Joey Logano Press Conference (March 30 @ 1:00 EST)
03-30-2010, 11:35 AM
Joey Logano Press Conference (March 30 @ 1:00 EST)
no idea why! -- will be streamed live on nascar.com or foxsports.com
03-30-2010, 03:08 PM
RE: Joey Logano Press Conference (March 30 @ 1:00 EST)
Well, apparently it didn't make the stream, some sort of technical issue, but I do have the transcript, here it is:
THE MODERATOR: We'll continue with our NASCAR teleconference today in advance of Saturday's Nationwide Series race at Nashville Superspeedway. This Easter weekend race is the traditional kickoff to the NASCAR Nationwide standalone season. But to help celebrate the track's 10-year anniversary fans will get a NASCAR doubleheader. NASCAR Camping World trucks will race on Friday night while the NASCAR Nationwide Series will be on Saturday afternoon.
In addition to the race being the first standalone for the NASCAR Nationwide Series, it's also the first of four Dash 4 Cash races for a $25,000 bonus on the line to the eligible race winner, which is a full-time, part-time or limited-season series only regular for full-time double duty driver as we do come to Nashville. Since we have two races this weekend, we've got two sets of drivers to talk about the upcoming weekend.
First up will be the NASCAR Nationwide Series side, Joey Logano, followed by Trevor Bayne.
Right now we've got up first Joey Logano, who is the defending race winner at Nashville. He'll be driving the No. 20 GameStop Toyota. He's been stellar at Nashville in a brief two-race career there in the Nationwide Series, has one pole along with his win last year.
Joey, thanks for joining us today and congratulations on that second-place finish yesterday in the Cup race at Martinsville.
JOEY LOGANO: Thank you. I was pretty pumped about yesterday. That was an awesome run for us with the Home Depot Toyota. I can't wait for Nashville. It's one of my favorite racetracks. It's one of those places that I did a lot of testing for the Cup guys, Nashville and Kentucky.
I think part of the laps and experience I have there helps me a lot. I think Joe Gibbs Racing has awesome cars there. It's cool that's the place I got my first pole and led a lot of laps there, got that win there last year. Hopefully we can do a repeat on them.
THE MODERATOR: Talk about your Nationwide season a little bit to date. Three top-six starts already, plus a pole you got at Auto Club Speedway. You have an average finish so far of 8.7. That's a finish of fifth also at Auto Club. One thing here, you won't be eligible for that Dash 4 Cash bonus since you haven't competed in all of the Nationwide races leading up to Nashville. You missed one. That sure didn't stop you from playing spoiler last year, did it?
JOEY LOGANO: No, not at all. I'm going there to win for sure. I feel like this year, with the GameStop Toyota, we've been fast. We definitely I had a chance to win at California. I've had good racecars. Had some unfortunate things happen towards the end of these races lately. Hopefully we can finish one of these deals off. I'm sure the 18 is going to be good and we're going to have a good racecar, be one of the usual guys up there battling for the win.
THE MODERATOR: We'll take questions for Joey Logano.
Q. Joey, they were mentioning on the broadcast because your car looked so clean at a track like Martinsville, you're still early in your career there, comparing you to Mark Martin in terms of your methodical approach to racing. Now that you've been at these tracks a couple times now, would you agree with that analogy?
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, I feel like I want to be a clean racer. I want people to race me the same way I race them at the same time. I think there's times you need to push back and there's times you need to be smart and finish these things.
Last week at Martinsville, we did have a clean-looking car at the race. The front bumper was used up though. Everyone saw at the end of the race, everyone was beating and banging. Yeah, it was pretty crazy. We were right up in there.
I feel like there's a time to go and there's a time not to. When you think about a 500-lap race at Martinsville, you don't want to use your car up too early. These days you knock a fender in, that can ruin your whole day. It's going to screw up your aero package and you're going to get tight, or you have a chance of blowing out a tire.
You have to be smart, but at the same time you can't get pushed around out there.
Q. You have had some run-ins, Greg Biffle comes to mind. What do you need to do to gain the respect of those guys?
JOEY LOGANO: I've been trying to figure that out, to be honest with you (laughter). I don't have the correct answer. I've asked a lot of people what their opinions were. Everyone has a different one.
You know, I think that's something when things happen, you just remember it. I've always been a firm believer of race people the way they race you. If someone races you hard, you just race 'em hard. Do the same thing they did to you. I think you earn that respect back.
Q. Can you talk about what makes Nashville so good for you. You ran well here. What is it about the track?
JOEY LOGANO: You know, I think like I said earlier, having a lot of laps run. It's one of those tracks I got to test at a lot, have a lot of laps, able to figure out a lot of things about it. It's one of those places that just clicks for me.
I like it. It's fun. It puts on good racing. It's a two-groove racetrack. You can run three-wide around it, but I think you can run a lane up and run fast here.
I look at that, we kind of do the same thing at Kentucky. It's another place we run really good at. It's similar to that. It's a two-groove racetrack like that. So I feel like it's just one of those places that just clicks for me.
Q. Having the truck race the night before, will that help the Nationwide race? More rubber on the track. How might that affect the racing on Saturday?
JOEY LOGANO: It definitely will. I think it's going to be a good thing. When we go to these concrete racetracks, the first two runs there in practice wear out the tires pretty quick because the tracks are rough. Having the trucks there, they're going to rubber up a lot of it. Hope it rubbers up some higher grooves with more racetrack out there to race with.
Q. Does that make that track a little bit of an unknown going into Saturday since you never had a doubleheader weekend? Could it make it different than what we've seen in past years?
JOEY LOGANO: I think it might a little bit. I don't think it's going to be a big change. Like you say, it's going to be nice, it's going to rubber it up. As long as it don't rain and wash it all away. I think it will be easier for us in the Nationwide side, being able to move around earlier in the race, not being worried in the beginning of practice of wearing out our tires in the first run out there. I think between both of that, it's going to be a plus for us on the Nationwide side.
Q. Allow me to jump ahead on the schedule. You have already confirmed your return to the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal in late August. You have to look forward to going back to that very unique track. The Canadian Grand Prix is back in operation this year.
JOEY LOGANO: I'm pretty pumped to go out there. I had a lot of fun. I got up there two years ago and ran the first race up there. Probably should have finished third till I wrecked under caution coming to the checkered flag. That was a frustrating thing. None of us could see.
It's funny, I don't think they've had a race up there without being in the rain in a while. So it will be cool to see what happens. Either way, it's a fun racetrack. Like you said, it's cool to be able to go to a track that those guys race at. I think any more laps I can get on road courses to help me out is going to help me on the Sprint Cup Series side, too. It's a plus for me both ways.
Q. Joey, I've interviewed you in Pro Cup when you were 16, a while ago. You've had to grow up with camera lenses aimed at you. What did you like best about growing up that way and what did you like least about growing up that way?
JOEY LOGANO: I guess I don't really know a different way of it. To me, that's just the way it was. You know, I was fine being in the spotlight and all that. Like you said, I was 16 or 15 running Pro Cup cars. Everyone was always, Hey, this young kid, this and that, put the spotlight on you.
You know, you look at that two different ways. It puts more pressure on you as a kid. I've grown to get used to that because it's only gotten more and more as it kept going. On the other hand, I think it's a really good thing, having that spotlight on you. It brings Joe Gibbs Racing, brings Home Depot, those big names in to help you.
I think it's a real big deal to have. It's one of those things I was fortunate enough to have the spotlight on me.
Q. You're really considered a veteran. But when do you think people will start calling you veteran Joey Logano?
JOEY LOGANO: I'm sure it's going to be a while. I'm still 19. I don't think I'm going to reach veteran status for a long time (laughter).
Q. Joey, there's been so much talk about how much better you've been running at the tracks than last year. Of course, I agree you had to learn each track. But really don't you also have to be able to be aware of how each NASCAR driver handles the same track you're running on?
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah. I mean, everyone is improving for sure. Every time you get to a racetrack, I'm sure that every driver has improved from the last time they've been there. Every team is trying to improve, trying new things, trying to make their programs better.
A part of it is you're trying to keep up with them and you're trying to catch up that little bit that you're behind. Between both of that, it's a steep hill to climb for sure. I feel like we've done a good job this year progressing and figuring it out.
Martinsville for me is one of my tougher racetracks. Went there to practice again. I think, man, remember the car did this last time. I think I need to not work on that. I think I need to do certain things around the racetrack to help certain parts. But I wasn't still a hundred percent sure which part of the turn I really wanted to work on.
You know, I leaned on Denny a lot this weekend. You know, sitting in the team meeting, usually we've been able to go back and forth trying to help each other. But it was kind of back to last year for me there, just becoming a sponge, listening to everything he said, because obviously he's won a lot of races there.
I feel like I was able to take his information, try to figure out what part of the turn I wanted to work on to help me and Zippy make our racecar the best racecar we can. There's places I know what I want in the racecar, there's places I was struggling with.
It was cool I went to Martinsville. That was one of the places I was going to struggle with. Coming out of there with a second-place finish, I've got to be happy about that.
Q. What about Michigan International Speedway? Do you like the bigger tracks?
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, to be honest with you, the bigger tracks is where we've run better, which is kind of surprising. California we ran good this year. We ran good out there in Michigan last year in the Cup Car. I think our Speedway stuff has been good. I don't know why. I can't give you an honest answer why we've been running better at those type of tracks. I'm not going to complain about it.
THE MODERATOR: Joey, we appreciate your time joining us today. Thanks for your patience as well as your time. Best of luck to you this Saturday at Nashville going for your second win in a row there. We'll let you go, turn it over to another young driver in our series, Trevor Bayne.
JOEY LOGANO: Thanks for having me.