Joey Logano says the games being played in the restart zone of NASCAR Cup Series races have escalated recently even though there is more technology in use now than ever to regulate them.
The reigning series champion called a “totally BS restart” over his Team Penske radio on Aric Almirola near the end of Stage 2 at New Hampshire. Logano had lined up on the inside of Almirola for the dash to the stage’s conclusion and felt Almirola slowed down in the restart box, which let him jump away by a few car lengths at the start/finish line leaving Logano and the rest of the field behind.
“He brake-checked the field,” said Logano. “You’re not supposed to do that. I don’t know how they regulate it – they gave him a warning which I don’t really know what that means. Warning to what, not do that again? He wasn’t in the lead again, so he never had the opportunity to do it, so he got away with it. I don’t know.”
Almirola went unchallenged to win Stage 2. Logano finished second in the stage.
“You can’t slow down in the box before you go,” continued Logano. “That’s why I got ahead of him. I was going the same speed, and he lifted, which put me in the spot that if I go it looks like I jumped the restart. So, I can’t take that risk or they’d (NASCAR) call that.
“I don’t know. The rules on restarts have started to loosen up quite a bit again.”
Logano led just one lap Sunday afternoon and finished ninth. It was a long and difficult day for the No. 22 team, resulting in a performance described as “not that great” by Logano.
“We fought as hard as we could; we just were off from when we unloaded, and just kept trying to find a little something here and there to keep moving forward on things, and just never really did,” he said. “We qualified eighth, and we ran about 12th to 15th most of the race.
“We grabbed some points in the second stage, and we came home eighth or ninth so that’s kind of the best we had. Little disappointed in that — want to be better here. But we learned what not to do, which is sometimes very valuable.”