BRISTOL, Tenn. (Jeff Gluck, USA Today) -- Welcome to the triple winners club, Joey Logano.
Logano became the fifth driver to tally his third victory of the season on Saturday night, holding off Team Penske teammate Brad Keselowski in the final turn to win the night race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
"Yeah, Bristol!" Logano screamed on the radio.
Logano joined Keselowski, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. as three-time winners this season, a sure sign the Chase for the Sprint Cup is wide open with two races until the playoff field is set.
"Oh my god that was awesome. Good work," Logano radioed his crew after the win.
Keselowski was second, followed by Matt Kenseth, Johnson and Kurt Busch. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Carl Edwards, Jamie McMurray, Paul Menard and Greg Biffle rounded out the top 10.
"I was swinging for the fences and came up one spot short," Keselowski said.
Jeff Burton finished 15th subbing for Tony Stewart, who missed his third consecutive race after his car struck and killed sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr. at a track in upstate New York on Aug. 9.
Kevin Harvick started from the pole and led the first 37 laps until he struggled to get around Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Danica Patrick in traffic, allowing Jeff Gordon to make a pass for the lead.
Kyle Busch then caught Gordon and got around him at lap 55. But Busch was tagged with a speeding penalty on pit stops during a competition caution – along with Johnson – that dropped him to the rear of the field.
That left Matt Kenseth in the lead, but the next green-flag run didn't last long. Josh Wise was spun out on lap 69, a back-of-the-field crash which also collected JJ Yeley and Brett Moffitt.
Logano took the lead from Kenseth just past the 100-lap mark while they battled lapped traffic.
The night's second multi-car crash happened on lap 125, when Brian Vickers got into Kyle Larson, bounced off him and hit Aric Almirola. The No. 43 car of Almirola then spun and collected Kyle Busch. Clint Bowyer also got a piece of the incident.
"To go out like that is certainly disappointing, but that's racing at Bristol – you get caught up in other people's wrecks," Almirola said.
Denny Hamlin took the lead for the first time by virtue of a two-tire pit strategy and was able to hold it for several laps, but then Harvick suddenly spun him out entering Turn 1. Earnhardt Jr. smashed into Hamlin after the No. 11 Toyota bounced off the inside wall.
Hamlin was initially upset – he threw his HANS (head and neck support device) onto the track at Harvick – but had calmed down by the time he spoke with the media.
"I'm frustrated because we had a good run going," he said. "… Mistakes happen in racing. Obviously, I believe Kevin made a mistake and that's part of it. I was on the short end of the stick."
Harvick inherited the lead on the restart and held it until a caution for Michael Annett, when most of the leaders pitted but Kasey Kahne did not. Kahne, Jamie McMurray, Johnson and Jeff Burton stayed out, giving them favorable track position.
Kahne wasn't able to hold the lead for long due to a loose wheel and McMurray – looking for his first win of the season – moved out front and led at the halfway point.
Patrick was spun by Alex Bowman on lap 263. Though she was already three laps down, Patrick and her team were angry at Bowman.
"Well, I just got turned," Patrick said. After a discussion about Bowman's driving ability, she added: "We all have control of our cars."
On the restart following the Patrick caution, Keselowski took the lead from McMurray. He retained it past lap 300 despite repeated challenges from the Chip Ganassi Racing driver, but McMurray finally got by again at lap 312.
McMurray remained the leader after pit stops during a debris caution and stayed out with the rest of the frontrunners when Marcos Ambrose wrecked at lap 375.
Logano was chasing down McMurray when a caution came out for debris with 69 laps to go. Those cars pitted, but Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Kyle Larson and Paul Menard did not – putting them in the top four spots with 63 laps left, followed by McMurray and Logano.
Kenseth got away briefly on the restart, but Logano was able to track him down and make the pass with 44 laps left.