Joey Logano could barely get out the words without laughing.
It’s the last day of August and NASCAR Cup Series playoff media day, and Logano has gone from stop to stop fulfilling his obligations. During one, Logano was given the task of asking the retiring Kevin Harvick anything he wanted.
Logano went all in.
“So, I wrote down, ‘In Pocono, if we were to fight, how bad was I going to kick your ass?’” Logano said, referring to their 2010 feud. “We can joke about those moments now. We joked about the firesuit thing this time (around) in Pocono. So, it’s fun to have that relationship with Kevin.”
Harvick also found great amusement in the interaction, which he revealed after being informed Logano made it known what he wrote down. But Harvick also revealed he had a quick-witted answer for Logano.
“I told him, ‘You know the first thing I would have done is gone straight for your knees because that’s how they told us to break big people down,’” Harvick said. “From the bottom up.”
There were plenty more of these stories and memories for Harvick during his final season. At every turn, as Harvick’s been honored from racetrack to racetrack and reflected on his 23-year career, the industry has done the same. Harvick’s peers were either praising his accomplishments and legacy or sharing personal anecdotes.
Logano and Harvick famously “butted heads” in 2010, but their mutual anger was soon turned into a positive, opening the door to a better relationship. Motorsport Images
It’s only fair and humorous to remember the feuds and rivalries that Harvick had along the way. His run-in with Logano wasn’t the first or the last that Harvick had, but it was one of the most memorable.
Pocono Raceway in early June 2010 was the site of Logano’s now infamous “his wife [DeLana] wears the firesuit in the family” jab. Logano made the statement in his television interview, frustrated after Harvick spun him while racing for fifth place with two laps to go.
Harvick turned around and made shirts that sold for charity, which were then brought back this year. They were a popular item, and in the series annual visit to Pocono, Harvick presented Logano and his foundation with a $12,000 donation from the sale of those shirts. And the Loganos received their own shirts, which read, “I wear the firesuit in this family.”
“I’m glad we figured it all out because here’s the thing — sometimes you grow up in front of everybody,” Logano said. “Yeah, Kevin wrecked me that day, and I was mad about it, and I probably shouldn’t have brought his wife into the middle of it or made it that personal. But the fact they made a joke out of it … I still regret saying it, but at least some good things came out of it.
“They raised a bunch of money for their foundation, and they paid it forward to us. So that’s pretty special.”
Another clash between the two occurred in Daytona in 2015. Logano and Harvick traded shots coming down pit road — and then words outside their cars — after what was then known as the Sprint Unlimited. A disagreement over bump drafting etiquette was the cause.
Those are just two moments in time. Today, Logano and Harvick have nothing but great things to say about each other and have gone from foes to friends.
“Honestly, I know exactly when it happened,” Logano said of the change in their relationship. “It was when he started driving a Ford. Ford brought us together. How about that? The love of Mustangs.”
Harvick wasn’t as sure as Logano as to when the ice started to thaw but said it’s better for everyone to be a good human, put the past in the past, and get to know the people you spend 40 weeks a year competing (and living alongside) at the racetrack.
“That’s what’s been so much fun about this year and really, Joey and I have had a good relationship over the past several years,” Harvick said. “Who would have thought we’d go back and rehash that moment, right? To go back and rehash that moment and make something fun out of it, and show that we are human and we do move on, and you still can have relationships with people that you may have been enemies with or not liked at that particular time especially when you get to know them.
“Joey is one of those people that he’s all NASCAR and he’s all racer. He wants this sport to be great, and it’s just getting to know people and moving on and maturing. That’s one of those moments.”
So, why did the personalities of Logano and Harvick clash early on in their careers?
“They clashed because there are a lot of similarities there,” Logano said. “I’m not saying I’m Kevin Harvick or he’s me in any way — we both do our thing in our own way, but there are some similarities of the competitiveness and how it gets to that point. It’s just, eventually, we butted heads.
“Now, I think we respect that. We both have kids now, and life has changed a little bit. And now, we joke about it. Now it’s funny.”
And there were even more laughs from Logano when asked if he ever thought he and Harvick would get to this point — or have a relationship at all.
“Nope,” he said. “Nope. Never thought that I would get to the point where I’d even talk to him, and now I get along with Kevin as good as anybody else on the racetrack. Maybe better.”