Team Penske teammates Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano had very different reactions to the crash that cost them both a victory at the famous Daytona 500 on Sunday.
Logano led the field as they made their way to the home stretch of Sunday’s final lap season opening delayed by rain. But an aggressive move from Keselowski in position No.2 – he attempted to pass Logano on the inside, but caused the two to spin – caused a huge fire crash that cost both a victory in the opening of the NASCAR 2021 season.
Instead, Michael McDowell took advantage of the situation and won his very first Daytona 500 on bail (he was also the first to cross the finish line). It was the only lap he led in the 200-lap race. Logano finished 12th and Keselowski 13th.
Said Logano after the race:
“Pandemonium, I guess. Chaos has struck, “he said.” (Keselowski) kept trying to back up, trying to run. I was trying to back him up to keep the tracks from being too big and fair, I guess he got to the back of (McDowell) and it ended up being a really big race coming towards me and he seemed that we had all just collided in one place. It’s such a shame none of the Penske cars won, but at least one Ford won and I’m really happy for McDowell.
“I hate that we didn’t win with our Shell / Pennzoil Mustang. I feel like we had a great shot being where we were and leading on the last lap, but if we couldn’t win, I’m really happy to see McDowell. win this stuff. He’s a great guy, a great person, a great leader in life and he’s helped me a lot in my life so it’s very cool to have him see winning the Daytona 500. “
Keselowski was clearly frustrated after the crash, throwing his helmet and gloves on his No.2 car.
That said, he hasn’t regretted the move which cost his teammate and himself a top-two spot.
“I don’t feel like I made a mistake but I can’t drive everyone’s car which is so frustrating,” he said after the race. “The Discount Tire Ford wasn’t the fastest, but (Team Leader) Jeremy Bullins and the whole team did a great job of keeping us in position and at that point we were in position. This is exactly where I want to run second on the last lap at Daytona with this package and I had the race, made the move and it didn’t work.
The two spoke on Twitter following their post-race talks, always in very different tones. Logano, who was aiming for his second Daytona 500 victory, was “disappointed”. Keselowski, who caused the crash in his attempt to win the race for the first time – and become only the second active driver to win all four of NASCAR’s crown events – said his “heart is broken”.
My body is fine but my heart is broken
Months of study, months of huge car preparations since the # 2 screws & in the perfect position at the end …
Yet another # DAYTONA500 steals …
What else can you say?
What can you do other than be grateful for this opportunity?
– Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) February 15, 2021
Both drivers will have another chance at a victory at Daytona next week, but at the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253, a road race.