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Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr. feud spices up NASCAR finale in Homestead

Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr. are now officially contentious dance partners going to Homestead in a few weeks.

Logano’s bump-and-run tap on Truex Jr. in the final lap in Martinsville last Sunday clinched a ticket for Logano to advance to the championship round at Homestead-Miami Speedway Nov. 18.

It also riled up the usually-affable Truex Jr., who vowed payback.

“[Logano] ain’t winning the damn war,” Truex Jr. said, adding “what goes around, comes around.”

All of this nastiness is good for business, especially in a sport that is in desperate need of appealing storylines to drive people and eyeballs to the track.

Consider it a win for Homestead-Miami track president Matt Becherer, who dropped by Orlando on Tuesday for a quick media tour. He brought along the 68-pound Monster Energy Championship Trophy as a visual prop.

But bear in mind only one driver gets to kiss that baby in Homestead.

“There’s a couple of layers to it,” Becherer said of the feud. “There’s that controversy and raw emotion and this notion of payback and whether it will happen or not. Martin’s quote about he’s not going to win the war. Well, what does that mean? Was the war the championship or was the war the payback?

“But in addition to that, the other part of the story that not many people are talking about is that Joey Logano just clinched. For the entire year, everyone has been zeroed in on the big three [Kevin Harvick Kyle Busch and Truex Jr.] , and they had so many points to carry them through Miami.

Now guess what? We now have two races remaining. One of them is going to have to make it on points. The other two might have to win or may get shutout altogether if Aric Almirola or Kurt Busch or somebody else wins. All the certainty we’ve had all year is now gone. All that Logano win throws things into chaos.”

Did we mention this was good for business?

“Tension, right?” Becherer said. “Having people on equal footing coming into our place is a big gain. But now the run-up and the next couple of weeks. What happened in Martinsville is now going to play into what happens in Texas and Phoenix before coming to our place. It certainly makes the story much bigger for us.”

gdiaz@orlandosentinel.com Read George Diaz's blog at OrlandoSentinel.com/enfuego

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