Joey Logano Goes Off Over NASCAR Double Standards

Joey Logano, No. 22, at the 2024 Toyota Owners 400.

Getty Images Joey Logano, No. 22, at the 2024 Toyota Owners 400.

Joey Logano went off on NASCAR today over its perceived double standards. But Denny Hamlin might be the intended target. And this could be the re-start of a Logano – Hamlin feud.

Logano finished second at the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway, Sunday, March 31. Denny Hamlin got the win, but it was a controversial one. With just two laps remaining, Bubba Wallace spun Kyle Larson. That sent the race into Overtime. On the restart, Hamlin jumped, which he later admitted. But NASCAR took no action. Many were left confused — Logano, among them. As Heavy wrote soon after the race, “fans watching on television were certain Hamlin jumped the start. Fans on track thought Hamlin jumped the start. Many in the media said Hamlin jumped the start.” NASCAR took no action, however.

“I’m gonna be pissed,” Logano said today on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, if NASCAR tries to rule differently on him, or another driver in the next race. “Why was it okay,” Logano asked.  Wondering why NASCAR let Hamlin take the win despite him clearly jumping the restart. NASCAR has previously reviewed questionable restarts, Logano insisted. But not for this race.

Compounding matters, NASCAR’s ruling — or, its refusal to make a ruling, as Logano suggested — comes just a month after Logano was penalized for wearing “unapproved” gloves during qualifying at the Ambetter Health 400 in Atlanta.

Hamlin Admits It, NASCAR Admits It, But No Change

Joey Logano finished 0.269 seconds behind Denny Hamlin at the Toyota Owners 400 last Sunday. It was Logano’s first top five finish of the year, but a win was within reach. Certainly, it was if NASCAR had ruled that Hamlin jumped the restart.

Shockingly, NASCAR now admits just that. “There’s no doubt he (Hamlin) rolled early,” according to Elton Sawyer, NASCAR Senior VP of Competition. Sawyer then went one worse, implying that NASCAR didn’t have the stomach to make such a controversial call that late in the race. On SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, NASCAR’s Sawyer said “if this (jumping the restart) happens at lap 10 or 50 or 300, the call could have been different.”

This was certainly a curious statement from NASCAR. As Yahoo Sports’ Nick Bromberg noted, “it seems extremely unwise for a NASCAR exec to openly say that a crunch-time call could have been made differently in a non-crunch-time situation.”

For his part, Hamlin at first made a joke of the controversy. He tweeted: “After much consideration, talks with the team and dissecting the SMT data, it is clear that I jumped the start. Because of that, I’ve decided to do the right thing and… wish you a happy April Fools Day!” But Hamlin later admitted on his Actions Detrimental podcast that he did jump the restart. “I went pretty early in the zone,” he said. But here’s where Hamlin added more fuel to the fire. He partly blamed Joey Logano, along with Martin Truex Jr., of “laying back” on the restart. Their “laying back” is what allowed him to get the jump.

Did Denny Hamlin Snitch on Joey Logano

To make all this even more galling, it’s still not known if Hamlin was the one that “snitched” on Logano over his webbed glove penalty. As Heavy noted following NASCAR’s ruling against Logano, it was Hamlin that said “teams tell on each other, for sure.” Hamlin added that “NASCAR Cup Series is full of snitches.”

For their part, several other drivers all suggested Denny Hamlin either did nothing wrong, or if he did, it should be allowed. Drivers need “flexibility” in these situations, per Brad Keselowski, Ryan Preece and Josh Berry. It seems NASCAR agrees with them, for now.

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