By David Morgan, Associate Editor
Leading with two laps to go at Darlington, William Byron was in for a fight with Joey Logano filling up his rear-view mirror. He was either going to bring home his third win of the season or see it snatched from his grasp in the waning moments of the race.
As Byron and Logano entered Turn 3 on the penultimate lap of Sunday’s Goodyear 400, we got our answer.
Following closely in Byron’s tire tracks, Logano charged into the corner and slammed into the rear bumper of Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet, shooting him up the track and into the wall, leaving the door wide open for Logano to take over the race lead and break a winless streak dating back to March 2021.
Meanwhile, the disappointing end to the race for Byron ended with him crossing the line in 13th place – a far cry from what would have at least been a top-two finish for him.
As expected, Byron was none too pleased with Logano’s on-track actions and had a few choice words for him afterwards.
“He’s just an idiot,” Byron said. “He does this stuff all the time. I’ve seen it with other guys. I mean, he drove in there 10 mph too fast. With these Next Gen cars, he slammed me so hard, it knocked the whole right side off the car with no way to make the corner. So, yeah, he’s just a moron.
“He can’t win a race, so he does it that way. I don’t know. It was close racing on the restart. We were faster than him. Obviously, at the end, the right rear was starting to go away and he didn’t even make it a contest.”
While talking over the finish with Hendrick Motorsports vice chairman and four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon, Byron wasn’t through expressing his frustration with Logano, saying: “He’s a piece of shit. He can’t fucking win unless he drives through everybody.”
Of course, there’s always two sides to a story as Logano alluded to in his frontstretch winner’s interview with FOX Sports.
“You’re not going to put me in the wall and not get anything back. That’s how that works,” Logano said.
Logano’s comments seemed to point back to the final restart with 26 laps to go in which he held the lead, but as he and Byron battled for the lead, Logano made contact with the wall, after which Byron took over the lead.
After losing the lead, Logano was a man on a mission to catch back up to Byron during the final run down the stretch to the finish. As they say, the rest is history.
“Just an incredible race there at the end with William. I don’t know if he meant to get into me and fence me, but he did and at that point I felt like it was game on and was able to get back to him there the last few laps, pushing really hard, and just knew that was my shot to win the thing and I had to take it.”