Ford Michigan 2 Cup (Joey Logano Pole Winner Press Conference)

Ford Racing NSCS Notes & Quotes:
Pure Michigan 400 Sprint Cup Qualifying (Michigan International Speedway)
Friday, August 16, 2013JOEY LOGANO POLE WINNER PRESS CONFERENCE

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion – TELL US ABOUT THAT TRACK RECORD QUALIFYING EFFORT OUT THERE TODAY. “It wasn’t bad. Good enough to get the pole, so that’s good. I felt like it was going to take a teen or 20 to get the pole and we ran a 30 so I wasn’t very confident about it after it but I’ve had a really good Shell Pennzoil Ford since we unloaded today. Having clean air here is huge so we will be able to start with that and try to have the right strategy and get our car good for tomorrow and getting it to where we can pass cars and see what happens from there.”

YOU ARE ALSO NOW QUALIFIED FOR NEXT YEARS ALL-STAR RACE. “That is pretty cool. It is neat to be in that race and obviously. I was thinking about that when I was out there waiting to see if we ended up on the pole.”

THIS IS YOUR SIXTH CAREER POLE BUT FIRST WITH PENSKE RACING, CAN YOU COMMENT ON THAT? “Yeah, when you come to Michigan obviously there is extra incentive here to win and get poles. For one, Ford being here and the other Penske also having their headquarters here. Anytime you can come here and get a pole for Roger that is huge. I think what you see here is we ran really well here in the spring and we come back here in a short amount of time and are able to use the notes and we were able to learn a lot from it. We were able to use it and capitalize on it. Hopefully we can do that throughout the rest of the season. These next four races are super important for us and we can’t afford to have a bad one. If we can get a win it is huge and I feel like the next couple weeks is our best shot at that.”

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ONE OF YOUR ENGINEERS, STEVE REECE IS FROM WINDSOR, WHAT ROLE DOES HE PLAY ON A DAY LIKE THIS? “Steve is the man. Obviously he does a lot of our sim stuff and with our setups and working a lot with us and another engineer Miles and Todd. The four of us really go over the chassis and what we are going to do and try to come up with the best plan. That is the best thing about this 22 team. It isn’t just Todd and not just me it is all the guys and we are all working together and coming up with ideas. We hash it out and talk about it and come up with good changes for the race. Reece has done a great job for us and he has been on the 22 team a long time and obviously is doing a good job.”

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON KYLE LARSON POSSIBLY COMING TO A CUP RIDE NEXT SEASON AT THE AGE OF 21? “Kyle has a ton of talent and there is no doubt in my mind that he will be in the Sprint Cup Series but it is a big step. I know it is a big step and I think he knows it is going to be a big step. I think he can handle it also. He is 21, which is a lot older than I was when I first started doing it and he has a lot more racing experience than I had when I started. I feel like he has a shot at it. I don’t know what the plan is with that car and what they are going to do because I try to focus on my own stuff but I think Kyle is an amazing talent that will make it someday but at the same time I always tell people not to rush it because sometimes it isn’t quite worth it. I have been fortunate to have this second chance over here at Penske and that has been working perfectly because I have the experience on my side now to go out there and race these guys.”

YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS LIKE TO FILL THE SHOES OF TONY STEWART HAVING JUMPED IN THE 20 CAR AFTER HIM. WHAT WILL IT BE LIKE FOR AUSTIN DILLION THIS WEEKEND? “Another situation I have been through but once again he has more experience than I had at the time. I feel like he can do a good job and he showed some speed in practice. He has run a few cup races in the 51 car and some in a RCR car so he has always had the spotlight on him. Every since he started racing trucks the spotlight has been on him. He is used to that. I don’t think it bothers him. It didn’t bother me too much, it is more a fact of how you run and we will just have to wait and see. It wouldn’t surprise me if he ran well at all. I think he can do it.”

YOU HAVE BEEN IN SILLY SEASON LAST YEAR. ANY SUGGESTIONS YOU HAVE? “I am glad I am not in the middle of it right now. It is nice to have a ride and be able to focus on your race car and not being worried about where you are going to drive and what is going to happen. You get distracted very easily with that stuff because a lot goes into it and you have to think through it. If you take that distraction away it helps a lot. It is hard for any driver to go through that. You never know what is going to happen. It makes it entertaining. I read all your stories about what the rumors are and it is pretty cool to listen to it but it is also fun to not be involved in it for a change.”

WHAT WILL THE ADDITIONAL SPEED MEAN FOR THE RACE ON SUNDAY? “I think this race track in general is getting better throughout time. I think you see some of the color go away and the track is getting grayer. The track is coming in quicker. I am running the truck this weekend and we were the first group of cars on the track and you usually see cars sliding around forever and you are tightening your car up a lot and then it rubbers up and you can’t loosen it enough. It doesn’t seem like it is going through that transition as much. You can see that bottom lane slowly come in. I think the trucks are great to race here because it is easier to run the bottom. A truck around here is like Daytona, wide open. When you get in a pack there is a lot of sliding around and all but I think those races will bring in that bottom lane which is going to help the racing and you can see the outside will widen up throughout the race. I think by the time it comes to the end of the race we are going to have a three lane race track which is good. That is a lot of progress from what we had when they first repaved this race track. In time the tracks get better and better and it will be like it was eventually when we were running up against the fence and what line we would run to qualify, against the wall or on the white line. It will be like that in a little bit. I am looking forward to it.”

YOU SAID IT WAS IMPORTANT TO BE ON THE POLE FOR FORD BUT THE ROUSH CARS HAVE DONE SO WELL HERE, ANY COMPETITION AMONG FORD TEAMMATES? “Well, they are competitors so yes we want to beat them. At the same time they are Ford teammates and we want to work with them the best that we can. They work with us the best they can to try to make Ford teams in general better and I think you see that as the years have gone. I think Ford has gotten better and continually is finding more speed and I think for a little bit none of us were qualifying well and now we are all kind of up there. We have speed back in our cars and I feel like we have the speed back that we had at the beginning of the season. I am excited about where we stand right now as Fords team. Obviously here at Michigan it makes it even better.”

HOW FAR WILL YOU HAVE TO BACK OFF FROM THAT QUALIFYING SETUP TO DO 40-45 LAPS HERE? “One of the things you change, obviously is taking tape off the grille which is a lot of front downforce percentage that you are taking off your car and you are changing your air pressure a lot for a long run. Those two things are huge. You have to have your off-set, your qualifying setup to your race setup kind of figured out. I think we kind of know where we are at from where we were in the spring. You have to come off it quite a bit. You have to free your car up quite a bit. When you put all that downforce on the cars you have to find a way to tighten them up. That is what you have to try to figure out, what that off-set is and in qualifying practice you get two or three runs at it. You have to try to have that figured out before you get to the racetrack.”

DO YOU THINK YOU WILL COME ANYWHERE CLOSE TO 200 MPH DURING THE ACTUAL RACE? “I think we will go faster as a top speed. We will slow down a lot more in the corners but I think we have seen at places like Pocono that when you get cars in a draft that are punching such a big hole in the air, in your tach you can see the red lights and I am definitely turning a lot more in the pack in race trim than I am in qualifying, that is for sure. I don’t know how fast it is but it feels freaking fast.”

ARE YOUR SETUPS RADICALLY DIFFERENT NOW THAN TWO MONTHS AGO HERE? “I feel like we fine tuned what we have and came up with ideas of what we would like to fine tune even more and we will try that tomorrow. A lot of times when you do go to a racetrack that you race early, like Phoenix, where it is the second race and then like third to last, the cars change so much that you can’t even really use your notes because your setup is so different. Here is cool. Pocono, Michigan, the races are so close together that they don’t change a whole bunch. For some teams they might. For Truex I guess it is. That is good to know. Ours isn’t much different at all. We are just trying to fine tune what we had and work on what we fought in the race and try to have a good direction. The big thing for us is as a team, coming to a track for the second time with our 22 team, working together and coming back to a racetrack with a notebook. That is very valuable.”

DID YOU RUN A PERFECT LAP OR BACK OFF IN THREE? “I had a really good three and four but not the best one and two. That is what I was disappointed about. I thought I needed to pick up more speed than I did. I fought tight in one and two in practice. We loosened the car up some to try to fix that but I was still kind of preparing myself to be tight down there and making sure I didn’t over run the corner. That’s what I did in the spring here and lost a lot of speed. I had that in the back of my mind and didn’t drive the car hard enough. I still didn’t lose much speed at all and had a good three and four which was able to get us the lap.”

IF YOU CAN WIN A COUPLE RACES IN THESE NEXT FOUR YOU ARE PROBABLY IN THE CHASE BUT YOU ALSO HAVE A SHOT TO GET IN WITH POINTS. HOW DO YOU BALANCE THAT OUT BETWEEN BEING AGGRESSIVE TO WIN BUT NOT WANTING TO CRASH EITHER? “We are 27 points out I believe and that doesn’t sound like a lot but the amount of cars that are in between us is a lot. You have to pass a lot of cars and that is the difficult part. Like you said, one win is not going to be enough right now. You have to have a win and points or two wins. We have four races left. We are coming off a streak of three top-10’s and I feel like the streak we had before that of like six before our flat tire issues was even stronger. The momentum is behind us. We have been solid through the season and there is no doubt in my mind we should be like fifth in points right now but the case is that we are not and we will keep working to get into the Chase. We are a Chase caliber team and I feel like even a championship caliber team. We keep making our race cars faster. I am excited about that fact but I really want to get in the Chase and we have our work cut out for us right now. By no means are we out of it. I feel like we have a good shot and I like our chances to do it. We are one bad race from saying we are out though.”

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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