Cole Pearn says with a laugh: “I’m happy I don’t have a baseball bat or a jack handle right now.”
Martin Truex Jr closed on Joey Logano in a hurry in the closing laps of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway on October 28, 2018.
It was the last short track race of the season and the first opportunity for a driver to claim their spot in the championship 4 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Both drivers were in the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Playoffs.
A win is huge at this point of the NASCAR schedule! Martinsville opens the door for door banging finishes. The combination of those two things create fireworks on the Ridgeway, Virginia short track.
However, Truex didn’t do that. He raced Logano clean. They ran side by side lap after lap. Logano was on the top and Truex was on the bottom.
It was hard for the inside car to beat the momentum off the top. It didn’t help that Logano was pinching all the exits to keep Truex pinned down off the corner.
But, in the closing laps, Logano got loose off turn four. They ran even at the line and Truex Jr was clean into turn one.
On the final lap, Logano ran deep into turn three. He put the bumper to Truex. They crashed coming to the finish line but Logano took the win.
After the race, Truex ran into the rear bumper of Logano. Truex then went on to say that, “He may have won the battle but he ain’t winning the damn war. I’m just not going to let him win it. I’m going to win it.”
As the drivers were being interviewed, the crew chiefs bumped into each other on pit road. They had a heated discussion…
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) October 28, 2018
#78 Crew Chief
“That was tough to take,” Cole Pearn told NBC Sports after the race. “We had a great car today.”
“Martin did a good job of racing him clean. He worked him over and eventually got him. I guess we shouldn’t have cleared him and given him the chance, you know.”
“But, it’s not a surprise coming from him. That’s kinda how he drives. Whatever, that’s his choice to make. I guess that’s short track racing. Kinda a crappy way to have it.”
This will be the final season for Furniture Row Racing and the #78 team. They won the championship last year but the team will close the doors after this season.
“We work so hard for this team. And just everything we got riding on us with this team closing down. To have it right there, that close, that’s tough to take.”
On the conversation with Todd Gordon (#22 Crew Chief)
“I used a few choice words that I probably shouldn’t have. But, it’s racing. You’re competitive and you care about it.”
“We put our whole lives into this. When you come that close, you get emotional about it.”
“I’m happy I don’t have a baseball bat or a jack handle right now,” Cole Pearn concluded with a laugh.
#22 Crew Chief
“He’s frustrated. Roles reversed, I would be too,” Todd Gordon said at Martinsville Speedway. “But, it’s what short track racing is. It’s where this all came from.”
“It’s frustrating for them on that end of it. But, it’s something that we got done today.”
Joey Logano is the first car that’s locked into the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. That race is still three weeks away.
“It allows us to really focus on Homestead at this point. Without having the stress of the next two weeks.”
“I feel great about going to Texas. We had a good test there. We’ve had decent speed there and I think we can make it better. I’m really looking forward to that.”
“But, we’ll really turn an eye to homestead and make sure we’re prepared for that,” Gordon concluded.