The Inside Line: No love lost between Hamlin and Logano
Philadelphia, PA – Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano are not teammates anymore, and after Sunday's race at Bristol Motor Speedway, it appears the two aren't exactly the best of friends as well.
Hamlin and Logano had at it on, off and away from the track, and it looks like the ongoing feud between them is showing no signs of letting up anytime soon.
In the latter part of the Food City 500 at Bristol, Hamlin hit the back of Logano, his former Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, and spun him out. Logano had been challenging Jeff Gordon for the lead prior to his spin.
A post-race altercation between both drivers occurred when Logano tracked down Hamlin to voice his displeasure of the incident. Hamlin was still in his car when Logano approached him.
As Logano leaned into his former teammate's car, one of Hamlin's crew members tried to restrain him before a shoving match between Hamlin and Logano's teams broke out. The ruckus quickly came to an end.
"We had a fast race car, that's for sure," Logano said. "I was racing for the lead, and it's frustrating. That's a freaking genius behind the wheel of the 11 car (Hamlin), probably the worst teammate I ever had, so I learned that now. He decided to run in the back of me, so, whatever. I have a scorecard, and I'm not putting up with that. What goes around comes around."
Logano and Hamlin were teammates at JGR for four years before Logano joined Penske Racing to drive the No. 22 Ford this season. He drove the No. 20 Toyota for JGR from 2009-12.
Both drivers had been racing each other hard before their run-in on lap 348.
"(Logano) pinched me up against the wall twice, and really had I not checked up, he would have been in the garage anyway with no radiator in it," Hamlin said. "It's just one of those things. It's Bristol racing, and everyone is fighting for the top. I think he knew he had to get to the top as soon as he could, but I was up there. I didn't mean to hit him. I didn't mean to wreck him. That was a mistake."
Hamlin led the most laps with 117 and was a contender to win the race until the closing laps when he dealt with an ill-handling car, causing him to make contact with the wall numerous times. He finished two laps behind in 23rd.
Logano remained on the lead lap to place 17th.
"When you've got a car that can possibly win it and to get taken out from something like that is just frustrating," he said.
Shortly after their post-race confrontation in the garage area, Hamlin and Logano traded jabs on Twitter.
Logano started it by tweeting, "Hey @dennyhamlin great job protecting that genius brain of yours by keeping your helmet on."
Hamlin then tweeted, "Why's that.. What would u do?"
Logano's response? "Show you some love and appreciation."
Hamlin fired back with, "Need my address?" and then, "Last time I checked he had my cell and direct message button to choose from if he's got a problem.. Otherwise hush little child."
The feud between Hamlin and Logano had already started before Bristol. Right after the conclusion of last month's Daytona 500, Hamlin tweeted reigning Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski a comment about his new Penske Racing teammate, Logano. It read, "Sorry I couldn't get close to you cuz your genius teammate was too busy messing up the inside line 1 move at a time."
Logano made note that he didn't appreciate Hamlin's comment about him following that race.
"I never did anything wrong in Daytona," Logano said after his latest altercation with Hamlin at Bristol.
Will Hamlin and Logano be able to settle their differences, or does their feud continue throughout the season.
"We'll talk at some point," Hamlin said.
The series heads west again this weekend to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.