FORT WORTH, TX – Following last Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at the Martinsville (VA) Speedway, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano had a confrontation on pit road. Logano, wasn’t happy with the way that Hamlin raced him towards the end of the First Data 500. He confronted his former teammate and things appeared to go smoothly before Logano pushed Hamlin towards the end of their initial conversation.
Hamlin tried to go back after Logano and was thrown down by one of Logano’s crew members. That resulted in that said crew member to get suspended for this weekend’s race. Hamlin, had some choice words for Logano’s crew chief Todd Gordon saying that he didn’t have control of the No. 22 Ford group.
“My agitation with that guy is he’s the first one in all of Joey’s confrontations,” Hamlin said of the crewman. “You go back and look. He dives in there and starts most of this stuff.
“I thought my guys were pretty level, to be honest with you, through that whole deal. I think you could see quite a few times that Joey is right in front of them and no one lays a hand on Joey. I think it’s just a lack of control that Todd has got with his people.”
Hamlin, says that Logano was the aggressor in the whole thing.
“No. He’s not that smart. He touched me first. First thing, as a man, you can’t just let that stuff happen. That’s the first thing.”
When asked whether he thinks Hamlin underestimates him, Logano grinned.
Logano, disagreed and talked to the media not too long after Hamlin and spoke his opinion on it.
“He might say that,” Logano said. “I’m sure he doesn’t inside his mind.
“Here are the facts. I think Todd has great control of our race team and is a great crew chief and does a great job leading all of us. I said it after the race to TV that I probably shouldn’t have gone down there looking for an apology for something he probably wasn’t going to apologize for and I let my emotions get the best of me. That was a mistake on my part. I probably didn’t handle that correctly. It doesn’t make what he did on the race track right, but I think at the same time he will probably play that card as much as he wants, he can run his mouth as much as he wants. I am going to run my race and we will see who ends up ahead.”
Hamlin said that the incident was started on track because of a mistake on his end.
“I misjudged,” Hamlin said. “The on-track stuff was definitely my fault. There was no intention to run into him or run him into the wall or anything like that.”
Logano ended up spinning and had to rally back from 19th place to finish eighth. Hamlin cruised on to fourth come the checkered flag.
What happened afterward is why the drivers aren’t on speaking terms, and the rest is now well-documented history.
“He didn’t own up to it when we talked about it at the time,” Logano said. “I know for me, as a man, the first thing I do is own up to my mistakes. I probably would have walked down to him if I did the same thing and said I’m sorry I screwed up.
“But, you know, that’s what set me off the edge, which I’m regretful of the way I handled it. I let someone affect my character, and that’s something I’m not proud of. But we get stronger from these moments. You live, and you learn, and you move on.”