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Friday, June 15, 2012

Joey Logano confident at Michigan, hopes to continue hot streak after Pocono win

BROOKLYN, Mich. -- Joey Logano looked very confident when he strolled into the media center at Michigan Speedway.

Getting a win will do that to you.

Fresh from Pocono, Logano still isn’t officially secured to come back to Joe Gibbs Racing, but the way he is racing this year I would bet it’s going to happen.

Logano knows that he’s not out of the woods yet though.

"We've been on a roll here lately. We just have to keep that going. We've had a lot of top-10 finishes on the Sprint Cup side and on the Nationwide side we've been able to knock off four wins here. We just have to keep that rolling,” he said. “I thought we had a pretty good test yesterday -- I think our car is pretty good.

Logano has long been in the shadow of his more-winning teammates, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch, but he hopes that this year, that will change.

"I've always thought it was time for me to shine. This year doesn't change my attitude any, but winning races and stuff like that obviously makes it look like that. That's alright with me,” Logano said “I think we've had some really good cars here lately. I think Adam Stevens (18 Nationwide Series crew chief) and Jason Ratcliff (20 Sprint Cup crew chief) are doing a really good job on both race cars and giving me what I need to win races. They've given me the stuff and we're making the best out of our opportunities out there."

Logano sits in a precarious points position. He is just outside of the wild card position, so he has to be careful. Yet another win will put him in great shape toward winning a Chase berth. So hard much does he gamble as the Chase nears?

“It's a little bit of both. I think you always have to go out and get the best finish you possibly can, but if it takes a chance to win a race and you have to risk something -- if you're in that position to win a race, you better take that chance to win that race because that's going to be very important. At the same time, you don't want to cost yourself too many points by taking that risk. Whether that's doing an aggressive move on the track or that's risking pit strategy, fuel mileage or something like that. I think you have to weigh the consequences out before you do a lot of things. Anytime you get a chance to win a race, you want to take it because I found out its pretty fun to win these things."

Logano will do double duty this weekend, running in Nationwide on Saturday.

He said both races should be pretty exciting due to the increased drafting.

"I think the race is going to be pretty cool. I got behind a car and the draft you get is unreal. You're like, 'Wow, this is going to be pretty crazy.' I think if this track widens out – right now it's maybe two lanes wide-ish. I think if it widens out, it's going to be crazy and I'm sure it will widen out some, but man the run you get down the straightaways and you will see some push-drafting for sure down the straightaway and people

will be lining up. I think it's going to be really, really hard and it's going to take a really stellar car to break away from the pack. I think there's going to be a lot of guys just drafting and getting a run at the end of the straightaway and bonzaiing into the turn - that that point, once you're in the turn you get up on someone's door or something like that, those cars are going to be getting loose and all that. It think it's going to be very, very entertaining, especially on restarts.

He expects closer races with no runaway leaders.

“I don't think it's really going to spread out that much. I think these cars have so much drag on them,” Logano said. “It's a little bit of a guessing game, but it's a lot of fun right now."

Hockey connection
I was not aware of this, but apparently Joey Logano used to play hockey – goalie specifically. He’ll get a chance to meet a professional in that arena Sunday when Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard makes an appearance at Michigan Speedway.

He did joke, however, that his goaltending skills weren’t always the best, but said he has a lot of respect for hockey players.

"Easy with the term goaltender with me -- I let a lot of them in,” he said. “I'm a hockey fan so I think it's neat anytime any different athlete comes to our races. I think it's cool to meet them and talk to them. We do have stuff in common with them -- they go through a lot of the same stuff that we go through as far as the pressure stuff and all that. I think it's cool, I think it would be really neat to meet him and I have a lot of respect for hockey players. Watching them train and how hard it is and how talented those guys are, how quick they can be -- their hand-eye coordination with passes and stuff is amazing to me. It's cool to meet guys like that for sure."

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