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November 17, 2016

Joey Logano

Q. Is it different this time compared to two years ago when you were in the Final Four?
JOEY LOGANO: It's definitely different. You know, you think about everything that's kind of come about the last couple years, and as you've learned how to handle these situations and how to fight through them, living it once before usually helps a lot, so I feel a lot more confident coming into this for sure.

Q. Was there a point this season where you knew you had the team to be at this point right now?
JOEY LOGANO: There was a point in the season that I wasn't sure that we were going to get this far, you know, and we've definitely found a lot of speed in our race cars in both the 2 and the 22 at Team Penske, and then to the point, it's like, man, we've got something to win this championship.
It's a long season. The sport is cyclical. It goes up and down. You're good for a little bit, and the next thing you know you're looking for more and people catch up. It's just part of it.

Q. Why is it that you're always in a good mood? You never really get rattled. What is it about your makeup?
JOEY LOGANO: You know, it's just who I am. I honestly enjoy life, and I should. I'm living my dream. Why wouldn't I enjoy what I'm doing?
With that being said, I'm very intense, as well, as a competitor. There's a lot of intensity that comes through me, and I wear my emotions on my sleeve, so a lot of times you'll see me when I'm map, but most of the time I'm happy because there's something bigger in my life that I realize what I'm doing this all for, and I think that just kind of makes me happy.

Q. Do you generally like each other, and does it change when you're on the track?
JOEY LOGANO: There's two different drivers, and most drivers are‑‑ they've got two personalities, and when you take your helmet off, we're able to talk to each other, and we're able to talk, and we have a lot in common. But there's always that in the back of your mind that we're competitors, as well, so it's an interesting relationship and dynamic on how that all works, and then there's the driver, when you put your helmet on, it's a completely different person, and I'm sure that's the same for every single one of them.
Brad did an interview not too long ago, and actually made a lot of sense, if we did a lot of things we did on the racetrack, we'd go to prison. A lot of times you just do things that wouldn't be considered being a very nice person, but it's sport. You're in that competitive atmosphere, and you're going to go out there to win, and it's just different than what you would do on a day‑to‑day basis when you're just talking or hanging out with the same person.

Q. Is there a strategy where you try to be safe at one point, you're back and don't get in the mix?
JOEY LOGANO: You've got to go. This team doesn't know how to be safe. This team knows how to hammer down, and that's the way we're going to be. We're going to attack. Any time you lay back, you're going to get yourself in trouble. It's just how this sport is. You've got to say 100 percent focused in and driving at 100 percent the whole race.

Q. What's it like to work for Roger Penske, your boss?
JOEY LOGANO: He's an awesome boss. He's one of those people that will lead by example, and I think that is very admirable of him, that you have somebody that will clean the shop floors with you and also make the big decisions at the same time. That is shown all the way through our company. It's not an accident that he's been successful in everything, not just motorsports, everything, because he knows how to be a great leader, and he surrounds himself with great people, and he's got that drive, that determination, that work ethic that is just second to none.
Like I said, it's a lot of fun to work with him because you can talk to him like I'm talking to you. He's a normal guy. But at the same time he's able to do these incredible things, and he doesn't have to say words to motivate you. He doesn't have to do that. You know, it's Roger Penske. He doesn't have to say a word. You know what he stands for.

Q. Is there a particular story that you can share, maybe not so much on a racetrack level, on a personal level about the kind of guy he is?
JOEY LOGANO: There's a lot of them. Obviously when we're in meetings with him and stuff like that, he's always the guy to just, let's go get it done, and a lot of times you can think of when companies get very large, they kind of‑‑ we call it business big, right, it takes a while, it's got to go through so many different steps and so many different levels to get to the decision maker, and Roger is, we're just going to do it. That's just how it is. You want this, boom, we're going to make it happen, I want to win. That's his attitude, and he does that in meetings constantly. He just takes over and this is what it's going to be, and I love that about him. I love that he's very professional in his appearance and the way he handles situation, but he's also not so professional that he's scared to make a decision. The guy is going to make something happen. He's not going to wait. He doesn't have time to wait. He's got too much things going on to wait and think about things. He knows what the right decision is by experience and living through it before, and he just does it, and he just makes great decisions all the time. That's why he's where he's at.

Q. Jimmie going for his seventh, besides his obvious talent, what have you seen from his personality or whatever that's made him so successful?
JOEY LOGANO: Jimmie is one of those guys you want to hate but you can't because he's too nice. You know, he's a good competitor. He's a lot of fun to race against, and he wins a lot, so obviously you don't want to like him, but he's a very good person, and I think that's something that's on rule by him is that he's Jimmie Johnson. He's six‑time champion. He's done a lot in the sport. I grew up watching him.
You know, some people you say it gets in your head or some people get to top level or they change their personality, who they are. I didn't know Jimmie when he was growing up, but today when I get to know him and I've got to know him even better here the last couple days when we were in New York City and stuff, he's just a good person, and it's hard to find that a lot of times when you're talking about competitors or professional athletes these days. It's hard to find. There's plenty of them, yes, but it's hard to find just genuine people.

Q. Can you talk about the nerves on this stage going against a guy like that who's been considered a legend, one of the top racers in NASCAR history? Can you just talk about the feeling of just being there and being a part of that where he has a chance to go for the seventh title there?
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, I honestly don't really care about his run too much. I care about mine. It doesn't really make me nervous who I'm going up against. Like I said up there, I've got to beat everybody, and not just the four drivers that are sitting up there. I've got to beat everyone, and that's a pressure that I love. I said before the race last week on the radio, I said, these are the moments we live for. This is what we prepare for every single day. This is what we think about. This is an awesome opportunity, and to embrace that pressure, because there's only four drivers that get that. You know, it's a privilege to have pressure.
You guys all have a lot of pressure writing your stories and you've got thousands of people, maybe even more, reading that. It's pressure to make sure you write that right and not have typos and not have the wrong grammar and all that. That's pressure. But you've worked hard to get that pressure. You've worked hard to get to that point. It's the same thing for us. We've worked really hard to get here. We enjoy that, and I embrace that moment because this is what we live for. It makes me excited. I get excited just talking about it. I can't even wait to get on the racetrack because I know we're ready. I know we've done everything we have to do back at the shop as a driver personally, mentally to be there. I feel very prepared and very ready to attack when we get on the racetrack tomorrow.

Q. To my understanding through the charter agreements, the champion gets paid less, that it's more spread out through the field. Does it matter?
JOEY LOGANO: I mean, money is money, but trophies are trophies, right? You want to win no matter what. I mean, you can‑‑ you don't even have to give me a trophy to say I want to win. I want to win anything. I want to win the ping‑pong match just as bad as I want to win a championship in NASCAR. That's just how I am. I'm very competitive in that way. But yeah, there's a lot of great things that come along with it, so I don't even know what it pays to win this thing, and honestly, I don't know. I'll care, yes, I'll care, but really my goal is to beat everyone. That's the biggest reward that you can feel from inside is that moment of victory, not necessarily the moment of the check, which like I said is still really cool. You can do a lot of great things with it, but that moment when you cross the line, like last weekend in Phoenix and you cross the start‑finish line for the checkered flag, and you realize you're still alive in this championship and you've still got something and you attacked in those moments. That's the coolest thing.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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