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NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES: SYLVANIA 300


September 21, 2014


Walter Czarnecki

Todd Gordon

Joey Logano


LOUDON, NEW HAMPSHIRE

KERRY THARP:テつ Our race winner, punching his ticket to the contender round in the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is Joey Logano.テつ He's joined by his crew chief Todd Gordon, and vice chairman of Penske Racing, Walt Czarnecki.
Joey, congratulations.テつ Very strong showing.テつ You looked like you made your move when you needed to make it, saved your stuff.テつ The car was at its best at the end of the race.テつ That's certainly how you like to have things go.テつ Talk about today's win.
JOEY LOGANO:テつ A lot went into this one, that's for sure.テつ Just kind of taking it to when we unloaded, we were okay.テつ Yesterday in practice we were so‑so.テつ I didn't feel like we were great.テつ Towards the end of practice, made a couple changes, found some speed, started seventh today.テつ Was able to work our way up a little bit in the beginning of the race.テつ Felt like, okay, we can something we can contend for a victory with.テつ Everything worked out right.
We ran around the top three most of the day.テつ We came in and put two tires on.テつ A couple cars stayed out.テつ At that point I had a bad restart, third, then another bad restart when I restarted fifth.テつ That put us sixth or so.テつ A caution came out.テつ Todd put four tires on it.テつ At that point I thought he was crazy.テつ We came out 16th.テつ I was like, Let's try to salvage something out of this, get a top ten or top five.
Our goal coming into the race is to get to the next round.テつ We have to get to the next round to win the championship.テつ That's our ultimate goal, to win the championship.テつ We had to get through this day the best we could.
Had some really good restarts.テつ Before I knew it, I was sitting third.テつ I was like, Huh, I got a shot at winning this thing.テつ Newer tires than anybody.テつ We were able to capitalize with that.テつ Of course, it's caution after caution after caution.テつ Making me nervous, that's for sure.テつ I don't know if Todd and Walt were, but I know I was.テつ We were able to capitalize, have some good restarts and be here in Victory Lane.
To me this is almost like Daytona.テつ It's such a special place for me.テつ I watched my first Cup race here when I was five, I started my first one, I won my first one.テつ After the week I had in Connecticut, doing some really good fundraisers and stuff, to top it off with a victory is really neat.
KERRY THARP:テつ Todd Gordon, talk about some of the things you guys did as a team to get the car better and wind up in Victory Lane.
TODD GORDON:テつ It was a strategy race.テつ It seemed like the first two‑thirds of the race kind of played out the way I would expect it to.テつ Two tires, letting fuel dictate it.テつ Like Joey said, we hung around the top five for a large portion of it.
The caution came there early 200s.テつ It was short of our fuel window.テつ But you could sense everyone was coming.テつ We came and took two, put fuel in it.テつ But we were short.テつ We weren't in a position to finish the race.
Stayed out the next caution that came because what led up to that was multiple cautions.テつ Wanted to see how many laps a caution we would get.テつ Had one, stayed out, it went green for a little while.テつ Caution came out with 52, 53 to go.テつ We're short.テつ Last thing we needed to do was run out of gas and take a strong points day and throw it out the window and have to go to Dover.
Took the opportunity to come down pit road and put Joey in offense.テつ Put four tires, fuel in, let him do his thing.テつ I think it was awesome to watch him restart 16th, and in four laps he was sixth.テつ High, wide and handsome.テつ That was pretty awesome to watch.テつ Just put him in a position where he could do what he's really good at, that's wheeling a racecar, not having him back up, let him go forward.
KERRY THARP:テつ Walt, talk about the win here today.テつ Second in a row in the Chase.テつ Both of car yours will be in the contender round.テつ That's got to be a real good feeling right now.
WALTER CZARNECKI:テつ Yeah, really is.テつ Thank you.テつ First of all, Joey, I was nervous there at the end.
But, no, I think what happened today, what you've seen from Team Penske, the Shell‑Pennzoil Ford and Miller Lite Ford the last couple weeks, three wins in a row the last four out of five races is a testament to how this team brings good racecars.テつ The shop is bringing good racecars to the racetrack.テつ Todd, Paul our team are executing at the racetrack and taking advantage of that.
I'd like to say the 35‑inch, 35‑ounce bat, they're swinging it hard.テつ We're trying to give them the resources and they're doing with it.テつ We're gratified with where we are.
Someone asked me a minute ago, This must make you feel pretty good, both cars are advancing to the next round.テつ I said, Let me tell you something about this group.テつ We're worried about Dover right now.
What happened here half an hour ago is great, and congratulations, but the team is worrying about Dover right now.テつ That's our intent, one race at a time, and that's how we'll proceed.
KERRY THARP:テつ We'll take questions.

Q.テつ Joey, after the race at Richmond, you were supremely confident that you have what it takes getting into the final four in Homestead.テつ Does this increase the confidence getting a win early in the Chase?テつ Does it build confidence for you?テつ Todd, does it build more confidence for the team?
JOEY LOGANO:テつ I would think so.テつ Definitely didn't go the other way.テつ You get a win like that, you know, personally I consider this my worst racetrack, terrible to say because it's my home racetrack, but I've always struggled when I come here.
To be able to win at your worst racetrack, that makes you feel like you can win anywhere.テつ It's special to be able to do that.
The confidence is high at the 22 team right now.テつ All of Team Penske, we all feel like we've got some championships to win this year, not only on the Cup side, but the Nationwide side also, and with IndyCar.テつ We're just trying to catch up to them.
TODD GORDON:テつ Yeah, it's obviously a big deal to have a win in the Chase.テつ I think it, as Joey said, doesn't hurt your position.テつ It adds a little confidence.
This whole race team I think has had it, understands it, believes it.テつ I really thought last week at Chicagoland everybody did an awesome job because we had an off weekend.テつ We were slow, we were off, we finished fourth with it.テつ We came here, we were off a little bit, like Joey said, in first practice, not a ton, but a little bit.テつ Nobody gave up.テつ This whole Shell‑Pennzoil team kept digging and working on it.
By the time we got done with Happy Hour, I felt like we had a pretty good racecar.テつ Definitely it was every bit of what I thought it would be.

Q.テつ Joey and Todd, I've noticed you have been really strong with the short runs, pretty good in the long runs.テつ When you had those rash of cautions, did you think you had a good chance to win the race now?
JOEY LOGANO:テつ Yeah, I mean, restarts, you never know what is going to happen.テつ Todd gives me a really good car that I can be aggressive with on restarts.テつ I think that's a big deal.テつ The more in control I am, the more aggressive I can be.テつ The more aggressive you are on restarts, the more you're in control of the restart.
You don't want to be the guy going the wrong way.テつ Todd said a second ago about being on the offense, not on the defense.テつ It's not just putting tires on it that makes it like that.テつ It's having a car that's capable of running in traffic.テつ It's something we work a lot on in practice, making sure we have something that's going to be good in traffic and can restart well.
We've seen it time and time again with these Sprint Cup races, it's most likely going to come down to a late‑race caution.テつ You have to be able to execute, you know, the restart in the first five laps around traffic.テつ That takes a good car and kind of knowing what to expect and try to play it out in your head before it happens.
TODD GORDON:テつ Definitely.テつ The short runs are good.テつ Joey's strong at it.テつ He's able to be aggressive.テつ He takes every bit he can.
I think the bigger piece of the late‑race restarts is we're in a better position on fuel and tires.テつ It kind of checks you up to make that call with 52 to go.テつ We gave up a bunch of track position.テつ I watched our teammate early in the race not be able to recover as quickly as Joey was.テつ His ability on restarts got him back that.
I felt like once we got to the point where we were top three, we were in a really good position.テつ He could be aggressive on restarts.テつ We had tires to do it.テつ We were at an advantage with our tire and fuel situation.

Q.テつ How does it feel when you have a car that responds to your input, then execute that on the racetrack?
JOEY LOGANO:テつ It's nice when you say something about the racecar, Todd makes an adjustment and fixes it, it gets better.テつ That's what we get paid to do, right?テつ When we go to practice, Where are we at on speed?テつ What do we need to do better?テつ Be methodical about our adjustments, go from there.
Todd does a great job.テつ Todd doesn't just make changes to make changes.テつ I know that's how I would be if I was a crew chief, Do that and it will be fine.テつ Todd really understands and takes the time to talk it out with me, which I think is very important, to dig out the deep information, then think about what the adjustment is going to do, what the reaction to other parts and pieces of the car is going to be when he does it, understand the change.テつ I think that's what makes him very strong as a crew chief.テつ That's why I wouldn't be a good crew chief because I would just go for it (laughter).
So together we work out.
TODD GORDON:テつ I think the relationship there is we both got the attributes that fit our positions, right?
But we've got a bunch of guys that really support the program, as well.テつ It's not just me, it's not just Joey.テつ It's a testament to what the engineers and the car chief, all the mechanics did.テつ We didn't turn a screw in the car all day.テつ All we did was play with air pressure.テつ That's a rare weekend and a good one for everybody.

Q.テつ Joey, when you won the Lennox in 2009, it was in a downpour.テつ How much sweeter was it to take the checkered flag and do the spin‑outs in Victory Lane?
JOEY LOGANO:テつ I didn't know where Victory Lane was here actually.テつ I just made another lap.テつ I didn't have no rear tires.テつ I think I drug the rails off the car.テつ I didn't want to come in.テつ I wanted to stay out there.テつ Like I said, how big of a win it is for me.テつ I never got out in front of all the fans on a front straightaway before.テつ It was too cool.テつ Couldn't give up that opportunity.テつ I just wanted to keep going.テつ I kept making laps out there.
Might not be much left of the car, but it was something really special to win here.テつ I wanted to make it last as long as I could.

Q.テつ Joey, I noticed every opportunity you had to pick a restart line, you wanted outside.テつ Has this track always been an outside restart track or did the weather conditions today and the track itself lend itself to outside?テつ Walt, where is Roger today?
WALTER CZARNECKI:テつ He's traveling out of the country on business.テつ But I've spoken to him and he's aware of what happened.
JOEY LOGANO:テつ As far as I can remember, yes, the outside's been the preferred lane.テつ It's kind of sketchy, though.テつ It is where you can get the momentum.テつ Most likely you come out in the lead.
But the way you get into the corners here, it's so flat, just one lane down, the inside car gets loose really easily.テつ It's dangerous being out there, but it is the preferred lane.テつ That's why when I was in the lead, do everything I can to make sure I had a good enough restart that I had position on them, I didn't have to race them through turn one.テつ That was my big goal, getting through the gearbox as quick as I could.

Q.テつ Joey, one of the restarts with your teammate, I believe, when Harvick shot past you for the lead, am I correct in that, what happened?
JOEY LOGANO:テつ It was exactly what I just talked about.テつ Got on the inside.テつ We were both racing for the lead.テつ I got loose.テつ Started chasing it up.テつ Thank goodness he held on, we held on, and we both ended up with a good day out of it.
The important thing is both of us have moved on to the next round and we can keep working together.

Q.テつ Did you think your shot for the win was gone at that point?
JOEY LOGANO:テつ No.テつ It's not over till it's over.テつ I've seen these races change a lot in the late laps of these things.テつ It's never over till it's over.テつ If I'm running fifth with four to go, I still think I can win this thing a lot of times.テつ I think that's the attitude you've got to have.テつ You get a late‑race caution, I got a shot at it.テつ Might take a miracle, but I got a shot.テつ That's all I can ask for.

Q.テつ Joey, what is your attitude going to Dover?テつ Nice place to be able to go to and not really have a whole lot of pressure on you being locked in, but danger lurking around every corner.
JOEY LOGANO:テつ Dover is a crazy racetrack.テつ It's so much fun to go around it.テつ Right now my focus is on Texas, though.テつ We got a test down there the next two days.テつ We got to make sure we make that test everything we can do out of it, make sure we're ready for Texas when we get down there and try to win down there again.
Right now I'm focused on that, then we'll think about Dover.テつ You talked about being relaxed.テつ It's not really the case.テつ Walt said earlier our focus is the next race.テつ We need to keep doing what we've been doing.テつ We focus hard on each and every racetrack.
Knowing that we're in the next round is nice, but we want to go out there and win.テつ We want to keep that momentum going.テつ You never know what's going to happen later on in this Chase.テつ There could be a time we don't make it to the next round, we have to revert back to points.テつ It would be nice to have a pretty solid finish at Dover, to get a good solid points position at the end of the year.
Our goal is to win the championship, so we have to get from round to round.テつ Just because we're in the next one doesn't mean we're going to take a week off next week.
KERRY THARP:テつ Congratulations and good luck next week at Dover.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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