Joey Logano was not a happy driver Sunday. But not for something that happened during the race.
The Team Penske driver started sixth at Pocono and led 21 laps early in the going but saw it all come apart on a restart on lap 37 shortly after winning Stage 1. On the restart to begin Stage 2, Tyler Reddick got into Logano heading into Turn 1. Logano’s Ford spun collecting the Chevy of Daniel Suarez. Suarez went up and into the wall hard.
Logano meantime spun without making any significant contact but flattening all 4 tires. Rather than try and limp back to the pits and risk more damage, he opted to call for a tow truck.
That turned out to be an issue.
At first the truck lined up behind Logano’s Ford as if to push it. After some heated conversation, however, the truck picked up the back of the car and slowly towed it back to pit road with Logano angrily stuck behind the wheel. He went 4 laps down during the long, slow bumpy ride back to the pits.
The team tried to effect repairs but to no avail, and Logano was forced to the garage. He later said his problem wasn’t what happened in the wreck, but what happened after.
“Yeah, there was some damage from hitting the wall,” he said. “The left-rear toe link. I think some control arms also got bent, but towing the car two miles didn’t do any favors, for sure.
“It just doesn’t make any sense. We’ve been fighting these cars for two years now with four flat tires when a car spins out, and you get this long, horrible ride back. It’s rough. Your head is bouncing around in there. It’s stupid.
“It’s just really dumb that we can’t just put four tires on a truck. I saw a whole bunch of them earlier today. I did something for Verizon, and I saw at least 25 (tow) trucks. If we can put four tires on one of them with a jack and an impact that can just change the tires and let us come back, instead of dragging the car two miles around the racetrack, it’s just stupid. It’s not fun for anybody. The poor guy driving the tow truck. The poor driver getting his head knocked around for two miles and the poor team that’s got to fix the underbodies of these things after they get dragged around. It’s dumb. I don’t know. It is what it is, but it seems like it has a very easy fix. I’ve brought this up before, but I guess it doesn’t matter.”
Not only was the lack of tires on the tow truck an issue, but according to Logano, the operators behind the wheel.
“Here’s the deal, I talked to someone today and they see a race car once a year,” Logano said. “That’s not fair to the people working out there on the racetrack that they don’t have a lot of experience. I mean, they may be doing it for years, so don’t put it in the context that these guys don’t know what they’re doing, but the experience level of doing something every single week versus seeing a race car once a year is tough.
“That’s really hard and we’re all in a position out there while I’m sitting there watching cars go by me with a chance of getting a good finish being left as I’m trying to communicate to somebody and they can’t hear me or listen or they’re trying to figure out what to do. They don’t know that you can’t push a car with four flat tires on it. The car doesn’t steer. I’m trying to tell them to hook it up and they kept trying to push me. We wasted a lap-and-a-half before they tried to hook it. There’s a better way to do it.”
Logano did admit that even without the tow incident, the damage to his car was already done,
“We would have saved the hassle of dragging around the racetrack,” he said. “The damage was done from the wall. We would have saved a lap-and-a-half of time for all the fans to be out there watching cars racing, instead of seeing my butt being towed around backwards, so you would have saved a little bit of racing time there and probably not getting our head shook around for a little bit.”
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