The NASCAR Cup Series drivers are back at Darlington Raceway for the first time since Joey Logano moved William Byron out of the way to take the lead and win the Goodyear 400. Now the driver of the No. 22 has delivered a strong warning amid questions of potential payback.
Logano met with media members on September 3 after winning the Busch Light Pole for the Southern 500. He faced questions about whether Byron will try to exact some form of revenge for the aggressive contact that went down between them late in the Goodyear 400. Logano doesn’t know if there will be payback, but he explained that it would be best to just move forward.
“I thought that everything that went down here during the spring was done and over with,” Logano said. “Right? It was tit-for-tat, one for the other. I said it before, I’ll say it again, ‘You don’t want to mess with me.’
“I’m not going to get pushed around. I’ve done that plenty in my career. It doesn’t work like that for me anymore. So I think it’s for everyone’s best interests [that] we just focus on racing, the playoffs, and trying to win championships.”
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The 2 Drivers Made Strong Comments After Darlington
Byron turned heads after the Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway when he climbed out of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro and called Logano an “idiot.” Hendrick Motorsports vice chairman Jeff Gordon also said that Logano had a chance to make a clean pass but chose not to.
Byron told reporters that he and Logano were not even after the trip to Darlington. He did not specifically say that he would exact some revenge in the future, but Gordon said that the driver of the No. 22 had “payback coming” after his aggressive move.
“I think what happened last week, happened,” Logano said on May 15. “I got fenced. I stand by the same stuff I said last week. I got fenced, I retaliated, and won the race. Like I said last week, that’s kind of how it works. I won’t get pushed around. So in my book, we’re back to even. You reset and go again.
“Honestly, if he wants to keep going back and forth, I’ll keep swinging. I don’t think that’s a good play for him in the long run. I’m not going to… Like I said, we’re even. He was willing to take the lead that way. I was willing to take the lead back the same way.”
Byron Currently Has a Different Focus
There are several questions about Logano and whether Byron will deliver payback at Darlington Raceway or any other track in the playoffs. No one knows the exact answer, but Byron has clarified that he has some other things on his mind.
Specifically, Byron is ready to fight for as many points as possible. There is no room for error considering that all of the drivers are close to each other in terms of points. The smallest mistake could lead to a driver falling below the cutline.
Another goal is returning to some early-season performances. The No. 24 team was strong early with two wins in the first eight weeks. However, there have also been some struggles over the summer, which have created questions about the ceiling of Byron and the No. 24 team.
“I don’t know. I mean, we’ll see,” Byron told Heavy ahead of the Darlington weekend. “I think it’s… we’re capable of a lot. We’ve shown that early in the season. And we just have to get back to that performance as we get into the playoffs and each race. We have to build on each race and try to be a little bit better.”