Ford Performance NASCAR: Joey Logano Pocono Press Conference

Ford Performance NSCS Notes and Quotes

Pennsylvania 400 – Pocono Raceway

Friday, July 29, 2016

Joey Logano, driver of the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion, has one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory at Pocono Raceway and looked ahead to this weekend’s event before qualifying today at Pocono Raceway.

JOEY LOGANO – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion – BRAD CONSIDERS YOU ARE ONE OF THE BEST IN TERMS OF RESTARTS.   HAS THAT BECOME A REFINED ART IN TODAY’S SPORT? “For sure.   There’s a lot of opportunity on restarts to go either way. It can go good or it can go really bad, really quick. So it’s something that I study a lot. For each race track it takes something different to be successful on a restart. It takes a lot of time talking with your crew chief, understanding what you need in your race car to make some of the moves you need to make, but, like what Brad said earlier, they’re very, very important and it’s a big challenge. Everyone is trying to make up as much as they can, especially here at Pocono. This is one of those race tracks where you have a long straightaway before you get down to turn one and there are usually only about two lanes that are really worth anything when you get there. There’s a lot of side drafting and pulling each other back and three, four-wide – sometimes five-wide – going into turn one and you’ve got to find a hole to get in there, and it becomes very challenging. You don’t want to be the guy that’s left out. A lot of times the aggressor is the one that wins out on that thing, but sometimes the aggressor is the one that maybe puts himself in the wrong spot. It’s a calculated decision on each restart on knowing who you’re racing, the tendencies they’ve had in the past, what race track you’re at, and kind of putting that all together to make the decisions on the restart on making these moves because it becomes so challenging to pass afterwards. When you talk about here or Indy, or most race tracks we go to it’s very hard to pass these days, and the opportunity is on the restart. So you push hard and it’s that way across the board.   Every driver is doing that and it’s just a matter of doing it in the right way.”

HOW MUCH DO YOU AND YOUR TEAM LOOK AT PAST RESULTS AT A RACE TRACK?   YOU’VE HAD THREE TOP-5 FINISHES HERE IN THE LAST FOUR RACES. “None.   This is the first I’ve heard that, so I should answer your question. We don’t really look at the stats. Something Roger Penske says all the time is, ‘Don’t trip over your press clippings.’   That would be the perfect example of that. I think you can kind of get lost in the stats sometimes and think you’re better than what you are at a particular race track or whatever it may be. It’s important for us to be able to remember how we ran last time, yes, and learn from our mistakes and where we can be better, but that’s in the past. That’s history. It’s gone and we need to focus on how we can make more top-5s and more wins, and I feel like we have a car that can do that this week.”

ARE YOU GOING TO WATCH THE OLYMPICS? “I love the Olympics. I love seeing the emotion of the athletes and I really don’t care what sport it is. I think I’ve learned over the years as an athlete to appreciate the amount of time and effort they put into it, and it’s fun to watch athletes that don’t get to compete as much as we do in the limelight.   This is once every four years.   They’re getting a shot at it once every four years. We get to race the Daytona 500 every year. This is their championship and they only get a shot once every four years, and I think understanding that pressure that they get put under to do that and be able to succeed and really perform under that type of pressure is very impressive to me because you mess up, you think about it for four years.   It’s amazing to see how they prepare and watching their interviews and how they talk. I can learn a lot from that and that’s something I really enjoy more than the actual event itself. I like trying to figure out how I can make myself better and learning in what way other athletes from different sports are able to do that and prepare themselves for the biggest event of their career.”

EVERY DRIVER SEEMS TO LOVE THIS NEW LOW DOWNFORCE PACKAGE.   WHY? IS THIS SOMETHING EVERYBODY WANTS? “For sure. I think the driver council is something that has really helped us communicate to NASCAR and NASCAR really accepts what we’ve been doing over there, and I think it’s definitely opened the lines of communication, which is great. Do they do everything we say? No, of course not, and it shouldn’t be. We need to get everybody’s opinion. We’ve got to get the owners, the drivers, the tracks, everyone has a council these days. Everyone needs to be able to agree on things before we can move forward on stuff, but it is nice for the drivers to come together as one voice and be able to communicate what we want, so there’s definitely a lot of layers on how we do that and how we communicate, and then communicate that to NASCAR. I think we’ve seen some things get pushed through that it’s gonna be good for our sport. I think when you look at the low downforce, I don’t think there’s really any drivers that want it the other way. I think we’ve proven this year is better racing than last year, and I think even with the ’17 package with a couple of refinements, or whatever it may be, can be even better than this package. The ultimate goal is to be behind a car and not affect your car.   It’s always going to affect your car, but if you can do it the minimum amount, it’s gonna be better racing for everybody to watch.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE DIGITAL DASH? “They’re quite a bit different than what we’re used to. I think for years you’re used to using a spec gauge, and they’re able to run all of your pit road lights on it. There are advantages and disadvantages of the dash.   I think the dash itself is cool.   It brings us more towards the modern era with the way the street cars are today. I think that’s a good thing. The challenge that we have is pit road stuff. A lot of times it’s a little delayed. What ends up happening on your dash is a little delayed because it has to go through some kind of processor. I’m not a computer guy, but it’s delayed to what your actual speed is, so trying to understand that is taking a different technique inside the race car to maximize your pit road speed, which is a massive challenge.   Like Kyle said, there is a lot of different layouts and different ways you can do things. You can be creative, which is kind of fun. It’s different. It’s nice. There’s a lot more opportunity with it, I think, than what we used to have, so it’s a step in the right direction. I think we can make them better, for sure, like anything. I’m always looking to make something better. That’s what we should do just as people in society, but I think that is definitely a direction that’s right for the sport. Still, there’s another step that I think we can make it even better.”


Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.