Toyota NSCS New Hampshire Notes & Quotes Joey Logano

TOYOTA NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS)

Joey Logano — Notes & Quotes

New Hampshire Motor Speedway – July 13, 2012

CarParts.com
American Muscle

JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing What is it like being a part of the ‘wild card’ battle for the Chase? “It’s definitely very, very close out there right now for the Chase spot — obviously you guys know that. I think at this point, as many guys as have one win that are this close in points right now — I think another win is going to be a very important thing to get. Not a better weekend than this weekend to get one. Obviously, being my home area here, it would be real cool to win here. We’re doing everything we can to get our Home Depot car as good as it needs to be and try to get one. Like I said, these wins are going to be super important right now.”

Are you looking forward to having some New England Patriots attend the race Sunday? “It was cool — I got to visit the Patriots last year and see the training facility. They tried to teach me how to kick a field goal and I’m going to stick to driving race cars. That was pitiful — extra points weren’t happening for me. It’s cool that they’re coming up here to watch the race. Some of those guys are race fans, so that’s pretty neat to have them come up here and have them check it out. That will be fun. This is my home area and I got to see some of my buddies the other day. I got to go to Connecticut early and see some of my friends. Did a lot of things there so I had fun.”

Do you feel more pressure to make the Chase or from the uncertainty of your future? “I think you feel pressure from both ends. You want to be able to focus 100 percent on what you’re doing — right now, trying to make the Chase. During the week, we’re trying to figure out what my future is going to be and I’m trying to prepare myself for the weekend and then when we get here, I put all that stuff in the back of my mind and then focus 100 percent on what I have going on this weekend in trying to win a race. I say it all the time — winning races will make all the other stuff come along a lot quicker. We’re getting there slowly but surely.”

Do you feel like you control your destiny more to make the Chase or determine your future? “I don’t know. Obviously, racing itself on one side of it out there on the race track, you can only control so much of your destiny out there, but you can control it quite a bit. If you can control it on the racing side, you can control it on the other side too. As long as I keep doing what we’ve been doing on the race track with all the top-10s we’ve got and top-fives and with that win — being near that Chase spot makes you want it a little bit more. We have to keep working on that.”

Who are your biggest threats for the ‘wild card?’ “There’s a lot. Obviously, you have the two guys that are right behind me — I think Kasey’s (Kahne) had a lot of fast race cars, so you wo uld assume he is definitely have a pretty good shot at it. I think the 24 (Jeff Gordon) is somebody you would figure would get a win between now and the Chase. He will be right up there. That’s why I say that extra win is going to mean a lot. We’re not that far from Kyle (Busch) in points either. We’re only a few points back from him. There’s five, six or seven of us there very, very close and one win would be a big deal. I think it’s one of the most exciting races to the Chase that we’ve had — especially for me, because I’m involved in it. It’s definitely a lot of fun. It does add a little more pressure , because you can’t afford to have a bad race at this point.”

Have you made contact with Penske Racing for next season? “Obviously, right now we look at all our options out there in trying to do whatever we can do to have the best opportunity for my future. That’s talking to as many people as we can and seeing what’s available.”

Do you have confidence that you could win several races in the Chase? “You can do it. When they reset this thing for the Chase, it’s a whole new season. You’re focused 100 percent right now on getting there and then once we get there we have to reset our focus again. We still have the same feel every time we go to the race track that we’re trying to win the race and that never changes. It lets you recover from having a bad start to the season. We didn’t have the best beginning to the season that I wish we had — we went through a lot of different learning curves, but at this point we’re getting close to where we need to be and we’re being able to knock out those top-10 finishes week in and week out. You wish you had that in the beginning of the year so we would be in a lot better spot than we are right now.”

How do you balance the need for wins with the need for points? “That’s very, very hard. Probably a really hard question for Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief) as it is for me. You’re out there to get the best finish you possibly can and the points position we’re in right now. We can’t afford to have a bad finish, but a win is very valuable. You don’t want to go checkers or wreckers and go for a victory or a 25th place finish — that’s something that I think we really can’t take that big of a risk yet. I don’t think we’re at that point yet. We’re still close in the points at getting maybe a couple spots in the points standings itself. I think we have to kind of wait and play it out. If we can do something a little crazy to get a win, yeah, we’re going to do it. At the same time, the risk versus reward — we have to weigh both ends of it out.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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