Ford Performance NASCAR: Joey Logano Phoenix Media Availability


JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Mustang – WHAT IS THE MINDSET TO GET TO HOMESTEAD?  “I’d use the word cushion a little easily.  I don’t know.  It’s a tough thing to say.  Twenty points is nice, but the fact that you’re fourth in points means if one of those other four cars that are not in wins, you’re first out.  The good news is we’re only a couple points from the 18 that’s right in front of us, so we have to race him to really kind of control our destiny.  Really, winning the race is the best way to control your own destiny, obviously, but I like our position.  It’s better than being outside looking in.  I’d rather be on the inside still trying to move forward, so we’ll kind of have to wait and see.  I’m interested to see in practice the speed we have in our car.  I’m excited to work on it and see what we can do and try to score as many points as possible through each stage and have the best finish.”

WHAT DOES IT SAY THAT WE COULD HAVE THE SAME FOUR DRIVERS AS LAST YEAR IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP FOUR?  “We’re not in yet, but I think there is a common pattern and trend that you see over the years of the drivers that get in consistently, and to that Championship 4 and they always make it to the top eight it seems like here.  I think when you have the best teams paired up with the best drivers and they’ve kind of figured out how to get through these rounds at each race track and figure out what they need to do each race depending on their points situation it seems like those teams have really kind of figured that out to where even if they are on the outside looking in they figure out how to win when it matters to get themselves through for whatever reason that is.  You can’t say it’s by luck getting there that many times.  There’s definitely a few teams – probably six or seven teams that are consistently threats to make it to the top eight no matter what the rules package is or whatever season it is and it probably won’t be much different when it comes to next year and the races are in a different order coming through the playoffs.  I would assume it’s still gonna be the same guys mixed in with a couple others as usual to try to get through it, so for whatever reason I think the best teams end up doing it.  That’s just the reason.”

HOW ARE YOU GOING TO ATTACK RESTARTS?  “That’s the tough part about it.  There are a few things that’s hard about it.  When you moved the start-finish line to where they put it now the turn one now is so open where you can go three lanes below the yellow line.  We saw that happen on a lot of restarts the last time here and that’s all well and good until you get to the exit when there are only three lanes on the exit.  So when you’re five-wide or four-wide someone is gonna have to give at some point to get off the corner.  The really hard part is the spotters are down at this end and they’re all looking over there and they’re perspective isn’t very clear to be able to say where other cars are.  This is a big challenge for them as well and how the PJ1 acts I think that’s still an unknown to see how that’s gonna be.  It’s gonna take a minute to activate it and clean it off.  I’m not sure if we’re gonna see it in play in practice here today.  It might happen if anyone starts making long runs, it might clean up a little bit.  But I think we’ll all probably be watching the Truck and XFINITY race and trying to see what happens there.  It looks to me just from what I’ve seen that one and two definitely it looks like it’ll probably come into play.  Three and four it looks like it’s pretty far up there, so I don’t know.  It can.  We’ll just have to kind of wait and see.”

WHEN YOU HAVE A FLAT LIKE AT MARTINSVILLE WHAT GOES THROUGH YOUR MIND OF WHAT YOU CAN AND CANNOT DO AND DOES NASCAR NEED TO STEP IN AT ALL AND TRY TO DETERMINE ANY INTENT?  “It’s up to NASCAR to decide.  For the instance in Martinsville you got a flat tire and trying not to crash.  You try not to hit anything.  You try not to have your quarters torn up.  You try to live to race another day basically, so that’s kind of the thought at the moment is how do I continue my race and get the best possible finish and not have a tore up race car.  That’s probably every driver’s thought at that point is how do I minimize the damage that’s in my race car at the time.  I can’t speak for anyone else because I’m not driving their race car, so all I would do is be speculating on what I think happened.  If you’re not in the car it’s really hard to say sometimes, it really is whether it’s on purpose or not.  Like I said, a lot of that is probably up to NASCAR on how they want to officiate it if they think it’s happening or it’s not, I don’t really know.  I’m probably not the best one to ask that question to, but it’s a tough decision that’s a judgment call.  It’s hard to make a black and white rule on that when something is on purpose or one was an accident.  How do you really know?  All sports deal with that.  Think about soccer.  Geez, you watch that and they’re flopping all day long out there.  It’s like, ‘what the heck is going on?’  So I think it’s a judgment call and each call is gonna be unique and to try to figure out.  I’m glad I just drive the car in this case for sure.”

WHEN DID YOU HEAR ABOUT ROGER PENSKE BUYING IMS?  “I thought he already owned the race track, or he owned the race at least and now he owns the track.  I found out about the same time you guys did, but not much earlier.  It was a surprise to me just like it was to everyone else, so obviously it came together really quick and the only way that can happen is just the Penske way of doing it – how quickly they can move and I think what a great thing for the sport in general – just motorsports in general I think.  Roger obviously has passion for racing and motorsports and all forms of it and he’s no rookie to owning race tracks and he’s done a great job with that as well.  I’m excited to see what they’re gonna end up doing with it and how they can improve it, not that it’s bad in any way right now, but there’s always fresh ideas that can come along now, so it’ll be interesting to see what the future is gonna be.”

DO YOU HAVE A STORY OR ANECDOTE ABOUT SOMETHING YOU’VE LEARNED FROM ROGER OR A TIME HE SURPRISED YOU?  “I’m sure everyone in here has probably spoken to Roger at some point and he can be intimidating just by standing there in front of him and you say, ‘Oh my God, this is Roger Penske,’ but the fact that he’s just a racer like all of us.  He’s gone about it in a different way and that’s what made him special and made him ahead of the competition.  Just the way you dress is such a big deal to what Team Penske is all about, but also the way he took his career from driving to the business side and continues to grow, and I think that to me is the most amazing part.  He is not slowing down at all.  Most people in his position might just say, ‘Hey, I’ve got a great company and just ride it out’ because he’s already established, but he is always looking to better himself and I think that, to me, is such a key learning for me is that he’s always learning to make himself better and always looking to continue to grow, whether it’s his company, whether it’s his employees – whoever it may be he’s looking to get the best out of every situation and I think that’s something I’m always reminded by just by walking in one of his buildings you can see that.  I think that’s special.”

WOULD IT MAKE SENSE FOR NASCAR TO EVEN SAY ANTHING AT THIS POINT WITH WHAT’S AT STAKE OR DOES IT EVEN NEED TO BE SAID?  “NASCAR has always said to us in the driver’s meeting and I know you guys stand in them as well, but there are multiple times throughout the season, especially in cutoff races or the championship race they always ask everyone to race with respect to the situation that’s going on and race your race basically.  I think that’s your warning.  I take it as that way at least, so I think they already have said a lot of this stuff to us before, so I think that’s kind of part of it.”

HAVE YOU TALKED ABOUT RUNNING THE 24 HOURS OF DAYTONA?  “I have not.  I would like to run it.  I think it would be really cool, but I’m so focused in right now I haven’t brought it up.  This NASCAR thing takes up a lot of your time and it’s a pretty big deal to be racing for a championship, so I can’t take that lightly.  I would like to race that race some day in something.  I think it would be a lot of fun to be able to do and be able to say that you’ve done and possibly win, that would be really neat, but at this point I’m focused in on finishing this season right now and if that opportunity ever comes up in the future that would be a really cool thing to be able to do.”

WHAT DO YOU SEE IN THE COMPETITIVENESS OF ROGER PENSKE?  “Obviously, he likes to win.  He wins a lot.  The thing about Roger though is you don’t notice the stress or the pressure that he’s under because I think he’s just been in it so long.  When you’re under pressure for every day of your life when there are thousands of employees counting on you to put dinner on their table basically, that’s a lot of pressure, but when you do that every day for year on top of year after year that becomes your new normal and that’s just what you’re used to, and I think that’s just kind of what it is.  As he keeps growing and adding more pressure to himself, he’s able to make that his new normal to where he just keeps going on and on and on.  That’s what drives him.”

WHEN YOU’RE AROUND HIM DOES HE MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE HE’S COMPETITIVE?  “Obviously you want to go out there and compete and do a good job for him and for our race team, and that’s something we talk a lot about in our meetings is we want this to be the least of headaches for him.  He’s got plenty of headaches on his plate for sure, we don’t want racing to be the number one thing for him.  We want him to enjoy this and that’s important to us and we want him to be able to go out here and win and keep that same culture that he’s established through all of his companies.  We want to be consistent with that.  That is something that we’re aware of and something we talk about as a team and that is important to us, so that’s just what it’s like working for Roger Penske, and the fun part about it is I can talk to someone that is at truck leasing or a dealership and we can talk about the same things about Roger and there’s a lot that’s the same no matter what company he’s running.  We have a lot in common.”

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