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Friday Q and A: Joey Logano

| , RacinToday.com Friday, June 11 2010

Joey Logano talked about his confrontation with Kevin Harvick on Friday. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

RacinToday.com

Joey Logano met with the media on Friday at Michigan International Speedway for the first time since he confronted Kevin Harvick after the race at Pocono last Sunday.

He talked about the incident and matters pertaining to it. Here is a portion of that press conference:

Question: What happened last weekend at Pocono after the race?

Logano: “It was last week, it is what it is.  I said how I feel about it and I’m moving on from it.  It is what it is.  Right now, we’re trying to make the Chase and that’s our main priority.”

Q: Do you still stand by all of the comments you made?

A: “I don’t take nothing back.  I’m a man of my word.  I said what I had to and that’s it.”

Q: Are you surprised by all of the reaction from the incident at Pocono last weekend?

A: “I was a little surprised by all of the reaction and how many people were into it.  I felt like I was done wrong out there and that’s it.”

Q: Have you watched tape to see what happened on the track?

A: “We watched it on tape and it’s pretty obvious what happened and I don’t think I need to go into details on what happened.  You guys seem to know what’s going on out there more than me.”

Q: Do you feel you did anything to put the 29 crew guys in danger?

A: “No.  I didn’t.  If I was driving to hit someone with the car, yeah, that’s putting someone in danger, but I didn’t do that.”

QL How is your dad dealing with all of the publicity and reaction to his role in the incident last weekend?

A: “He’s fine.  My father, I love him to death and he’s there for me.  So I think that’s something that’s really cool and a lot of people don’t have that.  He’s always been by my side my whole life and maybe it was a position that maybe he shouldn’t have been there, but he’s a father and I bet 99 percent of the fathers would’ve been there anyway.”

Q: Did you have to have a conversation with your dad about the incident?

A: “I think he’s smart enough to understand what is going on.”

Q: What happened last weekend for you to show an aggressive side of yourself off the race track?

A: “I was mad.  I felt like I had a top-five finish going and when something is taken away from you like that it wiped the smile off my face.  I just wanted to express to everyone how I felt about it and that’s what happened.”

Q: Do you think you will get more respect from other drivers on the race track now?

A: “I don’t know.  I didn’t try to change everyone’s opinion about the way they look at me or not.  You’re in the heat of the moment and a lot of things are going on and that’s the emotions that came out of me.”

Q: How do you feel about being perceived as being young by the other drivers?

A: “Well, I am young, but I’ve been racing a long time.  It’s harder for me to talk to him (Kevin Harvick) than it is for him to talk to me.  So, I was trying to but no one would let me get to him.  I guess it’s harder.  Because I was the one trying to talk to him.”

Q: What do you think about Delana Harvick coming out with the t-shirt about your firesuit comments?

A: “I think it’s funny.  It’s kind of agreeing with what I said so I think it’s kind of funny.”

Q: What was unique about this incident that made you react differently?

A: “There’s been a few of them with the same person and eventually enough is enough.  After two or three of them I kind of had enough of that.”

Q: Do you think you deserve more respect on the race track?

A: “I try to be good with the give and take and all of that.  I just felt like when there is one lap to go you can race again.  When it comes down to the end of the race, I feel like you should be able to race.  That’s what this is.  That’s what NASCAR is, it’s racing.  And I know up to that point you’ve got to have give and take and you’ve got to go back and forth to earn that respect from these guys.  When it’s down to the end and you’re racing for a top-five why would you roll over and die.  You’ve got to have that fire in your eye and that fire that you want to race and that’s what I was doing.”

Q: Do you think you’ve been giving too much room to veteran racers?

A: “No, I don’t think so at all because if you watch the last few races we’ve been up towards the front and it’s been a lot more give and take, and I’ve had it back to me too.  People get up in front of me and I’ve had the same thing coming back to me after I’ve given it up.  So, we’ve had that back and forth and it’s definitely not a bad thing.  That’s for sure.”

Q: Do you think this is over now between you and Kevin Harvick?

A: “You never know.  I’m not going to say it is and I’m not going to say it’s not.  Right now my main priority is getting this Home Depot Toyota into the Chase and that’s our number one goal.”

Q: Is there a previous incident between you and Kevin Harvick that sparked this?

A: “That’s something that I was confused about all week.  I don’t have an answer for you.  I was sitting there thinking I don’t know what I did to make him so mad.  I don’t know.  I can’t figure it out.”

Q: Do you think if your dad backs off that the other drivers will respect you more?

A: “I don’t think so.  Everyone has got to have a father.  Everyone’s been in the situation growing up – racing with your father going up through the ranks and all of that.  A lot of the fathers are still here at the race track.  Not even for a 20-year-old kid, but for the older guys too – they still come to the race track.  There’s nothing different there than everybody else.”

Q: Is it frustrating to have NASCAR say ‘have at it’ and then have someone take you out of the top-five?

A: “It’s frustrating, yes.”

Q: What has to happen for Kevin Harvick to re-earn your respect?

A: “It will probably take some time.  It will probably take a long time.”

Q: Did you talk to Joe or J.D. Gibbs about this situation?

A: “I talked to Joe (Gibbs, owner) and J.D. (president, Joe Gibbs Racing) a lot when we got back to the shop.  We were just talking about what the right way to handle the situation is and they’ve been through a lot.  Just take their advice on what they said to do and we’ve got to go with them.”

Q: What advice did Joe and J.D. Gibbs give to you?

A: “Number one priority right now is making the Chase.  That’s the biggest thing we’ve got to do and I understand that.  It’s not only for Joe Gibbs Racing, but for Home Depot and for everybody on the 20 team.  It’s a big deal for us so that’s what we’ve got to do.”

Q: Do you feel like you made a statement after the Pocono race?

A: “I think I surprised a lot of people.  It’s not the first time I’ve been mad, I just don’t know it a lot — or at least not in public.  To me, it was not a big deal to me, but I think a lot of people are surprised and they weren’t ready for that.  It kind of is what it is.”

Q: Did you surprise yourself?

A: “No, I’ve gone up and talked to people before this happened just not in public.”

Q: How do you re-focus and work toward getting back into Chase contention?

A: “Put it behind you, man.  That’s it.  We’ve got to re-focus every week no matter what happens into the next week.  It’s not any different.  We’re here in Michigan this week and we ran good here last time — I think we finished seventh and qualified eighth.  We can do that again.  I feel like it’s going to be a great car.  Joe Gibbs Racing has been doing a great job picking up their stuff lately and we just need to have consistent finishes like we did here last time.”

| , RacinToday.com Friday, June 11 2010
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