Hamlin and Logano one year later

"As far as my relationship with [Logano], I treat him with respect on the racetrack, as I should."

The drivers were forced into close proximity for a Coca-Cola television shoot last spring, with Hamlin seated directly behind Logano in a minivan driven by Stewart and also packed with Danica Patrick, Ryan Newman and Greg Biffle. A spoof outtake ad was released in an attempt to decompress the situation and suggest the dispute was resolved.

"I don't really force it too much," Hamlin said of such situations. "I mean, there's awkward moments. You're face-to-face with someone and you're having to talk during a commercial or what have you. You have those moments where you just as soon look away and you do."

Logano says he considers him and Hamlin "fine."

"A year is a long time," he said. "It's over now. I feel like we've moved on.

"Obviously, people were talking about it this week because it's the one-year anniversary of the whole fiasco, but you move on and forget about things."

Although the open Hamlin-Logano hostilities have cooled, or at least quieted, their teams' tussle for early-season momentum and trophies is growing more spirited.

JGR's Toyotas won four of the first eight races last season, but Team Penske's Fords have been oppressive through three races this time around, apparently mastering the new knockout qualifying. Keselowski was a winner last week at Las Vegas and is second in points, and Logano is fourth in the standings.

But there is peace with him and Hamlin, Logano said.

"You're supposed to forgive and forget, and that goes both ways," Logano said, "so we both knew what we had to do, and I feel like we've moved on and we're going from there."

But if their season arcs continue as they hope, at some point Hamlin and Logano will have designs on the same space. Those chances are increased in a .533-mile bullring such as Bristol, even with the metal-mashing era of the storied concrete track a nostalgic memory. Hamlin and Logano will start within sight of each other in the Food City 500, with Logano having qualified fourth.

Whatever happens, they're unlikely to talk through it. Even more than a year later.

"If they speak, what do you say?" Hamlin said. "How do you express how upset you are with someone without punching them? I don't know how to do that. So you just don't say anything."

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