Has Joey Logano inquired about the possibility of driving Penske Racing's No. 22 car next year?
Logano was asked that very question on Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and he didn't exactly deny his interest if the ride becomes available.
"Obviously, right now we have to look at all our options out here trying to do what's the best opportunity for my future," Logano said. "And that's talking to as many people as we can and seeing what's available."
With Matt Kenseth likely joining Joe Gibbs Racing for next season, Logano is under pressure to perform. He needs to show that he continues to deserve a ride with JGR – whether that continues to be in the No. 20 car or a fourth team created by JGR specifically for Logano.
If not, Logano is likely out of a Cup car at JGR and would need to decide on his next move.
The best way for Logano to demonstrate he belongs with a top-flight NASCAR team – be it JGR, Penske or another organization – is by winning races. And if the 22-year-old driver can win another race in the next eight weeks, it might be enough to secure himself a spot in the Chase for the first time in his career.
Add everything together and it's easy to understand why this is a stressful time for Logano.
"I feel pressure from both ends," Logano said. "You want to be able to focus 100 percent on what you're doing right now, trying to make the Chase. During the week we're trying to figure out what my future is gonna be. And when I get here on the weekend, I try and put all that stuff in the back of my mind and try and focus 100 percent on what I having going on this weekend and trying to win a race."
As it often does, winning tends to be a cure-all, and that is Logano's approach as he attempts to balance the immediate pressure with trying to determine what his future may hold.
"On the race track you can only control so much of your destiny, but if I can control it on the race track, I then can control it on the other side as well," Logano said referring to his uncertain future.
"I say it all the time: 'Winning races will make all the other stuff come along a lot quicker.' We're getting there, slowly but surely."