Truex warns Logano: "He ain't winning the damn war"
Martin Truex Jr. was half a lap away from securing his place in the Championship 4 before sparks flew in the final corner at at Martinsville Speedway.
After working race leader Joey Logano over for the final six laps, Truex finally cleared him out of Turn 2 on the white flag lap.
But as is the case in short track racing, Logano used the bumper and moved Truex out of the groove entering Turn 3. Contact was made, Truex went spinning sideways and he finished third. Logano sawed on the wheel to avoid crashing himself and snagged the race victory, as well as a berth in the Championship 4 for the finale at Homestead.
Truex was fuming and gave the No. 22 a shot on the cool down lap. Afterwards, he joined the booing crowd and gave two thumbs down.
"Yeah, he won the battle but he ain't winning the damn war," he declared. "That's it."
When asked about the potential for Logano to now win the championship, another curt reply: "He ain't.
"I'm just not going to let him win it, I'm gonna win it."
Truex later added, "We should be in Victory Lane right now, but you know, it's just the way it went today. It didn't work out,. But proud of my guys, proud of our team. Everybody said we were out, said we couldn't run good at Martinsville, said we don't run good at short tracks, said our team shut down so we can't make it to the Championship 4. Yeah, I'm going to show everybody.
"I was next to him for six laps, I never knocked him out of the way. We're were going to race hard for it in my book. And I cleared him fair and square. We weren't even banging doors for me to pass him. He just knocked me out of the way so yeah, it short track racing, but what comes around goes around."
Logano defended the move, saying, "we're here to win a championship this year."
Pearn criticizes Logano's move
Truex's crew chief Cole Pearn exchanged words with Logano's crew chief Todd Gordon on pit road, understandably as heated as his driver was.
“It was tough to take," he said. "We had a great car today, Martin did a good job racing clean, worked him over and eventually got him. I guess we shouldn’t have cleared him and given him the chance [to bump him]. I’m not surprised, coming from him, that’s kinda how he drives. That’s his choice to make, it’s short-track racing, kind of a crappy way to have it, being that close with everything riding on it with this team which is closing down, to have [the win] right there and that close – it’s tough to take."
On the conversation with Gordon, he explained, “I used a few choice words that I probably shouldn’t have, but it’s racing, it’s competitive and you care about it. We put our whole lives into this, and when it comes close, you get emotional for sure.
"Yeah, I’m happy I don’t have a baseball bat or a jackhammer right now!” he chuckled as he walked off.
Truex now sits third in the standings, 25 points above the cut line and equal with bubble driver Kevin Harvick. The series now heads to Texas Motor Speedway for the second of three races in the Round of 8.
Joey Logano knocks Truex out of way to win at Martinsville
Roger Penske on Truex's criticism of Logano: "He should know better"