Thursday, Dec 08

Ford Performance NASCAR: Joey Logano Las Vegas Media Availability

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Pennzoil Ford Mustang – WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE NEXT GEN CAR AFTER TWO RACES?  “I thought it’s gone pretty smooth so far.  There’s gonna be learning curves.  I think that’s something we all expected.  There’s gonna be issues we’re gonna have to work through as an industry because some of it just you don’t know what you don’t know until you get out there.  There’s probably gonna be more things that come up as we keep racing at different racetracks.  We’ve gone to the smallest track you can possibly go to and almost the biggest one, and now a mile-and-a-half and also Fontana has a bumpy, worn-out surface.  So, we’re going to different types of racetracks that we’re gonna keep finding out new things about the car that could be better.  That’s just part of having a brand new car, an underdeveloped car because we’re just getting after it.  We’re just starting to figure this thing out and we don’t have much time to figure things out while we have a whopping 30 minutes today (laughing).  We don’t really have much time or really the ability to change a lot on the race car on the race weekend, so it keeps it interesting, but I think some of the obvious things that have been out in the news of things that can be better have been addressed or trying to find ways to fix them.  As long as we can keep doing those things, I think we’ll work the bugs out soon.”

 

THE FLAT TIRE SITUATION IS ONE OF THOSE THAT NEEDS TO BE WORKED ON.  DID YOU SEE THAT AS A POTENTIAL PROBLEM COMING AND DO YOU SEE A SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM?  “Yes, we saw it coming.  We saw it at tests when those cars have flat tires.  What’s the solution?  I don’t know.  My solution is make a AAA truck that can go out there and change your tires for you, instead of towing the thing in and scraping the underbody off.  That’s still my crutch fix is just go out there and at least put some kind tire on, put a donut tire on so you can get back to pit road and have your pit crew put your set back on so you can go.  Obviously, I got the bad end of that stick at Daytona with a car that wasn’t even crashed and I was stuck three laps down, so that one is probably the number one thing we need to find a fix for, and I don’t think it’s that simple of a fix.  Obviously it’s not because we would have fixed it by now, but in the meantime we need to look for crutches, in my opinion, since you asked for it – find something to at least get us by until we can come up with a reasonable fix that works for everybody.  To me, that’s just how can we get the cars back without more damage and without losing time.”

 

DO YOU REALLY FEEL LIKE A SOLUTION COULD BE JUST POPPING SOMETHING ON REAL QUICK SO YOU LOSE ONLY ONE LAP OR TWO INSTEAD OF THREE?  “Absolutely, yeah.  If you had a crew that was ready for it that can go out there and have a gun or a set of tires essentially and be able to change them quickly and go, maybe I would have only lost one lap at Daytona instead of three and not got the back bumper knocked off by a tow truck that couldn’t even push it through the grass.  I mean, that’s how stuck they are.  When the tow truck is spinning his tires, that’s back.  We either need four-wheel drive on the tow truck or we need to figure out how to change the tires and get back quicker.  That’s my opinion.  Everyone’s got one.  I’m sure mine doesn’t matter a whole bunch, but that’s at least my one thing that I think might can help.”

 

DO YOU FEAR WITH A NEW CAR THAT MAYBE SOME OF YOUR ADVANTAGE IS GONE?  WHAT IS YOUR COMFORT LEVEL COMING BACK HERE?  “I think no one has an advantage anymore.  Nobody knows to a lot of these points we were just talking about and having a lack of practice.  Nobody really knows if they’re gonna be good or not.  I think it’s funny when I get that question.  How are you gonna run this weekend?  No clue.  I used to have an idea, to your point, as we go to Vegas.  ‘Yeah, that’s one of my best tracks.  I should be really good.’  I’ve got new clue how we’re gonna run.  The good thing is though that it’s still a race car.  It’s still got four tires.  It still goes fast.  It’s still Vegas and a lot of the things I’ve done in the past are probably gonna work with this car as a driver, but with setup and all that’s gonna be completely different.  How you race was way different in Fontana last week.  I had to unlearn a lot of things last week, especially on restarts because this car can do things that our old car just could not do, so it’s been interesting and a lot of fun, but it’s hard to say if you’re gonna be any good or not anymore.”

 

DID YOU LEARN ANYTHING FROM FONTANA THAT WILL HELP HERE IN TERMS OF THE BUMPS?  “Here, there aren’t as many bumps, but the one set of bumps there is is really big and bigger than what Auto Club was last week.  We’ve learned some things.  I don’t think we have it figured out and, like I said, this is a different type of bump than what we had last week, so it’s a compromise of how good do you want to be the rest of the track and pay a penalty over the bump or vice versa.  It’s tricky to know what that answer is because we haven’t raced with it here yet, so I’m not sure I know exactly where we want to be yet and we’re not sure we know how to fix it in the most efficient way.”

 

CAN THE LINE BE CHANGED THERE?  “Yeah, you can go around it, but you’ve got to go race, too.  On restarts, if you go into the corner two or three-wide, sometimes you’re forced to go in the lane you may not want to be and that might be directly right over the bump, so you have to be ready for it and with these cars and watching last week, they swap ends pretty quickly and that bump can cause that probably pretty easily.”

 

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON PRACTICE TIME?  “As long as its the same for everyone I’m OK with it.  Part of me was like, ‘Man, I wish we had more practice.’  But the other part is does it really make the race any better if we had more practice?  That’s the question we’ve got to ask.  Selfishly, as a racer you want to keep working on your car and doing things, but everyone else is getting it, does it really matter?  If you look at the race last week, and really the races the last couple of years since COVID with no practice, the racing I’d argue might be better without practice.  It makes it very challenging and the prep side big and even harder this year because, to the point earlier, we have a refined car that we’re not sure how to go fast with yet, but it’s still the same for everyone.  Everyone has the same opportunity, so I say run it.  The heck with practice.”

 

TALLADEGA IS JUST QUALIFYING WITH NO PRACTICE.  ARE THERE OTHER RACES THAT COULD ADOPT THAT SAME SCHEDULE?  “Maybe, eventually.  I think it’s good to go out there for some kind of laps.  Like what we’re doing isn’t that bad and it’s all really condensed.  It’s tough because you don’t get a night to think on your car and come up with some adjustments you want to do for the next day.  It’s like, ‘OK, here’s our 10 minutes before we’ve got to be in line.  What do you want to do with it?’  And all you have are sway bar arms and air-pressure and height and wedge and toe.  OK, we’re not making that big of a change.  We really don’t have that big of a decision to make.  We’re not trying to come up with big setup changes as far as the whole package.  Obviously, you’re married to the springs you’ve got when you start, so you’re just kind of doing little things from there.”

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