Ford Performance NASCAR: Las Vegas 2 (Joey Logano Media Availability)

Ford Performance Notes and Quotes
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)
Friday, September 13, 2019


JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Mustang

WHY IS TEAM PENSKE SO GOOD AT LAS VEGAS? “That is a hard question to answer. It might be an easy question for you. I think there are a few things. I do think this track kind of fits into our wheelhouse. I think it fits into Ford’s wheelhouse as far as engines and the Roush Yates program. I think we have done a good job finding the balance to get through the bumps in 1 and 2 yet still have grip around the rest of the race track. It is never perfect. You are never as good as you want but it seems like we have been able to put together a good package at this race track. I think this race will be much different than it was in the spring considering it was one of the first races with this package and the whole industry has really evolved a lot from what we did here in March. I don’t know if we have figured out what we need to win but we have gotten close and the whole field has kind of done that together. A lot of things have changed over that period of time.”

DOES IT BENEFIT YOU TO NOT HAVE THE SPOTLIGHT ON YOU AS MUCH AS TOYOTA DOES RIGHT NOW? “I really don’t care to be honest. I don’t really care where I stack up in anyone’s mind. The most important piece is believing in yourself and your race team. I think that is what we proved last year. I said last year that I felt like we were the favorites and everyone’s jaw probably dropped asking what this kid was thinking. In our minds we were and that is what mattered the most. When we showed up down there we had the confidence and we felt prepared and we executed our plan to win the race. I think this year is no different for us. It doesn’t really make a difference with who is the favorite, who is the underdog, who is the dark horse or whatever. It matters what you think about yourself and what your team can do.”

DO YOU HAVE TO DO ANYTHING DIFFERENT WITH YOUR CAR SETUP FOR THE DAY TO NIGHT TRANSITION WE WILL HAVE FOR THIS RACE? “I think the sun will still be kinda up at the end of the race but it should be cooling off which will be great for everybody, especially the people[le in the grandstands and me inside the car. There will be a little bit of that as the track cools off and some grip comes back to us and the balance of the car will change a little bit. We have to be ready to adjust to that and it definitely does present another challenge but we already have a challenge even today in practice with what the practice conditions are compared to the race. It will be quite a bit different as the track rubbers up over the weekend. As more rubber lays down and the wind changes and the sun is up or down, we kind of go off a little bit of past history as how that has affected us and make the adjustments. There is no track bar adjuster like we had last year and all those things make it a little harder to overcome.”

KYLE BUSCH SAID IT BOTHERS HIM THE YOUNG DRIVERS HAVE ACCESS TO THE SMT DATA. DOES THAT BOTHER YOU AT ALL THAT THEY COME IN AND CAN SEE YOUR TRADE SECRETS SO TO SPEAK? “Ok. It is the same for everyone. I guess I can learn just as much. Maybe it is easier for them to get the basics and stuff like that figured out but I feel like I don’t have it figured out. Maybe he has everything figured out, but I sure don’t. I mean, you don’t want people to see exactly what you are doing but some people are looking at me and I am looking at them. It goes back and forth. It is a tool and a resource and something that isn’t gospel and not exactly the truth all the way through. There are things you can learn through it if you take it with a grain of salt. I am okay. I can go either way on it. Does it help the rookies come up a little bit quicker? Yeah, it probably does. It is very challenging to get into the sport still and very challenging to be the best of the best in the sport. A lot of times you can read as much as you want but until you actually do it in real life it is a lot different. When you have that life experience it changes quite a bit. It may help a little bit but I don’t think it is everything.”

AS YOU HAVE GONE THROUGH THE YEAR AS THE CHAMPION, HAS ANYTHING REALLY JUMPED OUT TO YOU OF ALL THE EXPERIENCES YOU HAVE HAD REPRESENTING THE SPORT AS THE CHAMPION? “Obviously there are plenty of very special moments. None of them can top the feeling of just crossing the start-finish line and your team and your family, there is no better feeling than that. That is the best, that you accomplished something together. That feeling, I can’t describe it very well but it is unbelievable. A lot of the cool things that come along with it, we got to go to the White House and meet the President and that was really cool. I am a race fan first, so being able to go onto the Hall of Fame voting panel and being on that and listening to all these legends in there from media members to race car drivers and crew chiefs and owners, that was really, really cool for me to be able to listen to everybody and try to put my two-cents in. I didn’t really belong but I tried. I had a lot of fun with that. To me that was one of the coolest things. I didn’t even expect that or knew it would happen until we won the championship. That stuff is neat but it ends pretty quick at the same time. You are still in the grind. You are still trying to win another championship. It is fun and important for me to enjoy that because you work so hard for it that you should enjoy what you accomplished but also keep the eye on the prize and looking forward to the next one.”


WHY DO YOU THINK IT IS SO DIFFICULT? “Because everyone is so good. These guys are so good. They are hard to beat. There is not really many teams that are just one step better than everyone all the time. The way this playoff system goes you have to be good. When it was 10 races, most times you had a mulligan of one race that you could maybe afford to have a bad one, crash or whatever because you had nine races to overcome it. Now, you can have a bad race and you have to overcome that in two races to get through to the next round. You either have to win or have two very, very good runs to make that up. I think it is very hard to get to the Championship 4. It is all or nothing when you get there. I don’t want to say it is harder, it is just very different than what it used to be and it has made it more spread out through the field of who the real favorites are and who is able to really get this whole thing in their grasp. It does seem like the Championship 4 does come down to the same cars a lot of times with a couple rotating in and out occasionally. I think it is easy to tell which teams are really the ones that stand out but I don’t think there is one that just has this whole thing figured out.”

HOW HAVE THE PLAYOFFS CHALLENGED YOU MENTALLY? HOW HAVE YOU NOT COME OUT OF IT CRAZY? “I am still kinda crazy. It is just perspective. Just keeping in mind what we are doing and enjoying it. I think that is probably the biggest thing. I work very hard at this but I also absolutely love it. I really love my job. I have the greatest job in the world and I realize that. I can’t say that is the same for the whole garage that everyone enjoys this as much as I do. I guess that gives me a little perspective on just how fortunate and lucky I am. I think in other cases I think our foundation helps a lot. That isn’t the reason why we started it but it has played out that way for me that a bad day at the race track, as hard as it is, a lot of people are having a lot harder time to just make ends meet. That keeps me sane and helps me enjoy it more.”

DO YOU USE VIDEO FOOTAGE OF RESTARTS TO TRY TO FIGURE OUT HOW YOU CAN GET AN ADVANTAGE THERE WITH HOW IMPORTANT THOSE HAVE BEEN THIS YEAR? “Yep, sure do. That is part of doing the job, part of the gig. Our sport, you don’t have time to think things through, you have to react. If you are going to react in the right way, you have to prepare. That is where the prep work and preparation is what you have to lean on because if you hesitate, you are done, you get beat. You are going to get passed. You have to be the one making the moves and to make the right moves you have to kind of have an idea of where things are going to go and what will happen after you make the move. The only way you know is from living through it or really having your head wrapped around the situation of what has happened before. That has been a fun experience this year. Back when we came here for the first time, I talked about how the cars are going to evolve but the drivers are going to evolve too on what works best on the restarts and I guarantee you I am not the only one studying. The whole field is. I can see it. What has worked good in the past and what was a good move I see that not working again because of everyone evolving and that to me has been one of the most fun things this year. It used to be black and white on what to do on restarts and now it seems like you kind of throw some of the things you used to take for granted because the moves have changed to much with the amount of throttle time we carry and the handling and what the draft does.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

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