JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 JOE GIBBS RACING GAMESTOP RACING TOYOTA What makes Kentucky so appealing to you and your race style. Joey Logano: I think Kentucky, for me at least, I've been there a lot. I've got a lot of laps around the place. I got to...
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 JOE GIBBS RACING GAMESTOP RACING TOYOTA
What makes Kentucky so appealing to you and your race style.
Joey Logano: I think Kentucky, for me at least, I've been there a lot. I've got a lot of laps around the place. I got to do a lot of testing there when we were able to test there with the Sprint Cup cars. I think that is something that really helped us a lot. Nashville is kind of the same way. I've got a lot of laps around that place too.
Kentucky is cool. It holds a special place in my heart because that is where I got my first Nationwide Series win. That was a big deal to me. We are going to go up there and try to keep the perfect record going. We've got two poles and two wins, so we've got to try and get a couple more there.
What is the feeling among the drivers and how (Kentucky Speedway) would hold up to a Sprint Cup race?
Joey Logano: I hope it gets one. For as well as I've ran there, I hope it does. I like going to a lot of different racetracks and that is the cool thing that NASCAR does is we get to go to a lot of different places. To add another racetrack to it would be pretty fun at the same time.
Is there any talk that that is going to happen even as soon as next year?
Joey Logano: I hope it does. A lot of the drivers are so focused on what we've got going on the next week. Right now, we are 100-percent focused on Charlotte. As soon as that is over, it is the next race track. With me, I'm always focused on one thing at a time and one week at a time. It is definitely something I think most of the drivers would be pretty excited about getting to go there.
What do you like so much about the racetrack other then the fact that you have won there a couple of times?
Joey Logano: It puts on good racing. It might be different with the Cup cars, but with the Nationwide cars, it's a two-grove racetrack and maybe three. It makes it pretty fun. You can move around a little bit. The top lane works good. It has a lot of character. There are a lot of bumps down in (turns) one and two. Joe Gibbs Racing has awesome Nationwide (Series) cars at mile and a half speedways like Kentucky. All of that put together, it suits my driving style a lot. And it's fun. If you have ever noticed, it's really wide. That puts on good racing. It gives you a lot of room off the corners for some good racing.
Does the Nationwide Series tend to have more retaliation than the Cup side?
Joey Logano: I agree with that. I am not sure why. I think on the Cup side, everyone is trying to make the Chase. No one is wanting to take a chance of hurting their car or hurting themselves. On the Nationwide side, everyone is just going for it. That is part of it -- part of the sport. Retaliation is a tough deal. I think of using your racecar as a last resort. I think you need to talk to the guy and settle it the best you can off of the race track. These guys are working on these racecars really hard and there is a lot of money put into these things. When it comes down to it though, if you have to you have to. To that point though, it is the smartest and the safest to work it out the right way.
You handle it well. Is that your nature or something you have picked up from other guys?
Joey Logano: I think a little bit of it is me and some of it is you watch the way some guys race and see what other people do and work your way to your style. I guess that is my style. I talked to Bobby and Donnie Allison last week at one of the Hall of Fame dinners and we started talking about it and they said the same thing. Those guys would know. They've been racing a lot longer then I've been alive, so they know a lot more than me.
What does your schedule look like for the Kentucky weekend in terms of going back and forth between Michigan?
Joey Logano: It's busy. Last year was the first time I ever traveled back and forth between two different racetracks on the same weekend. Its pretty tough to be honest with you. I haven't done it since then either. I don't exactly what my schedule is yet, but there will be a plane ride down and we will get to practice and they a plane ride back to Michigan that night. I will go back and forth two times I believe. We will try to do it as quick as we can and try to do the best that we can at both racetracks.
Does that make you tired?
Joey Logano: Not me. I'm not that old so I can handle the travel. It just makes it tougher because you don't have as much time with your crew chief to debrief on the car on either end. In Michigan, I'm going to have to practice and hustle and get out of there. Its going to be the same deal in Kentucky with the Nationwide car. It will be tough but we did it last year and you see a lot of guys that are able to do it. We won doing it last year so I don't see any reason why we can't do it again.
How much have you grown as a driver since you first came to Kentucky?
Joey Logano: I think a lot of it is being more mature and knowing what I want in my racecar. More confidence in telling my crew chief what I need in my racecar. That is probably the biggest thing I've learned in the Sprint Cup side too. Just having the confidence in knowing what you want is the biggest deal. And that is just because of seat time. You can't learn that overnight.
If you win, it is a team effort, right?
Joey Logano: Definitely. This is a team sport for sure. That is something cool about last week in Charlotte. They have the pit stop competition and the way they do the qualifying, it really puts the team into play. And it does every week too. I can't tell you how many times in these Nationwide races that its come down to pit strategy. It seems like this year three or four times at least it has come down to the end of the race and taking two tires or four tires or stay out and figuring out what we need to do to win this thing. That really puts the crew chief and crew into play.
Is there another track, Cup or Nationwide, that you can take information and translate it to Kentucky?
Joey Logano: Kentucky I look at a little bit like Kansas. They are similar. You are trying to go over the seems and get your car good there. Same deal at Kansas. So those two tracks are pretty close that you can work back and forth with. I don't why we are do good there. I think it is just because I've got a lot of laps around it. I've found out what line I need to run and what I need to make a car go fast there.
How important is it for a young driver to target Kentucky knowing that this could propel them into some bigger and better things down the road?
Joey Logano: Kentucky has really helped me a lot because that was my third race in the Nationwide car and I was able to go win. In that same year, I went to the Sprint Cup Series. I feel like winning at Kentucky really helped open eyes and give me the chance to get into the Home Depot Toyota that I'm in now (in the Sprint Cup Series). That place gives you a good opportunity to win because not all of the Cup drivers are there. Because you have to travel back and forth, not everyone does that. That makes it a little bit easier to win, but it is still tough. I think it gives a lot of guys a chance to win and give them their breakthrough win. I'm pretty pumped up about going there. I've got GameStop back on the car and Mario Galaxy 2 on the car. That is a new game coming out. That is pretty cool. That is something cool that GameStop does. They put a new game (on the car) about every week, so it will be a pretty neat looking car.
Have you changed your approach since you've been in the series since you now have a full Sprint Cup schedule?
Joey Logano: With JGR and how good their Nationwide cars are, every time we unload a car I feel like I have a good shot at winning. Even if we don't take off good in practice, I have enough confidence in my crew chief and guys that we can get this thing good enough to be up there and it seems like we do it every time. That is exciting to be part of a group that is that good and can propel yourself up to some wins.
Do you see some young drivers that are about ready to break out?
Joey Logano: There are a few new drivers out there that are going to be pretty good. Coleman Pressley is coming up there and I think he is going to be pretty strong. There are some kids that are coming up that have a lot of experience and that are going to get to learn a lot. When you get to these places that all the Cup drivers aren't there, it is really a great opportunity to make the most of it.