Runner-up Joey Logano Feels like First Loser at the Daytona 500
Two-time NASCAR Cup champion Joey Logano used a few choice words to describe his narrow second-place finish to race winner Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in Sunday’s double-overtime Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.
“Ohhh, man, it hurts! Stings! Sucks! Being this close it just hurts!”
The former Daytona 500 winner used the high groove to grab the lead on the final lap in the second overtime when Stenhouse dove to the inside in front of Kyle Larson. When Larson moved up, he had no help in the three-wide express. Larson quickly dropped through the field. Just as he reached Travis Pastrana, who was 10th, Aric Almirola hit the rear of Pastrana’s Toyota and sent him into Larson. That triggered a crash involving at least nine cars. For a second, it appeared Logano and Stenhouse would race to the checkered flag, but then the caution appeared.
Logano had yet to see the replay when he talked with the media on pit road, but he said it was his understanding that if the caution had been triggered a second sooner, he would have won the race’s 65th edition.
“When they wrecked, I was leading, so whoever was up there (in race control) wasn’t quick enough on the button,” Logano said. “If he had hit that button a second or two sooner I would have given that guy half the purse.”
Logano followed that remark with laughter and said, “I would have given him the whole damn thing, actually.”
The Team Penske driver said his Ford possessed speed, but admitted his team had more work to do. He had to stay out on old tires to get track position and noted he nearly “wadded it up” on the front straightaway with 10 laps to go and again off of turn two.
“I wasn’t the guy to be leading,” Logano said. “I was trying to get back through the field and try to be the guy that was pushing. I felt better about being in that spot than I did on the front row. I felt that was about the best spot I could be not having enough Mustangs around me. It’s nice to be towards the front, but my thoughts were at the moment don’t get too far out because they’re gonna run over me because they were three wide behind me.
“I was trying to figure out what lane I need to fall to because the bottom was tight and I wasn’t in the best spot knowing that I was about to get eaten up. It was all kind of working out as planned and then it didn’t.”
Logano led six times for 12 laps in the race that had 52 lead changes among 21 different drivers.