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Logano remains confident in team despite 2017 struggles

As bad as last season was for Joey Logano and his No. 22 Team Penske Ford team, there was never a question of making wholesale changes.

Joey Logano, Team Penske, Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion
Brad Keselowski, Team Penske Ford Fusion, Ryan Blaney, Team Penske Ford Fusion, and Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford Fusion
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford Fusion
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford Fusion, Ryan Blaney, Team Penske Ford Fusion, and Brad Keselowski, Team Penske Ford Fusion
Joey Logano, Team Penske, Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion
Joey Logano, Team Penske, Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford Fusion
Joey Logano, Team Penske, Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion

Many times in NASCAR the rigors of a tough season in which expectations are not met can become the catalyst for change on a team, particularly on the crew chief side.

But Logano said his team’s past success was reason enough for him to believe that the No. 22 team could rebound and return to championship-contending form.

“We were focused on working together and staying a team. It may be different if we never had success. That may be a different story,” Logano said Wednesday during Daytona 500 Media Day.

“For us as a race team, ever since I have been at Team Penske, all but last year we have been in the playoffs, won multiple races and put ourselves in position to win championships multiple times. Three years in a row really, up to last year.

“Does anything really need to be changed? Maybe the way we look at things and move forward as a team. Do we need to change the team up? No, I don’t think so. We are still a competitive race team that is capable of winning multiple championships.”

Logano, who finished in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings, failed to qualify for the 2017 playoffs and ended the season 17th in points – his worst finish since 2012.

He did win one race last season, but his car failed post-race inspection and he wasn’t able to use the win to gain entry in the playoffs. The season went spiraled downward from there.

By the end of the season and after several internal changes on how the team approached its races, results began to turn around.

There was more good news over the weekend to start the 2018 season.

Logano qualified 11th-fastest for the Daytona 500 and finished second in the Advance Auto Parts Clash exhibition race behind his Penske teammate, Brad Keselowski.

Just because the team elected to remain intact doesn’t mean there weren’t stressful moments between Logano and his crew chief, Todd Gordon, last season.

“When you are winning everything is great and you are happy and joking around. When you are not winning, it is definitely a reality check all the way through,” Logano said. “That is when you have to have the tough conversations about yourself as a driver or him as a crew chief, strengths and weaknesses of the team and how you get better.

“As long as we realize we are still confident in each other, it is easy to have those conversations. You have to have them. Without tough conversations, your relationships never grow.”

 

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