Conversation With Joey Logano
— -- DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Joey Logano's victory for Team Penske in the Daytona 500 capped a remarkable 2015 Speedweeks for the Ford Motor Company.
Ford's run of success started in late January when Chip Ganassi Racing triumphed in the Rolex 24 sports car race with a Ford EcoBoost-powered Daytona prototype.
Tyler Reddick followed that by driving an F-150 to his first triumph in the Camping World Truck Series to open the Daytona 500 weekend, and Ryan Reed kept the momentum going by claiming the win in the Xfinity Series on Saturday afternoon -- also a career first.
Logano's victory -- his first and Team Penske's second in the 500 -- was the icing on the cake. Ford has won the Daytona 500 14 times, including three of the past five years.
"What a start for Ford in 2015!" exclaimed Raj Nair, group vice president, global product development for Ford Motor Company.
"We are now 4-for-4 in all the major races we have competed in. We couldn't ask for a better start to the year."
But the Blue Oval brass on hand at Daytona this weekend, including Edsel Ford II, had to sweat out the final laps knowing that Roush Yates-built FR9 engines had already failed for Logano's teammate Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney of Penske alliance team Wood Brothers Racing.
To their immense relief, Logano's engine held through the extra laps of a green-white-checkered finish -- and a vigorous victory celebration.
"I asked Todd [Gordon, crew chief] if there was anything I could do to try to protect the engine, because we saw Brad and Ryan had problems," Logano said. "He told me all we could do was go for it and hope for the best.
"This is a really big deal for Ford. They've swept everything here at Daytona this year. The feeling of winning the Daytona 500, I can't explain how cool this is. I said in an interview that this was our worst racetrack last year and we worked really hard to figure out how we could get better at it.
"All the hard work got us the win today."
The victory almost certainly guaranteed Logano one of the 16 berths in the 2015 Chase for the Sprint Cup. Last year, he qualified for the final round at Homestead-Miami Speedway, but a relatively poor race relegated him to fourth place in the final standings.
After winning at his worst track, Logano and the No. 22 team will be looking for a better result at Homestead in November. But that's a long way down the road.
"We're just going to have fun the next 25 weeks [before the Chase starts] and build up those bonus points," team owner Roger Penske said, smiling.
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