In a perfect world, everybody would play nice.
When you're inside a race car for hours at a time, going as fast as these drivers go, sometimes tempers get the best of you. With 150 laps to go at Bristol, Denny Hamlin got into the back of Joey Logano's No. 22 machine, causing him to spin. Following the race, Logano let his temper get the best of him.
According to an article on ESPN.com, Logano decided that he was going to let Hamlin know how he felt about the incident. While leaning into his car expressing his thoughts, a shoving match broke out between the crews of both teams. Logano quickly was restrained and retreated to his Penske Racing hauler.
Logano's response to the situation:
We've got a freaking genius behind the wheel of the 11. Probably the worst teammate I ever had, so I learned that now. He chose to run into the back of me. Whatever. I have a scorecard and I'm not putting up with that.
What goes around come around.
Hamlin's response to the situation and whether or not this was the carry-over from their dispute after the Daytona 500:
"No, it didn't have anything to do with that," Hamlin said. "You've really got to control your car, and he slipped up into me. Really, he would have been in the garage with no radiator in it if I had not checked up twice.
"I just, you know, I meant to run in to him. I didn't mean to spin him out, but his day was fine."
Asked what Logano said to him at the car, Hamlin said, "He said he was coming for me. I usually don't see him, so it's usually not a factor."
Of course, this back-and-forth did not end there. Later on, both men took their war of words to Twitter:
Hey @dennyhamlingreat job protecting that genius brain of yours by keeping your helmet on— Joey Logano (@joeylogano) March 17, 2013
This actually wasn't the first time that these former teammates decided to vent their frustrations towards each other via Twitter. As I mentioned above, Logano and Hamlin had some beef following the Daytona 500. That issue resulted in the following exchange on Twitter:
. @keselowski sorry I couldn't get close to you cuz your genius teammate was too busy messing up the inside line 1 move at a time— Denny Hamlin (@dennyhamlin) February 24, 2013
@joeylogano inside line was doomed every 3 wide move that was made. Nobody who went 3 middle went anywhere— Denny Hamlin (@dennyhamlin) February 24, 2013
One of the great things about NASCAR is that these drivers are on the same track and sharing the same space week to week. When there is a feud or bad blood, the recourse is almost immediate, unlike in other sports, where athletes may have to wait a few weeks to play said person again—or, in some cases, they could have to wait until the following season.
Feuds in NASCAR add to the product and make the sport more entertaining. When you put 43 drivers on the track who all want to win, these things are bound to happen. In the case of Hamlin and Logano, there is an added layer because they are former teammates.
Moving forward, who knows where this feud will go. It would seem their feud has a bit more fire to it than the last hyped NASCAR rivalry, which was between Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer. I would have to think that NASCAR will be keeping a watchful eye on Logano this week in Fontana.
But hey, rubbing is racing, right? If these guys end up near one another this week, my money is on Logano evening the score.