Logano Ready to Go
By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone on January 14, 2014 | 10:19 A.M. EST
Logano believes there’s much to build on in 2014 after a successful first season with Team Penske that saw him finish eighth in the final standings. (Photo: Getty Images)
Joey Logano believes there’s much to build on in 2014 after his mostly successful first season with Team Penske.
Logano took the reins of the Shell/Pennzoil Ford last year and put together a solid performance that included a win at Michigan International Speedway as well as a spot in the Chase. Although he ultimately faded in the championship picture, Logano is more than proud of last year’s effort.
"We made the Chase. We were solid," Logano said during Preseason Thunder Testing at Daytona International Speedway. "Week in and week out, we were a top-10 to top-five car unless we had some kind of issue.
"We had the opportunity to win five or six races. We only capitalized on one, so we can get better at that. That's a big area for us. Our pit stops ... we're making some changes on the pit crew to make that better. Our cars last year had speed in them."
In order to improve before the opening bell for the season rings at Budweiser Speedweeks when NASCAR returns to Daytona next month, Logano is in favor of as much seat time as possible. He feels testing, whether it be at "The World Center of Racing" or other tracks during the off-season, is a vital element for improvement.
"Just to be in the seat and driving," said Logano, who also took part in a go-kart race organized by former NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya in Colombia over the winter. "No matter what it is, as long as you're taking something and pushing it to the edge, I think that's important.
"Being up at the shop a lot, understanding where the team's going, and what changes and what these rule changes are going to do, and helping to lead a team in the right direction toward what's going to fit my driving style; or what's going to be the most important (thing) as a driver as we come into this season. Whatever you have to do to stay in the loop and at the same time, also be in a racecar, are the most important things throughout the off-season."
While the official start to the year is still more than a month away, Logano is chomping at the bit to begin his sophomore season with Penske. He ended last season with three straight top-10 finishes and had a trio of top-five runs over the course of the Chase schedule.
There’s a foundation of confidence to build on with crew chief Todd Gordon and the bulk of the No. 22 team back for the 2014 campaign.
"I'm ready to go. My team's ready to go," said Logano. "We're able to keep the whole team together, for the most part, and be able to build off what we had last season, which is good, because we made a lot of changes coming into last season - obviously with the driver but also with engineers, shock specialists, car chief, a spotter, all that. So those key positions are still there and that's important to build off what we had last year.
"We ended the season with a good year. Being able to build off of that with the same people and kind of take a step back and look at what everyone's role is, and where we can all do a little better job individually and as a team to try to make a great season out of it."