Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Joey Logano Eyes Three-Peat in Fall Talladega Race

By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor

Joey Logano’s season may not have gone quite to plan with his No. 22 team missing the playoffs, but heading into Sunday’s Alabama 500 at Talladega, Logano will look to play spoiler at the 2.66-mile track.

“I’m wired one way,” said Logano.  “I’ve got one gear and it’s wide-open.  That’s all I’ve got, so, for me, it keeps it pretty simple.  When I come to the superspeedways it’s go to the front and stay in the front, race hard, and I think that shows in our results.  We either win or we crash and I’m OK with that.  I’m OK with that.

“It’s all about winning.  That’s what we’re here to do and that’s what we’re gonna do is just to go out there and race for the win, and that means you’ve got to battle up front all day long, learn as much as you can about your car, get it as best as you can for the end of the race, know who is racing around you to go out there and try to win it.”

With stout horsepower from Roush-Yates Engines under the hood of his Ford, Logano has found himself at the front of the pack when the checkered flag flew in this race the last two seasons.

Along with his Team Penske teammate Brad Keselowski and fellow Ford drivers Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Kurt Busch, they have given the Blue Oval a decided advantage on the restrictor plate tracks in recent years, with the manufacturer winning nine of the last 12 restrictor plate races and five of the last six at Talladega.

In addition to the overall Ford success with their restrictor plate package as of late, Logano hasn’t been too shabby on the high-banked, high-speed tracks in recent years either. In 17 starts at Talladega, Logano has the two wins, as well as four top-five finishes, six top-10 finishes, 137 laps led, and an average finish of 19.5

Despite crashing out at Talladega back in May and at Daytona in July, Logano remains confident that his team can get the job done when it’s go time on Sunday.

“We’ve been able to kind of hone in on as our strengths when we come to the superspeedways, one, I think we have good cars,” Logano added.  “I think that’s important when we come to these tracks, and then you have to have good communication between yourself and your spotter, and try to make the right decisions when you’re out there.  When to push, when to make the big moves, when to maybe chill out a little bit and make sure you have something to race with at the end, the strategy of these races has come into play quite a few times and Todd has done a good job with that.  Without it sounding too basic, but those are the main things, I think, that make good speedway racers, knowing when to push and when not to is probably the key thing.  When to make those moves because every move comes with a risk and being able to weigh that risk and reward out in a tenth-of-a-second is the hardest part, but the most important part.”

Tags : , , , , ,

David Morgan is the Associate Editor for Motorsports Tribune. A 2008 graduate from the University of Mississippi, David has followed NASCAR since the early 90’s and became hooked at an early age after attending his first race at Talladega Superspeedway in 1993. He has traveled across the country since 2012 to cover some of the most prestigious events both IndyCar and NASCAR have to offer, with an aim to only expand on that in the near future.