Get the latest Joey Logano news, media, stats, and standings for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver only on the official site of NASCAR.
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Recapping the day at Homestead for the three odd drivers out MORE: Full race results " Final season standings " Harvick wins championship HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- With 20 laps left in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup finale, all four title contenders were occupying the top four positions on the track. Some of the hardest racing of the season had gotten them there, but only one could hoist the championship trophy after the nerve-shaking finish. Kevin Harvick survived everything the remaining three could throw at him, claiming his first title in NASCAR's premier series Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway . Ryan Newman , Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano came up short in the Ford EcoBoost 400 , but the varying paths prompted varying reactions with equal parts resignation, acceptance and heartache. How the three odd men out of the Championship 4 fared Sunday: Ryan Newman, Richard Childress Racing No. 31 Chevrolet Sunday's finish: 2nd. Final standings: 2nd (previous career-best: 6th in 2002, 2003 and 2005) How it played out: The lone winless driver eligible for the crown started the farthest back on the grid, in 21st place, but steadily worked his way up the leaderboard to crack the top five by Lap 72. Newman benefited from crew chief Luke Lambert's call for two tires during the team's final pit stop, then inherited second place when Jeff Gordon pitted under caution with 11 laps remaining. From there, Newman fought hard but gave way to Harvick's charge to the front on the next-to-last restart, taking the checkered flag exactly half a second behind the 2014 champion in the team's best finish of the season. What they said: "I was happy the situation I was in. I mean, our sport would have been better if the four of us were on the front two rows, absolutely, but in the end I was one of the guys that had a shot at it, and I was happy to be in that position. But man, you live for the moment and you drive as hard as you can. We didn't have quite enough. That's disappointing, but like I said, it was an awesome team effort, and I think, again, this is a great race track to have a race like this, and I thought there was some amazing passing, and we don't get that at every race track. It was fun from my standpoint to come from where we came from this year. We started the season in Daytona getting spun out in the last five laps to being the runner‑up for the championship. It was a good rebound for us." Support system: Team owner Richard Childress has won championships before, securing six as a team owner with NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt. But a win Sunday would have given the 69-year-old former driver his first title in 20 years. "It hurts. Now I know talking to Ned Yost last week how he feels, coming up short," Childress said, comparing his situation to the World Series loss for the Kansas City Royals manager, a close personal friend. Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota Sunday's finish: 7th Final standings: 3rd (career-best: 2nd, 2010) How it played out: Hamlin started eighth and wound up being the only driver among the ousted three to lead laps in the season finale. His race turned, however, when crew chief Darian Grubb elected to keep his driver on the track during the 11th of 13 yellow flags. The move gave Hamlin the lead in the 253rd of 267 laps, but the driver said over his team radio that he wasn't sure about the strategy: "I don't know. I thought we could have beat them on pit road." On older tires and with two restarts still to come, Hamlin held the top spot for as long as he could until Harvick stormed to the front with eight laps left. His car continued to fade, a top-five slipping away in the final few circuits. What they said: "You know, for me there's not one thing I would have done different. I mean, we brought a car that was capable of winning. I just don't know how to express it enough. Sometimes breaks go your way, sometimes they don't. They just didn't go our way. There's not much else we could have done with the strategy that we played with the cautions that came out. I wouldn't do a thing different. I think we overachieved greatly by being here, and we haven't had the speed to compete for race wins all year, and we did today, on the race that really mattered. Just came up short. You know, this is the third time around that I've had an opportunity to win a championship, but each one has been different, and this has by far been our best effort as far as going out there and trying to get it done." Support system: Hamlin had NBA legend and personal friend Michael Jordan behind his pit stall as part of a star-studded cheering section. But he also had Grubb thinking outside the box in an effort to gain track position. The crew chief led a team huddle at the back of the hauler, offering words of encouragement. Though he said he'd have loved a do-over, he wasn't completely faulting the decision. "Hindsight is 20-20. It's the wrong call. But, at the time it was the perfect call," Grubb said. "We were able to get out there and get the lead. We had, I think, 17 laps to go. We were walking away from them and the next closest guy with tires was in seventh, I believe. So, we had it wrapped up there and then two quick cautions are what killed us." Joey Logano , Team Penske No. 22 Ford Sunday's finish: 16th Final standings: 4th (previous career-best: 8th, 2013) How it played out: Logano started his day in ninth place and soon became a fixture among the top five. Though he found plenty of speed in his No. 22 entry, pivotal miscues on his final pit stops were his undoing. Logano lost some momentum after scraping the wall near the Lap 180 mark, but the bigger pitfalls came during the team's final stops. In the race's seventh caution, Logano lost six spots in a 14.6-second stop when a dropped lug nut caused a delay. Two stops later, disaster struck when the car slipped off the jack right after the crew had removed the left-side tires. The Penske crew fixed the issue but only after the No. 22 had spent an agonizing 49.3 seconds in the pit box. Logano rejoined the race in 29th place, slamming his fist on the steering wheel as his hopes for a first Sprint Cup title evaporated. What they said: "Unfortunately, a great season like that makes this overall finish fourth because of one mistake, but that's what the rules are. We understand that. This team did a great job of consistently being fast. In the previous years that would have been perfect. But coming into this race and the way the points go, it doesn't pay any more obviously. Just didn't execute perfectly tonight, and for that reason we'll finish fourth. But we still feel like we did a lot better than fourth this season." Support system: Crew chief Todd Gordon said he suspected Sunday's pit-road gaffe was the first time all season that the car had slipped off the jack. The level of dejection was evident on his driver's face afterward, but Gordon said that once time passes after Sunday's setback that the team will be able to relish the strides made in Logano's second year under the Penske umbrella. "If you look at the whole deal, all the work, there is a lot to be proud of this season," Gordon said. "Five wins and getting ourselves into the Championship Round are good things. I felt like execution would be the dictator tonight and we didn’t do that. That is the long and the short. We had issues and had them late enough that you can't recover from them. We had a few and we just didn't execute." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
Three of Championship 4 will start in top nine at Homestead-Miami RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota MORE: Roger Penske: Nobody gets inside Joey's head HOMESTEAD, Mia. – No one stuffed it in the wall, no one cracked under pressure. And Kevin Harvick continued to needle fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Joey Logano . The first day of on-track activity for NASCAR's final race, the Ford EcoBoost 200 (Sunday, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN) to determine the 2014 Sprint Cup championship concluded without a hitch for the Championship 4 contenders -- Denny Hamlin , Harvick, Logano and Ryan Newman . Fireworks failed to materialize, although Harvick did his best to stay front and center here at Homestead-Miami Speedway . Harvick was fastest among the four in qualifying, and his Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet will start fifth in Sunday's 43-car field. Hamlin ( Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota) qualified eighth; Logano ( Team Penske No. 22 Ford) ninth and Newman ( Richard Childress Racing No. 31 Chevrolet) 21st. The pole went to Jeff Gordon , his third this season and the 200th for his Hendrick Motorsports organization. With Logano and Hamlin conducting their portion of the post-qualifying press conference, Harvick walked into the room and made a beeline for the stage, ignoring a request to wait and join Newman on stage after the Logano /Hamlin session had been completed. "Sit next to my buddy," Harvick said as he took a seat next to Logano . "What's up, friend?" Logano asked. "Long time no see." It was a minor act in a major play and no one knows how much or how little effect Harvick's antics will have come Sunday. Two days earlier and a bit further north, Harvick was quick to reference the finish of an earlier Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega in which he felt Logano held up the outside line on a late restart, slowing Harvick and others enough to allow teammate Brad Keselowski to score the win and advance one more round. "He knows I wasn't joking," Harvick said at the time. Gamesmanship aside, Harvick said he was pleased with his team's first day on the track. And with access to data from three teammates, as well as the teams of Gordon and the Hendrick organization, there's plenty of information at his team’s disposal. "We know we can get better tomorrow," he said of the two practice sessions slated for Saturday. "We have a good spot to start in race trim and seven other cars that are running good to see some of the trends on their stuff today. "All in all, we have a lot to look at and a lot of resources to pull from, and everybody is pulling the rope in the same direction, and we'll just keep plugging away." Logano , eighth here a year ago but a winner of five races this season, called it "an OK day." The speed wasn’t there during practice, he said, but "once again, the 22 bunch kept their heads together, and we were able to make some good changes and found quite a bit of speed out of our car." Hamlin, the defending race winner, likened the feel of his car to last year's piece. "I knew we were going to win the race," he said. "I knew in practice we were going to win the race, and my car feels equally as good this time around." Newman's the lone one of the four without a victory this year, a point he's been asked about constantly. The pragmatic driver hasn't changed his outlook -- he knows the task that awaits his team. "We start 21st ... and I don't think that's the end of our day," he said, "but my comment after qualifying was we beat half of them today, and we've got 267 laps to beat the other half on Sunday. "We've got good equipment, good cars, good people. Our pit stops have gotten better. It's going to be a crazy race, I think. It's going to be some really crazy restarts, but I don't think your starting position defines who's going to finish there." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
Team owner: 'I think it's going to be a level playing field' in finale RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- The little needling comments that Kevin Harvick has lofted out this week to potentially tweak championship rival Joey Logano ahead of the season-ending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race have made for interesting exchanges -- some humorous, some awkward. Roger Penske, Logano's venerable team owner, said on the eve of the season finale that the barbs ring hollow. "I respect him a lot," Penske said of Harvick, noting his hometown connection with famed IndyCar racer Rick Mears, a Penske legend. "But I can tell you this, that 24‑year‑old Joey Logano , no one gets in his head. You could see that when he got down last week in Phoenix. We're standing behind him." Harvick and Logano will vie for their first Sprint Cup crown in Sunday's Ford EcoBoost 400 (3 p.m. ET, ESPN) with Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman , who are also seeking their first Sprint Cup Series championship. Harvick's opening salvo of remarks began in Wednesday's Media Day for the Championship 4 and continued Friday in a post-qualifying media session from Homestead-Miami Speedway . The talk stops Sunday with the drop of the green flag, and Penske said he expects Logano to be firmly in the mix. "To me he's going to be one of the guys that are going to have to get beat," Penske said. "Harvick is going to have to beat him to win. I think it's going to be a level playing field, and the best guy is going to win." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
Harvick brings up 'Dega incident involving Logano at Championship Media Day
NASCAR.com Analyst Chris Rice explains what went wrong for Joey Logano during a late-race pit stop at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Joey Logano talks in the media center after falling short in the Championship Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Joey Logano has trouble on pit road after the car falls down on the jack.