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Joey Logano’s last-lap contact frustrates Kurt Busch, angers Busch’s crew chief

Kurt Busch recaps his disappointing finish in the Coke Zero 400 after spinning off the track late in the race.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Kurt Busch couldn’t understand why Joey Logano spun him on the final lap of the Coke Zero 400, costing Busch a top-three finish Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway.

Busch’s crew chief, Tony Gibson, was more upset, saying Logano is “not a smart driver” and that Logano “just keeps pushing his championship off another year.’’

Busch spun while running second after he was hit from behind by Logano. Busch finished 23rd. Logano placed fourth.

“I don’t know where Logano wanted to go,’’ Busch said in the garage next to his car. “He was going to go from fifth to first? There was not a chance he was going to win it. We positioned ourselves to be the car to get a good run off the bottom and it just didn’t work out with him trying to drive straight through us. It would have worked out better if he would have pushed us. We would have a shot at (winner Brad Keselowski).’’

Logano said he had a run and made a move.

“I hate that I got into Kurt there at the end racing to the line,’’ Logano said. “I had a run to turn up underneath him and when you do that, the cars get free and then I was there and he tried to catch it and I was there again. It is a product of this racing, but I hate that it happened. The last thing I want to do is hit someone like that. Unfortunately, it happened.’’

Logano’s aggressive driving has helped him win races for Team Penske but also increased his enemies list.

Matt Kenseth gained retribution by wrecking Logano last year, costing Logano a chance at the championship. Martin Truex Jr. and crew chief, Cole Pearn, were not happy with Logano about an incident at Auto Club Speedway earlier this season. Saturday night, Busch questioned Logano’s tactic and Gibson criticized it.

Car owner Roger Penske defended Logano.

“Joey has taken some undue criticism from my perspective based on some of the things that have happened,’’ Penske said. “I can name three or four things that certainly weren’t his fault. Quite honestly, I think he’s one of the best drivers on the racetrack out there day in and day out.

“Lot of these drivers can knock somebody off the track and they say I’m sorry and they move on. They don’t let Logano do that. As far as I’m concerned, I’m behind him 300 percent and I’ll talk to Kurt. He didn’t do it on purpose. At the end of the day, that’s racing as far as I’m concerned.’’

Gibson wasn’t convinced. After the race, he tweeted his displeasure with Logano.

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