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My Take on Logano-Hamlin-Stewart
March 26, 2013 - Al Stephenson
Before I begin, something needs to be explained. It is very difficult for anyone to determine intent when they are trying to explain the actions of someone else. All we can do is assume - and yes I do know what that means. I might also suggest that when Nascar drivers attempt to do it, their judgment is clouded. If I was driving a race car some 200 mph and someone ran into me - my judgment would be affected as well.
Having said that, and having listened to those involved in the last couple weeks of Nascar's version of the Hatfields and McCoys, I am going to give my take on the matter. I could be completely wrong (wouldn't be the first time) but this is what I saw.
1) Hamlin spun out Logano at Bristol on purpose. If, as Hamlin claims, Logano cut him off a couple of times at the Bullring, he could have shown his displeasure by hitting Logano in the rear end. This sends a message without causing any significant damage. When you go after the quarter panel, you are attempting to wreck them. Whether Logano was right in going after Hamlin physically after the race is for others to decide.
2) Logano did not wreck Hamlin on purpose Sunday at Fontana. I would define this one as a racing deal. Both drivers were going for the win and neither was about to give in. When they got together one escaped unscathed and the other has a fracture in the back. It could have been the other way around. Racing deal.
3) Stewart was way out of line in confronting Logano after the race at Auto Club Speedway. Tony was upset that Logano blocked him on the last restart almost sending him into the grass. Apparently Stewart has a short memory. I believe he did something similar at Daytona in February taking out much of the field. Blocking is part of the game Tony, particularly late in a race you are trying to win.
Stewart's rant reminded me of Dale Earnhardt, Sr. It was OK for him to hit other drivers on the track, but to return the favor brought out his wrath. Seemed wrong to me then and still does. He used to say "I didn't mean to spin him out, I was just trying to rattle his cage." Then he'd chuckle and we'd all say that's The Intimidator and everybody would move on. Well, except for the guy he "rattled"!
To the folks that were upset with Logano's comments after the race when he suggested Hamlin got what he had coming to him - get over it, Logano had no idea Hamlin was badly injured.
This is the way I see it. If you feel differently, let me know. The view from my seat suggests that this kind of feuding will only benefit Nascar. People will tune in to see what's going to happen next. Next would be a week from Sunday at Martinsville and I will be in attendance.
I wonder if my viewpoint will be different watching from trackside instead of in front of the tube?
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