‘We’ve got to be perfect from here on out’ – Logano

Joey Logano remains confident in the ability of his Team Penske race team but also admitted he has some anxiety for the first time in quite a few seasons for this point in the year.

“There’s no running away from it,” Logano said at North Wilkesboro Speedway, where the NASCAR Cup Series runs the non-points All-Star Race. “It is what it is. We’ve got to be perfect from here on out.”

The two-time Cup Series is 17th in the championship standings. Logano has earned just three top-10 finishes in 13 races.

“I always look at the points,” Logano said. “We’re halfway through the regular season and, obviously, it’s not been the season that we’ve wanted or have hoped for at this point. But we keep fighting. I don’t feel like we’re in a bad spot. We’re not in as good a spot as we want to be by [any] means, but we can definitely make up the points…just by getting consistent and running up front more often like we should.


“The facts are, if you’re not good enough to make the playoffs, you’re probably not good enough to win the championship anyway, so we’ve got to get to that point where we’re good enough, and then the points will follow that, for sure.”

It was a struggle for Logano and the No. 22 team for much of the 2023 season, which resulted in a first-round exit from the postseason. Logano won only once last year.

For 2024, Ford debuted a new body – the Mustang Dark Horse — but Logano’s group is still behind. If not for self-inflicted wounds such as speeding last weekend at Darlington Raceway, it’s been pure lack of speed. The intermediate racetracks have been their weakness, but Logano looks at how well Ford teammates Chris Buescher and Brad Keselowski from RFK Racing have run and believes there is an opportunity to do the same.

“We just have to go find it,” Logano said. “Whatever that is. We have to figure that out.”

Fortunately, Logano doesn’t feel his team is that far off. Then again, the entire Cup Series field could say that because Logano said everything is fairly close.

“Last week, we had a top five coming and I sped on pit road, which that one stings a lot,” he said. “But outside of that, I’d say it was a pretty solid weekend, so our race teams still got it. We all just have to clean up a little bit. Obviously last weekend I made a mistake, and we’ve got to keep getting faster.

“I feel confident this weekend here in [North Wilkesboro]. We came and did the tire test, and I felt pretty good about what we had. Hopefully that transfers [to this weekend]. Charlotte, I don’t know. [Ryan] Blaney had a great run there [last year], so hopefully we can learn a lot from that.”

With 13 races down, there are 13 races left in the regular season. Over the next month, the series will run its longest race in the Coca-Cola 600, make a third trip to St. Louis, visit a repaved Sonoma Raceway and debut at Iowa Speedway.

All of it sounds good to Logano.

“The [Coke] 600, I think I feel OK about,” he said. “Gateway has been a solid race for us the last two times we’ve been there, so I look forward to that one. Sonoma is repaved, so who the heck knows? Then Iowa — new tracks have been good, and short tracks have been good for us, as well.

“I like the way the schedule’s lined up the next few weeks.”

Story originally appeared on Racer