NSCS: Ford Performance NASCAR: Daytona Speedweeks (Joey Logano)

Photo Credit: Noel Lanier

Ford Performance NSCS Notes & Quotes
Daytona Speedweeks
Friday, February 12, 2016

Joey Logano, driver of the No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion and defending Daytona 500 winner, met with media Friday afternoon at Daytona International Speedway ahead of practice for Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Unlimited event.

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion – I DON’T THINK I HAVE SEEN A HAPPIER INDIVIDUAL THAN AFTER YOU WON THE DAYTONA 500 LAST YEAR. “Yeah, I was pretty pumped up after that one. I was pretty fired up. Obviously the Daytona 500, it all kind of comes back to you even sitting up here after the race and having that media availability. All of it comes back to your mind and you remember what it was all about. It was a special day and the only way to make it better would be to do it again.”

THERE ARE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD WHO WONDER WHY A DRIVER THAT IS ABOUT TO RUN A 36 RACE CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON SCHEDULE WOULD WANT TO RUN A NON-POINTS RACE ON SATURDAY NIGHT. “Because I want to. It is simple. We are racers and we want to race. This has been a long off-season for us. I haven’t been in a race car since Homestead. I didn’t sleep much last night because I was excited to come down here and get in a race car because I love what I do. It is a privilege to drive a race car. To get to run an extra race or two throughout the year, heck yeah I am in. Any racer, we want to jump in a go-kart to race. Why do we do that when it is just for fun? At least this you are racing against the best stock car racers in the world on an amazing stage here in front of a lot of great fans with a cool trophy at the end. That is plenty of reason for me.”

DO YOU PLACE ANY RESTRICTIONS ON YOURSELF OR DOES MR. PENSKE PLACE ANY RESTRICTIONS ON YOU IN TERMS OF WHAT YOU CAN DO IN THE OFF-SEASON, RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES, ETC.? “It is a tough question. It is a question you ask yourself every day. Whether there are restrictions on you or not. Whether you can go race other cars or not. You ask yourself if it is worth it or if you should be doing it. It can be something as simple as what you are doing at the gym. Is this something that can hurt me this close to the season? You have to weigh it all out and it isn’t easy to do that. You think about it a lot of different ways. You have to live too. You can’t just live in a bubble so it is a tough question but you have to use your best judgement. It is risk versus reward. You do that in everything in life, just like on the race track. You have to think about what you are doing and what the reward of taking that risk is.”

DO YOU DO ANYTHING THAT WOULD BE KIND OF ON THE EDGE A LITTLE BIT? “I try not to. I don’t think I do. You never know. You can get hurt walking across the street. I can twist my ankle walking to the garage here in a minute. Anything can happen. Like I said, you just have to be smart about it. And I am not saying what Tony did was right or wrong or whatever happened because I don’t even really know how it happened. It is tough. It is a tough thing to figure out. Is driving a four-wheeler okay? Is jumping it not okay? What is the line? It is up to everyone’s opinion.”

PUTTING 2014 AND 2015 IN PERSPECTIVE, HOW DO YOU USE 2014 HOMESTEAD AND 2015 MARTINSVILLE AS MOTIVATION OR DO YOU FORGET ABOUT IT? “It is motivation. The last two years have been career seasons for me. I feel like we had two championship seasons without a trophy. We have a lot of confidence. We know what it takes to win this whole thing. We have been right on that edge. Arguably with the most wins last year we should have been there but that is the way the format is and that is the way we play it and it is what it is. I feel like I learned a lot as a driver the last few years and what I need to do to make it happen. I feel like I’ve found new levels as a driver to reach. I know I am a silver linings person but I feel like that is something you have to have, that confidence and not get beat down. I feel like there is nothing to hold our heads down about. We have had two great seasons.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE NEW OVERTIME RULES AND WHY DO YOU THINK THIS METHOD IS PREFERRED BY MOST DRIVERS? “I think it is a great example of the council and NASCAR and really everyone putting their heads together to come up with a great way to fix whether it is one attempt at a speedway or three attempts during regular races. I think what happened at Talladega kind of changed everyones thoughts on what a single attempt would be. Obviously we owe it to the fans to race but we also know that when you run a green-white-checkered at a superspeedway it can get dumb pretty quick. You don’t want cars flying into the stands. That is not what we come here to do. We come to race and put on a great race for everybody watching it. I think the way we have seen Talladega finish, it was okay for me because we won, but it wasn’t the way everyone expected a single attempt to play out. I think when you put this line down the back stretch, wherever it is because I haven’t seen it out there yet, I think it is a good happy medium to get both.”

DURING YOUR MEDIA TOUR IN NEW YORK YESTERDAY, WERE YOU ASKED MORE ABOUT MATT KENSETH OR YOUR DAYTONA 500 WIN? “The Daytona 500, which is good. That felt good. It was fun. It was a nice little trip to New York and it is very cold up there so I am glad to be in Florida now. It is to help promote the upcoming race in Daytona and try to get as many butts into this new stadium – I call it a stadium – I think it is really cool to see it like this and get everyone here.”

IS IT GOOD YOU AREN’T BEING DEFINED BY MARTINSVILLE LAST YEAR? “You can define me however you want to define me. I am going to define myself the way I want to.”

WITH THE WAY THE LAST TWO SEASONS FINISHED, IS THERE AN ANXIOUSNESS TO GET BACK TO IT MORE THAN USUAL? “We want to get back to that point so we want to get moving forward and all but as far as where we are at now, we are focused on the race ahead of us. We can’t look too far down the road. We have to get there first. We have to make the Chase. We need to win races again. We are starting back at zero. There are no guarantees that we have a season like we did last year. I hope we have a better season than we did last year. I don’t see any reasons why we shouldn’t but the fact of the matter is we are all at zero right now and we have to go through all these races to get there.”

WHEN YOU COME OFF A AWESOME YEAR LIKE LAST YEAR, DO YOU TALK ABOUT IN THE SHOP NOT RESTING ON YOUR LAURELS? “There is a guy, Roger Penske, and he keeps you from being complacent I can promise you that. He is a motivator. He pushes you forward and he doesn’t even have to say anything you just feel it. We just had our 50th anniversary at Team Penske and we had a big party with a lot of guys that used to work there and drivers and it was just an amazing night. You see these highlight videos of how many races they have won in all the different forms of motorsports and to be part of it was motivating to me to add to it. It is far from done. It is an honor to driver for him. It isn’t easy and I wouldn’t expect it to be. He expects us to go out there and perform. He made it clear to us that we had a great year but did not achieve our ultimate goal and we will give it another shot.”

CAN YOU DISCUSS SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SAFETY MEETING AND YOUR TAKEAWAY FROM IT? “My take away is NASCAR is still working on safety and that is great. As a driver that is what you want to see. They are still crashing cars and working on different things. A lot of talk is about seat angle and the crash with the 29 truck in Las Vegas when he had a compression fracture. We want to make sure that we understand why that happened and keep it from happening again. A lot of things with seat angle and where your legs are and foot boxes and they are trying a lot of different things. They are testing things and trying a lot of new things and we have to get to the bottom of it to really understand everything with these new parts and really test them before they implement them in our race cars. We are making good progress on that. It is good to see that. They ran through everything.”