Sunday, Dec 03

Ford Performance NASCAR: Joey Logano Michigan Media Availability

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Mustang – WHAT WAS HOTTER AFTER THE RACE THE INSIDE OF THE CAR AFTER THE FIRE OR THE DRIVER CHAT?  “There was plenty of talking everywhere.  It wasn’t just my move.  There were plenty of moves out there that was going on.  There was lots to talk about from last weekend.  Definitely very eventful.  A turn one like that on a late-race restart you can kind of see what’s gonna happen and if you’re not the one making the move, the move is gonna be made on you and you kind of get put in a spot, I think, as the whole field kind of gets put in a spot when you have a turn one like that.  It’s just an eventful race at the end with everyone seeing opportunity to gain a lot of spots and big moves happen.”


WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE FIRE IN YOUR CAR AFTER THE RACE AND CAN SOMETHING BE DONE ABOUT IT?  “Yeah, it’s definitely something we need to look into.  It seems like the same thing that happened to my car happened to Buescher’s car with the exhaust getting pushed back into the rocker and essentially melting the panels around there and then lighting the foam up inside the door.  So, obviously, we need to look into that.  Learning curves with the race car.  We still have a brand new race car that we’re in our first year still.  We haven’t got to the playoffs yet and interesting things are happening as we go along and it’s hard to call what they’re gonna be until it happens sometimes.  How many times in racing have we said, ‘Boy, I’ve never seen that before,’ and we’ve been doing this forever.  We still say that, so definitely some new things there, considering it happened to a few cars I’d say it probably needs to move up the list of figuring out a fix to that because you don’t really want the cars burning up from the inside.  I don’t want a flammable race car, so if we can figure out how to fix that, it would be great.”


HAVE YOU SEEN THAT HAPPEN BEFORE?  “It’s the first I’ve heard of it.  I don’t believe it’s the first time it’s happened from the group chat.  It seems like it may have happened before, maybe one time, but you can see how it happens.  Now that it happened you can really kind of dissect it, and I think there’s a fairly easy fix to it – I think – but we just all have to put our heads together and figure out ways to implement the rule and how everyone is gonna move forward with that.  It’s not as easy as you may think to fix some of these things.  It sounds simple, but when you have to fix 40 cars it’s not like we just have to fix the Penske cars from this.  They’re all the same and all built the same way.  They’re all gonna move the same way from the exhaust standpoint and into the rocker and all that, so you’ve got to fix it for everybody and it all has to be done the same way, so it’s a little bit more challenging these days than it used to be.”


ANY CONCERNS THAT NEED TO BE ADDRESSED BEFORE WATKINS GLEN AND THE ROVAL?  “Those racetracks don’t seem to be as much of a chaotic moment.  It still is.  There’s still the opportunity to go three-wide at Watkins Glen for sure.  I think with Indy what you see is there’s six lanes wide across the racetrack and then it funnels down to three or two by the time you go through one and two.  It gets very wide, where like Road America is a similar situation but the track is only paved three lanes wide from grass to grass.  That’s all you can fit in the first place, so it kind of keeps everybody somewhat in line, but when you have a track that wide that funnel is big and the opportunity to gain a few spots in the braking zone is there and everyone just kind of goes where somebody isn’t and just gets wider and it turns into a mess when it gets to the funnel part of it.  Watkins Glen, three lanes is all you’ve got there, so you have a similar situation as you did at Road America.  The Roval, we’ve already seen where that can be a challenging piece there whether it’s on the front row or the 15th row.  It’s kind of hard to say, but it gets three, four lanes wide and then funnels down that chute to turn two, so you may have a similar situation there, but I don’t see us doing anything different for those.  I think it just is what it is,”


THE DISCUSSION ABOUT AGGRESSIVE DRIVING.  IS IT MORE OF AN ISSUE AMONG THE DRIVERS OR IS IT JUST MORE OF A CONCERN?  WHERE IS THIS IN THE BIG PICTURE OF THINGS?  “It’s one week.  It’s one week at a racetrack that’s asking for it.  Like I said, turn one is just asking for it.  It would be like us going to Sonoma and looking at turn 11 as turn 1.  You would go barreling down in there and it would be a mess.  Well, at Indy that’s kind of what happened in turn 1 for us.  I think it’s more this year than last year because the cars are more durable.  Last year, you didn’t want to push a fender in.  You had more fender rubs.  Everyone is realized at this point that a little bit harder to cut down a tire, bodies are pretty tough, and so contact isn’t that bad.  That is the number one thing that we asked for when we built this Next Gen car was a more durable race car to where we could bump and bang more.  We’ve got it and now we’re gonna complain?  We asked for it.  The fans asked for it.  Everybody asked for it.  Everyone in here thought about it, so it’s just the fact that everyone is just gonna complain, period.  That’s it.  It doesn’t matter what we do, someone is gonna complain.  That’s just life at this point.  Everybody has something to complain about, instead of looking at the positives.”


FORD HAS HAD A LOT OF SUCCESS HERE, BUT NOT SO MUCH THIS SEASON.  DOES THAT GIVE YOU HOPE HERE AND WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE NEW CAR HERE?  “We’ll see.  It seems like short tracks have been a little bit more of our wheelhouse these days with the Next Gen car, and I can find six different reasons.  I know the reasons, but hopefully this racetrack falls into our wheelhouse from an engine perspective.  It seems like a lot of times that’s why we’ve seen so much success here is the Roush Yates power, especially on the top end, has been pretty good as this racetrack kind of falls there for us, so I think that’s been a good thing.  Hopefully, that’s a big deal when we get out there.  This is one of those racetracks where it just takes everything.  You’ve got to have power.  You’ve got to have the right amount of downforce and right amount of drag out of it.  You’ve got to hit that balance just right.  You’ve got to call the race just right.  Michigan is still MIchigan.  I don’t see that being very different than what it’s been in the past.  Now, how we get to those points is different, but I think the goals when you’re building the car is still the same.  Now, what exactly is the right balance?  I don’t know until we race.  Even after practice you may not have the perfect car and you won’t know that until the race starts.”


IS THIS A WILDCARD RACE AND IS ANYTHING FROM AUTO CLUB APPLICABLE?  “The surface of the track makes them so different.  The shape and the size is the same, but once you get past that it’s very different.  This track is very smooth.  There’s not much tire wear.  You don’t have all the seams across.  Fontana is its own thing.  Michigan is its own track.  I don’t think there’s much that really actually crosses over from a setup perspective.  You look at the on-throttle time at Fontana compared to Michigan and it’s a lot different, just because there’s more grip here.  I don’t if I’d call it quite a wildcard.  It has the opportunity to be that.  We’ve seen MIchigan turn into fuel mileage before.  We’ve seen different strategies work here because the lack of tire fall off, where somebody may take a chance and get themselves up there at the end of the race somehow.  We’ve seen wild restarts here.  You’re gonna see that again, so I don’t see where it’s different than what it’s been in the past.  I guess there’s a possibility for a wildcard winner, possibly, but I don’t think it’s likely.  I think probably the same guys you’ve seen that have been fast the past few weeks are gonna be pretty quick.”


IS THERE A SPECIAL BOND WITH THE FORD TEAMS THIS WEEKEND?  “It’s the same as it’s always been.  There’s a certain level that the teams feel comfortable working together with on certain things.  That’s the same every weekend, whether it’s Michigan or wherever the next race is.  There’s a certain amount of information that everyone feels comfortable sharing and then there’s also a point that we need to race each other, and everyone kind of knows where those lines are.  It doesn’t make it different that we’re at Michigan or any other track because this is Ford’s backyard.  It’s the same no matter where we’re at.  It just happened to work out to where this track in the past really fell into our wheelhouse to where we were really strong here.  I’m not saying it’s not going to this time.  It may.  There are definitely some things in our cars that, I think, favor this racetrack and there are some thing, I think, may not, so we’ll see how it balances out.”


YOU WERE AT THE HENRY FORD MUSEUM THE OTHER DAY.  WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THAT PLACE?  “It was fun.  A lot of my kids crying is what stood out to me (laughing).  It was fun, though.  We came up early and went through the Village outside and then went to the Henry Ford Museum.  It was a lot of fun, actually.  We went for the train ride and did the Model T rides.  My son wanted to go on a Model T ride so bad.  I said, ‘You know, we can do this at home.’  Like, we’re waiting in line and we can drive the car at home, but he was all about it.  He had fun.  Jamison likes trains, so he was all about that.  Amelia was happy just riding along in the cart, so it was cool.  I’ve really enjoyed going there a few times now, just the history that has been preserved there is incredible.  I don’t think I’ve been anywhere else that’s like that, where we may not have had a chance to read a lot because we were chasing kids and feeding kids and changing diapers, but in times in the past there it’s been fun to just look at not only the cars, but all the other things that are in there.  It’s just nuts to think that all of that is sitting in one place.  You look at some of those historic buildings and how they took them apart and rebuilt them there.  It’s just incredible and really cool that was able to happen.  Someone took the time and dedicated their life to building that thing.  That’s pretty spectacular.”


ANY ARTIFACTS THAT REALLY JUMPED OUT TO YOU?  “I was hoping my championship car was still there because it has been there, but they just changed it out.  I let my son down.  I told him, ‘Daddy’s race car is in there.’  No, it wasn’t (laughing).  There is so much that it’s hard to pick one thing.  You need two full days to do it right is what I think.  You really need to take your time and do it.  We didn’t get the chance to read everything.  We went for all the rides, which was good.”

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