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NASCAR MEDIA CONFERENCE


May 20, 2014


Joey Logano


JENNIE LONG:テつ Good afternoon, everyone.テつ Thanks for joining today.テつ With us is Joey Logano, driver of the No.22 PENNZOIL Platinum Ford for Team Penske in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.テつ Joey is off to the best start of his career with two wins and six top‑5 finishes this season.テつ Joey also has six top‑10 finishes at Charlotte Motor Speedway, which is the site of Sunday's Coca‑Cola 600.
Joey, the Coca‑Cola 600 is one of the crown jewels on the NASCAR schedule.テつ Talk about what a win this weekend would mean, especially since you're still looking for your first Sprint Cup Series win at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
JOEY LOGANO:テつ Yeah, any time you go to Charlotte, it's kind of everyone's home track.テつ Everyone knows that.テつ Everyone knows that most race teams are here.テつ Your friends go out there.テつ So it makes it a really big deal to win.テつ Also it's the Coke 600, it's one of the crown jewel events that we have, which makes it a big deal.テつ We also have PENNZOIL Platinum Pure technology in our car this week, which is something really cool.テつ It's a new paint scheme we're breaking out and a new product PENNZOIL has come out with.テつ Definitely a different looking car than what the typical yellow 22 looks like out there.

Q.テつ Joey, we've seen so many changes in the sport in recent years, everything from the point system to races being shortened and on and on.テつ In light of that, is it time in your opinion for the Coke 600 to finally be shortened to 500 miles?
JOEY LOGANO:テつ No, I don't think so.テつ I think something that's really cool with the Coke 600 is that it's 600 miles, and I think that's what makes it kind of our crown jewel event.テつ It's the longest race we have of the year, and it feels like it, believe me.テつ But it definitely makes it very rewarding.
Now, if we had to run 600 miles every week, I may have a different answer for you, but the fact that it's only once a year, it kind of makes it unique, makes it a fun race, and I think like I said, it's one of the crown jewels to win, so I think people put a lot of effort into winning this race just like they do at Daytona or Indy or anything like that.テつ I feel like this is next in line behind those two.

Q.テつ Just to follow up real quick, is that race tougher from a mental or a physical aspect in your opinion?
JOEY LOGANO:テつ Yeah, from both.テつ You know, our cars, the way you have setup inside the car, you definitely have the seats and the head rest and all that to help support you throughout these long races, so physically you don't get very tired hopefully.テつ You know, obviously mentally it's very straining because you're in there for four plus hours running 600 miles, running 200 miles an hour.テつ Definitely it's mentally straining, and it's very hot in these cars, especially when you do this in the middle of the summer.テつ We're going into the summer here, so definitely the heat takes a toll and it eventually mentally gets to you, so you obviously have to physically prepare to be mentally prepared during the race.テつ And it's not just the drivers; it's obviously the car, the motor, putting an extra 100 miles on that you typically don't in a normal race weekend makes it a lot tougher.テつ I will enjoy an ice‑cold Coca‑Cola after the Coke 600, that's for sure.

Q.テつ Joey, with all the changes, on the same kind of topic there, have you had to explain to anyone like fans that right now Jeff Gordon is No.1 in Sprint Cup points but you and your team are No.1 in Sprint Cup position?
JOEY LOGANO:テつ Yeah.テつ It's been a little confusing.テつ I've had to explain to some people what that means.テつ At this point of the season it doesn't mean anything until we get later on in the Chase, but having those two wins definitely helps for when we get past Richmond and head into Chicago and we have a couple wins there and some bonus points to help us get through the first round there.テつ I think that's a really big deal, and that's why we want to win a few more before we get there.テつ You never know what can happen.テつ You look at us last year, we had an engine expire on us in Chicago the first race of the Chase and kind of‑‑ when that happens, it kind of takes you out.
To have a little extra cushion is going to be a good thing, and that's why we're going to keep pushing and get some more cushion.テつ So far we're doing what we need to do, but like you said, it is a little confusing because we are sixth in points but we're leading the‑‑ I guess the Chase points if it was Richmond.

Q.テつ And also, some drivers say that the new system doesn't really change your strategies and stuff like that, pit strategies.テつ Do you feel it changes your mental thoughts, changing the way you run?
JOEY LOGANO:テつ Well, really, I mean, it turns every race into an All‑Star Race in a way.テつ I think that's what NASCAR wanted, and I think that's what the fans wanted is something that forces you to make those crazy moves and make those gutsy pit calls because you look at it like you've got nothing to lose.テつ If you don't have a win, you've got to race like that because you've got nothing to lose.テつ If you do have a win, you might as well race like that because you've got nothing to lose.
I think that's what makes it cool to watch this year, and you see a lot of entertaining things going on out there on the racetrack and on pit road, and you're going to see that throughout the season.
I think the points system definitely plays into the fans' hands really.テつ I think that it makes more some really good racing out there, and a lot of guys that don't really think about points that much.テつ It's nice to be up there in points.テつ It's nice to‑‑ I'm sure Jeff Gordon likes being in the points lead, and that's something pretty cool to have, but at the same time, it's like, hey, that doesn't really mean anything.

Q.テつ After you won at Richmond, you were talking in the garage, and you said you were surprised because, as you put it, this is one of my worst tracks.テつ Are there any other tracks that stand out in your mind where you say, oh, no, here we go, this is another bad track for me?
JOEY LOGANO:テつ Not anymore.テつ It used to be like that, but Richmond was always one of those tracks that‑‑ I didn't quite dread going to, but I just know I've never really had the success there that I've wanted to have, never really led any laps there before or really had a legit shot at winning it.テつ You know, who would have seen that one coming.テつ That was pretty cool to be able to get that and conquer a track that's really tough for you.
In the past I thought Atlanta was tough for me, and last year I had a car that should have won the race.テつ We finished second, and we really should have won that one.テつ Really the toughest track for me right now is Loudon.テつ In the past we've had decent cars, and I say a tough track, I feel like I'm a solid top‑10 car there most of the time, but it takes something to be in the top 5 and to be a winning car.テつ But the way our season is going right now and the speed we've had at short tracks, mile‑and‑a‑halfs, two‑miles, pretty much every type of racetrack we've gone to so far we've had a lot of speed and led laps.テつ We've led laps at every single race so far except California where we had a gear break on us before we were able to get there.
We've had fast cars at every track, so there's not really a track I look at and dread going to right now.
JENNIE LONG:テつ Joey, thanks so much for joining us today, and good luck this weekend at Charlotte.
JOEY LOGANO:テつ No problem, thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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