Logano's second win this season essentially locks him into the Chase
With his victory at Richmond, it was Joey Logano’s win is his second of the season, joining Kevin Harvick as the only two-time winners so far in 2014. Penske teammate Brad Keselowski finished fourth.
JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion, with crew chief Todd Gordon:
TAKE US THROUGH THE LAST FIVE LAPS AND THAT LAST RESTART AND THE PASS FOR THE WIN.
“I had a terrible restart the one before the last one and then we had a good one but the 88 in front of me didn’t have the best and once we started racing there were three cars in front of me and I thought I had a shot still. The 20 started blocking the top because the 2 car was so fast up top for the first 10 laps of a run and eventually I had enough room to turn up underneath him and get enough clean air on the car to take off. This isn’t a very good race track for me in the past but we had a really good Shell Pennzoil Ford today and we were able to put it in victory lane. This is so cool to win two races already this season and it is just going to be one heck of a season and I can’t wait to get to the race track next week.”
YOU GUYS WERE GREAT ON THE SHORT RUN. WHAT HAPPENED ON THE LONGER RUNS?
“Our car was really, really good the first 20 laps of a run. The 2 car was the same way. We were some short run cars and eventually it would just go away. The front and the rear would go away and the Hendrick cars would start coming. The 55 was good and the 31 was good and the 20 came out of nowhere. We were definitely a short run car and the race came down to a short run and it paid off for us.”
WITH TWO WINS, YOU WILL BE IN THE CHASE, HOW DOES THAT FEEL?
“It feels great. I want to start winning some races in the Chase now. These cars right now are so good and Penske is doing such a great job with these cars right now. I am just the lucky guy that gets to drive these things.”
TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS TO BE LOCKED IN AT THIS POINT OF THE SEASON.
“It means a lot. We kind of thought with one win you're going to be all but locked in, but this really secures you, like you said. Having a couple wins this early in the season and in two completely different race tracks make you very confident for the rest of the season. At this point we really have nothing to lose, it's all about going for wins and having fun out there and making sure we're ready for when the Chase starts. We've put ourselves in a good position this early in the season, and we're going to have some fun.”
IT SEEMS LIKE EVERY WEEK THERE'S SOME EXCITING, CLOSE FINISH. WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS? WHAT DO YOU THINK IS GOING ON, AND WHAT'S DIFFERENT THIS YEAR?
“I think you see the race cars, obviously those are the big difference from last year, obviously. But I think just a lot of times just the way these races have been coming down to these cautions at the end. It makes it ‑‑ it's so crazy. I felt like in that long run before the last ‑‑ well, the long run before the last couple cautions there, we started losing our track position. I was like, man, I really need to hold off these guys the best I can because it's going to be my only shot when the late‑race caution comes out because I was really thinking there was going to be another one really because I felt like the tire ‑‑ someone was going to blow one out before the end of the race and there would be a caution for that reason, and that's what happened. At that point, like Todd said, that was my opportunity. I didn't have a very good restart, and then I was pretty mad about it, and then after that I had a decent restart, but the 88 didn't have the best one in front of me, and then I was watching them all race in front of me, and I was like, okay, here's my shot. The 2 car was really fast up top and he was really good on restarts all night, and the 20 realized it, and the 20 was blocking him. Eventually the seas parted because I got all air on the nose while they were up there racing each other and I was able to get underneath and pass them both in one shot, so it worked out pretty good for me.”
NINE LAPS TO GO IT SEEMS CRAZY TO TALK ABOUT PATIENCE, BUT YOU'RE SURROUNDED BY FORMER CHAMPIONS, YOU'RE OBVIOUSLY LOOKING FOR SOMETHING TO DART THROUGH. HOW MUCH DO YOU KIND OF HAVE TO MEASURE YOURSELF AND MAKE SURE YOU MAKE THE RIGHT MOVE AND SEE THE MOVE THAT'S AVAILABLE WHEN IT IS JUST TO MAKE IT WORK?
“You know, any time you're down to the end of the race there really is no patience. It's wide open. Obviously I was able to see that in front of me and wanted to make sure I was close enough when something happened I was able to take advantage of it, and that's what I was able to do. Restarts, anything, it comes down to the end of the race. Patience is out the window. It's all about just go for it. I think that's what the fans want. That's what you got this year. You've got the new point system where everyone just goes for wins and you've got late‑race cautions, and everyone has the same attitudes. Everyone is the heck with it. If we crash, we crash. We're going for wins.”
A COUPLE GUYS ON PIT LANE AFTER THE RACE SAID IT THAT EVEN THOUGH THIS IS A SHORT TRACK THAT IF THEY PULLED IN BEHIND PEOPLE GOING INTO 1, THEY WERE LOSING THE NOSE COMPLETELY, PROBABLY BECAUSE OF THE HIGH SPEEDS. WERE YOU HAVING THAT, AS WELL?
“It was tough, really tough out there. It was still a good race even though we were really fighting air all night long. My car was good enough that I was able to move up the racetrack and still turn across cars be able to pass them that way, but late in the run when you've got no tire grip, all you're relying on is air and then even catching a lapped car, a few times I'd catch from a ways back and I'd get to him and I'd just stop, be stuck. I can't get closer and I've got to wait for him to give me a half a lane, sometimes even less on the inside just to get some air on the nose of the car, and then I can kind of hook the yellow line and at least get close enough to take the air off his car and go from there. It's an aero battle out there just like it is any other place we go to. That's what we deal with, and that's why you have to ‑‑ the whole time you're racing someone you're thinking about, okay, how can I put him in a bad spot, how can I get a little bit closer, what do I have to do to ‑‑ the typical stuff you learn growing up as far as late model racing and stuff like that and how you pass a car, it's completely different when you get to this level when you're relying on air so much. You've really got to learn to pass cars in a completely different way.”
WHERE DOES THIS STANDS AS FAR AS YOUR CAREER GOES JUST KNOWING THE CIRCUMSTANCES WITH THE CHASE AND ALL THAT.
“They're all great. I've never had a bad win before. Obviously coming to a race track that I don't feel like myself as a driver was very good at, you know, and I told Todd after practice, actually while we were switching over to qualifying trim during practice, this is the best car we've had in practice since Michigan. I felt really good about that, like man, we can win this thing. That's saying a lot at a place like this for me. I wanted to make sure I backed that up. But we talked this morning even, and I said, man, I feel a lot more confident about today going into the race if we were at a mile‑and‑a‑half or somewhere that we've proven ourselves and kind of know which way the track is going to go and know the adjustments we need to run well in the race. Here I don't have a great feel for what adjustments we needed, and I think Todd was the same way. I think the both of us we kind of ‑‑ we talked it out and just kind of went with it, and our car drove fairly similar to what we had in practice, and we get in the race, we started 17th, we drove up to the top 10 fairly quick and kept making some little adjustments here and there and able to get the car a little bit better and able to capitalize on restarts was the biggest thing that was able to get us that track position and you just kind of had to secure it and hold off what you can in the long run.”