Experience counts

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 12: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Joey Logano speaks to the media during the 2015 NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 12, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 12: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Joey Logano speaks to the media during the 2015 NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 12, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.—If Joey Logano makes a return trip to the Championship 4 Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup this year, he’ll be better prepared to deal with the totality of the experience.

Logano’s championship hopes were derailed in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway by a snafu on pit road — not to mention the speed in Kevin Harvick’s title-winning car. But Logano and his entire tam learned from the experience.

“There is a lot of silver-lining to take from that,” Logano said on Thursday during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway. “We didn’t finish where we wanted to and didn’t have the championship trophy like we wanted to have going in there, but we learned a lot about the whole week leading into it and how to prepare at the track and how to handle practice and do all that stuff to hopefully be in the same position again and do a better job.

“That’s the biggest thing we took away. There were a lot of positives last year, and it’s something I’m proud of. Unfortunately, it isn’t what we wanted, but we learned a lot about how to mentally prepare for a championship race like that.”

Part of the preparation was dealing with the ribbing he took from Harvick during the contenders’ press conference before the final race.

“Actually that helped me,” Logano revelaed. “Leading into that, after Phoenix (the next-to-last race), everyone was excited about the (Championship 4), and I thought it was great, but I knew it was going to be big. There was no excitement about getting into the (Championship 4) for me. We had to keep our heads down and do everything we could to win the championship. I was looking for something. I didn’t sleep. I was looking for something I could get better at. There was no joking around that week. I was very serious and probably not myself.

“When we got down to Florida and did that press conference, and (Harvick) started poking, I kind of relaxed because it was obvious that he was just as nervous as me. At that point I relaxed a lot. That was a good thing for me and I tried to carry that through my team. I remember when I left there I called (crew chief) Todd (Gordon) and was joking with him about it and told him we were going to do alright. I think that conversation helped him also. I think as a team we did an OK job.”

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