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Chase field turning into championship also-rans

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Kasey Kahne's chase in the Chase is finished. Same with Joey Logano.

Carl Edwards went from borderline contender to thinking about 2014.

Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch have separated themselves as the drivers to beat through the first three Chase for the Sprint Cup championship races. Even if there's some mathematical miracle to keep them alive, the bottom half of the field can forget about a championship.

Edwards finished 35th and dropped from fourth in the standings to 11th after a late tire issue sent him to the garage.

"We've really got to step it up now to have a chance," he said. "We did not need to have that trouble. But there's a lot of racing left. We don't quit. We just have to keep moving."

Logano, who won the Nationwide race, finished third and remained stuck at 12th in the standings. That shows just rugged it can be to gain any ground in the Chase standings.

"The last six, seven laps, we were the fastest car on the track," Logano said. "Too little too late. Could barely see the leaders. Only shot at beating them was them running into each other. I just couldn't get there in time."

Logano lamented with another 40 laps, he might have been the leader. He has seven races to dig himself out of a 66-point hole.

With seven Chase races left, the standings look like this: Kenseth, Johnson, Busch, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon, Greg Biffle, Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Edwards, Logano and Kahne.

"We are concerned about points," Logano said.

With very good reason.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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