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Kyle Petty: ‘You’ve got to have thick skin’ at Bristol

The NASCAR America crew breaks down Brad Keselowski's win at Bristol and how incidents between Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott and Joey Logano prove no players are 'phoning it in' and how vital wins are.

An incensed Joey Logano said of Chase Elliott and the contact they had late in Sunday’s race at Bristol, “He wrecked me.”

NASCAR On NBC analyst Kyle Petty can understand Logano’s frustration.

“The one thing as a driver, whether you’re Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin or Chase Elliott, expect somebody to run into you, that’s going to happen at Bristol,” Petty said on NASCAR America At Home. “You’ve got to expect it and be prepared for it.

“These guys (Logano and Elliott) already have wins, but look at how they’re driving, look at how much and how important a NASCAR Cup win is to each and every one of these guys, but especially a NASCAR Cup win at Bristol. That’s a big feather in your cap.”

Even though both drivers have at least one win each this season, and even with no fans in the stands, there was still plenty of incentive for Logano and Elliott.

“When you look at it, it shows these guys aren’t just phoning it in, they’re not just mailing it in and saying we’re going to go to the racetrack and not have any practice,” Petty said. “They come to win, they come to win every week. And I think that came through today, maybe more so than anything else.

“Joey says it’s childish (that he almost had to force an apology from Elliott after the race). That’s heat-of-the-moment talk. Chase, he apologizes, but let’s go back to Darlington. It seemed like Kyle Busch was trying to apologize (to Elliott) but Chase wasn’t having any of that.

“If you’re going to dish, you’ve got to take. That’s the way it is. You’ve got to have thick skin. If you’re going to throw it out there and be mad at somebody, you’ve got to expect somebody to be mad at you. This is just Bristol.”

Petty reiterated that while the circumstances with three laps left dictated Elliott make a risky move, that kind of behavior is almost expected at a place like Bristol.

“Chase fired it off in the corner,” Petty said. “Why? Because he wanted to win the race. He felt he had a better car and that it would stick. It didn’t stick. Have we ever seen Joey Logano do that, or Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick or a number of other drivers? Yes. You count on that thing sticking but it doesn’t always stick, it doesn’t always go where you point.

“At Bristol you have to expect that when somebody fires it off in the corner under you with two-and-a-half or three laps to go or they’re on the last lap, there’s going to be some contact. And chances are if you’re on the outside, there’s going to be some contact with the wall.”

Follow @JerryBonkowski