Joey Logano experienced a series of terrifying events at Talladega Superspeedway over the weekend, as the Team Penske driver’s No. 22 Ford got airborne on the final lap of the first stage at the Geico 500.
Logano was running third in the NASCAR Cup Series race, when he was hit by Denny Hamlin after Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and his No. 22 Chevrolet struck Hamlin. Logano’s car went airborne due to the contact, and his car skidded on its roof before eventually rolling right side up and sliding into the infield grass.
WATCH: Joey Logano Wrecks at Talladega
Following the crash, Logano, who was fortunately uninjured, ultimately criticized the style of racing that’s common at Talladega and Daytona International Speedway. The NASCAR driver even referenced Ryan Newman’s wreck at last year’s Daytona 500.
“I guess I don?t know exactly what to think,” Logano told Fox in a post-race interview after leaving the infield care center. “It is a product of this racing. On one hand, I am so proud to drive a Cup car that is safe, and that I can go through a crash like that and get out and speak about it. On one hand, I am mad about being in the crash and on the other, I am happy to be alive.”
“On another hand, I am wondering when we are going to stop because this is dangerous doing what we are doing. I got a roll bar in my head. That is not okay. I am one hit away from the same situation Ryan Newman just went through. I just don?t feel like that is acceptable.”
“A lot of it is the big spoiler and the big runs and all the pushing. It is nobody?s fault. Denny (Hamlin) is trying to go and (Stenhouse) is trying to go. It is a product of this racing. We have to fix it though. Someone already got hurt and we are still doing it, so that?s not real smart.”
“At the same time, I am appreciative of driving a car that is this safe and what Team Penske has done for the safety of these cars so that I can live to talk about it and go again. I got lucky that I didn?t get hit while I was in the air.”
Brad Keselowski, Logano’s teammate who ended up winning the race despite getting caught up in the wreck, added, ?No doubt we got to find a way to keep cars on the ground. I don?t care what the rules package is. We start there. Can?t have cars leaving the ground.”
“We?re pretty good drivers, but none of that stuff works when we?re in the air. The gas pedal, brake pedal, steering wheel, shifter. We?re not rudders. When that thing gets in the air, it lands where it wants to. What goes up must come down. It?s not a jet-propelled airplane. We have no way to control where it comes down, so we absolutely have to find a way to keep them from coming off the ground.”
While those watching the race got a pretty good idea about the severity of Logano’s wreck, it’s a whole different level of intense when you’re an actual driver. In the below helmet cam footage from Bubba Wallace, you can see a unique POV look of the high-flying incident.
During ?The Morning Drive? on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, said that NASCAR would be investigating the wreck to see ?if there is something else we can do immediately? to keep cars from leaving the ground.
?We?re disappointed that what transpired transpired, but super happy that Joey was OK and the roll hoop ? and all the things that needed to protect him ? did,? Miller said. ?But cars getting up in the air is not good. It?s something that we?ve been working on and will continue to work on.?
Despite NASCAR having made a number of safety improvements over the years, Miller added, ?Obviously, we saw this weekend that it?s not enough, and we will continue to work, as we always do, to see if there is something else we can do immediately to counteract those effects.?