Ford Performance NASCAR: Joey Logano Charlotte Media Availability

by Official Release On Thu, May. 24, 2018

Joey Logano, driver of the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion, has one win in 2018 and is one of seven Ford drivers in the Top 10 of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings. He stopped by the Charlotte Motor Speedway infield media center after practice to talk about this weekend’s race.

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion – WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO WIN THE 600 ON SUNDAY? “The Coke 600, to me, is a crown jewel event. I think of the Daytona 500, Brickard 400, Coca-Cola 600 are three of the biggest races we have all year. As a Coca-Cola driver, I’d like to be spraying this stuff all over Victory Lane. That would be really nice. We’ve been able to win here in the fall race a couple times, but it would be really special to win the 600-mile race here right now. I feel like we should have a decent shot at it. Today is kind of an interesting day. Usually, for 600 week you don’t want to put a bunch of miles on your motor in practice, so everyone kind of stays in qualifying trim here for today, so you don’t really know what you’ve got for race trim and it’s just focused on trying to make the fastest lap you can today. We were joking, I said, ‘Hopefully, we make six laps today.’ That’s what we’re hoping – three in practice and three in qualifying. That’s just kind of how this schedule works right now with the shorter practice and obviously the extra 100 miles in the race. Today is all about one-lap speed and we’ll come back Saturday and keep working on our car to try to make it fast enough to win the race.”

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE SUMMER SHOOTOUT CELEBRATING ITS 25TH ANNIVERSARY? “For me, the Summer Shootout was always so much fun and where a lot of us learned how to race. You learned the nuts and bolts of how to drive a car and how to race other people and in some cases how to fight each other (laughing). We had a lot of fun back then. It was pretty rough too. There was a lot of bumping and banging in Legends cars, so it was a good time. For me, it was always me and Ragan, Reed Sorenson, the VanWingers and those guys were the ones that we were always competing against when I was racing here, and I know Bubba raced here. I know he was kind of the class after me, but definitely a lot of fun. We had a blast. For me and my dad just coming up here, we were from Atlanta at the time and we would come up here and try to figure it out and try to race with those guys and just had a good time trying to do it and was pretty successful at it, so we had a good time.”

THOUGHTS ON HAVING HISTORY ON YOUR TEAM WITH ROGER PENSKE AND RAYMOND FOX? “That’s Raymond’s grandfather. Raymond is our car chief and his grandfather was nominated and it’s really cool obviously to have history in our race team from two different areas with Roger Penske and with Raymond as well. That’s definitely something really cool. I think Roger getting into the Hall of Fame, to me, is the biggest award you can get in the sport. The Hall of Fame is as good as it gets, so definitely a well-deserving crowd. You look at the drivers and owners that got picked to go into the Hall of Fame next year is an impressive crowd when you think about who they are and what they’ve done. To drive for a Hall of Famer like Roger Penske, it was only a matter of time before he was inducted into there and I think with not only the race wins and championships that come along with the pedigree, but what he’s done for this sport as far as the race tracks, I think, is as much of a reason for him to get in the Hall of Fame as anything and how he was able to build our sport from the fan side and the promoting side, I thought, was pretty impressive as well.”

DO YOU SEE YOURSELF MAKING THE HALL OF FAME AND WHAT WOULD YOUR LEGACY BE? “I hope so. I’d like to be in the Hall of Fame. That’s the ultimate goal and to get there I think there’s a lot of different ways you can do it, but I think you have to contribute to this sport in a lot of different ways. Obviously, wins, championships, that’s part of it, but I think what you do off the race track a lot of times can get you in the Hall of Fame as well and what you do for the community, what you do for our racing community as well and how we build our sport to be bigger and really taking some ownership on what this thing is all about and not just driving a race car and going home at the end of the day and not caring about anything else in our sport, I don’t believe that’s a Hall of Fame type person. The people that are in the Hall of Fame right now didn’t think that way at all. They were invested 100 percent into our sport and how to grow our sport and they came along with race wins, but they used those race wins for something good and that, to me, is a big part of it. Hopefully, someday I can do that. I’m trying my hardest to do everything I can do and race as much as I can, win as many races as I can and try to be invested in the sport and be in every meeting I possibly can outside of that, so it would be a great accomplishment and one that I would say would be my largest accomplishment if I ever get to that point.”

HOW HAS YOUR STRATEGIC APPROACH TO THIS RACE CHANGED SINCE YOUR ROOKIE YEAR? “I remember my first 600-mile race here and I remember wearing the brakes off the car pretty quick. Actually, I got faster when I wore the brakes off, so there was more to it at that moment, but it’s definitely a race that you typically wouldn’t go hard every lap when there wasn’t stages, but now those stage points are so important, qualifying is important, keeping yourself up front, but I think more than anything now I guess as a driver I’ve realized the swing that this track is gonna go through and where you are from the beginning to the end of the race this track changes more than any track we go to from day to night. And it’s gonna go through a few swings. It’s gonna go from hot, sun out to that twilight kind of moment to dark and cooling off and the groove coming back down to the bottom. All of that stuff will definitely come into play and now we’ve got this PJ1 stuff, which Lord knows what’s gonna happen with that, so there is a lot to take into consideration when we’re out there on the track and the adjustments we make will be key during every pit stop. I think over time you start to understand what those are more and more.”

DID YOUR TEAM INCORPORATE ANYTHING TANGIBLE FROM YOUR DAYTONA CAR THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN USED ON YOUR FUSION LAST WEEKEND? “It’s a great question, but honestly, I probably can’t honestly answer that question for a couple of reasons. I can’t tell you. Like I said last week, it’s kind of a hybrid of them both. When we go to Daytona and Talladega, especially Talladega, you’re pretty trimmed out. Handling is not a huge deal, so you try to trim the cars out as much as you can, take the downforce, which takes the drag off, and trying to just create a top speed. I think you saw a mix of cars last week. You saw some cars, in my mind I think of the 47 as a car that handled great. It looked like he had a lot of downforce in the car, but didn’t have the speed to maintain being up front. You look at the 4, he kind of looked the other way. It looked like when he got up front he was hard to pass, like he didn’t have much drag, but when he got in the back of the pack he wasn’t making big moves like his car was really faster than everybody and able to drive up there easily. I thought that was kind of interesting and how that will evolve if we run this package again or whatever happens in the future will be interesting to see how that is, and for each track will be different too. We’re talking about one track here at Charlotte and I thought it was an interesting race to see that. As the sun went down the cars that had more speed and less handling showed to be better, so I thought that was just an interesting thing to look at and learn from last week. To answer your question, do you take much from Talladega? A little bit. Driving style, the draft and how that works, you think a little bit about it, but handling still came into play quite a bit throughout the race for sure.”

“Yeah, but not as much as it was here. Yes, the cars have way more downforce on them with the bigger spoiler than what we had at Daytona and Talladega. Handling wasn’t a big deal, especially in dirty air when you lost all that downforce, that big spoiler in the back makes the air dirtier, but we’re not going as fast and you’re almost wide-open, so it doesn’t really have a huge affect on losing the car in front of you, but has a huge affect on these big moments. It looked like we had that in the race. Cars that would all of a sudden jump out sideways and slide up the race track, and you had these big moments in the race. I thought that was interesting and fun to watch, and entertaining for sure. There are some things that transfer over, but the package is still very different from what Daytona and Talladega is.”

WHAT ABOUT POCONO NEXT WEEK? HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR SETUP? “I want to be really good in all three if at all possible. That’s what we shoot for. I think every corner is pretty important. Honestly, I think turn three and turn one are probably the two most important corners. If I’m gonna have to compromise, I’m gonna compromise turn two, but the car that wins there and the fastest car typically has a really good one and three and a decent two – not that they completely throw it away. Somehow they get it through that corner fairly well as well, so I think you try to figure out ways to tie all three corners together. A lot of times two and three go together and one is the outlier with all the banking down there, but I think as a goal, I try to set high goals, and my goal is to have three really good corners. That’s my thought.”

IF YOU’RE GOOD IN THE DAYLIGHT, HOW DO YOU ANTICIPATE WHAT YOU MIGHT NEED WHEN THE SUN GOES DOWN? “Just over history and just races under your belt. It’s not just for the race, but think about we just practiced in the heat of the day and we’re gonna qualify into the night as the sun is going down, and the track is gonna have quite a bit of transition. It’s gonna change quite a bit and the XFINITY cars are laying down rubber. We didn’t really lay down any rubber just making qualifying runs, so these guys making long runs now, what that will do to the race track, what that will do to the PJ1 that’s on the race track, as the track cools off what that’s gonna do. We just kind of go through our notes on what’s happened in the past and take an educated guess at it and then hope for the best after that.”

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