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Joey Logano – Martin Truex Jr. incident at Martinsville highlights natural hypocritical mindset

during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series First Data 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 28, 2018 in Martinsville, Virginia.

Perceptions of what’s right and what’s wrong in NASCAR depends on the drivers’ involved in a given situation. That theory has been proven in the days since Joey Logano moved Martin Truex Jr. at Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 28 to win the First Data 500 and clinch his spot in the championship four at Homestead-Miami Speedway. According to Logano and his fans, the race-winning move was the right move to make last Sunday. According to Truex, his team and his fanbase, though, Logano’s contact was a dirty move.

They’re both right. That may not seem possible, but it is. Logano did what he needed to do to win that race, and wasn’t that what he was hired by Roger Penske to do? Wasn’t the type of finish we saw at Martinsville last Sunday the norm, not only for there, but at short tracks, in general? Of course it was. At the same time, Truex was pissed he saw his win taken away. He should’ve been mad. Not only was a Martinsville race win on the line, a ticket to the championship round at Homestead was, too. If Truex hadn’t expressed anger after the race Sunday, he would’ve been viewed as not wanting it enough.

Logano haters have labeled him a dirty driver the last few years for his aggressiveness, specifically against Matt Kenseth in 2015 and the Truex incident Sunday. There also was an incident with Denny Hamlin before that, after which Logano was heavily criticized by Tony Stewart. But it doesn’t seem like all that many years ago, Logano was accused of not being aggressive enough against his veteran competition. This guy can’t win for losing, it seems, in the school of public opinion.

Now, I’ll get around to the theory that right or wrong depends on who’s involved. The idea doesn’t just apply to fans; it also applies to self-serving NASCAR drivers. Hamlin was a vocal critic of Logano after the Kenseth incident of 2015. Remember, Hamlin and Kenseth were teammates back then. Didn’t contact from Hamlin late in a race at Martinsville last year prevent Chase Elliott from claiming what would’ve been a first-career win? I think so. I don’t remember Hamlin showing any kind of remorse for taking that win from Elliott.

For me, the hypocrisy of moving a driver out of the way brings to mind a similar hypocrisy surrounding blocking. Going back to the Logano-Kenseth incident — Logano moved Kenseth after Kenseth blocked him multiple times. I’ve heard several drivers threaten to move drivers who block them out of the way, and in many cases, the threat is carried out. And some of those drivers and proponents of moving blockers were the same critical of Logano a few years ago for doing just that.

Also worth mentioning, drivers complaining about being blocked were often seen blocking someone else a week or two later. Seems like a vicious never-ending cycle to me that maybe most, if not all, NASCAR drivers are guilty of — a circle of hypocrisy. I’ve heard drivers defend the hypocrisy by saying they have to do it because the competition is doing it. Stewart comes to mind, here. Since when do two wrongs make a right? When a win is on the line, I guess. But if its okay for driver “X” to do something because driver “Y” is doing it, driver “X” shouldn’t do it this week, and then, complain about driver “Y” doing the same thing next week.

And, speaking of blocking, I’ve never really understood the disdain for it. This is racing, folks. The idea is to finish in front of the competition. Doesn’t letting other cars go by just because they’re faster go against that? What’s the point of having drivers in the cars if the fastest car is always supposed to win because guys in slower cars let them go? May as well move to self-driving cars. That’s another subject for another day, though.

Back to moving drivers, even wrecking at times, to win a short-track race. If you’ve been listening to NASCAR drivers for very long, I’m sure you’ve heard more than one driver say something like, “I’d wreck my mother to win a race.” Statements like that are usually applauded among the fanbase as showing drivers’ intensity and desire. Well, neither Truex nor Kenseth is Logano’s mother, and Truex didn’t wreck; he still finished third. So, why is Logano public enemy number one?

We, whether competitor or fan, shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves, though. It’s human nature to want what’s best for us and ours. And we are only human, after all. The debate is kind of fun, anyway, isn’t it?

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Posted by on November 1, 2018. Filed under Blog by Amanda Vincent,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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