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February 20, 2016
Daytona Beach, Florida
THE MODERATOR: We are joined by our second‑place finisher, Joey Logano.
Joey, walk us through that last lap when you tried to make the move on Chase.
JOEY LOGANO: Finished second again (laughter).
I mean, second's not bad, but kind of sucks at the same time. Better way to put it. Man, just so close once again. It's three races, I've been so close to winning one of them. Want to get out there and make it happen.
I thought we were moving up through the field, that restart, started having a good push, went out to pass Chase. The 1 kind of hung out. I had Kasey back there, then the Dillon brothers. All of them, they just want to win.
They got the same attitude as me. That's the kind of racer you need behind you. Started pushing. Yeah, started slowly making the top work, slowly but surely moving it up. The last lap, started getting up there, had a run on the 88. Chase did a great job of blocking off of two.
At that point I wasn't sure if Kasey was going to keep pushing me, because that was his teammate. I know Kasey is not going with me anymore at this point. Felt like I was on my own. I started pushing Chase out a little bit, was going to make the pass late off of four.
Went to the top. Obviously watching in the mirror. Thought we were going to hit the wall. We didn't. By the time I got back out there, made some contact. The contact kind of killed me there. Killed my forward momentum to pass him by the line. Couldn't do it in time.
Unfortunately finished second again, but still proud of what we've done with this Discount Tire Ford. Wanted to give Brian Wilson a win in his first race, but couldn't do it.
THE MODERATOR: We are also joined by our fourth‑place finisher, Elliott Sadler, who finished as the top NASCAR XFINITY Series points contender.
Take us through the final lap.
ELLIOTT SADLER: I had no idea that the 5 and the 22 had such a run on the outside. I was going to try to wait till turn four to try to make a move on Chase and just see what happens.
Joey and Kasey did a great job getting up beside us and having momentum. Then when Chase pulled up to block them and kind of stalled outside line, we actually pulled back in the front halfway down the straightaway. But the 6 car was not able to push us as fast as what the 22 and the 88 could do. We had to settle for fourth.
But, look, proud of my guys. First time at the box together. Kevin did a tremendous job, brought me a fast racecar. Running in the top five all day long. Had some fun. Got a car in one piece to take to Talladega.
Great shot of momentum moving on to Atlanta for us from here.
THE MODERATOR: We'll take questions.
Q. Elliott, how important was it for you to leave Daytona with the points lead and momentum into Atlanta next week?
ELLIOTT SADLER: Momentum is the main thing. Look, guys, I'm in a great situation. A lot of people don't know the history of Dale Jr. and Kelley and myself. We've known each other since we were teenagers. For our relationship to come full circle and be at this race team, to see how much effort they have put into the program this winter. Showed today, three of the top four were JR Motorsports cars. I feel like we have some good stuff coming down the road.
Points lead is good, but it's all about, like Joey said, getting wins. Especially with this chase format.
I could not be more proud of my guys. Had a lot of people from OneMain today, a lot of them watching their first race ever. Hopefully they were impressed with the racetrack and how we ran all day.
Q. From the outside looking in, it seems like, Joey, you were almost breaking the no push rule on the last lap.
ELLIOTT SADLER: That's what I thought (laughter).
JOEY LOGANO: No one understands the push rule. It's like the cloud, no one understands the cloud either.
ELLIOTT SADLER: Doing this interview under protest (laughter).
Q. Seems like you were trying to adhere to the block rule, Elliott.
ELLIOTT SADLER: No. I was trying to get Bubba to push me. You got to be as aggressive as you need to be to win these races. Nobody's going to give it to you.
Joey does a good job. He's not tandem, he's pushing, really is good at it. We were wanting to do the same thing on the inside, too. It just wasn't working out. Your timing and momentum, everything, has to be going forward at that time. Kasey and Joey had such a good run, that's why it seemed like they were able to get a good push off.
Q. The question for both of you guys, if you do understand the rule, does it kind of go out the window on the last lap?
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, I don't know.
ELLIOTT SADLER: That's a tough question.
JOEY LOGANO: It's a tough question for sure.
I think the way it's explained to me is basically everyone on the last lap's pushing. Are they going to black flag the whole field? You know what I mean? That's where it becomes very challenging.
Anytime you have cars that are capable of doing something pretty amazing, as far as being able to push, tandem, you tell the drivers not to, that makes that rule kind of tough.
Most of the time for the drivers it's kind of do whatever you want, stay above the yellow line. Tomorrow that's what we'll have. The only difference is the cars can't get as close as what these XFINITY cars can. That's what allows that tandem to happen.
The tandem can't even happen in the Cup Series because of the aero package. With these cars, you can hook up just like we used to and push for laps. We can push for a whole run if we wanted to. By the rules, we can't.
It's such a fine line. If you can stay close to him and come off an inch, go off, come back on. That's basically what you want to do. You can start to make some headway. If you can actually attach and go, man, it's so much better.
But you can't do that. It's a fine line of what's too much and what's actually moving it forward. If we didn't push, all you would have is a single file line on the bottom, no one would be making the top work, and quite frankly it would be a boring race.
I like the tandem. In my opinion, I think the tandem's cool. I think it was a really cool race back in the day when it was like that. The way they have it now, they let us push just enough to make the second lane move, but it's never really enough to get it all the way up there. It's really hard to make that happen.
Q. Joey, second three times like you said, have you picked up anything that you can transfer over to defend your 500 championship from last year?
JOEY LOGANO: This race is so different. The aero package is so different. You learn nothing but running the XFINITY race here. What I do gain is more time with my spotter. We can communicate, talk more, get that lingo going and all. Fortunately enough we've been able to race a lot during that whole Speedweeks, which has been a lot of fun.
I feel like we're doing a really good job. We've lost them in a different way every time. But these last two have probably been the closest.
I feel like I'm getting closer. Got close to Junior in the Duel. This time I got close to the 88. Different driver, same number. Hopefully tomorrow I can get in front of it by the start/finish line, that would be really cool.
Hey, like I said, second is nothing to really hold your head down about. Had a great Speedweeks. There's a lot of people if you gave them three second‑place finishes, they'd take it in a heartbeat. I'm not taking it for granted, but I really want to win. They don't give trophies for second place. I'd rather have three trophies sitting next to me right now, and Elliott (laughter).
Q. Joey, you have very loyal fans on Twitter. They're already complaining that if Joey would have thrown a block like Chase did, that would have been dirty driving. Do you think the contact in there was clean? Did you have any problem with it?
JOEY LOGANO: I had no problem with it. That's what I expect. I'm a racer. I expect him to make the move so I don't win. He did exactly what he's supposed to do, the same thing I would do, not expecting any repercussions back. That's racing. That's what the fans pay money to come see, come to this beautiful facility to watch, great racing. That's what we saw today.
I don't have any problems with the way we raced at the end. We made some contact. I wish I didn't. Maybe that would have given me enough momentum to win the race. Unfortunately that contact just stopped my car and I didn't have any momentum after that.
Q. Elliott, what has impressed you the most about JR Motorsports so far? Do you feel like this is your best opportunity ever to win the championship this year?
ELLIOTT SADLER: Well, the biggest thing that's impressed me is just Dale and Kelley are very vested in that race team. They're involved heavily. They have a direct line to Hendrick Motorsports, which never hurts. I didn't realize it was that much support when I first started kind of going over there at the end of last season. They made some really good hires this winter, brought in some talented people, beefed up the body shop a little bit, done some really great things.
I've been very impressed on the family atmosphere. There's a lot of racers over there that do it for the fun of it, do it for the love of the sport. That seems to have impressed me the most so far.
We seem to be very prepared not only for here but for Atlanta, Vegas, Phoenix, coming up. With the cars we have coming up, the guys have done a great job of making sure we're prepared to the best of our ability. I think that will show up in speed when we show up at the racetracks.
Q. Joey, the replays from the front looking through the windshield, when you came to the checkered, Chase was working hard to keep control of that car. How would you rate the contact between the two of you? Is that enough to normally make somebody lose it? Are you surprised neither of you lost it?
JOEY LOGANO: Typical for the last lap coming to a checkered flag. The contact, I was behind him pushing him. There's contact there. Then obviously if you watch his hands, I'm sure he's trying to keep me behind him, as well. Some of those moves are trying to keep me behind him, so he's working his car back and forth trying to keep me behind him. When he tried to go for the block, we touched. Of course, when we touched, he's going to have to steer. Like I said earlier, totally acceptable.
Is that enough to crash someone? If I was on the inside of him, I would have hooked him. The fact that we're turning to the left, everything was fine.
Q. Describe how different it is when strategy comes into play on a plate track rather than a short track or intermediate.
ELLIOTT SADLER: I just think the biggest strategy today, what we found out is trying to keep track position. Put enough fuel in the car so you stay in the pit box the least amount of time you had. We had to start in the back, a bunch of cars stayed out. Got trapped in three‑wide. After that my team decided to stay on pit road the least amount of time you can. Tires are not a big issue here like they are at a short track. We didn't take tires at the end. We wanted to get in and out of pit road the best we could. That was the best way to have an opportunity to win this race.
JOEY LOGANO: When a caution comes out seven laps into a run, one a few laps later, it's going to mix it up.
I don't know about you, but I wasn't feeling comfortable when we were back there. I wanted to push somebody up to the top. You got up there, I couldn't find a hole. We took that run as a loss, eventually kind of cycled through. Once we got single file, I tried to leapfrog a couple and passed one and got back in the hole.
ELLIOTT SADLER: You got us in that problem because we were on the bottom, you went to the middle. I'm like, I'm going with Joey to the middle, he must know something. The 46 was sitting there. Then I'm like, what did you get us into here? We're stuck in the middle three wide. We're not going to make it.
JOEY LOGANO: I thought we were going to crash. I wasn't even wide open. I didn't want no part of it. I saw guys moving up to the top, I've got to get up there, there was no hole.
ELLIOTT SADLER: So keep track position.
Q. Elliott, did you have a plan on the last lap to make a move on Chase?
ELLIOTT SADLER: Yeah.
Q. And lock your position in?
ELLIOTT SADLER: Definitely we had a plan. The position I was sitting in, my spotter was letting me know what the 22 and the 5 were doing. They were making some time on the outside. He was giving me play‑by‑play on what those guys were doing.
Chase was leading. Yes, I'm his teammate. But one of his best friends in the whole garage is Bubba Wallace, running third. If I pull out, I have a feeling Bubba is going to stay with Chase. I have to try to figure out what to do.
My plan was to do the exact same thing Joey did, was to push Chase all the way to turn four, then try to make a move one way or the other to win the race.
JOEY LOGANO: If you popped up in front of me, I would have went with you.
ELLIOTT SADLER: Now you tell me.
The 22, those guys did a good job of getting to our door and the turn went a lot faster than I thought they were going to get there. I thought we were going to be able to stall them out and get away. Joey and Chase did such a good job, when they moved up, of course your strategy changes.
Going five, four, three, two laps to go in the race, I was just trying to position myself to get a run to where I could make a move off of turn four. Kind of the same thing that happened anyway, just two different players.
Q. Elliott, you've been with some of the top teams in the XFINITY Series. You're now with the defending series champions. Do you have to still prove yourself? Do you feel any pressure to prove anything?
ELLIOTT SADLER: Nobody is going to put more pressure on me than myself, to be honest with you. Since I've been in the XFINITY Series, the last five years, no matter what team, I think I got more poles and as many wins as any regulars in the series. That's a pretty good stat.
No matter where we've been, I would have liked to have run better last year, probably the most disappointing season I've had in the XFINITY Series, points, top fives, poles, everything. A couple years before that I felt we were strong, ran up front, won some races.
I really feel comfortable in the position I'm in.
As far as proving something, I have to prove something to myself. Nobody has more fire out there looking at me than I have with myself. I have a little chip on my shoulder, I think every driver does, you want to go out there, you want to run up front, you want to do good, you want to get the finishes that you feel like you earned. That's kind of where I'm at as a person right now.
THE MODERATOR: Joey, Elliott, thanks for coming in. Joey, good luck tomorrow.
JOEY LOGANO: Thank you.
ELLIOTT SADLER: Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports