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Joey Logano picks up another Top-5 result in Kansas

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Joey Logano may have faded late after leading 63 laps during the middle stages of last night’s 5-Hour Energy 400 at Kansas Speedway, but the Team Penske driver was still able to chalk up his sixth Top-5 finish of the year with a fourth-place result.

With 60 laps to go in the 267-lap race, Logano restarted up front alongside Kevin Harvick and appeared to be in contention for what would have been his third Sprint Cup win of the season.

But Harvick was able to take the lead from him off the restart and with 48 laps to go, Logano ceded second to Jeff Gordon – who would go on to beat Harvick for the win by just two car lengths.

Meanwhile, Logano slipped one more spot in the final laps as Kasey Kahne peeled third place off of him while he was trying to dispatch a lapped car.

“That last restart, the 4 and 24 [Harvick and Gordon] just took off and left me – I was like, ‘Man, wait for me!’,” Logano said afterwards. “Those guys were quick.

“We missed our adjustments a little bit trying to keep up with the track. I feel like we should have finished third. The 5 [Kahne] got by me when I was trying to get around a lap car and I am disappointed in myself there.

Logano still was the top Ford driver on the night, leading a three-driver contingent from the Blue Oval that made the Top 10.

Roush Fenway Racing’s Carl Edwards finished sixth on his home track, while Aric Almirola finished eighth for Richard Petty Motorsports.

With two wins in hand from Texas and Richmond, Logano will be in the hunt for a massive payday in next weekend’s Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

While the All-Star will be a non-points event, a $1 million prize is going to the winner.

“Overall, it is a solid Top-5 finish again and we will keep that momentum going and have some fun next week in Charlotte and go for a million bucks.

IndyCar 2015 Driver Review: Gabby Chaves

Gabby Chaves
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MotorSportsTalk continues its run through the driver-by-driver field in the Verizon IndyCar Series. In 15th and the rookie-of-the-year for 2015, was Gabby Chaves.

Gabby Chaves, No. 98 Bryan Herta Autosport Honda

  • 2014: Indy Lights champion
  • 2015: 15th Place, Best Finish 9th, Best Start 12th, 0 Top-5, 2 Top-10, 31 Laps Led, 19.3 Avg. Start, 14.4 Avg. Finish

Some drivers finish better than their performances show. Some drivers have performances better than their results show. The latter statement applied to Gabby Chaves in his rookie year, in what was an impressive first season after making the step up from Indy Lights, which deservedly earned him rookie-of-the-year honors.

The best comparison I’d make for Gabby is of Josef Newgarden in 2012 with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, a first-year driver on a single-car, newish team to the series.

Chaves rarely dazzled in qualifying but that wasn’t his fault; he and engineer John Dick worked well together and Chaves recounted multiple times this year that a tweak here or tweak there, the wrong way, on the aero kit would send them down the wrong setup path.

Results in races didn’t measure up either but again that was through almost no fault of his own. The only time Chaves looked truly like a rookie was at St. Pete, when he had several collisions. Otherwise he was ahead of eventual winner James Hinchcliffe at NOLA before getting punted off, reliable through the month of May in Indianapolis, finally able to break through for a ninth place in Detroit race two, overachieving in Texas, 11th at Milwaukee after some great wheel-to-wheel racing with series winners and champions, and then phenomenal at Pocono as he was on course for a first career win or podium before late-race engine issues – his first DNF of the season.

For both Chaves and Herta, you’d love to see them together for another season, and the results and confidence for both parties will grow as a result. Those who’ve seen Newgarden’s rise over four years with Fisher and now CFH will note the long-term stability, and that’s what Chaves could do if he gets the time.

He planted the seed of being a great IndyCar driver, and he became pretty versatile during the year too with additional appearances in the DeltaWing prototype, a short-track midget and one of Herta’s Red Bull Global Rallycross cars. To boot, he’s a smart, great kid who is mature beyond his years, and someone you should be buying stock in now. Anyone who saw Chaves in the Mazda Road to Indy should not have been surprised by his rookie season in the big cars.

Off The Grid: Monza preview (premieres Saturday 10/10 on NBCSN)

F1 Grand Prix of Italy
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Having already taken you behind the scenes in Barcelona, Budapest, Singapore, Melbourne and Silverstone, Will Buxton and Jason Swales now head to one of Formula 1’s most iconic venues for the latest episode of Off The Grid.

Monza has appeared in all but one F1 season since the formation of the world championship in 1950, and is a firm favorite among drivers, teams and fans alike.

However, there is far more to the Italian Grand Prix than meets the eye, as we find out in Saturday’s premiere of Off The Grid: Monza at 9:30am ET (follows Russian GP qualifying).

Having honed his talents in go-karts as a kid, Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo is now trying to pass on his knowledge to the next generation of racers. But can he teach Will or Jason a thing or two?

We also catch up with Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and get a feel for life on the road as he takes us for a tour of his lavish bus in which he travels in for the European F1 races.

Have you ever wondered just how the suits F1 drivers wear are made? We go behind the scenes at Alpine Stars’ factory in Italy and find out.

Off The Grid: Monza premieres on Saturday at 9:30am ET on NBCSN following Russian GP qualifying.