Joey Logano winning a race and Martin Truex Jr. having something to say about it afterward has become an ongoing theme in the NASCAR Cup Series ever since Logano won the "battle" at Martinsville Speedway in late October a year ago before going on to win the "war" at Homestead-Miami Speedway a few weeks later. He led 163 of the 203 laps around the 2-mile speedway.
At the end of the race, Erik Jones suffered a flat tire. Team Penske had all three cars finish in the top-10 for the second time...
Logano punched the gas, the backend stepped out, he left tire marks and he still put a gap on everyone by the time he got to the flag stand.
This season, Truex and Logano have had two 1-2 finishes - at Richmond Raceway and Charlotte Motor Speedway - and both went in favor of the No. 19 Toyota driver.
Did other drivers have an issue with the final restart?Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr all said that Joey Logano jumped the final restart. Both Busch brothers trailed them in the second row with Kyle on the outside and Kurt on the inside. It's pretty hard to tell from this video, despite how far out Logano's vehicle is.
"I was able to see it right in front of me", the Team Penske driver said.
"You run into a little bit of dirty air", Busch said after the race. That's what changed the complexion of the race. "It's exactly what I would have done in his position".
The race was scheduled for 200 laps and 400 miles. He came home 3rd to Logano. I thought we'd rack them up there, you know green-white-checkered. "I had a good start though, wasn't it? I thought "Hey, maybe we do have a shot at this thing" and then he jumped the restart by over a vehicle length". So, I don't know how you get away with that. I was just going to push Truex straight through the 22 (Logano).
"We had a solid race vehicle".
One problem, though, and it's a significant one: While the new rules package allowed cars to stay bunched up, run wide open and draft all the way around the track, it didn't actually produce much passing.
"Early in the race, I kept getting runs, going underneath guys and beating them through the corner".
Make of all that what you will, but it's pretty clear how Logano feels about all this. "It's frustrating at times".
What did Martin Truex Jr. think of the final restart?
"He just went way early. Before the restart zone and jumped it", Truex continued. MI has always provided chaotic restarts and the current rules package amplified that.
"That's the way it goes". They didn't call it. But he acknowledged it didn't necessarily matter because Logano, who started on the pole, had the fastest auto anyway, calling it a "moot point", Autoweek reported.
"I did it when I got there (to the restart zone)", Logano said. I hit it when I got there. Had a good start, though. That one felt good. "That one felt good". "I was able to put some notes together of certain cars can and can't do".
During the broadcast, FOX Sports NASCAR analyst Jeff Gordon's immediate reaction to the restart was: "Logano with the big jump". He did not jump the start in the eyes of the officials.