This NASCAR Sprint Cup Series off week has been a long week for Joey Logano. While some may have suspected it to have been a good chance for Logano and his new rivalries to cool off with time, it was simply not the case.
Logano’s problems began back at the beginning of the year when Denny Hamlin berated his actions at the end of the Daytona 500 that allegedly made it impossible for Hamlin to push Logano’s new teammate Brad Keselowski to the front. Then it lit anew at the high banks of Bristol Motor Speedway where Hamlin pushed Logano into a spin that cost him position. This led to the young Logano charging over to Hamlin’s car post-race to give him a piece of his mind.
Then the next weekend Logano and Hamlin were racing hard behind sneaky Kyle Busch in the final lap of the Auto Club 400 when Logano sent Hamlin into the inside wall where he was severely injured with a back injury that has put him out for five races.
The new Penske Racing driver also made another rival in veteran Tony Stewart who went off on the young driver after Logano committed the perceived wrong of blocking him on the last restart. The injured Hamlin has made it quite clear that he perceived Logano’s push as intentional and the rivalry is nowhere over.
So this weekend and in the future Logano will be running the gauntlet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Far from being entirely bad this can be a very good thing. If Logano can survive this hot crucible he will be much better and respected for it. Every young driver has to cut their teeth in a rivalry to get respect and credit in this sport. After all the hottest fire forges the hardest steel.