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Penske backs Logano in latest team NASCAR controversy

Mar 25, 2013, 8:00 PM EDT

Auto Club 400 Getty Images

NASCAR is only five races into its 2013 Sprint Cup Series season but for the third consecutive year, the driver of Penske Racing’s No. 22 Shell-sponsored entry is in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

The last two years have seen Kurt Busch enter hot water with Penske after a verbal confrontation ahead of an interview with ESPN pit reporter Jerry Punch at Homestead, then last year AJ Allmendinger had his contract terminated for failing a random drug test ahead of the July race at Daytona International Speedway.

Now, Joey Logano is the latest to enter the controversy sweepstakes. His contact with Denny Hamlin at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. on Sunday left Hamlin hospitalized with a vertebrae fracture and drew the ire – and fists – of an irate Tony Stewart in post-race.

Still, Logano’s team boss Roger Penske told USA Today Sports he’ll back his driver regardless of the situation.

“I’m 150% behind my driver, and I think he’s a real star on the team,” Penske said.

Stewart said of Logano in the same story, “It’s time he learns a lesson. He’s run his mouth long enough and done this double standard, but he’s nothing but a little rich kid who has never had to work in his life.”

  1. gbar22 - Mar 25, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    Stewart has made an entire empire on being the jerk of the sport. He has crashed blocked and pissed drivers off since he entered the sport. Just last season he complained about blocking and then went on to block at talladega and take out 25-30 cars. The guy is a hypocrite and in his world it’s only okay if he does it. It’s hard to take Stewart seriously on the aggressive driving talk. Then he went on to talk about drivers earning their way to a top flight seat and he employs Danica Patick? Really? Come on she is a marketing machine but in terms of actually accomplishing anything on the track to earn her top ride she has done nothing. She brings in cash and that’s it. So another issue where you can’t take Stewart seriously.

    Also NASCAR has this thing in the garage where if your young and good someone older complains about you. Almost like a frat. It’s kind of sad. Hamlin just a few years ago insisted Keslowski was immature and would be one of those guys who had a ride for a few years before going into obscurity. Yeah who’s the champion? Exactly. But it’s also hypocritical of the fans who will bash one driver for being aggressive and then worship Earnhardt sr who in all respects was a jerk on the track. The whole sport is bizarre that way.

    • icemanpjn - Mar 26, 2013 at 12:10 AM

      There is a lot of double-standards and hypocrisy in NASCAR. DP is a great example of this. If she was to bump some folks and maybe spin one guy out, she’s “tough and stickin’ it to the boys, and if the boys can’t take it they should get out of her way” but if someone would do the same to her “they’re just jealous of her success and can’t handle being challenged by a girl.”

    • worknman24hours - Mar 27, 2013 at 11:21 PM

      gbar22-that was great,thanks for making me laugh.

      I like Tony but he can be a bit full of himself at times.

      King Tony if you know what I mean.

      Great driver when he gets to it though.

      Great post there though,gbar22.

  2. mblue24 - Mar 25, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    Go Stewart!! Good job. NASCAR needs some action to get back on track from losing fans.

    • icemanpjn - Mar 26, 2013 at 12:18 AM

      There is nothing they can do about that. NASCAR advertises itself as crashes and constant on-track drama, which brought in viewers, but they didn’t stay as life-long, hardcore fans. They either got their fill or found it not to be three hours of constant crashes and bumper cars and moved on. Younger race fans, probably playing racing games that tend to be various forms of road racing rather than ovals, just aren’t adopting NASCAR as their sport, which just leaves older fans who will eventually die off.

      If they want to bring in long-time viewers, they need to sell them on the racing, not on bumper cars and crashes. This isn’t the way to go, but it’s the perception of NASCAR:

  3. dustonf1 - Mar 25, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    Tony, give pizza a chance.

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