With NASCAR coming to Richmond International Raceway in April, fans may need zoom lenses to catch the best action at the track. Forget about those cars with the numbers circling the raceway at 120 mph, it’s the after the race showdown on pit road that has become the spectacle of America’s biggest racing circuit. For some odd reason, Joey Logano has become the villain of NASCAR, and after running Chesterfield’s Denny Hamlin into the wall in Sunday’s Auto Club 400, his on-the-track reputation has now elevated to another level.
So incensed was veteran driver and former champion Tony Stewart, that he jumped out of his ride, and made a bee-line straight to Logano’s pit where he not only confronted the youngster, but threw punches. After the altercation was broken up, Stewart told reporters that he has had enough of Logano’s on-track tactics. Stewart also made it clear that the incident is not over. Rough driving and tempers overheating are nothing new in NASCAR, but Logano has virtually put his face on a “wanted” poster.
Hamlin, RVA’s hometown hero in NASCAR, has had an on-going feud on and off the track with Logano, as the two have often exchanged words, and in-your-face confrontations recently stemming from on-the-track issues, and they have been trashing each other on Twitter. But when Logano clipped Hamlin Sunday running the Fed-Ex No. 11 into the wall head-first, it changed this rivalry dramatically. Stewart’s explosion was about more than just Sunday’s incident, but the release of a frustration that has been building with some of the younger drivers who have come into NASCAR of late.
Hamlin spent Sunday night in a California hospital following his crash. He climbed out of the car immediately but collapsed to the ground a moment later. Expect NASCAR to lay down some fines and maybe a suspension because this feud appears to be getting way out of control.