NASCAR: Joey Logano Defends Winning Move At Pocono

When Joey Logano nudged his way past Mark Martin to win Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono, he knew there would be plenty of questions about his method.

"I saw that one coming from three miles away," he said with a laugh.

But in speaking with reporters at a Toyota drifting demonstration on Tuesday, Logano said he had no regrets about the way he passed his former mentor to win the Pocono 400.

"Any shot you've got to win a race, you've got to take that opportunity," he said. "I wasn't going to wreck him – that's not the way to win races – but we're going to do whatever we can to win a race. Obviously, we're really hungry – we needed a win bad – but at the same time, you're racing. ... (My team) expects me to go out there and do everything I possibly can to win the race."

Martin said after the Pocono race that he wouldn't have roughed up Logano for the win and that the younger driver pulled a "bump-and-run" on him. He planned to return the favor if he had gotten back to Logano's back bumper.

But Martin also conceded that hard driving seems to be how racing goes these days.

"Mark said in his interview afterward that's kind of what our races have turned into, and it's been accepted to race really hard like that," Logano said. "And that's what our fans came to see – our fans want to see some hard racing out there, like the old-school days. That's what they were able to see at Pocono on Sunday."

It was fitting for Logano to get his first "real" Cup win (the other was a rain-shortened race) against Martin, who is partly responsible for Logano's career in the first place. Martin had long been an advocate for Logano before the driver was on the radar of major Sprint Cup Series teams like Joe Gibbs Racing.

"Mark has helped me in so much of my career; I wouldn't be standing here today if it weren't for Mark," Logano said.
"Couldn't ask for a cooler guy to race against. It was like a dream come true for sure."

The 22-year-old driver said he "wouldn't have had the opportunity" to make the move on Martin a few years ago, because he didn't have the seat time to pull it off.

"I have the experience now and I'm good enough to do that," he said. "Before, I really wasn't. And that's because you had to learn and you have to figure it out. I was 18 years old."

But will Logano remain with JGR after this season and be allowed to continue growing with his one and only Cup team? The driver's contract is up, and big-name free agents like Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch have inquired about the No. 20 ride.

Logano wouldn't say much about his contract situation, other than that he hasn't been offered anything new after his win. The driver acknowledged his sponsors might have even more to do with his future than the decision-makers at JGR do.

"As far as next year, there's no for-sure answer on anything yet," he said.

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