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Jay Busbee

Did Joey Logano give away a win at Martinsville?

Lost in all the late-race insanity at Martinsville on Monday was the fact that Joey Logano came in second place. Here's a good question I got emailed Thursday — why didn't Logano win?

After all, he started ahead of Hamlin in the final laps, but got pushed around. Was this a case of not having a good enough car, or does Joey need to get more of a killer instinct in going for the checkers? Take a close look at the video, right about the 1:30 mark:

See that? Logano had the inside line, but surrendered it to Denny Hamlin while all the bumping and banging was going on ahead of him. Now, it's possible that Hamlin's fresh tires put him ahead of Logano, but it's also possible that Logano was being a little too nice there in letting Hamlin go. Teammate or no, when you've got a chance to go for the win with less than two laps remaining on a half-mile track, man, you go for it.

This isn't the first time this season Logano's manhood has been challenged; just two weeks ago Kevin Harvick spun him in the final lap of the Bristol Nationwide race. Logano was furious, but didn't go at Harvick guns blazing.

If outracing Hamlin is a tall order, challenging Kevin Harvick is even more daunting — he's one of the tougher cats in NASCAR — but think of the respect Logano would have gotten had he leaped on Harvick. (Not on his back, mind you. That would be just silly.) No, Logano would've taken a fist to the face, sure, but he would've earned undying props from the garage. And he's going to need them.

At the moment, he's one of the most talented guys on the track, but he's still getting pushed around. Time for him to end that, pronto.

(Thanks to Eric for the idea.)

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