Logano Captures Michigan NASCAR Sprint Cup Win


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JOEY LOGANO CAPTURES FIRST CUP WIN WITH FORD RACING AND PENSKE RACING

August 19, 2013: Joey Logano captured his first NSCS win of the season, taking the checkered flag at Michigan International Speedway for the first time. The win is also the first of the season for Penske Racing and first for the organization since rejoining Ford. The win gives Ford the first Michigan Heritage trophy, awarded to the winning manufacturer at MIS. The win completes a season sweep for Ford at Michigan International Speedway and is the third straight NSCS win for the manufacturer at the track. Ford has now won 34 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Michigan, most of any manufacturer. The win is the fourth of the season for Ford in NSCS.

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion (Finished 1st) – YOU CHASED DOWN MARK MARTIN, WHAT DID YOU FEEL IN THE CAR INCHING UP ON HIM? “I was trying to. I noticed he was lifting early because I was catching him on entry. He was able to pull me on exit. I wanted to get by him because I knew the 29 was fast too and trying to get the clean air on the Ford. It is so cool to be here in Victory Lane. It is crazy racing Mark Martin, my childhood hero, I was able to race against him in Pocono last year for the win. It is so cool racing against a guy like that. This is huge for our Chase hopes. We needed this to have a shot at getting in the Chase. We are close now but we can’t make any mistakes. This sure does help a lot.”

YOU ARE NOW THE SECOND WILD CARD ENTRY. YOU GOT MAXIMUM POINTS TODAY ALSO LEADING THE MOST LAPS. “That is pretty cool. I am pretty stoked right now. It means so much and so much to get Ford in Victory Lane here at Michigan. To win with RP here, that means so much too. I know he is running around here somewhere.”

TALK ABOUT THAT LAST RESTART. “When you are starting third on the inside lane you are pretty much in trouble. You can’t really do much. I was able to get a good run on the 29 and I took advantage of that opportunity. I knew if I followed him through turn one I was going to get freight trained and be pretty far back. It is just cool to be in Victory Lane.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion – WITH JOEY WINNING, THIS MUST BE A BITTER SWEET DAY FOR YOU. “Oh yeah, it is the same deal every week. The yellows fall exactly the wrong way to screw up our strategy. That can’t keep going that way. Its like Black Jack, you aren’t going to keep turning 15 or 16 on every hand. Eventually you are going to turn a good hand. We just didn’t catch it today.”

DO YOU THINK THERE WAS ANY CHANCE OF YOU MAKING IT IF YOU STAYED OUT? “Only if we had gotten another yellow and we didn’t. I guess we made the right call but I ain’t gonna like it.”

WE COULD HEAR IT ON THE RADIO BUT WALK US THROUGH YOUR MIND WHEN YOU ARE HAVING TO HAVE THAT DISCUSSION. “You just know you don’t have a chance to win. We were leading the race and one yellow with the way track position racing is right now, one yellow can either win you the race or lose you the race. That really sucks.”

AT THIS POINT WAS THE IDEA TO GET THE POINTS YOU COULD? “That is pretty much it. That is all you can do. Get the points you can and move on to next week. I think we gained some at least on a few guys.”

JOEY WINNING PROBABLY HURTS YOU IN THE POINTS SITUATION, AT LEAST IN TERMS OF WILD CARD? “He was quite a ways behind me. I am not looking at Wild Card, I want to make my way into the top-10.”

GREG BIFFLE, No. 16 3M Ford Fusion – “We bumped the 2 coming out of the pits in that scramble at the end and hurt the left front fender. That might have been some of our problem. Our cars are way, way better out front than they are in traffic. That is really tough for us.”

MARCOS AMBROSE, No. 9 Dewalt Ford Fusion – “It was a good day. We ran in the top-10 for a lot of the day and it was a better day for us. I am proud of Drew for calling a great race. He kept me out at the right times, pitted me at the right time, took 2 and 4 at the right times. I will give him credit for this one. He got us up there with track position and we were able to hold on.”

JOEY LOGANO, TODD GORDON, ROGER PENSKE POST RACE PRESS CONFERENCE

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion (Finished 1st) – “We are getting closer to the Chase. This was a hard fought win throughout the whole 22 Penske team. We have gone through a lot this season and it is well deserved. Todd Gordon and all the guys gave me a great car today that was capable of winning and they kept tuning it in and getting it a little better and keeping me up front with the right strategy. It was up to me on the last restart and I had to be very aggressive to get by the 29 and do what I had to do and here we are. What a great place to win and a great time to win being in Ford’s back yard and coming up to the Chase like this. Being in Roger’s back yard it was a great opportunity for me and I am glad we delivered.”

TODD GORDON, crew chief, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion – TALK ABOUT THE STRATEGY TODAY. “It started on Friday. The race team did a fabulous job and Joey did a great job. Sitting on the pole on Friday got us a good pit stall and allowed us to make different calls and maintain track position. Clean air plays a lot of big deal here. Joey drove his butt off here. Once we got to the last stop he did some awesome things on the track. I am proud of this race team.”

ROGER PENSKE, owner, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Fusion – MICHIGAN HOLDS A SPECIAL PLACE IN YOUR HEART. TALK ABOUT WHAT THIS WIN MEANS. “As I go back 30 years or so at this track this is one of the biggest wins. With Joey coming on board and his first win in the Shell Pennzoil car and our relationship now with Ford. It is my home state, home track and Detroit is my city. You couldn’t put it all together like we did today. To have Joey on board with Brad it is a team effort. Todd and Paul Wolfe is a team effort. Brad even said today that Joey had a better car and they want to put a couple of his setups on. They are working together and it is a team effort. I want to thank Jamie Allison and Raj here for the support Ford is giving us. We have been lacking on delivering what we said we would deliver when they signed us up. It makes me feel pretty good that at least we can shake their hand in victory lane.”

JAMIE ALLISON, director, Ford Racing – TALK ABOUT BEING THE FIRST WINNER OF THE INAUGURAL MICHIGAN HERITAGE MANUFACTURERS TROPHY. “Obviously we are very honored to receive the first manufacturers trophy. It is special. Every win is special but to win here in front of our employees and fans and with our team just makes it even more important. With me here is our vice president of product development, Raj Nair, who without his support we at Ford can’t provide the tools and technical support our teams need to excel on the track.”

RAJ NAIR, vice president, product development Ford Motor Company – “It is always great to win at home. I want to thank Joey. We have such great partners with Roger and Penske Racing and Roush Yates. Winning at home in a Ford Fusion is our dream and thanks to great partners we have.”

JOEY, A LOT OF THINGS CAN CHANGE BUT HOW DO YOU APPROACH THE NEXT THREE RACES NOW? “I think the key is being consistent. It is something Todd and I talk about before each weekend on how we will approach the weekend and how aggressive we need to be. We decided we needed a win a couple of weeks ago. So we got one. That is what we wanted to do. We should decide to get more wins. Maybe we will win more. We were trying to figure out how aggressive we needed to be and I am sure it is a conversation we will have this week. As long as we are consistent and keep knocking off top-10’s like this team has been doing, if we get another win yeah it will really help us but it is definitely a great help for our Chase hopes. I also want to say to Lisa and Paul and Heidi, I met them a year ago to talk about getting into this car and it just is kind of ironic a year later here we are in victory lane and getting a pole. Thank you for taking a chance with me.”

TODD, HOW MUCH DID YOU CHANGE THE CAR FROM FRIDAY TO TODAY TO ENSURE YOU HAD WHAT TURNED OUT TO BE AS MARVELOUS A RUN AS YOU GOT? “We definitely had two different packages, a qualifying and race package. Fortunately for us with the way Friday practice rolled out we started out in race package and had good speed. There are definitely different parts to it. This Gen 6 car has kind of created more separation there and you need two packages, one that goes fast for qualifying and one that races really well and I think Joey did a great job with that today.”

JOEY, THE WAY YOU STARTED IN MARCH WITH THE HAMLIN THING AND GOING THROUGH THAT AND THE UPS AND DOWNS OF THE POINTS, HAS IT MADE YOU MORE BATTLE TESTED FOR THE STRETCH RUN? “If that doesn’t toughen you up, nothing does. This team has gone through a lot this season and there are other things we have gone through. They don’t quite. They keep pushing hard and we have to do that for years to come, not just the rest of this season or four races. We have to do it as long as we are together and hopefully that is a very long time. If we keep doing this it will be.”

ROGER, DID YOU FEEL LIKE YOU WERE TAKING A CHANCE ON JOEY WHEN YOU HIRED HIM? “As we look at drivers we do this in conjunction with our sponsors and obviously we had a little rough time with the first two drivers we had in the Shell Pennzoil car. I said to Lisa Davis and the team that I wanted to make the right choice here. I think that as Joey said, it was a year ago that he had a chance to meet with the Shell and Pennzoil people. We knew he was young, had been a winner, was focused and wanted to race. I think those are the things that made the difference for us. I can tell you that Brad was a key part of that because I can see that these two guys are working together and it makes a huge difference because they play off each other and are pushing each other. That is key. You have to have that chemistry. It is the same thing with Paul and Todd. Paul got a lot of notoriety last year and Todd was there listening and watching and today they are working hand in glove. It was the right move. We are investing in the future and we have two young drivers we would match with anybody today. We are looking long term. This isn’t about one race at Michigan, it is about the future.”

JOEY LOGANO CONTINUED -- “It was a no brainer for me. All you have to do is walk through the shop once and meet Roger and guys that work there and the Shell Pennzoil folks. It is an amazing opportunity to have a fresh start and working with my idol, Roger Penske. He is an amazing person and he impresses me everyday how he does so much and such a great job at it. To be working for a guy like that was a very, very easy decision for me. I feel like all the questions were answered as soon as we started. I feel like before we got to Daytona we knew it was the right call. Right off the bat we had speed in our cars. I haven’t second guessed anything since I signed that contract.”

ROGER PENSKE CONTINUED – “Joey was in no-man’s land there really. Gibb’s wanted to keep him. I have to thank J.D. and Joe because they asked me to wait a couple weeks which we did. His dad played a big part in this too. Fathers who are race drivers, there are all sorts of stories, but he has been a great supporter of ours and stood by us when we were having some trouble and it has been a great team effort. I take my hat off to his dad and mom, they have a great son.”

JAMIE ALLISON CONTINUED -- THE STORYLINES IN JUNE WERE ABOUT WHAT WAS WRONG WITH FORD. WHAT HAS CHANGED? WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW? “As Joey just alluded to, if you look at the first five or six races of the season, the final restart of every race in the first five races a Ford was on the front row in the final restart. You can’t be on the front row of the final restart in the first five races without having speed in your car. Clearly the team had speed and the season is long. There are all sorts of circumstances that create a lack of performance. The Gen 6 car certainly we have had to do a little more diligent preparation and diligent work on understanding how to race in that type of a vehicle. Ultimately at the end of the day, we at Ford Motor Company, had fait in the elements that we support our teams with, the engines, design of the body and all other elements around race strategy. We belived those pieces were being used by our teams to compliment and add their value add to prepeare their cars to show up at the race track, qualify and race and make great calls. That is a long way of saying that although the results have not been there and there have been circumstances where we have not had the opportunity to show the capability of the program, we felt we had a lineup of great teams, drivers and the ability to perform. We feel if you look at the last two races, you see there some momentum returning to the Ford camp across all our teams. You see what is going on with RPM, circumstantially at Watkins Glen and how strong they were. Roush the last few weeks and Penske. We feel the Ford camp is strong and gaining momentum and how nice is it to be gaining the momentum at the right time of season. The last couple of seasons Ford drivers have led the regular season in points. We haven’t had the results we expect in the Chase. This time around maybe we won’t be leading the points coming into the Chase and hopefully we end up with different results.”

ROGER PENSKE CONTINUED – “I want to jump in here. One of the things I remember reading was that the Ford teams were not working together. It took probably half the season to get open communication with Roush on both sides. Today, Joey can look at the traces on the Roush cars and vice versa and qualifying and race setups. There is good cross-pollination and transparency which I think is also paying good benefits to us. Also, we had to understand the engine program and some of the things there. Overall it is strong and obviously Roush brings a lot to the table and we are trying to be 50-50 here. We had some tough breaks and obviously dinged our drivers with 25 and 30 points because of the axle situation back after Texas. Overall, I am glad to get the momentum now and I think we started to get to the Chase last year and got better. I feel like the teams are coming together and see if we can’t get into the Chase with both cars. It is still a real wild card with how close the points are.”

YOU WERE CHASING ONE OF YOUR HEROES, MARK MARTIN. DO YOU THINK YOU COULD HAVE CAUGHT HIM IF HE HADN'T RUN OUT OF FUEL? ROGER, WHO IS EASIER TO HANDLE, JOEY OR BRAD? “I can't wait to hear that answer (laughter). No, I mean, it's kind of ironic. In Pocono last year, racing for a win against Mark Martin, my childhood hero, who I can honestly say I wouldn't be sitting here today without him. Yeah, I would never want to race against someone else. It was a lot of fun to race against him. Could I have passed him? I don't know. I was able to catch him a little bit. The way these cars are, as you get closer to him, your car is going to start handling worse. I really felt like he was going to run out of gas when Todd told me he was two to three laps short. Originally he was seven laps short, when the 55 came out of the pits. So I knew that in the back of my head. So I really thought I was racing the 29 car the whole time, doing whatever I got to do to make sure the 29 stays behind me, keep momentum up. If I was able to get to the 55 and try to pass him, that would have given the 29 a huge run, probably would have passed me, 55 would have run out of gas, I wouldn't be sitting here. I had to play that smart, look seven or ten laps ahead, play that as smart as I could.”

ROGER PENSKE CONTINUED: “I guess the two guys are working close together. I get a race report from Joey, very specific. I get a list from Brad of what we need to do with the car. I put those two together and I guess it's working.”

JOEY LOGANO CONTINUED: CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE RESTART. IT REALLY LOOKED LIKE YOU MADE A PRETTY BIG MOVE AT THE BOTTOM. TALK ABOUT THE AGGRESSION AND THE FORCEFULNESS OF WHAT THAT MOVE LOOKED LIKE FROM THE OUTSIDE. “To answer your first question, basically when it's go time, it's go time. That is when everybody is going to pick it up a notch, including myself. The 55, he spun his tires a little bit on the restart, which made the 29 have to check up because he can't beat him to the line. That's a tough situation as the inside car 'cause he had to check up, which gave me the run because he had to check up. I timed it just perfectly that when I got to his back bumper, right at the start/finish line, I could pull out a line and almost try to surprise him, get down there that quick that he can't block me in time, side draft and pull him back in the apron. Make sure you can come back up off of two, I didn't successfully do that. 78 got by me. I was able to run down the 78, pass him. You just have to go aggressive. That's what you have to do to win these things. You just got to show that you want it more than them. It was a race‑winning move.”

HOW AGGRESSIVE A MOVE WAS IT? WAS THAT OUT OF THE ORDINARY? “I didn't feel like we were going to wreck by doing it. Yes, it was aggressive. But it's game time, you know. I'm here to win. I'm going to do what I got to do.”

ROGER, CAN YOU TALK ABOUT CERTAINLY BRAD IS EIGHTH IN THE POINTS RIGHT NOW. WITHOUT THAT WIN, HE'S KIND OF STILL IN A TIGHT SITUATION. HOW DO YOU FEEL THAT TEAM IS? “As far as the 2 team, obviously they've had some very good runs. Probably the Sonoma thing hurt them a lot. We had a poor run there. Brad almost won last week. I think we're eighth in the points. But it's going to be finishing in the top 10for both these guys here the next three races if they're going to get in the Chase. I'd have to say we're on the bubble with both guys. I feel good about the momentum. What we got to do is execute. There's a lot of drivers that are going to be vying for the two wild card spots, obviously be in the top 10.”

FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE WEEKEND, BOTH IN QUALIFYING AND RACE, JOEY HAD A DOMINANT CAR. ESPECIALLY FOR THE CHASE RACES, ARE YOU PLANNING TO DO MORE DEVELOPMENT FOR THE GEN‑6 CARS? IF SO, WHICH ARE AREAS YOU CAN STILL IMPROVE?

ROGER PENSKE CONTINUED: “I think that everybody brings their best game to the Chase. There's no question we're working on aero. Doug Yates and Ford are working on more power. Every week we're trying something new. I think we need to get the reliability, which is going to be key. If you look at the drivers who are up in the points, they've had reliability. We need to keep that. I mentioned the list that Brad gives us. Every week we have seven or eight things we try to do. That's one of the benefits of having a two‑car team. We can make changes so much faster than if you have three or four cars. I think that's an advantage we'll have in the Chase, if we catch on something we think is meaningful and it's a speed opportunity for us.”

JAMIE ALLISON CONTINUED: “Echoing what Roger is saying, this is big‑time racing. Every team is working on preparation, upgrade specifications to prepare for the Chase. Obviously on the Ford side with the Roush‑Yates engines, continuous development on making sure we have the right specification for the right tracks into the Chase. Obviously aero, aero, aero. We know these Gen‑6 cars are highly sensitive to aero. A lot of work through our CFD analysis to make sure we understand how these cars behave obviously by themselves and in the race. Also race craft and race strategy. There's a whole host of things that one prepares for to enter the playoff version of the season. The short answer is, absolutely, we're prepared for the Chase.”

ROGER PENSKE CONTINUED: “One of the things I think is going to be important as we go into the Chase is that NASCAR takes a look at the cars that have been submitted and just see how far, as they've made rule changes over the last, what, 20 some races I guess it is, how close are these cars. It's hard to tell. Once you've had a car for three or four years, you have a pretty good idea where we are. I think there's lots of discussions by teams and manufacturers about, Where are we? As they take our engines and cars to the tech center, I think a good aerodynamic look will make a big difference going into the Chase so we have a level playing field. That's going to be important.”

JOEY, YOU TOUCHED ON YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH MARK MARTIN GROWING UP. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR CURRENT RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM AND DID YOU SPEAK TO HIM AFTER THE RACE? JOEY LOGANO CONTINUED: “I have not got to see him after the race. It becomes a whirlwind after you win, all the interviews and stuff you got to do. I haven't gotten to talk to him yet. Obviously he's been a huge help in my career, like I said earlier. It's good to be out there racing against him still. There is a wealth of knowledge from doing this for so long, being in this sport for so long. You can gain a lot of experience and learn a lot of things from him. He's a cool guy to have on your side and be out there running door‑to‑door with.”

YOU HAVE A FEW TOP‑10 FINISHES COMING INTO THIS RACE. BEFORE YOU GOT SOME CONSISTENCY GOING, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR SEASON, ITS FIRST 19 RACES? JOEY LOGANO CONTINUED: “A rollercoaster to say the least. We've been very strong, even the beginning part of the season we had some issues, was able to work through that and found or consistency, got all the way up to 10th in points a few races ago. We had two straight 40th‑place finishes with a couple tire issues that we had at Daytona and Loudon. From there it's been okay. We've had four straight top 10s since then, including a win today. We have to keep that momentum going. Just goes to show, as long as nothing goes wrong, knock on wood, we've been pretty good. We've had some good speed in our cars and been in the top 10. We have to keep that momentum and that consistency for the next few races.”

ROGER, IF YOU HAD TO COMPARE JOEY LOGANO TO ANOTHER OF THE GREAT DRIVERS THAT YOU'VE HAD THROUGHOUT YOUR ENTIRE CAREER, WHO WOULD THAT DRIVER BE AND WHY? ROGER PENSKE CONTINUED: “Well, it's so difficult. We've had so many great drivers. I think I answered the question the same way before. I really focus on the drivers we have today. They earned the right to race for our team, represent our company and our employees. Joey fits the mold. He reminds me a little bit of Rick Mears. Understated, stands on the gas. I can just see him maturing. As he come to our team, he had a great opportunity with Gibbs. I watched him. He beat the hell out of us in the Nationwide so many races. We knew he knew how to win. I think giving him a chance to come with us, he's just matured and he's exactly what we expected. As you saw today, he's not afraid to stand on the gas when it counts.”

JAMIE, FORD'S NAME IS THE FIRST TO BE PLACED ON THE MICHIGAN HERITAGE TROPHY. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO FORD? WHAT WILL YOU DO TO LET THE PUBLIC KNOW THIS HAS OCCURRED? JAMIE ALLISON CONTINUED: “Well, certainly we think it's a great idea to have this trophy now (smiling). We're going to let the public know that we're the inaugural winners. We haven't quite decided how we're going to make use of that. I think it's a tremendous opportunity to reinvigorate the competition between the manufacturers as well. We take a lot of pride in where we place as manufacturers. We're proud to have this home win and keep this trophy till next June. It will be important you win that August race so you can keep the trophy longer.”

EARLIER YOU WERE ASKED ABOUT SOME ADVERSITY YOU FACED THIS SEASON, BEING IN THE 'BAD GUY' ROLE. DID IT BOTHER YOU AND DID YOU SEEK OUT ANY ADVICE TO GET THROUGH THAT TOUGH STRETCH? JOEY LOGANO CONTINUED: “Yes and no. Obviously when you go on Twitter and read that everyone hates you, it doesn't make you too excited to read something like that. I know who I am. I know I did the right thing. I'm confident in myself. There's no regrets for any of that. I can't control what everybody thinks about me. I know the people that really know me know how I am. You can put that stuff behind you. I just race like I always have. I didn't change a thing. That's what has got me here and is going to keep me here, keep me winning races. No, I really tried not to let it bother me at all. Sometimes it's easier than other times. For the most part I had a good support group around me to get me through stuff like that. Obviously having a great team and running well answers everybody.”

ROGER, BOTH YOUR GUYS ARE ON THE BUBBLE TO MAKE THE CHASE. CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHERE MAKING THE CHASE RANKS AS FAR AS WHETHER IT'S A SUCCESSFUL SEASON OR NOT. WHAT TYPE OF ADVICE ARE YOU GIVING YOUR GUYS OVER THE NEXT THREE WEEKS? ROGER PENSKE CONTINUED: “Well, I'd have to say we're all here to make the Chase, win the championship. We've had cars in the Chase continuously almost since the beginning. It would be a disappointment if we didn't. I understand we put ourselves behind in Texas. But I think the success that we've had, we've been competitive, we've forged a new relationship with Ford Motor Company, which will be a long‑term relationship. I think Joey has forged a relationship with Shell‑Pennzoil. At the end of the day I have to look at the glass is half full. To me that's important. I guess we'll look at the scoreboard in three more races and find out whether it's been a success or not. But I'm going to tell our guys to do what they've been doing, work smart, bring their car home. Same thing I told Hornish as he sits there where he is now in the Nationwide. He's got a win now. Believe me, he's got to continue. That's what we've got to do here in the next three races.”

JAMIE ALLISON CONTINUED: “I know this is Cup. I would be remiss if I didn't have a mention about what's going on in Nationwide. We have top‑level teams competing for championships. Somebody asked earlier what's wrong with Ford. NASCAR is made up of all these series. In one of the series, Ford is stellar, won 10 out of the 20 races, team owners, points, drivers, manufacturers. It just shows the potential, the capability of this combined strength of this team sitting right here. The ability is there. The capability is there. It's the same people who work on these cars. We're prepared for a brighter future in Cup.

GIVEN THESE LAST THREE RACES, WHAT DO YOU DO? WHAT IS YOUR STRATEGY GOING INTO THOSE FINAL THREE TO KEEP HIM IN FIGHTING FORM? TODD GORDON CONTINUED: “We will start out with a test tomorrow. We're in Richmond tomorrow. We came out with kind of an aggressive testing program leading up into the Chase. When we identified we were going to be in the bubble position with both race teams, I don't feel there's been a separation of effort. Roger talked about it before, but we race as one team with two cars. I get everything Paul does and Paul gets everything I do. The effort has been completely behind both of us. We'll continue to focus on closing up the 17 points we need to 10th, and that starts tomorrow with a test at Richmond and on to Bristol. If you look at the races coming up, we ran really well at Bristol in the spring before an altercation. We ran well at Richmond. But we saw that as an opportunity to take running well to how do we make victories again.”

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