Indianapolis: Top rookie press conference

Allstate 400 At The Brickyard Post-Race Transcript An interview with: JOEY LOGANO - Top rookie, 12th KERRY THARP: We'll call up our Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate, Joey Logano. Outstanding finish here today for Joey. Talk about...

Allstate 400 At The Brickyard Post-Race Transcript

An interview with:
JOEY LOGANO - Top rookie, 12th

KERRY THARP: We'll call up our Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate, Joey Logano. Outstanding finish here today for Joey. Talk about your run out there.

JOEY LOGANO: We started too far in the back after we changed motors and started in the rear, one of the toughest places to pass. I just figured that out the hard way. I think if it was Charlotte or somewhere, you could have a couple lanes, it would be a lot easier. I think we had good restarts. We were able to pass a lot of cars then. Everyone was running the same speed, like Tony was saying.

Made it tough if you were running in the back. I think we had a lot better car than where we finished. It is what it is. Come back next time. Cool part is, The Home Depot Toyota ran good at Indy, so that's pretty neat, for the first time here. Had fun with it. Learned a lot. We'll come next time and I think we'll be even better.

Q: Can you chart your progress. Where are you now versus where you thought you'd be at this time? Is it harder, easier?

JOEY LOGANO: I think it's a lot better than it was in the beginning of the year, that's for sure.

Q: Relative to your own expectations.

JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, I think I'm getting close. Obviously I'm always wanting to be better. I think that's something that got me this far. Never good enough. I can tell you what, those guys winning those races every weekend have the same mentality. Never die, keep digging, figure all this out. The motivating part is I'm getting better every week, going to some of these places for the first time, like here, running better than we would at the beginning of the season at a first time place. That's motivating to me.

Q: Touch a little on what your first experience at Indy was like. You did start 43rd and ended up passing 31 cars to get up to 12th place. You were passing some people. Did it get harder to pass cars as you got closer to the front?

JOEY LOGANO: Usually does, yeah (laughter). I expected that. I thought we had a good racecar that we could get up there with it. Starting the race, I thought we still got a solid shot at a top 10 if some things played in our favor. If you look at it, not many cars wrecked. There really wasn't any spots given to you. You pretty much had to work for every one of them.

Every time I restarted, it was on the outside. It would never work in turn one. I think if you really save your spot, on the restarts, instead of losing two spots, passing those two back, passing a couple more, if you were able to save that, pass four cars, that will add up after two or three restarts. What am I supposed to do about that? I really can't do nothing.

Overall, yeah, I think it was a good day.  Everyone worked hard.  We had a
really good racecar through practice.  It showed today in the race.

Q: What do you think about it in general?

JOEY LOGANO: It's cool just to be here. Like I said earlier, to have a good racecar at Indy was really fun. To be passing cars, not getting passed, is always fun at any racetrack. I wish we had more time or started up closer. We might have had something closer to front. Every time I got around a car, got some clean air, I was like, Wow, a lot better now, holy smoke. It was a matter of getting around a lot of guys.

Q: What was it like to race with Juan Pablo at the very end?

JOEY LOGANO: He had a good car. My car took off better than his did. I was able to get around him on the restart. I was trying to run down the 17 for all I was worth. I think I was behind him the whole race. It sure felt like it. I could get to him but never passed him. I'm going to get him before this race is over.

I kept pushing, digging. Eventually wore out the right front tire. Juan came. Every spot is a big deal. Almost, but, yeah, I think we had fun. We raced each other hard, but pretty clean, too, at the same time. So it was pretty good.

Q: You said you learned a lot. Any one thing that stands out that you'll take from here that you learned?

JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, I learned a little bit of things about the line when I'm behind cars, what I can do to make my car a little bit better, how to pass is pretty much the biggest deal. If I didn't figure that out today, I wasn't going to learn anything. Definitely learned a few things being behind the 39, trying to pass him for 10 laps or so. Trying to get the run just right to get to him. Had to work on certain spots of the track knowing where you're best, where he's worst, figure all this stuff out, put a plan together, have everything work out just right to get underneath somebody.

I was behind him for the longest time. I finally passed. I was like, Yeah. That was like a win, as tough as it was. Got to do that 31 times, so it was tough.

Q: Mark Martin is 31 years older than you.

JOEY LOGANO: And kicking my butt (laughter).

Q: In 2040, do you envision yourself being able to do what he's been doing this year?

JOEY LOGANO: Hopefully I'm as good as Mark Martin is at that age. Pretty amazing to see him go out there and run that good. I went up to him before qualifying, Man, what the heck did you do, after he made his run. He said, I just tried to scare myself every corner. Well, I guess I'll try.

It's cool to see, you're out there racing against someone that helped you out a lot in your career. Hopefully we can run a little better coming up here in the second half of the season, be up there racing with him.

Q: How frustrating do you think this must be for Juan, having the car he had? And how good do you think your car was if you started up a little further?

Do you think it was a top five car here or could you have won here?

JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, I think as far as Juan, I didn't even know what happened to him. I actually didn't know he was leading the whole race. I was just racing him like he's any other car around me. He had a good car. It went to show when we were around each other, we were about the same speed. I think we had a good racecar, like Juan did.

Yeah, if we started where we were supposed to, 18th, passed cars from there, would we have finished better? Of course, we would have. We had a better racecar than where we finished. You don't know until you get up there because you can finish 12th and say, I could have finished in the top five. You don't know that till you're up there. Cars change a lot as you get further in the back. Cars drive a lot different. As you get up there, every spot means more, every spot is harder to pass. You don't know when your car is going to be doing when you get there.

Do I think we had a better car than where we finished? Of course, I do. Did we have a car to win? I don't know. Maybe could have had a top five, seven or eight, somewhere in there.

KERRY THARP: Joey, thank you.

JOEY LOGANO: Thank you.

-credit: nascar

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Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Mark Martin