Last year’s bump-and-run still dogs Joey Logano

MARTINSVILLE, VA - MARCH 23: Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, stands in the garage area during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 23, 2019 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Joey Logano offers understanding, but no apologies.

After he applied the bumper to Martin Truex Jr.’s Toyota in the final corner of last year’s fall race at Martinsville Speedway, Logano edged past Truex for the race victory and a guaranteed berth in the Championship 4 event at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

In that season finale, Logano went on to win his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title.

Logano understood why Truex was upset at being denied his first short-track win on the final lap. But Logano wasn’t sorry.

Given that the series is returning to Martinsville this weekend for the first time since last November’s memorable race, it was inevitable that the subject of the bump-and-run would come up.

“I mean, it’s in the past at this point,” Logano said. “But I think at that point Martin texted me and, like I told you guys, he was pretty clear that he was frustrated with the move. I understood, and I think he understood why I had to do it, and it kind of played out and worked out, but my move to him was that I didn’t wreck you. I gave the old bump-and-run.

“That happened 15 times a race here at Martinsville, and that one was just a little more popular. I think there’s a fine line. You don’t want to straight out bump somebody on purpose, but you also, when it comes down to the end of the race like that and there’s that much on the line… that was our shot to win a championship.

“So I think every driver has a line that they are OK with and that you can go to sleep at the end of the night and say, ‘I did what I had to do and I’m all right with it,’ and if it happened to me, you have to be OK with that as well. I think that was the situation for me that I was trying to explain to him.”

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