Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Logano's Crew Chief Says Cool Heads Will Prevail At Homestead

With just 400 miles between himself and the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, crew chief Todd Gordon said he, driver Joey Logano and the No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford team are not planning any radical changes in strategy for Sunday’s race at Homestead Miami Speedway.

“I think you have to approach this weekend like we did all of the races this year… and continue to race aggressively,” said Gordon. “With the way the format is laid out, you have to be aggressive to reap the rewards. I think you’re going to have to be close to being a winner to take home a championship. 

"We’re going to continue to do the things that we’ve done; not break the format of how our practice flow has worked (and) how our week of preparation has worked.  We had a really good test down there a couple of weeks back and feel good about building off it, coming back to Homestead.”

Gordon said he did not anticipate the level of intensity created by NASCAR’s new Chase format.

“We knew that it brought the intensity of the go or go-home race multiple times within the season,” he said. “We knew there would be a heightened level of effort from every team and instead of slow and steady, it would have peaks every three races. It has definitely lived up to the expectation, if not exceeded it with some of the things that we’ve seen."

Gordon also admitted that the system has not worked exactly the way he predicted it would, saying, “When it was first announced -- and even through the year -- we really thought you were going to have to win one of the three races coming into Homestead -- Martinsville, Texas, or Phoenix – in order to move on. It ended up being the polar opposite. It was a points race, so it changed up the whole last segment. It has proved that even if you anticipate the most, you won’t get what’s going to happen until it happens.”

Gordon said he likes the momentum his team carries to the Sunshine State this weekend, after winning five times already in 2014.

“Everybody here buys in,” he said. “We’re all on the same page and pushing together. Team Penske has done an awesome job of pulling resources. Paul Wolfe and myself work together, and Brad and Joey work together to make sure that we’re prepared for every week. We’ve had success and not lost track with what makes us successful. We make sure we include that every weekend.”

In terms of strategy for Sunday’s race, Gordon said a cool head will likely prevail.

"The great part is you’re not behind and you’re not ahead,” he said. “You’re on an even playing field. We’ve found ways to not lose our cool and continue to race forward.  I think that’s a statement of where this race team is, what they’re made of and how we’ll race forward in this race at Homestead. We’ve come through some rocky roads and some rough situations, and we’ve always figured out how to persevere and have success.

“We’ll look to do that again this weekend.”

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