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November 15, 2018

Joey Logano

Q. You were sitting up there on the stage. You chose not to say anything. How come?
JOEY LOGANO: Learned a lot from my 10 years of doing this (laughter). Sometimes it's best to keep your mouth shut, just go out there and kick ass. That's just what you do. You go out there to win, that's pretty much it.
I'm not going to talk to talk. I'm just going to go out there and race my car.

Q. You did stir things up when you said you were the favorite.
JOEY LOGANO: I didn't mean to stir anything up. I just felt like I was. I still do. I'm not trying to stir the pot when I say that. I feel like what we've been able to do the last 15 races to get into the Playoffs, during the Playoffs, all through this point, we've been able to execute under a lot of pressure without many Playoff points behind us.
We've been able to get our way through each round, really by the time we get to the cutoff race, because we've been able to execute under the pressure, get the stage points. Now we've been leading the races, getting stage wins.
Pit crew has been on it. Grabbing a race win, maybe the most important one of all year, to get us ready for this one here, Miami.
Yeah, how do you not feel confident in that? You have to. I'm sure, like I said up there, everyone else feels confident, that they're the favorite. I just said it. I'm pretty sure they think that, too. If you don't, then just go home, right? You got to feel confident in yourself, otherwise you're wasting your time out here.

Q. How do all the accolades alleviate the stress, how does it feel to be nominated for the Comcast award?
JOEY LOGANO: The Comcast Champion of the Year Award, that's an honor to even be thought of in that. There's so many great people in our sport that really understand the big picture of all this, right?
We talk about race wins, we can talk about how I'm a hard racer. That's fine. But when you take your helmet off, you become a different person. I think our whole industry does a great job at understanding that we're all very fortunate and very blessed that God has given us the opportunity to do what we love.
This is the top level, not only for me as a driver, but for you as a reporter in the sport. This is as big as it gets. We have to be appreciative of that.
With the foundation, that's been the best reminder for me a lot of times, because in our little la‑la land out here in NASCAR world, it's great, but we don't see all the challenges a lot of times that people fight every single day. We get mad and storm off after we blow a tire or we hit the wall, have a bad pit stop, pout away. Is it really that bad? I don't think so. It's okay. Life is still pretty good.
So it's good reminders for me when we do this Thanksgiving event down here every year, part of the Chasing Second Chances program we do. We bring a lot of families to a grocery store, Shell helps us out by giving a lot of gas cards as well. We get them a Thanksgiving dinner.
We take a lot of that for granted. We're just going to have a Thanksgiving dinner every year. For a lot of people that's not the case. For more than we think that's not the case.
To be able to see their reactions when we're able to walk through with them, not only that, but hear their stories, some of their stories are incredible of where they are compared to where they were. A lot of times it's amazing.
We do Chasing Second Chances is a big piece of the foundation mainly because I've gotten a second chance in my career for racing with Team Penske after a not‑so‑good start of my career. I know how different I handled a lot of situations being there the second time. Man, only if I had a second chance, I'd do things a lot different, right?
God gave me the opportunity to do things different. I feel like I need to pay that forward, as well. Brittany does a great job helping me with that. I don't have as much time to focus in on it as I'd like to. She does a great job of setting a lot of things up, working with everything.
Tonight, whether we win the award or not, it's not really about the award, it's not about the recognition, it's about what you're supposed to do. Obviously the funds that come with that to change a lot of people's lives is a great opportunity for our foundation. Like I said, it's not really about the recognition at all. It's what you're supposed to do.

Q. Does it put a different perspective on this weekend, giving back to the community and being recognized for your efforts?
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, I mean, being recognized, like I said, it's not a big deal to me. That part doesn't mean anything. The event is really what I'm looking forward to on Saturday night. That piece to me is important to do. It's something that is great to do for them.
Even for me, selfishly, it's something that gets me away from the racetrack, gets my mind off of it a little bit, just enjoy things, realize how blessed we are to be where we're at. It's good to have that.

Q. How do you explain going from being a Champion 4 guy, what happened last year, right back to the Championship 4?
JOEY LOGANO: Does that sound crazy or what (laughter)? I think so.
Oh, man, I think you finish second in the points, you think making the Playoffs is a given. That's going to be easy. We quickly found out that is not a given. It's a little harder than you think. We learned a lot last year as a race team. We dug hard. We've slowly scratched and clawed our way back to where we are. Didn't come till about 10 weeks ago.
Like I said, we scratched and clawed throughout a lot of this season to find a little bit more speed, a little bit more, a little bit more. We kept ourselves up there in points all season, but we weren't in contention to win, like I said, last 15 weeks or so.

Q. Given how last weekend went, does that validate making the move in Martinsville?
JOEY LOGANO: I didn't really need to validate anything. I'm there to win the race. It's a good thing we won the race. We would have been out right now, you know, with what happened in Phoenix last week with our tire getting cut down. You never know what's going to happen in these things. You got to grab it when you can.

Q. Truex said you apparently told him he has a free pass to knock you out of the way.
JOEY LOGANO: I didn't tell him that. I said, Hey, I expect to get raced the way I race people. I'm a hard racer. I expect to get raced hard. I said it before, we didn't crash each other. I didn't crash him. Moved him up enough to have a drag race. That's what I explained to him.
Just so much on the line in these situations. If you don't make a move like that, you're going to go back to your race team. I know if I worked on that car, I'd be mad. I'd say, Why didn't you at least try to win?
I wasn't going to crash him. That's completely different than what happened a couple years ago. I wasn't looking to do that. I was just looking to move him up the racetrack, then have that race to the start/finish line, which we did. We had that.

Q. You guys have been together so much, you've gone to New York, the Today Show stuff, what is the interplay between all you guys? Do you chitchat? Frenemies? Is it awkward?
JOEY LOGANO: You don't know what you're getting into until you get there sometimes, how everyone is going to handle the situation. There's been times I've been part of this, the head games start when we go to New York. Everyone starts throwing little jabs here and there. You're like, Wow, okay.
Then the last couple times really for me, it's been actually we've all tried to find ways to enjoy it. The situation is we're all going to be stuck on an airplane together, we're going to be stuck in a car together, we're going to do all these things in New York together. There's no one else with us. We didn't bring our assistants with us or anything like that. We were on our own.
Actually we talked a lot, talked a lot about racing, talked a lot about not racing. We have so much in common, racecar drivers do, right? No one else knows our lifestyle but other racecar drivers. I think you have a lot in common to talk about things like that.
I think everyone understands that when we get to the racetrack, you put the helmet on, you're there to win. You're still a competitor, there to beat them. You got to be able to find the light switch in there at some point. I feel like I found that quite a few years ago to where you can flip a light switch, be competitive, be a hard racer, but flip it off and be human.

Q. Is there something to be said for peaking at the right time? You mentioned you really feel like you clawed back to where you were till about 10 weeks ago, yet here you sit.
JOEY LOGANO: That's what the Playoffs are about, right? It happens in all sports. You got to be able to race for wins when it's most important.
Like I said, we raced without many Playoff points, so we had to. We don't have anything to fall back on. We had to go, and we did. It took, like I said, a long time to get to this point.
Now I feel like we're back to where we were a couple years ago, we can compete, lead laps, which turns into race wins quite often. I'm proud of what we've been able to do. Where we were last year was hard. It's really hard. It stinks, it's tough. But the fact that we've been able to stay together, keep working through it, finding something here, finding something there, go back on something, changing it, maybe going down a different road from things we've done in the past, being able to see us get better, awesome. It's great. It's hard. Doesn't happen like a light switch.
You go down really quick. It's really hard to climb your way back up, and it's harder.

Q. You haven't won at a mile‑and‑a‑half since I want to say Kansas 2015. What makes you think you should be able to?
JOEY LOGANO: I did not know that. I should have known you'd do the research, though.
What makes me think we can win?

Q. Yes.
JOEY LOGANO: I think we were really good at Kansas this year. We may not have won the race, but we sat on the pole, led most laps that race. Did we win a stage there? I think we won a stage maybe. Maybe not. Either way, we ran well.
I feel like here last year, Miami, we ran pretty well, too, when we didn't have ‑‑ you're not the priority car at that point, so you're not getting everything because we weren't in the Playoffs, you don't get all the good stuff at that point, right?
We ran pretty well here, as well. I feel confident in that. I feel confident we're going to make a lot of pit stops because the tires wear out really quick. I have so much confidence in this pit crew to do their job that we're going to go out there and do our things, have fun with that.
We've had more time to think about this. Everybody else has been racing with their tongue out the last two weeks, three weeks. Since we won Martinsville, we've been able to shift our focus and methodically focus on this weekend.

Q. This is the first championship run for you as a father. Are you carrying anything in your car that belongs to your son?
JOEY LOGANO: No. I don't really take anything with me in there. I don't want to carry the weight either.
I guess for me, I guess typically I've never done anything like that before. I got so much motivation already in there. I obviously want to win for myself and for my family, for my race team, for our sponsors. There's plenty, that I don't really need an extra trinket in my car to pump me up. If anything, I need to calm down because I'm jacked up all the time (laughter).

Q. (Question about the 2014.)
JOEY LOGANO: I probably learned more from the first one in 2014 more than anything because the whole week leading up to it, how are you going to prepare as a driver. You're thinking about, Oh, my gosh, I have a shot to win a championship. Oh, my goodness, this is going to be a life‑changing thing. I don't want to blow it, screw this up.
You can overthink stuff. I overthought that part a lot the first year. 2016 I was a lot more prepared, way more relaxed. When you're prepared, you're more relaxed. When you know what is coming at you, you know what it's going to be like, you know your competitors a little better. Nothing is a surprise any more.
When you know what's going to happen next, there's nothing to worry about, nothing to be nervous about. I guess that's where my head's at right now.

Q. How confident are you in the future of the sport and the leadership of the sport and the direction we're taking as a sport?
JOEY LOGANO: It's a great question. I feel like as a sport, as a driver that's been involved with a lot of these different councils, meetings, being in tune with a lot of this stuff, I feel like I should be because my career, I have another 15, 20 years on this thing. I'm not done any time soon. I really want to be involved with that stuff, make sure we do the right things.
Yeah, I learned a lot that it's not just what the drivers think, not just about what I think, the owners think, what the TV thinks, the media think, the racetracks think, all of us have to collaborate together. What the fans think, most importantly, on all this stuff. We need to be able to all collaborate and make these decisions.
Cost is a big problem right now with our race teams. It's very hard to be able to make ends meet. We need to make that better. We need to make it a profitable business. We need to make some changes there.
We want to have more fans in the stands. We're selling out here most likely. We sold out last week. Racetracks are improving, which we seen in Phoenix. A lot of this stuff is going, which makes me feel great about the sport. It makes me feel like, Hey, we're investing into this thing. We're not backing out of it saying, Oh, my goodness, the sport is falling apart.
There's a lot of stories that everyone likes to read or write, but the facts are we're in a pretty good spot. We get decent ratings, we still have a lot of people following us on social media. We're still a big sport. When it comes to any other form of motorsports in America, we win. Pretty big. Even across other sports, when we compete against them, we're no little guy. We might not be the biggest sport in America, but we're not too far back from that.
We can definitely find a good spot. I think as far as the changes we're going to make to our cars, it's okay. We're going to find out if it's better or not. If it's not, we all learned a lesson. We keep moving on. If it's better, great. But you got to be willing to try things outside the box.
I think it's going to be common for all of us, myself included, to have doubts about things. We're going to say things that we don't like change as a society sometimes. We like what we're doing, this is working, we don't want to change. If you never change, never evolve, you will go down in a burning pile of flames if you don't do anything. You better be willing to adapt and change things to keep up with the times. That's what we're attempting, and will attempt into the future for years.

Q. What would the one change be heading into the next season you would make?
JOEY LOGANO: That's a hard one. That's a hard one. There's a lot of things on the line right now that are going to be changed. Probably best we kind of let some of that stuff play out before I add in my two cents of what it should be.
I think we're going to collect a lot of data the first few races on what this new package is going to be about. It's not what's going to happen in Daytona, Atlanta, Phoenix, Fontana, Texas. It's going to take 10, 15 races till we really understand is this better or not.
Because to start, it's a new rules package for everybody. The racing, I don't know if you guys remember when we went to this rules package, it's a lot different, the fields were a lot more separated. As everyone refines their setups, the racing is going to change again.
So there's a rules change, then it also changes one more time when the teams get their cars driving good, then the racing changes again. Your fair shake of if this is better or not doesn't come into 15 races in the season.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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