February 9, 2021
Daytona, Florida, USA
Daytona International Speedway
An Interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Thanks for joining us. We'll roll straight into questions for Joey Logano.
Q. Ryan was in here a minute ago and said that he felt like even though the race didn't work out in his favor, that he felt like it delivered for the fans. There were a lot of people wondering if that would be the case. Do you feel it lived up to some of the hype and the hope?
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, it did. I mean, the Clash, really any time you have an All-Star Race, the Clash is an All-Star Race, where there's nothing to lose, right, everyone is just going to go and fight for the win. Second place nobody cares about. That's kind of what the Clash is about.
We've seen that happen plenty of times on the superspeedway. As the road course, the tire strategy is probably what made it such a great race, the fact that there was a limited amount of tires. I think that was a really smart move by NASCAR to limit the tires just to those three sets. I think that is what made it a good race because you had comers and goers. You would have cars that would fire off, you get the caution with just a few to go. We were out of tires. So you just go for it, hanging on, hope for the best. That was kind of the situation we had.
I thought it was an interesting last few laps with the tire strategy, and that's what made it a good one.
Q. It's still soon after the race, do you have an explanation for the penalty? It was my understanding it was your teammate Ryan that wasn't going to pit, then came down. That led to them calling you for not going in single file.
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, I guess I need to understand it better. That was a move that in my 11, 12 years I've been racing I've done at least 40, 50 times, never once have gotten called. We weren't going to get called until they waved off the green. Really just trying to understand the rule itself and why all of a sudden the difference in officiating it.
I'll get to the bottom of it. I'll make some phone calls, try to understand it better. But the 12 was staying out. He was way high up on the racetrack. I made a late call to pit. So I cooled down. Naturally that's going to move me forward because of the shorter radius to pit road. The 12 made a later call to go down pit road. At that point I'm already there. What am I supposed to do? I don't really know how you're supposed to fix that. Am I going to go slower onto pit road give myself a huge gap? I don't think that's the right move either.
I haven't seen the replay yet. Put that with a grain of salt. To me that's something happened a long time. Difficult not pass the pace car. I just closed up a little bit to get onto pit road. There was not a car in front of me at the time.
I don't know. I don't get it at the moment. It almost cost us a chance to win, as I look at where the 12 was when the caution came out, he was in position to win that race. Obviously after that we were so far back that it kind of took our shot away.
Q. How different was this race with the package compared to the August race? With all the dirt on the bus stop, does anything need to be done there and curbing to keep you guys off of that?
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, 100%. For one, the package, way better, way, way better. Able to stay behind cars better. I think that was definitely a gain. The draft on the straightaway wasn't any less. I could tell you that much. It's surprising to think a big spoiler punches a bigger hole in the air, but it didn't really affect the draft much at all. I think that's kind of interesting.
Then the curbing, yeah, we got to do something. I felt like I was dirt racing still out there (smiling). Just a mud bath back there. That's kind of what plugged up our grill in the first place. 21 was in front of me. What ends up happening, you're nose to tail on the car in front of you, you can't see the curbs to your right. Imagine being right behind somebody. You can't see where those curbs are. You just physically can't see it. So you end up going shorter and shorter to the right to try to, one, get your angle better, but two, try to find some vision. You do that and you go through the mud.
It kicks up on the racetrack. You hit the exit one because you hit the one in the middle of it. They got to do something to clean that up. I don't know what the answer is completely. Probably putting some of those yellow curbs that you see at the final chicane probably somewhere in there to try to stop that I think would help.
Q. Following up on the curbing, you had an early run-in with one of those. Are those a little bit too punitive? You need some kind of barrier. That seemed like it did damage to the front of your car, but you say you can't see them either. Where is the happy medium in that?
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, I mean, probably somewhere in between. They need to step up to what they are. Those curbs, they're huge. You don't really see them in much other forms of road racing, those type of curbs. They're not progressive. They're just big, round things.
Yeah, I could have got put in a spot, either run into my teammate or hit the curb. I don't know if he knew I was there. It was kind of like, Shoot. I aimed for the curb, knocked the nose out pretty well.
Yeah, I mean, I wish there was a happy medium between the two, something that can kind of ramp up to it where it doesn't actually just rip the nose after these things. But there has to be a curb there, there has to be. You can't take it away. Maybe there's something in between. I don't know. I know the Roval has those red and white ones. Sometimes that might be helpful a little bit.
Q. What can you say about the resiliency of the No. 22 team tonight? Because you took the penalty, you still end up with a strong finish. Where do you think you as a team improved the most from the summer?
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, I think there's a few areas. I feel like the braking of our car is really, really good, which allows you to pass cars. I think that's a very good strength of our car.
Our short run speed is fantastic. That's what helped us kind of pass a bunch on the way back up. Our falloff is a little aggressive, that's the flipside of it. We got to kind of find that happy medium.
If you look at the 9, he was probably the best car or close to the best car again, all on the long haul. Look at the 12, new tires, ran him down, passed him. Even if Blaney was making mistakes, he still should have drove away. That's where the 9 is just better than everybody right now. He does not fall off. His tires hang on there longer than everybody's. No one is even close to what he has after 10 laps.
I think that's why you've seen him stay close, where I would have thought once Blaney got to the lead, he was gone and checked out, he was going to win the race. Obviously we saw what happened.
It's all because he had a long run speed, his tires hanging in there long enough for him to compete even with a tire disadvantage.
Q. Back to the curbing situation. The dirt and the mud, does the rain have anything to do with that? It didn't seem to do that in August.
JOEY LOGANO: I'm not a farmer, but I have to assume when there's water on dirt, it turns into mud. I got to assume that's what happened.
Q. Is there anything you can really do to change that because there's rain in the forecast for the rest of this week? Anything you'd like to see NASCAR possibly do to fix that?
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, I think just adding some curbs. We got to add some higher curbing, keep the yellow ones where they're at, just put something either at the outside of those yellow curbs that are there. Flat curbs you run over, keep those, put something right after that. That would be my opinion to it.
THE MODERATOR: Joey, we appreciate your time. Thank you for joining us for the second time today. We wish you the best of luck tomorrow in qualifying for the Daytona 500.
JOEY LOGANO: All right. Thanks guys. Appreciate you. Have a good one.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports