losing his poise."
RELATED: Complete lineup for Bristol night race " Drivers' intro songs BRISTOL , Tenn. -- NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Managing Director Richard Buck made a point to reiterate restart rules in Saturday's pre-race drivers' meeting at Bristol Motor Speedway , leading to a spirited discussion among drivers and car owners alike. The comments came just hours ahead of the annual Irwin Tools Night Race (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM), and three days after Ryan Blaney was black-flagged for jumping a restart during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at the .533-mile track. "Starts and restarts: We need everybody's help tonight to tighten up the starts and restarts," Buck told the group. "That means nose-to-tail, door-to-door. It's a small restart zone, we all know that, so we need everybody's help. The leader is the control car and it's his responsibility or her responsibility to bring the field down at the caution car speed and restart at the restart zone." The reminders sparked a question from team owner Chip Ganassi about whether brake-checking and other forms of gamesmanship would be ruled a penalty. Buck replied that the leader (or "control car," in race officials' parlance) would have the ultimate responsibility for restarting the race in the designated zone. That led to three follow-up questions from Carl Edwards , who referenced Austin Dillon pulling away from him on a restart during last weekend's race at Michigan International Speedway . Buck said that while he applauded Edwards' enthusiasm, race officials have the ultimate say. "We also have multiple resources and multiple people that watch that, OK?" Buck said in response to Edwards' question whether race officials could determine if the leader had pressed the accelerator. "As Chip's question alluded to, there's a lot of gamesmanship going on, but we need you guys to do to be nose-to-tail, door-to-door, be in line when you come to the start. The control car's responsibility is to restart in the restart zone or we will restart it. If there's a judgment call that has to be made, we will make that." Denny Hamlin , Edwards' teammate at Joe Gibbs Racing then asked whether NASCAR officials could revert to the previous rule for double-file restarts, when second-place cars were not allowed to beat the control car to the start-finish line. "That's a longer discussion that we can have," Buck said. "OK, we appreciate the input, but it is the way it is today." Clint Bowyer added the final voice from the assembled crowd, questioning why -- in his opinion -- restart penalties were only called in the Camping World Truck Series. Buck's response: "Trust me, we'll reinforce the rule and I hope you are not it."
Matt Kenseth , one of the hottest drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as Joe Gibbs Racing continues to put on a power display, was out of the Irwin Tools Night Race early Saturday night after the No. 20's engine failed at Bristol Motor Speedway . "It broke in the middle of the straightaway -- it had that hop and that noise that it makes when you know you dropped a valve. Unfortunate, but man these guys at TRD (Toyota Racing Development) have been doing such an awesome job, we've had so much power and everything has been really reliable here the last year and a half." The No. 20 went behind the wall on Lap 114 after making it to pit road, smoking its way around the 0.533-mile concrete oval. Asked if he saw any signs of trouble with the engine, Kenseth replied, "They never warn you, it would be cool if they would send you a text or something. Just the middle of the straightaway it made that pop where you knew that was it." Kenseth started Saturday night's race in 13th but the engine failure would send the 2003 premier series champion to a 42nd-place finish. He won the spring race at Bristol from the pole. He has three wins this season and entered the Irwin Tools Night Race third in the Chase Grid and locked into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . "The encouraging part is that our cars are really fast and I thought we were an adjustment away from having what we really needed to run with everybody," Kenseth said. "Wish we were still out there." Kenseth dominated the previous week's race, the Pure Michigan 400 , leading 146 of 200 laps en route to the victory.
RELATED: Chase Grid post- Bristol No drivers clinched a Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup berth in the IRWIN Tools Night Race on Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway . That means 10 drivers are locked into a postseason spot, provided they attempt to qualify for the two remaining regular-season races. Here's a look at the bubble for the six available Chase spots. 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Already clinched: Jimmie Johnson , Matt Kenseth , Kevin Harvick , Joey Logano , Dale Earnhardt Jr ., Kurt Busch , Martin Truex Jr ., Brad Keselowski , Denny Hamlin , Carl Edwards Note: Kyle Busch has four wins and is currently second in the Chase Grid, but has not clinched a spot in the top 30 of the points standings. On the bubble Note: Positions below are for the Chase Grid, not Sprint Cup standings 12. Jamie McMurray +41 (points ahead of 16th-place) 13 . Ryan Newman +28 14 . Paul Menard +19 15. Jeff Gordon +17 16 . Clint Bowyer -- ----------------------- 17. Aric Almirola -35 (points behind 16th-place) 18. Kasey Kahne -37 19. Greg Biffle -83 20. Austin Dillon -91 Rest of top 30 21. Kyle Larson -104 22. Danica Patrick -130 23. Casey Mears -139 24. AJ Allmendinger -140 25. David Ragan -164 26. Sam Hornish Jr . -179 27. Tony Stewart -189 28. Trevor Bayne -212 29. Ricky Stenhouse Jr . -221 30. Justin Allgaier -246
Before the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM), the NASCAR Sprint Cup pilots came out during driver introductions to songs they chose. Check out the list below in the order they were introduced, starting with last-place qualifier Mike Bliss and ending with Coors Light Pole Award winner Denny Hamlin . 43rd place) Mike Bliss - "Hells Bells" by AC/DC 42nd place) Matt DiBenedetto - "I Love Rock 'n Roll" by Joan Jett 41st place) Timmy Hill - "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)" by Silento 40th place) Tony Stewart - "Smoke On The Water" by Deep Purple 39th place) Landon Cassill - "Smooth" by Santana 38th place) J.J. Yeley - "Devil in Disguise" by Elvis Presley 37th place) David Gilliland - Kickstart My Heart" by Motley Crue 36th place) Alex Bowman - "Bring Me The Horizon" by Throne 35th place) Michael Annett - "Bernie Lean" by Bernie Dance 34th place) Josh Wise - "Dixieland Delight" by Alabama 33rd place) Cole Whitt - "Armor For The Lord" by Blake Whiteley 32nd place) Danica Patrick - "Hot Blooded" by Foreigner 31st place) Aric Almirola - "I Can't Drive 55" by Sammy Hagar 30th place Michael McDowell "Nothing I Can't Do" by Tedashii 29th place) Paul Menard - "Symphony of Destruction" by Megadeth 28th place Casey Mears "Fuel" by Metallica 27th place) Brett Moffitt - "Cowboy" by Kid Rock 26th place) Sam Hornish Jr . - "Touch of Grey" by Grateful Dead 25th place) AJ Allmendinger - "Tainted Love" by Marilyn Manson 24th place) Jeff Gordon - "E.I." by Nelly 23rd place) Martin Truex Jr . - "La Grange" by ZZ Top 22nd place) Trevor Bayne - "Back Where I Come From" by Kenny Chesney 21st place) Jamie McMurray - "Walk This Way" by Aerosmith 20th place) Dale Earnhardt Jr . - "Eminence Front" by The Who 19th place) Kasey Kahne - "Cherry Bomb" by John Mellencamp 18th place) Ryan Newman - "Good Ol' Boys" by Waylon Jennings 17th place) Greg Biffle - "Wild Side" by Motley Crue 16th place) Austin Dillon - "Move" by Ludacris 15th place) Ryan Blaney - "Even Flow" by Pearl Jam 14th place) Justin Allgaier - "Ready Set Roll" by Chase Rice 13th place) Matt Kenseth - "Stife" by Trivium 12th place) Kyle Larson - "Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)" by Elton John 11th place) Kurt Busch - "Party Up (Up In Here)" by DMX 10th place) Jimmie Johnson - "Renegades" by X Ambassadors 9th place) Clint Bowyer - "Going Through the Big D" by Mark Chesnutt 8th place) Ricky Stenhouse Jr . - "The Stroke" by Billy Squier 7th place) Kevin Harvick - "Real Life" by Jake Owen 6th place) Brad Keselowski - "Drop It Like It's Hot" by Snoop Dogg 5th place) Joey Logano - "I'm Shipping Up To Boston" by Dropkick Murphys 4th place) David Ragan - "Only In America" by Brooks and Dunn 3rd place) Carl Edwards - "Juke Box Hero" by Foreigner 2nd place) Kyle Busch - DJ Barry 1st place) Denny Hamlin - "Heart Upon My Sleeve" by Avicii
NASCAR.com’s Jonathan Merryman recaps the IRWIN Tools Night Race as Joey Logano holds off Kevin Harvick to grab the checkers for the third time in the 2015 season at Bristol Motor Speedway .
Jeff Burton takes the Toyota Camry Test Car around Bristol Motor Speedway to discuss the challenges of the half-mile track.
Check out the top moments from all three series at Bristol Motor Speedway in this edition of Weekend Top Five.
Kyle Larson has a rough night as he catches a flat tire on Lap 125, then on Lap 359 gets major damage from a hard hit to the outside wall coming out of Turn 4 at Bristol Motor Speedway .