Race Weekend Central

Up To Speed: Tempers Flare and Insults Fly Following Action-Packed Auto Club 400

I’ve said before that it’s rare that fans and competitors alike agree on anything, let alone nearly unanimous on the quality of a product. However, this is becoming more the case week in and week out. With few exceptions, the drivers are happy with the new package, the fans enjoy the racing it produces, and the crew chiefs enjoy the maneuverability they have in car setup and strategy calls before, during, and after the race. Everyone seems to be happy about the quality of the racing right now and in the direction the sport is heading when it comes to the competition.

However, it stands to reason that when there is more drivability in these cars, the drivers are able to move around more. When the drivers are able to move around and race each other more, there is bound to be contact.

And where there is contact, there are sure to be hurt feelings.

“Not sure what he (Logano) was thinking about at the time, but that hit spoiled our day.”

This coming from Martin Truex, Jr., one of a handful of drivers who left Auto Club Speedway angry with someone else. Truex finished 32nd after leading 21 laps and running in the top five for most of the race. Truex and Joey Logano were racing for position late in the race. While it didn’t appear the two made contact – and if they did, it was slight – at the very least, Logano took the air off of Truex’s spoiler. Truex got loose, slid up the track, hit the wall, sustained heavy right side damage, and was never able to fully recover.

Logano, for his part, was apologetic.

“It was completely my fault,” said Logano, who finished fourth. “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

FONTANA, CA - MARCH 20: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row Toyota, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 20, 2016 in Fontana, California. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Though Logano took responsibility for a late-race incident between himself and Truex, Truex and crew chief Cole Pearn were still aggravated with Logano. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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 wasn’t quite ready to accept an apology.

“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.”

While Truex was frustrated, his crew chief Cole Pearn was apparently channeling his inner Mean Girl, sending out this nasty tweet pos-trace:


I mean … seriously? This coming from a Sprint Cup level crew chief? A simple “he ran out of talent” or “he needs to not drive so aggressively” would suffice. I don’t blame him for being upset, but sheesh … seems like a low blow. Insulting someone’s driving? Sure. Insulting part of their appearance? That’s the kind of thing that should only happen during reality TV shows and presidential elections (apparently).

However, Truex wasn’t the only driver with ruffled feathers post-race. Danica Patrick was none too happy with Kasey Kahne after Kahne – who was a lap down while Patrick was on the lead lap – hooked her right rear and sent her spinning hard into the outside wall. Kahne said it was an accident and there really wasn’t anything to indicate he did it intentionally. Still, though, the move was avoidable and displayed an unnecessarily aggressive move for a veteran like Kahne when, again, he wasn’t even racing Patrick for position.

“We were on a restart and I had a run on him so I went down low,” said Patrick, who finished 38th. “If you get too close to them then it will drag you both back. I was going low. I saw him chase me down the track and then the next thing I know I was getting spun up the track.  I am I was passing him. He was behind me in the right rear.

“I don’t know what kind of day he was having. I just heard he was a lap down actually. I feel bad if he felt like he was put in a position to have to be that desperate a lap down. It’s just unfortunate; he must be having a very tough time. I was having a pretty good recovery day, kind of like last weekend.

“I was just running good race laps and on the lead lap at the end of the race back up into the top 20 from a bad starting position.  And I was looking forward to a good finish and a good off week.  Unfortunately now there is more work to be done at the shop, which is not I’m sure what they want, but we had a good TaxAct car and Billy (Scott, crew chief) did a good job to set-up for today and we were moving forward.”

After the wreck, Patrick walked out on to the racetrack to signal to Kahne how unhappy she was as he drove by. There were a couple of penalties last year (Trevor Bayne and Jennifer Jo Cobb most notably) where drivers were penalized for doing something similar. You have to wonder if Patrick will face some sort of retribution for doing so. Keep an eye out on Tuesday.

Kahne didn’t necessarily apologize for what happened, but attempted to explain himself:

“I passed her in (Turns) 3 and 4 and then she had the momentum off the top and went back under me going down the front stretch, so

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)
Kahne didn’t mean to spin Danica Patrick around, but earned a trip to the NASCAR hauler after the race anyway. (Photo: Nigel Kinrade / NKP)

I went just to kind of catch a side draft to make sure I was in position getting into Turn 1 and it didn’t hold me up when I got there because I was the one coming and I just got too close and the car was moving around and we hit and she had a bad wreck. I felt really bad because it was far from anything other than just trying to hold my position. I’ve never had an issue with Danica at all. It was an avoidable accident in the middle of the straightaway that was far from anything but just trying to hold my position that I had just gained.”

From these comments, you have to wonder if Kahne knew he was a lap behind her. This comment at least backed off of his in-car remarks where he claimed that she moved up the track and was partially at fault. Yes you will see a slight bobble in that replay from her, but Kahne definitely moved way further down to her than Patrick moved up to him.

Kahne, his spotter, and crew chief were all called to the NASCAR trailer after the race for the incident. According to Kahne’s comments after the fact, NASCAR just wanted to make sure that the move wasn’t intentional on his part and that the two drivers would be okay going forward. Though Kahne probably shouldn’t expect much room from Patrick in two weeks at Martinsville, it certainly doesn’t seem like there was any previous bad blood between the two.

For that matter, Logano probably shouldn’t expect much room from Truex at Martinsville, or frankly many other competitors last week. I don’t imagine you’ll see anything Matt Kenseth-esque, but certainly not a lot of give and take. Then again, maybe the tempers will have cooled again when the drivers return after an off week for the Easter holiday.

HAH! Nah…

About the author

Promoted to editor in 2013, Summer is one of Frontstretch’s fast-rising young talents. While contributing to social media efforts, she also writes the weekly "Up To Speed" column. A Kansas native, Summer graduated with a Bachelor's in Journalism and Mass Communications in 2015. She also contributes to other media outlets such as Kickin' The Tires.

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I am sick of these older drivers whining when raced. Logano did not touch him. Don’t race me wwwhhhaaaa.

Barney V. should be very embarrassed by Cole’s juvenile tweet. Way to be a man Cole, on Twitter no less. Way to stick to racing, way to NOT to have maturity or control! That it was racing, at least it used to be. Apparently not anymore. Cole, you have shown your colors and are part of the hypocritical bullies club. There is no way in hell you would have had the balls to tweet that garbage to Newman, Harvick or anybody else. Jesus, we get it..you are upset, who would not be? But dammit, is this what passes as acceptable? Seems like it is, sad. He raced me…wwwwhhhhhaaaaaaaa. Make him stop. No contact, what’s next..he looked at me? Whaaaa.

Cole, you should be very happy this weekend, this weekend (so far) is the first weekend in MANY that you are not penalized for something. Shutup jerk. And if one was to go the way of looks in a “douchey” way of course, WOOF to you. But hey, that doesn’t matter, right Cole? Nor should it.


Um, whose fault was it on Saturday when Greg Biffle rear ended Kyle Larson in the practice session?

Robert Burger

Larson apologized to Biffle for being so slow on the track when that incident occurred.


My point was that Miss KB wanted to rag on Jr. for the deal with Kurt Busch when it was Busch being way slow. Somehow, my post would up under the wrong one. And, incidentally, Biffle said that, during practice and you get loose like that you slow the car way down. He didn’t see Larson get way loose and couldn’t miss him after that. But, yes, I know Larson apologized. Now, I also wonder when Goodyear is going to apologize to Kyle Larson……………………………….


Spotty, you don’t get it and never will. Keep giving it the old college try however. Nice to see you didn’t “Cole Pearn” me, you usually lack restraint (like that moron did yesterday) and go right for the juvenile nasty’s. Some mysteries may never be solved,


Guess I get to reply to myself as the clueless one doesn’t have a reply tag. I don’t get it and never will? Looky here o clueless one. I have been involved in dirt track racing since the early 80’s so I think I have more than a clue. I have fielded cars, can you say the same? I have been with late models, stock cars, sprint cars. What have you done other than bitch about little Joey not getting any respect?


Good for you Spotty, congrats on your accomplishments! You still don’t get it. And I will not get into a my dick is bigger than you dick conversation with you. Because I did not rob a bank, does not mean I have no right to comment of the stupidity of a bank robber, which seems to be your basic argument. Again, you are telling me you still do not get the crux of what I post, which frankly does not surprise. Good luck if you are still physically able to get it up behind a wheel. Getting to do something you enjoy is always a gift from above.


He gave a lame “twitter apology”, with a picture of his kid close by. Great parenting. Did you go to the source of your bullying directly Cole? That is a sign of a man, not twitter.


Kurt Busch gets rammed by Junior finishes two spots in front of Mad Marty and crickets. Joey was racing took some air and revenge is avowed and the cheating Cole Pearn, the leader of the team gets down right petty and nasty. And fans are salivating, wanting Logano’s blood. Good to see most had the decency to call Cole on his abhorrent “tweet”. It is popular you know to bash the young guy. It should not amaze me but it does. And the media plays it up like Logano has just been a wrecking machine with every sainted driver out there. Jesus, play favorites much? The truth does not matter, bash the young kid because you can. Who will dare tell the story of Junior and Busch, he actually hit him and caused damage. The fact is because it was Junior and when it is Junior it IS ALWAYS A NON STORY. Why aren’t certain drivers afforded the same “respect”? No famous Daddy? I really would like to know. Why is it Logano gets near Mad Marty and the racing story turns into a “fill in the blank” story, and it becomes a story. The point it, it becomes a story and it should not have. The story should be the idiot crew chief who has been probation and caught every week but this week with his cheatin’ ways and he is mouthing off. He should be happy he wasn’t caught with some infraction at Fontana. And talking about looks, took a look at his twitter page, don’t want to be like him but..well he and his ain’t no movie stars. So he should shut up, but more importantly what does it matter? I notice when these clowns mouth off, they always seem to be in proximity to Junior and thank him for something, and he always gets a “tweet” in there that stirs the masses even more. Maybe he should quit partying and pay attention to his driving. Just sayin, and butt out of others business.


Martinsville next. Matt Kenseth is working on a script for a TV show. The title is “Car 22 Where Are You?”

Kyle will star in a movie Superpunk currently in development.


DoninAjax, right on!!!! Too funny


How much do you want to bet that 20 and 22 qualify beside each other? Don’t want to be the one on the outside.




Sorry, don’t read if it will piss you off, told Frontstretch a lot times about the disappearing posts and they seem not to care, as others have too. Message is the same, and I believe in the message, just worded different from my different trips into the office at home. It seems none of them showed up and now they all do, tomorrow may be a different story. Apologies.


Here we go again. Joey touches Martin Truex (a Gibbs Toyota satellite team), and everyone is getting out the pitch forks and torches, and go after Joey for being too aggressive. And I am sure the media will do everything they can to fuel it. After all, in today’s whiny NASCAR world, no driver, especially a Ford driver, and specifically a Penske Ford Driver, is allowed to be aggressive. it is just not allowed. Meanwhile, Dale Earnhardt Junior gets into the back of Kurt Busch, and Busch gets into the wall. The difference is that Junior gets a free pass.

Oh ya, no bias there with the fans and the media, is there!

The Mad Man

Tired of being raced hard? Don’t enjoy trading paint? Call 1-800-WAA-AAAH.


I think, with most of them, if it’s trading paint, it’s acceptable. What’s not acceptable is finding yourself in the wall or sliding down the track sideways or backwards.


Why does Dale Jr get brought up all the time when he ISN’T A DIRTY DRIVER.
Logano has a lot of issues with being a dirty driver, LOOK AT LAST YEAR… Logano got what he DESERVED Last year from Kenseth..



Ah, because nothing was mentioned about him ramming Kurt and Logano didn’t touch the cry baby? Junior just happened to be a obvious example in the same race with actual contact and Kurt finishing two positions behind the crybaby Marty. Take your pick of another driver, any race you choose, no mention, no nothing as to something they do. And hey not saying what they did was wrong or not. Just notice the press and media and jerks have a different set of rules for the guy. It is pretty obvious. Liking Logano or not does not negate that fact of the media and fans. If you look you will see. And for a crew chief to say what he did on the lame twitter is ridiculous, do you think Kurt Busch’s crew chief would have dare to tweet that about Junior? His house would have been torched by rabid fans, and Junior knows this. Junior may not have won a championship but Junior is protected in many ways, and on the track nobody wants to be that guy, the fans are nuts. Especially Juniors, they think they are watching his deceased father..the link to the past in all it’s glory. Look at the hate Logano got for besting him3 times on the restarts at Dega and Nascar called the damn race. They blamed Logano. Did I agree with the lame new rule (which I don’t know if it is a rule still), no, but I disagreed more with the stupidity that went on after from idiots. A little girl got hurt by a half full beer can being tossed. The old bitties including that arsehole crew chief know how to fan the flames, they think it’s fun and that is where their mentality is at. They are all hypocrites.


Oh You must be a Joey Logano fan. You must of been the little girl who got hurt by the half full beer can. Your probably a JUMP ON THE BANDWAGON LOGANO FAN.
I’ll tell you right now Logano will get pounded on the way he drives everyone else

I guess @joeylogano can’t see through his squinty douchy eyes.


Calm down, Junior fan! It’s not just bringing up Junior getting a free pass from the fans and media with him running into the back of Kurt Busch (who, until the 2016 season ends, is his teammate). You should remember how some people brought up the Carl Edwards/Dale Junior incident back last October, where Junior blocked Edwards, and Edwards promptly dumped Junior into the Charlotte wall. Nothing was said about what Edwards did. Not even the almighty Junior Nation spoke a peep. But, the next week, Matty-Matt from Saint Gibbs Racing ends up spinning after contact from Logano, and out come the pitch forks, torches, and “I hope he dies in the next race” comments (lots of those on FOX Sports, ESPN, and NBC Sports websites).

As I said in an earlier post, people complain about the drivers not being aggressive, and when someone is, God help that driver, and any of his fans who try to defend him. The media and hypocritical fans all want the guy kicked out. No wonder outsiders, those who do not watch, or even care, about NASCAR think the sport is a joke.

Tony Geinzer

Summer, I doubt the comic view of all these hurt feelings would be just popping up like Whiskey Wars and Beach Blanket Bingo (2 Different Extremes, but, the Line between loving and loathing has been stated) . But, would Buddy Parrott operate like Cole Pearn did? I think besides the “getting what we paid for” like Iowa City, I think what is sad is JJ is in the record books like he was Warren Johnson and getting angry at WJ winning adds no nothing, either.

Fed Up

Cole Pearn is adopting the sanctity of Joe Gibbs racing. It’s ok for us to wreck everyone, but don’t hit us. The 78 has a JGR pit crew and as such, is basically a 5th team, until he decides to challenge one of his teammates.


Yeah the writing is on the wall fairly early in the season. Logano didn’t even make contact and Marty is whining as well as his jerk of a crew chief. Logano is easy pickens, the truth does not matter. Let’s throw something to the wall and the fans will say it sticks. Barney V. should be ashamed. From what I heard he has more class than that.
That nastiness and out right faux drama and tears is just getting to much to take. Are we racing or are we whining? It’s getting pathetic. We were all shocked in my household yesterday, disgusted is more like it. Same old, same old and it is escalating. Who can support whiners and the threats and drama afterwards, they all need to play golf or take up knitting.


Thinking that I will be more interested in closer racing than rich guys throwing tantrums. Most of that is just blah, blah anyway.

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