NASCAR is issuing no penalties for the Busch vs. Logano dust-up after last Sunday’s race at Las Vegas. Good call, uh, good “no call.” I mean, what would you penalize? Unskilled use of fists?
Let’s go back to the genesis of the Busch vs. Logano incident. While Joey Logano has had run-ins with other drivers from Joe Gibbs Racing- Matt Kenseth most notably- there’s no real history between the one-time JGR wunderkind and his former teammate. In other words, there’s cause for Kyle Busch to think “there he goes again.” There’s not the same history that there would have been were it Kevin Harvick.
As for the contact itself, there’s no evidence of Logano trying to rub out Busch or vice versa. It’s two drivers racing in tight quarters and one driver’s car wiggles, precipitating a collision. Judgment can be questioned, but it would be a leap in logic to say the 22 was going after the 18. Logano seemed to rightfully expect he would see Busch on pit road.
Can you blame Kyle Busch for being mad? I can’t. He’s going into that final lap with an expectation of a strong finish, and contact with Joey Logano short circuits that. In the back of Kyle’s mind- no doubt- is Logano’s history. If he feels it’s justified, he will move you. If I’m Kyle Busch, I’m not thinking about talking, I’m thinking about making a statement with my fists, which is exactly what he did.
Did you hear what commentator Ricky Craven said about the incident? I would agree, let the drivers sort it out. It would have been interesting to see what a mano a mano confrontation- Busch vs. Logano would have played out. Let’s just say this wouldn’t have been a physical mismatch. Neither one are imposing figures. Unimpeded, a couple of blows are swapped, maybe somebody gets tackled. Let the boys have at it.
Getting back to the subject of penalties, what would you penalize? Busch wisely elected not to use his car as a weapon. Logano wasn’t injured in the fracas. If I’m Kyle Busch, I’m a bit embarrassed that I went to go settle matters with Logano, and I’m the one bleeding. That’s adding insult to injury. If I’m Logano, I’m thinking “try to prove I tried to wreck Kyle.”
The real winner in this is NASCAR. A driver has proven that the sport hasn’t gone completely soft. Fights get people’s attention.
Going forward, Brian France has taken a pre-emptive measure, saying there will be no retaliation. There won’t be any vengeance a la Kenseth against Logano this time. With that said, Logano’s racing style is under a microscope, and if an opposing driver finds himself in Joey’s proximity, “Sliced Bread” can figure he may wind up as burnt toast. In other words, how you race is how you’ll get raced.
These two run near the front nearly every week. We haven’t seen the end of Busch vs. Logano. It has the makings of a bona fide rivalry.