Logano walked over to McDowell’s car after the Daytona 500; Arms waved from both sides
When it comes to NASCAR racing at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway you need teammates. But, you also need help from beyond your stable of cars.
The manufactures know that. And they setup meetings at the track with a gathering of all the Ford team to form those plans.
So, when it comes time to pit, you’ll see all the Fords together and the same thing happens for all the Toyotas and Chevys.
That’s why Joey Logano was confused when Michael McDowell elected to leave his bumper, change lanes and push a Toyota off turn four in the final lap of the Daytona 500.
Logano (Ford) moved to the inside of Kyle Busch (Toyota). He had a run on the leader of Hamlin (Toyota). Joey Logano also had McDowell (Ford), on his bumper at the entry to turn three.
Suddenly, McDowell moved to the outside lane. He pushed Kyle Busch back even and around Logano.
Jeff Gordon stated during the live broadcast: “So interesting that McDowell decided to go with Kyle Busch.”
Both the Ford drivers lacked help from each other as well as the rest of the field. Each of the blue ovals dropped anchor as the Toyotas drove away. Erik Jones pinched off the nose of McDowell into the tri-oval then passed both of them.
Sure, sometimes’s it’s every man for himself on the final lap. But, the move McDowell made only hurt himself.
Denny Hamlin went to win the race, Busch finished 2nd and Jones finished 3rd.
After the race Logano approached McDowell to ask what happened.
Michael McDowell on helping Joey Logano
“Everybody talks about, ‘Let’s all work together.’ You know, I’m up front and all the sudden the Fords don’t work together,” Michael McDowell stated after the race to NBC Sports.
“It is what it is. As soon as he could, he put me three wide. Then he tried to clear himself and he wasn’t clear.”
“I hate it for him. I know that he wasn’t intentionally trying to do that. He was just trying to get every inch he could. But, there was really nothing I could do there at the end.”
Joey Logano on Michael McDowell
“I just was surprised by the situation. Yeah, I thought that would have been the plan,” Joey Logano stated from the pit lane after the race.
“It’s part of it. I mean, he’s racing too I guess. You know, we can’t win these things alone. We’ve proven that quite often. But, we did what we could do.”
Did he give you an explanation of why he hung you out?
“I didn’t really give him a chance to talk,” the defending NACSAR champion concluded.
It sounded like McDowell elected not to work with Logano based on something that happened between him and Logano earlier. But, had he pushed Logano off turn four he would have finished 3rd or better.
McDowell held a grudge off turn four and it cost him a few spots in the biggest race of the year. Instead, Toyota’s swept the Daytona 500 finish with 1st, 2nd and 3rd.
Watch the entire final lap of the Daytona 500 in the video below.