UPDATE 9:50 AM ET October 28th:
Joey Logano’s crew chief Todd Gordon also stopped by Sirius XM NASCAR Radio’s Morning Drive to talk about the incident. Gordon shouldered some of the blame for what happened.
“I probably take some of the ownership myself to start with,” Gordon said. “Stopped Joey when he got out of the car and he’s frustrated. He got run up in the wall with 50 to go and was frustrated about it and justifiably so. I went back and rewatched it. He pretty much got put in the wall on a straightaway. There’s frustration with that.
“Stopped Joey at the car and said we just don’t need to handle that right now and let his emotions get down, and I thought they were at a point where he could go talk. Unfortunately, in the conversation there got to be a push.
Gordon also touched on potential penalties for the crew member that yanked Hamlin to the ground.
“See what NASCAR does that and where it goes,” Gordon explained. “There weren’t any punches or anything pulled. Denny got pulled out there and got pulled down pretty hard. Apologized to Denny for that and how that was handled. Ultimately, I’ll put that one back on me to start with. I shouldn’t have let Joey down there to start with. I probably made a poor decision in letting him go down and talk. A little bit of that is on me and we’ll work forward from that. Understand Joey’s frustration. I think it’s genuine. What started the whole situation was what happened on the race track. We can talk about what happens in short track racing and all, 50 to go to get pushed up into the wall side-by-side it’s going to frustrate you. I think if the roles were revered it’s probably frustrating as much the other way. … We’ll see what NASCAR does and we’ll adapt to whatever comes forward.”
Orginal Story 9:11 AM ET October 28th
Finally, it appears NASCAR has had enough of pit crew members injecting themselves in fights or squabbles between their race car drivers.
The morning after the dust-up between Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin, which led to Hamlin being yanked by a Team Penske team member and thrown to the ground, NASCAR’s executive vice president and chief racing development officer talked about the incident on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio’s Morning Drive.
“As we always say, we know emotions are going to run high, especially at this time of the season,” O’Donnell said. “The drivers, we don’t encourage it, but we know that they’re going to address each other after the race when they have an incident and you saw that happen.
“Then, unfortunately, instead of kind of breaking up a fight, I think what we saw was an aggressive move by a crew member, so we called the team into the hauler, including Todd Gordon.
“I think in this case, you’ve got a crew member who was maybe trying to break it up but certainly an aggressive move that we viewed on our part and unfortunately we’ll probably have to take some action to address that later today or tomorrow.”
NASCAR had already had these type of sanctions fresh in their mind as crew members were involved in a tussle a week ago at Kansas Speedway between Tyler Reddick and Cole Custer.
NASCAR didn’t issue any penalties in that incident, but there was plenty of talk about NASCAR needing to do something.
O’Donnell went on to say that NASCAR has been quite consistent about these kind of calls in the past, but things have gone a bit too far and it’s time for them to place a line in the sand.
“I think we have. I think we’ve been consistent in our reaction and will be consistent here,” O’Donnel said. “This is a team sport and with any team sport, I think you’re going to take care of your quarterback so to speak and you see that.
“What we can do is when we need to do address this with a penalty we will. When we see drivers, or in this case, crew members in Kansas trying to break something up, we won’t react. It’s case-by-case, but it’s a passionate sport and there’s a lot on the line and sometimes emotions go a little too far and we’ve got to react.”
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.