The championship nearly ended in a wild finish
On Sunday, Phoenix Raceway hosted the championship race. The 1-mile oval hosted the NASCAR Cup Series finale for the first time.
See what Joey Logano had to say after the season finale below.
It was the first time the championship race was hosted on a short track since the birth of the playoff format. Chaos was expected and in the closing laps, we almost had a bunch of it.
Late in the race, Chase Elliott was driving away from Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano. After starting at the tail of the field, Elliott was cruising to victory.
Logano thought about halting that progress and stirring the pot with a caution. Some drivers would crash their own mother for a shot at a championship.
But, Logano thought better of it. Instead, Chase Elliott is the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion, his first career title.
Joey Logano admits he thought about causing a caution
“We were saying, ‘What if I spun out a car on purpose – I caught up to a lapped car, cued him up off the right front and sent him?’ I came down pit road, came off first on pit road and won the race?’,” Joey Logano said via SIRIUS XM NASCAR Radio.
“What does that say about your championship and your character and everything that goes on? Where is the line? That’s a real question you need to ask to yourself in the heat of the moment.”
“I know I was beat. At the moment, I said, ‘Dang it, I’m done! I can’t win this race unless a caution comes out.’ I knew that.”
However, had a caution came out, all of the leaders would have hit the put lane. A wild move in turn one could have brought the win.
Crashing people for your own advantage
A week prior, Kevin Harvick tried to spin Kyle Busch just to gain a single point and have a chance at a championship. At Phoenix, the stakes were much higher.
“I didn’t have the heart,” Logano said.
“You can’t do that. To me, it’s too far. To me, it’s like – yes, you want to win the championship and championships mean everything, but, boy that’s just – Ugh! You’ll second-guess yourself to the end. What would’ve happened if I did, right? But it’s not the right thing to do. You just don’t.
“But – ugh, you wanna know what would’ve happened, right? And you just really hope that someone else wrecks somebody. ‘Alright, I had nothing to do with that – that wasn’t me!’ But that didn’t happen.”
Logano wrestled with his character in the final laps of the race.
“Moving somebody, punting someone is one thing. That’s OK. Pushing me down the straightaway? I don’t care. That’s fine. I do the same thing.”
“I’d be a hypocrite if I complained about it. But completely crashing somebody is something that I think is too far. And that fell into the line of ‘I think it’s too far.’
“If it was someone that had one coming for him, maybe it’s different. If you catch somebody that you owed one too and this is kind of a good moment to pay him back, well, OK, to me, I think I can live with that.”