FORT WORTH, Tex.—For Joey Logano, the best way to deal with the pressure of a championship run is simply to tune it out.
After a fifth-place finish last Sunday at Martinsville Speedway in the first race of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup’s Eliminator Round, Logano is third in the standings, just four points behind Chase leader Jeff Gordon.
That’s not much comfort, though, for the driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford. Five drivers are within seven points of the lead, and only four can advance to the Nov. 16 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway with championship eligibility intact.
Logano says the best way to combat the stress is to keep doing what his team has been doing successfully all year long.
“You feel the pressure,” Logano admitted. “It’s there, and it’s there for everyone and probably equal for everyone. Maybe everyone has a different game plan. Some guys have to win, and some need a consistent finish. Either way, there is pressure to (do) that. It’s there. I feel like I’m doing a good job handling it, and I think my whole team is.
“When that pressure is on, not only for the driver but the pit crew and the guys working on your car day to day, they are thinking about how one mistake can keep you from winning this championship and that is pressure for sure…
“I feel the 22 team has handled that great so far. I’m not nervous about it at all. Thinking about it just makes you more nervous, so that isn’t the right way to go. You focus on your race car and the job at hand.”