Logano wins Talladega to advance in NASCAR’s playoffs

Joey Logano celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race auto race at Talladega Superspeedway, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016, in Talladega, Ala. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)
Joey Logano celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race auto race at Talladega Superspeedway, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016, in Talladega, Ala. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) – Joey Logano grabbed a critical win to give Team Penske one car in the next round of NASCAR’s playoffs. Denny Hamlin edged Austin Dillon for the final spot in the field on a tiebreaker Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway.

Logano wasn’t in a must-win situation, but the victory gave him a guaranteed slot on a day when the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship field was cut from 12 to eight drivers.

Engine troubles for Martin Truex Jr. and Penske driver Brad Keselowski counted for two of the eliminations, and the race came down to a late battle for the final transfer spot between Hamlin and Dillon.

Hamlin finished third and Dillon was ninth. They ended the round tied in points, but the eighth and final slot went to Hamlin on a tiebreaker.