Joey Logano owes a lot to Roger Penske

Joey Logano didn’t have to think twice about how to allocate the funds from his share of the million dollar All-Star Race purse.

Joey Logano owes a lot to Roger Penske
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford race winner
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford
Roger Penske, Joey Logano and crew chief Todd Gordon, Team Penske Ford
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford race winner
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford race winner
Brad Keselowski, Team Penske Ford, Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford
Race winner Brad Keselowski, Team Penske Ford
Roger Penske
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford race winner
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford, Brad Keselowski, Team Penske Ford
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford and Brad Keselowski, Team Penske Ford
Joey Logano, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota limps back to the pits
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford crash
Joey Logano, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota crashes in the wall exiting turn 4

There’s a foundation for that.

The Joey Logano Foundation’s goal is to inspire the NASCAR community to help those in need of a second chance — something the driver knows about first-hand. Logano had an opportunity of a lifetime to drive for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2008, but it was the break afforded him by Roger Penske that enabled the racer to thrive on NASCAR’s top tour.

“I wanted to give my portion away,” Logano said of his All-Star winnings. “It’s kind of a bonus race in general. When they asked what I was going to do with it, I couldn’t think of anything better. I thought, ‘I could really change people’s lives tonight,’ and that’s pretty cool.

I wouldn’t say the relationships (at JGR) were bad -- I just feel we’ve made them better over here

Joey Logano on joining Team Penske

“So I ended up giving $250,000 to the foundation to give people second chances in life. That’s what the foundation is about is helping people in crisis and giving them a second shot. I say this all the time now, but I know what a second chance did for me in my career and I know how I approach the situation completely different and I assume most people are the same way.

“If you fail the first time, you’re going to do something different when you have that opportunity again and what that second chance is really worth. To be able to do that for some people now is a lot of fun and it’s great for the foundation.”

The Penske philosophy

Since Team Penske recruited Logano in 2013, he’s qualified for every Chase for the Sprint Cup and earned 10 poles and 12 wins.

Logano is still looking for his first points win of 2016 but doesn’t appear concerned. He’s been close. At Las Vegas, Logano led 74 laps before finishing second to Penske teammate Brad Keselowski. As Logano watched from the sidelines after crashing out at Talladega, Keselowski won his second race.

After Bristol, the eighth race of the season, Logano was a season-high fourth in points. But crashes at Talladega and Kansas Speedway and a 22nd-place run at Dover knocked the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford to eighth in the standings through 12 races — two positions behind Keselowski.

Luckily, there’s no professional jealousy between the drivers. The philosophy within the Penske organization is collaborative. There’s an open-book policy on both the IndyCar and NASCAR sides of the business — one unlike anything IndyCar driver Juan Pablo Montoya ever witnessed with other race teams during his career.

“It’s all about the people,” Montoya said. “It’s about figuring out what people need to perform at their best. Roger knows — and the team knows — how to get the most out of people. And it’s outstanding.

“Roger knows how to get the most out of all of us as drivers. He makes us feel comfortable — and at home — and he gives us all the tools to win.”

Logano agrees. The debriefs among the NASCAR teams are wide open. Although Logano and Keselowski don’t “critique” each others weaknesses, the teammates learn from each others strengths.

“They kind of leave it up to us to figure out whether that’s what you want to do or not,” Logano said of the resources. “I think Brad has done this long enough and I have done this long enough to have a food feel for, ‘this is why I do things.’ But there are times when Brad is just really good at one race track and I’m really good at one race track and you start to adapt some of his techniques at the race track and say, ‘hey, maybe I need to start looking at it from this approach and the way he looks at things.’

“We all talk about how it’s out of the box. It’s good to have a teammate that’s out of the box and you can kind of think things through from a different angle. I think that helps the most. He drives his car different, too. I think understanding the differences of what we’re doing and why we’re doing it that way helps us the most and that’s just communication. And that’s the same thing the IndyCar guys do.”

Perfect teammates

Certainly there’s give and take among the Penske teammates. After all, Kesleowski was active in Logano's recruiting process. He wanted someone who was easy to work with. Clearly, the longer Logano observes Keselowski’s performance — and vice versa — the better the overall results have become.

“There’s tracks I was really strong at and he’s done what I’ve done,” Logano said. “And there’s tracks that he’s really good at and I’ve adapted what he’s done. I think we’re both students of the sport . We both look at what we’re doing because that’s how we get better, right? And we’re supposed to work together. You don’t see that everywhere else but it is kind of fun to be a part of that.

“One of the biggest things is we’ve become friends off of the race track now, which s something that I think helps us on the race track. In situations like that, you have that relationship away from the race track when you’re not talking about race cars at all. I think that helps out when you’re finally talking about race cars.”

Logano acknowledged he was at a disadvantage coming to JGR as an 18-year-old and having nothing in common with any of his teammates. That experience, however, has made him a better teammate today.

“I wouldn’t say the relationships (at JGR) were bad -- I just feel we’ve made them better over here,” Logano said. “Over time, as I get older, I realize what relationships are worth. I work at them a lot harder on them than I used to and I think that really helps.”

shares
comments
NASCAR Chairman Brian France: "I believe the sport is in good shape”
Previous article

NASCAR Chairman Brian France: "I believe the sport is in good shape”

Next article

France: NASCAR gets "maligned a lot" for falling short on expectations

France: NASCAR gets "maligned a lot" for falling short on expectations
Load comments
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Prime

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, but his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines...

NASCAR Cup
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Prime

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR Cup
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Prime

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR Cup
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Prime

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organization - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR Cup
Aug 31, 2021
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021