Although it was Kyle Busch that took the win on Sunday and ended a 31 race drought, all eyes were focused on the last lap sparks that flew between Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano and Tony Stewart.
After the war of words between the two former teammates last week on Twitter, it seems that the bad blood spilled over on to the track, causing a last lap crash that sent Hamlin to the hospital and Logano into the fire. But, it was not just Hamlin that caught the brunt of a more aggressive Logano, as Tony Stewart found himself in the midst of an on track “incident”.
It was also the pit road confrontation between Logano and a very vocal Stewart, that had the attention of fans and media long after the checkered flag waved.
Although Logano explained to reporters after the race that he was just doing what was necessary in both instances, Stewart certainly had a different view of the situation and had no trouble voicing his opinion of the young driver to anyone that listened.
Hamlin, who was transported to a local hospital after slamming nose first into the inside wall, was kept overnight for precautionary measures.
After Clint Bowyer blew an engine on lap 185, most of the field came in for fresh tires in hopes of being able to make a run for the finish. Busch, who was in the lead at lap 190, paced the field with Logano sharing the front row and brought the field around to battle to the finish. At the time, Stewart and Kurt Busch shared the second row, both looking to make a pass for a possible victory.
However, after Logano threw a block on Stewart and knocked him down to the inside of the track, the No. 14 car was forced out of contention. Logano was able to slip up beside Kyle Busch for a peek at the lead on lap 194, as Hamlin finally nosed his way into the battle. It was then, just as the cars crossed the finish line to go into the final lap, that Hamlin and Logano bumped, causing the last lap crash and sending Kyle Busch home for the win.
Sunday’s win was also the first win for Joe Gibbs Racing at Auto Club Speedway.
Another big mover on Sunday was Dale Earnhardt, Jr. After bringing home a solid second place finish, Earnhardt Jr. now sits in a 12-point lead over Brad Keselowski in the Sprint Cup points.
Although fans are anxiously awaiting for Martinsville, the Sprint Cup Series will be off next week and resume action on April 7.
About the Author
Written by Ashley Gulick
Sports Journalism is my passion! I keep up with the latest news on pro/college football, NASCAR and baseball....and just about everthing else. I grew up in Talladega, Ala., but moved to Georgia when I was 15. From a young age, I always knew that I wanted to be involved with sports somehow. Once I got into college and completed my degree in Communications, I knew that I had a passion for sports journalism. I have covered sports for the Kennesaw Sentinel (KSU's student paper), Marietta Daily Journal and Douglas County Sentinel.