Denny Hamlin says Joey Logano asked to fight then ran away after starting an altercation
On Sunday night, NASCAR rolled into Martinsville Speedway. It was the first race in the Round of 8 of the NASCAR Playoffs. Only 8 drivers remain eligible with 3 races to go after the Virginia race.
Of course, the race on NASCAR’s short track is known to spark tempers. This year was not different.
With 43 laps to go, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano were in a battle for 4th. They banged fenders off turn four.
Hamlin ran him wide off the corner. Logano was put into the wall. Logano collected bent fenders and tire rubs all around.
The defending MENCS champion rolled around for another lap. Eventually, the tire went down. Logano went around and the caution flag was deployed.
Logano returned to the pit lane under caution as most of the field stayed out. The No. 22 returned to the track with fresh tires and drove back into the top 10.
Fight after the race at Martinsville Speedway
After the race, Joey Logano came over to have a word with Denny Hamlin. Logano said his word and Hamlin had more to say.
Hamlin held his index finger up to tell Logano (1 thing). But, Logano was done talking. He gave a hard pat to Hamlin’s shoulder before walking away.
Hamlin then began to walk toward Logano to finish the discussion. Hamlin charged toward Logano.
The crews jumped in between them. Todd Gordon, Logano’s crew chief was heard saying, “Stop.”
One of the crew members for Joey Logano then rushed in behind Hamlin. The much larger man then grabbed Hamlin by the back of his racing suit. With both hands, he pulled him to the ground. Hamlin smacked the pavement of the pit lane.
Hamlin’s crew then jumped on top of Logano’s crew member that just preformed the take down. Hamlin went back after Logano but was unable to reach him.
NASCAR called crew members for both Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano to the hauler for a discussion after the race.
Denny Hamlin on the altercation with Joey Logano
“We were having a discussion and everything was civil,” Denny Hamlin told NBC Sports just seconds after the altercation.
“Then, like Joey does, he does a little push and then runs away. That’s Joey, he’s scared.”
“He said, ‘Do you want to go?’ I said, ‘Yes, I’m here.’ But, then he runs away.”
“I got closed off of turn four. It looks like we got together. It looks like collateral damage, he blew a tire.”
“But, he would probably say, ‘Yeah, that’s short track racing,’ ” Hamlin mocked Logano in the tone of Logano.
Joey Logano on Denny Hamlin after Martinsville
“I just wanted to talk to him about it. I mean, pretty frustrated,” Logano stated after the race.
“He kinda came off the corner like there wasn’t a car to the outside of him. It ruined our day, a shot to win for sure. We probably weren’t going to beat the No. 19. But, we had a top five for sure.”
“I don’t really know what happened. Because once he started hitting me, he didn’t lift. He just kept finishing me off.”
“We ran each other fine all day. So, I don’t really know what happened. He cut down my tires and fender rubs everywhere.”
“At the end of the day, we still got a decent finish out of it and some points in the stages at least.”
“I was a little frustrated with the situation and wanted to talk to him about it. Maybe I shouldn’t have shoved him at the end. There’s a lot of passion out there.”
“I just wanted to see what he was going to say. And he really wasn’t apologetic at all. That’s more frustrating when someone’s like that.”
“I just wanted to see what his thoughts were. That wasn’t quite the answer I was looking for.”