Joey Logano goes for Texas sweep, berth in Sprint Cup title race this weekend

Leave a comment

Team Penske’s Joey Logano has won twice and notched six Top-5 finishes in this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup.

He also currently sits in one of the four advance positions to the Championship Race at Homestead.

So as he returns to Texas Motor Speedway this weekend for the middle race of the Eliminator Round, he’s not looking to alter his approach.

“We’re gonna stay doing what we’ve doing, what we’ve done all year even before the Chase started,” said Logano, who won at Texas this past spring in green-white-checkered.

“We’ve raced the same way, we’ve raced aggressive. We’ve put ourselves in offensive mode no matter what the situation was. We saw that again last weekend [at Martinsville] – took four tires with a green-white-checkered, restarted 13th, and…got up to fifth.

“That’s the mode we should stay in, because that’s what’s been working. It’s not the time to reinvent the wheel, just time to polish the wheel a little bit and make sure we keep doing what we’re doing – just do a little better job of it.”

Up by only three points over the cutoff going into Sunday’s AAA Texas 500, Logano recognizes the need to get another victory.

While another Top-5 finish would get him closer to the Championship Race, there’s no amount of points cushion in his mind that would make him feel good heading into next weekend’s Eliminator Round finale at Phoenix.

As proof, he cited Kyle Busch’s 26-point cushion heading into the Contender Round finale at Talladega, which was erased by a mid-race crash that caused him to finish 40th and miss the Eliminator Round by seven points.

“I thought Kyle would’ve been a lock before Talladega and then watching what happened to him – I don’t think you ever feel comfortable unless you’ve got a win under your belt,” said Logano.

“That’s why we want to get one of those…If not, you’re gonna be pulling your hair out all the way to the end of Phoenix.”

It’s an intense situation for sure, and it’s one that has become the norm with this new Chase format.

Since nobody wants to deal with a must-win situation in the elimination races, the importance of winning in the first two races of Chase rounds has become paramount.

However, Logano believes that all of the pressure has not affected him or the 22 team.

“Those guys going over the wall, you’re in position to win the race, you come down pit road, and one missed lugnut changes the whole outcome of the year – that’s pressure,” he said. “And I feel this whole 22 team has handled that great so far.

“I’m not nervous about it at all…Thinking about the pressure makes you more nervous, so that’s not really the right way to go. You just kinda focus on your race car and the job at hand.”

Porsche pulls GTLM cars from Mid-Ohio because of COVID-19 positives

Porsche Mid-Ohio COVID-19
David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Porsche will skip Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race with its two GTLM cars at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after three positive COVID-19 tests were confirmed during the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

That resulted in Porsche choosing to pull out of the Nurburgring 24 Hour endurance race in Germany, electing to avoid sending any team members as a precautionary measure.

Porsche Motorsport announced Tuesday that its COVID-19 decision also would apply at Mid-Ohio to its No. 911 and No. 12 teams.

HUSTLING HELIO: Castroneves hunting for 2021 rides in IMSA, IndyCar

Three of Porsche’s four IMSA GTLM drivers — Laurens Vanthoor, Frederic Makowiecki and Nick Tandy — also were racing in Le Mans. The trio has remained isolated in Europe and won’t be allowed to travel.

“Based on yesterday’s decision that no employee or racing driver of our Le Mans team will participate in the Nürburgring 24 Hours, we have today decided that this ruling will also apply to the upcoming IWSC race in Mid-Ohio,” Fritz Enzinger, vice president for Porsche Motorsport, said in a release. “This means that Laurens, Nick and Fred will not be traveling to the USA.

“This is very regrettable, but we would like to emphasize that in this case as well the health of all those concerned is the prime focus of the decisions we have taken.”

The decision also affects Earl Bamber, who teamed with Vanthoor to win the GTLM championship last year in the No. 912.

Porsche said its GTLM Porsche 911 RSR-19 entries will return for the Oct. 10 race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.

That will reduce the GTLM class to four cars — two Corvettes and two BMWs — this weekend at Mid-Ohio, in what could be somewhat of a 2021 preview. Porsche Motorsport announced earlier this year that it will leave IMSA after the 2020 season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.