NASCAR's Kyle Busch on Joey Logano: Actions speak louder than words
Perhaps no other NASCAR driver is better suited to comment on the Joey Logano-Kevin Harvick spat than temperamental Kyle Busch, an aggressive Sprint Cup Series driver who's known for ruffling the feathers of other racers and, in turn, not a few NASCAR fans. Busch also is Logano's teammate at the Toyota team of Joe Gibbs Racing.
And Busch said Friday that while he understood why Logano gave Harvick a tongue-lashing at the end of last week's race in Pennsylvania, Logano's future moves on the track would better determine what type of driver the 20-year-old would become.
"I don't think what he did shows anything," Busch, 25, said of Logano's actions Sunday at Pocono Raceway, where Logano chewed out Harvick from a distance after their cars made contact near the end of the race, sending Logano into a spin and leaving him with a 13th-place finish.
After the race ended, Logano parked his No. 20 Toyota next to Harvick's No. 29 Chevrolet on pit road and tried to reach Harvick, but crew members and race officials kept them apart.
"I think what will show is if he retaliates, that's what's going to show," Busch said at Michigan International Speedway, site of the next Cup race Sunday, according to notes released by Toyota. "Driving up to somebody on pit road and running your mouth to him isn't a whole lot, that's not that difficult to do."
Harvick, meanwhile, told reporters that he tried earlier this season to reconcile with Logano as their on-track skirmishes kept building, but that Logano dismissed his advances.
"At this point, it's up to him," said Harvick, a Bakersfield native and Richard Childress Racing driver who finished fourth at Pocono and leads the Cup point standings. "I'd love to work it out," he said, adding that Logano had a "standing invite" to talk things over.
But Harvick, 34, also had harsh words about Logano's father, Tom, who was at Logano's side when he climbed from the car at Pocono and appeared to urge Logano to take on Harvick.
"His father has no place in this," Harvick said. "This isn't Little League baseball anymore. Joey Logano is a good race-car driver. He deserves to be here." But Harvick said Logano needed to take "a big step" by "shedding the dad."
Logano defended his father
"I love him to death and he's there for me," Logano said. "He's always been by my side my whole life and maybe it was a position that maybe he shouldn't have been there, but he's a father and I bet 99% of the fathers would have been there anyway."
Veteran driver Mark Martin said he had no issue with Logano's father.
"I loved seeing Tom Logano's reaction, and I'm a dad," said Martin, who drives the No. 5 Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports. "And anybody who would criticize that, a lot of them aren't dads."
Finally, does Joey Logano still stand by his comments at Pocono?
"I don't take nothing back," he said. "I was mad. I felt like I was done wrong out there and that's it."
Kurt Busch on Friday won the pole position for Sunday's race, while Logano qualified 12th and Harvick was 31st.
-- Jim Peltz
Photo: NASCAR driver Joey Logano sits in his No. 20 Toyota during practice Friday for the Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. Credit: Jason Smith / Getty Images.