Joey Logano endured a difficult debut in the Daytona 500 after a heavy accident saw the teenager fail to finish the opening round of the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
The 18-year-old Joe Gibbs Racing driver was hoping to build on his encouraging performance in the Gatorade Duels on Thursday, but instead saw his race come to an end when he crashed out on lap 80.
The incident came exiting turn four when the Toyota of Scott Speed – running ahead of Logano on track – got loose and forced Logano to go low to make a move.
Unfortunately, Greg Biffle was on the inside already and the resulting contact saw the #20 Home Depot entry spear off into the wall on the infield, with heavy front-end damage bringing Logano's 500 debut to a premature end.
"It wasn't his [Speed's] fault,” Logano reflected. “He was loose and it was partially my fault for not getting around him after seeing he was loose a few laps before. My car was so tight that every time I got underneath him I wasn't able to clear him up off the corner and I had to get out of the gas. I was content just riding there to get through a few laps to our next pit stop and as he kept going up the race track I was going to check-up and get underneath him and I just drove in underneath him and it didn't work.
“The #16 just came up and got us. It's a racing deal, but it's a bummer for all the Home Depot crew here. This wasn't the way we wanted to finish the (Daytona) 500."
Logano added that his car had been improving prior to the accident, but time wasn't on his side.
"I don't think I should say what I'm feeling inside - I'm not very happy that's for sure,” he said. “We were just getting going and we got a couple pit stops under our belt, started coming to the front a little bit and make a few more adjustments. I thought we had a ways to go to make the car better and some adjustments we could make to do that. We just didn't get there in time."