Joey Logano did all he could do to keep Kevin Harvick in his rear-view mirror late in Saturday night’s Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Harvick did what it took to get past Logano and challenge for the win.
After it was over, neither man looked for an apology.
Logano admitted blocking Harvick’s faster Chevrolet while battling for fourth place in the late going. After a brief period of mirror-driving, the Penske Racing driver was bumped from behind by Harvick, sending the Shell/Pennzoil Ford up the track and back to eighth place in the running order. Harvick drove on and eventually edged Dale Earnhardt, Jr. for the runner-up position at the drop of the checkered flag.
"He blocked and I knocked him out of the way," said a surprisingly calm Harvick afterward. "You've got to do what you've got to do at the end of those races. Everybody went into block mode, and you've just got to go.
“It's fine (if people choose to block). You knock them out of the way.”
Far from being upset, Logano actually endorsed Harvick’s late-race aggressiveness, saying, “I would do the same thing.
"It was hard racing, it was understandable," said Logano. "We're racing (near) the end of the race and… I felt like I had to guard that position. We're all racing for wins. We've got nothing to lose, so I made that move thinking, 'Hey, I've got to win this race and do what I've got to do to win it.”
NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell said after the race that the sanctioning body had no issue with the tactics used by either driver.
"We know we have the best drivers in the world, and we know they're going to control what they do behind the steering wheel," said O'Donnell. "We've seen some other sanctioning bodies react to blocking and put themselves into those calls. It's certainly been a challenge and it has certainly been very controversial. We choose to stay out of that and let the drivers play it out on the race track."
Harvick recorded his sixth finish of second or better in seven races this season, extending his string of consecutive Top-10 finishes to 10, dating back to last November’s Texas race. Logano has also finished in the Top-10 in every race this season.