Ford Performance NASCAR: California (Joey Logano Media Availability)

Ford Performance Notes and Quotes
NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)
Friday, February 28, 2020
EVENT: NASCAR Cup Series Media Availability

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 AAA Southern California Ford Mustang

WITH ALL THE CHANGES AT TEAM PENSKE, HOW IMPORTANT IS IT NOT ONLY FOR YOU AND PAUL TO UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER, BUT TO HOIST A TROPHY TOGETHER AND START THINGS OFF LIKE YOU DID LAST WEEK? “I think it is key. To be able to come out of the gates as strong as we have, winning a Duel, which is good, but then coming and winning a real points paying race in Vegas was nice. I look at all three Team Penske cars all being very strong out there which was great. It shows that this change, although yes it was a pretty big change internally, not everyone has to relearn the whole system at Team Penske. Everyone knows who answers to who and what department does what internally. The only thing they are learning is really their new driver. If you have a question, that guy sitting right next to you in that office used to be that drivers crew chief. The transition has gone pretty smooth and the speed in our cars last week showed that. I also think there is still a lot of room for improvement which makes me confident about the length of the runway ahead of us. It is nice to get the win, for sure, whether we have worked together 10 years or one year getting that win early builds confidence up. I think it is a big deal to build confidence in the team. It is all about collecting as many playoff points as we can at this point and set ourselves up as best we can for when the playoffs start.”
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A LOT OF XFINITY DRIVERS SEEM WORRIED ABOUT THE SEAMS ON THIS TRACK. HOW DO YOU APPROACH THAT? “You better pick a lane and stick to it. That is how this place works. The seams here are very wide and have that sealer in there and that sealer isn’t very grippy at all. A lot of times cars get kind of stuck on the seams. Cars take a bit arc down in the corner and then get to that last seam they need to cross and it just stops and you don’t get there. That is where a lot of passes are made when someone misses the bottom and the car behind them is able to make the bottom and make a pass that way. You have to be smart when you cross them. Especially leaving (turn) 2, you cross over them so quickly that your car really just wants to take off. The seams are tough. They have been there awhile though and it gives this place plenty of character to try to work around. This place has more little details like that that a driver and team needs to overcome more than maybe any other track we go to when it comes to bumps, seams, the surface wearing out, different lines. It is really hard to practice here and know what you need for the race and what lanes you are going to be racing. It has definitely been one of those races that experience has played a key role in being good in the race.”

YOU HAVE NOT WON THIS RACE .WHY IS IT SO HARD TO WIN HERE? “Boy, I wish I knew. We have been so close and had solid runs. We are consistently in the top-five here the last few times. We have been close multiple times. We were leading on the last lap one time. We have been right there, we just haven’t crossed the line first yet. There are so many different things that go into it. I still look at it as one of our best tracks even if we don’t have a win. I still think it is a great racetrack for us. We have been very close. Everything has to line up perfectly. We have been close, we just haven’t cut it yet.”

BLANEY STAYED IN A TEEPEE THIS PAST WEEK. COULD YOU EVER SEE YOURSELF DOING THAT? “Blaney did what? He stayed in a teepee? No, I will never do that. I am a city slicker. I like a nice bed and air conditioning and a nice pillow. I like that. That is not for me. He can do whatever the heck he did, that is good. I am glad he had fun though. That is good.”

HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO PUT A GOOD NOTEBOOK TOGETHER WITH PAUL NEXT WEEK AT PHOENIX SINCE THAT RACE WILL DECIDE THE CHAMPIONSHIP? “I think everyone looks at Phoenix 1 now being maybe the most important race early in the season because it will be where you are racing for a championship possible. You need to really learn as much as possible. You want to have a strong run there and learn from your mistakes there more than anywhere and make sure you are clear about everything when you are done with the race. It is one of those tracks that you will spend more time afterwards dissecting every little piece of it. That is what is going to be the biggest race of the year. Understanding where we have made mistakes will be important.”

WILL THE TRACK CONDITION CHANGE AT ALL FOR PHOENIX WITH IT SO EARLY IN THE YEAR AND THEN LATE IN THE YEAR FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP? “A little bit but there are so many things unknown there like what the track prep will look like. is there tire dragons or PJ-1? That will adjust the track quite a bit from that standpoint. The weather itself will affect the track some as well but I think more the track prep than anything will affect the way the race plays out.”

HOW DO YOU GUYS KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT GOING INTO THE RACE NEXT WEEK IF NOBODY HAS TESTED THIS NEW SHORT TRACK PACKAGE? “That is a good question. I think, honestly, that a lot of it is just going back to 2018. Will it race like that? Probably. I would assume less downforce, less grip and promoting cars moving around the racetrack more. I think you will see on the long run cars running higher which we kind of saw a little bit of that with the track prep up there. I think you will see cars move around more. We have not restarted there with the small spoilers, I don’t believe we have. Wait, we did with the new start finish line. I will have to go back and rewatch that. You are getting ahead of me here. I think that is going to calm down some of the restarts a little bit but also make the racing throughout the run better. That is kind of my thoughts at least to start.”

HAVING THE EARLY SUCCESS, HAS IT MADE THE TRANSITION TO A NEW CREW CHIEF ANY EASIER OR LESS STRESSFUL FOR YOU? “I think the bottom line is that we have both had success at Team Penske in different ways. We have won different races but we have both won championships, we have both run a good amount of races. It is kind of taking the best from each and trying to figure out what makes us strongest from there. That has been the fun part. We look at our weaknesses and how to make those better but more than anything right now, it is about finding the three things that I am really good at and the three things that Paul is really good at and trying to mold those together to make a powerhouse team that we are trying to produce right now.”

WHAT IS MORE IMPORTANT ABOUT NEXT WEEK, THE FACT IT IS THE FIRST RACE WITH THE REVISED SHORT TRACK PACKAGE OR THE FACT IT IS THE RACE WHERE THE CHAMPIONSHIP WILL BE DECIDED? “Probably the race where the championship will be decided. There will be plenty to learn about the short track package and we will take that into the equation but the facts are if you think about the way Miami was we only got to race there once a year. Imagine if you got to race there in the spring what it would be like when you got there in the fall, how much more preparation you would have and thoughts you would have after running that race. In this case, we kind of get, I wouldn’t call it a warm-up race because it is still very important, but it is something where you can try something thinking about the future quite a bit. The only thing about it is there is so much time between races. You have a long way until we get back there in November. Yeah, we will learn a lot about the race but our cars will change a lot by the time we come back. To the point that some things won’t apply as much but there will definitely be a lot that transfers still.”


IF THE OPPORTUNITY PRESENTED ITSELF THOUGH? “I would be interested in it, yeah. If the opportunity was sitting in front of me I would think about doing it. You want to make sure you have the best change possible to go out there and have a fair shake at it, but like I said, right now with the change that we have had there has been a lot of time focused on getting used to our new teams over here at Team Penske and trying to align all that so our focus has been over there. I love the idea though. I love the idea that Kevin threw out there to do this. It gets everyone talking about the Truck Series and what that is about and you get the best of the best out there with them and it will be fun to watch. It draws so much attention to it right? You would never ask me a question about a Truck race if that didn’t happen. Kudos to Kevin for doing that and doing it for charity is even better. If the opportunity was there I would probably take a look at it but I haven’t been searching at this point.”

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE A SUPERSTAR? “I don’t know that I am a superstar. I am just a race car driver that a few people in this room want to talk to. Which is good. I want to keep it that way, but I don’t feel like I am a superstar by any measure.”

CAN YOU EAT IN PEACE WHEN YOU GO OUT? “Yeah. I went to Red Robin last night and everything was smooth. I sat in traffic for two hours from LA to here and I was hungry and that was the only place we found.”

WHY DOES SUCH A SMALL PORTION OF THE TRACK HERE WITH THE SEAMS IN THE CORNERS CREATE SUCH ISSUES? “It is a good question. The seams are four inches or so wide, maybe even wider in a lot of cases. Our tires aren’t that wide, so you think about how you are losing a lot of your grip. I don’t know if you guys have ever walked on the race track here but if you find the seams you can stick your finger right through the sealer. It is really soft and squishy and I don’t know how it even works but I guess it does. You can tell that there is going to be way less grip on those just by touching it. So when you have a fairly narrow tire going across something that is four or six inches long, you are losing the majority of your grip and you kind of get stuck on them to where you can’t get lower in the corner and you almost just have to bail and get above it to where you can get your right sides back on asphalt. That is usually what it is. There is just so much of it. We talk about the seams and the sealer in between each lane but if you look at three and four in the second and third lanes, there is a lot of sealer going across the race track which makes those very challenging as well. The experience of knowing how to deal with that stuff and knowing what you can and can’t do because of what is coming up ahead of you is the important part here.”

YOU MENTIONED EARLIER THAT WHEN YOU GO BACK TO PHOENIX IN NOVEMBER THE CARS WILL BE DIFFERENCE. WHY IS THAT? “Just how we evolve as a race team. What wins there in the spring will not win in the fall because everyone got better. You have to be willing to change. You think about all the 750 rules package races that will be in between the first and second Phoenix races and we are going to learn a lot. We are going to get better. Every other team will too. So it is just evolving like anything else in this world right now. You just kind of figure more out. You learn something new every day.”


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