Ford Performance NASCAR: Joey Logano Martinsville Press Conference

Ford PR

Ford Performance Notes and Quotes


Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)

Saturday, March 23, 2019


EVENT: STP 500 Driver Media Availability ( Joey Logano)

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Mustang – CAN YOU LOOK BACK ON YOUR WIN HERE LAST YEAR AND THE IMPORTANCE IT PLAYED?  “Anytime you can grab a win at a historical race track like here, Martinsville is always a very special win – especially your first win at a track like this was a big deal – and obviously what it led to was even a bigger deal.  It was a very important race as we all know when we get back here in the fall, but I think the spring race a lot of times is just as important for one to really have something to really learn from in this first race, but also having that confidence when you come back here.  As we know, it’s one of the most important races of the year.  I call it the second-most important race of the year next to Homestead sometimes, and it was for us last year.”


DID YOU EXPECT TO HAVE MORE GRIP AT VEGAS AND AUTO CLUB WITH THIS PACKAGE?  “Yeah, the downforce doesn’t go away as the run goes.  It’s staying there, so I think that grip level being up it’s everywhere. When we unloaded here and you may say we’re not going very fast and downforce doesn’t make a difference, but it does and we’ve already seen some.  To me, it feels like quite a bit of grip out there.  The balance of the car is quite a bit different than what we had last year.”


YOU LOBBIED FOR ADDITIONAL HORSEPOWER.  WHAT HAS THAT DONE FOR THE RACING COMPARED TO FROM CHARLOTTE TO NOW?  “It’s hard to say because when you looked at the All-Star Race that was the first time any of us have run with this high drag, high downforce package, so the teams have evolved so much from then to now, but we added that horsepower and it definitely brings the handling more into play, brings more of the old school racing.  I don’t think any of us wanted to have just one big pack out there to where we’re just wide-open all the way around for an extended period of time.  That’s kind of what we had at Charlotte is we were wide-open for a very, very long time and if it was like that there, I don’t know if we would have ever lifted at Vegas.  So I think that added horsepower brings a little more back to the race teams to where the best teams, the best drivers still have an advantage as they should.  That’s the way racing is supposed to be.”


DID YOU, BRAD AND RYAN GET TOGETHER AND FIGURE OUT HOW YOU WANTED TO APPROACH THE NEW RULES?  “We had plenty of meetings about the rules and what we think we’re gonna need in our race cars.  It’s not necessarily a strategy of how when we want to win.  The strategy for us is pretty simple, we just want to win every race we go to and I think that’s probably the same for the whole garage.  I’m sure every team had the meetings of, ‘OK, here’s what’s coming our way,’ after a test and you have some of the preseason testing and it said, ‘We think this is gonna be most important or this is gonna be most important,’ and you try to drive the ship in the right direction to what we think is gonna pay dividends early in the season.  That’s what makes this west coast swing that we just had so tough because if you went down the wrong road, you didn’t have much time to recover because for one the races are stacked on top of each other, but the distance that you have to keep going back and forth you don’t have time to change your cars if you feel like you’ve picked a wrong path.  A lot of those cars are built before we get to Daytona a lot of times, so it’s really hard to make those updates or changes that you want after you run one race.  After Vegas and you say, ‘Oh jeez, we went the wrong way.’  You don’t have a lot of time to come back, so I think that’s why you’re seeing a lot of the same cars fast for the west coast swing.  The same cars were up front the whole time I think because the teams couldn’t update quick enough.”


WHAT KIND OF AN IMPACT DOES HIGH DOWNFORCE HAVE ON A SHORT TRACK?  DOES IT CHANGE THE NATURE OF THE RACING?  “It could.  The amount of rubber that lays down could change.  The effect behind the car is probably gonna be a little greater than what it was here last time even at a place like Martinsville, but a place like Richmond – all those places – you’re going fast enough to where there is quite a bit of downforce.  Thinking of Bristol.  We’re gonna be hauling the mail around Bristol.  There are gonna be a lot of things that can change when we go there the way the track rubbers up, the strain that the car is gonna go through there is gonna be a whole other level.  We are gonna be going so fast around there, so every race track it affects.  Sonoma, Watkins Glen it’s gonna affect everywhere quite a bit and what you need out of your race car and the things that we’ve developed and the kind of mindsets that we’ve gotten over the last three years or so is now kind of reverting back a little bit or you’ve got to be open to new things that are outside the box or things that didn’t work before, so that’s kind of a challenge for all of the teams right now I think.”


DO YOU THINK YOUR TRACK RECORD IS IN JEOPARDY TODAY?  “Probably.  It’s pretty cool and with added downforce that’s probably gonna get beat.  I don’t even know what the time is – 18.898.  Yeah, that’s probably gonna get beat.  I’m glad I enjoyed it while I could.  I didn’t even know what it was.  All I remember is setting the track record and not getting the pole.  That’s what I remember about that day.”


KYLE BUSCH INTERJECTS. “That was 2014, right?  I was on the pole that day.”  (Laughter)


WHAT WAS IT LIKE IN THE DAYS FOLLOWING THE FINISH WITH TRUEX LAST YEAR?  “You just have to try to stay focused on what you’re doing, and try to prepare yourself for whatever is coming your way.  I’ve been through a few situations before to where I can hopefully make better decisions than some of the decisions I’ve made in the past and the way I’ve handled some of them, but there’s some of that thought that goes through your mind of just going over the past situations you’ve been through and how you handle and try to be better, and then at the same time stay focused at winning races.  It can be a huge distraction that can really hurt your performance on the race track and your team in preparing the race car, so we had to stay focused.  We gained the advantage by winning here for Miami and we had to stay focused on making sure we were prepared when we got there, so it’s just a balance.”
WHAT WAS IT LIKE WHEN YOU TALKED WITH MARTIN ABOUT IT THAT SUNDAY NIGHT AND DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAD AN UNDERSTANDING AT THAT POINT?  “I think there’s a pretty good understanding of what the situation was, not to bring up old stuff.  I mean, it’s in the past at this point.  But I think at that point Martin texted me and, like I told you guys, he was pretty clear that he was frustrated with the move.  I understood and I think he understood why I had to do it and it kind of played out and worked out, but my move to him was that I didn’t wreck you.  I gave the old bump-and-run.  That happened 15 times a race here at Martinsville and that one was just a little more popular.  I think there’s a fine line.  You don’t want to straight out bump somebody on purpose, but you also when it comes down to the end of the race like that and there’s that much on the line – that was our shot to win a championship – so I think every driver has a line that they are OK with and that you can go to sleep at the end of the night and say, ‘I did what I had to do and I’m alright with it,’ and if it happened to me you have to be OK with that as well, and I think that was the situation for me that I was trying to explain to him.”


DO YOU RECALL A MEMORABLE PRANK YOU PLAYED ON SOMEONE OR THEY PLAYED ON YOU FOR APRIL FOOL’S DAY?  “No.  I wish I had a good answer for you on that.  I’m not a big prankster.  I joke around a lot, but I can’t say I put much thought into trying to put together a big master plan on how I’m gonna prank somebody.  So, I’m sorry.  I don’t have a good answer.  I’m boring on that one.”



Greg Engle