Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski have not spoken in the aftermath of the final lap crash that eliminated both from contention in the Daytona 500.
Logano says it’s probably best for the two to “cool your jets a little bit before the conversation happens.”
That incident began when Logano reacted left to a run from behind by teammate Brad Keselowski with a shove from eventual winner Michael McDowell. When Logano moved to impede their progress, the two Penske cars came together and spun in front of the field, collecting most of the remaining frontrunners in an explosive and fiery melee.
McDowell emerged victorious as the leader at the time of caution.
Keselowski climbed from his car and immediately tossed his helmet into the car. He remains winless in 12 attempts at the Great American Race.
“It’s maybe not what needs to be said, but what is the goal moving forward,” Logano said. “The goal is to move on and not say, ‘You raced me hard, so I’m going to race you hard’ and now we’re going to beat the doors off each other and it grows and grows and grows and grows.
“That’s the goal that you can’t have. You can’t seek revenge or just, ‘Well, you made my life hard, so I’m going to make your life hard.’ That’s childish. We’re adults. We’re not doing that. I’m not going to do that for a multiple of reasons. … If you do that, it’s the most selfish thing you can do because you’re not just hurting yourself or hurting him, you’re hurting all the people that work on that car and what did they do to you? They’re the same people that work on my car by the way, so it’s a matter of just saying how do we move forward, not you did this, you did this, you did this.
“It’s, ‘OK, that’s that.’ Start at zero. Clean slate. Never to bring up anything that’s happened six months ago, a year ago, five years ago. If you want to talk about it, that is the time. The best time to talk about it, bring it up, be honest, get it off your chest. If you need to get it of your chest because it makes you feel better, good. That’s going to be healthy, but after that it’s never being brought up again. Never. It’s got to start at zero.”
Logano conceded that his move to the left was a “mild block,” and contributed the race ending crash.
“When Brad moves to the left to pass me, that gets (McDowell) off-center on his bumper,” Logano said. “These cars are very unstable when they’re getting pushed. … When a car gets off-center as much as McDowell was on Brad, it’s going to push him around, just the same way like we saw the first crash happen.
“At that point, from watching it in slow motion and trying to dissect it, I see Brad’s hands turn to the left and the back end of his car is further left than he is, so that means he’s going to the right at that moment spinning out. That’s why I got tagged so hard in the left-rear and spun me out so quick. That’s how I see it happened.”
Logano says the biggest heartbreak in this ordeal is the 400 employees at Team Penske denied a Daytona 500 bonus with two good chances at the win destroyed on the apron of Turn 3.
“That, to me, is probably the hardest part to deal with because those families put just as much into it as I do,” Logano said. “I learned this the most when we won the championship in 2018. At this victory tour, we went to a lot of different places and met a lot of people and didn’t understand how much we affected people’s livelihoods.
“When I realized that, it kind of changed my thought process a lot on what I do behind the wheel. So, that’s probably to me the most frustrating part, and they should be frustrated too about it. I’m angry about it, so that part is probably what stings the most is that we had a really good shot at having a Penske 1-2 and, instead, we finished 12th and 13th.”
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