Hamlin goes after Logano following post-race shove
Tempers overflowed after Sunday's playoff race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway with Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano clashing on pit road.
The result was a cut left rear tire and a spin for the reigning series champion.
Hamlin went on to finish fourth while Logano would rebound to eighth.
After the checkered flag, the two drivers engaged in a heated discussion that quickly escalated into pushing and shoving. Within moments, Hamlin was on the ground and crew members were going at it.
"We were having a discussion, everything was civil, and then like Joey does, he does a little push and then runs away," explained Hamlin.
"So that's Joey. Scared ‑‑ he said, 'Do you want to go?' I said, 'Yes, I'm here.' But then he runs away."
He continued: "I got close off of Turn 4. It looks like we got together, and it looks like collateral damage. He blew a tire. I mean, he would probably say, 'oh, short track racing,'" Hamlin quipped in a mocking fashion.
Logano admitted "maybe I shouldn't have shoved him at the end," but defended his frustrations following the race.
"I honestly just wanted to see what he was going to say, and he really wasn't apologetic at all. That's more frustrating when someone is like that, isn't it? When someone wrecks you and he's like, meh, that's not really what I was going for there. I just wanted to see what his thoughts were, and wasn't quite the answer I was looking for."
On the incident, he said, "I don't really know what happened because once he started hitting me he didn't lift, he just kept finishing me off. We ran each other fine all day, so I don't know. I don't really know what happened. He just kind of sends me up there and keeps on going with it. Cut down my tires and fender rubs everywhere.
"You know, at the end of the day we still got a decent finish out of it and some points in the stages at least. But a little frustrated with the situation. I wanted to talk to him about it, and maybe I shouldn't have shoved him at the end. It may have escalated it a little bit more. It's frustrating. There's a lot of passion out there.
He later added: "Just the playoffs. It just happens. It's part of it. Emotions run high."
Logano leaves Martinsville on the bubble (fourth in the standings), 14 points above the cut line. Hamlin is 24 points up and currently sits second in the standings behind Sunday's race winner Martin Truex Jr.
Joe Gibbs gave his own perspective on what happened. "There is so much at stake," he said. "I'm not sure everything that happened but I always leave that up to the drivers. When there is a lot at stake and it's Martinsville, that brings out a lot of passion and its one of those things that happens."
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