Joey Logano and Ryan Newman were shown on ESPN after Sunday's Michigan NASCAR race exchanging words – with Logano getting a light shove from Newman – following an incident in which Logano got loose and spun Newman just after the midway point of the event.
Though Newman didn't hit anything after Logano wiggled and caught the 39 car in the left-rear quarterpanel, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver wasn't happy that Logano sent him spinning in the first place.
Cameras showed the drivers in a discussion, which ended with NASCAR officials stepping in to prevent a physical altercation. Logano appeared to place his hand on Newman to make a point, and it looked as though Newman mouthed "Don't touch me" before pushing Logano back.
Though Newman reportedly declined comment afterward, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver spoke to ESPN.
Joey Logano's comments:
I was asking him why he races everybody so hard all the time. I'm not the only one who says that every week. Of everyone out there, he's the hardest one to pass. I don't understand why.
I mean, there's 70 laps to go at a two-mile racetrack. That's a long ways to go. You know, if somebody races me clean, I race them (clean) back. Dale Jr. did it with me earlier in the race, he passed me and he was trying to pass cars in front of me. I helped him pass them, then I got back to him and he let me go.
That's kind of how this (racing) – I've found – that it works: If you give someone respect, you get that back. But he just races everyone hard. He raced his boss, Tony Stewart, hard. I don't understand it, but he's been doing it a lot longer than me. I tried to talk to him about it, but I don't know. I didn't get nowhere.
There's a time to race. When you're running 400 miles, 500 miles, why do we gotta race each other so early in the race? It's just frustrating when you're trying to get by someone at that point. It wasn't a big deal whether we passed each other or not at that point. Most times, if a faster car is behind me, I let them go and hopefully I get that back later.
You know, I've done with (Newman) a lot – if he gets behind me, I'll let him go. But I don't know what to tell you. I wish I could talk to him and figure it out, but I think we both need to calm down first and then talk about it.
There are obviously two schools of thought on this one.
First, some people believe drivers should race hard every lap, no matter what the circumstances. But others (particularly those who have been around for awhile) think drivers should use the Mark Martin theory of respectful give-and-take.
Newman is notorious in the garage for being exactly what Logano said – difficult to pass and unwilling to play nice with others.
It depends on how you view racing to decide whether that's a good or bad thing.