MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Time has not healed the wound for Martin Truex Jr.
Less than a month after Joey Logano bumped Truex out of the lead on the final lap to win at Martinsville – a move Truex called a “cheap shot” that day – the talk at Thursday’s Championship 4 Media Day is what will happen should those two race for a Cup title Sunday.
Truex had plenty of answers.
“I won’t just wreck a guy … unless it’s the 22,” Truex told NBC Sports on Thursday, referencing Logano by his car number.
That wasn’t all. Truex told reporters: “I still remember what happened, and I’ll use that to my advantage
Asked if he would drive Logano any differently, Truex said: “Absolutely.”
Asked if he had would do a bump-and-run on Logano for the championship, Truex said: “I have a free pass. He already told me I could. He told me he’s fair game. So here we go.”.
Logano said: “I didn’t tell him that. I said, ‘Hey, I expect to get raced the way I race people. I’m a hard racer. I expect to get raced hard. I said it before, we didn’t crash each other. I didn’t crash him. Moved him up enough to have a drag race. That’s what I explained to him.
“Just so much on the line in these situations. If you don’t make a move like that, you’re going to go back to your race team. I know if I worked on that car, I’d be mad. I’d say, ‘Why didn’t you at least try to win?’
“I wasn’t going to crash him. That’s completely different than what happened a couple years ago (when Matt Kenseth retaliated at Martinsville for their incident at Kansas). I wasn’t looking to do that. I was just looking to move him up the racetrack, then have that race to the start/finish line, which we did. We had that.”
When all four title contenders were on stage together, Logano was the target of the day’s sharpest barb.
The group was asked about the competition for the championship.
“It’s the exact same four organizations that were here last year,” Kevin Harvick said. “Three of the four (drivers).’
Said Truex: “It just depends on whether Brad (Keselowski) or Joey are better drivers. I’m not sure.”
Kyle Busch, sitting next to Logano, responded: “They both run into you a lot.”
Logano said: “Probably best I keep my mouth shut on this one.”