Joey Logano did all he could to survive the late-race chaos of the 2023 Daytona 500. He survived when Daniel Suarez spun out late in the race, which brought out the caution and the first overtime period. He survived the "Big One," which involved nearly half the field. He survived when Kyle Larson wrecked out during the second overtime. Unfortunately, it wouldn't be enough for the Team Penske driver, as he ended up placing second to Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
As Stenhouse celebrated his first-ever victory of the "Great American Race," Logano opened up about what it was like to be the runner-up. He may have been all smiles, but he was clearly hurting on the inside.
"2nd's the worst man."
The defending Cup Series Champion, @joeylogano, comes just short of winning his 2nd #DAYTONA500 after leading at the white flag.#NASCAR pic.twitter.com/hGR0ItR6LW
— NASCAR on TSN (@NASCARonTSN) February 20, 2023
"Second is the worst, man," Loganos said. "You're so close. Leading the white flag lap there, I was up front. Kyle gave me a good push and, yeah, you're watching in the mirror and you're three wide across there. I felt like the three wide was going a hurt a lane; looked like Kyle was getting pushed ahead, and then Ricky started getting pushed ahead."
"I knew if I went to the bottom, my car didn't handle good enough. I already got pushed off the bottom once, and I thought, 'If I go down there, I'm probably going to get wrecked, and I don't know if I can get down there in time to throw the block and so I didn't want to wreck my car either.' Then you don't expect them to wreck either. You think you're racing to the checkered flag, and you put yourself in the best position to try to win at the start-finish line, and just caution came out. You wish you could race to the end. Obviously, you can't when they wreck that much. Congratulations to Ricky. There's nothing like winning the Daytona 500. That's why it stings so much finishing second. Still proud of the team, still proud of the effort coming off the championship last year and bringing this Mustang back toward the front and getting a Ford close to the front. Wish it was in victory lane, though."
Logano, who is the defending Cup Series champion, won his first (and only) Daytona 500 in 2014. His second-place finish this year marks his third top-five finish in the "Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing" (he placed fourth in 2018 and fourth in 2019). Rounding out the top five for this year's Daytona 500 was Christopher Bell, Chris Buescher, and Alex Bowman.
MORE: Kyle Busch Called Joey Logano "Two-Faced," and Logano Agrees
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