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Joey Logano Says It’s Time to “Hit the Panic Button”

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What’s Happening?

Joey Logano is having one of the worst seasons he’s had at Team Penske, currently sitting 17th in points, 18 points out of the provisional Playoffs. In his appearance on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio, Logano expressed that it’s time to “Hit the panic button”. However, Logano also believes there is reason for optimism.

  • Ford is mired in a tough start to 2024. They failed to win a race across all 3 National Touring Series through the first third of the season, and they only have 1 driver (Ryan Blaney) in the top 10 in the NASCAR Cup Series points standings heading into Darlington weekend.
  • However, Logano did give a ray of hope. He looked at how RFK Racing does at many high-speed tracks, and he believes that there is something there that RFK does that other Ford teams like Team Penske can tap into.
  • Fans are all over the Ford struggles in 2024. Ford loyalists are beginning to show concern for how their teams are performing.

Everything Logano Had to Say

Mike Bagley directly asked Joey Logano about how both he and Ford are doing this season. Logano had this to say in return.

You start to hit the panic button a little bit, whereas you’re trying a lot of new things. You’re just swinging the bat at everything that you can think of.

Joey Logano

It makes sense why Logano himself would hit the panic button, and Ford as a whole. Here we are with the summer stretch just around the corner and Ford hasn’t won a race yet, even though they have come so incredibly close. Exactly why Ford is struggling, Logano wasn’t able to dissect.

Logano later discussed the razor-thin margin that he is dealing with currently. He notes that his car needs to drive perfectly to keep up with the Chevys and Toyotas, which is a tough spot to be in.

The window is very small. You have to hit it absolutely perfect. You have to hit your setup right and maximize every little piece there, but, you also have to hit your balance perfect. If you get a little bit free or a little bit tight, you’re off. That’s the situation we’re in. We have to get our car driving perfect throughout a run to run in the top-7. If I’m a little bit tight here, or a little bit loose here, or built one way here or that way, I’m 15th-20th just like that.

Joey Logano

Having such a small window to work with is tough to negotiate. It’s shown in Logano’s performance this season, sitting 17th in points. However, Logano believes that another Ford team gives him a silver lining.

The Silver Lining of RFK Racing

RFK Racing has taken a step back this season, but, amongst Ford teams, they’re actually doing quite well for themselves. They’re the only Ford team to have multiple drivers in provisional Playoff position, and Logano noticed a key difference in RFK’s setup at Kansas.

[RFK Racing] seem to be good at fast, smooth tracks. That seems to be RFK’s wheel house. When you look at ride height pictures and those types of things, they’re different than us. How they get it to work? We don’t know. We try it, and it doesn’t work. There’s something they’re doing that’s allowing them to race at a different height and be really good at these smooth 1.5 mile-type race tracks, fast tracks. Which is encouraging, because it shows the potential is there if we could just figure it out.

Joey Logano

How true is Logano’s claim? Well, in the last two 1.5-mile track races, RFK Racing has finished 2nd in both of them. Keselowski finished 2nd at Texas and Buescher finished 2nd at Kansas. Buescher also led a season-high 54 laps at Kansas. It seems RFK Racing is starting to figure something out, even after an underwhelming first 1.5-mile race of the season at Las Vegas (Keselowski finished 13th and Buescher 37th).

It’s also worth noting that Logano won a pole and finished in the top 10 earlier this season in Las Vegas. Logano has shown speed on 1.5-mile tracks but, it’s been a while since it happened. Conventional wisdom would say RFK Racing figured something out while Team Penske continues to struggle.

Logano has been quick on other track types this season as well. Logano led the most laps in the Daytona 500, and he finished 2nd at Richmond despite not leading a lap. Even so, Logano has only 3 top-10s all season.

Logano is currently out of the Playoffs, so, urgency is high in the Number 22 camp right now. However, the solution might be with one of their sister teams.

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