Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski were the first two drivers to take the white flag at the 2021 Daytona 500. Both knew full well they hadn’t won anything yet. And 2.5 miles later they proved it when the Penske teammates started a big chain-reaction accident on the final turns that ended any hopes of victory.
After the race, Keselowski made a comment that pointed the finger at his teammate. Several days later, Logano admitted the pair weren’t on speaking terms following the incident. Keselowski, who won the Cup Series in 2012 but has never won a Daytona 500, has finally addressed the situation.
Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano involved in fiery Daytona 500 crash
Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano both appeared primed to win the Daytona 500. The Penske drivers had fared well throughout the race and stayed near the front.
In the race’s closing laps, Logano held the lead, with Keselowski lingering not far behind always in the top five. With two laps to go, Keselowski made his move, dropping down low, and shooting past Kevin Harvick, before his teammate slid down in front of him putting on the block.
Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski entered the final lap, holding on to first and second with a line of cars stacked up right behind them. Keselowski made a couple of moves to the high side and back down, each time, Logano blocked him.
As the pair reached the final two turns, Keselowski made a quick move to slide underneath Logano, but the No. 22 car moved down with him, yet again. Except this time, Keselowski nudged the left rear of Logano, sending his teammate shooting down to the left, while his car veered hard right, slamming into the wall, a fireball enveloping him.
Michael McDowell benefitted from the Penske team’s mishap and shot through the middle to claim his first-ever Cup Series win at the Daytona 500.
Joey Logano admits he and Brad Keselowski aren’t on speaking terms
Following the race, Brad Keselowski was interviewed about what happened on the final lap. The 2012 Cup Series champion knew who wasn’t at fault for the accident.
“Had a big run down the back stretch. Wanted to make the pass to win the Daytona 500,” Keselowski said. “It ended up really bad. I don’t feel like I made a mistake, but [I] can’t drive everyone else’s car. … Had to run, made the move, it just didn’t work out.”
A couple of days later on NASCAR RaceHub, Joey Logano offered up his thoughts on how he saw the final lap unfold. The 2015 Daytona 500 winner said in his eyes, it was nothing more than hard racing. When asked by show host Adam Alexander if he and his teammate had talked about the incident, Logano’s non-answer was an answer.
“I’m sure we will,” he replied. When Jeff Gordon called him out and said that answer indicated the pair hadn’t talked, Logano addressed it.
“I think we’ve got to cool off,” Logano admitted. “We’ve got the cool-down machine plugged in right now.”
Keselowski responds to beef
During Sunday’s broadcast of the Dixie Vodka 400, Fox announcer Mike Joy discussed the strained relationship between Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano. He said Roger Penske indicated in a recent interview that he planned on meeting with all of his drivers before the next superspeedway race at Talladega and talking about what they should do in that type of situation.
This week, Keselowski joined Chase Elliott and Martin Truex Jr. in Austin at COTA to run tire tests for the cars ahead of the May 23 NASCAR race. Keselowski was asked where things stood between the two drivers.
“I can’t go back and change everything that happened at Daytona. But he and I talked about it, and we’ll figure out how to make it better moving forward.”
While Brad Keselowski acknowledged they talked, he also admitted there was still work to be done. He and Joey Logano have had conflicts in the past and managed to overcome them. They’ll have to find a way to do it again. And it probably won’t be the last time.