Oh boy, oh boy, what a night in Martinsville, Virginia last weekend. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series started the third round of the playoffs at Martinsville Speedway.
This half mile paper clip shaped oval, which is known for wild racing, didn’t disappoint again.
The final 130 laps were filled with quick 20-30 lap runs before another caution came out for a wreck, or debris on the track.
With 42 laps to go, a caution came out for Joey Logano spinning in turn 1 after having a tire go flat as the result of contact between him and Denny Hamlin.
Denny Hamlin would go on to finish fourth, while Joey Logano would finish eighth. However, the drama didn’t stop there.
While Martin Truex Jr. was celebrating his victory, Hamlin and Logano were having a calm conversation on pitroad when Logano pushed Hamlin’s shoulder, almost in a “whatever man” type of way, and walked away from the conversation.
This didn’t settle well with Hamlin.
Denny proceeded to go after Logano, and that is when all hell broke loose.
Crew members, PR personnel, NASCAR officials, all thrown into a giant mosh-pit style fight on pitroad.
Within a couple seconds of the fight starting, Logano was pulled from the fight, and Hamlin was thrown to the ground by one of Logano’s crew members. Everyone else continued to fight.
Logano then proceeds to go after Hamlin questioning twice “You want to f**king go?”, while Hamlin replies with “I’m right here” and “yes”.
By this point, Hamlin’s crew chief has him by the neck saying “Listen to me, It’s not even worth it”, and Logano got pulled away by one of his team’s PR guys.
The best part of this whole situation was the television interviews afterwards.
This was Denny Hamlin’s response to what happened: “We were having a discussion, everything was civil, and then like Joey does, he does a little push and then runs away. So, that’s Joey. He’s scared. He said ‘do you wanna go?’ I said ‘yes, I’m here’, but then he runs away…so..”. Hamlin then proceeded to mock Logano after he was asked what caused all this to happen by saying that Joey would say “eh it’s short track racing”.
Logano on the other hand basically explained the whole on track accident again, and then said “maybe I shouldn’t have shoved him haha, that might have escalated [it] a little more. But there’s a lot of passion out there.”, Logano continued to say that “he just wanted to see what [Hamlin] had to say, and that [Hamlin] wasn’t very apologetic at all”. Logano finished his statement with “I just wanted to see what his thoughts were and it wasn’t quite the answer I was looking for.”
This isn’t the first time these two have tangled. In 2013, they had a run in at both Bristol and Fontana in the beginning of the season. The Fontana accident actually injured Hamlin, and caused him to miss multiple races that season.
Also, if you remember, Hamlin had words for Logano after the Dover race a couple weeks ago. So the rivalry between these two is HOT and isn’t going away anytime soon.
I think the most ironic part of this is the fact that they used to be teammates at Joe Gibbs Racing, and Hamlin helped Logano get his feet wet at JGR and on the Cup Series circuit.
So what could possibly come from this situation? In the past, a lot of things. However, I believe nothing will come of it. Here is why.
In 2010, NASCAR came out and said, “Boy’s have at it”, meaning that they weren’t going to police every last little fight. Now obviously if a driver uses his car to possibly injury crew members or another driver, then they’ll step in. But for the most part, they let the drivers control the narrative.
So at the end of the day, I believe NASCAR will pull them into the NASCAR officials hauler and talk to both of them, but nothing will come of it.
The only thing I could see coming from this is another on track accident if one of them wants revenge and/or wants to take them out of championship contention.
Only three more weeks left in the NASCAR season, in the next column we’ll preview the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship race from Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 17, 2019!