William Byron described Joey Logano going into Turn 3 at Darlington Raceway 10mph faster and hitting him in the rear as “stupid” but said Logano “runs everybody over.”
Byron was knocked out of the race lead by Logano with two laps to go Sunday evening. The shot to the back of Byron’s bumper sent his Chevrolet into the wall. Logano won the race; Byron finished 13th.
“He didn’t even barely make the corner,” Byron said. “I don’t know why he goes in so hard and knocks the [expletive] out of you. Makes no sense.”
Byron took the lead from Logano when the Goodyear 400 restarted for the final time on lap 268. He did so on the inside lane — Logano having chosen the outside — and the two were side-by-side in close quarters coming off Turn 2.
According to Byron, perhaps Logano “got spooked.” He felt the two had barely touched.
“We had a pretty clean restart,” he said. “Everybody on the bottom, all day, couldn’t get through that bump very good, so it was tight. No reason for him to say [it was] retaliation. That’s stupid. He does this stuff all the time.”
Logano admitted in his finish line interview with Fox that the contact was not by coincidence. He felt Byron had put him in the wall during their fight for the lead on the restart and that Byron would get something back.
“That’s how that works,” Logano said.
After gapping Logano when taking the lead, Byron saw his advantage disappear over the final few laps. The Hendrick driver admitted he was trying to manage his right rear tire because they had been an issue around the worn-out racetrack all day.
“And he just run us over,” Byron said.
During his Fox television interview, Byron called Logano an “idiot” and a “moron.” Asked if he’ll race Logano the same way, Byron said, “Yeah, he runs everybody over, so I don’t see what’s different, you know? He does it to everybody and didn’t let us finish. He goes in there 10 miles an hour faster. Stupid.”
Byron’s crew chief Rudy Fugle wishes they had a shot to race Logano clean for one lap.
“He took a shot at the back of us and that’s what happened,” Fugle said. “So, we’ll move on.”
Neither Byron nor Fugle felt Logano tried to make it a fight to the finish.
“Would have been great if he would have drove it there on the bottom,” Fugle said. “I don’t think we were trying to block. I think we were trying to do our thing and [trying] to get a run off the top and go race him for the final lap. I think everybody wants to be raced first and then things happen. Oh well… We’ll move forward.”