If it were up to Joey Logano, no other driver would win a race during the Eliminator Round of this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. At least that’s how it seemed on track at Kansas Speedway.

Having already won the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway the previous weekend, Logano didn’t need to do anything to assure him of a spot in the next round of the Chase. The win had already locked him in. But that wasn’t good enough.

He wanted to win the race, because that’s what racers do. It didn’t matter that he’d already qualified for the Eliminator Round, and it didn’t matter who stood in his way.

Matt Kenseth can attest to that last point. With seven laps to go in the Hollywood Casino 400, the driver of the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota was leading. He had made several successful attempts at blocking a hard-charging Logano in the No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford before the latter driver got into the left rear bumper of Kenseth. The contact, although minor, turned Kenseth sideways up the track.

Fortunately for Kenseth, he didn’t hit the wall and was able to continue the race, but it was enough to knock him out of contention for the win. The altercation brought out the seventh and final caution of the day.

When asked about the contact during his post-race press conference, Logano responded, “I wasn’t trying to send no message. Either way, I was trying to win the race.”

Yes, he was trying to win a race and that is all well and good, but don’t expect Kenseth to offer Logano any help over the last five races. It is likely that Logano, who had the faster car, would have been able to pass Kenseth before the end of the race to take the lead and the win without having to knock Kenseth out of the way.

So, if there is bad blood between the two drivers, don’t be surprised.

And now Kenseth sits in 12th-place in the standings and unless he wins next weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, there is a very good chance he’ll be knocked out of Chase contention as the field narrows from 12 to eight after next weekend.

If the Eliminator Round were to begin today, Kyle Busch, Ryan Newman and Dale Earnhardt Jr. would be joining Kenseth on the outside looking in. The four of them would join Jamie McMurray, Jimmie Johnson, Paul Menard and Clint Bowyer who were all eliminated after the first three races of the Chase.

Moving on with Logano to the Eliminator Round would be Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr.

Of the 12 drivers still in championship contention, seven of them have at least one win at the 2.66-mile track: Gordon (six), Earnhardt (six), Keselowski (three), Hamlin (one), Harvick (one), Ky. Busch (one) and Kenseth (one).

Although it was a disappointing day on the track for Kenseth, Alex Gage (I mean Pohlman) had reason to celebrate … for the second time over the weekend. The first … she got married and is now Alex Pohlman, and then on Sunday Kenseth (her pick) finished higher than John Farrell’s pick (Kyle Larson). Congratulations Pohlman (on both accounts)!

Kenseth finished 14th after leading a race-high 153 laps. Larson finished 29th and pretty much hung around the twenties and thirties for the majority of the race. The win for Pohlman extended her lead to three (the largest it’s been all season) over Farrell in the In This Corner challenge.

Next weekend, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers will be at Talladega Superspeedway for the GEICO 500 (2:30 p.m.) – the last race of the Contender Round and the last chance for the 11 drivers to punch their automatic tickets into the Eliminator Round.

The fall race at Talladega is often considered the Wild Card of the Chase because anything can happen there, and usually does. And there’s no reason to expect anything different this coming Sunday; however, there is one thing we’re pretty sure you won’t see – Kenseth helping Logano.

Gage – 11; Farrell – 8