A crew member for Joey Logano was suspended following the altercation with Denny Hamlin; Cole Pearn doesn’t see a problem with fights
Martinsville Speedway brought out the tempers once again.
Driver altercations are nothing new for NASCAR or sports in general. It’s also nothing new to see entire operations join in to help their guy.
That’s what we saw on Sunday night at Martinsville Speedway. Joey Logano approached Denny Hamlin after they made contact late in the race. Logano then gave Hamlin a passive aggressive pat on the shoulder before walking away.
As Hamlin went after him, crews jumped into the scene, real quick. One crew member in particular, grabbed Denny Hamlin by the back of his racing suit and pulled him violently to the ground.
NASCAR suspends Joey Logano’s crew member
That crew member, Dave Nichols Jr. has since been suspended for the next weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. That was announced on Monday, less than 24 hours after the race.
The No.22 crew member was in violation of sections 12.8.1.c in the NASCAR rule book. That section notes, “Correct and proper conduct, both on and off the race track, is part of a Member’s responsibilities. Member-to-Member confrontation with physical violence.”
This comes after a string of NASCAR crew member confrontations. Including last week at Kansas Speedway.
Cole Custer and Tyler Reddick had a very similar altercation on pit lane after the race. In that situation, the crew members did nothing to escalate the situation, in the eyes of officials.
No penalties were handed out to the drivers or crew members following the altercation the week prior to Martinsville’s fight.
The altercation at Martinsville was a bit different. It was more violent and at the same time, it was a blindsided attack.
Joe Gibbs is the team owner for the No. 11 driven by Denny Hamlin. Before the penalty was announced, he discussed what he wants from his team when it comes to pit lane altercations…
Joe Gibbs on how he tells his crew to act in altercation
“I think everybody’s crew is trying to protect their driver,” Joe Gibbs said of pit lane altercations.
“Generally, what we try and do is separate guys,” Gibbs explained what he wants from his teams.
“But, we all know, emotion runs high. It’s a sport that brings a lot of intensity to the race track.”
“Think about how much work goes into 36 weekends. Everything you put into this, if you see somebody do something that goes against what you think is best for you, there’s going to be a price to pay for that.”
“I just think it’s emotion. It’s part of our sport. You see it in most sports to be truthful,” the NASCAR team owner concluded.
Cole Pearn on the Martinsville fight
Cole Pearn doesn’t see the problem.
“I think it’s emotion, right. I don’t know, I grew up, getting in a lot of fights in my life. So, I don’t have a problem with it,” Cole Pearn, crew chief for Martin Truex Jr said after the race.
“Yeah, I don’t see why everyone gets so worked up about it here. I don’t see why it’s a big deal.”
Pearn then reflected on his past…
Cole Pearn added, “I was good at starting them. I don’t know how many I won. I just made sure I had bigger friends to help me out when it got going.”
Joe Gibbs said with a laugh: “We outta brush you up a little bit and stick you in the middle of some of them.”