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Logano loses pole after practice crash

"This is NOT the way a birthday and NASCAR [season finale] is supposed to start!!!!" he posted on Twitter afterwards. He also told reporters, "What are you going to do? ... I can't bitch about it, it's over. Everyone has got a backup car. We'll make it up."

The #11 was wrecked and Hamlin couldn't even drive back to the garage, but instead had to be ferried back to pit road by ambulance. Biffle was able to drive his car back, but there was no chance of it being repairable in time for Sunday afternoon.

Logano got off relatively lightly, but the front end of the car was still visibly crumpled with significant structural and engine damage likely, forcing the polesitter to follow Biffle and Hamlin to the backup car - and to the back of the grid.

"I was innocent bystander once again, and they drove into us," sighed Logano, calling the incident a "bummer" as he prepares for his final race with Joe Gibbs Racing before his move to Penske Racing in 2013.

Logano will still be listed in pole position and will line up at the head of pit road, but will then drop to the back of the field before the green flag. That means that the line of cars behind him will all effectively move up one row in time for the start of the race.

The polesitter normally gets a choice of whether then line up on the inside line (at the head of the odd-numbered positions) or the outside (in front of the even-numbered positions) and at the time of the accident Logano hadn't yet made his decision as to which line he would take, saying that he planned to wait and see how Saturday afternoon's Nationwide Series race went before selecting.

In the aftermath of the crash, Logano indicated that he would now choose to the inside line - which means that once he drops to the back of the field, the car in third place would move up to the front row alongside Marcos Ambrose. He made that choice because the car in third is Sprint Cup Chase leader Brad Keselowski, who will be Logano's team mate at Penske Racing in 2013.

However, NASCAR took the call out of Logano's hands by exercising their discretion in the circumstances to set the front row starting positions - and confirmed that Logano would be ordered to line up on the inside, confirming that Keselowski will now inherit a front row start for the championship-deciding season finale event.

Because the even-numbered cars lined up behind Ambrose do not move up as a result of the incident, the starting position of Keselowski's rival for the 2012 title is unchanged. Jimmie Johnson will continue to line up in tenth place on the grid, and now find himself effectively nine places behind at the start of a race where he must overhaul Keselowski by at least 20 points if he is to win his sixth championship.

"He's smiling for sure," said Hamlin of how Keselowski would be taking the news. "From what I've seen so far this weekend, I just don't think the #48 has the speed to run with those guys anyway. I think they're going to have to rely on something catastrophic happening to the #2."




Related Pictures

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Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Office Toyota, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2012 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Ford, looks on in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 28, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Tyler Barrick/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #20 Home Depot/redbeacon.com Toyota, poses after qualifying for the pole position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2012 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Joey Logano, driver of the #20 The Home Depot Toyota, talks with members of the media at Richmond International Raceway on September 6, 2012 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images for NASCAR) (Photo Credit: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, races to an eighth place finish with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS who finished in second place Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet SS, stops in his pit on his way to a fifth place finish Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Elliott takes over the #24 car from retired driver Jeff Gordon.  (Photo by Ashley R Dickerson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, races to a fourth place finish Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, leads Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Brian Vickers, driver of the #14 Janssen Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation Chevrolet SS, finishes in seventh place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #14 Target Chevrolet SS, finishes in third place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Kroger/Butterfinger/Coffeemate Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet, leads Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 2, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, drives during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 1, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, signs the Coors Light Pole Award backdrop after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 1, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 1, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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