Playoff watch: Logano drops points to Kenseth and Bowyer again

Matt Kenseth and Clint Bowyer both finished in the top five at Watkins Glen on Sunday. Joey Logano didn’t even finish inside the top 20.

Kenseth nearly ran down race-winner Martin Truex Jr. in the final laps of Sunday’s race. As Truex’s car sputtered off the final corner, Kenseth didn’t have enough time to accelerate past the guy who has been the best driver in the Cup Series.

A win would have guaranteed Kenseth a spot in the playoff field. With 13 official winners for 16 playoff spots, Kenseth is currently third in points among winless drivers. So he occupies the final spot in the playoffs.

But yeah, a win would have been nice.


Hopefully you can catch Kenseth’s sarcasm there.

Bowyer finished fifth. He was up in the top three at the beginning of the final green flag run but backed off like Truex to make sure he finished the race. Because Bowyer is battling to get into the playoffs via points if he doesn’t get a win, we agree that it wasn’t worth risking a slim chance at a win (Truex had the better car) for the loss of points.

Meanwhile, Logano finished 24th. The 2015 winner at Watkins Glen finished seventh in the first stage and tried a pit strategy to play for a caution over the race’s final 37-lap green flag run.

That caution never happened. Thus, Logano’s strategy was ruined.

“A top-5 or a win is the only thing that is going to help us, so we went for it by pitting and putting four tires on and hoping to get a caution and maybe cycle ahead of cars with new tires,” Logano said of his team’s decision to eschew a fuel mileage gamble like Bowyer and Kenseth. “Unfortunately it went green all the way and we didn’t get a good finish. We need to win the next few races here.”

Yes, Logano probably does need a win. With four races to go before the playoffs, here are the points standings among drivers without a win. Remember, the most points a driver can score in a race is 60 and Logano is now 95 points behind Kenseth for the final spot.

IN THE PLAYOFFS
Chase Elliott, 648 points
Jamie McMurray, 643 points
Matt Kenseth, 637 points

ON THE OUTSIDE
Joey Logano, 542 points
Daniel Suarez, 508 points
Erik Jones, 477 points

Matt Kenseth finished second to Martin Truex Jr. on Sunday. (Getty)

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!