Logano looks to clear the air with Keselowski before Sunday

Logano looks to clear the air with Keselowski before Sunday
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Joey Logano isn’t over Monday’s last-lap crash in the Daytona 500. 

Barreling into Turn 3, the driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford blocked Brad Keselowski’s charge. Both drivers spun, wrecked and opened the door for Michael McDowell to win the season opener.

As of Friday, Logano hadn’t discussed the wreck with his teammate. But he plans to rectify the situation before the green flag falls on Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 253. 

“You can look at this thing three different ways,” Logano said. “There’s going to be six different opinions on how the last few laps went, and depending on what seat you’re in, you would pick differently, so it’s just a matter of talking it out. And there’s time before Sunday’s race to do that, so that’s kind of where I’m at with it.”

Logano expects the Penske pair will put the situation behind them and move on. Although Keselowski was heartbroken following the chain of events at Daytona, it’s the only way to keep peace in a racing family.

“I think it’s probably best to cool your jets a little bit before the conversation happens,” Logano said. “I think everyone cooling off is probably going be good, but the analogy I used on Sirius a minute ago was it’s a marriage. When you’re married to somebody, you have to figure it out. You’re married. You don’t just leave. You get married. It’s supposed to be forever, so when you have conflict or you have a difference of opinion, you have to talk about it. You can’t just roll it up under the rug. It’s just not going to work. It’s not healthy. People do that, but it’s just not healthy to do.  

“So, it’s kind of the situation here, where I will be forced and he will be forced to work with me. We’re still teammates. We will have to figure this out. We may not have to agree on everything, but we at least have to find a way to move forward, and that is going to be the approach we need to do, because going back to the 400 men and women who work at Team Penske, we owe it to them to figure this out, and we will fix it, and it’s fine.” 

Still, with the current speedway package, Logano is at a loss to find fault with any of the players involved. McDowell gave Keselowski a push—no different from what he had done throughout the closing laps—but the last shove left the No. 2 Ford unstable as it contacted Logano's car and sent the No. 22 around. 

“These cars are very unstable when they’re getting pushed,” Logano said. “It’s not like when we used to tandem, when we had a pair of 400s across the back. There’s not much mechanical grip in our cars anymore because of the lower ride heights. We’re trying to get the spoiler out of the air, all that stuff to make speed.  

“So, for those reasons, when a car gets off-center as much as McDowell was on Brad, it’s gonna 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.”

Logano won’t apologize for blocking. His philosophy? If he’s blocking, that means his competition is behind him. Logano’s only regrets in the aftermath of the Daytona 500 are the consequences for the employees at Team Penske.

“Those families put just as much into it as I do, and I learned this the most when we won the championship in 2018,” Logano said. “At the 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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