DOVER, Del. – Denny Hamlin has gotten mixed reviews for the late-race move that triggered a four-car wreck last Saturday night at Kansas Speedway – but not from his peers.
Joey Logano, whose No. 22 Ford was destroyed in the accident, didn’t fault Hamlin for doing everything he could to try to win the race.
And remember, it was contact between the cars of Logano and Hamlin at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, that caused the wreck that sidelined Hamlin with a compression fracture of the spine for four races in 2013.
Last Saturday, Hamlin had a huge run to the outside on a late restart, charged to the front of the field and tried to split the cars of Kyle Larson in the top lane and Brad Keselowski on the bottom. Keselowski spun, and Hamlin followed suit, collecting Larson and Logano in the process.
But Logano had no hard feelings.
“I feel like I’m one of the hardest racers out there, and I would be quite the hypocrite if I asked why he was racing so hard,” Logano said on Friday at Dover in advance of Sunday’s AAA 400 Drive for Autism (1 p.m. ET on FS1). “If you ask me, that’s what fans show up to the race track to see. They come to watch a race. They expect us to race. They don’t expect us to just say, ‘Oh, go ahead.’
“They expect us to race, and that’s what they pay money to see. I’m going to race hard. I know that. I’ve done that in the past and I will continue to do that. When Denny made that move, I didn’t blame him. He made a run on the backstretch and had to do something with it. He got in a bad aero spot and both of them got loose. It happens. It’s racing. I am not going to say, ‘Hey, why did you do that?’
“We’re racing, and these things are hard to drive. We are going to make mistakes. There’s a win on the line, and it’s a big deal. It’s hard to do at the Sprint Cup level, and anytime you have a shot it is expected out of us, not just from the fans but from the teams to go out and make the most of it and make it happen. When I look at Denny’s move, I would do the same thing if I was him, so I don’t really have any room to speak.”