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Logano Says No Long-Term Emotional Scarring From Wreck

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Friday, October 2 2009
Joey Logano found out that the Car of Tomorrow has some positive aspects to it on Sunday. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Joey Logano said Friday that last weekend's dramatic wreck is over and done with. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
RacinToday.com

Kansas City, Kan. – Rookie driver Joey Logano spent a good 15 minutes Friday morning trying to reassure everybody who follows auto racing that his dramatic barrel-roll wreck at Dover International Speedway last week was no big deal. Just a racing deal and certainly will have no long-term emotional effects.

And perhaps it won’t.

Others wonder how it can not.

Logano’s crash occurred about 20 laps into the Dover race. He got sideways, got airborne and then got rolling. The Joe Gibbs Racing car rolled seven-plus times.

When it stopped, Logano got out shaking. He still had a slight case of the shakes when he emerged from the infield care center at Dover.

Thought it was never going to stop rolling, he said uneasily.

On Friday at Kansas Speedway, site of Sunday’s Price Chopper 400, the shaking had subsided but the memories had not faded.

Asked his feelings about the wreck, Logano said, “You want to talk about something else, really,” Logano said. “That’s the main deal. To me, it is what it is. It’s over.”

Logano was also asked if memories of the wreck would affect the way he drives in the future.

“Not at all,” the 19-year-old Logano said. “I don’t think so at all. If anything it’s going to give you more confidence because you can go through that and come out of it fine.”

His JGR teammate, Denny Hamlin, said drivers really can’t afford to let wrecks – no matter how serious – affect the way they think or drive.

“You always know it’s possible,” he said of having a bad wreck. “If anything (coming through one) gives you confidence in how safe the car is.”

Hamlin ought to know. He took a very hard lick at Talladega last year.

“I saw stars that day,” Hamlin said.

Asked about the Logano wreck on Friday, four-time series champion Jeff Gordon said that it was not as bad as it looked. That type of roll-over crash, he said, looks worse than it is.

Gordon said he has had several wrecks which were potentially more dangers. The kind where a car hits a concrete wall virtually head-on and at full speed. Gordon had hits like that at Pocono, Texas and Las Vegas in recent years.

Asked if the Texas hit altered his mind set, Gordon said, “It did for a few days.”

But after that, that was that.

Carl Edwards was involved in a dramatic wreck earlier this year. It was at Talladega. His car went airborne and slammed into the front-stretch catch fence. It was nothing, Edwards said.

His worse wreck occurred in Mexico City in the Nationwide race in 2005.

“The first thing when I got my senses about me was I thought all my teeth were knocked out,” Edwards said. “That was new. I’d never slapped my teeth together before. That was a hard hit.”

And you better believe that it affected his perception of things.

“Afterward, you think, “OK, now I realize what can happen here.’ I personally, after that especially, took a little more care with the padding in the car, where things are put so I don’t hit my arms with them, how short I can get my HANS tethers,” Edwards said. “You think this is really serious, that a lot of force can be generated in these wrecks. After that, I just paid a little more attention.”

Logano, however, said talking about the wreck has proved more difficult than surviving it.

– Jim Pedley can be reached at jpedley@racintoday.com

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Friday, October 2 2009
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