By: Pete Pistone – @PPistone | MRN.com on May 5, 2017 | 3:00 P.M. EST
Joey Logano understands the severity of the penalty assessed after his Richmond win last weekend but is focusing on the future. (Photo: Getty Images)
Joey Logano understands the severity of the penalty assessed after his Richmond win last weekend but is focusing on the future.
Logano and the Team Penske No. 22 team were penalized for a suspension violation after NASCAR took the winning car back to the R&D Center in Concord, N.C. The result was a major penalty that deemed Logano’s win encumbered, meaning it would not allow an automatic berth in the playoffs and the five points earned cannot be used in the post-season, should he qualify.
Crew chief Todd Gordon was suspended two races and fined $ 50,000, while 25 driver and owner points were docked.
“We’re taking the hit and it’s not going to be easy to overcome it. But like I said, anytime something like that happens and you get a lot of the knock-back from media or fans or whatever you’re gonna hear, it drives you to win a little bit more,” Logano said Friday at Talladega Superspeedway, preparing for Sunday’s GEICO 500.
“We’re looking at the silver lining as something that’s making us drive to win more and make us more determined to make it happen. We can make up those points with the right attitude.”
Although the benefits of Logano’s win have been severely impacted, he is still proud of the victory and remains convinced his 18th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series triumph was an accomplishment.
“What we got in trouble for was something that didn’t make our car any faster,” Logano said. “So I still look at it as a win. From the outside, we’ve lost all the benefits of the win. We’ve lost playoff points, regular points. We’ve lost our crew chief for two weeks and we’ve lost some cash. The penalty is severe.
“The rule is written, and it’s black and white. We pushed a little too far. We’ll pay that penalty, move on and attack again.”
Both Logano and Gordon addressed the issue right away and neither have made excuses for what’s happened. Logano believes it’s an example of the organization as a whole and the way Team Penske conducts business.
“Roger Penske is a stand-up person and he takes things like a man,” Logano said. “He understands the situation. He races to win and has integrity. Our company is the most professional company in this sport. Every one of you would probably agree with that. Anytime there’s controversy, I’m a big believer in hitting it head-on and talking about it because the more you hide from something, you look guilty, and people are gonna speculate on what it was and how bad it’s gonna be.
“In life, if you have an issue with your wife or your friends, you’re best off talking about it as soon as you can and not letting it sit. We’ve taken that approach with any situation that comes up. We say, ‘Hey, let’s hit this head-on. Let’s talk about it. Let’s get it out with what actually happened and what’s the story, and let’s move forward. Let’s get past it, focus on winning races and not worry about what stories are written about us.’ “
Motor Racing Network – “The Voice of NASCAR” will have live coverage of Sunday’s GEICO 500, beginning at 1 p.m. (ET) – with live streaming at MRN.com and on the MRN App.