MARTINSVILLE, Va. — With a berth in the championship round on the line, Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr. were willing to do whatever it took in the final laps of the First Data 500 Sunday at Martinsville Speedway.
After trading the lead back in forth in the last 10 laps, Logano put the bumper to Truex's No. 78 Toyota and turned him sideways as the cars approached the start-finish line. Logano's No. 22 Ford also wiggled, but he gathered it back in time to tip a hard-charging Denny Hamlin at the line.
"We were racing hard," Logano said amid a mixture of hearty boos and cheers as he climbed out of his car. "You just have to expect at Martinsville at the end of the race that there's going to be some bumping and grinding. That's grassroots racing right there. That's what the fans here come to see.
"This is by far the biggest win of the year and now we're going to race for a championship in Miami!"
Truex was left fuming on pit road and vowed that despite Logano becoming the first playoff driver to clinch a berth in the final four, the Team Penske driver would not win the title.
"I'm not going to let him with the championship. That's it," Truex said. "We should be in victory lane right now. I was next to him for six laps and never put the bumper to him. What goes around comes around."
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