Edwards, Logano Exhibit Class and Sportsmanship in the Midst of Controversy

Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images

As Jimmie Johnson celebrated his seventh Sprint Cup Series championship, the other three championship contenders were left feeling dejected on pit road and in the garage area after the race.

Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, and Joey Logano were the three other championship contenders.

And while all four were competitive al night, Edwards and Logano might be left wondering what could have been.

On the second-to-last restart of the night, Carl Edwards was on the bottom of row one and Logano was on the bottom of row two. Logano made a move to Edwards’ inside as the green flag waved and Edwards moved to block. The nose of Logano’s No. 22 car hooked the left rear of Edwards’ No. 19 car. Edwards made heavy contact with the wall and cars who were collected in the wreck after the fact, and Logano sustained some minor damage of his own.

While Edwards was unable to continue, Logano was able to rebound and finish fourth. However, as Johnson went on to win the race and clinch the title, it wasn’t good enough.

Edwards, after he got out of his wrecked racecar, walked over to Logano’s pit box and shook hands with the crew.

Many thought he would be extremely angry with Logano. Instead, he took the high road.

“Yeah, I think it was shared, you know what I mean?” said Edwards. “I think it was just racing. I haven’t seen a real close up view, but the way I had it figured is first of all that was the race of my life up to that point. That was a lot of fun and Joey (Logano) was so good on the short run.  I don’t know how he got that restart. It was a really good restart. I thought we were – I thought everything was going to work out and Jason (Hedlesky, spotter) told me he was looking low and I – he told me basically he was there. I knew what Jason was saying and I just pushed the issue as far as I could because I figured that was the race there and so here let me watch it again. Yeah, Joey just timed it perfectly, he moved down, I thought I could feel him a little and I just thought that – I was probably a little optimistic, but I thought I could clear him or force him to lift. I just thought I had just a little more time, but he drove down as far as a guy could be expected to drive down and that’s how it ended. I don’t know what the caution was for. I really hope it was something that we needed to have a caution for because that was really – that was going really well.”

Edwards is referring to the caution that came out prior to that restart, which was caused by a tire issue on the No. 32 car of Dylan Lupton.

Logano, likewise, admitted that he was being extremely aggressive but felt like he had to be in order to make a run for his first title.

“I think it’s really cool that he said that,” Logano said during a post-race press conference. “Ironically, they’re playing it right now so I can watch it. It’s like they timed that on purpose. He’s a stand-up guy. Carl is a good person. I got to know all three of these drivers. I’ve known Kyle really well in the past, but to get to know Jimmie and Carl they’re three stand-up, good people. It’s hard to find that this day and age, especially in professional sports and especially at the top of professional sports. Usually, the ones that are the best aren’t the nicest of people, but in this case, this Championship 4 there were some really genuine people and we knew we were gonna have to race each other hard. We knew that. That wasn’t a surprise, but it’s cool that Carl came up and said that because I don’t blame him.

“He had to throw the block,” continued. “It’s the only move I had. I’m not gonna look back and second guess that move. I had to do that. It’s the only play I had. I’m watching this one for the first time. It’s going to distract me. Somebody shut the TV off. Anyway, Carl and I – great racing. I understand why he had to throw the block and he understands why I had to make the move because that was for the win. That was the only shot that I had. That was for the race. With 10 to go, what do you expect? It’s for a championship. I did that move earlier in the race, actually the first start of the race I did that. I knew that was my play. I knew it was what I was gonna do as soon as it restarted, and we just ran out of real estate to the point it was like, ‘OK, we’ve got to do something.’ But that’s just racing. It hurt both of us, ultimately Carl a little bit more, but it’s unfortunate.”

Logano and Edwards clearly have a lot of respect for one another, but ultimately it was arguably the undoing for both drivers. Both were going for their first Sprint Cup Series championship and both have been close before.

There is no denying that both are championship caliber drivers, but both will have to wait at least one more year before they have the opportunity to try again.

 

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