Team owner Roger Penske staunchly defended #22-Joey Logano after his Sprint Cup driver was involved in a pair of controversies near the end of Sunday's race at Auto Club Speedway.
"I'm 150% behind my driver, and I think he's a real star on the team," Penske told USA TODAY Sports in a phone interview Sunday night after returning to his home in Michigan. Logano wrecked with Denny Hamlin while racing for the lead in a final-lap incident that sent Hamlin to the hospital for overnight observation after his #11 Toyota sustained heavy right-front impact with an inside wall not covered by a SAFER barrier.
Tony Stewart confronted Logano after the race because he was upset with being blocked on the bottom lane in the closing laps. "It's time he learns a lesson," Stewart said. "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." Racing for the lead on a restart with 10 laps remaining, Stewart felt that Logano blocked him low, forcing Stewart's Chevrolet all the way to the inside apron. The momentum shift ended up thwarting what looked to be Stewart's best finish of the season, and after drifting back, Stewart finished all the way back in 22nd place. "He has that right, he has the choice to do that. If he ever turns down across in front of me again, I don't care what lap it is, he won't make it through the other end of it," Stewart said. USA Today
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