Roger Penske ready to "move on" from last year's Martinsville race

Joey Logano may not dwell much on what happened last season at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, but his team owner, Roger Penske, sure sounds like he’ll be ready to breathe a sigh of relief when Sunday’s race is over.

Roger Penske ready to "move on" from last year's Martinsville race
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford
Race winner Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford
Race winner Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford
Matt Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota spins off the nose of Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford
Roger Penske
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford

‘We’re satisfied where we are and I think we need to get through what happened last year at Martinsville and get some good success there so we can move on, hopefully, to the next round,” Penske said after Logano’s victory last Sunday at Talladega.

In last year’s fall race at Martinsville, Matt Kenseth – who felt Logano had wrecked him out of a chance to advance in the Chase earlier in Kansas – drove out of the garage following an accident and intentionally wrecked Logano, who was the race leader at the time.

The final result was neither driver advanced to the championship race at Homestead and Kenseth was subsequently suspended two races by NASCAR.

Only shot Penske has left

Logano enters the final four races this season as the only representative from Team Penske and the only Ford. His teammate, Brad Keselowski, blew an engine at Talladega and failed to advance.

“It’s going to be tough as we get into the next round. We go to Texas. We have Phoenix and Martinsville – three different tracks. We feel good about how we run there and you’re going to have to execute,” Penske said.

Martin Truex Jr. “was a real threat to everyone and the fact that he’s not in and Brad isn’t, you take a couple real guys that could win and I think that it’s (now) a level playing field.”

Penske joked that fellow owner Joe Gibbs, who has four drivers in the Round of 8, “has more to lose than I do.”

“As far as thinking about one car, the good news is you don’t have four people that you’re trying to work with as you go into the Chase,” he said. “We can put all of our efforts on one car and Joey and of course Brad is one of the biggest supporters of Joey, so I think this will pay dividends for us.”

Hitting the reset button

As for Logano, he said he is ready to hit the “reset button” on the next round of the Chase but believes he will carry something valuable with him as a result of what transpired last year.

“There are a lot of things like that that I took out of last year that I feel like, I don’t think of anything as a waste of a season,” he said.

“I learned a whole new level that I didn’t know I had, which was really cool and now I know how to reach that level mentally inside our race car to really make things happen and be a great leader for my team.” 

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