Joey Logano: "We just have to be perfect (to win) and it's not easy"
Joey Logano is a two-time winner at New Hampshire but believes he needs “a perfect day” to become the next multiple-time winner in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
All three drivers from Team Penske finished in the top-10 last week at Kentucky Speedway – a good sign the organization is making progress this season trying to keep up with Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr., who have combined for 14 wins.
While Logano thinks his No. 22 Ford team has a shot at another New Hampshire win this weekend, everything will have to go right.
“It seems like they always find a way to prevail at the end, whether it’s the speed in their car or their pit stops or restarts, whatever it may be, they find themselves up front when it matters the most,” Logano said of Harvick, Busch and Truex.
“Obviously, they can recover from mistakes pretty well because of their speed, so they’re just able to be there at the right times. We’re not quite at that point yet as a race team. We’re not far from it. We just hang really close.
“We can run in the top 10 about anywhere right now. We can make some top-five finishes every now and again, but we have to have a perfect day to win a race at this point.”
Aiming to become a title threat
Logano’s victory earlier this season at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway has already locked him in the playoffs, but he insists he and his team have larger aspirations.
“The fact that we’re locked in the playoffs is great, but that’s only one part of it. That’s not what the goal is. The goal isn’t to make the playoffs. The goal is to win the championship,” he said.
“We’re not quite at that level yet to make that happen. We can make that happen this year, we’ve just got to make some gains here and we’ve got to make them pretty quick because the playoffs are right down the road from where we are right now.”
A year ago, Logano also had a victory but a NASCAR penalty had disallowed its use to make the playoffs and the No. 22 failed to make the 16-driver field on points.
Results – including the victory and 14 top-10 finishes in 19 races – are much-improved for the No. 22 team this year. But the competition got better as well.
“We have to have the perfect strategy, a great car that’s maximized to the best handling we can possibly make it,” Logano said. “There’s just no margin for error throughout the whole event for us right now.
“We just have to be on our game right now to be able to win races and I’m not saying we can’t, we just have to be perfect and it’s not easy.”
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