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Logano making some powerful enemies at a young age

By admin | August 15, 2010

By Richard Allen


So much for coming in, minding your Ps and Qs and earning the respect of your fellow competitors. At least that seems to be the motto of 20 year old Joey Logano. In just a year and a half of full time racing on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series he has had run-ins with Kevin Harvick and now Ryan Newman.

The Logano-Harvick feud has played out for quite some time. It reached a head earlier this season when Logano confronted Harvick on pit road after a race in Pocono. Logano had been sent for a spin off Harvick’s bumper, this following a similar incident in a Nationwide Series race in Bristol. The young driver wanted to express his displeasure with the veteran but the two never got close to each other as crewmen intervened.

The Pocono situation will probably be best remembered for the somewhat unclear actions of Logano’s father as much as anything. However, the incident did show that Logano seems to have little fear of making enemies among some of the sport’s bigger players.

This past Sunday at the Michigan International Speedway, Logano again found himself in a post race confrontation with a more established NASCAR star. After a lap 149 bump, the #39 car of Ryan Newman went for a long, smoky slide at the exit of turn four on the two mile track.

Immediately following the spin, Logano went on his team radio and began a tirade on the subject of Newman’s driving style. “He races everybody too hard!” Logano exclaimed. “Other people say that. It’s not just me.”

Crew chief Greg Zipadelli reminded his driver that it was he who put himself in that position and instructed him to think about who he is racing against when on the track.

Logano went on with his accusation that Newman races too hard and finally ended by calling his rival a foul name.

Later in the garage area the two faced off in what sounded more like a school yard spat than a fight with both accusing the other of causing the spin and resulting damage.

Not to necessarily take sides here but Logano might not want to say things like ‘He races me too hard’. The perception fans and other drivers will get from that could very well be ‘When I’m on the track stay away from me’ since the object of the game is supposed to be to race each other rather than stay out of each other’s way. That won’t really set well with either fans or other drivers.

The days of drivers coming into the sport and paying their dues are over. Sponsors and teams spending millions of dollars are not looking for wallflowers. However, Logano could wind up having a very long NASCAR career considering the young age at which he started. So, with only a season and a half under his belt and two major foes already against him, that list could grow to be quite long if he keeps up at this pace.

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Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly columns appear in The Mountain Press and The Knoxville Journal.

Topics: Articles |

12 Responses to “Logano making some powerful enemies at a young age”

  1. mrclause Says:
    August 16th, 2010 at 6:17 am

    This kid just isn’t getting any better or brighter. Getting in Ryan Newmans face is just flat out stupid especially after he hit Newman! Think he owes those NASCAR officials dinner at the very least.

  2. jerseygirl Says:
    August 16th, 2010 at 7:53 am

    I thought Logano’s “he’s racing me too hard” argument”was pretty lame. As the ESPN reporter even said - isn’t that the point? No wonder Newman was so ticked off — instead of saying - I didn’t mean to wreck you - Logano’s going on about “you’re being mean to me”. Geez, what an idiot.

    Logano was obviously having some car control issues and since it was early in the race, maybe he should have just taken a little more care to make sure he didn’t overdrive the car instead of trying to force an issue by insisting on trying to pass someone who WAS in control.

    I know it’s not PC, but I was kind of hoping that Newman was going to whack Logano on his pointed little head.

  3. Justin Says:
    August 16th, 2010 at 9:04 am

    I think Logano has a point. Newman does race everyone way too hard, way too early. One example, was listening to Dale Jr’s spotter, several races ago, I dont even remember what track it was now. Lap after lap, early in the race, he was running Jr hard, keeping the 88 pinned down so he couldnt pass. Dale Jr came on the radio and said, Man he sure races like a real c*ck sucker, doesnt he?” Anyways, Jrs point in that instance, was clear, he easily caught Newman, he was much faster than Newman, so why not just let him go without incident? Logano was trying to make the same point.

    There are 2 things you can take from this, one thought is, if Logano was faster, why didnt he just drive by? Well, with momentum, and things like that, if a driver really wants to keep you behind him, he can pin you down, not let you off the corner, and it kills your speed down the front/back stretch…

    The other thing I look at, is Newman brought it on himself. If he had simply let the faster car (Logano) go, Logano woudnt have gotten loose and slid up into him, and Newman never would have spun…..if you are going to race someone hard like that, and you are on the outside, you get what you deserve if he gets loose….to take that a step further (and this was simply a bobble by Logano), I wouldnt blame the driver,in this case Logano, for purposely giving Newman the bumper on principle….

  4. Spencer Says:
    August 16th, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    If this kid is any indication of the cluelessness of the up and coming generation of kids with fawning helicopter parents and the mentality of “a trophy for every kid” then this country is in deep trouble.

    He seems to think he is owed automatic respect from getting in Tony Stewart’s old ride. Sorry kid, you gotta do the work yourself. Sometimes that means using the brake and saying you’re sorry and realizing that Daddy doesn’t always have the right answers.

    Ryan races his boss hard. That’s a dynamic between two men who’ve been around the sport a lot longer than Joey who is a young boy who doesn’t understand the nuances of adult working relationships. Kudos to Joey for trying to talk to Ryan after the race, but he’s fooling himself if he thinks getting into the Cup series and making the attempt to talk after the race is going to automatically and magically have a happy movie script kind of ending where the two drivers walk off into the sunset to have a beer while they talk about all the mutual respect and understanding they have for one another. Whoever gave this young man the idea that’s how the world works and rushed him into the Cup level so fast did him a huge disservice. (Blame that lies squarly at the feet of his parents and Gibbs.) Things like college, military service and apprenticeships are what polishes rough young talent so they can fit into the real world and navigate complicated relationships. While he’s not the first young driver to earn the fuzz on his peaches the hard way, he is clearly struggling to learn how the real world of NASCAR racing works and to find his place in it.

    Joey’s nose is very lucky his elder cup brethren have been so patient with him. If I were him, I’d be real nervous about the upcoming Bristol race.

  5. Rick Says:
    August 16th, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Not sure how much room a driver(20) needs to pass? Newman was clearly on the top 1/3 of the track. Anyone(20) can drive a car fast into a corner. Handling it after you get there defines a driver. Funny comment from Justin above about Newman. Sounds like another below average driver(88) complaining because he has been running in the mid 20’s all season, then finally gets fresh tire and still can’t pass a better driver on old tires:)

  6. fexl Says:
    August 16th, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    If Joey could drive that faster car, there wouldn’t have been a wreck. He just got a little behind in the steerin’.
    Then he wasn’t man enough to admit it.

  7. dr Says:
    August 16th, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    I’ve always said that Newman was the toughest guy to pass. He typically gives nothing and asks for nothing in return.

  8. steven Says:
    August 16th, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    Wow, Spencer has it right. I myself hate to see young connnected drivers who haven’t paid many dues act like they are entitled to Nascar fame. I’m just waiting for the NFL season to start.

  9. Justin Says:
    August 17th, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Hey Rick, I dont remember complaining about the 88 running in the 20’s, can you quote that for me? I am under no illusion that Dale Jr is god’s gift to racing, the people that hate Jr, are the ones that think all 88 fans are blind to reality. Those are the same people that jump on the success bandwagon. I am not blind to reality, I know what my driver offers, and it isnt going to be a Championship, so lose the hatred, my expectations are nothing more than running between 10-20 for my driver.

    fexl, were you in the conversation between Logano and Newman? Because you just made a statement that suggests you were there, considering you seem to know for a fact that Logano didnt take responsibility for the bump. I dont know what Logano said, it seemed to me that Logano admitted he made a mistake, and it appeared his point was simple, if Newman wasnt racing like it was the last lap, he wouldnt have spun. Logano’s mistake was saying anything beyond, “sorry, I messed up”. Newman doesnt want to hear, “sorry, I messed up, but it as your fault for racing me hard”.

  10. fexl Says:
    August 17th, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    @Justin…were you in the conversation between Logano and Newman? Because you just made a statement that suggests you didn’t read any of the coverage of the event, considering you seem to believe that Logano did take responsibility for the accident. He didn’t take responsibility in the interview after the race, he blamed Newman. I have not read one piece where the 20 admitted fault. and it doesn’t matter what lap it is, you get loose under someone, the wreck is your fault. go to your local track and ask any driver.

  11. Pappap2 Says:
    August 17th, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    We run local short dirt tracks. When racing you give a guy just enough room, he has to keep his car under control. I’ve been beaten and won on both ends. How bad do you want it.

  12. Justin Says:
    August 18th, 2010 at 7:59 am

    Actually fexl, here is what I said:
    “I dont know what Logano said, it seemed to me that Logano admitted he made a mistake”
    That suggests that I dont know what Logano says, it suggests that my best guess is, according to the coverage, that Logano found Newman after the race, to clear the air. Again, I dont know, and frankly, I dont care. I am not arguing who was right, and who was wrong, I really dont care. I am not a fan of Logano, so I am not even defending him, I was just making the point, that Newman races every lap like the checkered flag is waving

    I bet if you ask Kyle Busch who was at fault when he dumped the 88 n Richmond, he isnt going to say himself, he sill hasnt admitted he messed that one up, maybe he needs to go ask any local short track diver too….LMFAO