Ford Performance NASCAR: All-Star Race (Joey Logano Media Availability)

Ford PR

Ford Notes and Quotes

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS)

NASCAR All-Star Race (Charlotte Motor Speedway; Concord, NC)

Saturday, May 19, 2018


Joey Logano, driver of the No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion, met with media members Saturday afternoon following an added practice session due to weather yesterday. Logano spoke about how the cars are reacting with the new aero package and more.


JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion — YOU GOT AN HOUR OF PRACTICE IN TODAY WITH THE NEW RULES PACKAGE. WHAT DO YOU THINK? “Well, it was nice to get some laps in before the race. I think everyone really worked on their cars a lot from what the first run was to closer toward the end. I think at first no one knew what was going to happen. We didn’t know if the tandem would be in play or a big pack or if handling would come into play. By the second lap we knew we were going to handle well here. Especially when the track is hot like this. Handling is a big deal. Speed is as well. Seems like the guy that is out front, if you have a fast car, he is going. As tires fall off the cars that can’t quite hold the bottom as well or really can’t keep the throttle down on the top will start to get passed. We saw in practice with cars that came out with new tires it was such a mixed bag to give it a fair read. It is hard to say because you had cars out there on 20-lap tires and cars on new tires and everything in between. The cars with new tires were driving through the whole field. It will be interesting when everyone is on the same tire out there with the same amount of laps on their tires. It will be interesting to see when the race stars. We worked on our car and we got it better. They drive pretty good when you are by yourself, kind of like Daytona or Talladega, but in dirty air with that big spoiler it gets out of control behind each other. You will see cars with big moments off two and four. Usually ⅔ way through the corner the car will start to take off and get in the wake of other cars. When you put a big spoiler on it you make dirtier air. We are trying to create a draft but it also creates dirtier air and in the corners that makes the cars harder to handle.”


WE ARE HOME IN CHARLOTTE THE NEXT TWO WEEKS. BEING A NEW FATHER, HOW DOES THAT CHANGE THINGS FOR YOU? “Typically I don’t go home. I would stay at the race track. It is different with the little man around. I go home. It is nice. I got to see the family when I got home last night and I took a shift last night which was good. It was a two-stop night, so that was good. His mileage is getting better which is good. He used to be about five stops. He has a bigger tank and his mileage is getting better so that is good for momma and papa.”


HOW DICEY WAS IT WHEN YOU WERE AT THE FRONT OF THE PACK COMPARED TO THE BACK OF THE PACK? “I would rather be in the front. It is going to get crazy. We are going to crash some stuff tonight. I think that is pretty apparent. In practice we were all pretty good at giving each other some room and making sure our cars are — at least we have a car for later on. I think towards the end of this race when business picks up, I mean hey, it is the All-Star race. It is the same thing when we come here no matter what package you use. You have nothing to lose and $1million to gain. I think every driver knows that. That whole caring about things kind of goes out the window. You think about winning the race and winning the money. That is what this is about. Whether we are racing tricycles or race cars or what package we have. It doesn’t matter when there is that much money on the line there is going to be some aggressive racing and we are going to see that here tonight no matter what, especially when you have a 10-lap shootout. That is going to get pretty chaotic pretty quick. I don’t think the last 10 laps will go caution free. Maybe I am wrong but if there are any cars left it might just be about survival. That might be a big deal tonight.”


ARE YOU LIFTING AT ALL? “I can’t go wide open. I can on new tires, you can at any point when you have clear air because you are going slower and have a lot more grip when you don’t have a car in front of you but even on lap one if there is a car in front of you then you can’t hold it as open as you want to. You have to go to ¾ throttle for a second and then back it down. I think everyone will make adjustments and make it better but the track will cool off and make it more open. The fact we are lifting a little is a good thing. At Indy when we ran a similar package for the Xfinity cars the lifting part wasn’t good. I think here because the track is wider it is better because you can get some kind of air on your car which allows us to stay closer and the handling comes into play which is good. That keeps the teams working on their stuff and it isn’t just a superspeedway race. It is a hybrid of them both.”


IF YOU ARE FIFTH OR SIXTH IN THE FINAL STAGE, WHAT IS THE CHALLENGE OF WORKING YOUR WAY UP TO THE FRONT? “I don’t know. I think a lot of people don’t know. I think as the intensity level picks up the give and take goes away and the clear calls get close off the corner and you cut everything a little closer to move up in the runs. It will be like a superspeedway race but handling will come into play. The split second decisions that you will have to make when cars are two-wide in front of you and you have a run there are going to be the toughest ones. Do you go to the bottom or the top? Where is there room? Down the front stretch there isn’t much room at all. I had a run and the 78 and somebody else were in front of me toward the end and I had tires so I was faster. They were two-wide and I had a run right after the second kink on the front straightaway and, where do you go? I had no room. I can go three-wide and we would probably all wad up and I wasn’t going to do that in practice. Those are the decisions you will have to make on the run. Do you send it in there three-wide? Are you going to lose so much momentum you won’t get anything out of it any way? You have to think about that stuff out there. The first 70 laps, just like normal superspeedway racing we have to learn about each other, about our cars, what we can and can’t do and have that notebook to make the right moves at the right time at the end. I would rather be closer to the front. I don’t want to be eighth. I don’t want to be any further back than fourth really. I don’t want to be any further back than the front row really. That is just how it is going to be.”


COMPARED TO THE REGULAR RULES PACKAGE HERE, IS THIS ANY MORE FUN TO RUN THIS PACKAGE? “I don’t know yet. I don’t want to say it is better or worse until we race it. To be honest with you guys I just don’t know yet. Was practice pretty entertaining to watch? Probably. It was a big pack and cars were rolling in and out. It is something, that is for sure. When everyone is on the same tires, will the pack look the same? I don’t think we can honestly answer that yet. So I can’t give you a fair answer yet and I want to be honest with you but I can’t tell you exactly how it is going to look yet. I think when there are different amounts of laps on tires it is pretty cool out there. But it may be different later on tonight. The way these stages are, it definitely presents the opportunity for cars to get on different strategies and make desperate moves from the pit box. That can happen and that will definitely shake it up.”


WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS GOING INTO THE 600? “Oh boy. Well, different challenges than we have tonight. I think the biggest challenge will be when I get in that car on Thursday and realize how fast I am going. When I go into turn one and I have to lift it is going to feel really fast. For that race, obviously 600 miles and a unique event. That is what makes the Coke 600 so special to try to win. It is a crown jewel event, one of the top-three races in my opinion to try to win. I would love to do that, especially as a Coca-Cola driver. That would be really a big accomplishment for me and for our race team. The challenges we have tonight will be completely different than what we have there and the way the handling will come into play and the length of the race.”


IS THERE ANY SITUATION IN YOUR MIND WHERE YOU WOULD BE COMFORTABLE IN THE LAST 10 LAPS TONIGHT ON OLD TIRES? “I will let you know. If you see me stay out then I feel pretty good about it. I think if you are towards the back I can see people gambling and going for it. It is 10 green-flag laps so it isn’t like — 10 laps could be 40 laps for all we know. You have to kind of keep that in mind as well. It depends on how the draft is. If cars get stuck two-wide and the three-wide move isn’t working and you can get distance and cars don’t draft up as quick as you think they could, that is when staying out on two-tires and things like that will play. But as soon as someone puts four on and is able to drive through the whole field, it will be like, ‘Okay, we gotta put tires on.’ We got to see some of that in practice but the track will be cooler and that makes tires not play as much because you will be wide open more. I kind of think it will look a little like the truck race in a way where tires do mean something but you are close to wide open all the way around. I think it will look similar to a truck race and probably a little closer. We put these guys out here, you get the All-Stars out there. It is different. Even if you put us in a truck race it would look different. It will be interesting to see how everyone adapts.”


WITH THE SLOWER SPEEDS ARE YOU MORE CONFIDENT TO MAKE CRAZY MOVES OUT THERE? “Speed is all relative. You can feel like you are going really, really fast when you are out of control at 30 miles per hour. I have a Model T at home and I drive that down the road at 30 miles per hour and I feel like I am going 80. It is all relative. You feel super confident when you are by yourself and you can make any move you want at that point because the cars are so stuck to the race track but when you get in dirty air and the cars are sliding around more and you are going a little bit faster, that is when is is like, ‘Hey, I don’t know if I can make these big moves.’ Even though we aren’t seeing that 200 mph mark, you are still on the edge in dirty air. That is what speed is to me. You can watch a street stock race and they are on the edge too. They may not be going super fast but they are on the edge and it is a great race. It is all relative.”

WHAT ARE THE SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE TYPE OF DRAFT YOU JUST EXPERIENCED COMPARED TO WHAT YOU ARE USED TO EXPERIENCING WITH THE PLATES AND DAYTONA AND TALLADEGA? “It is a hybrid because handling comes into play. At Talladega and Daytona there is some handling but the cars are pretty trimmed out and you are wide open all the way around the race track. If you lift it is just a little bit and the corners are so long you can make different moves in the corners. Here, you are a mile shorter so your corners are sharper and you may not be going as fast but the corners are sharper and the drag ducts change the draft completely and that is a huge deal in the way these things have been drafting today and the way we side draft and get around each other. That has changed it a lot. I think we need to add all that up and when you do it will look different. It is still not Daytona or Talladega no matter what. You are still at Charlotte. It is still going to be different.”

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.