Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano react to last week’s pit-road incident


Denny Hamlin said Friday at World Wide Technology Raceway he was not aware he had clipped a member of Joey Logano’s pit crew last weekend during the Coca-Cola 600. Logano, meanwhile, called Hamlin’s pitting a “dirty move.”

The two drivers clearly had differing views of the mid-race contact, in which Hamlin’s No. 11 Toyota did clip tire changer Tanner Andrews during a pit stop. Andrews finished pitting the race and is expected to pit this weekend, despite having a sprained MCL, according to Ryan Flores, a Team Penske crew member and co-host of the “Stacking Pennies” podcast (watch Flores’ take on the incident).

“(Logano) chose to pit behind me,” Hamlin told reporters. “He shouldn’t have picked the No. 2 stall. You have to know if you run well, you’re going to have the guys going around you. … I always try to be respectful when I’m coming around someone. Certainly, I try to give room, but again, he was running a little better than I was at the time and I had to keep going around him. Again, he chose the second stall. When you choose to put yourself around cars you think are going to go fast, you open yourself up to that stuff happening.”

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Hamlin kept improving throughout the endurance race and went on to claim his second victory of the season after starting from the Busch Light Pole position. Winning the pole gave his Joe Gibbs Racing crew the first pit-stall selection, and the team chose the first stall.

Logano would finish 20th after a seven-car wreck in overtime out of Turn 4, one in which the driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford was part of after a charge to the front of the field. After qualifying 23rd, Logano’s team chose the No. 2 pit stall, so Logano and Hamlin were pitting around each other all night.

“We changed the way we do our pit stops to try to allow (Hamlin) to not clip our guys,” Logano told reporters. “The changer’s down on the ground with his back to the car and gets his heels run over. I don’t think there’s any reason for it, because he had an opening out. So I think that’s just a dirty move.

“I think there needs to be a penalty for it and a rule made for it to protect our pit crew. If you’re outside your box, you’re on your own. I get that. But I think if you’re inside your box, you’re in your house, you should be protected in your home. I think we should just explore it. … We shouldn’t be grazing people like that to gain a competitive advantage.”

Hamlin and Logano did agree on one thing, however: that gamesmanship comes from both sides. Pit-crew members often swing out onto pit road and go wider than absolutely necessary as a way to impact the angle of the incoming, opposing cars attempting to pit around them.

Logano said he thinks that should be considered for a potential penalty as well.

“It goes both ways,” Logano said. “Don’t get me wrong, pit crews go out extra wide to try to screw up other (teams) and things like that. The game is played on both sides. We need to eliminate that.”

Said Hamlin: “I think the thing is, these guys try to swing out super wide. I’m sure (Logano has) hit crew guys before, but I never want to swipe at a guy. They swing so wide now to get in position, and this is a product of it.”

Saturday morning update: Four hours after the video of Hamlin’s interview was shared on Twitter, the driver himself quote tweeted it and wrote, “I have since reviewed the video. I was wrong. Definitely my fault. I cut in 22 box way too far.”

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