Friday, August 23, 2013

Logano Primed For Another Shot At Victory

Logano won big at Michigan
Joey Logano comes to Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend gunning for his second consecutive Sprint Cup Series win, after claiming the checkered flag last Sunday afternoon at Michigan International Speedway.

Logano said his Michigan score “was huge. Obviously, it couldn’t come at a better time and at a better race track to keep our Chase hopes going.  I felt like our two best shots were last weekend and this weekend. We capitalized 100-percent last week with the pole, leading the most laps and winning the race, and I feel like we’ve got another really good shot at it this weekend after seeing the way we ran here in the spring. 
“We’ve got a notebook to go off of now that we’ve come here for the second time.”
Despite the win, he said he will approach Saturday night’s race the same way he has approached them all in recent weeks.
“Over the last few weeks – ever since the All-Star Race – this team has been really good and really consistent and making up a lot of points. When we had an opportunity to win, we were able to capitalize on it last weekend.  I think we’ll do the same thing (at Bristol). 
“We still can’t afford to have a bad race,” said Logano, who is 17 points outside the Top-10 and in solid contention for a Wild Card selection to the Chase. “These are three very, very important races.  I think our goal is to get in there on points right now (and)  I think if you have two wins, you’re pretty confident you’re gonna be in it.
“If we can get that win, it would be huge. If not, we’ll have some points we’ve got to make up. But this team can do it.  I’m very confident coming into this weekend, for sure.”
While not necessarily predicting this kind of success in his first year with Penske Racing, Logano said he is not surprised, either.
“The cool thing about racing is you never know what’s going to happen. That’s the cool part about life; you never know.  You just kind of go with the flow. The way I live life is, I just go with it. 
“This year has had a lot of ups-and-downs and about every situation you can go through in one season, so I look at it as being pretty entertaining and a lot of fun.  I think this team has been very strong, and the chemistry between Todd Gordon and myself has been growing. We’ve been making faster and faster cars, and everyone at Penske Racing is too. Brad and myself have been working great together. 
“I think everything is going as planned at the beginning of the season.” 
Logano said despite joining a team that already featured the defending Sprint Cup Series champion, he felt immediately at home at Penske Racing.
“Anytime you come into a new company and your teammate has just won the championship, it makes it very hard to be the lead dog,” he admitted. “But Roger (Penske), Walt (Czarnecki) and all the guys at Penske Racing have done a great job of making us equal and valuing my opinion.
“Obviously, if you tell them what you want and need in your race cars, it’s your job to go out there and produce after you get that. That’s what we were able to do and that’s what raises your value up and raises your voice up also when you’re in there talking. 
“That win was big for a lot of reasons, believe me.”
After being waist-deep in the Silly Season discussion a year ago, Logano said drivers in that situation must work hard to retain their focus in the final races of the year.
“Oh yeah, it’s a distraction,” said Logano. “I can tell you that much. It really sucks, to be honest with you, so it’s nice to be in the position I’m in now with a great company and a great sponsor like Shell and Pennzoil.  I’ve been through it in multiple years, and when you’re trying to make the Chase, you’ve got to have 100-percent focus.  That’s what you’ve got to have, but, at the same time, you can’t afford to not think about what your future is and where you’re going to go and what’s going to happen. 
“You have to compromise and you’re going to take something away.  You’re going to take some of that concentration away from the racing side, to make sure you have a secure future for the next year.  You can’t give up what you’ve got, but you’ve got to do both somehow, and it’s hard to do both.”

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