Logano defends bump move on Byron at Darlington NASCAR race


Joey Logano (22) reacts in Victory Lane after successful a NASCAR Cup Series auto race at Darlington Raceway, Sunday, May 8, 2022, in Darlington, S.C. (AP Photo/Matt Kelley)


Jeff Gordon used to race in opposition to Joey Logano on a weekly foundation, so what occurred on the finish of Sunday’s Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway wasn’t a complete shock.

Logano bumped Hendrick Motorsports driver William Byron, who was sporting a Gordon tribute paint scheme, out of the way in which for the lead in Turn 3 on the next-to-last lap to win for the primary time this season.

“He is an aggressive driver so, no, this doesn’t surprise me,” stated Gordon, who’s now the vice chairman and co-owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “… A win is important and hard to come by. You want to get those things in every way you can. The team works hard. But you think about running into a back of a guy at Martinsville, you don’t see that at Darlington. That is the only thing that makes this stand out.”

Former NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon smiles as he waits to be interviewed whereas strolling the crimson carpet on the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, as he’s being inducted into the Hall of Fame. (Jeff Siner/Charlotte Observer/TNS) Jeff Siner TNS

Logano’s transfer didn’t shock race followers on social media, nor these in attendance at Darlington. When he bought out of his automobile, a refrain of boos rained down from the gang. Byron additionally added it, calling Logano a “moron” in an FS1 post-race interview and telling reporters ‘he does this all the time.’

That didn’t appear to trouble Logano as he talked with reporters within the media heart after the race.

“I have been called a lot of things worse than a moron, some I witnessed when I got out of the car,” Logano stated. “It is fine.”

Logano has been identified for being an aggressive driver since he entered the Cup Series. He’s had incidents with former drivers Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman and Matt Kenseth, in addition to present drivers Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin.

Add Byron to the listing, though it’s not sure how lengthy issues will linger.

FILE – William Byron talks with a crew member previous to observe for the NASCAR Cup Series auto race on the Martinsville Speedway on April 8, 2022, in Martinsville, Va. Byron has reached a three-year contract extension with Hendrick Motorsports that may preserve him within the No. 24 Chevrolet by means of the 2025 season. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File) Steve Helber AP

Logano instructed FS1’s Race Hub final yr that he had toned issues down some since he turned a father in 2018, however his aggressive driving tendencies confirmed on the finish of Sunday’s race.

Logano admitted after the race within the media heart that he was driving “angry” towards Byron after Logano stated the Hendrick Motorsports driver ran him into the wall on the ultimate restart with 25 laps remaining.

“I would have gone straight to the bump and run if it wasn’t how he got the lead,” Logano stated. “He came off Turn 2 and drove me into the wall. … Anyone in the field would agree if someone would do that to you then the gloves are off. And if I got back there, I know what I had to do. That was the way he wanted to race, so I said let’s go. If he passed me clean, it wouldn’t have looked like that.

“He obviously knew it was coming because he checked into the corner very early. I did what I had to do. I had to win the race and get into the playoffs. All those things go into the decision.”

Rudy Fugle, Byron’s crew chief, was dissatisfied how issues ended. He stated he wished Logano would have tried to make an sincere go on the underside, saying his driver would have stayed close to the highest and wouldn’t have tried to dam.

“Everyone wants to be raced first but things happen,” Fugle stated. “I wish we would have a lap and a quarter to race him clean when he got to us. But he took a shot at the back of us and that’s what happened. We will move on.”

Lou Bezjak is the High School Sports Prep Coordinator for The (Columbia) State and (Hilton Head) Island Packet. He beforehand labored on the Florence Morning News and had lined highschool sports activities in South Carolina since 2002. Lou is a two-time South Carolina Sports Writer of the Year by the National Sports Media Association.
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