Race Weekend Central

Dropping the Hammer: Joey Logano Doesn’t Care What You Think

A lot of people don’t like Joey Logano.

For some reason, ever since the Team Penske driver broke into the NASCAR Cup Series in 2008 as an 18-year-old prodigy heralded by Mark Martin, Logano has rubbed people the wrong way.

At the age of 31 and 14 years into his full-time Cup career, the list of drivers Logano had ticked off or feuded with is long and distinguished.

Kevin Harvick — (“His wife wears the firesuit in the family“)

Tony Stewart — (“I’m gonna bust his ass.”)

Chase Elliott — (“I had to force an apology, which to me is just childish. .… But golly, man. Be the man and take the hit when you’re done with it.”)

Denny Hamlin — (Impersonating Logano after a scuffle: “Oh, that’s short track racing!“)

Kyle Busch — (Post pit-road fight: “That’s how Joey races, so he’s going to get it.”)

Martin Truex Jr. — (“He may have won the battle, but he ain’t winning the damn war.”)

And of course, Matt Kenseth.

Golly, that’s a lot.

No matter which way you cut it, Logano’s made enemies of a good chunk of the field, primarily with the biggest stars in the garage.

It showed last month at Talladega Superspeedway. As I stood on pit road before the Cup race, driver introductions unfolded at the far end of tri-oval. The loudest boos by far were for Busch and Logano.

Another fan base was given reason to show its displeasure Sunday (May 8) in the Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway.

And quite honestly, it might be the most surprising entry to Logano’s rap sheet outside of Truex.

“He’s just an idiot. He does this stuff all the time. I’ve seen it with other guys,” William Byron – yes, William Byron! — said minutes after Logano performed a bump-and-run on him to take the lead and then win the race with two laps to go.

“He’s just a moron. He can’t win a race so it does it that way.”

If I were make a sketch of the kind of driver who could elicit these kind of reactions from such a wide range of drivers, it would not look like Logano, who when he’s wearing his glasses could pass for the dad from the “Calvin & Hobbes” comic strip.

Logano clearly doesn’t care about making friends. He cares about winning.

While he ruffles feathers, an instant later he could be dropping an “awe shucks” line and it’s just as genuine.

“You’re not going to put me in the wall and not get anything back. That’s how that works,” Logano declared Sunday before pivoting to an effort to inspire future racers with his throwback paint scheme.

Even in the moment immediately after the race, fans showed their feelings toward Logano in a mixture of boos and cheers.

Asked if he cared about being called a “moron” by Byron, Logano shrugged it off.

“I’ve been called a lot of things, a lot worse than moron, too,” Logano said. “I just witnessed a lot of it when I got out of the car actually. But no, that’s fine. Whatever. Call me what you want.”

In some ways, and this is not an exact comparison, Logano reminds of Dale Earnhardt.

Unlike Kyle Busch, who seemingly has a perpetual scowl on his face, Logano can get into a nasty feud or an on-track incident and sometimes come away grinning or making a one-liner.

He’ll do what he thinks he needs to do to win, even if maybe there’s an alternative.

“I’m not going to get bullied; I’ll tell you that much,” Logano said. “That’s how the sport works. Our sport has worked like this for years.

“Like I said, if that wasn’t how it happened, if that’s not how he took the lead, I’m not making that move. I’m going to try to race cleaner and make the pass a different way, but at that point I knew there was one way to guarantee a victory, so I was taking that maneuver at that point.”

Sunday’s race and its aftermath sort of felt like a full circle moment.

At one point, Logano was in Byron’s shoes. He was a young talent who was likely rushed up to the Cup Series way too quickly and it showed. He struggled to win for four years as veteran drivers, like Harvick at Pocono in 2010, ran over him when they could.

He’s been there, done that. Wasn’t a fan.

Now, in 2022, after being underestimated in his early years and with 29 Cup wins and a title on his record, Logano is plenty willing to dish it out.

“If you’re gonna race a certain way, you gotta expect to be raced that way back,” Logano said last month in reference to the trials of Ty Gibbs. “That’s the driver code and nobody can understand, that’s it. If you’re willing to push, you gotta be willing to take some pushes, and that’s kind of what it comes down to.”

2022 is Daniel McFadin’s ninth year covering NASCAR, with six years spent at NBC Sports. This is his second year writing columns for Frontstretch. His columns won third place in the National Motorsports Press Association awards for 2021. His work can also be found at SpeedSport.com. And you can hear more from him on his podcast.

About the author

Daniel McFadin is a 7-year veteran of the NASCAR media corp. He wrote for NBC Sports from 2015 to October 2020. He's currently a freelancer and lead reporter and editor for Frontstretch. He is also host of the NASCAR show "Dropping the Hammer with Daniel McFadin" on YouTube and in podcast form.

You can email him at danielmcfadin@gmail.com.

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Ann

The golden rule narrative is that JOEY is at fault all the time. Moves others have done and were lauded for are dirty moves by JL. It sells and there is obvious bias too. Poor Kevin, poor Ralph Jr. poor Jeff, poor Clyde, poor Denny, poor Tony, poor Kyle, poor Matt, poor Marty, poor hot dog vender at Martinsville, etc. Joey was/is the bully and always picked on THEM!! The little angels never did a damn thing to him and are just breathless and shocked at his horrible actions. My goodness he sends the masses to their shrinks and
safe spaces! He is so mean, a mean driver! As usual, the reality is that they picked on him and admitted as much. Joey is not taking their shit anymore and that is that.

Has he made some bad moves? Of course. They all have. But once Logano does what others have done no matter what it is, the act is a crime against humanity because it was Logano. The drama is insane. This will get more talking points and time than it deserves. As usual.

WJW Motorsports

Yes, the problem here seems to be that most people don’t like him. Like or not on the track – I liked the work he did with Blaney in the booth on Sat.. when he calms down the aw shucks giggling at everything, he’s pretty good.

Shelly Brimage

He’s amazing he was bullied for years Tony Stewart started it all Joey wasn’t allowed to race him so he picked on him like he did Kevin ward and his cronies followed him so Joey had to get strong or not make it .so now he’s bad and he’s not at all I love him he’s always jolly happy dose a ton for nascar JL kids ect. Ect. He’s exciting ! Racing has been a little boring 😴 So he gets people excited to watch and he loves it !

Doug

right right. Stewart is / was a bully. He made the mistake of trying to punk a more mature driver like Robbie Gordon and it backfired. After Robbie got a hold of him he didnt want anything to do with anyone over 20. But who hasnt learned a lesson or two, Im just tired of hearing what a loser such a talent as Logano is. Put him in evenly matched cars with Busch or Larson Logano is gonna come out the winner half the time if not more !

6Jene Williams

Obviously you’re a Joey fan,that wasn’t a bump and run!It was a smash and grab!Joey has always been a punk! Remember California and what he did to Denny and Tony?Then threw a water bottle hiding behind his daddy!Kenseth took him out and he lost his chance at a championship,felt bad for him at the time,now I don’t, he’s a weasel!Game on with that rat like cheese eating grin!Hope you get what you deserve!No excuse for putting Byron in the wall, when it was an easy pass!I hope Byron teaches Joey cheeseeater the same lesson Carl Edwards did to Keselowski at Talladega!

B Bro

blah blah blah I guess you didn’t have an issue with Byron running the 22 into the wall and don’t say ‘oh he just got hi loose’ go to youtube and watch that last restart with the 22 & 24 and anyone with eyes can see the 22 took a hard hit to the wall and the 22 got ticked off and I don’t blame him.

Bill B

“He’s been there, done that. Wasn’t a fan.”

Nice use of a Hawkeye line from Ultron, Daniel

Ricky

If every driver that has a reason for retaliation against Joey used it he would never make it out of stage 1 Joey is a great personality and a better than average driver but he can’t seem to resist using the bumper rather than passing cleanly. In this latest incident he had several laps to think of an excuse before putting Byron in the fence. Now he has another driver who will have a reason to make things harder for him on the race track

B Bro

So after Byron run Joey L. the 22 into the wall the 22 driver had to come up with an excuse lol

Carl D.

Joey has his fans and his detractors just like all drivers. He’s paid to win races, not win the Mr. Congeniality prize. Byron’s a pretty good driver, and he has reason to be mad, but I’m pretty sure there are plenty of other drivers that would have done the same thing, especially for their first win of the season.

Any complaints by Busch or Harvick are the pot calling the kettle black. Those guys are thugs on wheels. But like Joey, they help make Cup racing what it is.

Mr Yeppers

Been to a lot of races in the last couple of years and I’m “just saying” but by far the biggest amount of boos during driver introductions were for Bubba. It was obvious that it was not even close.

john dawg chapman

He’s 100% correct, it doesn’t make a rat’s ass what the fans think of him.

It does however, make a great deal of difference what his fellow drivers think of him

If he’s out front in the final laps, he’d best not let anyone get to his back bumper.

Susan

Byron said after the race that he knew Joey was right behind him, and that he is familiar with Joey’s aggressive racing style. Byron got what he knew was coming, and now he’s whining about it.

Bill B

Right or wrong, I bet you would whine too if that happened to you. I know I would too. What do you expect, him to smile and like it? If you are a Joey fan you will be lucky (and thankful) if whining is all he does.

DoninAjax

It’s “You would cry too if it happened to you.”

Mike

Im sure snowflake byron is no threat to joey. The best thing for byron to do is consider this situation a draw and keep is mouth shut or he will find himself in the wall again

Bill B

So are you saying that Byron doesn’t have the balls to purposely send Joey into the wall?

Last edited 6 months ago by Bill B
WJW Motorsports

Just as long as he does a better job of it than he did with Kyle at Watkins Glen.

Mike

Yes that is exactly what im saying. Lol. But actually you and i will never know the truth but it is fun having a good rivalry like the old days. Im sure they will both be selling t shirts and making bucks off of this.

Mike

Logano is my favorite driver. The reason is bc when he first started at jgr the other drivers, especially older more established drivers pushed him around, ran over him, constantly blocked him and all bc he was young and in a good car. So when jgr fired him penske gave him a shot and joey had a chip on his shoulder and a fast car so he started to get even and the other drivers didnt like it. Its like working with your coworkers, some you like better than others but a person has to take up for theirselves or everyone will take advantage of you. Joey knows he has a great team and a fast car and if he doesn’t drive the car aggressively and get all he can out of it then someone else will be sitting in that car and no owner will ever say he didnt get what the car had in it and never left anything on the table. That is the kind of driver that wins races and that is what a driver gets paid to do, and im sure penske is very happy with the results and that is all that matters.

Scott Ferguson

Joey races just fine, watch the in car footage on YouTube of the last restart where Joey is run into the wall by Byron, what comes around goes around especially when Hendrick zombies are involved.

Gmann

Yeah watch how he cut down on Byron’s door in the middle of turn 1&2 trying to get him loose then gets mad about the results he gets

B Bro

lol I have the video on my phone to share with the ones like you that shovel that manure

Cheif

Some body should punch his running lights out… He’s a dirty driver always has been… Nascar needs to put a stop to this kind of BS….

B Bro

I guess Cheif doesn’t like retaliation or should that be spelled Chief or maybe even Chef @ Micky D’s ?

Mg

I am a Matt Kenseth fan to my bones and I actually still have the Martinsville race on our dvr to watch and praise Matt as i boo the asshat as I call him for what he did to Matt the pervious week. And for what he and Brad did at Martinsville throughout the day. We go to every Martinsville race and used to go to 11 races a year.

Joey is just a bad apple he’s not respected by anyone and is very much jealous. Byron is right he can’t win any other way but to wreck everyone. Of course he doesn’t care because he thinks it’s cute to hated .
Only 1 man can hold that claim and his last name is Earnhardt.
He doesn’t deserve praise or sympathy for his driving or results.
What a piece of crap he is. Maybe penske will get rid of him next and he’ll go to calling horse racing just hopefully not at fox.

Ken Newcity

Karma is a BITCH. And it will get you

WJW Motorsports

I’ve heard only the instant type is gonna get you.

Bill B

Not if you give peace a chance.
It’s not hard to imagine….. if you try.

Oh well, whatever gets you through the night. I guess.

Last edited 6 months ago by Bill B
Jeremy

Only if you’re poor, or not one of the NASCAR darlings. Joey’s daddy gots money, Joey gots money, and NASCAR loves little Joey. They can buy all the KARMA from NASCAR they want. They’ll be fine.

See what happened to Kenseth? Who wants to take on little Joey next and get railroaded out of NASCAR? You’d be better off to win a race in a Carl Long entry…

Bill B

Some would point out that Hendrick can buy more karma than Joey and his father. Would you argue that point?

Jeremy

That is a very strong argument. However, I think Elliott and Larson definitely have access to more Hendricks Karma than Bowman or Byron. The NASCAR heads could probably “diplomatically convince” their buddy Rick to tighten the leash on Byron / Bowman when it comes to Logano.

Elliott vs Logano would be an interesting spot to put NASCAR. I’m guessing they would favor Elliott in that situation, but Logano would not be treated/punished as harshly as Kenseth.

Mike

That situation was already settled. Not sure what year it was but at bristol joey was leading and with a couple laps to go Elliott decided that 8 tires are better than one and put joey in the wall and Elliott went on to win the race. So the next race Elliott was leading with a few laps to go but the second place car was closing fast, Elliott caught joey to put him a lap down so joey blocked Elliott and then the second place car got around Elliott and won the race. After the race was over joey said Elliott cost him a win so he cost Elliott one and that was it and i think they have raced each other good since. So im thinking the same thing will happen with byron even though the media wont let it go the drivers will

Julio

If Byron would have passed Dale Earnhardt Sr like that he would have got exactly what Joey did, if not worse. I think Byrons comments after are not truthful. He drove Joey up into the wall and when Joey caught back up to him he checked up to get a little more grip cause he knew a bump was coming. Where are the Dale Earnhardt fans? Ask Terry Labonte what Earnhardt would have done. Ask Darrell Waltrip. As Rusty Wallace. I know that Tony Stewart would have done the same thing.

Bill B

OK all you Logano fans are either full of chit, blind or just plain lying. Joey did not get into the wall on that final restart. Has anyone actually went back and watched it. I have watched it twice now, he wasn’t even close to hitting the wall.
I know how it is, you feel the need to defend your driver even if it means lying.

Please someone either show me a clip of Logano brushing the wall on that restart or stop lying.
BUT DON”T KEEP SHOVELING THE SAME LOAD OF CRAP.

Last edited 6 months ago by Bill B
Julio

You can’t see his fender buckle? Seems that you are the only one that can’t see it. Also the concrete dust that gets rubbed off the wall from Joey’s right side wheels. Joey let off the gas when he hit the wall which is normal. That let Byron take the lead. I think that if Byron would have not went in to the corner so fast and forced Joey in the wall it would have been a great restart racing side by side maybe for a couple laps. I think the best car won.

Bill B

You are right, I was wrong. I watched the actual race replay of the restart two times yesterday and could not see any contact because they switched camera views right at the moment it happened. I just watched the in car view and it does look like he made some contact. I apologize for that last comment. I was wrong.

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