Monday, Nov 28

Ford Performance NASCAR: Joey Logano Wins the Pole for Championship Race at Phoenix

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Mustang – HOW MUCH OF A BIG DEAL IS IT TO QUALIFY ON THE POLE FOR THIS RACE?  “It keeps the pressure on them.  That’s the goal.  When you get here it’s keep the pressure on the competition.  This team does amazing under the pressure and that’s why we thrive in playoffs and Championship 4 type moments.  I love it.  It makes me better and I think it makes my whole race team better as well.  I’ve been saying and we’ve been preparing and had a lot of time to go over a lot of things here and went over a lot last night and this morning with Paul and the team and seems like we made some good adjustments, at least for qualifying it showed up, and hopefully that continues into the race.  It’s a good place to start, better place to finish.  The first pit stall will be helpful.  We’ve got a good pit crew, but I think also when you can add that with the best pit stall – the camera line is right there in front of it and not too far ahead of it, so that’s a big advantage.”

 

DOES THIS MAKE YOU THE FAVORITE TOMORROW AND ARE YOU THE GUY WHO FEELS THE LEAST PRESSURE AND HAS THE BEST CAR?  “We’ve been the favorite to win since the beginning of the year if you ask me.  That’s my mindset.  That’s the way I go to a racetrack.  If I don’t go to a racetrack like that, I shouldn’t show up, so I’ve always said it doesn’t matter what everyone says about favorites and odds all that garbage that everyone posts.  I don’t care.  I know what my odds should be and I know what I feel like they are, so I feel great about our position.  Like I said, I’ve got a great team and we’ve proven today we’ve got a good horse, so we’re ready to rock and roll.”

 

WHAT WAS THE EMPHASIS ON GETTING THAT FIRST PIT STALL THROUGHOUT THE WEEKEND?  “It’s definitely part of it and the facts are it’s great.  Qualifying means a lot, don’t get me wrong.  It means a little bit less when you’re in the Championship 4 because at worst you’re gonna have the fourth-best stall, which is still a pretty good stall here.  One is the best one, for sure, but there’s also the effect of the clean air and tuning your car to clean air and staying up front and kind of working the race in that way it’s helpful.  It’s a good place to be.”

 

DO YOU HAVE MORE MIND GAMES THAN THE OTHER THREE DRIVERS?  “I don’t need to play mind games – just do my job.  I don’t need to go out there and do that.  You control yourself and your own mindset.  I’ve been saying all week long that it’s not just another race.  This is way more than that.  I say that because it is and saying that makes me better, so that’s why I go that way.  When everyone else is saying it’s just another race and we try to take the pressure off, I just don’t believe that’s the correct way of doing it.”

 

DID YOU FEEL LIKE THAT WAS A POLE LAP?  “No (laughing), because it went slower than the run before.  It seemed like tire fall off was a real thing.  I kind of got done with my lap and was like, ‘Eh.’  I thought it was gonna be like third or fourth probably, just not as good as what it was the first run.  I overcompensated some of the adjustments I wanted to make as a driver and probably didn’t adjust the car enough as much as we needed to for some other things, but I guess everybody’s tires fell off and that was a better lap than I thought it was.”

 

WHAT DOES TONIGHT LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?  “Once I’m done with you guys, we’ve got a strategy meeting.  We want to go over what we want the race to look like for the 22 team and what we’re gonna do in certain scenarios and try to put all of that stuff together, which we already have.  I don’t really know why we’re doing it, but we’re doing it just to go over it again.  And then my family comes in tonight, so I’ll be able to spend a little bit of time.  Once we’re done with that, we’re ready.  We’re prepared.  We’ve had plenty of time to go over everything, so at that point it’s just probably take a little break.  The last couple of days have been pretty intense for everyone.  You think of preparing for practice, practice last night, early this morning going over things and all that prep, and then to qualifying.  A good night’s rest and maybe a little walk with the family tonight and we’ll call it good.”

 

WILL THE KIDS SLEEP WELL?  “We’ve just got Hudson.  The trip is really far.  The other ones are really young and we debated about doing this.  Jameson is great, but he wakes up at 5 a.m. no matter what.  We tried putting him on west coast time because we knew we were coming out here, so we tried putting him to sleep later and later, but it turns out the kid can go to sleep at 10 or 6:30 and he wakes up at 5.  It just doesn’t matter, so we said, ‘We’ll see you when we get home, bud.  Love you. (Laughing).”

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