NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Coca-Cola 600
Topics: Coca-Cola 600
May 29, 2011
CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA
Q. From what we saw on television, it looked like you right behind David had a really tight squeeze. It looked like you had just a tiny little tunnel to get through there. Could you talk about what was going on from the way you saw it?
JOEY LOGANO: To be honest, I relied on my spotter so much. With these spoilers and the way these cars are, you can't see in front of you that far, so all you can really see is the first two cars in front of you.
I saw one on the left side slowing down, and my spotter was just like, Keep your foot on it, and then we saw the Ford and he said go low and found me a hole and got right through there. I just followed David. He went through there first.
THE MODERATOR: We're also now joined by today's race runner up. That's David Ragan. He drives the No. 6 UPS Ford for Roush-Fenway racing. David's second place finish today is his best ever NASCAR Sprint Cup Series finish. Talk about your run out there. You were running up front consistently all day.
DAVID RAGAN: Yeah, I thought it was going to get ugly there at the end, which it did for everyone else and not us. We had a top three or four car, I think, and that last caution came out. We were going to be like a lap or two short, and we knew that if we would have been leading, we would have stayed out. You can't pit when you're leading that late. But we were running like fourth or fifth at the time.
So I saw Drew made a pretty gutsy call to come in and pit. When you've got four fresh tires and you're full of fuel, you can be aggressive on those restarts and just very lucky to get through Turn 1 without getting wrecked. It was either the 4 or the 83, I don't know which one of the Red Bull cars was on the outside, but he ran out.
Getting into 1, it was just barely enough room. We actually clipped the right front fender. We bent it in. We probably couldn't have made very many more laps. We were just in the right place at the right time. We had a strong car all day. Got the finish that we deserved, but we just went about doing it the hard way.
Q. Joey, there was some times earlier in the race where Zippy was like, You've got to tell me what you need, sort of getting feedback from you. After last week, the little tension you guys had at the end of the race, is everything okay with you guys, and the talk seems to still continue to linger about a potential crew chief change?
JOEY LOGANO: We're a couple Yankees from up north, and we yell and scream at each other. That's just how we communicate. I think that's how everyone communicates that's from up there. So that's not a big deal.
He was getting frustrated. I was frustrated. I felt like we got the balance of the car closer. It wasn't going any faster. We just didn't have the grip in the car. So we really need to change a lot of things to try to find some speed back in our race car.
So no, I mean, that was just -- I just saw both of us getting frustrated, and it is what it is. You've got to work those things out. Sometimes it's better to tell people how you feel and get over it. It works out all right. We don't hold grudges. We just keep going.
Q. This is for both of you guys. You guys spent four or four and a half hours out there really working hard, making all your strategy moves, and then the race comes down to like -- you guys are laughing about the finish because it's just like chaos out there and whoever happens to get through gets through and whoever doesn't doesn't. Is that sort of like bizarre?
DAVID RAGAN: Yeah, we could have done all that in 40 laps and been at the house a couple hours ago.
That's just how competitive the Sprint Cup Series is. We can race for 600 miles and there's still 15 cars that's got a shot to win it at the end. So I think that is something that is good about our sport.
Some strategy finally came into it. There's some guys on old tires, I think two tires a lot during the night, four tires. So it was a very, very fun race to drive and to work out. You know, a lot of times we took fuel only a couple times, in 2, in 4, and I can't remember doing that variation of stuff here in a long time, so it was pretty cool.
JOEY LOGANO: Yeah, I think track position played in this race a lot more than what it normally does. I think it was because of the tire, though. I'm used to coming in here and we're up by the wall. This car is a lot more places now, and now they're stuck on the bottom. Everyone ran on the bottom the whole time, so it was really hard to pass.
If you didn't get them on the first couple laps of a restart, you might as well ride around the rest of the run. I think that's why a lot people did a lot of pit strategy, trying to get their car up there. It was a lot different race than what we normally see in Charlotte.
Q. On the final restart there was a pretty big pileup in Turn 1 and 2, and NASCAR elected not to throw a caution. Did you think there might be a caution coming out there, and would either of you have benefitted if there had been another attempt at a green flag finish?
JOEY LOGANO: I was hoping there wasn't a caution. This is the highest I had been in the whole race the whole time, so I didn't really even know this was a big pileup. I just saw cars stopped everywhere. I think by the time we came back around, there was no cars, so everything was good.
DAVID RAGAN: Yeah, I guess they made the right call because my spotter said, Hey, they're wrecking in 1 but no caution, and I just assumed that we would get to the back straightaway and they'd throw the caution, but I guess everybody kind of got sorted out and kept going.
So you never can tell what would have happened if they would have thrown another caution. We probably would have had another wreck and maybe would have gotten involved. So I guess we're glad what happened happened. We'll take it.
Q. Talk about your early careers, guys. You've been -- a lot of people don't know how long you've been around racing.
JOEY LOGANO: I think it's really cool. Me and David have known each other since '99. I remember pulling in Orlando Speedway with my parents and meeting Ken Ragan, buying a Bandolero from him and racing it and getting to know David and racing him since then. It's been pretty cool.
There's not many drivers that can make it to the Sprint Cup level at any time, and to see both of us making it and still being good friends today, I think it's really cool, and it's cool that we finished, both of us, in the top three in a race like this when we used to battle it out on the quarter mile back there not too long ago. It's pretty cool.
DAVID RAGAN: Yeah. It's fun to race with guys that you grew up racing with. A lot of guys in the Sprint Cup Series today have come from all around the U.S. and even though Joey is a Yankee guy from up north, he did come south, and it was fun racing a lot. We shared a little race shop for a few years. Yeah, it's cool to be able to get to race with him. And certainly when we're both competitive, that makes it even more fun.
Q. David, we had talked about your season and you needing to show some improvement in some things. Going forward this has got to be the boost that we were talking about that you really need. How do you feel about the rest of the season from here on?
DAVID RAGAN: I feel great about the rest of the season. We've just been inconsistent. We've had some fast cars. We've run good. Certainly this race is a great race. It's a great momentum builder, but if we go to Kansas and blow up and finish last and then we go to the next race and wreck and finish 30th, we're going to be back where we're at.
So we've got to put some finishes together. We've got to string some top 5s and top 10s week after week after week, and that's what's going to turn our season around. This was a great race, very proud of our team, and hopefully we moved up a few spots in points and gained some momentum, but we've got to let it do its thing from here on out. We just can't look back at this one and hope this is going to carry us. We've got to go get it done next week and the following.
|Connect with The Crittenden Automotive Library|