NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: GEICO 400
Topics: GEICO 400
September 13, 2013
THE MODERATOR: Okay, he's on a short timeframe here. But Coors Light Pole Winner for the opening race to the 2013 Chase For the NASCAR Sprint Cup is Joey Logano, and he'll pace the field Sunday for the 13th Annual Geico 400 here at Chicagoland Speedway. He drives the No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford for Penske Racing. This is a track record that he sets here today of 189.414 miles per hour, breaking the previous record set by Jimmie Johnson in 2005. This is the 15th track record that has been broken this year with this new race car. This is Joey's seventh pole and his second pole in 2013.
Joey, your first year in the Chase, you're starting on the pole for your first chase race. How does that feel?
JOEY LOGANO: It feels good. It feels really good to be sitting up here and getting a pole. This Shell‑Pennzoil Ford and this whole 22 Team and all of Penske Racing have been working their guts off, and it shows today when you have a Penske one‑two front starting positions like that. That's a really big deal for everybody that works at the shop. It shows. When you come to this point of the season, everyone pick it's up a little bit if you get into this Chase.
It's cool to see us pick it up and get a pole and have a fast enough race car to do this. I'm excited about it. I know this 22 Team can win this championship if we keep doing what we've been doing over the past few weeks. I'm excited about it. I couldn't be more happy right now, so I'm ready to go.
Q. Last year this race Brad won; that sort of launched him toward the championship. Do you think that given the composition of tracks in the Chase that this could do the same for you?
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, these mile‑and‑a‑half, two‑mile racetracks are where we've been our strongest throughout the years. The shorter tracks have been a little bit tougher for us. So, we know these races. We really have to capitalize, and the other ones we have to be under damage control and try to get our cars as fast as we can at them.
Yeah, obviously, Brad's going to be the guy running to race to win this thing along with all the other 13 chase guys. So, we'll work hard tomorrow in practice to get our car as good as we can get it, and practice for the race and we'll have to wait to see what happens.
Q. I know yesterday you said you weren't concerned. Just curious with all the meetings going on today, was there any point in time that you were worried that you would not be in the Chase and did it impact any of your preparation today?
JOEY LOGANO: No, it didn't impact my preparations at all. I felt like I did a good job being able to stay focused in here and focused on doing what we have to do. There wasn't any worry in my mind that we weren't going to be in the Chase. I felt like we deserved to be here.
Despite what everyone says on Twitter, I realize there are a lot of people on Twitter that are really mean. I've read enough of it, and I thought, wow, this Joey Logano guy's a real jerk, and I realized, you know, maybe I'm not. So, hopefully, this helps prove them all wrong that we deserve to be here, because this 22 Team has got what it takes and we've proven that all year long. I guess we have to do that for ten more races and prove them wrong a little bit more.
Q. In light of everything that's gone on this week and the fact that this is the first Chase race, do you expect the racing to be any different on Sunday? Will guys race any harder, be anymore difficult to pass just because they've got a grudge or anything?
JOEY LOGANO: No, I don't expect that. Not because of a grudge, it might be tougher because you're running for a championship. But over the last 10 to 12 weeks we've been racing hard to get into the Chase, And that is really hard.
If you look at the guys racing to get in the Chase, they were putting up good numbers. You look at Newman, look at the 24, the 78, the 16, we were putting up some good numbers to get into this thing, and the 56 car also. The guys that were in it we've been trying really hard the last few weeks to do this. So now that we're here, we don't want to let it slip away. We want to capitalize on the opportunity.
Q. How close of a feeling did you have that the pole would be yours during practice? And how many tenths or hundredths of a second will you lose when you convert over to the race set‑up?
JOEY LOGANO: We'll lose it was about .8 today, pick‑up. The faster the racetrack, the more difference there is from race trim to qualifying trim, just because you're adding tape and the faster you're going the more downforce you make the more difference that's going to have.
So that's pretty common when you come to a racetrack this big. And after my lap, you know, I felt pretty good about it. I felt that one and two was better than I had in practice, but I didn't feel like I nailed it. But I felt like I had a really good three and four. So I was glad I hung in there.
But I was really nervous about the 42. I thought he was going to have a really fast lap. I was watching the TV and I showed him about a tenth down the backstretch, and I went, oh, crap he caught me. But through three and four I was able to make up the difference there.
So we'll have our work cut out tomorrow for us to work on this car a little bit more because, you know, we're working on getting this stuff better. We can't just stay calm. We'll be focused in to try to win this race.
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