For the second straight year, Joey Logano was at the center of controversy at the end of the First Data 500 at the Martinsville (VA) Speedway. Last year, it was Logano knocking Martin Truex Jr. out of the way to win the race on the last lap in the last corner. This year, it was he and Denny Hamlin getting physical on pit road following the 500 Lap race on Sunday.
Hamlin, got into Logano at the exit of Turn 4 in the closing laps of this year’s race. The two former teammates had words on pit road before it got physical when Logano shoved Hamlin after the conversation ended.
“We’re having a discussion, everything was civil, and like Joey does, he does a little push and then runs away,” Hamlin said. “That’s Joey. He’s scared. He asked if I wanted to go, I said yes, and then he runs away.”
Logano gave his side a few minutes later.
“I got fenced down the straightaway and just went to talk about it,” Logano said after changing in his hauler. “I was a little frustrated by the situation and I went down to talk to him and didn’t really get the answers I was looking for.
“I was frustrated about the situation, obviously. I really wanted to go over there and talk to him and get his side of the story on what happened and he just said, ‘I ran you up in the wall, basically.’ He wasn’t as apologetic as I was looking for and that probably escalated the situation too much. I shouldn’t have shoved him. … It’s the Playoffs, so that’s what happens.”
For Hamlin, he ended up finishing fourth for his fourth top five finish in the last five races on the season. He’s +24 in the playoff standings with two races remaining in the Round of 8. Logano, would fall to eighth as he is +14 but holds the fourth and final spot that advances to Homestead.