When the Goodyear 400 began on Sunday afternoon at Darlington Raceway, Joey Logano had no one but the pace car out in front of him. However, the pole sitter did have to deal with some competion coming down the stretch and his decision may not have been a popular one.
Trailing William Byron for much of the final twenty-five laps of the race, Logano got close enough to bump Byron in the rear bumper and zoom past him for the lead going into the final lap. Logano came across the finish line 0.775 seconds ahead of Tyler Reddick to snap a 40-race winless streak and claim his first ever victory at the “Track Too Tough to Tame.” But don’t count Byron among his admirers.
“He’s just an idiot,” Byron said following the race. “He drove in there 10 mph too fast. With these Next Gen cars, he slammed me so hard he knocked the whole right side off the car. He‘s just a moron. He can’t win a race, so he does it that way.” The obviously frustrated Hendrick Motorsports driver came home 13th after hitting the wall following the brush with Logano.
Logano led 109 of the 293 laps and reached Victory Lane for the first time since winning on the dirt at Bristol in 2021. He was also in no mood to apologize to Byron for the hard racing in the final laps.
“You’re not gonna put me in the wall and not get anything back,” Logano said in his post-race winner’s interview, indicating he felt he owed Byron some payback.
Justin Haley, Kevin Harvick, and Chase Elliott completed the top five. Christopher Bell, Michael McDowell, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Austin Dillon, and Daniel Suárez rounded out the top 10.
Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, and Brad Keselowski had tough days and were out of the race early. After his day was done, Busch actually parked his car at the entrance to the garage on pit road. He left it there and walked towards his trailer saying later that he didn’t think it could turn. Last year at Darlington, he was penalized for the haphazard way in which he drove into the garage, running over a few traffic cones on the way.
The circuit shifts to Kansas next weekend and will return to Darlington for the CookOut Southern 500 over Labor Day weekend.