NASCAR: Successful Challenger Round in the books for Joey Logano


As part of NASCAR’s new Chase for the Sprint Cup format, wins give you a spot in the next round. However, they don’t give you bonus points for the next round.

The latter seems to slightly bother Joey Logano, who won the middle race of the opening Challenger Round at New Hampshire.

But that won’t keep him from having his points reset at 3,000 like the rest of the 12 remaining Chasers.

“As consistent as we’ve been and as good as we’ve been running, I hate to see it reset,” said Logano, who sandwiched his win with fourths at Chicagoland and in yesterday’s Challenger Round finale at Dover.

“You’re like, ‘Alright, this is three good finishes, a win in there, this feels good,’ but now we’re all tied again so it’s like, that’s all out the window. It’s nice we’re able to go to the next round, but after that, it’s over and you’ve got to start over and go again.”

That said, Logano isn’t complaining about the performance of himself and his No. 22 Team Penske squad to open the post-season.

Three Top-5 finishes in succession is an impressive start, and they’ve served notice that Logano’s every bit a threat to win the Cup as his teammate, 2012 champ Brad Keselowski.

“We’ve got to do that again and again to be able to win this championship,” Logano said. “We’ve got momentum. The part I’m most proud of is that we’re executing.

“Even if we don’t have the best race car, we execute to make sure we have a nice solid finish out of it one way or the other, so we have to keep doing that throughout the rest of the Chase.”

Yesterday in Dover, Hendrick Motorsports – considered by many to be Penske’s main rival for the championship – scored one as Jeff Gordon picked up his fourth win of 2014.

However, with everybody on the same plane at 3,000 points going into the Contender Round opener at Kansas Speedway, Logano insists that his focus is not just on defeating the Hendrick foursome of Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Kasey Kahne.

“There are 11 other guys right now who are our main competition, so we’ve got to look at them all just like we did going into this round,” he said.

“We look at every one as a contender – no pun intended – and we’ll be able to focus on what we’ve been doing with our race cars and go from there.”