Joey Logano was due in the Atlanta Motor Speedway media center at 3:25 p.m. ET, but arrived a few minutes late.
He had a good excuse: He was talking, he explained, to fellow Ford driver Michael McDowell, clearing the air after their brief encounter at the Daytona 500.
Last weekend, Logano was upset that McDowell didn’t stick with him on the final lap as they raced for the win against the Toyotas of Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch.
“We’re good,” Logano said. “Everything’s fine. We just talked it out; sometimes we all get heated at the end of the race – we all want to win or have the best chance possible.
[Michael and I] worked everything out, though. Everything’s fine now. It’s not a big deal at all.”
On pit road last weekend, McDowell responded to Logano’s complaints by saying he didn’t get paid to push the Team Penske driver to a win. Looking back, McDowell agreed it was all in the heat of the moment, and noted that Logano is just as intense as he is.
“I get it,” said the No. 34 Front Row Motorsports driver. “It’s racing. So that part of it is fine for me.”
What the two talked about on Friday was how they could work better together in future to get a Ford in victory lane. When things fell apart on the last lap, Logano slipped to fourth and McDowell fifth as the Joe Gibbs Racing cars of Hamlin, Busch, and Erik Jones charged by for the top three spots.
“We both agree that there’s not a lot we could have done differently right in that moment, but we also talked about in the future – let’s just be a little bit more prepared,” said McDowell.
As for McDowell’s comments about the Fords not being “that friendly to me,” he clarified it was aimed at certain drivers and not the support of the manufacturer.
In hindsight, McDowell says, he wished he had kept his “big mouth shut” about that.
“It was a couple of Ford drivers putting me three-wide there at the end of the race, which is just racing — same thing I said about ‘heat of the moment’. Ford Performance obviously supports our program,” McDowell said. “And we support them, too. David [Ragan] and I are constantly testing the Wheel Force car and on a simulator, and doing everything we can to help all the Ford teams.
“We wanted to get a Ford Mustang in victory lane [last weekend], no doubt about it. It just didn’t work out.
“Like I said, just more heat of the moment. We’ll keep fighting hard.”