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February 15, 2018

Joey Logano

Darrell Wallace, Jr.

Dayton Beach, Florida

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by our third‑place finisher, Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the No.43 Click 'n Close Chevrolet for Richard Petty Motorsports.
It seemed like you were holding out mid pack throughout most of the race, biding your time, waiting to make your move. Talk about the decision you made at the end of the race to start going for it and really walk us through the end there.
DARRELL WALLACE JR.: Yeah, let me start off by saying I had a bodyguard walk me from the car to here. His name was Richard Petty. I have never seen him that excited before. That was the coolest thing. Him coming up, huge hug. Sunglasses were off. Got to see how much he was truly excited about that.
So that is probably the highlight of the night, better than finishing third. Just seeing how pumped he was, the words he said that were definitely words of encouragement.
From the drop of the green flag, we had kind of a pack made up. We were going to ride, get to the top as soon as we could. That's what we did. Every time the top prevailed at restarts.
Our Click 'n Close Camaro was decent all night. I don't know enough about these races to say what I really need. But we kept all four tires underneath us, kept it off the fence, kept it off other cars. I'd say all in all it was a good day.
That last restart, I was pretty proud of Ryan for taking the bottom there, stop doing all that team stuff. Logano didn't like it. I gave Ryan a good shot there. I think I gave him too big of a shot. But it was a good race back to the line. I just moved up a little bit too late. Joey and I said we both would have wrecked if I went up any higher at the end.
All in all, came home third. It's a good start for our Daytona 500.
THE MODERATOR: We are also joined by our runner‑up in today's race No.1, and that is Joey Logano, driver of the No.22 Shell‑Pennzoil Ford for Team Penske.
Joey, looks like Team Penske has it figured out here. Walk us through your race from your perspective.
JOEY LOGANO: It was going really, really good until Blaney wanted to pass me. I thought we all worked really well together. Team Penske cars were doing a good job, being able to control the race. Team orders are, as you know, you work together as much as you can, then you race each other for the win. So you know it's coming.
Surprised where Blaney made the move to pass me there, because that's the same place he did it in the Clash. Didn't work for him in the Clash. I was kind of not thinking he would do it there.
He made the move. I thought I was still in decent shape with Brad behind me. Even down the backstretch, I thought I was going to be in good shape. They wadded them up.
The hundred feet of the race I didn't lead, the caution came out. I saw the lights and I was in the lead. Apparently it goes back to the loop. Figures. We lost control of the restart.
Then the two best friends there ever was were sitting next to each other. I apparently don't have any friends (smiling).
DARRELL WALLACE JR.: I've seen you race before. You're not anybody's friend (smiling).
JOEY LOGANO: I know, I could tell (laughter).
I was kind of a Lone Ranger trying to get the 31 to pull up to me. Darrell did a great job pushing Blaney. As soon as they went, they were hooked going. Just the times was off behind me.
They were able to clear really the whole outside lane. I got a good run there at the end from the 17, gave me a good push. I was able to get back by.
DARRELL WALLACE JR.: Made it a 1‑2 finish for the boss.
JOEY LOGANO: It's the 1 part.
DARRELL WALLACE JR.: I haven't been there in a while.
JOEY LOGANO: First is what you shoot for.
DARRELL WALLACE JR.: We're happy with top fives lately.
JOEY LOGANO: But it was good. Two seconds so far Speedweeks, which is okay. You can look at it two ways, as okay, or you're the first loser twice. Hopefully we're saving it for the big one. Two Penske cars so far, hopefully the third one is the big race, the big bright red and yellow one.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open the floor for questions.

Q. Bubba, I heard Joey say, I assume tongue‑in‑cheek, that you and Blaney might as well be teammates out there.
JOEY LOGANO: Pretty close. There at the end you worked together pretty well.
DARRELL WALLACE JR.: We did. Had to give him a shot.
JOEY LOGANO: You gave him a hard time in here earlier.
DARRELL WALLACE JR.: He's my little brother, I had to.
JOEY LOGANO: You guys go play your drums together.

Q. My question is, was it deliberate you gave Blaney that shot or that is who was there?
DARRELL WALLACE JR.: That's who was there. I would expect the same from Joey. If I was leading, he was third, I would expect the same amount of shot to do that. I'm not going to not shove anybody just 'cause who they are.
My plan was to push him out there, get clear of the 22 and 1, have somewhat of a run. The 22 did a good enough job of stalling me out. Finally got clear, got back around me.
No matter who it is, if I'm third, I'm going to push you all I can.

Q. Any reason to believe a Team Penske car is not going to win the 500?
JOEY LOGANO: No reason to believe that, no. We're going to make it happen.
DARRELL WALLACE JR.: Don't get questions like these in the other series. These are crazy. This is new for me.
JOEY LOGANO: The big leagues.

Q. Bubba, what did Richard Petty say to you when he was walking with you? How did you feel up there, a rookie contending for the win at the end?
DARRELL WALLACE JR.: He was, All right, Bud, good job. A big bear hung from the King was awesome. He was just proud. Good to see his car was running up front where it needs to be. Then we started talking about who was where at the end, Joey got the tow, the push, got back around us. All in all, he was so proud. You could really tell and see his emotion.
Really had to be there to feel it. Definitely made you feel good walking in here. Felt like we just won the race, as proud as he was.
But for the rookie stuff, that's just a steppingstone. We still got a race to get through now. Drew had come over, Nice job, you're starting seventh for the 500.
I'm like, All right, doesn't mean much because we have 500 miles to go.
JOEY LOGANO: Did the King give you the death grip on your shoulder blade?
DARRELL WALLACE JR.: Full wrap, then he walked like this all the way back.
JOEY LOGANO: That's a lot of loving. He always throws a thumb into my shoulder blade. About puts me to the ground.
DARRELL WALLACE JR.: That ain't hard to do (smiling).

Q. Bubba, first time with the extended time in the car when it's your car. Does it give you confidence, this sort of performance? Do you have to temper expectations a little bit still?
DARRELL WALLACE JR.: Yeah, no, I'm still learning. That last restart, I legit thought I would get put three‑wide from the 41, just from experience. I did my best to hold him off. Then from experience there coming to the line, it was just a rookie delay. Knowing that the 22 is coming off of four, get up there.
I think he may have had a big run, could have went around me. Looked like something at Go Pro Motorplex if I would have pulled up.
For me, I'm just going to keep learning. Open the notebook all night from figuring out these tough questions I'm getting asked to racing out on the track.

Q. Joey, it's almost like the Penske team has an embarrassment of riches here. If you're running like this with 10 to go in the 500, all three of you, how are you going to figure out who is going to work with who? Do you work with your teammate or somebody like Bubba? A lot of thinking in a little amount of time.
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, you have no idea what the circumstances will be, right? It could be anything, certain cars lined up. That's what Blaney did there at the end. We got to the point that, hey, it's racing for the win, green‑white‑checkered.
I think the 31 had some kind of parachute off the left rear. Looked like the quarter panel was ripped off the back. They saw that. I think Darrell was a good car to go with, as well.
Is it the right decision? I felt like, man, I'm on the top, this is great. If I can be on the outside going down the backstretch, I felt like I had a decent shot being able to clear him into three. I was too far back. Blaney was clear before we got to turn one. They made the right move there.
As far as the decisions you make, it's all circumstances on who's where. Like I said, our team orders are to work together as best you can, but it's a race. Roger expects us to race for wins. That's what we've been able to do for the first two races and it's worked out pretty well.
We all still like each other, which is good. It's a challenge when you're all racing for the win, there's a lot on the line. That's probably one of the most challenging times for teammates, is to be able to work together. You guys are on the borderline of winning, not of finishing fifth. It's probably the most stress on a relationship, with a team. But I think we're strong enough that we've been able to get past that and be able to keep working forward.

Q. Bubba, what does this do for your confidence about the Daytona 500? Surely this is the way you want to go into the race, feel going and optimistic.
DARRELL WALLACE JR.: Yeah, for sure. For me, I think younger me, I would be bouncing off the walls, just being ready to climb in for the 500, not thinking, Okay, we have a lot more practice to go, then we have to get through 500 miles of it.
Right now I'm just like, great, got through tonight. Didn't get in any wrecks, didn't make any dumb moves. Hopefully earned some respect from the veterans out there.
It's a big reset button on Sunday. Still a lot of work left to be done before we climb in. Just so proud of my guys, what they brought to the racetrack, what they're bringing as far as attitude‑wise to the racetrack. Sure as hell is fun to be around.

Q. Joey, you have won a Daytona 500 for Roger. We all know what the Indianapolis 500 means to him. What does winning the Daytona 500 mean to him?
JOEY LOGANO: It's a pretty big deal. It's huge for anybody to win the Daytona 500, no matter if you're Richard Petty or Richard Childress, Joe Gibbs, Roger Penske. It's the biggest race of the year, in my opinion. It's the Daytona 500, The Great American Race. It means a lot to be able to go out there and win that thing.
It's special to be on the list of drivers that have won significant races like the Indianapolis 500 or the Daytona 500, a lot of other ones they've been able to accomplish. It's special to be on that list that Roger's been able to win. Like I say, it's big for anybody. It's a huge race.
The Brickyard 400 is one that stands out for us, as well, that Team Penske hasn't won yet. That's the one that it would be really cool to deliver for him. Doesn't take anything away from what this race is, it's the biggest one, in my eyes at least.

Q. (No microphone.)
JOEY LOGANO: Got a good hug, same thing Darrell just got. Didn't even have to win the Daytona 500 for that (laughter).
No, I mean, you don't really need anything. Just the fact that he's there and he's enjoying it with you, you can party together as a team. I think that's really all you want, right? You just want to have that gratification that you won the biggest race, he's there, we can all enjoy it.

Q. Joey, obviously Blaney is a talented driver. Are you kind of surprised the addition of a third team, those guys have been able to be as strong as they have as quickly as they have?
JOEY LOGANO: No, not surprised at all. I would expect that. That team basically was a 21 team last year for the most part. They've all worked together. Blaney is getting better and better at this superspeedway racing obviously.
It's not a surprise that you see the speed that they have, not just here, but you'll see it throughout the season. They're strong. They're good.
Blaney has gotten a lot better as a driver, knowing the information. Sitting in the meetings, listening to him now compared to a couple years ago when he first started, you listen to his feedback then to now, he's just way more confident in the information he's giving. He knows that it's good.
Good to see they are growing from where they were. At first as a team we didn't lean too much on that car because there wasn't much experience there, they weren't sure of what they needed. Now it's a true three‑car team where we can all lean on each other equally. There's not one team that I think is better than the other right now.
THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, congratulations on your run tonight. Good luck on Sunday in The Great American Race.

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