Sunday, November 6, 2022
An Interview with:
THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, Joey Logano, driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford. We’ll go straight to questions.
There was never a doubt in your mind; what was it like during the race? You pretty much dominated.
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, we had a good car, and I told the guys, after we put it on the pit the other day: We got them down; now we put our foot on them.
That’s the attitude you’ve got to have. It’s just what it is when it comes to this level. Your feelings are checked at the door, and it’s all about winning and nothing less than that.
When you get this far, I said it all week, we weren’t satisfied with being in the Championship 4. There was nothing to celebrate for us. We’ve been here before. We know what it feels like to lose. It’s the worst feeling in the world, if I’m being honest, and winning is the best feeling in the world.
It’s great to be able to accomplish it. I said that this was revenge for 2020. It certainly was. Something that’s going to stick with me for a while.
Just super proud of this race team, super proud of everybody on it, not just the 22 team but everybody that puts a bunch of effort into this. You think of everyone at Team Penske, everyone at Roush Yates, everyone at Shell and Pennzoil and Ford and everybody that really supports us and not just them but their families.
You guys know how it is. You’re gone and you’re on the road all year long, it’s a grind. If you have kids, your spouse is pretty much raising your kids alone. It’s hard. It’s not just for me that way, it’s everybody that’s on this whole series all year long, in hopes that you win a championship.
I found out in 2018 — I say it all the time. I found out in 2018 how big the team really is, and I carry that weight with me now, knowing how big it is and the impact it makes on their families.
A lot more gifts under the Christmas tree now, so I’m excited about this.
You’re now a two-time champion; there’s only one other active multi-time champion. What’s the significance of having a second now and chasing more?
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, it’s great. I guess I haven’t really put much thought into it yet. It’s awesome to hear it.
I guess the greed in me feels like I should have four or five at the moment, so I guess the feeling is it’s about time. But that’s just how I am and how I work, I guess.
This one is special for a lot of reasons, and one thing that I think probably stands out most to me is just the way Paul did it and we all did it together all the way through.
I feel like that’s probably one of the most special things. When we won in Vegas, we sat down Monday and started coming up with a meeting agenda, a bunch of meeting agendas that we can go over and reviewing film together as a team, going through pit stops, reviewing, rolling times on pit road, all these little subcategories that happened and making sure the details are all in the right place.
That was the difference maker. We knew we would have a fast race car, and we knew we’d make those decisions and we’d be close because we had plenty of time to really go through all that, and we weren’t bad here in the spring.
But we knew details were going to be the difference of winning and losing. We had the advantage this two and a half weeks to really work together and do that.
It’s a grind. I’m telling you right now it’s a grind the last two and a half weeks. This is all we thought about. You put everything else — any other distraction gets put to the side. And it’s tough for everybody. It’s tough for everyone’s families. But you have to. You can’t waste the opportunity that’s here in front of us.
All the way through the weekend, when it came to practice and waiting for qualifying, we were in Paul’s bus at 6:00 in the morning going through things. That’s what we all did as a group together.
We were in there this morning at 7:00 going over stuff to make sure we were prepared for today. We made sure that there was no stone unturned when it came to preparing for this race. When you saw how confident I was and my team was, it’s because we were truly ready.
You can’t fake confidence. You can maybe show it a little bit, but truly deep down inside, you have to believe that if you’re going to be ready for this battle ahead of you.
I never felt more ready, and a lot of credit goes to Paul, for taking the time and the effort and forcing us to do it together as a team.
There’s plenty of crew chiefs that are up that early. I get it. But they’re not doing it together with their whole team, and I think that’s the difference maker for us.
- I know you were close with the JGR family prior to 2013. Given the tragedy earlier today, what were your emotions when you found out?
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, I mean, I found out before the race, and I still honestly don’t know the details of anything. It’s such an interesting spot as you sit there preparing to run a championship race and then you hear somebody that has been in your life, known for a while — and I still don’t know the details, but it’s just sad. I don’t have words to explain how that is.
I feel for Ty more than anything. When you take all the championship racing stuff out, it doesn’t matter at the end of the day. It’s great that we’re up here and we won a championship, but something happens to your family, it doesn’t matter. Like that’s the difference.
For the whole sport, it’s a sad day. For me, it’s a bittersweet type of thing because here we are winning a championship, and here we are one of the people that’s a leader in our sport and someone I’ve known for a while is gone, and I don’t really know how to explain that and how hard that is.
Obviously our prayers and thoughts go to the Gibbs family and everyone over at JGR. When you think they’ve had a rough run at it, I couldn’t imagine how Joe feels right now.
Yeah, I don’t really know what else to say. It’s hard. I couldn’t imagine. I don’t know what it’s like. But for Ty to lose his dad, that’s just hard.
Roger was in here, he said that when Brad was leaving, he told you that you’re now the veteran, you’re in charge, you’ve got to step up. What did you do to meet that request of his?
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, I wouldn’t say it’s just me stepping up. I feel like Blaney stepped up a lot, and Austin is a good leader right off the bat, too, with this Next-Gen car.
Yes, my experience is valuable because I’ve been here a long time and I know how things work and I know how the sport works and all those type of things. That’s all well and good. But I had to unlearn a lot of things when it came to the race car itself.
I feel like we — I’m not the type of leader that wants to be on a pedestal above everybody and say, hey, I’ve been here the longest, listen to me.
It’s not how I do it, it’s not how Paul does it, it’s not what I think is best.
I feel like the best way a lot of times is to really get everyone’s opinion and gather it and form your own opinion; and if it’s something you feel truly strong about, you fight for it.
And then as a team, that’s what I want: I want my teammates as drivers to voice their opinions and put something together. When we feel like something is right, we form one voice together.
Same thing all the way through it, from TC all the way down. That’s what we want as a race team.
That means there’s hard conversations that just have to happen. That’s good to have. As a leader, together, that’s okay with me. I’m fine with the tough conversations. I love tough conversations. They’re better, if you ask me. That’s what you need. That’s where growth comes from. It doesn’t come from shoving things underneath the rug.
This is great, and that’s what — this is where the hard conversations happen, when they come to championships at the end of the day. And when you think of what Penske was able to do this year as a team, winning an INDYCAR championship and a Cup championship in the same year, never been done before, that’s a really special thing.
I don’t know what they have planned for this one, but I’m sure it’s going to be a fun off-season for us.
As you referenced, on a day that Ty loses his father, your son got to walk with you to go get the checkered flag, get in the car, do donuts, ride to Victory Lane and be a part of the celebration. What does it mean to be able to do that with your son and the perspective that it happens on a day like this with fathers and sons?
JOEY LOGANO: That just goes to prove that you’ve got to cherish every moment in life. You don’t know when the next one happens. You don’t know when your number is called. You just don’t.
We always say God has a plan. I agree with that, but it doesn’t make it easier.
So there’s definitely — it’s challenging for a lot. For me having Hudson with me — we left Jameson and Emilia at home just because this time change was — we tried to make this happen. We really did. Knowing that we won a few weeks ago, we tried to put them on West Coast time.
Turns out Jameson wakes up at 5:00 a.m. no matter what time you put him to sleep. You can put him to bed at 10:00 or 6:30; he wakes up at 5:00 a.m. He’s a machine. We said, You know what? You’re staying, bud. Love you.
Hudson can sleep in a little bit, so that’s good, so we brought him along.
Honestly, ever since Kevin took Keelan in Michigan for a ride in the car, I said, I want to do that. Like I always wanted to do that just because, I don’t know, it’s cool.
Hudson and I, like he’s my oldest and we have a connection there, and he’s four. The two-year-old, it’s a little harder to get there. As you get older, you get to a point where you see their interest and stuff, and how do you — every night before he goes to bed he wants to talk about race cars and he wants to talk about his go-kart in the backyard, and we have a connection of — shoot, we read car magazines. That’s his bedtime story. He wants to go through classic car magazines.
So he’s into it. We kind of share — he’s just a little me. I see so much of me in him, it’s kind of funny.
Like I said, I always dreamed of winning with him here because I always wanted to take him for a ride. We’d go for rides in hotrods all the time together, and it’s definitely not the first donuts we’ve done together.
But the first time in a race car, well — on the racetrack. It’s the first time on a racetrack that we got to do donuts together. That’s just cool, to see him running up there, grabbing the checkered flag, that’s — it’s hard to explain.
If you have kids, you understand the love that you have for them. It’s truly unconditional love. To see him smiling and celebrate the moment together, it’s truly the most awesome feeling.
And the fact that we can talk about it, right. The first time I won it, he was like nine months old. He didn’t know which way was up, could barely hold his head up. Now to see him running up there and grabbing the flag and going for a ride with me, couldn’t have picked a better race to do that for the first time.
When you were doing the donuts, I’m sure you looked over at him, so what did you see? What was his face reaction, and did it look that much more different than any other donuts? As a father, what was it like to do that with your son, and what did you see?
JOEY LOGANO: Well, the race cars are a little louder than our Fox-body at home. So that’s his favorite car. We have a ’91 Fox-body Mustang. He loves that car. It’s got a big ole supercharged motor in it and it does some great donuts, and that’s good.
And exhaust comes out the back, and it’s not that loud, everything is okay — it is loud, but it comes out the back, it’s okay, the windows are up. This thing is a little louder, and the exhaust is right there. Like, Hold your ears, hang on. So we did some gentle donuts together.
He’s so funny because he’s so quiet, and then when you get him home, and especially before bedtime when he’s trying to stay awake for an extra 30 minutes, that’s when he becomes the most talkative.
That’s the same as I was. I know I’m long-winded tonight, but I was a shy little kid that always had my head in my dad’s leg all the time when I was around people, and same thing with him.
It’s been since 1968 and 1969 since Ford has had a two-time Cup Series championship under their brand. I was wondering what that means to you to bring that back to their wheelhouse.
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, like I said, this championship, it takes an army and it’s everybody, and Ford is a big player in this and how we all work together.
Like I said, it takes a lot, and Ford’s engineers and the design process of designing this Next Gen body and all the things that go along with that, it’s been a grueling couple years for them and making sure they do it correctly to where we can go out there and compete for a championship. That’s what the hopes are for.
They brought a great Mustang for us. To be able to say we won a couple championships together driving a Ford, yeah, I take pride in that, absolutely. We did it together.
That’s why it means so much sitting here today. The relationships that you make over the years in this sport, they mean so much. With you guys or with your team members or with your sponsors, you care about everybody. It’s a special group that we all are.
To have a sponsor with Shell and Pennzoil that has been with me over the last 10 years and for many years to come, and Ford with Roger and everyone at Team Penske, I take a lot of pride in that because it means you have to do it correctly.
The short-term deals don’t work out for many reasons, and when you can make them work for a long time, it means you’re doing business correctly and you’re treating people fair, and that’s what it’s about. It’s all about a fair deal.
I feel like everyone is treated fairly and that’s why everyone is happy and that’s why we can win races together.
I know you had your moment with your son in the car, but how do you celebrate a second Cup championship, and is it different from the first?
JOEY LOGANO: I mean, it’s definitely — it feels a little different, if I’m being honest. It definitely feels a little different.
But it still feels really special. What I remember of the first championship was the moment when you get out of the car and you see everybody for the first time. That’s the most special moment of the whole thing.
I knew it was going to be this time. Last time it was a surprise. I didn’t know, like, oh — now seeing your team, seeing your wife, your kids, your mom, your dad, like just all that stuff for the first time and celebrating together and really taking a moment to really enjoy that, even more so than we did last time, I was conscious about that because it’s the best moment.
That first 10 minutes is the best. There’s just nothing like it. It’s so hard to achieve it, and you just hope to have that feeling again.
Yeah, I took my time. I’m glad I did. Because, like I said, it’s just so tough to do.
You came into the Cup Series as a young rookie in 2009 looking for a Cup championship. Now you’re a multi-time champion, a father. How has your outlook and life and winning a championship changed and evolved over time?
JOEY LOGANO: I mean, just like everybody else. I’m no different than anybody else. As you get older, your perspective on life changes. When you’re a kid, you take all the risk with no consequences. You don’t think twice about anything.
As you get older, you start to realize what really matters in life and taking everything a lot more serious in everything you do and more just intentional about everything you do and why you do it and the things you say.
Because, listen, they’re watching me. Kids are watching me now. I make sure that they — I’m going to have to have a talk with Hudson and Jameson and Emilia one day about, yeah, dad screwed up a lot, and it’s all on TV now. When you’re going through YouTube, don’t do that. That’s not the right way to do it.
But I think being honest with them is important, but it is something that, as you get older, you start to think through things differently, and you become better.
I feel like I’ve never been a better race car driver than I am today. I’ve never been more committed about it, even with more — I don’t want to call it distractions, but more things going on in my life. I’ve never had more going on in my life than I do right now with three crazy kids at home and other businesses and just stuff.
To be able to juggle all that and prioritize all that has been the difference for me. And I honestly feel like all of it’s made me a better person altogether. Long ways to go, though. I’m not there yet; I can promise you that.
Perfect follow-up to what Jonathan was talking about. The big takeaway from this week has been your confidence, not just your inner confidence but the way that you’ve had this outward confidence this whole week where you feel like you’ve never wavered. What has this evolution with confidence been like for you? What was it about this week that kind of spurred that in you? You said you didn’t want to play any mind games and said, hey, we’re going to win this, and you were really consistent over the course of the last week.
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, it wasn’t meant to be mind games. You just asked me how I felt and I was honest, and I really felt like we were in a spot to win this thing.
I truly believe that attitudes are contagious, good or bad. And when you’re able to bring that attitude to your race team in a moment like this, as a driver there, that just carries through it.
I believe confident people win. If you don’t believe in yourself, who else is ever going to believe in you? How are you ever going to win?
But I also think you can’t fake that. I think of my first Championship 4 appearance, was I confident? No, I was a nervous wreck.
Are the nerves still there? Yeah, the nerves are still there. You don’t want to screw it up because you got this far. But I truly felt ready as a driver, and I felt like as a race team we went through everything we can possibly go through.
At that point the confidence is real. We’ve been here before. We knew how to do things. We knew how to prepare. We went out and just did our job. We put it on the pin and then we won the race. Like that was the job at hand, and we nailed it.
Like I said, I couldn’t be more proud of everybody doing that together, but we knew we were going to do it. Like that was where we were at. We had the time to think about it and go through things, and we felt truly ready. That’s a great feeling going into a battle like this.
Joey, Stage 2 was a little interesting there with the fuel mileage, obviously. Take me through the car and what was going through your mind as who knows if you saved enough fuel or not.
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, I was going off the information that they were telling me over the radio of have we saved enough or where are we at. These days with SMT and stuff, they can see what I’m doing inside the car. So they can see how much I’m lifting and shifting or not shifting or short shifting, whatever I was doing in there.
So they have a better way of calculating it, better than the old days, because they can — it’s not just, hey, I’m lifting, I don’t know, 100 feet or so, something like that, I’m going really fast because 100 feet goes by really quick. I don’t know. It’s hard to say sometimes.
But they can now see like where I’m actually lifting on the racetrack.
I just did what they told me to do. I wanted to stay in front of the 19, just for track position purposes. I wanted to make sure that we gave ourselves our best foot forward when it came to the next pit stop. Yeah, nothing too crazy throughout it.
In 2018 when you win your first championship, you welcome your son Hudson and then went on to win a championship and went through the emotions of that year. Now this year, right after the Clash, you and your wife give birth again, and once again you go through the whole emotions of winning another championship. What is that like, having to go through an entire season, when you have infants at home, and then maybe could they be good luck charms knowing you’ve won championships both seasons that you’ve welcomed new children?
JOEY LOGANO: That says that my hot-ass wife is a true bad-ass. That’s what it says. My bad-ass wife is what I should call her. My hot bad-ass wife; how’s that sound?
Yeah, it takes — I guess it’s hard at home right now. There’s a lot of sleepless nights at times. Shoot, I get to sleep at the racetrack, so it’s not as bad for me or as hard for me.
I don’t know if it’s a good luck thing or what it is, but it’s interesting that the years that we feel like we’re juggling the most and going through a transition at home have been successful years. Even 2020 we made the Championship 4; and like I said, I always feel like that race was the one that got robbed from us. We were in position to do everything correctly, and something not of our own doing cost us the win.
I don’t know what that is. I joked with Brittany: If we win, we might have to have another kid. But I don’t think so. I don’t think so (laughing). We might not do that. I think we’re good with three.
A little earlier you said you told your kids, the ones that are home, that you’d be home soon but first we’re going to party a little bit. What do you envision that looking like tonight, this week, before you get home?
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, I don’t know, honestly. It’s a lot going through here. I know I’m going to LA, so I guess I’m not going home anytime soon.
I actually don’t know the schedule at all, if I’m being honest. I know I’m going to LA. I don’t know when I get to go back home. I don’t know.
I know there’s something we’re doing tonight. I don’t know where that — I don’t know. I don’t know. I’m here right now, and at some point I’m going to get this sticky suit off, because there’s champagne all over it, and we’ll go from there.
I have no idea. I think I’m probably here for another couple hours before I — I think I asked you, how much longer am I here? Okay. At some point we’re going to party. I don’t know when that is yet or where. Somebody has it figured out.
I shouldn’t be the person that ever leads a party; I can tell you that much. I’m like the worst at partying. That might be a good thing. This isn’t as entertaining as Ben was last year. I’m sorry.
It’s not just your second championship, you just brought Paul Wolfe his second championship. I don’t think anybody would have thought it would take this long for Paul to get his second. How does that feel for you as a driver working with Paul and getting him that second championship?
JOEY LOGANO: I’m just happy for him. Paul wants it bad. Like I said, the way he was preparing, what he was doing, he put a lot on him over the last few weeks. I don’t know how he handles his pressure. Everyone kind of has their own way of what they do.
And I’m able to shut off when I go home. Paul is a lot quieter person than I am. If I get him to smile or cheer a little bit, I feel like I’ve really done something. I feel like he holds a lot of things inside, where I vent everything.
It’s been, I think, a tough few weeks for Paul and his family. Like I said, it’s hard. And the commitment that he put in the last couple weeks, I know his family sacrificed dad time and husband time to do this.
And so obviously I greatly appreciate that. And that’s why I’m so happy for him, because it takes a lot to do it, and hey, here we are.
I know how bad he wanted it. Once you win one of these things, you just want to win another one even worse. And he’s been close a few times since he won with Brad, so to bring that home with him is special.
A lot is being made about your confidence this week, but I remember actually before the Vegas playoff race you were telling us that you’re a favorite every week. It seems like you’ve had quite a bit of confidence all season long. Now, unfortunately, you haven’t won 36 races this year. I was curious about what kind of strategies you use to build your confidence back up after weeks when things maybe don’t go the right way.
JOEY LOGANO: That’s a great question, and it is — as an athlete, you have to mentally be strong. That’s the difference with, I think, an athlete from others is that they’re able to control their mind in high-pressure moments.
You only learn that over time your own way. You can’t be somebody else. I can’t be the next Jimmie Johnson or whoever. I can only be the best Joey.
There’s times that I’m so mad at myself from a mistake, and I make them, but you also got to look at mistakes as an opportunity to learn. Without taking risks to make mistakes, you don’t grow.
That to me has always been kind of, okay, I made a mistake, I’m stronger now, I’m smarter now, I learned from it, it’s over, I’m the best. Now I have another reason to be better. Now I know I am the best, right. I made that mistake, I’m not that bad anymore, so now I’ve got to be better.
A bit of it is preaching to yourself. A bit of it is using these moments when you’re talking to the media that you’re kind of preaching to yourself about it a little bit.
I always feel like media day is a day that mentally I click, like I’m in. That’s kind of my motivational moment.
So I learned to love media days for that reason, because you really believe the things you’re saying, and you’re actually thinking about that stuff outside of just the race car details.
I always feel like that’s a moment where I click on.
Speaking of media day, I was in the interview room for NBC, and I watched all four of you guys come through, and it was abundantly obvious, like, demeanor, body language, what you said, like you were the overwhelming favorite. No one was more comfortable that day than you. I know we joke about the 32-year-old being the old man of the group here, but did you feel like that was an edge going in, did you sense that, hey, I’ve got the experience? It felt like you really kind of embraced that. I’m wondering are you embracing that a little bit more being a veteran even though you’re still so young, you’ve been around so long?
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, you try to find any advantage you can, and if experience is that, yeah, I would take that. That’s a good thing.
I don’t really know how to answer it, but I guess in a way you look at your competitors and you try to figure out, okay, where is there weaknesses.
I look at a lot of them, it was their first time here. I thought some of them were happy to be here. And when I looked at our team, we weren’t in that position. That made us different.
I think that was something that set us apart. I thought these guys are happy to be here, and they’re trying to minimize the situation and saying that it’s just another race. And at that point I really felt like we were in a great spot because I’ve been here long enough to know it’s not another race, and you can’t minimize the situation. It’s this big. It is huge.
It hurts extra big when you lose, and it feels extra good when you win. There’s nothing like it.
I always felt like minimizing it just helps you sleep better at night, but that’s not the real way to do it, and I felt like it was just fake. It’s not the way I planned on it the whole year.
I love making situations bigger than what they are even bigger, because that pressure to me makes me better. Is it uncomfortable? Yeah. Is it easier for me to think in the way that — to minimize the situation, to feel better about it? Yeah, it definitely makes me more comfortable. Let me tell you, I felt like I had a 10,000-pound gorilla on my shoulders.
It’s tough. Like, I felt the pressure. Don’t get me wrong. But you’ve got to learn to love it because it’s right around the corner from having a moment like this.
It’s been said all season long how people and drivers feel about their car. You won the Clash, and now you end the season as the champion, this current car. How will you look back at the season knowing all the challenges that came with it?
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, I think everyone can probably agree it’s the most challenging year and unexpected year from a lot of ways. So many different winners, for one. I didn’t see that one coming.
The lack of consistency throughout the field, hard to really click off a bunch of top 5s and a bunch of wins. The teams that were strong weren’t strong for super long before someone else would figure something out, and just the unexpected pieces that come along with it, whether it’s the pit stops, the strategy, the way the races play out.
Boy, this year was an adventure, to say the least amount.
To think about how many things have changed from Phoenix in the spring to now, boy, we’re so much smarter with this race car now. It’s just kind of crazy to think about it all.
Yeah, it was a tough grind of a year, and a lot of times you just felt lost. A lot of times. The only thing that helped me is I realized that everyone else was lost with me. That’s one way to stay confident is when you know everyone else is lost, too.
And you being from Connecticut, what would be something you would tell those young aspiring competitors from the New England area that want to do this?
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, it’s neat to think about where I came from, at Silver City Quarter Midget Club in Meriden, Connecticut, getting to go up there earlier this year, they have the Grands there, and to see all the kids there and just the memories come rushing back of everything that was there and the fun that it was. Racing with your — I was out there with my dad and just having a good time.
There’s just nothing like it. You probably don’t appreciate it enough when you’re a kid.
I always try to tell the kids that you should never take for granted the moment that you get to drive a car at its absolute limit because you don’t know how long you get to do that, and it’s special.
I always tell the parents that make sure it’s fun at that level because that’s what it’s about. It’s about having fun and competing as a kid. You don’t have to add all the pressure and make it a job.
That’s one thing I always think about kids racing these days, if you take it too serious, you’re going to have your whole life to make it serious. At this level it’s a job, and the only thing that’s fun is when you win, and that’s what it is.
So there’s nothing like those moments and the dreams that you have, right? This was my dream. I’m sitting here living my dream. How awesome is that. You think about it, I wanted to be a Cup champion, and sounded kind of funny when I went to school in Connecticut and no one else raced in class, and it was just me. And I brought trophies to show-and-tell, and they’re like, What the heck are you doing? Quarter Midget, what the heck does that even mean?
I had that dream. Maybe I was the odd one in the class, but this was it. I loved cars. I loved racing and I loved winning.
I just kept chasing my dream with all the great people around me, teaching me and learning lessons and a lot of commitment from my family, and look at us now. Kinda neat.
Just wanted to ask you about your leadership in the sport. It seems like you’ve really, especially the last couple years, taken a proactive stance on trying to be a voice within the drivers’ group and within NASCAR. You’re going on Sirius every week for your time. How do you see that evolving for you now? At least it used to feel like the champion has a bigger platform. I don’t know if Larson and Elliott wanted to use it as much, but you have that now for yourself. How do you intend to go with that?
JOEY LOGANO: I have a few thoughts in mind. I don’t know if I should share them quite yet, but it is something I think about, to that point. You think of being a champion of the sport, you’re representing the sport. That’s a huge task at hand.
I don’t take it lightly, and I want to make the most of it because I care about us, all of us. This is all of our livelihoods, and it’s our job to make it better than it was the last generation.
To me I think of the guys that raced before us and think about what they grew our sport into. It wasn’t from just driving in circles all day long and ending in the same place. That’s pretty pointless when you think of it that way.
But when you can really grow an industry together and have a part of that — like I don’t work for NASCAR, but I have a voice and I have opinions and I care about whether it’s the media or the fan experience or the drivers making sure that things are safe and working together with that group, the integrity of competition out there. Those are things I think about.
This is important. We’ve got to hold true to what put us here but also not be too scared to grow and try new things.
When you think of our sport right now, we’re definitely trying new things, new car, new tracks, and you look at the Clash and how big of a success that was. You think of — gee, it’s been a long time since we had this championship format. But boy, has it brought some drama. People tune in and watch it because just crazy things happen. You can never call the playoffs now, and that’s because a group got together and came up with this awesome system. This stressful system.
There’s a lot of things that you do. You get to sit on the board of the Hall of Fame induction group that helps vote and persuade people on who should be in next year. I look forward to that more this time now that I know what’s going on there and how it works.
Yeah, there’s a few people on my mind that I think deserve to be in there, and I plan to voice my opinion on that when I get there.
Again, you think of things like that, I have the opportunity to take advantage of, and I should. I should. I’ve been here long enough. I’ve seen a lot of great things, and we’ve grown a lot together as a group.
We should celebrate that, for one, but we should always keep looking for better.
THE MODERATOR: Joey, congratulations on winning your second championship, and go enjoy the rest of the night.
— NASCAR —