It’s been two years since we had one of the most polarizing moments in NASCAR’s recent history with the battle between Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano that lead to the now-famous quote “he ain’t winning the damn war.” A bump and run that would go on to aid Joey Logano in winning the championship after locking himself into the final round with that move.
This was a hotly debated topic back when it first happened with many people saying it was dirty racing and some people saying it was fair because it was for a chance at a championship and anything goes. My opinion on it remains unchanged, I think Joey Logano did nothing wrong and rubbing is racing. This was a chance at a win and a championship and I think that if Martin Truex Jr. had not taken this move so personally nobody would’ve thought twice about it.
Martin Truex Jr. is what many would call a clean and respectable driver, but if someone does something he deems as dirty or touches him in a way he claims he wouldn’t then he takes exception to it.
I don’t usually like to let my personal opinions on drivers show on my articles, but to better explain my stance on this situation, I think it’s important to go ahead and say I’m not really a big fan of either driver. I think that since Truex has found success in his later years his personality has become very entitled which leads to interactions like this one. I also think that Logano can dish his aggressiveness but cannot take it. If someone gets over-aggressive with him similar to the way Chase Elliott did back at Bristol last season he expects an apology.
So, trust me when I say I am unbiased in this. NASCAR fans are quick to jump all over Logano because nobody besides a Logano fan likes him. Those same fans were not too upset when Kevin Harvick straight-up wrecked Kyle Busch at Martinsville last year in an attempt to make the playoffs. They are also the same fans that wanted Denny Hamlin to knock Logano out of the way a week ago at Bristol. It’s a double standard and that’s fine, it’s what makes NASCAR fandom so fun.
At the end of the day, we race stock cars so that we can touch each other and use the bumpers which is what Logano did. Martin Truex Jr. should perhaps take a page from Jimmie Johnson’s book and look at a possible open-wheel career if he does not like being bumped. I know that flat-out wrecking a guy is and should be frowned upon, but that was not what Logano did that day. He did a bump and run and attempted to slow down Truex on the straightaway. I personally think that any driver who would not attempt a bump and run on the last lap of any race let alone a race that decides a shot at the championship when they have no other choice leaves something out on the track.
NASCAR.com recently posted an interview from 2019 where Truex and Logano look back on that race and gave their opinions on it a year removed. This was a conversation I was curious to see because I wanted to know if Martin Truex Jr. had a different opinion on it in hindsight, but that was not the case. Anyone that listens to his radio knows he is still animatedly not a fan when people get too close to him.
From the video, you can tell Martin is steadfast in how he believes Joey raced him unfairly. On the other side of that, Logano still says it was for a chance at a championship and he’d do it again.
While I do not expect payback since this incident is two years removed, I do wonder if we will see a scenario similar to this though. Truex and Logano are currently two of the best cars in the field this season, and both are always upfront at Martinsville. This conversation tells me that if the situation happened again Logano is still going to tap that bumper. If the roles are reversed I think Martin probably wouldn’t let off the gas quite as much as he would for someone else.
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