Joey Logano shoulders blame for Daytona Duel crash: ‘I just messed up’

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Joey Logano accepted the blame for his involvement in a last-lap crash in Thursday’s second Bluegreen Vacations Duel qualifying race, an incident that left his No. 22 Team Penske Ford severely damaged at Daytona International Speedway.

Logano led a race-high 33 of the 60 laps in the 150-miler, but his attempt to block the advancement of fellow Ford driver Chris Buescher went awry at the exit of Turn 2. Logano’s car slid and nosed into the outside retaining wall, and the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing entry driven by rookie Harrison Burton caught some of the contact in the multi-car tangle.

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“I mean, I knew as a leader, I was a bit of a sitting duck,” Logano said after he was released unhurt from the infield care center, “but at worst I was gonna finish fourth and was gonna try to let it kind of play out and didn’t think the 17 (Buescher) was gonna get a run that quick. He didn’t fall back that far, and it came to me so fast. I reacted to try to block it and I should have just let it happen and tried to race from there. I just messed up.

“The worst part is I put our team in a bad spot trying to fix this thing or get another car. I got the 21 too in it, so it’s a dumb mistake. That’s all there is to it. I’m not perfect.”

Buescher was declared the winner after the field’s running positions were frozen for the only caution flag of the night. The victory sealed a sweep of the qualifying races for RFK Racing.

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Logano finished ninth, the first driver scored one lap down. He walked back to his garage stall after his care center visit to debrief and apologize to his crew for the incident. The team worked to unload and prepare a reserve No. 22 Ford not long after the checkered flag.

“It doesn’t help, but we’ll try to make it as best we can,” Logano said about the team’s outlook before Sunday’s Daytona 500 (2:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM). “We’ve got a couple days of practice to work on it and get it good and we’ll move on. There’s nothing I can do now. I wish I could reverse time, but I can’t. Like I said, it was just a mistake. We’ve got to move forward.”

The incident marked the first superspeedway crash for the Next Gen car design that makes its competition debut this season. Logano said he was encouraged by how his car performed in the high-speed wreck.

“I feel OK. I feel fine. I got out and I feel fine. That’s a good sign,” Logano said. “I hit the wall fairly hard and got out no problem. That part is good if there’s a positive to it. I don’t want to be the crash test dummy, but definitely was today.”