Ford Racing drivers Logano and Almirola hoping for Sunday victory at Martinsville

Joey Logano and Aric Almirola spoke with Ford Racing during a rain delay on Saturday.

JOEY LOGANO – No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion

Ford Racing driver Joey Logano, fresh off his Martinsville Speedway track qualifying record run from Friday in the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Fusion, is a top contender to win tomorrow’s STP 500. Logano spoke with Ford Racing during a rain delay on Saturday to talk about Sunday’s race and what it will take to end up in victory lane.

Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR CAR IF WE DON’T GET ANY PRACTICE TODAY? “I still feel pretty good about it. Todd and I have talked a lot about what we need here to race well and kind of just what we’ve been doing at every other track. We don’t really show a ton of speed in practice and we feel pretty good when the race starts, so even if it rains out today it’s not the end of the world. I’m not really worried about it. Obviously, people take their practice to try things and learn something, but really in all honesty we’re OK. I feel like we have a shot at it.”

WHAT IS THE KEY TO RUNNING WELL HERE TOMORROW? BEING GOOD ON A LONG RUN OR SHORT RUN OR BOTH? “There will be some long runs. There will be cars that go like crazy to start the run and will move ahead, but then they wear their stuff out and they come back. The best car is the one that has both because it most likely comes down to a 10-lap run at the end of the race, but if your car is not good throughout a long run, you’re not gonna be in position to go for that 10-lap run at the end of the race, so you have to have both. The winning car is gonna have both, unless there’s a tire strategy thing that comes into play. We look for everything. If you just focus on one thing, you’re probably not gonna be good enough.”

HOW IMPORTANT IS PATIENCE HERE BECAUSE IT HAPPENS OFTEN THAT A GUY GETS TURNED EARLY AND MAY GO MULTIPLE LAPS DOWN, BUT BY THE END OF THE DAY THEY STILL HAVE A GOOD FINISH. “It seems that at this place when one thing goes wrong another one goes wrong and it just snowballs. You’ve got to be able to keep your cool and maintain even when something goes wrong because typically at some point you’re gonna lose your track position. That happens throughout a race, so you’ve got to keep your calm and be patient working your way back up through the field because 500 laps around here is a long time. You can make passes here because tire wear comes in to play, so when someone is falling off and switching back, you’re able to get by them. You’ll see some of that for sure and then you’ll see other guys that will get their nose knocked in and it snowballs the rest of the day. You just have to be smart throughout the day and not get too amped up when things are going on.”

ARIC ALMIROLA – No. 43 STP Ford Fusion

Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 43 STP Ford Fusion, knows the history his car has here at Martinsville Speedway and understands Richard Petty has more NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins at this track than any other driver. He spoke with Ford Racing during today’s rain delay and discussed that history.

Aric Almirola, Richard Petty Motorsports Ford
Aric Almirola, Richard Petty Motorsports Ford

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

IS PRACTICE TODAY VITAL FOR YOU OR NO BIG DEAL? “It’s really vital I think. We really want to get this practice in and have a lot of things we want to try because Trent wasn’t here yesterday. We tried some things with the little bit we got to run in race trim and have somewhat of a direction for the race, but it would be good to get this practice in so Trent and I can work together on the car and get an idea of what we need for tomorrow.”

YOU’VE RUN WELL HERE IN THE PAST, SO HOW DO YOU FEEL FOR TOMORROW? “I feel really good, actually. I’ve always run really well here and I like this track. In 2012 I think I finished fourth and seventh or something like that, but had a top 5 and top 10, so I feel really good about racing here at Martinsville. I think our car is pretty close with what we had in race trim yesterday, but I’d really like to get just a little bit more out of it. Trent made some adjustments this morning to try and get the car a little bit better, so I really hope we get some practice in.”

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO CLIMB INTO THAT 43 CAR WITH THAT PAINT SCHEME AND SPONSOR ON THE HOOD? “It’s so cool. It’s such a special weekend. STP has been in the sport for over 40 years now and to have that history and everything that car represents, it’s truly an honor to get to drive it. I don’t think there’s one person in Martinsville, Virginia that looks at that race car and doesn’t reminisce about RP and all they accomplished together with STP and Richard Petty Motorsports, so I’d love to add another trophy to the record books with that paint scheme.”

IN ADDITION TO THE HARD WORK THAT GOES INTO THIS WEEKEND DO YOU FEEL LIKE EVERYTHING IS COMING TOGETHER FOR SOMETHING SPECIAL TO HAPPEN? “Not really. I think it’s a big weekend for STP for sure. They’re the sponsor of the race and the sponsor on our car, but at the end of the day it’s just another race weekend and we’ve got to go out and get our car to handle well. We’ve got to execute on pit road and we’ve got to make the right adjustments throughout the race. There’s just so much that goes in to it that we’ve got to be perfect to go out and win a race. We want to do that every weekend, but especially this weekend with such a big weekend and obviously losing Miss Lynda this week. We would love nothing more than to have her smiling down on us in victory lane on Sunday.”

Ford Racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Richard Petty , Aric Almirola , Joey Logano
Teams Team Penske , Richard Petty Motorsports
Article type Interview
Tags aric almirola, ford racing, joey logano, martinsville, nascar-cup