Wild crash 'scared the heck' out of Logano

September, 27, 2009

DOVER, Del. -- Welcome to Talladega Superspeedway.

Oops! Make that Dover International Speedway.

Forget calling Talladega the only wild-card track in the Chase. Wild crashes can happen anywhere, at any time, as we saw on Lap 31 of Sunday's Sprint Cup race at the Monster Mile.

Joey Logano's No. 20 car flipped seven times coming off the back straightaway, dredging up images of crashes typically seen on that 2.5-mile restrictor-plate track in Alabama.

Logano walked away shaken but unscathed thanks to all the safety devices in the new car. Reed Sorenson, Martin Truex Jr. and Robby Gordon also avoided injuries even though their machines were trashed.

It could have been disastrous for Tony Stewart's hopes of a third title. The 2002 and 2005 champion inadvertently got into the back of the car he drove before this season when Logano checked up to avoid Bobby Labonte.

Stewart wound up with a hole in the front end of his car and minor damage to the right rear but was able to continue without losing a lap.

"I wish I had saw that coming," said Stewart, who led the point standings before they were reshuffled based on wins for the Chase, on the telecast. "I don't know how to say 'Sorry' enough to Joey. I don't know what happened. He just had to check up and I didn't see it coming."

Neither did Logano, who slid down into the grass and then back up onto the track in the unavoidable path of Sorenson, Gordon and Truex.

"It just really scared the heck out of me," the 19-year-old driver told a TV reporter. "I haven't seen a replay yet. I'm not sure I want to see a replay. It started rolling and I was in there like, 'Damn, please make this thing stop.'

"And it wouldn't. It just kept going and going. It goes to show how safe these cars are."

It also goes to show you that horrific accidents can happen at places other than Talladega, although that track gets most of the attention. Dover in particular is a place that can jump up and bite a driver -- or drivers -- at any time.

"We've seen a lot of really talented drivers wreck here just by themselves," Brian Vickers said earlier in the week. "There's going to be guys coming out of here that are big winners, and there's going to be guys that are probably going to come out of here big losers -- whether it's their fault or not."

Early on Sunday, Logano was the biggest loser and Stewart was the biggest winner.

"Yeah, I'm still shaking," Logano said. "I'm just happy it landed on its wheels. … It was the wildest ride I've ever been on. You can't go on a roller coaster any worse than that."

Even at Talladega.

David Newton | email

ESPN Staff Writer



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