“We Need to Survive” – Joey Logano Exposes the Urgent Battle for Survival in the Penske Garage

Published 09/01/2023, 2:19 PM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

One name, Joey Logano, stands out in the high-octane world of NASCAR, where speed and strategy collide. The defending NASCAR Cup Series champion is gearing up for a fierce playoff run, hoping to replicate his triumphant 2022 “game plan.” As the NASCAR Cup Series roared through the regular season, the #22 Ford Mustang driver’s performance might not have matched the dazzling heights of his championship-winning campaign. However, this seasoned driver, known for his unwavering dedication, clinched a playoff berth with a victory at Atlanta. 

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The Team Penske, though occasionally lacking in pace, demonstrates solid race execution under the guidance of crew chief Paul Wolfe. In a recent interview, the reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion offers a candid glimpse into the trials and tribulations of his championship defense.

Joey Logano’s Playoffs Blueprint Amidst Penske Garage Struggles

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As the engines roar and the playoffs loom large on the horizon, Logano opens up about his tumultuous season, unyielding desire for victory, and his uphill battle to retain his crown. During the NASCAR LIVE podcast interview, Chris Wilner inquired about Joey’s mindset as a defending champion and whether it introduced added pressure or a renewed sense of pride. 

“No different if we didn’t win last year,” said Logano. “The goal is the same. So, the mindset’s the same. Right? The goal is to win the championship. Anything less is a failure. So you have to try to go do that. And I don’t know. I mean, it doesn’t change your mindset anyway. Like you know how to get through each round what you’re going to have to do and to keep progressing through the weeks.” 

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“Now I think for us we need to maybe change a little bit because we don’t have the playoff points, and we don’t have quite the speed that we need at the moment that we need to survive long enough throughout the first six weeks to be able to allow ourselves to be in that long enough to make more speed in our cars,” Joey concluded.

Logano is no stranger to the playoffs’ relentless gauntlet, having punched his ticket nine times in the last ten years. Five championship appearances and two titles have carved his name into NASCAR history. The playoffs’ survival-and-advance format is etched into his racing DNA. This dynamic transforms each race into a high-stakes duel for supremacy.

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As Logano gears up for the first round of the playoffs at Darlington, the defending champ reflects on his team’s journey through the regular season.

Joey Logano’s Uphill Battle to Defend Championship Crown

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The NASCAR playoff system is a ruthless crucible where contenders are forged through fire. Joey Logano, a veteran of the sport, knows this terrain all too well. With the pressure cooker of competition cranked up to the max, the part-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver’s history of playoff appearances resonates with the knowledge that survival is non-negotiable.

Amidst the backdrop of the Penske garage, Joey Logano faces a season that has been anything but a joyride. The 2022 champion is candid about the harsh realities of his performance, acknowledging that he’s yet to find his championship rhythm in the regular season. But as the playoffs loom, Logano embraces a glimmer of hope that the reset button can ignite a resurgence.

As the playoffs approach, Logano candidly rates his team’s performance. “Probably a B-ish,” he admits, citing solid execution and race strategy. But it’s the elusive speed, the crucial ingredient in the high-speed world of NASCAR, that keeps them from soaring higher. The track has been unforgiving, revealing moments of struggle that have kept Logano’s team from an ‘A’ grade.

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As the podcast interview winds down, an air of anticipation lingers. Logano’s words resonate beyond the airwaves, offering a glimpse into his mindset as the playoffs beckon. With an ungraded resolve to conquer, a strategic evolution to embrace, and the spirit of a champion guiding his every move, Logano’s journey to defend his title is set to ignite the tracks with intensity.

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Written by:

Brahmi Dhaytadak

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Brahmi Dhaytadak is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. She combines her love for F1, Tennis, and NASCAR into electrifying prose that sets the hearts of her readers racing. Whether it was the finesse of Charles Leclerc's maneuvers around Monaco or the artistry of Roger Federer's racket, everything inspired Brahmi to venture into the field of sports journalism.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh

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