“You’re not gonna put me in the wall and not get anything back. That’s how that works.”
Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington provided no shortage of excitement, from the constant battles throughout the pack, to the late-race fireworks between Joey Logano and William Byron while battling for the victory.
When the dust settled, it was Joey Logano capturing the victory in the Goodyear 400, his first points-paying victory of the NASCAR Cup Series season, and the 28th of his career at NASCAR’s top-level.
The shove for the victory took place coming to the white flag, when Logano – who later admitted the blatancy of his maneuver — entered the corner deep, slamming into the back of Byron’s No. 24, shoving him into the outside wall.
Logano would successfully capture the victory, while Byron would attempt to nurse his No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet Camaro around the track one more time, finishing 13th.
“Just an incredible race there at the end with William [Byron],” Logano said in a victory lane interview. “I don’t know if he meant to get into me and fence me, but he did and at that point I felt it was game on and was able to get back to him there the last few laps, pushing really hard, and just knew that was my shot to win the thing and I had to take it.
After the race finished, Byron exited his car heated about the situation, telling Hendrick Motorsports Vice Chairman, Jeff Gordon, “He’s a piece of shit. He can’t fucking win unless he drives through everybody.”
After a rough couple of weekends, Tyler Reddick recorded a runner-up finish, three-quarters of a second behind race-winner Joey Logano. Justin Haley finished in third, with Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott rounding out the top-five.
Christopher Bell, Michael McDowell, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Austin Dillon, and Daniel Suarez completed what was an unorthodox top-10, after multiple cars were taken out in several accidents throughout the afternoon.
The biggest accident of the afternoon – with just over 30 laps to go — collected one-third of the field – 12 cars — including Martin Truex Jr, Erik Jones, Kurt Busch, and many more. The result of the massive accident? Only 23 cars running at the finish.
Exiting Darlington, Chase Elliott holds a 65-point lead over William Byron for the NASCAR Cup Series points lead, after the Dawsonville, Georgia-native collected a top-five finish.
Next weekend, the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Kansas Speedway for the halfway point of the regular season, as the series looks for its 11th different winner in the first 13 events of 2022.