Joey Logano: Denny Hamlin is ‘a little bit arrogant sometimes’

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MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Joey Logano said he wanted to talk to Denny Hamlin after Sunday’s race at Martinsville Speedway but after Hamlin’s reaction, Logano shoved Hamlin, starting a scuffle on pit road.

Logano was upset about contact with Hamlin late in Sunday’s race that sent Logano into the wall and damaged his car. Logano finished eighth. Hamlin placed fourth.

“I was frustrated about the situation,” Logano said. “I really wanted to go over and talk to him and get his side of the story of what happened and he just said I ran up into the wall basically and wasn’t as apologetic as I was looking for and that escalated the situation too much. I shouldn’t have shoved him.”

Logano went on to say: “Denny is Denny. He’s a little bit arrogant sometimes. I should be stronger than to let that get underneath me when he does that. Live and learn.

“Why I’d shove him? I was mad. I got fenced.”

Hamlin mocked Logano in an interview with NBCSN, saying: “We were having a discussion, everything was civil, and then like Joey does, he does a little push and then runs away. So that’s Joey. He said, ‘Do you want to go?” I said, ‘Yes, I’m here.’ But then he runs away.”

This continues a history that Logano and Hamlin have that dates back to 2013 after incidents at Bristol and at Auto Club Speedway and sparked earlier in the playoffs.

In the last round of this year’s playoffs, Hamlin criticized Logano at Dover for how he raced Hamlin while running 24 laps down and Hamlin leading. Hamlin lost the lead to Martin Truex Jr. and lost a stage when he couldn’t get by Logano.

Logano said he was racing Hamlin hard at Dover because he was trying to stay 24 laps down at the time and get as many points as possible. Logano advanced to this round by nine points. 

“Make a position? He’s 24 laps down,” Hamlin said at Dover. “That’s the most idiotic statement I’ve ever heard. We’re battling for the end of the stage, it’s not your day, you had bad luck, we get it but what, why? I don’t understand. I don’t understand that at all. That’s just a stupid statement by an idiot.”

Hamlin later said at Dover that “I probably shouldn’t call Joey an idiot. He’s not an idiot. That’s just a bad choice to say that he’s fighting for something. He’s not fighting for anything.

“All he did was piss some people off and what did he really gain? He didn’t gain anything. He just pissed off some guys that he’s racing with now. So now we’re going to race him extra hard for what? For the reason he didn’t want to go 26 laps down? Anybody would tell you that’s just not a good choice.

“Through these playoffs you’ve got to not have enemies. You’ve got to have give-and-take.”