Ford Performance NASCAR: Watkins Glen (Joey Logano Media Availability)

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Ford Performance NASCAR Notes and Quotes

Zippo 200 / I Love New York 355 – Watkins Glen International

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Joey Logano, driver of the No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford has enjoyed past success on the road course of Watkins Glen. Logano looks to this weekend as possibly his best chance for victory and securing a spot in the upcoming NASCAR Playoffs. Logano explained to media Saturday morning.

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion — WHAT DO YOU NEED TO GET A WIN? “Go faster than all the rest of the drivers out there. This has been a great race track for us the last couple of years. Before the repave and now since the repave we have been able to maintain some of the speed and things we have learned on the older surface so that is good. I think we have a good Xfinity car for today and I am looking forward to seeing what we have with our Cup car.”

QUESTION INAUDIBLE: “You are using different muscles with the amount of shifting you are doing here. But look at me. I should be okay. The most challenging part in all honesty isn’t the races as it is running from car to car. Trying to keep the two practices separate. At least with this new schedule, yesterday I was able to focus 100% on Xfinity practice which really helps. Today the Xfinity car is pretty much done besides qualifying and the race. I don’t have to communicate or talk about a bunch of things anymore. I just have to drive the car. In the Cup car I can focus on practicing and getting that car tuned in where it needs to be.”

WITH QUALIFYING AND THE RACE ON THE SAME DAY, HOW DOES THAT AFFECT YOUR MINDSET? “It has definitely changed the game up some. With a 3 o’clock start time last week we still had plenty of time in the morning to prepare yourself physically. I guess the part that becomes a little more challenging is that we used to always have these appearances in the morning, four or five different appearances, and now where do you set those in to get them in before qualifying? It is different. I think it is okay. I don’t have a problem with qualifying the day of. It all just depends on the schedule. The reason we do it is if you have two series going and you only have so many officials and have to have so much time to go through tech. Unless we change some of that stuff up, this is the way it has to be I believe, from what I understand at least. It is different. I don’t think it is a bad thing. If someone crashes in qualifying I think it puts them in a pretty big bind to get their stuff ready for the race but it is what it is. It is the same for everybody.”

DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE IN A MUST-WIN SITUATION TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS? “Closer to it. That is for sure. I am not sure we are at a must-win yet. I feel like this is one of our best shots to go out here and win this weekend. We also have some great race tracks coming up. Bristol, Darlington has been a good track for us. Richmond as well. We have some good tracks coming up for us. We have won at the next four out of five races that are coming up, so we know we can do it. We just have to do it.”

DO YOU RACE ANY DIFFERENTLY BECAUSE OF THAT? “No. Our goal is still the same. Our goal is to win the race no matter what. I am not going to race someone different because of their situation or my situation. I will understand what their situation is. I will understand how desperate they are, but for us we have to stay focused in on our car as much as anybody else’s”

HAS THE XFINITY RACE HERE THE LAST COUPLE YEARS HELPED YOU WITH LEARNING SOME THINGS OR YOUR CONFIDENCE ON THE CUP SIDE? “It definitely does. It is a confidence booster number one. Number two, you are able to take some things from the Xfinity race into the Cup race. The cars drive closer this year, so far at least, then they did last year with less spoiler on the Xfinity cars. The braking zones was the biggest difference but they are closer now with the smaller spoiler on the Xfinity cars. I remember following (Marcos) Ambrose in the Xfinity race and racing the heck out of each other for the win here. I remember where he beat me really bad. I tried doing it and my car couldn’t do it and I told myself the next time I came here I would make sure my car could do what that car was doing. Since then, we have gotten faster. if it wasn’t for running that Xfinity race against him I would not have learned that. You only come to this race track one a year and we don’t race road courses that much. The more laps you can get around the more comfortable you get.”

CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN WATKINS GLEN AND SONOMA? “It is a complete 180. Sonoma is a very slow, technical track. Tires wear down a lot. You have heavy braking zones and are braking down to 40 to get around a couple of those turns. Here you are going so fast, there is not much room for error and your tires don’t wear out. You can imagine from a car setup perspective and driving technique perspective it is completely different than Sonoma. You see a lot of drivers and cars that run good at one track that you assume would be good here too and that isn’t the case a lot of times. It takes something different to run well here at Watkins Glen than it does at Sonoma.”

DID YOU EVER GET A PIECE OF THE RACE TRACK THAT YOU HELPED TEAR UP HERE LAST TIME? “I did. I didn’t really want to tear it up because I finally figured it out but they put me in an excavator and told me to dig it up and I didn’t want to. It was fun to drive that machine and dig it up though. I do have a piece. It was cool because we swept that weekend I made these trophies for my team. They had the sponsors of the race and the logo and then a chunk of the asphalt on top of it to give to the teams. It was a really cool weekend for me.”

WILL STAGE RACING AFFECT THE STRATEGY HERE THIS YEAR? “Yeah, it has everywhere we go and it will here at Watkins Glen. Depending on certain driver situations and when they pit and how important the stage points are to setting yourself up for the end of the race, there will be a lot of different strategies that come into this. Every time we have gone to a road course there is a lot of strategy to start off with. When you come to a track where the tires don’t wear out much and you don’t slow down much it definitely becomes a fuel mileage race. I think this race has come down to fuel mileage with everyone trying to pit when they can and not getting caught by the caution. Yeah, there will be a lot of strategy. I am not 100% sure what ours will be. We have to see where we qualify and where we are running. That is Todd’s (Gordon) job. I just drive. I don’t want any part of that.”


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.