NCAA Football

Joey Logano’s Crew Boss Reveals ‘Timing Points’ for NASCAR Cup Title

Joey Logano’s Team Penske team principal Paul Wolfe revealed that September’s NASCAR Cup Series test at Homestead and his subsequent victory in Las Vegas were major ‘turning points’ ahead of his second title in Phoenix on Sunday. .

Speaking after Logano won his second Cup title in five years, Wolfe – who had previously won the title with Brad Keselowski in 2012 – said his confidence had multiplied in recent weeks, giving him a valuable boost to be the fastest when it mattered in the field. series end.

As in 2018, when he won his first title, Logano won the Round of Eight on his first attempt and won the final, which was at Homestead-Miami Speedway at the time rather than Phoenix.

“When those playoffs started this season, Joey was in his A game, and he was focused and determined that we were going to win this championship,” Wolfe said. “And that’s how he talked when he walked into the store and when he was around the guys and the time we spent together.

“There was no doubt in his mind that we were the favorites and that we were going to make it.”

Wolfe went on to explain that the two-day test held at Homestead in late September – which offered rare races outside of a race weekend for the Next-Gen cars that were new to the series this year – was a pivotal moment.

Logano topped the speed charts there, having done 324 laps over the two days. He then won the Las Vegas round – another 1.5-mile track – just over three weeks later, which qualified him for the final four drivers eligible for the title.

“Throughout the playoffs, I feel like we had speed,” Wolfe said. “I feel like the Homestead test was a good turning point for us as we needed to find some to… I felt like the Chevrolets, for sure, and the Toyotas.

“So when you have those opportunities, you really need to be prepared to make the most of them. And that’s where I feel like having a great group of guys on this team and within Team Penske, we can make the most of it. Obviously it made a difference for us.”

Champion Joey Logano, Team Penske, Shell Pennzoil Ford Mustang and Team Owner Roger Penske

Photo by: Michael L. Levitt / Motorsport Images

Wolfe added that there were “very limited opportunities to test and practice, with a 20-minute practice session and very limited changes. [at each race weekend]so it becomes very difficult to try to advance and improve.

“I think he was pretty motivated after that test there, and we continued to race really hard and then we won Vegas, and it gave him that last bit of confidence, I think, of knowing that we were going to be able to come here to Phoenix and do the job.”

Wolfe suggested that automatic qualification to Championship Four on the first attempt allowed his team to focus on the Phoenix finish immediately.

“It started right after the Vegas win,” he said of Phoenix’s preparations. “We all know that’s how it works with this system. Not that we wanted to throw away these races [at Homestead and Martinsville]but I started focusing on Phoenix right after that win next Monday, and making sure we didn’t lose anything.

“What’s the point of that? I don’t know. I don’t know if you can quantify it. But I’d like to feel like I was prepared as it could be coming this weekend.

“And with a lot of support from our teammates and stuff coming here this weekend, we were able to unload really fast and then go through a lot of things that we wanted to try and find a little more.”

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