Media Session With Joe Gibbs Racing Driver Joey Logano Q: How much better prepared are you this year because of your experience from last season? About three or four times the amount I was last year. Last year was tough for me. The cool part...
Media Session With Joe Gibbs Racing Driver Joey Logano
Q: How much better prepared are you this year because of your experience from last season?
About three or four times the amount I was last year. Last year was tough for me. The cool part is how we improved throughout the season. Coming out of the gates this year with already one top five and already getting two top 10s off the bat is pretty exciting for a driver and for the whole Home Depot team. We did a good job last season to bring it home 20th in points, but now sitting eighth in points and having a good solid finish definitely gains some momentum going into the season.
Q: Talk about the transition you had to make jumping into the No. 20 car of Tony Stewart?
It was a big transition even if that wasn't the case. Just getting into the car alone was probably the biggest transition. Having the Home Depot behind me, having Joe Gibbs Racing, having Greg Zipadelli, having the whole team behind me was a big deal. Having the support group supporting me no matter what I went through, that was definitely a huge deal as a rookie. I think we all knew it was going to be tough going into the season. It happened a year early so we knew it was going to be a hard deal. It was cool to see how we improved and I think everyone was excited about that. Everyone is pumped up right now about how we've been running the last couple of races.
Q: How did Greg Zipadelli help in the transition?
I'm sure it's a big adjustment. You get used to one driver for a long, long time and then you get a 19-year-old kid. That's a huge change. I feel like it took us a long time to get used to each other and get it figured out. Lately we've been getting along better and we're really doing a lot better job on our adjustments. The biggest thing that is helping us this year is the relationship has grown a lot in a lot of different ways.
Q: Is your age an advantage or disadvantage?
I don't think age is an advantage or a disadvantage. I think the experience is a disadvantage going into the season. If you are a rookie coming here at 25, it's not going to make you any better than a rookie coming in here at 19 or 18. I don't think there is a big difference there. The car drives so different but if your experience level is the same it's just going to take a while. It's good to be young. To go out there and try to absorb everything like a sponge and try to pick everything up and keep improving. I think that was something cool. I think it's cool being the youngest out there and getting the youngest Sprint Cup winner. You only got an opportunity for that for so long and then you don't get that. You have to try and make the most of the opportunity.
Q: How much did you have to overcome the fact that you were racing against drivers that you idolized growing up as a kid?
I think it's awesome. I still think it's cool. I'm sure you remember when you were a kid and maybe your favorite athlete was a baseball player and playing against him would be the coolest thing in the world. For me, that's what I'm living right now. I'm so lucky and fortunate to be where I'm at and to be able to do that. It's really good. Those guys you watched on TV and rooted on and had their gear and now you are running door-to-door with them. I remember last year at Charlotte I ran door-to-door with Jeff Gordon for five or six laps for a fifth-place finish. I would have never had thought when I was 6-years-old that I'd be doing that.
Q: Have you found most of the veteran guys accepting of you on and off the track?
I feel like they all race me good like they would anyone else. They are all pretty cool guys. They are all racecar drivers. We all talk racing. We're all basically the same person. Everyone seems to treat everybody pretty cool for the most part.
Q: Any rivalries you've developed?
I try not to be in any rivalries. That's what you don't want. If you want to try and make the Chase or run for championships or anything like that, a rivalry is not what you need. It's not going to do it. You try to stay out of that stuff as much as you can but at the same point you don't want to get pushed around out there and be a rag doll. I always say, 'You got to race people the way you want to be raced and race people the way they race you.' But at the same time you have to be smart. If you're coming down to Richmond and you're trying to make the Chase and you miss it by one stupid mistake you had in a race you are really going to be regretting that. You got to be as smart as you can but there is a balancing act on that whole deal.
Q: What do you expect from the car once NASCAR mandates the new spoiler?
I'm very interested to see. I think the spoiler is going to be a good change. It's definitely going to look better and I know the fans are going to like it. I'm sure NASCAR is going do to a great job of making it drive good. Making the balance good and not having us drivers got out there and complain about chasing the car around. I'm sure they are going to do a good job of making that right. I think they are going to do a great job and I'm looking forward to getting out there on the racetrack and seeing what it's going to do. It looks cool. That's all I know right now.
Q: Having taken part in the bobsled program with Geoff Bodine how was it for you seeing the United States team win the gold?
I got to go do the Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge up in Lake Placid (N.Y.) the last three years. I enjoyed the heck out of it. I have so much fun. It's cool that you can help the USA bobsled team a little bit and do whatever we can to help them. It was awesome to see the Night Train - the four man bobsled team - win the gold. That's huge. That's the first time it has happened in years. It's cool to see that. You can relate to what they are doing down the race track. When they are driving the bobsled down you are thinking, 'Okay, that didn't look good.' Before you we're like 'Oh, he made it down. It looks good to me.' Now you can kind of know what you want them to do. It's kind of like watching a NASCAR race for me. You can relate to things that are going on inside. For us we weren't going near as fast as them. We hit about 70 mph. They are going about 100 mph. It's quite a big difference. To me I relate it to the ride-and-drive program around Texas Motor Speedway and you get out and you're like 'I was driving fast. I was really hauling.' You were only going 70 mph and the big guys go 100 mph. Here you go 150 mph in a ride-and-drive and you think you're going but we are going 200 mph with 42 cars around us. That's the difference. Not many people can say they got to drive a bobsled down a track. It's pretty remarkable. The first time I went down it was pretty nerve wracking. Once they push you off you are getting down to the bottom. There are no brakes. You are going to get there whether you're on your lid or not. You are going to get to the bottom. So you are trying to remember the track. It's a long track and a lot of turns. You are trying to make it the first few times and then you worry about the speed.