Ford Performance NASCAR: Joey Logano Elaborates on Contract Extension with Team Penske

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Mustang – YOU HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN THE NEW NASCAR DOCU-SERIES.  WHAT WAS THAT LIKE?  “I think everyone has seen the success that Drive to Survive had with reaching out to the non-fan or maybe casual fan of F1, and seeing how much that turned around even with me how much my point of view.  I watched it casually, but I’d say I watch it a little more intently now as you learn a little bit more about how their sport works and really peeling back the curtains of not necessarily their personal lives that I really care about, but it’s how the race team is run and how they do things differently than what we do here in NASCAR.  Those things were intriguing to me, so I think it’s pretty obvious it was successful and I think it’s smart for us to look for ways to do the same thing, which we did.  I’ve been able to watch the first episode so far as the approval and it’s very entertaining, like highly entertaining and it’s a good mix of preparing for racing, personal lives, and the race itself, which may actually be the smallest part of it because everyone gets to see the race on Sunday anyway.  You don’t have to tell that story again because everyone knows how it goes, but at least the preparation side of it and how my competitors do it and those type of things I’m interested in.  I like watching that stuff as well.  It kind of reminds me of that show a long time ago when they followed Kenny Wallace and Fedewa and all those guys.  It was pretty entertaining, so it’s a step in that direction, for sure, and I think it’s gonna be great.  I really don’t see it where it’s bad for the sport.  It has some drama in it.  It’s life.  It shows life and it follows different drivers on different weeks, so I think it’s gonna be great for our sport, for sure.  I think it was a hole in our sport that needed to be filled.”


HOW TRUE WAS IT BECAUSE YOU’VE EXPERIENCE THEM BEING THERE WITH THEM?  “I can only speak on my behalf on my stuff, and it’s pretty true there.  There are some editing ways and kind of how they create a character, in a way, but I wouldn’t say they’re far off on a lot of it.  I thought it was good.  They came to my house and they shot what I said was OK to shoot and they didn’t what I said I didn’t want them to see.  The only thing I don’t want them to see is I don’t want people to know where I live.  That’s a security piece.  I don’t want that and they were respectful about that.  I said, ‘Here are the things that I’m willing to show,’ and we lived our life and they filmed it.  I can’t say we did anything differently than what we typically would do.  It was good.  We did that.  They put some go-pros in the pickup truck on our way up to Bristol and had a truck full of kids screaming.  It was life and they filmed it.  It’s gonna be fun to watch that and how everybody does things differently and how lives are different away from the racetrack.  Everyone has different amount of kids or married or not or whatever.  Everyone has a different life.  It’s kind of fun to see.”


CAN YOU CONFIRM THE TERM OF YOUR CONTRACT EXTENSION AND IS SPONSORSHIP LINED UP FOR THE DURATION OF THAT?  “I can’t speak on the terms.  I’m sure everyone can probably put a few things together and figure most of it out, but it’s definitely a long-term deal that’s gonna be great for all of us.  Shell and Pennzoil and Team Penske, and honestly I think about it and it’s such a no-brainer for me.  I was in a great situation.  I feel very loyal to my partners and Roger and in Shell and Pennzoil that picked me up when no one else was going to, and gave me an amazing opportunity to win a bunch of races and a championship and have the opportunity to continue that relationship is, to me, like I said, a no-brainer.  I’m in a great spot.  We’ve got a winning race car, a secure place to work.  When you think of what Penske can offer there, so, to me, it was a pretty easy decision on what to do there, and the continued growing on the team that we have.  It’s tough to keep jumping ship, to go from one team to another.  It’s not easy to do.  You have to re-learn how things work, learn new relationships, who does what and you’re kind of starting from the beginning, where having the continuity of what we see at Team Penske for years to come whether it’s on the 12 with Blaney re-signing, myself, you see we’re gonna be able to work together for a long time and keep building off what we’re doing, and I think that puts us in a place of strength.”


THE PLAYOFFS START AT DARLINGTON, WHERE YOU WON.  HOW MUCH CONFIDENCE DO YOU HAVE GOING THERE?  “I feel good about it.  Really, for the last month I feel really good about our performance, especially how we’ve been executing races.  We’ve been really good at that the last month.  We’ve maximized what we had.  Our cars need to be faster, for sure, and it depends on the type of racetrack, but, to answer your question, Darlington is probably more so in our wheelhouse than any other racetrack.  Old wore out surfaces is good for me as a driver and Paul as a crew chief, and the length and type of track that it is as well kind of falls into our wheelhouse.  I’m excited about going back to Darlington.  Obviously, we have a good place to work off of after we just ran there and had some success, so we can kind of tweak that setup some and hopefully be a little stronger than we were the last time.”


YOU, BLANEY AND SUAREZ HAVE ALL RE-SIGNED IN THE LAST FEW DAYS.  WHAT MUST IT BE LIKE FOR KYLE BUSCH TO DEAL WITH THE DISTRACTION OF HIS SITUATION?  “It’s a fair question and I can’t answer it for him.  I can answer it for myself and just going through the quick negotiations that there was.  Roger flew in.  We met for three hours and we shook hands and we left.  That’s how that worked and that’s how it worked the time before and it works smooth like that because we both understand each other’s side and we come to a neutral ground that makes sense for everybody and we both walked out of the room feeling like we got a good deal.  That’s what a good deal is – when both sides win.  That’s a good deal.  We’ve been able to accomplish that for the last 10 years already, so I can say when it happens that quickly and you just move on the distraction is minimal because it just happens.  Boom, it’s over.  But knowing the negotiation is coming you have to prepare for it and that is a distraction and that’s just with one team.  What if you were out there talking to four or five different teams all at the same time and trying to drive the race car and trying to live your life and be a dad and be a husband.  Holy moley.  I don’t know if I can do it and be 100 percent at any of it.  It’s just a balance.  I don’t know if it’s possible for me.  I can’t speak for anybody else.  I’m just speaking for myself.  That’s one of the main reasons why I feel so at home where I’m at.”


HOW DO YOU APPROACH THIS RACE?  WILL IT BE THE SAME AS BEFORE?  “Yeah, it’s last chance.  It’s your last shot to get in and everyone has the opportunity to win this thing – everybody has – and, yeah, I think this race plays differently than some of the other superspeedways.  Some of it is because points don’t matter for a lot of people.  They matter for us.  We can get up there in points still and turn those into playoff points, but there are some teams that may not race for stage points because what does it matter?  They’ve just got to survive and have something to race with at the end, so why would you take yourself out before that?  You’re gonna have that, but I do think at the end of the race desperate people do desperate things and if this is your chance to get into the playoffs and know what that means for your team, and you have to make a risky move, the risky move is gonna happen even if it’s a two percent chance of it succeeding.  It’s gonna happen.  To me, there’s a 100 percent chance that they’re gonna crash at the end of this thing at some point.  I don’t see how you don’t.  I don’t see how it doesn’t happen.  I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t happen in the last five laps, but it’s just a situation that we are put in coming here to Daytona, a superspeedway, with what’s on the line.  It’s kind of asking yourself, ‘What would you do to win the Daytona 500?’  Well, what would you do to get in the playoffs?  A lot of them are gonna say, “I’d wreck my mother to do it.’  That’s what a lot of them would say and, most likely, you’re gonna see something like that tomorrow night.  Hopefully, the bright red and yellow Shell/Pennzoil Mustang is in front of all that and get a trophy at the end of the day.”


DO YOU HAVE A PLAN TO GO FOR THE WIN OR TRY TO HELP RYAN GET IN THE PLAYOFF HUNT WITH WHERE HE IS IN POINTS?  “Ryan is in a pretty good spot after Kurt’s news earlier this week, unfortunately for him but I guess for Ryan it puts him in a better spot.  It puts him in a better spot to make the playoffs to make the playoffs throughout this race.  There are still situations that can happen that knocks him out, obviously, and I’ll be as good of a teammate as I always am and as good as I can be and work together as best as possible, but, the bottom line is I get paid to win the race too and I need to go out there and try to win the race as well.  You can’t do it on your own.  You’ve got to have people to work together with, but we eventually have to go race each other too at some point.”


HOW WILL THE TRACK BE WITH THE RAIN IN COMPARISON TO THE SPRING?   “The rain is not gonna affect it much after the first run and the track takes some rubber – the Xfinity race tonight should rubber it in some, so I guess it won’t be that bad.  It’s all about track temp.  That’s really the biggest difference from the spring race to the fall race is the track temp.  If it’s hot, it’s slick and you’re sliding around and the pack gets a little looser.  If there’s a ton of grip, the pack seems to be a little tighter and that’s kind of what changes it up the most.  Handling will come more into play, but as the sun goes down your track temp really doesn’t get much different than what it is in February in the 500.”


THERE ARE A LOT OF DIFFERENT SCENARIOS FOR RYAN AND MARTIN.  IS THERE A SITUATION WHERE HE MAY HAVE TO PUSH TRUEX TO A WIN AS OPPOSED TO YOU OR ANOTHER FORD?  “I don’t see where Blaney pushing Martin would be better than pushing his teammate.  It would be the same result for Blaney.  His teammate would have a win, which would be good for Team Penske.  I guess I don’t see how that situation would play out.  The worst thing that could happen for them is if there is if someone outside the playoffs now wins their way in and then Martin gains 25 points on Blaney.  That would be the way he’s out, which I don’t know how likely that is.  It’s very possible here at Daytona.  If there is one place, it’s here so it can happen, but I can’t tell you exactly how Blaney is gonna call the race and what he’s gonna do.  I think a lot of it depends and it’s a little bit off feel too on how the race is going and what’s going on the first couple stages before you make your decisions at the end of the race.”

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