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May 19, 2024

Joey Logano

North Wilkesboro, North Carolina

Press Conference

An Interview with:

THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by our NASCAR All-Star Race winner, Joey Logano, driver of the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Team Penske Ford.

Q. Given the way this season has gone, how much do all of you guys need any kind of win, points-paying or not?

JOEY LOGANO: I mean, yeah. It feels good. It's funny because the first thing that goes through your mind is gosh, I wish this counted for points. But let's be honest, a million bucks is a lot of money, and it counts for something.

Pretty proud of our race team today. Really this whole weekend and even back to the test here, we were able to make our car quite a bit faster at the test and then also go through so many tires.

I said it earlier, I don't know if you guys ever watched the movie Miracle before and the coach is making them run the suicide drills and he keeps saying again and again, that was Paul Wolfe to me at the test here. I ran over 800 laps in two days. I was sore. I had enough. It was warm out.

But proud of the team for working through that day, those two days, and then when we came here for practice, the track was honestly quite a bit different. I didn't think the track would be as wide as it was, or I thought it was going to be a single groove racetrack just like most repaves, but they did a fantastic job building this racetrack to where it's really racy right off the bat.

Then the execution in qualifying, like I said to you guys, when we were here, I felt like it's the hardest pole to win because there's so many factors that go into it and it takes the whole team to do it all the way through, like all the way through the whole team to get that, to earn that clean air. And then to be able to execute tonight with the strategy with the unknown of what the option tire was going to be like, how long it would last, and then maintaining, like we said, up front there during the stop, as well.

Q. By the time we got to the final caution, 50 to go, I think everyone pretty much knew what the tires were, that the option tire was not falling off. Even with that said, hearing that Larson had taken some scuffs and had immediately gained three or four spots, were there some nerves?

JOEY LOGANO: Okay, I didn't know that. I saw him on the bottom passing cars and I was like, man, he kind of came out of nowhere because the end of the first stage I saw him, I was about to lap him. Then you see him in second and I'm like what did I miss here, but the call they made early in the race was to put the yellows on and be able to put basically two-lap scuffs on, which are basically brand new here.

There's no doubt the falloff with the option tire, the soft tire, falls off very quickly the first 15 laps, but then it would just balance, and it would just stay the same all the way through.

I think some of that's because honestly we raced at night and it's cooler out and the track has got more grip. Any other part -- let's be honest, it's a new racetrack. It's going to be hard to get tire wear at any brand new racetrack. The fact they made a racetrack that's not single groove to me is a great success. I don't think I've ever seen a repave of any size that has been able to be more than one groove ever. To see something three lanes wide, that's crazy.

Q. Where should NASCAR go from here with this tire, with that red tire? Should they put it on the cars for New Hampshire, or does there need to be more work done or what?

JOEY LOGANO: It's probably worth trying. I don't see what there is to lose. I don't know what it would be like at Loudon. Like we said, there's a lot of falloff for a little bit and then it stays the same. What would it be like at Loudon where there has been more falloff there in the past with an older surface and all that? What would it be like there?

I don't know. I can't answer that. I don't think anyone can -- I don't think Goodyear can answer it until they go there and run it. Might be worth a tire test or just wing it like we did for this one. I told you we ran 800 and something laps here throwing 30 sets of tires on this thing, and this was not one of them that we ran. We did all that, and I was like, geez, we're not even running the tires we ran all these on.

Q. You ran the right sides, right?

JOEY LOGANO: The lefts. I don't know. I got them all confused in my head right now. We ran one side of them, yes. I think the 54 tried this compound all the way around, and the rate it fell off for the first 10 laps, I think he came in right after that, this is no good, and that's the ones we actually ran. So it kind of worked out.

Q. Can you go into what you guys were working on in depth at that test and why? What was the carryover? It seems like it's carried over elsewhere, as well, at other tracks, not just short tracks.

JOEY LOGANO: So when you do these tire tests, they let you work on your car for about, I don't know, a couple hours before they start slinging tires at it. So that's kind of like your -- that's your payment for showing up for two days with your race car. You get two hours of practice, of just being able to try things with your car.

Then it's one set of tires after another for the rest of the two days. That just shows you how valuable practice is these days because you don't ever get any of it, especially testing with data on the car and you're able to actually see stuff, you just don't get that anymore. That's the one you get. That's my one for the year. You've got to make the most of it.

We worked on some things and tried to prove some theories out, and it's really the biggest thing is just try the things that you feel like you're a little lost on to get direction on stuff and then tune from there.

Q. Two years ago it was a Homestead test, you guys used a Goodyear tire test there, that kind of flipped everything and propelled you to the championship. I thought there was a test last year, too, that helped you. What is it with the tests? Is it because you have an opportunity to experiment that you're able to do that?

JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, you just have an opportunity to try things. Like I said, when we show up to practice, you guys know what it is now. You're married to the springs you've got, you're married to the bars you've got, you've got some sway bar arms, you've got ride heights and wedge and air pressure, and you've got 15 minutes. Like that's -- good luck developing off of that.

And then you're going to come back and change some things four or five months later, come back with a track that's completely different and wonder if the changes you made are actually better or not from the last time you were there. Who knows? So you never get a clean back-to-back read, the A-B read. And when you come to test, you can A-B-A if you want, you can go back, and like I said, go back on the actual data and see what it's doing a lot deeper than just throttle and steering and brake that we get on SMT.

It's just an opportunity to learn is what it is, and it's hard to get it these days. It's the same for everyone. Everyone would say the same thing sitting up here.

Q. Why are you so good at this stuff? Why are you able to get stuff on tests that other people aren't?

JOEY LOGANO: I don't know if that's necessarily true, but I will say, Paul is a workhorse. He'll put you through this thing.

I don't know, we both have the same mentality when we show up to a test that it's like a race to us because it is our biggest opportunity to turn something around. Let's be honest, with the year we've had so far, we can't afford to be lax in a lot of those situations.

Q. I asked Paul this question, and he said he was a little nervous about it. The car is so good, you start on the pole, you put all this effort into it. Were you worried about somebody getting into you or something going wrong with the car even though the car was pretty solid? Did that cross your mind, or did you have time to even think about that?

JOEY LOGANO: Well, anything can happen. It's a race. Like anything can happen at any point. How many times have we watched NASCAR races where we think someone has got it in the bag? I see it all the time in the FOX booth over the Xfinity races, I think this guy has got it won and then all of a sudden are you kidding me, like the most bizarre thing happens. Luckily for us none of that happened today.

Honestly our toughest moments was racing the Gibbs cars because their cars were very opposite of ours, which hey, the 54 was at the test here, too. It fired off fast, fell off hard. That's what the 20 did, and then also the 11 where he was able to fire off really, really good, pressure me for 15 laps, and then it would fall off.

The concerning part is we were able to hold him off, get ahead, caution came out, and then he refired again good, and I was like, oh, no. Once again, once I got 15 laps on it, I could feel my car was better than his, and I could start to kind of leg him a little bit.

Q. Before tonight, has this been a difficult season for you and Paul to try to wrap your arms around as to how to get better? You've led laps in races, you have a runner-up finish. Other runs you may look like you guys were out to lunch. Has it been a hard one to figure out how to get back on track?

JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, it's been a challenging year, no doubt, and for sure short tracks are our wheelhouse and kind of always have been. Whether it's myself or Paul or us together, whatever it is, but it seems like short tracks are kind of our thing.

So you've got to capitalize when you're at them. Or high falloff tracks. Last week in Darlington we had a top 5 run going until I sped on pit road the final run.

We got speed at high falloff and short tracks, and next week in Charlotte is kind of an in betweener of what that is. Obviously Blaney had a great run there last year winning the 600, so hopefully we're able to learn a lot from that and be able to be fast next week for the Coke 600.

Q. Seems like when you go to a new situation, whether it's the Clash at the Coliseum, Gateway, then you race at Gateway, a new situation here at Wilkesboro with the two tire choices, things like that, you guys seem to be able to adapt to that extremely well. What gives you that quality?

JOEY LOGANO: I wish I knew. I really do. It seems like -- I don't know. I don't know exactly what it is. It's obviously our whole team does a really good job at anticipating what a race will be like or what we're going to need in the car without any history. We do a great job anticipating, whether that's from just years of racing or -- I don't know what else it could be.

I feel like a strength in myself, just speaking for myself as a driver, I feel like I adapt really quickly. Once everyone has time, I usually lose a bit of that advantage. I don't know why that is. I can't add up and make any sense of it, but it just seems like that's kind of how it's been.

Q. Joey, the difference between winning this race first time, second time, and how much does a million bucks mean to your race team?

JOEY LOGANO: Quite a bit. Quite a bit. A million reasons to make me smiling today, that's for sure.

Yeah, it's huge. Compared to the first time, I guess you could say a million bucks isn't worth as much as it used to be. Maybe that's one thing we should change is we should keep up with inflation. (Laughter.)

How much is it more now from the start of the All-Star Race? How many years ago did they start at a million bucks? 1985? Oh, my goodness, it should be three times the amount now. It's probably close to that. I don't know where I was going with all that, sorry.

It felt nice. It still feels good to pull into Victory Lane for sure. Honestly, no matter what the check says, it feels great to win and just beat everybody. That's what it's all about.

Q. Is a million dollars better than that flight in the F16?

JOEY LOGANO: I would have definitely paid a lot of money to go for a ride in that. That's one thing you want to do one time. I might pay a million bucks not to do it again after going for that ride. It was pretty awesome, though.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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