LOUDON, N.H. – Clearly, there’s strength in numbers, as Joe Gibbs Racing has proven on more than one occasion during the organization’s dominant run in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this year.
But Joey Logano cautions those who have trouble seeing past JGR’s four-car armada not to overlook Team Penske’s two-car outfit.
Yes, the Gibbs are 1-2-3-4 in the standings after last Sunday’s opening Chase race at Chicagoland Speedway, but Logano feels his No. 22 Team Penske Ford has the speed to match the organization that has won eight of the last 10 Cup races.
“I feel like we’re right there with them,” said Logano, who took the checkered flag in the two most recent races JGR didn’t win, at Watkins Glen and Bristol. “Even last weekend in Chicago (where JGR driver Denny Hamlin won), I thought we had a very fast Shell/Pennzoil Ford that had speed in the car, ran up top-five all day and had a legit shot at winning.
“That last restart (with five laps left), I felt like we were in position with our four tires and where we were starting, but when you’re racing against four cars that are very, very fast, and they’re all pretty equally matched with speed, that’s what kind of makes them look like they’re the next level. It’s not just one car that’s doing it. It’s not two cars that are doing it. It’s all of them, which is impressive.”
Nevertheless, Logano feels he and teammate Brad Keselowski can hold their own against a four-car team whose drivers have combined to win 12 of the first 27 races this season.
“They’re strong, but I don’t look at them as stronger than us,” Logano said before opening NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, site of Sunday’s Sylvania 300 (2 p.m. ET on NBCSN). “They just have more numbers out there. They have more cars, and I feel like Team Penske is right where we need to be. I think we’re really close.
“I think we’re fighting with them every weekend for wins, so I don’t think we have to take a step back and say, ‘Oh, my God, we’re doing something wrong—they’re just so much faster than us.’ They’re not faster than us.”
Logano qualified 8th late Friday, teammate Keselowski 4th.