Joey Logano has a simple message for William Byron: Keep escalating things if you dare.
Logano and Byron found themselves at odds after a pair of incidents in the final run of the Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway. Logano led Byron to the race’s final restart on lap 268 and chose the outside lane. The pair came close together at the exit of Turn 2 and Logano slid into the outside wall, surrendering the lead to Byron in the process.
That set the duo up for an eventful run to the checkered flag. Byron briefly pulled ahead but Logano chased the Hendrick Motorsports star down over the final run and caught him with two laps to go. Heading into Turn 3 of the penultimate lap, Logano hit Byron and sent him into the outside wall.
Byron wound up fading to 13th on the last lap while Logano drove off to the win. The 2018 Cup champion emerged from his No. 22 Ford to boos from many in the South Carolina track’s audience while Byron quietly fumed on pit road.
The two drivers disagreed on their interpretation of the race after its conclusion. Byron called Logano’s move “stupid” while saying he “does this stuff all the time.” Logano defended his actions, saying it was “game on” after their restart incident.
Some among the industry felt that the pair’s initial restart accident was just hard racing and undeserving of payback but Logano held his stance when asked about it at Kansas Speedway.
“I stand by the same stuff I said last week,” Logano told Fox Sports in a pre-qualifying media availability. “I got fenced, I retaliated and won the race.
“Like I said last week, that’s kind of how it works. I won’t get pushed around. In my book, we’re back to even. You reset and go again.”
Asked if there was concern of Byron feeling differently and retaliating, Logano stood his ground.
“Honestly, if he wants to keep going back and forth, I’ll keep swinging,” Logano said. “I don’t think that’s a good play for him in the long run. I feel like we’re even. He was willing to take the lead that way; I was willing the take the lead back the same way.
“He can keep going, but I can promise you I’ll keep going – and I’ll go bigger every time.”
So Byron is free to continue the rivalry, but the cost of doing so may go up.