Joey Logano is all for traction compound at Michigan

BROOKLYN, MICHIGAN - AUGUST 09: Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, walks to his car during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 09, 2019 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

Given that Joey Logano is a three-time winner at Michigan International Speedway—not to mention the winner of the June 2019 race at the 2.0-mile track—you might think the reigning Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion would be in favor of keeping things status quo.

But that’s not the case when it comes to the application of PJ1 Traction compound. This weekend at Michigan, for the first time on an International Speedway Corporation track, PJ1 likely will play a role in widening the workable racing surface.

And Logano is all for it.

“I’ve been all good with the PJ1 pretty much anywhere we’ve gone so far,” Logano said on Friday at MIS, site of Sunday’s Consumers Energy 400 (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). “I think it has (done) nothing but help and improve the racing and widen the race track out. Obviously, it’s the first time for it here, and we were all in qualifying trim the first practice (Friday) and we didn’t touch it.”

No, the Cup drivers didn’t go near the PJ1 in opening practice, because the traction compound was applied in the outside lanes. While it wasn’t a factor in Friday’s qualifying session, when the bottom lane was the quick way around the circuit, it will doubtless play a role on Sunday when 38 cars are looking for racing room.

“The PJ1 is something that we are all still learning about, and we are learning about how it works at each (track),” Logano said. “It works different at Charlotte than it does at Michigan or Bristol or Kentucky—the way it gets activated and wears out and how much grip it actually puts back into the race track.

“Those are all things that we are trying to figure out, and as a sport we are trying to figure it out. I like the avenue we are going down and playing with.”

Greg Engle