Team Penske’s Joey Logano saw his race at Talladega come to an early end on Sunday after a high-flying wreck. One day later, NASCAR‘s Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller appeared on SiriusXM to discuss the wreck and Logano’s crumpled No. 22 Ford Mustang. Miller explained that NASCAR is investigating and that cars going airborne is not the goal.
“Certainly, we are in the middle of those conversations, starting this morning,” Miller said, per NASCAR. “Certainly disappointed that what transpired, transpired, but super happy that Joey was ok and that the roll roof and all of the things that needed to protect him did.
“But cars getting up in the air is not good,” Miller continued. “It’s something we’ve been working on and will continue to work on. I know that our engineers will be in touch with the crew chiefs and the engineers at Penske and Joey, trying to dig through every detail of what transpired there.”
The wreck occurred at the very end of Stage 1
The No. 22 Ford Mustang flew into the air after contact with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Denny Hamlin late in Stage 1. Logano fought for position behind Matt DiBenedetto and Ryan Blaney, but a chain reaction sent him spinning to the left and ultimately into the air.
Logano’s Mustang first landed on the roof before flipping multiple times and coming to rest on the grass. The race car landed on all four tires, providing a look at the crumpled roof. Logano later explained in his post-wreck interview that he had a roll cage pressed up against his helmet due to the level of damage.
Joey Logano gets airborne and goes for a WILD ride at Talladega! pic.twitter.com/7E9vCyqCZD
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) April 25, 2021
The veteran driver expressed frustration with the safety features while conducting his interview, saying that he was one hit away from Ryan Newman’s fiery crash in the 2020 Daytona 500. He said that the wrecks are a product of the racing and that the big pushes and large spoiler play a role in these incidents. Logano ended by saying that “we have to fix it.”
The veteran driver posted a series of photos on his Instagram profile that showed the aftermath of the wreck. Logano displayed the caved-in roof, the scorch marks where the car slid down the track, and the shredded safety nets. He used the photos as examples of why being a tall race car driver is not great. Logano also vowed to continue pushing for improved safety.
“My office got a little dinged up yesterday,” Logano wrote in his Instagram post. “The good lord had his hand on me! turns out, being a tall race car driver is not a good thing. I will take this opportunity to continue to push our sport to become safer with even better racing on track. Thank you for all the support yesterday!”
NASCAR’s previous safety steps are not enough
Miller continued the interview on SiriusXM by listing some of the previous steps taken to improve the overall safety of the stock cars, especially at superspeedways. He also acknowledged that there is still more work to do to ensure that another flying wreck does not take place.
“It’s been a long evolution — and I’ll certainly miss some steps along the way. But some of the bigger things incorporated now are — like you mentioned — are the roof flaps. That was a very, very big one. The tail extension that is on superspeedway cars that is not on any other car. It keeps air, as much air, from getting underneath the car should it go backwards.
“The way the side skirts are configured, the way the roof rails are configured — all of those things are improvements. Obviously, we saw it this weekend, that it’s not enough. We will continue to work, as we always do, to see if there is something else we can do immediately to counteract those effects.”
Finding a way to limit these wrecks will remain paramount considering that NASCAR has multiple superspeedway races remaining on the schedule. The drivers will head to Pocono Raceway for a doubleheader on June 26-27 and they will return to Daytona International Speedway for the regular-season finale on Aug. 28. Once the playoffs arrive, the Cup Series will return to Talladega Superspeedway for a race during the Round of 12.