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August 22, 2015

Joey Logano


THE MODERATOR: We'll continue with our post‑race availabilities. We are now joined by our race winner, Joey Logano, driver of the No.22 Shell‑Pennzoil Ford. This is your second consecutive Irwin Tools Night Race victory. Tell us about your race and holding off Kevin Harvick's challenges at the end.
JOEY LOGANO: That sounds nice, nice little ring to it. It's cool to win here. Racing Kevin Harvick clean like that at the end was a lot of fun. It's so interesting how we ran such different lines and be the same speed on the racetrack. Interesting how that all works out and that's what makes Bristol so much fun to go around that you can drive around this place four or five different ways and have a lot of speed no matter how you drive it, it's what fits your style and what fits the setup of your car. We both found what works for us, and I really thought we were going to be able to pull away because I thought we were really good in the long run and then we didn't pull away, and I was like, uh‑oh. It was just all about working the lapped traffic at the end, not making mistakes and not getting bottled up in traffic and letting him get by. It was a very exciting last 20, 30 laps for sure, and neat to be able to get a checkered flag again here at Bristol and pull that car up on top of the building here and get a big checkered flag and have a little bit of fun with the guys.

Q. Just even still at 25, do you just have an appreciation after the rough couple last years at Joe Gibbs to be where you're at right now, and almost feel like you've gone through a lot, again, even at the age you're at now?
JOEY LOGANO: You know, obviously JGR is a great team. They're kicking butt out there right now. I've been fortunate to drive for two great race teams. The difference now is that I'm ready to go racing and race for championships. Back then I wasn't. You know, but I definitely learned a lot. I wouldn't trade those years for a million bucks. It was such a fun learning experience over there, and really shaped me into the person and the driver that I am, and I owe them a lot for that.
But you know, like I said, fortunately I've driven for a couple great teams and working for Penske and Roger and everybody on the 22 team has been a blessing to say the least. It's just such a great group of guys. I say this all the time, that there's no one hero on the team. Together we make a hero, and I'm pretty proud of how we work together as a team. It's something I really put a lot of pride into and what our guys are able to accomplish there. You think of the pressure that these guys had to go through when you come down pit road there with a few laps to go and they bust off 11‑second pit stop, that's because they're athletes. That's a true athlete is when you can not choke under pressure, and I couldn't be more proud of my team.

Q. Joey, can you talk about your relationship with spotter Tab Boyd?
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, Tab and I, we spend a lot of time together. We were up there at the spotter stand last night watching the XFINITY race together. We were joking around a lot because I'm very animated and I'm up there watching the race and I turn into a complete race fan and I'm pointing at things and bumping into everyone and he said, probably the spotter stand is not a good place for me because I can't sit still. But we go up there and watch races together when we can and be able to talk about it, and the only way we're able to learn and tell him what I need as a driver is we've got to communicate, and it's worked for us. I tell him what I need to have the right information at the right time so I can make the best decisions inside the race car.

Q. Was there any temptation to try the line that Harvick was using just to see if it would work better as you were trying to hold him off?
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, I tried‑‑ I still couldn't go in the corner as fast as he could. It just takes something completely different to run his line compared to my line, and obviously his team has worked really hard at making that line work, and it's fast. We've worked very hard at making our line work, and it's fast. There's three other lines that are just as fast. You've seen other cars run it. You've seen what Kyle was doing early in the race and how fast he was. You see what the 19 and the 11 can do, as well. You can run this racetrack so many different ways. I found what works for me and the way I drive a race car, and Todd Gordon has done a great job at really understanding what that is and giving me the right tool inside the racecar to be able to make our race car fast.
You know, that seemed to work for us. It doesn't work the whole race. There's definitely times that I had to try running the radius off the corner because it's faster, and you've got to be able to do that, too. So you've got to have a car that can move around, especially when you're lapping cars and stuff. You've got to have a car that can round the bottom, that can have everything you need, and the last few races here, he's definitely given me the car I needed to make the moves.

Q. Obviously a lot of discussion in the driver's meeting tonight about restarts. Can you give a sense of what it was like tonight? Was it any different from what it's been in terms of how it was policed, and if so, how might it impact things in future races if this is how NASCAR is going to do things?
JOEY LOGANO: There was a lot of questions. I spent a lot of time with NASCAR this week actually trying to understand what I can and can't do, and being able to understand where their head is at and what they're thinking when you look at a restart and what's right and what's wrong and what they're going to police and what they're not going to police. You've got to understand the rules.
You know, they're always subject to change. Can we do a better job on restarts, yes. Are they that bad, no, they're not that bad. The restarts are still entertaining. You've seen guys‑‑ 24 was really good on the inside of me tonight and we were door to door into the corner.
So restarts obviously are a big part of our races a lot of times, so obviously we put a lot of effort into them. And as a driver you just want to know what the rules are and what you can and can't do. The more you can just communicate and talk about it, like anything else, and try to understand that, the better.

Q. Did you get clarity?
JOEY LOGANO: I have more clarity, yeah. I have clarity. I talked to them. I talked to the people I needed to talk to and got an answer out of them, and that's all I was looking for.

Q. We saw from the in‑car at Watkins Glen when you won kind of waving your finger at Harvick. You raced really hard to hold him off. You guys have had a contentious past. Does it feel better to beat him other than the other 41 guys out there? Do you race a little harder when you're racing him for the win, or is it just bygones be bygones?
JOEY LOGANO: I don't care who the heck I'm racing, I'll tell you that right now. There's 42 other drivers out there that are really, really good, and a lot of them are capable of winning a race. I don't care who it is, I'm going to race them hard for the win. Yeah, Kevin and I are fierce competitors and we race each other hard, but tonight we raced each other really clean, and that's something that's really cool. Obviously I remember that, and you can race back and forth like that, and that's the way we should race.
But to answer your question, I don't care. I don't care who I'm racing, it's all about the win, and I don't care if I had to beat my sister to win the race. It doesn't matter.

Q. We hear a lot of talk throughout the sport of how racing at the front is different from racing in the back. And with 25, maybe 20 laps to go, Harvick had a run on the bottom and the way you were driving in the corner down across his nose caused him to have to check up and may have cost him the race by the time it got back to the laps were pretty much gone. Is it a fact that you've won enough now that you've run at the front enough that you have that respect for each other and you can trust that they're going to run you the way you would run them?
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, I mean, you're working your way through the traffic, and you know he's ready to pounce at any moment. So one little mistake I make, boom, he's going to be there and he's going to try to fill the hole and he's going to try to pin me behind a lap car. That's how you pass here. I was fully expecting that. That corner he seen that I entered high and he tried to execute that move. I saw it, but I also had to get the run that I was going to get by running down the hill and straightening out the exit and passing a car.
At that point he had to‑‑ he was going to have to slow down because he had to round the corner still where I already got my turning done and I was able to get the reward on the exit from running the top and running that line. Right move by him, right move by me. We were just trying to match each other's moves and trying to stay out in front or pass each other.

Q. Considering just how many laps, lap after lap after lap, that you had to hold off Harvick, where would this rank as far as your driving performances?
JOEY LOGANO: I don't know. I don't know. Obviously it's cool to win at Bristol. It's cool to be racing one of the best out there and being able to hold him off and race each other hard and obviously not make mistakes. He didn't make mistakes and I didn't make a mistake today, either. It was fun to race like that. Where it ranks, I don't know. I thought winning a road course was really, really cool earlier, just to have that on there. But winning at Bristol, it's just such a driver's racetrack. It's such a tough place to get around. You've got to think about 500 laps around this place, it's like, so long, and you're just shot at the end of it, mentally and physically, and your car is wore out and you're trying to get everything you can and there's rubber everywhere and you're trying to stay out of that, but you're trying to run fast laps, you're trying to work around other cars. You never get a break. So Bristol you start the race and say, this is going to be a long one. You know it's going to be a tough, grueling race, but it puts on a great race, and I enjoy coming here. Don't get me wrong, I love it. But I don't know where it stacks up. But it went well. I guess it stacks up there somewhere.

Q. Walt was asked when he was in here earlier to kind of talk about what stood out with your performance, and he said the one thing that came to mind tonight was your poise. I just wondered, you're 25 but you've raced, what, seven full‑time seasons now in Cup. Is poise something that you think you've always had as a driver, or is it something that's kind of developed over time, and how difficult is it to kind of maintain that, particularly in a place like this?
JOEY LOGANO: I think my dad always told me you are who you hang out with, and if you're hanging out with people like Roger Penske and Team Penske, that's a lot of poise, to say the least. I learned a lot from them. You know, I try not to get fired up inside the race car. A lot of times I don't because I see the bigger picture. I just want to get through it, we'll be fine. We had a little hiccup on one pit stop tonight. No big deal. Everything is okay. We'll get through it.
Those are opportunities to completely throw a race away. You can completely destroy a team. You can destroy‑‑ as a driver you're one of the leaders, and you have the power to destroy a race team or build a race team, you know, and I think I understand that, and I think that's something that's helped us a lot, but I think of qualifying, what happened this week, and we had a flat right‑rear tire. We were able to just execute through the first round and be able to put a scuff on it so we could finish qualifying, and we qualified fifth. We barely made it through the first round because of the tires seeping 15 pounds in two laps. And none of us got fired up.
This is the funny part, I told Todd not to tell me anything. I said, I heard there was a flat tire, I don't want to know anything. Don't tell me what corner it is. Don't tell me a thing. Just let me go out there and drive the car. Don't tell me what your plan is. But that's where we're at with things. I trust Todd 100 percent and every decision he makes. I trust my team 100 percent in everything they do. I put my money on them coming down pit road at the end of a race, and having that faith in your team, obviously it gives you poise and allows us all to do our job. We can start screaming and yelling and then you kind of forget what the job is when you're screaming and yelling at each other.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Joey, and congratulations on the win.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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