Don’t tell Joey Logano he won’t make the Chase because he won’t believe you. Logano is our most recent winner, taking the Pure Michigan 400 last weekend, and is hitting a stride with his Penske Racing team. Coming into Bristol for tonight’s IRWIN Tools Night Race, Logano knows they need to keep the momentum up.
“I think the same thing we’ve been doing. Over the last few weeks – ever since the All-Star Race – this team has been really good and really consistent and making up a lot of points and when we have an opportunity to win we were able to capitalize on it last weekend. I think we do the same thing. We still can’t afford to have a bad race. These are three very, very important races. I think we’re 17 points out of getting in the 10 top and only a few points of getting into the last wild card spot. Our goal is to get in there by points right now, whether that’s by wins or whatever. I think if you have two wins, you’re pretty confident you’re gonna be in it, so if we can get that win it would be huge. If not, we’ll have some points we’ve got to make up but this team can do it. I’m very confident coming into this weekend, for sure,” Logano told reports Friday from the Bristol Motor Speedway.
He made the switch to Penske Racing this year and it’s been a bit of a learning curve. Not only was Logano getting used to a new team, but the team was getting used to a new manufacturing having switched from Dodge to Ford. The win last week asserts they are working well together, getting into the Chase sweetens the deal.
“The win was huge. Obviously, it couldn’t come at a better time and at a better race track to keep our Chase hopes going. I felt like our two best shots were last weekend and this weekend. We capitalized 100 percent last week with the pole and leading the most laps and winning the race, and I feel like we’ve got another really good shot at it this weekend and do the same after seeing the way we ran here in the spring. We’ve got a notebook to go off of now that we’ve come here for the second time,” explained Logano.
With Penske Racing, Logano feels better about his situation than when he was at Joe Gibbs Racing. Communication is more open between his team and teammate Brad Keselowski’s team. Also, Logano feels he has a voice within the organization.
“I think they’ve listened from the get-go, so I think we’ve just been slowly but surely – as a driver your job is to diagnose what’s wrong with the car and try to come up with certain things that you need to be better. ‘I need this to be running with this car,’ and finding things that are better with other cars and telling them what section of the corner or what section of the straightaway you need to be better, and then we all as a team have to work together to figure out where that’s at and how to make it better. And that’s what we’ve been able to do. That’s how you get better throughout the season and that’s what Penske Racing has done a great job with is all of us working together as one team. The 2 car is not doing anything different than the 22 car is when we’re trying to build parts and pieces for these race cars,” commented Logano.
Logano rolls off in the sixth position for tonight’s IRWIN Tools Night Race. The race can be seen live at 7:30 PM EST on ABC.