Joey Logano bumps into William Byron late to win the Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway

DARLINGTON, SC – After William Byron squeezed him against the wall at one last restart, Joey Logano knew what he would do if given the chance to regain the lead.

Logano bumped Byron from behind on the penultimate lap to win the Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway on Sunday. Byron hit the wall in turn three, and Logano went on to his first win of the season and first on the track “Too Tough To Tame.”

“There’s something to be said for an angry race driver,” said Logano, who broke a 40-race drought without a win.

Logano, who started from the bar, had one of the strongest cars all day and was ahead on the way out of the pits before a restart with 25 laps left. But Byron, who started low, forced Logano into the wall and out of the lead.

“If anyone will be willing to do that to you, then the gloves are off,” Logano said.

Byron was not happy with the maneuver, calling Logano an “idiot” and an “idiot” who has run questionably against others throughout his career.

Fans in Darlington let the Team Penske driver know what they were thinking and booed the 2018 NASCAR champion as he got out of his car.

“I’ve been called many things, much worse than idiot,” Logano said.

Byron, who signed a contract extension with Hendrick Motorsports, seemed like he would continue his team’s dominant season over the final innings. Instead, Logano broke a 40-run victory-free drought.

Tyler Reddick came in second, followed by Justin Haley, Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott, Christopher Bell, Michael McDowell, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Austin Dillon and Daniel Suarez.

Byron dropped to 13. He said the restart was just close and Byron did not deserve a hard blow on the rear bumper so close to the end.

“He hit me so hard that it hit the whole right side of the car and sent me out into the corner,” Byron said. “He’s just an idiot. He can not win a race, so he does it that way.”

Logano led 108 out of the 293 laps and reached Victory Lane for the first time since the victory on the track in Bristol in 2021.

It was the first time the new Next Gen car was driven on NASCAR’s oldest superspeedway, and the results were mixed. The race was strong, although several of the top competitors did not last.

Reigning NASCAR champion Kyle Larson was out with engine failure after 112 laps. Former champions Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski were also out well before goal.

ODDS-ON FAVORITE ?: Larson was the betting favorite to win for the first time in Darlington. But the defending Cup Series champion continued his tough luck on NASCAR’s oldest superspeedway. Larson, who started in second place, led 30 of the first 32 laps before spinning out on lap 54 and falling to 29.

Larson had worked his way into the top 10 early in phase two before returning to the pit, where his crew hit the cap. They could not get the car repaired – “I kind of have no power,” Larson told them – and rolled him into the garage.

It’s been the kind of stretch for Larson, who finished second in his last three races in Darlington. In a tire test here last month, Larson hit the wall twice early.

This is the fourth time in 12 races this season, Larson was out before the end.

“Just,” Larson said. “But the positive thing is that we were really fast.”

PARKING LOT: Kyle Busch’s day ended after he could not help but run into Brad Keselowski after the Roush Fenway racer felt the wall right in front of Busch. A frustrated Busch drove his No. 18 car to the pit road, leaving it there and getting into his trailer.

A tow truck had to connect the Joe Gibbs Racing machine and move it to the garage. Busch led 19 laps early in the race.

Last year, Busch was fined $ 50,000 by NASCAR when, at the Southern 500, he drove his damaged machine into the garage, overturned several cones and caused people on the trail to spread rapidly.

Busch was asked why he stopped where he did. “Just could not reach the corner,” he opposed.

NEXT: The series moves to Kansas Speedway, where Kyle Busch is the event’s defending champion. Kyle Larson won the October race in Kansas.

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