Roger Penske: “He’s a racer and should know better than to say that.”
Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr raced hard in the final 10 laps of the 500 lap event at Martinsville Speedway. On the final corner, Joey Logano put the bumper to him.
The two banged doors all the way to the finish line in a short track racing thriller. Joey Logano took the win and will advance into the Championship 4 event in three weeks.
As Joey Logano climbed from his car on the front stretch to celebrate, Truex was enticing the Virginia crowd. Truex kept it pretty simple, stating that Joey Logano won’t win the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series championship.
“I took the lead from him fair and square and then he gave me a cheap shot,” Truex said after the race. “It’s a cheap win. I hope he’s proud of himself. … I’ll remember that if he’s in front of me coming to the checkered flag.”
Bob Pockrass: Martin Truex Jr called that a cheap shot and a cheap win. Did you see it that way?
“I certainly didn’t. And he’s a racer and should know better than to say that,” Roger Penske stated from the Martinsville Speedway media center.
“That was as clean a shot as you can have in a race like this. I didn’t hear Kyle Busch or the #42 [Kyle Larson] have have any of that kind of conversation. You know, after that race.”
Kyle Busch on Joey Logano’s Martinsville move
Roger Penske is referring to the race at Chicagoland Speedway earlier this year. Larson door’d Kyle Busch off turn two on the final lap of that event.
Kyle Busch bounced off the wall and ran down Larson into turn three. Busch returned the bumper and Larson went spinning across the finish line.
Joey Logano did the same thing. The difference is Truex didn’t spin.
However, Kyle Busch doesn’t see it that way in the slightest. Busch stated to a fan that asked the same question via twitter, “Totally different circumstances. Come on man!! I got roughed up by 42, I roughed him back. Martin passed the 22 clean, got flat ran over the last corner. Smarten up!”
Keep in mind that that Kyle Busch once threw a punch as Logano’s head once upon a time. It was a swing and a miss. But, it was an A for effort. But, there might be a bit of bias from Busch in favor of Truex.
Roger Penske continued…
“To me, I’m looking forward. We wanted to go to Miami,” NASCAR team owner, Roger Penske continued.
“Joey drove a great race. He led most of the race. As far as I’m concerned, that’s just a comment [from Truex] that I don’t think we deserve. We’ll race him day after day.”
“Sure, it’s some controversy that he’s trying to spread. From my perspective, Joey drove a great race. The team won on pit road. You could see how many times he got out front [on a pit stop]. It shows the car we had and the job that Todd and the team did.”
“That’s my position.”
At the front of the field, it was two teammates. Brad Keselowski sat in 2nd as Logano drove off into the distance. Truex quickly moved around Keselowski. That could have gone another way.
“Brad could have blocked the #78. He didn’t make it too hard for him to go by. So, let’s get on with it.”
Dustin Long: Why do the comments from Truex bother you so much in this case?
“I think that Joey drove a great race. He didn’t knock him off the race track,” Roger Penske explained.
“It was side by side racing there at the end. You could see that nobody lifted. I just want to be sure that people know position is that I thought it was fair.”
“I thought it was square. And Joey deserved the win,” Roger Penske concluded.
After the race, Cole Pearn located Todd Gordon on pit road. The #22 and #78 crew chiefs talked it out for a few seconds. There was more yelling than talking.
“I think Martinsville is a historic race track that’s short track racing, where we all came from,” Team Penske crew chief Todd Gordon said after the win at Martinsville.
“I think the job that Goodyear has done with the tire they brought here the last two years has led to side by side racing. We had great competition. It’s rubbing, it’s racing.”
“When you put a prize, that’s a guaranteed ticket to the Championship 4, on this race [then] you’re going to have this kind of racing. That’s just kind of what the atmosphere creates.”
“To Roger’s point, we came off of turn four, side by side. It’s not like somebody ended up out by the wall and spun out.”
“There’s a huge prize there and you gotta race hard for it.”