Logano: “I deserve to be in the Chase”

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 12: The 12 drivers competing for the NASACAR Chase Championship pose for a group photo (L-R) standing, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Joey Logano, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards,Jimmy Johnson and Kyle Busch, (L-R) kneeling, Kevin Harvick, Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman on September 12, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The 12 drivers competing for the NASACAR Chase Championship (David Banks/ NASCAR via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 12: The 12 drivers competing for the NASACAR Chase Championship pose for a group photo (L-R) standing,  Dale Earnhardt Jr. Joey Logano, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards,Jimmy Johnson and Kyle Busch, (L-R) kneeling, Kevin Harvick, Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman on September 12, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The 12 drivers competing for the NASACAR Chase Championship (David Banks/ NASCAR via Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL – SEPTEMBER 12: The 12 drivers competing for the NASACAR Chase Championship pose for a group photo (L-R) standing, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Joey Logano, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards,Jimmy Johnson and Kyle Busch, (L-R) kneeling, Kevin Harvick, Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth and Ryan Newman on September 12, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The 12 drivers competing for the NASACAR Chase Championship (David Banks/ NASCAR via Getty Images)

CHICAGO — Despite controversy that surfaced Wednesday involving the No. 22 Penske Racing Ford team of Joey Logano and the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford of David Gilliland, Logano was adamant that he deserves his place in the Chase — because he earned it.

“We’ve got one win and eight top fives and 14 top-10 finishes,” Logano told reporters Thursday during Chase Media Day interviews at the Navy Pier. “If you look at those numbers, that is every bit of the top three or four that have happened this season.

“I don’t feel bad about being in the Chase at all. We deserve to be in it, if you look at those numbers.”

In a story originally reported by FoxSports1, radio chatter from the No. 38 team suggested a deal between Front Row and Penske to give Logano a position at the finish of Saturday night’s race. There was no corresponding radio traffic from the No. 22 team.

Logano finished 22nd and Gilliland 23rd, but as it turned out, Logano didn’t need that point to qualify for the Chase, after the Michael Waltrip Racing cars of Brian Vickers and Clint Bowyer also finished behind the No. 22 — by design.

NASCAR hit MWR with the largest monetary fine in the history of the sport — $300,000 — and assessed points penalties that knocked MWR driver Martin Truex Jr. out of the Chase in favor of Ryan Newman.

For Logano, the attention arising from the controversy is clearly unwanted, but he’s used to it.

“I’ve been the focal point all year on something,” said Logano, who was part of the wreck at Fontana, Calif., in late March that sidelined Denny Hamlin for four races with a fractured vertebra. “I’m used to it at this point. I just go with the flow.

“I guess I’ve learned a lot this year and experienced a lot. It just makes you stronger. They say it’s character-building. I’m a hell of a character now.”

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 Examiner.com 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.