What the hell happened?
Martin Truex Jr and Joey Logano duked it out for about ten laps straight to determine who would take home the grandfather clock at the end of the First Data 500, but things quickly got out of hand as they entered the final corner of the race. Unfortunately for Truex Jr, he received a bump out of the way from Logano and was then hit in the door several times as they raced to the line.
The maneuver was enough to get Martin Truex Jr loose and even caused him to slip to third before finally crossing the line. Truex Jr was apparently upset with the way that Logano raced him in the final turn of Sunday’s event’s and showed his displeasure with The Penkse Racing driver by giving him a shove during the cool down lap.
Logano didn’t let that bother him however and quickly exited the #22 Penzoil Ford to greet the fans that had just watched the ten lap battle. While some fans legitimately cheered on Logano, which was a little weird given how absolutely hated he was a few years ago, Martin Truex Jr could be seen on camera giving a thumbs down as the fans cheered.
Martin Truex jr continued to show his displeasure during a post race interview, where he vowed that he would win the war and even hinted at the idea that payback was coming for Logano. Truex Jr also commented on how he was unhappy with Logano after how clean he had raced The Penkse racing driver, which i guess he believed should have earned him a clean race to the line.
“He may have won the battle, but he ain’t winning the damn war,” promised Truex, “That’s it. I’m not letting him – I’m going to win the championship …“I was next to him for six laps. I never knocked him out of the way. We were going to race hard for it in my book. I cleared him fair and square. We weren’t even banging doors for me to pass him. He just drove into the back of me and knocked me out of the way. It’s short-track racing, but what goes around comes around.”
Although some believe that Joey Logano should have probably paid a little bit more respect to Martin Truex Jr on the final turn of the final lap, Truex Jr’s words after the race are not very becoming of defending champion. In fact, it seems like the actions of a man that is taking his frustrations out on everyone else and is struggling to maintain his composure.
Think about it! What kind of former champion almost outright promises to take out a man competing for a championship of his own? Not only is that extremely cheap and unbecoming, its also poor sportsmanship on Martin Truex Jr’s part. Beyond that, its not a great look for the driver heading into free agency at the end of the season.
At the end of the day, its understandable that Martin Truex Jr would be upset with how things played out, especially after starting in the back for Sunday’s race, but that’s no reason for his actions after the race at all. Furthermore, NASCAR needs to have a talk with Truex Jr to make sure he doesn’t outright destroy Logano’s championship hopes at Homestead.
Editors note: a previous version of this article claimed that Joey Logano drove the #22 Penzoil Chevrolet and has sense been corrected to show he drives a Ford.