HAMPTON, Ga. — Questions abound on what the racing will be like this season with the new rules package, but reigning Cup champion Joey Logano is certain of one thing.
“This is going to cause probably more wrecks and more tempers are going to fly and more drama is going to be there,” he said Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. “I’m pretty sure of it because you’re going to have cars closer together.”
After one race, Logano is a part of the sport’s drama. He expressed his frustration with Michael McDowell after the race and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. during the race.
Stenhouse wasn’t too appreciative of Logano saying during last weekend’s Daytona 500: “Ricky Stankhouse. God. He sucks.”
Logano explained his comment Friday, saying: “That was right after a moment we about crashed. If I didn’t lift, the whole field was going to crash because of a move that was happening. That made me pretty mad because I lost 10 spots after that. That was my frustration.”
Stenhouse said he is aware of comments about him made on the radio by other teams.
“I definitely file it away,” he said. “They definitely won’t get any help from here on out.”
Stenhouse said he was not going to work with Logano in that race … unless it benefitted him.
Stenhouse also stated how the Fords didn’t work as well together during the 500.
“I think there were a lot of Fords that were left out exactly when we were pitting,” Stenhouse said. “When we came down pit road and got wrecked on pit road, I looked up and we were the only Ford that got wrecked on pit road. We were running second in line and there were a few Fords right behind us. When I pulled out to pit and I looked up, they stayed on track.”
Logano was frustrated with McDowell for pushing Toyota driver Kyle Busch on the last lap instead of Logano.
“I think a lot of times when you assume people know, it’s sometimes the worst thing you can do,” Logano said. “I think that was kind of the situation after the race with Michael. It’s just kind of like, ‘You should know that.’ It’s something that is preached to us, something that we try to do the best as possible. Michael and I have a great relationship. We’re friends and we talk to each other a lot. It’s the last lap.
“It’s something I’m constantly aware of the situation but it’s because I’m put in the situation more often. Nothing against Michael or his race team, I’m just in the situation a lot so I’m more comfortable in it. If you’re not put in the situation a lot, you don’t know what to do.
“Maybe I shouldn’t have been as mad or maybe reacted the way I did, but I was frustrated about the situation and assumed he would know that.”
Logano said they later talked and had a laugh about it.
“It’s heat of the moment, it’s the last lap of the Daytona 500 and we’re both going for the win,” McDowell said Friday. “For me, I’m just excited that we were in a position to just go for the win. The heat of the moment stuff, I don’t really sweat it. But the thing we did talk about is how can we put ourselves in a better position and work closer together and put a Ford in victory lane.”