By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
Joey Logano went from hero to zero in less than 24 hours after scoring his first last-place finish since the 2009 Daytona 500 Sunday in the Go Bowling at the Glen at Watkins Glen International in New York after violating the damaged vehicle policy.
On the second lap, Saturday’s Xfinity Series winner faced not one, but two problems. Exiting the outer loop, Logano ran into the back of Kyle Larson, who checked up, and the incident damaged the front nose of Logano’s No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion.
Then his car went off in Turn 6, plowing into the gravel trap, but kept his car going without beaching it and immediately went into the pits to asses the damage, including a knocked radiator from the collision with Larson.
Rather than make repairs in the pits, Logano went to the garage area where a miscue occurred. NASCAR officials noted that they were under the damaged vehicle policy, and by going to the garage, they’re no longer allowed to compete for the remainder of the 90-lap contest.
Due to his 37th place finish, it marked Logano’s first DNF since the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona last month, where he finished 39th out of the 40 car field.
Logano said he and his crew have been confused on how the system works, and isn’t sure what led to his early exit.
“I don’t really know what happened in the garage on how the whole repair situation repair is,” said Logano. “I don’t know. It’s somewhat confusing, I think, to all of us to try to understand exactly how that works, so I don’t really know what happened there.”
Logano added that Larson had to lift, and there wasn’t much he could’ve done to avoid him that led to his radiator to be busted.
“But on the race track we were actually racing the heck out of each other at the start of the race. It was fun,” said Logano. “I was trying to keep the nose on the car and was gonna try to make a run on Larson off the carousel and I was right on him when they checked up in front of him. He lifted and there was nothing he was supposed to do. He checked up and I ran into the back of him and there’s just not enough bumper on the front of my car apparently and it just knocked the radiator out of it.”
The 2015 winner will have to move on and head to Michigan International Speedway for the Consumers Energy 400 on August 12.