Inside the Joey Logano, Kyle Busch Clash in LA

Rowdy was prepared to use the bumper but couldn't quite get there.


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The caution with 35 laps to go in the Busch Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was a lose-lose scenario for Kyle Busch.

On one hand, the two-time Cup Series champion had just reached the tail-end of the lead lap and it was set to become a race through lapped traffic between himself and Joey Logano. On the other hand, Logano continually displayed the faster car throughout the race, and capitalized on the reset by retaking the lead.

The pair ultimately combined to lead 99 of the 150 laps and Busch had one more shot at the win within the final 10 laps.

Having closed within two car-lengths, Busch fishtailed it out of Turn 2 with four laps to go and that was the race.

"I was being smooth, doing everything I could to keep the tires underneath me, right to peak," Busch said. "I never got close. So, then I decided to move around, we’re talking inches, to push the entry and exit a little harder to finish getting to him and I smoked the tires."

What if Busch had gotten there?

"Got to get there first," Busch said. "First thing's first, you have to pass clean. If you can't, I'm sure he's not going to allow an easy pass, so I guess it's a bump or whatever."

READ MORE: Recap and results from the Coliseum

It was something Logano was prepared for -- and Busch articulated the dynamic accurately.

"You know it's coming," Logano said. "You're coming down to the end of a race on a short track, doesn't matter who it is, they're going to lay a bumper to you.

"Here it's probably the only way to pass. Without laying the bumper, it's kind of tough to make passes. I did it to Kyle to get around him. You know it's coming back, it's only fair."

Fortunately for Logano, he was able to drive away to such an advantage that Busch couldn't get within punching range. Had the race been 10 laps longer, Logano might have had a problem with the tail-end of the field.

"Then the last five or six I was able to get far enough ahead where everything was good," Logano said. "I was looking at those lap cars in front of me, thinking 'oh, no. Just going to stack 'em right to me' and then we would have been in trouble."

Ultimately, Busch just conceded that Logano was better on Sunday and there wasn't a lot that was going to change the outcome on a clean track.

"Joey ran me down from a way's back in the first segment of the race and got by me after the halfway break," Busch said. "Then I got a good gap at the start of the second segment, had 6-8 car-lengths and he ran me down again, anyway. He was faster than us and I was just disappointed that we didn't have more."

But Logano wasn’t this fast all weekend. He and crew chief Paul Wolfe struggled with a car that was 26th quick in practice. Overcoming a slow start, winning the debut event at the Coliseum, and doing it against Busch made it one of the more rewarding victories of his career.

"To see everybody come together, not just the 22 team, but Team Penske in general, to be able to all lean on each other ... and ultimately put together a really good package to where it qualified well, win our heat race, keep track position and be good on the long run, which was a bit surprising to me," Logano said. "It was all really cool."