NASCAR: Joey Logano talks about Penske camaraderie – and his lost wedding ring

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Joey Logano has completed one full month of his married life. However, he already is on his second ring.

The Team Penske driver, part of the final four in last year’s Sprint Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, was asked about being a newlywed Wednesday at the NASCAR Media Tour in Charlotte, N.C.

“It’s going great,” Logano said. “I’m on my second ring already. But I’ve got the same girl, so that part’s great.”

That drew a good amount of laughter from the assembled news media, which had guffawed earlier this morning at Ricky Stenhouse Jr. borrowing Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch’s “I’m just here, so I won’t get fined” bit from Super Bowl XLIX Media Day.

So what happened to the first ring?

“I lost the first one,” Logano told reporters, including NBC Sports’ Dustin Long. “We were kayaking in Costa Rica. We went down this little waterfall thing and flipped. I was just excited I didn’t have to go to the hospital in Costa Rica, and I thought that was great.

“About 30 minutes later, the adrenaline wore off. I looked and it was, ‘Huh, my ring is gone.’ Now it’s floating around down there somewhere.”

Logano added that he’s made his backup ring last longer than his first one. Still, he hopes to avoid such mishaps behind the wheel of his No. 22 Team Penske Ford this year.

Though a costly late pit stop at Homestead denied him the chance at a championship, it didn’t erase that Logano was a breakout performer in 2014 with five victories.

Logano attributed it to his relationship with crew chief Todd Gordon and team, as well as getting acclimated to Team Penske’s culture.

“It took the first year [2013] to kind of understand that, and [in 2014], we’re able to go in there knowing what we were going to be up against,” Logano said. “We came awfully close to winning the championship. It’s something to be proud of, for sure. It’s an amazing opportunity to be there at Homestead and having a shot at a championship, and I think we can take a lot out of that experience.

“Hopefully, we can be in the same boat again this year, but a lot more prepared in knowing what we’re getting ourselves into if we get there.”

Logano and teammate Brad Keselowski combined for an impressive 11 race wins in 2014, adding to a great year for Team Penske that included a Verizon IndyCar Series title (Will Power) and XFINITY Series owner’s title for its No. 22 program there. You can’t be that successful without everybody being on the same page and having a high esprit de corps. Logano said the camaraderie throughout the shop is a critical element.

“I think it’s key that (we’re) all at the same level,” Logano said. “[And] it goes across all of Team Penske. We all work really well together. That is very important. That trickles all the way down from [team owner] Roger [Penske] to everyone working at the shop building our race cars.”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen takes pole at Brazilian GP

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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has taken pole position for Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

It’s the second career pole for the Dutch driver, who beat Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel by just 0.123 seconds.

Verstappen’s first pole was earlier this season at the Hungarian GP in August.

Six-time champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes will start from third position. The 2018 winner at Interlagos finished 0.191 seconds back.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Alexander Albon finished in fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.

Hamilton was fastest in final practice earlier Saturday, 0.026 quicker than Verstappen.

The Brazilian GP on Sunday is the penultimate race of the season. Hamilton secured the season title, his sixth, in the previous race in the U.S.