NASCAR Drivers React To Joey Logano’s Illegal Use Of ‘Spiderman’ Glove At Atlanta

By Jerry Jordan, Editor

LAS VEGAS – In a way, luck was on Joey Logano’s side that he didn’t have to do media interviews this week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway because he sat 31st in points and only drivers in the Top 30 are required to do media scrums. Then, he went out and won the pole for the Pennzoil 400.

As he was walking in the media center for the required pole winner’s press conference, he joked that he was about to get “destroyed” by a throng of salivating media anxiously awaiting his arrival.

For background, NASCAR confiscated Logano’s driving glove last week in Atlanta because it had been modified with a webbing, similar to what one might compare to a duck’s foot.

Brad Moran, NASCAR Cup Series Managing Director, said, it doesn’t matter what the material was made of, any alterations to a driving glove are illegal.

“This is an SFI glove and an SFI piece of protective equipment cannot be modified in any way, so it is as delivered. That’s how SF approves it. And SFI does not approve any glove with any webbing, obviously, for safety reasons,” Moran told the media. “As you can see, the entire glove is webbed. So, the reason for that is obviously so you can block more air.”

NASCAR took action at the track last week because the violation was found during qualifying, so he served a pass-through penalty at the start of the race. However, he caught a break when the field piled up on Lap 1 and had already hit pit road. Then, on Tuesday, NASCAR fined him $10,000.

Adding insult to injury, on Saturday morning in Las Vegas, per NASCAR policy, Moran and the sanctioning body put Logano’s offending glove on display for the media, who were now ready to pounce as Logano walked to the dais.

“NASCAR showed us your glove today,” said Associated Press reporter, Jenna Fryer.

“Gee, Jenna, we put it (the No. 22 Pennzoil Darkhorse Ford) on the pole, you want to start with that,” Logano said, with a chuckle.

Not missing a beat and continuing the somewhat playful banter with Logano, Fryer shot back, “Were you wearing the glove today.”

With another chuckle, Logano said, he was wearing his “SFI-approved glove” and then continued to break down what happened, why it happened, that he wore the glove at the request of his team and takes responsibility for the decision.

“Yeah. That’s how a lot of things work,” Logano said. “As a driver, you work with the team and, hey, I’m gonna take a portion of the responsibility of that too, obviously. I should. I put the glove on. I didn’t build the glove or make it on my own. I can’t sew, but that’s what it was. We had conversations about it. What I’m proud about with this team is, yeah, that was a tough situation for us. It was hard to go through and embarrassing for sure, but the fact we got through it and just move on and focus on the next week. We showed that we have some speed in our race car and to be able to put it on the pole here, to me, is a statement-type lap so I’m proud of that.”

Logano didn’t agree with the thought that the gloves were a safety issue or that he somehow put himself in danger by agreeing to wear them, although only one of the gloves had the webbing added. He said, he doesn’t take chances like that but understood the penalty.

“I would never have put myself in a situation where I feel unsafe. I have kids. I have a wife,” Logano said, to another reporter. “I have a family that I care way more about than racecars. So, no, I didn’t feel concerned about what we did. I didn’t race with it. Qualifying on speedways is pretty simple.”

There were differing opinions with other drivers in the garage as to whether there was an advantage to using the glove or whether it was more to make someone feel like they had an advantage. As Moran explained, the webbing helps the driver keep air out of the car at the opening of the window net.

Corey LaJoie, driver of the No. 7 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet, said he feels like there is definitely a competitive advantage but its limited. If a driver isn’t battling for a position in the first few starting spots, the risk isn’t worth the reward. He added that there is very little in the NASCAR garage that doesn’t make the rounds when it comes to what different teams are doing to gain an advantage over one another.

“Everybody talks to everybody,” LaJoie said. “You hire people who went to the wind tunnel with Penske and they’ve got the 3D-printed foam hand that they taped to the A-post bar and legitimately get a good read on what that is. A normal hand without a Spiderman-webbed glove is three counts. So, it might be worth a little more. They fined them 10 grand, I feel that was worth it, umm, but I appreciate the effort to try and get a little more.”

LaJoie joked that he can’t afford the $10,000 so it wouldn’t be worth the risk for him to try it.

“Joey can like dig around in his sofa and probably pull that out,” LaJoie said. “If you were trying to find the difference between qualifying fifth or the pole for the Daytona 500, it is probably worth it. If you’re trying to figure out how to qualify with a two (20-something) in front of it, you know, we haven’t qualified out of the threes (30-something), at a speedway in my entire career, so I am not going to try to risk $10,000 for two spots to qualify 31st.”

When asked for his thoughts, Cup Series Champion and a racer in numerous motorsport genres, Kyle Larson, said he believed NASCAR needs to have these types of rules in place to keep things from getting out of hand. He said he’s seen drivers use oversized gloves and other methods to get an aero advantage but wasn’t sure if it really worked.

“I look at it and, kind of, laugh a little bit,” Larson said. “It was a good idea and obviously I don’t think they would have done it if there was a big penalty from it, because it probably doesn’t do that much. It was, kind of, funny, it was cool. He got lucky with the caution at the beginning of the race that helped him. I am sure he was more annoyed than anything last Sunday with all the drivers making jokes about his gloves.

“When I was at Ganassi, for qualifying one year, which we never qualified good on speedways so I don’t know why we were doing it, but I had, it wasn’t webbed, but it was like a big glove, like an oversized glove that I would hold up to the window opening there, so it’s similar. But even back then, I wouldn’t have thought to get a penalty, that’s probably why they did it. You’re always trying to find an edge. I am sure it wasn’t Joey’s idea, maybe it was Joey’s idea, but it was probably an engineer’s idea or an aero dynamist’s idea. It’s good that they made some sort of penalty out of it so we aren’t all getting carried away with massive gloves that could become unsafe.”

He closed by saying that everyone could probably stop talking about it after this week in Las Vegas.

Logano’s former Penske Racing teammate and current co-owner of RFK Racing, Brad Keselowski, admitted he has seen the webbed glove for years but h also wasn’t sure if it made a real difference or if it just had a placebo effect to make a driver “feel better.”

Keselowski’s been aware of the webbed glove for “15 years,” he said, and believes, to his knowledge, this is the first time NASCAR has ever busted anyone for it or acted on it.

“Oh yeah, yeah, I’ve seen that a few times,” Keselowski said. “I don’t think there is anything there. I don’t think it does anything. I think it makes you feel good, honestly, it’s way more important. It makes everybody feel like they are pulling the rope.”

When told what Keselowski had said by Kickin’ the Tires, Logano began laughing again, saying, “I didn’t feel better after it, I can tell you that much.”

He added that he didn’t believe there was any real advantage.

“Directionally better, how much better? Probably nothing,” Logano said. “That’s the part that hurts the most. It isn’t even worth it. It didn’t do anything to speak of. It’s directionally an area that everybody goes to try to block that hole. You see everyone put their hand there. We just tried to cover more space.”

2 thoughts on “NASCAR Drivers React To Joey Logano’s Illegal Use Of ‘Spiderman’ Glove At Atlanta

  1. I think the was bullshit

    EDITOR’S NOTE: Rules are in place for a reason. Whether or not they are in agreement with the fans is irrelevant. The gloves are delivered by a vendor and they are one of the items that are forbidden from being altered in any manner. Jerry Jordan, Editor

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