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McDowell: I Don’t Get Paid to Push Joey Logano

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 17: Cars race during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 61st Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 17, 2019 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

By Toby Christie         

It’s early in the 2019 season, but Michael McDowell and Joey Logano may not be exchanging Christmas cards when we reach Winter.

In the closing laps of the 2019 Daytona 500, it looked like Logano was in a good position to claim his second victory in the sport’s biggest race.

Logano was knifing his way through the field and he had a fellow Ford driver in McDowell who was in position to give him a shove to the lead. Then, McDowell chose not to push Logano, and instead pulled in behind Kyle Busch’s Toyota.

As they crossed the finish line, Logano’s charge stalled with a fourth-place finish while McDowell came home in fifth.

McDowell explained the decision to go with Busch instead of Logano.

“I would have loved to work with Joey, but he was moving left to right,” McDowell explained. “The 18 had a big run, a lot of momentum and Joey had a lot of damage. The back of his car was completely smashed, no rear bumper, a parachute hanging out of it. Joey wasn’t gonna win the race. I wanted to put myself in the best spot to win the race and the Fords weren’t that friendly to me this weekend.”

After the race, Logano walked up to McDowell to see why he didn’t help his fellow Ford driver. McDowell detailed his pointed words toward Logano.

“I just told him that my team doesn’t pay me to push Joey Logano to a win. That’s not what I get paid to do,” McDowell quipped. “At 200 miles an hour I made a split-second decision on what was the fastest car and who had the best shot of winning the race and that’s where I went.”

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