Joey Logano needed a win Saturday night in order to be a part of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. He missed it by just a single spot.
“[We] came up a little bit short overall,” Logano said.
“…it stings a little bit. Last time we were sitting here after a race, it was after a win, and this time’s after a second, which overal if you look at our Richmond overall for a season of two races, you’d say, that’s pretty good — a first and a second. But just overall, obviously it stings to come up one spot sport and not be able to get into the playoffs. It’s reality, and we will move on,” the No. 22 Penske Ford driver said in the Richmond Raceway media center.
Logano’s victory at Richmond Raceway earlier this season ended up becoming and encumbered win after the car’s failed post race inspection. As an encumbered win, the win and you’re in style for NASCAR’s current playoff system didn’t apply.
A Bit of a Test
The Ford driver said that the whole experience was a test of their character — both team and driver. The way they handle the rest of the season will reflect on them all.
“We don’t want to rollover,” Logano said.
Both Logano’s Team Penske teammate, the No. 2 driver, Brad Keselowski, and Penske’s affiliated team of the Wood Brothers, driven by Ryan Blaney both made the post-season this year. Keselowski also visited victory lane the prior night in the Xfinity series race.
“We want to help our teammates try to win a championship, and ultimately, we want to win 10 races. That’s what the goal is at this point,” Logano said.
The Team Penske driver said that it may be the end of the No. 22 team’s championship run for year, but it’s not the end of their season.
“There’s still a lot of races, and a lot of stats we can rack up to make up for what still hurts now,” he said.
Joey Logano had remarked before the Richmond night race that second would be a failure.
“…we finished second,” he laughed.
“Go figure. But overall, I’m proud of our race team, proud of the way we handled the pressure this week. I said before the race started that this is kind of like Homestead last year for us. It’s just come a little bit early, so we knew how to handle these situations, and we executed as good as we knew how to, just wasn’t fast enough to make it happen when we needed to.
Young, But Getting Older
The 27-year-old is still younger than many of the drivers in the garage, but said the older he gets, the more it starts to eat that there’s no championship trophy yet in his case.
“hellip;the goal for the last nine years has been to win the championship, and we keep getting close,” he said.
“This year we didn’t, but in the past three, four years we’ve been in the hunt to make it happen. You know, to me is the pressure on to win one? I’m only 27, man. I’ve got a long ways to go in this deal, and I like the position that I’m in. I like the race team I’m with.”
Logano added that he’s got a bigger picture perspective.
“You know, I think if you let your job define who you are, it would hurt a lot more, but I’m able to know that life is a lot bigger than just driving a race car, and I’m able to handle these situations a lot stronger as a man than just being a racer and that’s it.”