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Joey Logano and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion team punched their ticket to the final round of the NASCAR Chase for the Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway (HMS) next weekend by winning Sunday’s Can-Am 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. After starting the race from the fourth position, Logano was able to keep his Ford at the front of the field on the strength of good speed at the start of a run, and a strong showing from his pit crew. Needing to help his driver turn better in the center of the corners, crew chief Todd Gordon adjusted the air pressure in the Goodyear radials all day, with one adjustment to the wedge on the fourth pit stop. Logano was impressive early on in a run, but as the laps progressed he would lose a few positions due to handling, only to make them up on pit road. The finish of the event, however, would provide plenty of drama as over the final, scheduled laps Logano had to feverishly hold off the No. 4 of Kevin Harvick to assure a spot at HMS based on points. However, a caution with one lap remaining set the field up for a green-white-checker, overtime finish. With Logano restarting in the fourth position on the first attempt, two of the lead cars were caught up in an incident in which Logano was able to drive through to take the top spot. He was able to hold the lead through the second attempt at the green-white-checker finish to score the victory to clinch a spot as one of only four drivers that can win the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title at HMS next weekend.

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“This feels so good. I’ve never felt this good about a win before. There was so much on the line and everyone brings their A-game when it comes to winning championships and this team did it. Man, this feels so good. I had a good restart there at the end and holding off Kyle to try to get this Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion into Miami. We’re racing for a championship now. We did exactly what we had to do. We’ve got to go to Homestead and do the same thing.”