By Bob Pockrass
FOX Sports NASCAR Writer
DARLINGTON, S.C. — Joey Logano thought he did what he had to do with two laps remaining Sunday at Darlington Raceway.
William Byron begs to differ.
Logano, angry after door-to-door contact between the two drivers resulted in Byron taking the lead with 26 laps remaining, hit Byron’s rear bumper with two laps to go, sending Byron up the track and scraping the wall while Logano pedaled to the Goodyear 400 victory.
It was one of the more aggressive moves at a track Darlington’s size (it’s a 1.36-mile oval), as Logano nailed Byron’s rear bumper in a tactic more accustomed to a short track.
“He’s just a moron,” said Byron, who finished 13th. “He can’t win a race so does it that way.”
Logano shrugged off the insult.
“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 [from the crowd] actually. But … that’s fine. Whatever. Call me what you want.”
Was Joey Logano’s move on William Byron justified?
Bob Pockrass gives his thoughts on whether Joey Logano’s move on William Byron at Darlington was justifiable or dirty racing.
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Here are three takeaways from the throwback race at Darlington:
Logano’s staunch defense
Logano said that once Byron initiated the contact to get the lead, “the gloves” come off.
“He came off of Turn 2 and drove me right into the wall,” Logano said. “At that point, I’m lucky my car isn’t broken. I’m a very angry driver, and I think anyone in the field would probably agree: If someone is going to be willing to do that to you, well, the gloves are off at that point.
“I knew if I got back there what I was going to do and 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.”
Byron said that they “barely” touched and that for Logano to characterize it as retaliation is “stupid.”
Logano laughed at that characterization.
“Maybe from his side, but I felt the wall and his car all the same time as I was sandwiched into the fence,” he said.
Logano also said that he didn’t think Byron did it intentionally.
“I don’t think he meant to run me into the wall,” Logano said. “The facts are he did.”
Wild finish on Sunday at Darlington
Joey Logano pushed William Byron into the wall to win Sunday at Darlington Raceway.
Byron’s frustration obvious
Was Byron’s view justified? He isn’t the first driver to have a run-in with Logano and think Logano was driving overly aggressively.
Byron was frustrated that Logano didn’t at least attempt to pass him clean.
“He was faster. He could have easily just gotten to the left rear, loosened me up,” Byron said. “But he runs into there 10 miles an hour [too fast]. He didn’t even barely make the corner.
“I don’t know why he goes in so hard and knocks the s— out of you. It makes no sense.”
‘He’s just a moron’ — William Byron on Joey Logano
William Byron was upset with Joey Logano after the race at Darlington, in which Logano sent Byron into the wall to win.
Favorites fall out
Among drivers who led laps and didn’t finish the race were Kyle Larson (engine failure), Kyle Busch (accident), Martin Truex Jr. (accident) and Ross Chastain (accident).
Maybe the most frustrated was Busch, who was collected by Brad Keselowski when Keselowski hit a piece of debris, cut a tire and spun into Busch.
Busch parked his car at the entrance to the garage instead of in his pit stall or at his hauler. Last year, he was fined for driving too fast into the Darlington garage. This year, his car did have suspension damage.
“I just couldn’t make it turn,” Busch said of leaving the car where he did.
‘Big One’ at Darlington collects Wallace, Busch, others
The “Big One” strikes Sunday at Darlington Raceway, as Martin Truex Jr. gets turned and triggers a major crash off Turn 2.
Bob Pockrass has spent decades covering motorsports, including the past 30 Daytona 500s. He joined FOX Sports in 2019 following stints at ESPN, Sporting News, NASCAR Scene magazine and The (Daytona Beach) News-Journal. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @bobpockrass. Looking for more NASCAR content? Sign up for the FOX Sports NASCAR Newsletter with Bob Pockrass!
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