Joey Logano entered into the Chase discussion on Sunday, by winning his first race of the season at Michigan International Speedway.
Logano, was the dominate car all weekend, winning the pole in record fashion at 203.949. He took the lead from Mark Martin with four laps left when Martin ran out of gas, attempting to become the oldest NASCAR race winner. Logano, the youngest in the field, cruised to victory after that.
Kevin Harvick finished second, followed by Kurt Busch, Paul Menard, and Clint Bowyer rounding out the top five.
Logano entered the day in 16th in the points, but now sits in 13th place, just 17 points outside of the top 10, which would lock him in the field. Kasey Kahne and Martin Truex Jr. have the two wild card spots at 11th and 12th, Kahne with two wins and Truex with one.
The field is tight with just three races left before the Chase field is set.
*** Silly season officially has begun ***
You will need a program to keep up this week. Tony Stewart is officially out for the remainder of the 2013 season. Replacing him will be Mark Martin, except for Talladega, where Austin Dillion will grab the ride. Speaking of Dillion, he has lost his sponsor Advocare to Trevor Bayne for the 2014 Nationwide series, which opens the door that he will officially replace Kevin Harvick on the cup side and most likely, mark the return of the famous #3 Chevrolet to NASCAR’s top circuit.
Martin will be replaced at Michael Waltrip Racing for the rest of the season, by Brian Vickers, who was announced as the full-time driver of the #55 last week. Michael Waltrip will take the wheel for the Talladega race.
Kurt Busch is supposedly entertaining multiple offers, including potentially going to Stewart-Haas as their fourth car, despite Ryan Newman being without a ride next year.
Juan Pablo is rumored to be going back to open-wheel racing, with Michael Andretti next season, if a sponsor is located.
*** Bristol Night Racing ***
The race that made racing under the lights what it is today. The small half-mile track is sure to heat up some arguments in the 500 lap race. Kyle Busch has figured out the track over the past few years, and has already won the truck race this week. Could chance he will win his sixth race ever at Bristol I like Dale Earnhardt Jr. to finish strong and go to victory lane however. Earnhardt appears in good shape for the chase, but a solid finish will eliminate most doubt about his following out of the top 10 in the final races. Ryan Truex will make his Sprint Cup debut this weekend.