The Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway provided another fantastic Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday afternoon at the two-mile D-shaped oval. The track hosts one race weekend annually that features the NASCAR XFINITY and Sprint Cup Series. The track, formally owned by Sprint Cup team owner Rodger Penske, hosted two dates on the calendar from 2004-2011.
Among the number of things that happened, from numerous tire issues early on, such as the Kyle Larson incident when he blew a right rear tire down the backstretch and took a vicious hit into the inside retaining wall, there were some fireworks between two drivers after the race. Before we get any further, Larson was treated and released from the infield care center.
Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr. were racing closely down the frontstretch when suddenly Truex lost air and just barely made contact with the outside retaining wall. No caution was thrown as NASCAR determined there were no debris put down from the incident. In fact, Truex would only lose one position through the entire deal. Television replays also suggest that Logano and Truex never made contact where the incident occurred.
Despite no contact made, Logano took the blame after the race. “It was completely my fault,” said Logano in an interview with FOX Sports. “I was gonna go in on the outside of him and he was gonna go in on the top as well and I just ended up being right on him. We never touched each other, but just taking the air off these cars makes them uncontrollable. I didn’t mean to do that. I was gonna try to go to the top and I just got a little bit close to him and got him free, so I’m taking the hit on that one.”
Truex showed his displeasure with Logano after the race in an interview. “We had a good run going until the No. 22 (Joey Logano) put our car into the fence,” said Truex. “There was a lot of right-side damage to the car, and we were pretty much toast after that incident. Not sure what he (Logano) was thinking about at the time, but that hit spoiled our day. We went from being a contender to the back of the field. Really frustrating to have a good car and not have anything to show for it. I think we were running in or close to the top five when the (No.) 22 rammed our Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota."
Cole Pearn, crew chief of the No 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet, also shared his displeasure with Logano on social media following the race.
I guess @joeylogano can't see through his squinty douchy eyes.— Cole Pearn (@colepearn) March 20, 2016
Here is a NASCAR.com video of the incident:
A similar situation, but a bit different as they actually made contact, happened last season at Kansas Speedway between Logano and Matt Kenseth. Kenseth would later retaliate at Martinsville Speedway that would end Logano’s Sprint Cup Series championship run. NASCAR parked Kenseth for the rest of the day and suspended him from competing in the next two races. He would return for the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.