Positive thinking pays off for Daytona 500 winner Joey Logano.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Talk about the power of prayer.
With 24 laps remaining in the Daytona 500, Joey Logano received some disturbing news.
Ryan Blaney had just suffered an engine failure in the No. 21 Motorcraft Ford. The incident occurred 15 laps after Logano’s Penske teammate Brad Keselowski experienced the same problem.
Todd Gordon, crew chief for the No. Team Penske Ford, apprised Logano of the situation. The driver’s response?
“Say a prayer,” Logano said.
Clearly, Logano’s prayers were answered. Although Sunday’s race went into over-time, Logano stayed the course, took the lead from Denny Hamlin on Lap 190 and held it to the finish for his first Daytona 500 win and the second for Team Penske.
"Focus on what we can control..."
For Logano, it was his ninth Sprint Cup career win. As the laps wound down, he didn’t let the engine issues cloud his focus.
Obviously it raises a little bit of a caution in your mind to say, 'What's going on?'
“Roush‑Yates Motors does a great job for us,” Logano said. “Yes, it was two motors that fairly quickly gave up. I don't know, but I think it was the same thing. Obviously it raises a little bit of a caution in your mind to say, What's going on?
“There's still a lot of Fords out there running at the time. I just asked Todd, Is there anything I can do to help? When he said there was nothing I could do, I stopped worrying about it. I said, There's nothing I can do about it. All I can do is focus on what we can control, like Todd said, and try to win the race from there.”
Getting to the bottom of it...
Doug Yates, CEO of Roush Yates Engines characterize the engine problems as “most likely in the bottom end”.
There’s such a fine line on how aggressive we have to be.
“There’s such a fine line on how aggressive we have to be,” Yates told Motorsport.com. “I feel really bad for those guys (Nos. 2, 21).”
Considering that Ford Performance is undefeated at Daytona in 2015, with victories in the Rolex 24 with Chip Ganassi Racing and a clean sweep of the point races with Tyler Reddick in trucks, Ryan Reed in the XFINITY Series and Logano in Cup, it’s clear the Blue Oval is off to a strong start.
Sunday’s Daytona 500 victory was the 14th for Ford in the Great American Race and the first time since Bristol in August that the manufacturer won all three of NASCAR’s top touring series in the same weekend.
Logano, who at 24 became the second youngest Daytona 500 winner, had no complaints.
“I'd say one thing,” Logano said of his engine. “It held together 'cause I was trying to sling it right out the side of that thing, doing burn‑outs and laying it up. But she held out. A lot stronger than you think. A pretty tough motor in that thing.”