It would be an understatement to say NASCAR driver Joey Logano loves to race. He’s obsessed with it. It’s been at the center of his life since early childhood when his father forged a birth certificate, so he could advance to a league for older kids. Logano and his wife even did a gender reveal on a NASCAR track. Every aspect of his life is steeped in his profession.
This deep affection notoriously does not extend to other drivers, however. Logano has a reputation for being awkward at best and violent at worst concerning his colleagues. Some accuse him of being so toxic that he simply can’t make friends in racing. But Logano sees it all as a misunderstanding.
Joey Logano’s standoffish approach to his fellow NASCAR drivers
Logano elaborated in a later interview with SiriusXM’s NASCAR radio. He insists that he has many friends in and out of NASCAR, including other drivers. But among his fellow drivers and their teams, it’s never friendship. It’s all about business.
He wants relationships to be good. But because of the intrinsic nature of competitive racing, Logano can’t see his competitors as confidants. These are people who “want to take food off my table,” as Logano puts it. It’s too difficult for him to reconcile that, so he doesn’t make an effort to be outright friends with any other drivers. Maybe things will be different in retirement, but not while he’s an active racer.
Is Logano’s awkwardness a liability?
Logano’s reasoning makes logical sense. But is it good for his career, in practice? As it is, he has a reputation for being a difficult personality. He’s gotten into multiple infamous fights, as Alt_Driver reports. Luminaries from Tony Stewart to Kyle Busch have straight-up brawled with Logano, for the world to see.
At a time when fans often want their sports heroes to be friends with each other, Logano is going the other way. His overall wealth isn’t exactly hurting, but his reputation is the sort that leaves potential advertising partners cold. There’s no way to objectively state how much money he’s lost due to his coldness toward his peers, but it’s hard to imagine it hasn’t caused at least one brand to pick a different NASCAR partner.
Kyle Busch and Logano’s rivalry continues to foment
NASCAR doesn’t exactly have the “best friends league” reputation of, say, the modern NBA. But drivers are often friendlier than in the past. Even a sometimes controversial, ravenous competitor like Busch still has many close friendships among his competition. And he isn’t shy about calling out Logano — who he had a bloody brawl with in 2017 — for being the odd man out.
Essentially Sports reports that Busch went out of his way to call Logano “nobody’s friend.” It’s a drift back toward his standard, overtly negative perception of Logano after some months of trying to mend fences. A NASCAR.com report on their most recent meeting on the track notes that the two continue to drive aggressively toward one another.
Collisions are the cause of most of Logano’s physical fights with other drivers over the years. With Logano back on Busch’s bad side, it seems inevitable that these two will likely derail each other in a race sooner rather than later. Hopefully this time, nobody ends up bloodied for their efforts.