NSCS: Joey Logano Uses Bumper To Keep Riding Momentum Through Chase

Photo Credit: Brain Lawdermilk/Getty Images

In the late stages of the Hollywood Casino 400, Joey Logano closed the gap that Matt Kenseth had been able to build ahead of him. He got right up on his fellow competitor’s back bumper and after laps of going back and forth, a bit of contact from Logano to Kenseth would result in Kenseth going for the spin with five laps to go. Logano then held off Denny Hamlin on a final restart to win the race.

“It was just hard racing,” Logano said of the contact. “He raced me really hard.  I raced him the same way he raced me.  It was a lot of fun out there racing for a win like that.  The cars were very fast, equally paired and I couldn’t be more proud of what this Shell/Pennzoil team is doing right now.”

Logano said that when he first caught Kenseth and fell back a bit that was due to Kenseth coming up and taking the air away, which caused him to get into the fence twice on the straightaway. He said he then found a way to close the gap back up and race Kenseth hard in return.

“He raced me hard and I raced him hard back.  That’s hard racing.  That’s the way I race,” he said. “If I get raced like that, I’ll race the same way.  That’s how I’ve always been and it will always be that way.”

When asked about the contact and whether he made the right move, Logano replied simply that he didn’t think it was fair when he got up into the outside wall.

“I’m sure we’ll talk about it,” he added. “I felt like, ‘Hey, I’ve got to race hard.  I got in the fence twice,’ so I wasn’t gonna put up with it.”

The move wasn’t disputed by his car owner Roger Penske, who made note post-race of the times during the race where Kenseth squeezed Logano a little.

“I saw a couple times Joey got squeezed off of two and I think over in three, and as they went down into one Joey had a fender up inside,” Roger Penske shared. “He was on the outside of the 20 and he got in the wall.  I don’t know if you saw that or not, and then he turned down, Joey did, to take the lower lane and there was another car up there – I think a slower car – and then Kenseth came down.  Unfortunately, they got together.

“I don’t like to see that anymore than anybody else does.  It’s one of those racing accidents.  It’s real tough when it’s in this kind of a situation, but there was no question that Kenseth was doing everything he could to keep Joey from going by.”

For Logano, controversy aside, it marks his second straight victory as he picked up the win a week ago at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

We’re such a fast race car, such a great team,” he commented. “We’ve showed it two weeks in a row now and this is a lot of fun.  We’ve just got to ride this wave and we’ve got to get to Homestead still.”

By scoring wins in both races of round two so far, Logano will enter the last race of the round at Talladega as the only driver officially locked into the third round.

“The fact that we’re the only team that can relax right now is gonna pay big dividends when we get to Martinsville,” he commented. “Everyone is a little bit nervous.  Our goal is still to win the race.  Even though we’re moved on to the next round, our goal is still to win that race and try to get some guys nervous for next week.  That’s kind of the strategy of this Chase and to be able to do that today, like I said, I couldn’t be more proud.  These guys work so hard and Todd Gordon, he’s a fricking genius, so it’s fun to drive his car.”