Ford Performance NASCAR: Joey Logano Wins Kansas, Advances to Championship 4

JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Mustang -- FINISHED 1st - YOU PICKED A GREAT DAY TO HAVE A GREAT DAY WITH YOUR FIRST WIN SINCE THE PANDEMIC. WALK US THROUGH THOSE LAST 40 LAPS AND THE BATTLE WITH KEVIN HARVICK: “You gotta want it, man. What an amazing team this Shell Pennzoil team is. I am worn out. I spent more time in the mirror than I did in the windshield there. Pit stops got us positions and got us the lead. The 4 was fast, real fast, especially down the straightaways. I thought if I could hold him off the first 15 laps that I would have a chance. Dirty air was the best for us. As we caught lap traffic I was able to gap ourselves as he got more dirty air and I was able to draft somebody because I was a little slow down the straightaway. Man, I am exhausted after that. We are going to Phoenix and racing for a championship again. Heck yeah!”

HOW MUCH OF THAT WAS ON YOUR MIND AS YOU WERE BATTLING KEVIN EVERY LAP THAT THIS WAS YOUR SHOT TO MAKE IT TO PHOENIX? “Yeah, it is on your mind every lap. You come into this race knowing that if you can win this thing you have an amazing advantage. The same thing happened in 2018 when we raced for the win at Martinsville knowing that we have two races to battle for nothing but the championship. I can’t believe it. Especially the way the beginning of the race was going and running back there not scoring stage points. It was a good strategy by Paul and good pit stops and now this Shell Pennzoil Mustang is going to race for a championship at Phoenix.”

PAUL WOLFE, crew chief, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Mustang -- “You know, we didn’t have the speed we were hoping for early on and we were fighting the balance pretty bad. One of the things we did talk about was how good that pit crew is. With a good pit stop there at the end, a two-tire call to get some track position back and our car was reasonable at that point. Those guys put 4 tires on at the end and got us off pit road first and that was really the key.”

GETTING THIS WIN FREES YOU UP SO MUCH FOR PHOENIX. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU? “It is huge. This is a tough three weeks. Especially with the 4 and the 11 having so many points coming into this. We were already behind the cut line. It was going to be tough without scoring a lot of stage points to do it without winning. Obviously, we were able to do that today. We won Phoenix earlier this year and have a lot of confidence in our short track program. Now it gives us two weeks to kind of take a deep breath and really focus on that car and what we need to do to win that championship.”

WHAT WAS IT LIKE WATCHING YOUR DRIVER THAT LAST RUN THERE AND HOW HARD HE HAD TO WORK TO KEEP THE 4 BEHIND HIM? “It was tough. The 4 had a lot of speed. He definitely seemed to have more trimmed out speed than we did. We ran pretty much wide open that whole last run. We knew if we could fight him off for 10 of 15 laps that the 4 would have to start lifting some amount. He did start struggling and it was enough to get us to victory lane.”

KEVIN HARVICK, No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Mustang-- (FINISHED 2nd)  WHAT MORE DID YOU NEED TO GET BY JOEY LOGANO? “We just needed to get off of pit road first. It came down to controlling that restart and we lost the lead there on the restart and wound up trying to battle and didn’t get the lead on the restart but just really, really fast Jimmy John’s Ford Mustang. All our guys did a great job and we had a fast car, we moved all over the race track and we weren’t the best behind somebody but I had a lot of options as they made the car better towards the end of the race. It was a good run for us. I wish we could have one, but we were one short.”

JOEY JUST SAID HE WAS WATCHING THE MIRROR MORE THAN AHEAD OF HIM. WERE YOU TRYING TO GO LOW? “I was a little bit tighter low. I needed the lap cars to time out well. Joey is a good blocker.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Ford Mustang-- (FINISHED 4th) “You know, here and Texas are two tracks we were nervous about. We were really fast all day, we just didn’t quite have enough there at the end. I feel like if we would have had the lead we could have won but it just wasn’t in the cards today.”

IT SEEMED YOU WERE PRETTY MUCH THE EQUAL OF THE CARS IN FRONT OF YOU, WAS IT JUST ABOUT TRACK POSITION? “Yeah, the last two stops there I just lost a little bit and all in all it was a really solid day. If we keep running like that we will get a win and we will move on to Phoenix.”

 

Ron Fleshman

RIS NASCAR Editor.  Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.

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Volume 2020, Issue 10, Posted 8:03 PM, 10.18.2020