The 2018 Cup Series champion has weighed in on the fight at Martinsville Speedway featuring Joe Gibbs Racing’s Ty Gibbs and JR Motorsports’ Sam Mayer. Joey Logano explained that he can relate to the situation considering that he has been in similar situations in the past.
“I have a lot more grace for seeing that stuff after going through it myself,” Logano explained on April 11, transcript courtesy of NASCAR Media. “Do I agree with the way it went down? No, I don’t. Have I done that type of thing before? Yeah, I have. Am I proud of it? No, not at all, but I learned from it at least. And it’s part of growing up on TV. You’re growing up in the limelight, right? It’s a very popular driver. He’s very good, he wins, he’s in a great car, and he’s pretty dang aggressive. And I can relate to all that.”
The altercation occurred in the final run to the checkered flag on April 8. Mayer collided with the side of Gibbs’ No. 54 and knocked him into the outside lane. Gibbs responded by running into the rear of Mayer’s No. 1 and trying to spin it. Their altercation continued on pit road with some arguing, shoves, and punches. Once they were separated, NASCAR officials called both drivers to the hauler after the incident.
ALL the latest NASCAR news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on NASCAR newsletter here!
“I don’t know if he had to go straight to fists right off the bat, but for what it was, if you’re gonna race a certain way, you gotta expect to be raced that way back,” Logano added. “That’s the driver code and nobody can understand, that’s it. If you’re willing to push, you gotta be willing to take some pushes, and that’s kind of what it comes down to.”
Logano Developed a Reputation for Aggressive Moves
Logano, who earned the nickname “Sliced Bread” from Randy LaJoie, drew comments early in his racing career for aggressive moves and some run-ins with other drivers. For example, he and Ryan Newman had a heated confrontation after a wreck at Michigan International Speedway in 2010, and he had another with Kevin Harvick in 2015.
Logano was asked about his reputation as an aggressive driver following the inaugural Food City Dirt Race at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2021. He acknowledged that he was an early adopter of the aggressive mindset, but he added that he is far from the only driver who uses these tactics while fighting for wins.
“I feel like everybody is aggressive right now. Honestly, when I look at what everybody is doing on the racetrack, maybe I was the first to it, so that reputation stuck with me,” Logano told media members during his post-race press conference, transcript from ASAP Sports. “But I can promise you, I watch every one of these races back and I’m not the only one being aggressive. You look at the 550 rules package, everyone is aggressive. Look at the restarts, it’s insane.
“I promise you I am not the most aggressive guy on the racetrack anymore. There’s times I look at it and say maybe I need to be more aggressive. The game has changed a lot. That reputation is probably with me because probably five or six years ago that reputation started with me. But the competitors have changed and evolved over time to where everybody is aggressive. Nobody gives up spots. There’s not much give-and-take out there on the racetrack anymore. We’re racing.”
Logano Had His Own Fight on Pit Road
Logano took part in some heated discussions early in his career, but he was also on the receiving end of some Kyle Busch punches during the 2017 season. This incident took place during the Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Logano got loose underneath Busch and sent the No. 18 into a slide down pit road.
This incident led to Busch finishing 22nd while Logano ended his day fourth overall. Once the race came to an end, Busch walked up to his fellow driver on pit road and immediately began throwing punches. Though Logano told FOX Sports two days later that they did not connect with him.
Logano and Busch have not become friends in the years since the Las Vegas incident, but they haven’t gotten in fistfights. Instead, they have just continued to race aggressively around each other while fighting for wins and points. Though Busch made it clear during an interview with “I AM ATHLETE” that he still has strong feelings about his fellow driver.
“The problem with Joey is he’s two-faced,” Busch said during the episode, which aired May 17, 2021. “People know I’m an a******. I might be an a****** on the race track, which I’m really not. But Logano, he will come in here and he’s happy-go-lucky, go with the flow, super nice guy. Does great for charity, everything like that.
“You put him on the race track, when he puts his helmet on, he flips the a****** switch on the back of his head. To me, I hate two-faced guys. That drives me absolutely nuts. If you’re going to be a nice guy, be a nice guy on the race track as well. You know what I mean?”