Four drivers eliminated from Sprint Cup title contention at Talladega

The 500 at Talladega Superspeedway is history, and so are the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship hopes of four drivers. Joey Logano won, giving him a clean sweep of all three races in the Contender Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.


Eliminated from title contention on Sunday were Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Newman and Denny Hamlin.


With Talladega in the books, eight drivers will now advance to the Eliminator Round of the Chase, which begins next Sunday at Martinsville Speedway.


Still in the title hunt is Joey Logano, winner of all three races of the Contender Round, which wrapped up at Talladega with a wild green-white-checkered finish that saw Logano’s Team Penske Ford edge out Earnhardt by inches.


"It is amazing," said Logano. "Dreams come true I guess. We have to keep this dream rolling. We have a long way to go. We are back to zero going into Martinsville so we need to make something happen in the next three races."


The other seven drivers who kept their title hopes alive at Talladega are: Kurt Busch, Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr.


"Crazy, absolutely crazy, but boy what a relief," said Gordon, who keeps his drive for a fifth series championship alive for at least three more races. "I know my wife who was sick at home was very relieved as well.  We are in. That is awesome."


"I love all the adjectives and adverbs on how the point system works," said Kurt Busch. "Escapes, survived, yeah, we are in position now.  Now it’s a point’s race.  You’ve got the top eight guys and you’ve got to do really good things in these last four races to win the championship. … We’ve got more for them.  We will keep going."


As for Busch’s younger brother, Kyle, who barely made it in, he said, "I’m numb."