Kaulig Racing spotter for Justin Haley, Brett Griffin, took Joey Logano to task after he performed a bump-and-run maneuver on William Byron during the Goodyear 400 at Darlington Speedway that earned him the checkered flag.
With two laps to go, Logano slammed into the rear of Byron sending his #24 Chevrolet into the turn three wall. Logano would go on to win the race with Byron finishing a distance 13th place.
On Episode 251 of the Door Bumper Clear podcast, Kraft shared his opinion on Logano’s maneuver after Brad Keselowski and Hailie Deegan’s spotter TJ Majors gave his.
Majors said, “I’m spot off because he wrecked him. He was going to spin out if that wall wasn’t there. Tore up a racecar. Didn’t even make an attempt at passing him. It’s Darlington off of turn 2, you’re mad because you brushed the wall a little bit, which he ran you up a little bit, but do it back, you don’t have to destroy a racecar doing it, in my opinion.”
“I don’t agree with tearing up racecars for that, you know, in my opinion,” Majors added.
Bubba Wallace’s spotter Freddie Kraft then said, “The biggest thing to me is, [he] never made an attempt to pass him. Like if you work a guy over and listen — I’m all about ‘winning at all costs.’ We’ve built this system around, ‘You’ve got to win a race. You’ve got to win a race to get into playoffs. Everything.’
“He’s on a what 40-race winless streak or something like that? ‘Win at all costs.’ But at least make some kind of attempt and realize maybe I can’t get around him,” Kraft opined.
Tommy Baldwin Jr., a former Cup Series team owner, would also share his opinion believing Logano’s bump-and-run was a cheap shot. He said, “I think that restart where they were battling coming off of 2 that was a trouble area the whole race. That little bump with the cars bottoming out and doing what they needed to do, especially on low air.”
“I think that was really, really hard racing. I think what Joey did to William wasn’t. I’m with TJ. I think he had plenty of time to pass him,” he continued.
Baldwin elaborated, “Obviously, he was 2-3 tenths a lap faster than he was at that time. Byron was out of tires. He was holding on for dear life. Joey could have made a race of it, but didn’t. Just ran into the back of him.”
Baldwin then chided Logano as a poor role model, “It all goes back into how many people seen that? How many kids seen that how to race? Lot of kids are going to learn from that and say, ‘Hey, we’re just going to push them out of the way and win the race instead of race the race track, race the driver at the same time.”
He then pointed to the battle between Ricky Craven and Kurt Busch at Darlington back in 2003 saying, “Like you said that Craven, Kurt Busch race was probably one of the most phenomenal finishes of all time of how they raced. The respect they gave while they were wrecking each other. It was incredible.”
Baldwin added, “We could have had another one yesterday and the whole world would be talking about that and how great a race it, was even though it was a really good, how great the race would have been — and again the drivers get to choose how good the race is going to be, right? That could have been another game changer for our sport, but now it’s a little bit different.”
Griffin, a spotter for Justin Haley in the NASCAR Cup Series and Daniel Hemric in the Xfinity Series for Kaulig Racing took things to another level when he said, “This is what I’m the most spot-off on – Joey’s lame-a** excuse after the race of, ‘I will not be bullied. He ran me in the fence.’ If you’re gonna be and race like a d-bag, you gotta own it. Don’t play the victim on TV, like, ‘I had to pay him back, he was bullying me.’ No. That’s not the way that played out at all.”
“So I am the most spot off for the way he handled it in the post race,” Griffin added.
After winning Logano celebrated his victory saying, “You’re not going to put me into the wall, and not get anything back. That’s how that works.”
Byron previously ran Logano into the wall earlier in the race to take the lead from Logano after a restart as you can see below.
What do you make of Griffin’s claim that Logano is a “d-bag” and that he didn’t own the way he raced? What about Tommy Baldwin Jr.’s noting that Logano is setting a bad example for young drivers? What did you make of the move?