Ford Performance NASCAR: Phoenix (Joey Logano Media Availability)

Ford PR

Ford Notes and Quotes

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)

Ticket Guardian 500 Media Availability (ISM Raceway; Phoenix, AZ)

Friday, March 9, 2018


Joey Logano, driver of the No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion, was the fastest Ford in opening Cup practice at ISM Speedway in Phoenix. Logano spoke with media prior to hitting the track for qualifying later today.


JOEY LOGANO. No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion — HOW MUCH MOMENTUM DO YOU FEEL YOU HAVE COMING INTO THIS RACE WEEKEND? “Yeah, it has been a nice start, especially with how last season went. It feels nice to see the front again and lead some laps and have the chances to win. It is a nice feeling. To be able to unload today and have nice speed in our race car, I think we have something good to qualify with. The confidence level is growing through the whole race team. That is a good thing. We just need to keep the consistency up. We have been very consistent this year. Hopefully we can keep that going and get a win this weekend.”


AND NOW YOU HAVE THE POINTS LEAD: “Yeah. That feels nice. I mean, it is only three races in but it feels nice, yes.”


YOUR TEAMMATE WAS LOBBYING ABOUT THE FORDS NOT BEING ABLE TO KEEP UP WITH TOYOTA AND CHEVY BEFORE THE SEASON STARTED. ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THE PROGRESS THAT FORD MADE IN THE OFF SEASON? “Yeah, I am. The progress has been in the right direction. I think there are a few reasons on why that is. I think the hawkeye system and all that has really kind of changed the game for a lot of race teams and brought us a little more into the playing field which is great for us. I think we made some good improvements over the off season. We made our cars a little better. There are a few things that I think have helped us get that way. I think you still see the other manufacturers are going to be good. I am sure Chevy will figure this thing out pretty quick with the new body. We say the same thing last year with Toyota off to a slow start and by the end they were really, really fast. We hope that doesn’t happen, but so far it has been a great start for team Penske and all the Ford’s really. They have all shown good speed.”


YOU ARE NOW PART OF A THREE CAR TEAM. DO YOU FEEL IT IS ALREADY A DIFFERENT WAY OF OPERATING OR IS IT THE SAME? “No, it is a big step. To add another race team is not easy, believe me. For me, my job doesn’t change a whole bunch. For the management of our race team, hiring the right people and figuring out how to get them all to the race track. All that stuff is just more. The way we share our data between the teams. You have to add more to that. Our team meetings, there are more people in them, how do we go through that stuff. There are a bunch of little things you don’t think about until you get to the race track and realize you have to do this now or that now. You just have to get used to it. It isn’t a bad thing. I am not saying any of it is bad, it is just a challenge. It is a good thing for our race team. I think it has made us stronger already and I think as we keep plowing forward with it we will be able to use it to our advantage even more.”


IN LIGHT OF THE HARVICK SITUATION, THERE HAS BEEN DISCUSSION OF THE ROLE OF SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE CONTRIBUTION TO OFFICIATING THE SPORT. IS THERE ANY CONCERN ON YOUR END THAT NASCAR CAN SEE WHAT IS ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND HAVE IT POTENTIALLY INFLUENCE ANY DECISIONS? “I don’t think it really influences a decision. It probably makes things a little more vocal. You guys know how social media is. I don’t have to explain to you guys what it is about. Little things get blown into something really big no matter what we are talking about. Everything in life. I think it obviously stood out, right? A lot of things were talked about afterwards. It is no different than the 24 last year in Chicago. Something that was pointed out a lot and then everyone keeps looking at pictures or their Twitter accounts or whatever it is and sees it. It doesn’t change us and I wouldn’t assume that NASCAR makes calls off of social media. I wouldn’t think that is the case. I would think NASCAR is bigger than that. I think it just makes the story bigger when you see it all over social media. It is not like a secret penalty that is under the car and we are all trying to figure out what it really does and you can’t really see it and you don’t know what it does. When it is on the outside of a car it is pretty blatantly obvious that something is different. You can see something is different. That is where the common fan that watches NASCAR racing and doesn’t understand the crazy things that the engineers understand underneath the car, it just makes it more obvious for everyone to see.”


DOES THE FACT THAT THE 4 CAR HAS LED SO MANY LAPS THE PAST COUPLE OF WEEKS MAKE YOU REACT THAT YOU KNOW IT IS POSSIBLE OR DOES IT FRUSTRATE YOU THAT IT HASN’T BEEN ONE OF YOU GUYS DOING IT? “Yep. Both, for sure. If it wasn’t for the 4 car the last couple weeks we would be the best car. I would say we are a second to fifth place car lately. The 4 car has just been the best car. He has been the fastest the last couple weeks. We are three races in. In Atlanta we kind of chalked it up to Kevin being probably the best driver at Atlanta and we just thought it was Atlanta and he is typically fast there. Vegas was one of those things where we all thought, ‘Wow, maybe it wasn’t just Atlanta.’ Phoenix has always been a good track for him as well. It takes a few weeks to realize where you stand. I think we are in good shape so far but I do think that he is a solid step in front of everybody right now. I think that team is.”


WHEN YOU COME BACK HERE IN THE FALL THE TRACK WILL BE FLIPPED. THE RESTART ZONE WILL BE IN TURN TWO AND THE FINISH LINE AND THE DOGLEG. HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT HOW THAT IS GOING TO CHANGE THINGS HERE? “I have thought about it some but some of it you don’t really know until you get there. Honestly, I am focused on this weekend and what I have to do for restarts with the start-finish line where it is at. It will change everything drastically. Think about where the start-finish line is supposed to be located and when you get past it where it opens up. It is going to be awesome. It will open up more than any track we go to now. There will be plenty of lanes to pick from and it will all funnel down into turn three and more off turn four and one more time off turn one. Everyone will have to find these holes to get back into but there is so much opportunity when you cross the start-finish line for pulling out. I think there will be some crazy moves there, maybe drivers that are too aggressive and make the move too soon which may cause a penalty. Maybe drivers will be too aggressive in turn three and slide up the racetrack. That will definitely change up the way three and four works. It is such a long, sweeping corner, you can have one guy slide up and a crossover move is pretty apparent you can do a lot with it there. I am excited about it. I think it is a great change this track is making. Obviously we will all get kind of suckered into how the garage is going to be better and the grandstands will be better. I agree and I am glad they are doing that. The racing part is a step that is probably hidden in this whole thing.”


WHAT IS YOUR STRATEGY IN THAT TURN NOW? “In three and four? One and two? The dogleg? What is that, turn five? What do we call that one? (laughter) I am still confused on how there are four turns around a racetrack. I see two. I see three here. Why is there only three at Pocono? Shouldn’t there be six? These are the things that go through my mind that I can’t figure out. Maybe you guys can help me. Anyways, the dogleg, I think it is something that right now is played a lot on restarts. You can go three or four wide and there is plenty of room for it and that is cool. The fact that it is so abrupt when you go down there, there is no smooth transition and our cars are on the ground. The car doesn’t absorb it with suspension. You hit the race track. It is an impact when you go down there which isn’t doing any favors to your car. There are times you have to do that to make the room that you need to make the big move to make a pass. It is something that is cool and unique about Phoenix.”


DO YOU THINK YOU WILL DO IT MORE OR LESS GOING FORWARD? “I think the restarts will make it happen more but it happens quite a bit now. Every restart there is someone that goes way down there. Some drivers go out of camera view and it is like, ‘Where did he go?’ It is pretty cool.”


HOW ARE YOU ADJUSTING TO FATHERHOOD NOW THAT YOU ARE ON THE ROAD EVERY WEEK? “It is definitely different. It is hard. I feel bad for my wife, Brittany, because I leave her on the weekends right now because these west coast races are just too far to bring him. She is on her own, toughing it out. I tried to tell her that I am not sleeping so well here and it is really hard. (laughter) But, she is doing great. She is a champ, I tell you that much. I try to help as much as I can, when I can when I am at home. I feel bad when I leave. It has been the biggest transition, figuring out your time and how to prioritize your life. That is one of the biggest differences, how you can spend as much time, especially now on this west coast swing. You are never home. You want to spend time when you are at home but you still have to work when you are at home. It is hard to figure out the time and when you can do certain things without cutting anything out. I think just trying to figure out my life, from that perspective, away from the race track, has been the biggest adjustment for me personally. It has also been the coolest adjustment of my life, I can tell you that much. It is so much fun to look at him and the ways he changes every day. It has been entertaining to say the least. He is starting to smile a little bit and giggle a little bit, which is pretty cool. He never sits still. I know where that came from. He never sits still. I get in trouble for that because that is apparently my fault when he doesn’t sit still and cries all day.”


About Greg Engle 7420 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.