Joey Logano was run into the wall at Martinsville Speedway; Was it payback from Dover International Speedway?
Late in the race at Martinsville Speedway, Denny Hamlin ran Joey Logano wide off the corner. Logano was stuffed into the wall with tire rubs on all four corner.
Logano coasted around the outside of the track with a flat tire. On the same lap, he most likely, intentionally spun out to bring out the caution.
That caution saved Joey Logano’s day. But he was still frustrated with what happened.
After the race, Logano walked over to Denny Hamlin to have a discussion. At the end of the talk, Logano gave a bit of a shove to Hamlin.
As Logano turned to walk away, Hamlin was already chasing him down. Crews got between them an an attempt to separate the driver. That was successful as the drivers never really reached each other.
Yet, one crew member grabbed Hamlin by the back of his racing suit and pulled him to the ground.
Dave Nichols Jr. was that crew member. On Monday, it was announced that he would be suspended from this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.
Todd Gordon on the pit lane altercation at Martinsville Speedway
“Disappointed with how all that fell down,” Todd Gordon, crew chief for the No. 22 told Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
“I probably take some of the ownership myself, to start with. I stopped Joey when he got out of the car.”
“He’s frustrated. He got run up in the wall with 50 to go. Justifiably so, I went back and re-watched it. He pretty much got put in the wall on the straight away.”
“There’s frustration in that. Short track racing and all that. I stopped him when he got out of the car and said, ‘We just don’t need to handle that right now.’ “
“I let his emotions get down and I thought they were at a point where they could go talk. Unfortunately, in the conversation, there got to be a push.”
Team instructions on altercations
After the race, Joe Gibbs discussed how he likes his team to handle altercations after a race. Team Penske has a similar approach…
“The direction that our organization has is that you separate drivers. We don’t want to have drivers that are beating on each other. We’ve had conversations internally that we want situations defused.”
“Unfortunately, the separation was with too much power. The crew member was trying to separate the drivers and did so with more force than he anticipated. He’s regretful of that.”
“There weren’t any punches. Just Denny got pulled out of there and pulled down pretty hard.”
“I apologize to Denny for that and how that was handled. I probably made a poor decision in letting him [Joey] go down there and talk.”
“We can talk about short track racing and all that. But, with 50 to go, to get pushed up in the wall, it’s going to frustrate you.”
NASCAR hauler discussion
After the race, NASCAR called crew members to the NASCAR hauler for a discussion.
“They wanted to review what happened and what our take on it was. NASCAR does a great job in those situations,” Todd Gordon explained.
“They take the video, they look at it. Then they come back and ask for peoples personal opinions on what happened.”
“They want to talk it through with everybody and make sure they understand everything they can. Making sure they don’t just go off the visual.”
“A good, very open conversation. They understood where we were. We didn’t have a crew member throwing punches at drivers.”
Dover disagreement between Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano
Joey Logano lost an axle on the pace laps, ahead of the start at Dover International Speedway. He went to the garage before the initial green flag.
Logano returned multiple laps down. As Hamlin led, he was struggling with the lap car of Logano.
Hamlin couldn’t believe he was being raced that hard by a car that was 20+ laps down. After the race, he essentially said that was a mistake.
“I don’t know where it is,” Todd Gordon responded. “What happened at Dover was a guy trying to stay as many laps forward as we could because I felt like we had to score every point.”
“If you look at what happened in the elimination race, we needed every point. We were right on the line.”
“This format, forces you to race hard. The contact at Martinsville, I can’t speak from where it came from. You’ll have to ask somebody from the No. 11 group.”
“We can race side by side, we know where we’re at. In that situation, we got run up in the wall.”