Runner-up Logano: Race control not quick enough on the trigger

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Runner-up Logano: Race control not quick enough on the trigger


Runner-up Logano: Race control not quick enough on the trigger


Joey Logano could only laugh through the disappointment about being inches from winning the Daytona 500 for a second time while saying he would have rewarded the NASCAR official in the tower for a quicker reaction.

The driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford did not know where he was in relation to Ricky Stenhouse Jr. when the caution was activated in the second overtime Sunday night, but when the wreck on the white flag lap started in Turn 2, Logano knew he was leading. The initiation of the wreck is not the deciding factor in freezing the field, however. It’s the instant when caution is called.

“So whoever is up there wasn’t quick enough on the trigger,” Logano said. “They could have hit that maybe a second or two sooner. I would have given that guy half the (winner’s) purse. I would have given him the whole…thing, actually.”

He does know he was charging forward on the outside at the white flag, driving around Kyle Larson — who was sent to the middle lane — and Stenhouse, who was surging on the bottom. Logano had help from Kyle Busch as the field headed into Turn 1 to give him a clear lead. Moments later, the eighth and final caution came out when Aric Almirola got into the back of Travis Pastrana, turning Pastrana into Larson.

“It’s so jumbled up that it was going to switch two or three more times before we got to the finish line,” Logano said. “It was nice to be toward the front, but my thoughts were, at the moment, don’t get too far out because they’re going to run me back over.

“And they were two-wide behind me, so I was trying to figure out what lane do I need to fall into because the bottom was tight, and I wasn’t in a good spot at the moment. I was in the lead, but I wasn’t in the best spot, knowing that I was about to get eaten up.”

Stenhouse chose the outside lane for the overtime restart with Larson going to the bottom of the front row. Christopher Bell decided to take the bottom behind Larson.

Lined up next to Bell in the second row was Logano, who chose the outside behind Stenhouse. Being a pusher was the position Logano wanted to be in for a run to the finish.

“I felt better about being in that spot than I did being on the front row,” Logano said. “So, I felt that was as good as a spot I could be beside not having enough Mustangs around me. Unfortunately, all of them had issues, so I had no friends around me, and that kind of puts you as a sitting duck a little bit.”

Logano led six times for 12 laps. Going into overtime, the reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion was the only former Daytona 500 winner running inside the top five.

“Oh man, it hurts. It stings. Sucks,” he said of finishing second. “There’s not really much you can say. Congrats to Ricky and his team. Unfortunately, we were close to winning the Daytona 500, and being this close just hurts.

“We did a good job putting ourselves in position and doing what we could do today, and you hope the race would have played out there at the end. Maybe it would have been a little different, or the caution came out a second sooner. That would have been good too. But it is what it is.”