Joey Logano was 24 laps down and racing the race leader of Denny Hamlin
Denny Hamlin started on the pole position at Dover International Speedway on Sunday. It’s was his 500th career NASCAR start and he jumped out the the early lead.
Meanwhile, Joey Logano sat in the garage area and went laps down. He pulled out for the pace laps and lost an axle.
Logano re-entered the race 20+ laps down. But, he remained quick.
Hamlin went on to take the win in stage one. He was in route to win stage two but hit a roadblock.
On lap 229, he caught the lap car of Logano, who had returned to the track and he struggled to get by. Meanwhile, Truex got to the outside of Hamlin and took over the race lead with under 10 laps remaining in stage two.
Hamlin never got back to the race lead.
Denny Hamlin on Joey Logano after Dover
“I thought (Logano) was trying to stay on the lead lap, but they said he was 24 laps down and so he was kind of air blocking us there and we lost the lead and lost stage 2,” Hamlin said after Dover.
“Then after that we lost control of the race and the track tightened and there were no cautions to pick up the rubber. Once we lost control, lost clean air, it was so difficult to pass.”
“I needed to be up front with as tight as my car was. Lost the lead and backpedaled from there.”
Joey Logano on racing hard while 20+ laps down
“I got to race,” Logano said.
“Here’s the situation. There were four or five cars that I could possibly catch. That’s five points. I need all of them.”
“When you think of that, I’ve got to try to stay on the lap that I’m on. I’ve got to try to get every car that I possibly can. I’m still racing. I ran as hard as I could this whole race. Don’t have anything to show for it.”
“We ran it as if we were on the lead lap and did everything we possibly could to be better.”
Hamlin responds to Joey Logano’s strategy
“Make a position? He’s 24 laps down,” Hamlin said.
“That’s the most idiotic statement I’ve ever heard. We’re battling for the end of the stage, it’s not your day, you had bad luck, we get it but what, why?”
“I don’t understand. I don’t understand that at all. That’s just a stupid statement by an idiot.”
“You’ve got to get out of the way. You’ve got to get out of the way when it’s not your day, when you’re 20-some laps down, you are not going to make those positions up.”
“It ain’t going to make one position difference at any point of the race and it didn’t.”
“It is proven, most of these guys would get out of the way and let those leaders race for the end of the stage at that time.”
“I probably shouldn’t call Joey an idiot. He’s not an idiot. That’s just a bad choice to say that he’s fighting for something. He’s not fighting for anything.”
“He needs to just run around the race track, stay in one lane, maybe the high lane, because nobody is running up there, get the laps over with, get the race over with, go home and work on it at Talladega to try to win that race.”
“That frustrates me because it’s just a lack of philosophy that I just don’t understand. All he did was piss some people off and what did he really gain?”
“He didn’t gain anything. He just pissed off some guys that he’s racing with now.”
“So now we’re going to race him extra hard for what? For the reason he didn’t want to go 26 laps down? Anybody would tell you that’s just not a good choice.”
“Through these playoffs you’ve got to not have enemies. You’ve got to have give-and-take.”