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Monday, June 7, 2010

Logano’s message to garage: Don’t push me around, I’m no kid anymore

I have three words for Joey Logano after what transpired on Sunday evening at Pocono.
Good for you.

I’m glad you finally did the equivalent of facing off with the school bully, when you confronted Kevin Harvick after the race and dropped a few well-deserved F-bombs on him, after he blatantly wrecked you for no reason while you were batting for the fifth position late in the race at Pocono.

This is not the first time Logano and Harvick have had a conflict. For some reason, Harvick has made it a habit in the past to seek out Logano and make contact, most recently at Bristol in the March Nationwide race. Logano said he has absolutely no clue why Harvick is so set on knocking him out of the way.

Then came the quote of the year from Logano, who burned Harvick with the following comment.
"[I was] racing the No. 29 and he let me go in the middle of the straightaway and decided to dump me in the next turn," Logano said. "I don't know what his problem is with me but it's probably not his fault. His wife wears the fire suit in the family and tells him what to do. It's probably not his fault."

Some would say he went to far with the wife joke, but they’re missing the point. It’s not about Delana. She’s a big girl who has heard much worse, and really the comment wasn’t even about her. It was just a good bit of trash-talking aimed at her husband, who is continuing to confirm the belief of some fans that “Happy” is really a jerk on the track sometimes for absolutely no reason.

By standing up for himself and letting Harvick know how he felt in graphic terms, Logano did more than release his anger. He put out notice to the rest of the garage that he’s not just some kid anymore. He’s one of them, an experienced driver who they do not have the right to bully.

Last year, Logano was a mild-mannered rookie, and didn’t yet have the credentials that would force his fellow drivers to show him full respect on the track. In just 50 races, he has already racked up a win and a bunch of top-10 finishes, and proved to his competitors that he is a driver they can trust on the track. There is no reason for any of his competitors to show him disrespect at this point, and Harvick crossed that line Sunday.

The RCR team tried to deflect from Harvick’s actions by indicating that Logano put the 29 crew in danger by driving toward them on pit lane. That’s just silly, though, as Logano just stopped his car and got out.

He had no intention of running anyone over. Instead of crying about silly things like this, the team should tell Harvick that it’s not cool to knock people out of the way when there is plenty of real estate on the track for both cars.

My only advice to Logano: Stop having your father so close and stand on your own. I know he wants you to do well, but you have to fight your battles alongside your team and pit crew now, not your dad. Let him stay in the hauler and watch you do your battles on your own.

This feud is a also a great sidebar to the emerging storyline of Joe Gibbs Racing and Richard Childress Racing being the teams most likely to have a shot at taking the Cup title away from Jimmie Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports. It’s more than just Joey vs. Kevin, it’s team vs. team.

Speaking of teams, what was up with Harvick’s team standing in front of him and stopping Joey from getting directly in Kevin’s face. By my count, Logano looks like weighs about buck-20, and I’m guessing Harvick could easily take him down if they got to scrapping.

Whether this feud dies or continues, I’m loving it, as it was one of the late-race antics that spiced up a race that was dreadfully boring until lap 150 or so.
And as someone who’s suggested from the time he showed up in NASCAR that Logano will become a true superstar and live up to his “Sliced Bread” moniker, I’m proud to see him finally stand up to the big boys and let them know he will not be pushed around just because he is young.

Please shorten Pocono races
I learned a good lesson Sunday: A short Pocono race is a fun one. The end was great, and the rest was “meh”. A 400-mile race would be more than enough, and the track’s owner said he would be open to shortening the race if fans wanted that. I can’t speak for the people who attended the race Sunday, but I know the people out in the world watching these races are bored to tears by most Pocono races and would love to see them shortened.

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Anonymous Prof pi (Jeff Thompson) said...

After the race Logano behaved like a petulant, spoiled 13 year old and unfortunately his father wasn't exactly setting a more adult role model. In that this childish, school-yard behavior is seen in the yahoo, red-neck world of NASCAR as being "a man," this league will continue to be the purview of the under-educated, much to the great detriment of what racing might become. At one time racing was the venue for great ingenuity, clever engineering and gentlemen drivers, e.g., Can-Am in the early 1960's, F1 until about 1975.
And to save everyone the time on castigating my background, I've driven race cars at the semi-pro level for many years, been a mountain climber, ocean sailboat racer, hockey player,... and scientist/engineer.

June 8, 2010 at 11:40 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JL's message. "I am immature driver on a team with 3 immature drivers. Don't drive me hard with 5 laps to go or I will call you stupid and make fun of your family.
Then my mommie and daddy will drive me home. LOL I am sure are the drivers are really scared.

June 8, 2010 at 11:44 AM 
Blogger Matt Myftiu said...

I admit Joey's father can be an idiot, but do you expect him to take this consistent attacking on the track by Harvick, which I don't see a reason for, without standing up for himself?

June 8, 2010 at 12:11 PM 
Anonymous Prof pi (Jeff Thompson) said...

Remember the movie "The Sting," and the Paul Newman line,..."a good grift is the one where the mark never knows he's been taken." There are a dozen ways to even the score with people like Harvick, mid level talent with an over inflated ego,...and take out another car during a race. The clever driver does it in a way you never realize you've been had, i.e., race with your brain turned on, for example, Phil Hill when he won the world driving championship in F1, or Dan Gurney racing in California in the 1960's. It is possible to be assertive without being either a fool (Lagano) or a bully (Harvick); but it requires thinking.

June 8, 2010 at 1:02 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Prof pi... This is not F1 nor Can Am.. This is American racing. These aren't spoiled rich kids (gentlemen???? questionable). This series was started by dirt track racers and moonshine runners from back in the hills. And if you want to put us down then you are no better than you think we are! I were a firesuit and I will take you on anyday, anywhere... And guess what I am a woman... So get off your better than thou attitude. You know what will keep a man in forever lasting ignorance? Contempt prior to investigation. And that my friend is you!!!

June 8, 2010 at 1:34 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is not what I saw. I saw a little cry baby named Joey who was whineing and would of got his butt kicked if nobody would of been in the way. That was the wimpiest confrontation I ever saw and nobody would be scared of that kid he is not tough he is a geek.

June 8, 2010 at 5:49 PM 
Anonymous Prof pi (Jeff Thompson) said...

And the anonymous "lady" at 1:34 pm makes my point exactly. Try a little reading, it does wonders; Dan Gurney entered 17 NASCAR races, won 5 of them, 29.4% of all the NASCAR races he started. I remember seeing him race in NASCAR in California (Riverside) in the 1960's, he made every race exciting.
Gurney also won in Indy cars, as well as every other type of car he raced. Most impressive is the fact that Gurney is the only person in history to design, and build his own F1 car then also drive it and win an F1 race.
Gurney is also a world renowned expert on opera.
By the way, "wear" a firesuit, I doubt that you "were" a firesuit. And if you can't outdrive a 70 year old man with bad knees, who needs a cane to're not much of a driver, either.

June 8, 2010 at 8:02 PM 

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