Ford Performance NASCAR: Joey Logano NASCAR Zoom Media Conference Transcript




American Muscle

Joey Logano, driver of the No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Mustang for Team Penske, joined media members from a soggy Texas Motor Speedway as part of a NASCAR Zoom media call during the now 48-hour rain delay at the track. Logano spoke about what life has been like waiting out the rain in the Lonestar State:

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Mustang — HAS YOUR TEAM CONSIDERED SENDING ANYONE HOME TO WORK ON THE PHOENIX CAR INSTEAD OF JUST SITTING IN THE RAIN? “Ha, that is a good idea. No, not at the moment. There is a team of people preparing that Phoenix car as we speak. I told Paul that he should go home and start massaging on that thing and come back. I think he said he is not allowed to work on the cars anymore. We continue to go over Phoenix stuff while we are here at the race track and it is the one good thing about this. We have been able to spend a lot of time with no distractions to really talk about Phoenix. Whether that is car setup or build, strategy, restarts, driving styles, you name it and we have gone through as much as we can.”

DOES IT GIVE YOU GUYS ANY BIT OF AN ADVANTAGE THAT THESE NEXT TWO RACES, TEXAS AND MARTINSVILLE DON’T MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU BEING LOCKED IN AND YOU CAN FOCUS ALL THE ATTENTION ON PHOENIX? “Of course. That is the advantage of winning the first race in the third round. It is probably the same advantage at this point as it would have been. I don’t think just because it has rained here and we are behind, I don’t think that changes it. I think we have the same advantage we had before.”

WITH HAVING THE EXPERIENCE IN 2018 OF WINNING EARLY IN THIS ROUND AND HAVING THE EXTRA WEEKS, HAS THAT SHAPED WHAT YOU ARE OR ARE NOT DOING THIS TIME AROUND? “Yeah, I think there are a few things. For one, probably the biggest thing is that you are kind of relaxed to a certain extent. Your batteries will be charged up when you get to Phoenix. You have more time to work on one race. There are a couple other races that you still go through and there is a lot on the line still, there is a trophy, this is a big race to win here in Texas and Martinsville is a crown jewel event that I look at that is special to have. We are racing for a starting position at Phoenix and those trophies and the checks that come along with it and those stats. That is enough to make me race hard. We don’t really back off any. We want to keep the intensity level up. That is one of the important things right now. You don’t want to take the next two weeks off and forget about it. You want to keep momentum and intensity and put your focus towards Phoenix.”

WHAT DO YOU DO DURING A THREE DAY RAIN DELAY? “Ha, what do you do? Probably the same stuff. Once you are done with that type of thing. I found a gym and went there and worked out and got some energy out because I have gone crazy inside this motorhome. This is how crazy I am. I called Eddie Gossage and asked if there was anything I could do to help because I am that bored. That is a really risky move if you guys know Eddie. That is a risky play. That is how bored I am. I am willing to do anything at this point. I tried to get him to open the go-kart track and let us go play with those. It is a lot of sitting around and making a lot of phone calls. I got caught up on everything that I have been behind for the last month, so that part feels good but I am caught up at this point. It would be really nice if we could get this race started.”

WHAT KIND OF TRACK CONDITIONS ARE YOU EXPECTING NOW WITH ALL THIS RAIN AND THE TEMPERATURE NOT MUCH BETTER THAN THIS TOMORROW? “Yeah, we talked about that some. The thing about this PJ1 on the race track is that stuff is usually activated with heat. Obviously as cold as it is, I expect that to be pretty slick and take awhile to come in. I would say from that standpoint there is not going to be much grip in the PJ1, but outside of that there will probably be a lot more grip than what we had the other day being as cold as it is. We will just have to kind of wait and see and adjust to it. Cars aren’t going to be driving the same as they were a couple of days ago.”

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST LESSON YOU WILL TAKE AWAY FROM THIS 2020 SEASON? “I would say the biggest thing that I have learned throughout all of this is that when you think something is impossible or are too scared to try, you should try it. Because it is usually not as bad as you make it out to be in your mind. Case in point, a few times this year in this sport. Who would have ever thought that we would go to a road course that we have never raced at before and just line up and race without practice? Are you kidding me? If you say that in January or February this year we would have said you were nuts and we would never ever do that. We have been forced to do things like that. That is just one case in our sport. Imagine all the things that every company is going through right now. Trying to find ways to become profitable again, or at least cover their costs. You have to be creative, you have to think outside the box and you can’t be scared of trying anything. I think that alone is probably the biggest thing I have learned that I can take forward with me for years to come.”

AT ANY POINT DO YOU SIT HERE AND ASK IF THIS WILL EVER END OR DO YOU JUST KEEP THE GLASS HALF FULL AND TRY TO STAY READ? “You just try to stay ready. I am usually a silver linings person. I like thinking that we are going to go at some point today. It is getting obviously later as we keep going here. I have been in this media center for about an hour now so I don’t know exactly what it looks like. I still hear jet driers which means they are working on the track. I’d hate being in one of those Air Titans all day long. I swear, I went to sleep last night, this is no joke, I closed my eyes and I swear I heard Air Titans in my head. Those things just keep on going. It just hasn’t stopped enough and they get so close and then they get wet again. That to me seems like kind of a job that is pretty challenging right now. They almost get the track close enough for us to make some laps and then it gets wet again. I appreciate them trying and putting the effort in. You can say for sure that NASCAR is doing all they can do to get us on the race track. 100-percent. It isn’t like they are waiting and saying there is another cell coming. They are out there drying any second that they possibly have. They just haven’t had enough time to make it happen yet.”

IS THIS ANOTHER ADDED BONUS TO WINNING THE RACE AT KANSAS IN TERMS OF HOW SLICK IT COULD BE OUT THERE AND NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS YOU ARE WORRY FREE AS FAR AS THE CHAMPIONSHIP 4? “Any way you look at it we have the pressure off and that is nice. When I was watching the broadcast back of the 50-something laps we have ran so far, they had the points as we run and I can’t believe how close they are at the moment. A lot of things will change from there and it won’t look like that at the end of the race, for sure. It is crazy to think what the points are right now if the race were ended and they moved on to Martinsville all within a point of each other. That would be pretty insane. I guarantee you I am sleeping better than any of them.”

YOU HAVE YOUR MOTORHOME THERE AND DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT FINDING HOTEL ROOMS, RIGHT? “Yeah. I am pretty fortunate from that position. We just took the bus from Kansas to here and then from here out to Phoenix for the race out there. I am lucky to have something here to be able to spend some time on. I think a lot of the pit crew guys, crew guys and spotters are all sitting in their cars. I feel very guilty. I wish they could come to the bus and hang out with me. For them to get out of their cars and also because I am really bored and want someone to talk to but we can’t with COVID. This is frustrating for me because I am not very good alone. I need people around me all the time. I don’t like being alone. This has been a long few days for me and for them for sure.”

YOU HAVE DRIVEN A ZAMBONI, DOES THAT QUALIFY YOU TO DRIVE AN AIR TITAN? “Yeah, somewhat, kinda. I would love to drive that Air Titan, at least for one lap. I don’t want to be out there all day like those guys have had to be though. I need to post this picture of what my dad did to one of the Zamboni’s down at the ice rink. They made one street legal and put a bunch of seats where the snow normally goes and he drops the conditioner going down the road and sparks the conditioner going down the street. It is probably the only street-legal Zamboni you have ever seen. I will have to post a picture.”

DID YOU GET A CHANCE TO EARLY VOTE NOW THAT YOU ARE STUCK IN TEXAS AND MIGHT BE DOING OTHER THINGS NEXT TUESDAY? “I need to. I called my wife today and she voted today. We were planning on doing that this week but things are a little different. She still went and got that done and I will have to find time when I get back from Martinsville.”

A LOT OF TIMES WITH THE INDYCAR SEASON ENDING BEFORE THE CUP SEASON, TEAM PENSKE WOULD PUT SOME OF THOSE RESOURCES TOWARD THE CUP TEAM. IS THAT STILL GOING TO HAPPEN WITH THE TRANSITION BEING SO SHORT THIS YEAR? “Yeah, I would assume there is. I don’t know how much that actually changes what goes on. Yes, we are all in the same building and we cross some employees back and forth but it isn’t a lot. I will say that from the manufacturing side and the C&C machines and things like that, maybe more effort goes toward the NASCAR side since we are the ones racing right now and that is all there is to work on. There is some advantage there but I don’t think it is very big.”

DOES THE FOUNDATION HAVE ANYTHING COMING UP SOON? “Yeah, we have been doing the Believe 22 campaign over the last eight weeks or so during the playoffs. We have given $22,000 away each weekend to organizations that help give second chances to children and young adults in times of crisis. We thought that was important. That is our mission. We have done a lot of things during COVID to help with COVID-19 response and relief fund that we did earlier this year, but we also know that a lot of these organizations that help kids and need role models and need some structure around them are hurting for money this year. A lot of people aren’t making the money they used to and it is harder to give money when you aren’t making as much. That is what these organizations are dealing with. We wanted to make sure we stayed true to our mission and continued that support. We are capping it all off with another Convoy of Hope truck in Phoenix on Monday after the race. It is basically a tractor-trailer full of essentials that live around the race community. We have done four of those so far and it has been really good. We teamed up with the NASCAR Foundation and have done those. The first one was in Darlington and we had everybody there and it was really good, really special. We thought that was really important because typically we impact the race markets financially and the economy a lot. We usually have 100,000 people showing up and hotel rooms and air travel and all that. Now it is just us here. There are not as many fans. Now we have some, but we want to make sure we don’t just go to these race tracks and communities to just take and go home but to try to show support. These Convoy of Hope trucks have helped us do that.”

HAVE YOU BINGE WATCHED ANY NETFLIX OR ANYTHING DURING THIS WHOLE THING? I SEE BLANEY AND BUBBA (WALLACE) ARE PLAYING SOME GOLF GAME OR SOMETHING. “I don’t know if you guys realize this, but I don’t have many friends at the race track (laughter). I just kind of hang out. I have studied Phoenix and have watched that race back a couple of times. I have gone through some SMT data and watched back the race so far here at Texas and looked at some Martinsville stuff. I made as many phone calls and got caught up on all my extracurricular activities that I don’t typically have time to get to. That has been my last couple of days at this point.”

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