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February 13, 2020

Joey Logano

Daytona Beach, Florida

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by our race winner, Joey Logano, driver of the No.22 Shell‑Pennzoil Ford. We'll open it up to questions.

Q. Joey, I asked Paul when he came in here and I'll ask you the same thing. How big is it to start the partnership between the two of you off in Victory Lane like this?
JOEY LOGANO: I mean, that's what you dream of, right, is when you have a new team like this, all working together, there's going to be some ups and downs. There's going to be a little bit of a learning curve, but being able to knock a win off pretty quick here, even though it's just the Duels and it's not the 500, it's still a momentum builder. It shows that we all can do it together. And even though it is a superspeedway it's not a Las Vegas or some of the West Coast races coming up, it's still something that we can build off of, which is nice. It's a great thing to have.
There's a lot of teamwork that went into this race tonight to make it all work, but definitely being able to click off some good pit stops, or a good pit stop tonight, and also just working together with the other Fords and working together as one team really paid off at the end of this thing.
I think when you're working with someone that you haven't worked with a lot, you tend to over‑communicate on both sides. I think Paul does it and so do I, and I'm the king of asking questions a lot of times. Sometimes dumb questions, but I'll ask them. And I think that's really excelled some of the communication between the two of us, and also our engineers, all three of us, four of us, work really closely together as this has kind of started over the off‑season, talking about setups, talking about how we wanted to race, talking about just so many different things. That's all you can do in the off‑season. You don't get to test anymore, so all you can do is talk about race cars, so it was nice to actually work on something and see a little bit of the reward so far early into the week.

Q. You guys were right up there drafting. Of course you had Aric helping you a lot. But Ricky was right there and he had Denny helping him. Until that last lap, it appeared there was going to be a lot of trouble for you. Did you guys feel that you were okay, you had something for them and you blasted away? It looked like they faded a lot. Did you guys just get better or how do you account for what happened there?
JOEY LOGANO: Obviously I need to kind of go back and rewatch it to understanding everything that's happened out there. But I do feel like we won because of numbers and everyone working together here today. No secret the 47 car is the fastest car, qualified first and was the only car that could go down to the bottom and pull down a bottom lane like that. The only car that can do it. So it goes to show the speed that's in that thing.
But one Chevy can't beat six Fords. It's not going to happen. And that's what we saw here today is that we just saw a lot of good teamwork with Aric and also the other Fords behind all of us. We all did what we needed at the right times, and to keep shoving ahead and being able to clear that bottom lane on the last lap was a big deal, and at that point I figured we were going to race pretty hard, and then the 6 got to the outside of the 10 and kind of double filed it out, and at that point I was able to kind of cruise in.
But just good teamwork, racing to make sure a Ford wins this thing and take in the points that we can.

Q. Joey, are you okay or are you going to be 100 percent by Sunday?
JOEY LOGANO: I hope so. This thing is lingering with me, geez. My little guy has got it now, so that's no fun.

Q. Also you kind of touched on it, but it is a qualifying race, but does it mean anything to you to get the win, to kick off a season with a win like this?
JOEY LOGANO: I mean, I get excited about winning anything. I'm obviously a very competitive person, and winning anything in Daytona is a really big deal to me, whether it's the Duels, whether it's a tricycle race, I don't really care, I want to win it. So yes, I get very excited. I wanted to do a burnout, but I felt like this wasn't the right time to do one of those considering I've got to use this car again.
Kind of felt like I needed to do a burnout for the fans, for me, because I enjoy it, but we'll have to save it to next Sunday hopefully. But yeah, and honestly, the 10 points, that's one thing that's really big about this race is I think everyone kind of forgets that, but it's basically a stage win. And there's no guarantees what's going to happen in the 500, right, and we've seen crashes early in that race in the past to where you might not get another point in this thing.
So getting the points while you can is so important throughout this whole season, especially the Speedweeks, though.

Q. Joey, only your second race with Paul, but you were already a good speedway racer at Daytona and Talladega. Has Paul offered you any more tips and tricks to improve your skill set?
JOEY LOGANO: We haven't actually talked about the draft that much. We've talked more about strategy and kind of how the races play out, how we all need to work together, those things like that, but not as much of how to get runs, how to get pushes, how to work the air. Those things T.J. and I studied together pretty hard. So we kind of‑‑ Paul seems to be‑‑ still getting to know him, but he seems to be the type of guy that's, hey, you're tired to do this job and he's going to do it, and he's not going to babysit you and have an eye over your shoulder all day long and saying why did you do this or why did you do that. I think he will if you do something wrong and maybe work you through it, but to start I think he's kind of said, hey, this is why you're here at this level and this is why I'm here at this level, and he's that way all the way through his whole race team, through his engineers, through his mechanics, through the pit crew. He expects people to do their job.
It's a good leadership style. It's fun to kind of see how it works. He's tough. He's intense, which I like. He's fiery, which I did not know about, and I like that, because I am, too. It's going to be a fun pairing.

Q. Joey, what stands out to you from your visit with the President at the White House after you won the championship and how do you feel about the fact he's coming to watch the race on Sunday?
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, I mean, amazing that‑‑ you think about the leader of our country is coming to the Daytona 500, how cool is that? It kind of solidifies what our sport is, right. It's a huge event. We are a big sport, and to be able to have the President come here, that's something we all should be proud of. Whether you support him or not, it doesn't matter. It shows the unity in our sport and how big our sport really is.
I had a blast going to the White House. That was an amazing honor to go up there with our whole race team and get the tour from the President, and he was a normal guy. Some of the conversations were very relaxed and kind of go with the flow up there. I felt very uncomfortable‑‑ I will say this, making a speech when you have Donald Trump, Roger Penske and this guy Joey Logano that nobody knows. Like what am I doing here? I don't fit in. But it was an amazing experience, and it's something I'll cherish forever.

Q. I know what you said about how fast Ricky was but he didn't have the Chevrolets with him necessarily in this race. He will on Sunday. Are there any clear favorites to you for the race, or do you expect it to be typically wide open with a whole lot of possibilities?
JOEY LOGANO: I have a hard time picking favorites right now. The Duels are unique. You may see some racing like this early in the 500 while the stages are going with different strategies like we saw before the caution came out. We had two different strategies going on out on the racetrack‑‑ I wanted to see how it was going to play out. I'm glad it played out this way, too, this is one, but I wanted to see if it stayed green what was going to happen.
But at night right now, the track has got a lot of grip. Cars are handling pretty well. Daytona 500 is not going to be like that. What worked tonight isn't going to work Sunday. These next few days of practice are important.

Q. Mr.Penske has had a rather busy winter. What do you think of all that?
JOEY LOGANO: Which part? He's got a lot going on, that guy.

Q. Yeah, he's acquired a few new racing ventures.
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, just amazing. You know, I think for him, listening to him talk about it, he always goes back to the story about when he went there with his father, at Indy I'm talking about, and watching his first Indy 500, and I think it's a full‑circle thing. He made a comment at one of our team breakfasts, he said something, don't quote me perfectly on this, but he said something along the lines that I hope my dad is proud of me now; how cool is this. Went from watching a race there to winning a boat load of Indy 500s to, screw it, own the racetrack, know what I mean? He owned the race already, might as well own the track, too. It's been really fun, and he is so passionate about it.
He's doing it in typical Roger Penske style. He's walking the whole place and telling everybody this needs to look better and this needs to be cleaner and renovating all the bathrooms. He goes through every single‑‑ he told me how many bathrooms he walked in, and I forgot what it is, there's a boat load of them there, though, which I didn't know, but he wants the fan experience to be top‑notch. He wants it to be Penske perfect, just like our race teams are. I can't wait to see the changes. And obviously they're willing to do some big things with the Xfinity race already. You see that.
He's not scared to break some glass and make some big moves, but he's also going to make it a world‑class facility, even more so than what it is.

Q. Plus he wants to restore the Brickyard 400. From your standpoint that's going to be huge.
JOEY LOGANO: Mm‑hmm, yeah. You couldn't ask for someone better to own a racetrack. You know, you want somebody that is passionate about motorsports, passionate about making the experience great, making the racing great. All of that is the utmost importance to him. I believe it's more important than making a buck, for Roger. That's what we need as a sport. We need people that look at the long road and say, hey, we're not here for a short‑term gain. We need to make sure this is something that's going to be here for a long time and continue the heritage that so many pioneers of our sport‑‑ not only of NASCAR but of IndyCar and everything else they've raced there, to continue that heritage that you see just walking through the museum there. You see that.
That's important for I think our future generations to know about motorsports and how we got to this point with just automotive in general.

Q. Joey, the 10 car seemed to be able to‑‑ was back behind you, pushed you a lot, and seemed to be able to at times give you a tandem draft that went about a third of the lap. How much is the tandem going to play a factor, or because of the conditions do we see a little bit more exaggerated of the pushing in the tandem than what you might see Sunday?
JOEY LOGANO: No, you're going to see tandem for sure. It's not going to be the old school tandem where you lock for laps, you lock for half a run. That was a lot of fun. The cars don't handle good enough to do that. It's a little‑‑ it used to be very stable when you had a pair of 400s across the back and you had some mechanical grip in these things and you could lock in and push. Now they're a little unstable, and you're moving around a little bit while you're getting pushed. But it works, right, it's successful at the right times.
Being able to get to each other's bumpers and lock up and really start gaining that momentum that you see, it takes a minute to kind of get it rolling, and that's why you don't see it happening every lap. We would do it every lap if we could because it works, but it's hard to get to that point and get those pushes and get someone to stay on you like that. But it also takes, like I said, two cars that can do it is important. A car that can get there and stay there, a car that can handle, but you've also got to have two drivers that know what the heck they're doing because it's dangerous. We've seen plenty of times that that's where the wrecks come from is things like that.

Q. To follow up on what you keep saying about handling and stability, in general how are these cars handling, how stable are they, and it looks like when it comes to the runs and stuff, even when you try to be single file that they very quickly‑‑ everybody is closing back up again, so how are they just handling in general?
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, that's why this package has caused more wrecks is because the cars‑‑ you think with so much downforce that they're going to handle great. Well, what do the teams do when there's so much downforce, they take all the mechanical grip out trying to get the back down as much as they can, trying to get the pitch of the car to take the most drag out of it as possible. That's how you make speed. That's all well and good when you're by yourself and then you get dirty air and you don't have the downforce and you don't have the mechanical grip and you have the ability to get to each other's back bumpers way easier than what it was when we had the small spoilers on the car, boy, that's what's causing the crashes because then the cars are out of control and we're able to get closer to each other, and then next thing you know, hee‑haw and we're going for a ride. That's what we see towards the end of races when guys are getting very, very aggressive on the racetrack.

Q. Do you ever find yourself when you start your engines and then the inclement weather, do you ever find yourself losing focus and the anticipation built up and then just having to sit there in the delay? What's your mindset in that?
JOEY LOGANO: To be honest with you, I've been doing this long enough now to kind of know how to get into the mode that I need to be in in the snap of a finger. I'm able to stay kind of relaxed even before I get into the car, and I obviously go through everything I need to go through to be prepared, but it seems to be, for me, if I kind of keep relaxed, that helps, and then usually coming to one to go before we go green, that's kind of my time that I can click into the mode I need to be, get into kill mode or whatever you want to call it, and that's when the game changes for me and there's a different Joey, as you guys know. That kind of changes at that moment most of the time (laughs).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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