NSCS Ford Performance NACAR: Daytona Media Day (Joey Logano)

Ford Performance NSCS Notes and Quotes
NASCAR Daytona Media Day
Tuesday, February 16, 2016

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion – “You are only as good as your last race a lot of times. I have enjoyed it. I think it is really cool and I am excited to get our car out of the museum and see our car again. What won last year is not going to win this year, whether it is what you do inside the car or the setup of the car. It is because the sport is always evolving and getting better. It is great but it is last year and we have to keep looking forward.”

DID THINGS HAPPEN TO YOU DURING THE YEAR THAT WOULDN’T HAVE HAPPENED IF YOU WEREN’T THE DAYTONA 500 CHAMPION? “Yeah, I am sure. There were a lot of cool things with the media tour you go on and your life gets really busy for four or five weeks. That was really challenging because I am a routine guy. The way I prepare is a certain way every week and when you throw a lot of stuff on top of it, it becomes challenging to do it. It was worth it for sure. It was definitely worth it to say you have won the Daytona 500. It is such a big race to be a part of. I tell the story all the time of just what it was like to start my first race here and what that meant to me. Winning it is incredible. It is a hard feeling to explain because it is hardest to put it in words. Even a year later I still can’t put it in words. I was just screaming on the radio and that is probably still the best way to explain it now.”

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO WIN THE FIRST RACE OF THE YEAR, THE BIGGEST RACE OF THE YEAR, AND YOU ARE IN THE PLAYOFFS BUT THEN YOU HAVE TO WAIT 25 WEEKS FOR THAT? “Yeah, it is a lot of weight lifted off your shoulders, not that we had much because it was the first race of the year and you aren’t in a bad spot, but it is nice to know you are in the Chase and you just race for wins at that point. You don’t have to worry about points, you can race aggressively and the only thing that matters at that point is bonus points from winning. That is what it is all about. Go win as much as you can and try to stack those up.”

DOES WINNING A DAYTONA 500, OR MAYBE WINNING A CHAMPIONSHIP, MAKE NOT HAVING THE OTHER ONE LESS OF A BIG DEAL? “I want both. That is what I strive to win every race and my team strives to do that. It is what we expect and it is what Roger (Penske) expects, to go win every single race. Were we disappointed we didn’t win the championship last year, of course we were. We felt we had a championship season. We won the most races, we had a ton of top-five and we finished sixth in points. That is not where we want to be but we were definitely close and just have to time everything out better. We won one of the biggest races of the year here in Daytona but we really want the big trophy at the end of the year.”

DOES IT FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE SEEN EVERY WEIRD THING THAT MIGHT GET IN YOUR WAY TOWARD FINALLY WINNING A CHAMPIONSHIP? “Oh, I am sure I have not seen it all yet. You never know what this sport will throw at you. There have definitely been some interesting scenarios the last few years to say the least. It is sports. You never know what is going to happen. You just have to roll with the punches sometimes and keep motivated and keep confident and keep your head where you need to have it.”

WHERE DO YOU STAND WITH KENSETH? “Well, we didn’t throw any punches. No, we are fine. I would say we are at a neutral spot. To be honest with you, what we talked about at Homestead last year I felt like I got everything off my chest and hopefully he did. I don’t know if he did or not but I feel like I have a clear conscious and I am moving forward.”

THERE ARE SOME DRIVERS THAT HAVE WON THE DAYTONA 500 THAT ARE VERY SUPERSTITIOUS ABOUT THE NEXT YEAR. THEY WEAR THE SAME THING, EAT AT THE SAME PLACES, THINGS LIKE THAT. “I don’t do any of that. I have tried that stuff before because you will try anything to win a race but it doesn’t work. It is kind of disgusting if you start wearing the same underwear and stuff like that. It gets nasty pretty quick. My problem is I don’t remember what I did that day but I wouldn’t do it anyway. To me, that stuff is a distraction. To me, if I am thinking about a bologna sandwich and not what I am doing on the racetrack then I believe I am doing it the wrong way.”

THE QUALIFYING RACES, DO YOU APPROACH THEM DIFFERENTLY NOW THAT YOU HAVE THE CHARTER? “It wouldn’t really affect us this year any differently with the points position that we have had. We were in pretty good shape. For me, I am going to go out there and race. I think you guys have realized at this point that I have one speed, wide open, and I am going to try to win every race I am in. Do we want to crash? No, we don’t want to crash our car but if we are racing for the win at the end then we will try to win. That is part of the way that race works. Can you win this race from any starting position, yes you can. But there is a race and a trophy still and I would like to get that.”

WERE YOU CONCERNED WITH AS STRONG AS THE CHEVY AND TOYOTA’S WERE IN THE UNLIMITED SATURDAY NIGHT THAT FORD OR PENSKE NEEDS TO FIND A LITTLE MORE FOR SUNDAY? “Yeah we need to find more. We always need to find more though. Looking at it with what the Gibbs cars were able to do the other night was very impressive in the Unlimited. We were pretty good as well though. I thought with Brad and myself that both of us could get to the front and move through the field fairly good. We were in the hunt. There were certain scenarios where the Toyota’s could do some pretty remarkable moves that we couldn’t do and we want to get better in those areas.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE CHARTER SYSTEM FOR THE DRIVERS? “I think it impacts some drivers more than others. For me it doesn’t impact me much with the way that it is all structured is good for the sport and good that it gives value to the race teams. You think about it, this is a tough business to be in. I don’t really ever want to own a car because it is a high risk business venture if you think about it. If you think about how big some of these sponsors are and that is your one main source of income and you lose one, what do you have? All you have is a building and a bunch of people you have to pay. That is a really tough deal and really high risk in my opinion. So this definitely lowers the risk for them and gives them something they can sell, something that is tangible. That is good. For a driver, it doesn’t affect me a whole bunch.”

“It may as far as getting into the race and getting locked in. Being in by points has changed now but you still have to perform to maintain that charter right? Obviously I am probably not as informed as some of the owners are because they are the ones that actually see the agreement and know everything and I probably hear as much as you guys hear.”

DOES IT GIVE YOU PAUSE THAT THE MONEY ISN’T THE WAY IT WAS BEFORE? “It has definitely changed a lot and that does affect us a lot. Understanding how that is, I think we all have to maybe go to a few races to really understand how that all plays out because obviously if you’re contract is incentive based by winnings then when the purse is changed that affects your winnings and ultimately your pay. Everyone needs to basically renegotiate their contracts to come back to the same number. It really kind of changes a lot of people’s deals and how they try to make that up or if they make that up is a big thing right now.”

WHAT HAVE YOU OBSERVED ABOUT CHASE ELLIOTT? “I like Chase. I think he will do a good job too. I think he is one of those guys coming in that he gets it. He knows what he has to do. He is not out there – I don’t see him out partying or doing anything stupid. He is from Georgia and seems like a good southern kid that goes out there and does his job. I think he has learned a lot from his dad. His dad guides him a lot. He is a hard worker and asks the right questions. I went to lunch with him the other day and he was asking me questions about what was different from when I sucked to now (laughter). I was impressed that he asked those questions. He is already ahead of me because I thought I was awesome when I walked in here and I got beat up. He is fully preparing for it being a tough season for him. He is going to have to go through some learning curves. I think he will go through them a lot quicker than I did and I wouldn’t be surprised if he went out and won this year. I think he is doing it all the right way the first time.”

IF AT THE END OF THIS YEAR IF YOU DON’T WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP, IS IT A DISAPPOINTING SEASON? “Well, no. Last year our goal was to win the championship and we fell short of it but was it a disappointing season? No. You can’t say a season like that is disappointing. It was a great season. Did we reach every goal? No, but we reached a lot of goals and set a lot of new personal records that I am proud of for our race team. Is it a failure? No, I wouldn’t say it was in any way. To me you are not a failure until you quit. You are not a loser until you quit. We didn’t do that at all last year and we aren’t going to do that this year.”

SO WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS? “To win everything. We expect that of ourselves. We expect to win everything.”

WHAT KYLE BUSCH DID LAST YEAR, THE INJURY, MISSING HALF THE SEASON, THEN MAKING THE CHASE AND WINNING IT. WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THAT? “Going back out there after what he went through, to go win the races which isn’t an easy task to just win a race, and he had to gain a lot of points to get into the top-30, if he can do that then more power to you and you should be racing for the championship. I felt like they did that. They came out of the gates and won like three in a row or something close to it and gained the points they needed to get in. Good for them. They deserved to be in, in my opinion.”

HAS THE DYNAMIC BETWEEN YOU AND BRAD CHANGED AT ALL SINCE YOU’VE BECOME MORE SUCCESSFUL? “I wouldn’t say it has changed at all. I thought when we started we leaned on each other a lot and obviously he was just coming off a championship and I was looking to make a career for myself I guess in a way. I guess from the performance side it has changed because now we are both out there winning and more equals in my opinion but does that change the way we are toward each other? No, not at all. Brad is still Brad and the way he is and I am still the way I am. I don’t feel like we changed a lot that way. I don’t feel like there is a rivalry internally. I don’t see that at Team Penske at all and that is something that makes us so strong. I think that is so important to be able to work together, especially as a two car team, and now having Blaney there as well. We all need to work together and we can’t be out there to just beat each other. Obviously we want to win and beat each other to do it but we have to work together to even get close to winning. All three of us really understand that and so do our race teams. Is the way we treat each other different off the race track? No, we go to dinner and hang out and have a good time. We talk about racing or not talk about racing. There have been plenty of times over the off-season that he has come over to my place or I have gone over to his place just to hang out and I think that is important to have.”

DOES YOUR PERFORMANCE MAKE HIM STEP UP HIS GAME? “That is a good question for him. I know that what he does really changed me a lot on the way he approaches a race car and what he looks for. Let’s be honest, Brad is outside the box and thinks of things differently than most which I believe makes him successful and that forces me to think of things in a different way than I typically would. He is just in a different area thinking of his own thing and sometimes that makes a lot of sense. I think it is good to have a little of both on a race team like this.”