Ford Performance NASCAR: Playoff Media Day (Logano/Harvick)

by Official Release On Thu, Sep. 13, 2018

Ford Notes and Quotes
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)
2018 NASCAR Playoff Media Day (Las Vegas, NV)
Thursday, September 13, 2018

All 7 Ford NASCAR Cup Series playoff drivers participated in the annual playoff media day in Las Vegas Thursday afternoon. Below is a sampling of the drivers comments during the open interview portion of the festivities.

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Ford Fusion — IS CLINT A WILD CARD IN THIS WHOLE THING BECAUSE HE IS SO UNPREDICTABLE? “In general he is, good point. I mean, yeah, I mean, he can be because he is in a great car, the Stewart Haas cars are so fast right now that he could be one of those guys. I don’t think any of us really count him out. Honestly, I mean, he might be the class clown of of the 16 here but that’s not a surprise anyone. And you know he’s won a couple races this year, so I’m don’t think that would be a surprise anyone.”

CAN YOU BE THIS MUCH FUN DURING THE PLAYOFFS? “Yeah, of course I can. You know what, I enjoy this. I enjoy the pressure that comes along with it. I enjoy being part of it. I mean I say this all the time, I drive race cars for a living. If you don’t enjoy this, I feel bad for you. This is my dream and I assume everyone else’s dream in this room, to be driving race cars and to do this. If you’re still miserable, I feel bad because this is really cool. I enjoy every second of it. Racing against the best of the best at the top level and having a shot to win a championship. So yes, I will still be joyful and happy. There may be times that are not joyous. There might be moments but hopefully I can fight through.”

 

KEVIN HARVICK, No. 4 Ford Fusion — I AM TRYING TO FIGURE OUT IF THERE’S A WAY TO GET IT WHERE YOU CAN EVEN DO A DOUBLEHEADER RACE LIKE WE HAD IN INDIANAPOLIS THIS PAST WEEKEND AND GET THE CREWS IN IN A LIMITED AMOUNT OF TIME? “Yeah, I think I think the biggest hang up on that is really going to come down to the racetracks and them having a doubleheader on the same day and getting them to buy into it so that they feel like they can they can sell enough tickets and campgrounds in order to to collect everything that they feel like they need to get out of a weekend”

WELL, THAT’S WHAT I’VE KIND OF THOUGHT LIKE IF YOU PUT TWO RACES IN ONE DAY “From the driver and team standpoint, I don’t think you’re going to get any argument out of a one day show or two day show. We go to a lot of these racetracks and you look around on Friday and you’re like, ‘Okay, why?’ So you have a valid point. I’m kind of a an old school thought process of you when you get to the top level of racing that there has to be some sort of structure and integrity to the sport itself as far as the process to to really weed out who’s the best guy on that weekend. Who’s the best team. Having a wheel for starting position or a p-pick like you did in go karts. That was something that just seems minor league to me.”

“What’s the most talk this season most talked about race this season? That we have or haven’t run. The Rovel probably right? That’s really in my mind and hopefully something that everybody sees is you need more unique events. You need a story before the story even happens. Having a playoff race and championship race rotation was six markets and or eight markets or whatever it may be in big cities.Whether it be in California, Texas, Charlotte, Homestead you know whatever that rotation of races is and rotating the the other nine championship playoff races. Then you have a built in story for Daytona. You have a built in story for all 10 weeks of the playoffs. And then you have a unique event like Darlington, and you have a unique event like the Rovel and you need more of those regular season unique dates, events and things that that change around. There are very few events that have enough equity in them to say this is the exact date that it has to be. I think as you look at Darlington, I think Darlington is one of those events that has that date equity but why shouldn’t Darlington have a playoff race every once in a while? Why shouldn’t Bristol have a playoff race every once in a while? Why is the championship race at Homestead every year? Is that best for us? I mean, I don’t think so. I think it would be better to rotate around. I think coming to Vegas for the first race in the playoffs is is great. Not that Chicago was a bad spot to start it but starting out there every year gets stale and you just gotta keep it fresh.”

THE ONE THING THAT INTRIGUES ME THE ROVAL IS THAT IT MAKES YOU GUYS UNCOMFORTABLE AND FROM AN OUTSIDER LOOKING IN, NOT BEING A COMPETITOR, FRANKLY I LIKED IT IF YOU GUYS ARE UNCOMFORTABLE AS LONG AS THERE’S IS NOT A SAFETY ISSUE. I JUST WONDER IF IT’S STILL GOING TO HAVE THAT SAME FEELING NEXT YEAR AND BEYOND. “I think you have those you know those unique events that are just kind of a phase that everybody goes through, kind of a novelty event that happens from time to time and that’s what that’s what keeps them coming back five or six later years later when you do it again. It is just like when you have a place like Phoenix. Phoenix, in my opinion, should have taken one of their races and not had a race and been able to go lease that date and work something out with somebody like Montreal or a unique race market and still been able to capitalize off the event that they were going to put on but also take a week off to renovate the facility. Take one race off so you had the time to properly renovate your facility instead of having a an event halfway in the middle of it. They don’t want give up the the TV money and the things that come with an event, so go cut a deal with one of these other race tracks and have a unique event and use it as a chance to test the market and do things that that are different. That’s what makes the Roval great is it’s different. It’s got us all back on our heels because we we don’t even have the answers to the quiz because we don’t know the questions. We don’t even know what questions to put down that we need to ask to get the answers to because I’ve never passed a car at the Roval. I literally don’t don’t even know where to start. Because you think you might but nobody’s running side by side through turns one, two and three on a restart, you know what I mean? I’m not 100% sure on how exactly I get off pit road. And those are good things, you know, as a competitor, you may not may not necessarily like them, it may not be the track that we would have designed on a piece of paper and done it this way, but the buzz in Charlotte, I live in Charlotte and the buzz in Charlotte around that race, you never hear anybody talk about the race there but now there’s just a buzz about this Roval race because it’s different.”

DO YOU LIKE THIS PLAYOFF FORMAT? “I like the moments because from the day that I won my first Cup race in Atlanta, those moments, you go back and that was a big moment. It was big for me but it was also just a big moment in the sport in general and I think as you look at having your back against the wall and some of these playoff instances where you have to go our and win, that first moment was great preparation for a lot of the moments because none of them will ever be bigger than that one moment.”

AND YOU STILL FEED ON THAT TODAY? “Absolutely. You can talk yourself into feeling like you can never do something as big as that one moment again in your career. In my mind, I don’t think there is anything close. You look at what you go through and they are all pretty easy to tell yourself that they are not close to that type of pressure or situation.”

SO WHEN OTHER DRIVERS PUT PRESSURE ON, YOU CAN BASICALLY SAY THAT YOU HAVE BEEN THERE AND DONE THAT. “Yeah, they can’t get close. I think Kyle coming back from a broken leg is a huge moment to come back from. I think probably some of them have something like that to draw from but there are only a couple of them that might have something that is close to that type of moment I had at Atlanta.”

THAT MOMENT ALLOWED YOU FOR THE REST OF YOUR CAREER TO HANDLE PRESSURE DIFFERENTLY THAN THE REST OF THE GUYS? “Well, you can at least trick yourself into believing that. When you go back and look at a moment, you go back to Rockingham, you will never have a more intense, pressure packed media setting than you had in that tent that day in Rockingham. You will never have more people , more camera or a bigger situation. In my career, it is just not going to happen.”

KURT BUSCH SAID THIS ROUND IS A CAKEWALK FOR YOU BECAUSE YOU DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THE ROVAL BECAUSE OF ALL YOUR PLAYOFF POINTS: “Well, that is easy to say as long as you don’t go out and bom it at Vegas and Richmond. The lesson to be learned from Kyle Larson last year is everyone was sitting here saying the exact same thing and he didn’t make it to the Championship 4 with a whole bunch of bonus points. He was winning races and finishing top-5 and doing the things he needed to do but that was it. You have a blown engine and accident and the next thing you know you are on the outside looking in. I feel good about where my team is at. My favorite part about where we are it is that I feel we have been in championship form all year, racing for wins and on the preparation side and how we have advanced the cars throughout the year. I don’t feel like there is a switch we have to go flip. We have been in the middle of the headlines and noise and all the things that come with the success we have had this year. The moment is not going to surprise anybody on my team. it won’t surprise anyone on the pit box. It should be business as usual as you start this weekend and the goal is to win. Win the race in Las Vegas and go from there.”

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