Hamlin, Logano involved in post-race scuffle

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Former teammates Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano, fresh off a Twitter fight following the season-opening Daytona 500, were at the center of another feud following today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Logano was running second on Lap 349 behind Jeff Gordon, when he was spun out from behind by Hamlin. He eventually climbed back to 17th at the finish, while Hamlin nursed his car home to a 23rd place result after hitting the wall in the final laps.

Shortly after the race ended, a brief shoving match broke out between Logano and Hamlin’s crew, with USA Today’s Nate Ryan reporting that Logano himself went up to Hamlin’s car window before being pushed back by the latter’s team.

Once the scuffle ended and Hamlin was out of his car, he then directed a verbal burn at his one-time compadre at Joe Gibbs Racing.

“[Logano] said he was coming for me,” Hamlin told Fox Sports. “I usually don’t see him, so it’s usually not a factor.”

As for Logano, he tried to keep quiet about the conversation with Hamlin, telling Fox “that is for me to know and Denny to know.”

It all means more headlines for Hamlin, who was recently fined $25,000 by NASCAR for his post-race comments two weeks ago at Phoenix International Raceway on the performance of the new Generation-6 cars.

And it’ll likely mean more Twitter followers for both him and Logano, who fired off the first salvo after the race: “Hey @dennyhamlin great job protecting that genius brain of yours by keeping your helmet on”

Neuville wins Rally Australia; Ogier takes FIA WRC title

Sebastien Ogier. Photo: Getty Images
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COFFS HARBOUR, Australia (AP) Belgium’s Thierry Neuville won Rally Australia by 22.5 seconds on Sunday as torrential rain added drama to the last day of the last race of the World Rally Championship season.

Neuville entered the final day with an almost 20 second advantage after inheriting the rally lead Saturday when his Hyundai teammate, defending champion Andreas Mikkelsen crashed and was forced to retire for the day.

His lead was halved by Jari-Matti Latvala early Sunday as monsoon-like rain made conditions treacherous on muddy forest stages on the New South Wales coast. The rain stopped on the short Wedding Bells stage where Neuville was almost 5 seconds quicker than his rivals, stretching his lead to 14.7 seconds entering the last stage.

COFFS HARBOUR, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 17: Thierry Neuville of Belgium and Nicolas Gilsoul of Belgium compete in their Hyundai Motorsport WRT Hyundai i20 coupe WRC during Day One of the WRC Australia on November 17, 2017 in COFFS HARBOUR, Australia. (Photo by Massimo Bettiol/Getty Images)

That stage was full of incident. The driver’s door on Neuville’s Hyundai i20 coupe swung open in the middle of the stage and Neuville had to slam it closed as he approached a corner.

Latvala’s Toyota then crashed seconds from the end of the stage, allowing Estonia’s Ott Tanak, in a Ford, to take second place overall and New Zealalnd’s Haydon Paddon, in a Hyundai, to sneak into third.

Sebastian Ogier was fourth after winning the final, power stage but the Frenchman had already clinched his fifth world title before Rally Australia began. Neuville’s win was his fourth of the season, two more than Ogier, and was enough to give him second place in world drivers’ standings for the third time in five years.

Ogier owed his drivers’ title to his consistency: he retired only once and finished no worse than fifth all season.

Neuville admitted the last day was touch and go as the rain made some stages perilous, forcing the cancellation of the second to last stage.

“That was a hell of a ride,” Neuville said. “Really, really tricky conditions.

“I kept the car on the road but it was close sometimes. I knew I could make a difference but I had to be clever. You lose grip, you lose control and the car doesn’t respond to your input.”