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May 12, 2018

Joey Logano

Martin Truex, Jr.

Kansas City, Kansas

THE MODERATOR: We are joined now by Joey Logano, driver of the No. 22 Team Penske AAA Insurance Ford. Joey, talk a little bit about your race but also what it meant to you or what it would have meant to you if you were able to win a race for the captain after your teammate won in Indianapolis earlier today.
JOEY LOGANO: Well, obviously no matter who won earlier today or later today, it doesn't really matter. As long as we get a win for him, that's what the goal is. Dangit, just had a‑‑ we had a top‑5 car. We weren't a winning car. At best we were usually around a 4th place car. That's about where we were.
Had the opportunity to stay out there and get track position and just got beat on restarts. Got beat by the 78 while we were the leader there. Just didn't have a‑‑ Erik wasn't going to push me. I should have known better. He's going to go three wide and try to take the lead. I can't blame him for that, which gave Martin a good corner on the high side there to be able to clear us and take the lead. Then I had another shot at it and tried to time it, but he out‑snookered me. Yeah, I know.
But after that, you're just trying to hold off who you've got behind you and try to catch Martin there, and then Kevin was ripping there with the new tires at the end. He was the fastest car with the new tires. It was kind of hard to hold him off. Once he figured out at the top there, he started going, and I don't think anyone was going to hold that car off at that point.
Really my only shot was you guys wrecking each other, and they're too good for that, so I was back there just wishing away. Overall a solid day for our AAA Fusion. This has been a good racetrack for us in the past, and then we've had a couple bad runs here, and this is a good day to try to see some light at the end of the tunnel at this racetrack for us. Look forward to coming back.
THE MODERATOR: Also want to introduce Martin Truex Jr., driver of the No.78 5‑Hour Energy Bass Pro Shops Toyota for Furniture Row Racing. Last year you won seven of eight races on mile‑and‑a‑half tracks. Talk a little bit about your race today and being so close to adding an eighth.
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: I think first off, we struggled a bit really all weekend long. Unloaded for practice and lost a lot of practice time to start with, and we were just quite a bit off and really didn't have enough practice time to get our arms around what we were doing, new tire and new rules and some things from last year's races here, and I think we just kind of missed it a bit.
A little bit of a guessing game going into the race first off, and my guys I thought did a good job of making some changes. We still were off quite a bit and struggled a bit with the car being tight. Just kept working on it throughout the race and we got some track position there at the end, which was good.
Yeah, tried all I could to hold off Kevin. He got through traffic too quick and he was too fast. I thought with five to go, we were going to be in good shape. We were running some really fast lap times and actually pulling away, and then actually the switch flipped and I got tight and started shaking the right front tire, and I knew I was in trouble. He started coming quick after that.
Kind of overachieved, and any time you finish better than you run all day is a good day.

Q. For each of you, I'm sure you take comfort that you've got your wins in the bank for the Chase, but what's going to stop him? Can anybody stop him once you guys get into the playoffs?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Well, we're going to have to find something. We're going to have to find some speed, and I think our cars are capable. We've had good speed throughout the season at points. We just haven't been as consistent as last year in finding it. I feel like the box for us is a little bit smaller, and it's pretty evident that the Fords have an unfair advantage this year, so I'll just throw that out there.
JOEY LOGANO: Boy, how the tides have turned and you don't like it. I remember‑‑
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: How does it feel?
JOEY LOGANO: How does it feel? Not as good as the 4, I can tell you that much. Oh, man, I'm still chasing a car that's way faster than me. It used to be the 78, now it's the 4 at this point. The good news is we're closer than we were last year, so we are consistent, we're knocking off top‑5s, top‑10s, getting stage points every time. I think we're probably still second in points, cutting away in Kyle's lead hopefully a little bit there, and I know Kevin cut down into my lead a little bit. Points battle is getting closer. Like you said, we're consistent, we're just consistently off the Stewart‑Haas cars right now.

Q. What can be done?
JOEY LOGANO: Well, if we knew, we would do it, wouldn't we? I wish I knew. There's not a real bright, shiny tool that you can just use and say, there it is, that's what it is. But it's just a bunch of little things, and they're doing a really good job right now. They're executing races well and they've got a ton of speed. They're qualifying fast and they're winning races.

Q. Martin, I know you didn't have the track position all night, but were you a little surprised there with 10 to go, 5 to go that you had sprinted away as far as you did?
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Not really. I felt like I was pretty good all night in clear air. Where I struggled the most was in traffic, and I felt like all night long I'd run down the car in front of me pretty quick and I'd get to him and I'd out and sit there and just‑‑ I couldn't run high, so I had a hard time passing guys.
Seemed like later in the race the bottom started getting better and better. That helped me a bunch and I was able to pass some guys, and obviously we got up to sixth and we're catching fifth and fourth there before that caution or some of the leaders pitted. I wasn't surprised. I was actually more surprised at just how tight I got suddenly with three or four laps to go.
The car fired off on that last restart really nice, and I felt good, and I was making some good lap times, probably some of my fastest ones of the night, and the car was free enough that I thought I was going to be in good shape, and it just suddenly went tight.
No, I wasn't really surprised. I was more surprised that it fell off so fast.

Q. This is for Martin. I think on FS1 they said this is the sixth time that you and Kevin Harvick have run one and two. Just talk about that and why you think you two match up so well against each other and your race teams match up so well.
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: I don't know. I think the last couple years we've both ran up front a lot. I wish I was first tonight. I don't know who's got the better of the firsts in the one‑two finishes between the both of us, but for me, it's kind of really cool feather in the cap to be racing with Kevin and his team for wins and consistently running up front with those guys. They're really good what they do. I feel like since him and Rodney got together in 2014, they've been consistently one of the guys to beat year in and year out. Anytime you're out there racing with these guys fighting for wins, battling it out, that's where you want to be. They're a stout group.
They're doing a great job right now, as Joey said, and they're hitting on all cylinders. They've got a great balanced race car and they're doing all the right things. I feel like we're just a step behind that. But we'll keep digging hard and fighting, and we've got a good bunch, too, and we'll figure some things out.

Q. In the last year because of your success here and the success in the big picture, since you arrived here the other day, have you noticed a difference in the fan following‑‑
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Oh, absolutely. Everywhere we've been. There's been a lot for 78 fans, 78 gear. It's been awesome to see that. Makes us all feel good, and I think a lot of people have just kind of grabbed a hold of our team, and it's a different feel. We do it out of Denver, we do it kind of a different way, and we've got a special group of guys, and it's a neat story, so I think a lot of people have kind of attached themselves to that, and it's been fun to see. Hopefully we'll keep getting results for them, and we're certainly working hard to try to do that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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