On the final lap of the 2021 Daytona 500, it appeared that Brad Keselowski got the shove he needed to finally break into victory lane in the sport’s biggest race. Michael McDowell gave an epic push to Keselowski’s No. 2 car down the backstretch, which gave Keselowski a huge advantage over his Team Penske teammate Joey Logano as they approached the final set of turns in the race.
Keselowski dove low to make the move for the lead and potentially for the win. Then, Logano moved low to block it. They both crashed.
McDowell went on to win the race while the Keselowski’s shot at the Harley J. Earl trophy erupted into a fireball after his car was launched into the Daytona International Speedway catchfence.
On Friday, Joey Logano explained in a zoom media availability that while he feels that neither driver did anything wrong, that he has still not cleared the air with Keselowski following the last lap crash in the Daytona 500.
“I think it’s probably best to cool your jets a little bit before the conversation happens,” Logano explained.
Logano would go on to say that he will speak with Keselowski before this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series race at the Daytona International Speedway road course. Logano compares being a teammate in NASCAR to a marriage.
“You know, I think everyone cooling off is probably going to be good. The analogy I used on Sirius a minute ago was, it’s a marriage. Right? When you’re married to somebody, you have to figure it out,” Logano said. “You’re married. You don’t just leave. You get married, it’s supposed to be forever. So, when you have conflict, you have differences of opinions or whatever, you have to talk about it. You’re forced to. You can’t just roll it up under the rug.”
According to Logano, he and Keselowski will still work together as teammates and that they will have to come together with an understanding about what transpired on the final lap of the 2021 Daytona 500.
“I will be forced and he will be forced to work with me,” Logano stated. “We are still teammates. We will have to figure this out. We may not have to agree on everything, but we at least have to figure out a way to move forward.”
Logano says that he and Keselowski owe it to the 400 employees at Team Penske to figure this out and that both Team Penske teammates are adults and can work through their current issues.
“The goal is to move on and not say, ‘You raced me hard, so I’m going to race you hard,’ and then we’re beating the doors off each other every week,” Logano explained. “And then it grows and grows and grows and grows and grows. Right? That’s the goal you can’t have. You can’t seek revenge for — or seek — You made my life hard, so I’m going to make your life hard. That’s childish. We’re adults. We’re not doing that.”
While Logano feels that he and Keselowski can work past this, it’s easier for him to feel that way as he does have a past win in the Daytona 500. Keselowski is still searching for that ultimate prize after 12 attempts.
Had it not been for his teammate swinging his car low on the final lap last Sunday, it could have very well happened for the driver of the No. 2 car. That loss will certainly sting. And it’ll sting worse knowing it was a teammate that ended his bid for the Daytona 500 victory.
Can they co-exist and will they work through this? They have worked through issues in the past, so there is reason to believe they’ll work past this latest incident. But the more of these kinds of issues the two drivers face with one another, you feel that at some point you’re approaching the territory where enough will be enough.
The relationship between Logano and Keselowski will certainly be interesting to keep an eye on as the 2021 season progresses.