Tuesday, September 28, 2021

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Joey Logano answers pre-season skeptics with best season to date

When it was announced that Joey Logano was making the move to Penske Racing for 2013 last year, a lot of concerns were raised. How would Sliced Bread do with a new team? Would it bring more success or let down? Would he get along with teammate Brad Keselowski?

With 32 races in the books, the questions have been answered with success as Logano has had his best season to date, statistically.

“Switching to Roger Penske Racing over there has definitely been an advantage for me, being able to work for a guy like Roger that forces you to be better,” Logano commented. “And obviously having a teammate like Brad has been great, being teamed up with Todd Gordon and the 22 bunch, they’re definitely a very good race team, and been able to kind of use that to my advantage.”

He has one win, 10 top fives and 16 top 10s this year. In his best year at Joe Gibbs Racing in 2000, he had no wins, seven top fives and 16 top 10s in 36 races. Logano says making the move from JGR to Penske has been like a fresh start for him and rejuvenated his career.

On the flip side, he admits that he’s also disappointed as he says they’re not where they want to be sitting 12th in the Chase thus far.

“We’re not happy about that,” he admitted. “We want to show reasons why we’re in the Chase, and I feel like we’ve definitely had some fast race cars.  Obviously that’s why we’re here, but at the same time we haven’t shown the finishes that we deserve since we got in the Chase.”

Heading into the final four races of the season, Logano is hoping to finish top five in points and he feels he can do that by running good these next couple of weeks. Logano’s team tested at Martinsville a couple weeks ago and he said he was able to do learn some things that should help him.

“We’ll go out there and try to attack and get a solid finish out of there, try to get a win and get a big grandfather clock and gain some points and put ourselves up there,” he said.

In nine starts at the tight paperclip half-mile, he has only two top 10s, both coming in 2010. He finished 23rd earlier this year.

This year marked Logano’s first Chase and well he says he’s trying to make the most of it and go for the best finishing spot possible – say the championship if the cards fall that way, he is also taking valuable lessons.

“I have learned a lot throughout this Chase already, and for one, I know it’s really hard to make up points when you have a bad race because these guys that are — the guys are running for the championship that are first, second, third, fourth right now, they don’t have any bad races,” he explained. “They’ve been really ripping it through this whole Chase here.  It’s hard to make up on those guys when you have an engine failure or you have a bad race.  It’s hard to recover.

“Those little mistakes and where we need to fine-tune is where we need to be better to be that championship-winning team, but we’re not far from it right now.”

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