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April 30, 2017

Joey Logano

Richmond, Virginia

THE MODERATOR: We are with today's race‑winning driver of the No.22 Shell‑Pennzoil Ford for Team Penske, Joey Logano. You had an equipment issue that caused you to start from the rear of the field. Talk about those challenges and winning in your milestone 300th start?
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, it was really nice. Obviously I got the text yesterday from Todd when I was up in the booth talking. I thought, oh, man, this is not the place you want to start in the back for a lot of reasons. For one, you know, you have five, six laps on your tires because of qualifying, and then obviously you don't really have an advantage on anybody. Two, being a short track, you've kind of got to go hard on the short run to try to not go down a lap and hope for a caution. That worked out really well. We got a nice caution five laps into the race, put some sticker tires on it when some guys still had their qualifiers on it, be able to start picking them off slowly. Took us all day to at least break into the top 5. We kind of leveled out as the fifth, seventh, eight‑place car. Seemed like everyone from fourth to 10th was about the same speed, so it was all about just gaining a little bit of track position on restarts and pit stops, and we just kind of stayed right around there.
Todd made some good calls at the end, got us some good track position. We had a good pit stop at the end that maintained the track position and then some good restarts that were able to get the lead back when everyone else stayed out on old tires and just try to check out, that was the goal. It wasn't one of those save your tires and don't get too big of a lead. It was go as hard as you possibly can because I knew how quick Brad was. I saw it all day. He was the fastest car. He led a ton of laps today, so I knew I had to get the biggest lead I could, because he cut off a good second there at the end.
Glad the race was 400 laps because if it was any shorter we probably wouldn't have won, and if it was any longer we probably wouldn't have won, so it turned out just right for us today.
THE MODERATOR: Talk about the caliber of Team Penske, especially‑‑
JOEY LOGANO: Sounds like we're going to have a party. That's pretty neat to have a couple one‑two finishes over the weekend. Also I think four of the top 5 are Fords, is that right? Hey, that's not bad. So a lot of good things that came out of this weekend for Ford and Team Penske, as well. You know, it's nice to break through and get our first points win of the year, that being on the 300th start. For me personally, it was kind of a cool milestone to hit and drive into Victory Lane with that, too. Did you hear that six people have won on their 300th start? How about that crazy stat? That's pretty cool.

Q. Joey, Todd was saying that they had mentioned that they told you to run 80 percent today starting at the back. They didn't want you to go all out and come through the field. Did you take their advice?
JOEY LOGANO: I did. I hate it, too. I am not wired that way. I am a balls to the wall type of guy, hard as I can, all the time. That's the way I'm wired. And that's what's proven to be successful at certain racetracks. Richmond is not one of them. Richmond is one you pay the penalty if you go too hard, and I was able to kind of find a nice line that was able to preserve my tires for the long runs. Obviously we had a lot of long runs here today, and that was kind of expected, as Richmond typically is, and then at the end, take that 80 percent thing and throw that out the window. It's game time. I was able to give it 100 percent. Even that last run going as hard as I did I started to pay the penalty toward the end of the race when Brad was catching me. There's a time to go and a time to whoa, right? We were able to play those cards at the right time.

Q. What's it like when you kind of feel like you stole a race?
JOEY LOGANO: Feels good because I've had them stolen from me a lot, so it feels nice. We've put ourselves in the opportunity to win at Texas possibly if our car was faster. We weren't quite fast enough to do it. Here we were just fast enough to break through and kind of steal a win. We had a decent car. We were in the lead when the caution came out there, and we looked like we were in pretty good shape, and then obviously to have the good pit stops and all that, I don't know if you'd really call that stealing. We didn't get lucky. We were able to just do what we know how to do and execute the best, and that's the way we won.
I don't know if stealing is the right word for what happened today.

Q. Brian France was in here earlier. He brought his son in here, and he was asked‑‑ he basically said, hey, who do you want to win the race. He said, Joey Logano. How do you think he's going to run? He said terrible.
JOEY LOGANO: He said I was going to run terrible?

Q. That's what I said. Starting in the back, was he accurate with that, and did you know he was a fan of yours?
JOEY LOGANO: I do. He actually sat with me during the drivers' meeting today. He's pretty funny, yeah, just like every other kid‑‑ I don't know exactly how old he is. I think he's six or so. He's just like every other six year old that says the funniest things sometimes. It's quite a hoot.
You know, he's fun to hang out with. I've gotten to know him a few times, and when we were at the banquet I see him or just select races during the season he gets to come to and I get to talk to him a little bit. I don't know why he chose me as his favorite. Glad to know he's got a lot of faith in me, though. (Laughs.)

Q. You've had a lot of really strong finishes this year other than the crash at Phoenix, which you can throw out the window. Did you feel like a win was just a matter of time given how well you've been running?
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, you know, we haven't really looked at the stats a whole bunch because, yeah, we've been running well, but we haven't been the fastest car at the right times. So I think we've been really looking at how can we make our cars faster. Are we as fast as we want to be? No, absolutely not. We weren't the fastest car today, but we were able to win. I think that's five straight top‑5s, that's a pretty cool accomplishment to have this early in the season, and to break through with a win on that, that's nice.
And we've been consistent, right; I think every race has been in the top 10 besides Phoenix that we crashed in. We're doing what we know how to do. We're a consistent race team. We're battling back from things that happened during the race. We haven't scored as many stages points as we'd like. Even today, I think I only got one. I think I finished 10th in the first one and maybe 11th in the second, so not very good in the stage points today, but the win with the playoff points that comes along with that, that gets a thumbs up today. Good thing we got that.

Q. Great win today, and not one thing has to do with the other, but how does that change your mindset going into Talladega, which one always calls a wild card later in the season?
JOEY LOGANO: Honestly, it doesn't change our mindset at all. Our goal is to win and our goal is to race when we go to Talladega. We're one of those teams, to the point of not knowing how to go 80 percent, it's the same thing when I go to Talladega. I don't know how to go ride in the back. I want to go lead every lap and race up front. Sometimes that doesn't work for me. But every now and again we're able to break through with a win. It seems like when we go to Talladega we either win or crash. I'm okay with that, if the wins break through every now and again, I'm all right with that. Our strategy is the same every time we go to a speedway no matter if we're in position to get through to the next round like we hopefully will be when we go back down there in the fall, but we're just going to be wide open either way.

Q. Did you see the stage racing as impacting (indiscernible) going back to Daytona?
JOEY LOGANO: Oh, yeah. The stage points, they mean so much. I'm pretty sure I probably lost points to Brad today, considering‑‑ and we won the race. So the stage points mean so much, and we didn't‑‑ we haven't scored many stage points over the year. We've had nice finishes, but we haven't scored many stage points. We have one stage win, which gives us a playoff point, but that's it. We need to get a little better during the race. We've been able to come at the end and get to where we need to be and get up front, but we weren't really able to do that during the race yet, so we've got to clean that up a little bit, and things like today kind of set you back when you've got to start in the back. We had to start in the back in California, we had to start in the back here. We've had pit road penalties, we've had issues on the racetrack. You name it, we've gone through them. We've been able to finish really well, but we've got to get the stage points during the race.

Q. You seem kind of fascinated by the 300th start 18‑win thing. Is that about where you want to be for 300 starts is 18 wins? Do you think about that? Do drivers think about that? Do you ever look at those rankings?
JOEY LOGANO: First off, if you think 18 out of 300 doesn't sound very good, does it, but the first 150 were pretty bad. It hurts the stat a little bit. If you look at the last 150, yeah, we're pretty proud of that. I counted 20 wins because I count the All‑Star Race and the Clash because I got trophies for them. I know no one else does, but I count every one I can. They're hard to come by. You count every one you can possibly get; are you kidding me? Is it where I want to be? No, I don't think I can ever tell you it's where I want to be. My goals are set so high that I think they are reachable, but that one there, 18 out of 300, maybe not reaching where I want to be.

Q. You say it doesn't sound like very many. This puts you from what I can tell from Racing Reference, you are now in four‑way tie for 45th, so firmly in the top 50. That's not bad, right?
JOEY LOGANO: Long ways to go. That Richard Petty guy, he's got quite a few. That Richard Petty guy, he won a lot of races, didn't he?

Q. Your 15th win in the last four seasons puts you one behind Jimmie Johnson over that stretch. What's it like to be‑‑ you talked about your first 150 races. Over your last 150 races what's it like to be in that kind of company?
JOEY LOGANO: That's nice. I was watching Race Hub last week after he won again, and it says will he get to 100 wins or something like that, and I think, man, I'm about to start my 300th race. He's won 100 of them almost. Holy crap, that's what I thought when I was watching it. To be within one win of a legend like Jimmie Johnson is, hey, that's pretty freaking cool, of the last, like you said, four years since I've been with Team Penske. We're a strong team, but we've got to get some championships and keep winning those races. It's nice to keep stacking them up, but long, long ways to go, but at least I'm young and I've got a long ways to go.

Q. You rattled off a list earlier of some of the things that have happened to you in races this season, and you have talked afterwards of wanting just to get a clean race; today you had to start from the back, but what does the performance and the victory speak about your team that even faced with bad circumstances you were able to come out on top today?
JOEY LOGANO: We're resilient, that's for sure, and we've shown that over the last four years that you can't hold us down. You might be able to put us back every now and again, but you're not going to hold that team down. They're such a strong team. Attitude is everything, right, when you look at sports. You've got to have that attitude. You've got to have that I will win attitude. We will fight back. The team has got that. I don't even have to preach it. It's something that is somehow just installed into all of them somehow. You know, and I think a lot of it, if you look at the pit crew, they're all athletes, right, they're athletes that have been through a lot of high‑pressure situations in motorsports and outside of motorsports, and to me a true athlete is somebody that can be better under pressure in situations like this. My team is full of that, and I think that through the road crew, as well. You know, we constantly are working, and there's never anyone that's saying we're working too hard, and they want to get back home. They all want it just as bad as me and just as bad as Todd. Everyone wants to win, and that's why we're successful is because it's attitude. It's all about attitude.

Q. Joey, it's almost May, a month that's very important to your boss and taking into account today here with you and Brad and Phoenix last night, what kind of momentum do you think this carries in, and how happy do you think the boss is going to be the next time you see him?
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, I think he's on his way to Australia right now. Hopefully he's happy. I don't know if there's a reason why he shouldn't be happy. He had a great weekend.
You know, obviously, like you said, it's a big moment coming up for Team Penske when you think of the Indy 500 coming up and Coke 600 and obviously the races that come up in the month of May. Yeah, it's race time, right? This is the time of the year that you get in that heat, you're slipping and sliding all the time. That's part of it, and it's a good part of the season for us in the past. Usually as the 22 team goes throughout the season, we usually are able to pick up a little bit as it comes to playoff time, so hopefully we're able to do that this year, too.

Q. Commitment line box played a big role in today's race. Is there any strategy when you're leading and you're coming to pit road and you're kind of angling there to keep the guys behind you from seeing that, and what was your reaction when you learned that Kyle Busch got the penalty to throw to the rear?
JOEY LOGANO: Honestly, I didn't know what it was for, and there was no strategy behind it, just a late call to pit. It's a very late call that Todd said, pit, and I said okay, and I took a hard left and was able to get down. But when you're the trailing car, you're looking at a rear spoiler so you're not 100 percent sure where that box is. It's a tough situation. You know, it wasn't really any strategy behind it, just happened, right? You know, just a late call to pit.

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