Our weekly series of interviews continues: 12 questions with NASCAR drivers who aren't currently in the top 12 of the Sprint Cup Series. Since the Chase drivers already get plenty of publicity, we thought this would be a good way to get to know some of the non-Chase drivers a little better. This week: Joe Gibbs Racing's Joey Logano, who is barely outside the top 12.
What's the best race you ever drove?
JL: I had a good run at Adirondack Speedway in a Camping World East car [in 2007]. It was not my favorite racetrack – I probably hated it. But I ran fifth the whole race and started figuring it out at the end. The track is like a circle. I passed for the lead into [Turn] 3 on the last lap, came off the corner sideways and cleared him. It was clean – we never touched each other – and I was able to win it. It was fun, because I didn't expect to win it. I qualified bad, ran bad and didn't even lead a full lap. I led 200 feet of the whole race.
Who is the most talented driver in NASCAR?
JL: I'd like to say me, but... (laughs). They're all talented. To make it here, I think everybody's talent level is way up there. When you're in the lower series, your talent can take care of a lot of it. To be dominant here, you have to work that much harder. So probably whoever works the hardest.
Who is one driver you would recommend learning from, and one driver you wouldn't?
JL: Who would I tell them to learn from? Well, I guess the guys who are going fast. Whoever's out there running good. Work with your teammates and talk to the guys who have done it for awhile, whether that's Mark Martin or Jeff Gordon or Jimmie Johnson – guys who have been here and been fast. You don't pick the brain of the guy who's running 43rd out there. You don't want to see what he's doing!
When's the best time for a fan to approach you for an autograph?
JL: An autograph session? (Laughs) I mean, I go to the souvenir hauler every week, so that's always a good time. I'm kind of whenever [for signing].
What's the worst track to visit?
JL: For me, it's Texas. I like going there, I think it's a nice facility, beautiful racetrack. I just suck there. It's always put on good races, I just don't run good in either car. I've run top five in my Nationwide car there, but those are the kind of places I expect to be leading and trying to win the race. I'm just not any good there. I've tried to figure it out. I've gotten better every time I've been there, so that's exciting. But I've got a little bit more to go!
And you know what's weird, too? Charlotte, in the Nationwide car, we've never been in contention to win there, but in a Cup car, it's one of my best racetracks. So go figure that one out for yourself – cause I haven't! (laughs)
If you ran NASCAR, what's one thing you'd change?
JL: I think they're doing a lot of stuff wrong (laughs). No, I mean, I haven't been here long enough [to say], you know? I don't know enough yet. Ask me that in three years, I'll bet I'd have a good answer for you.
Who's the one driver you most admire outside of NASCAR?
JL: Outside of NASCAR? So you're talking like even outside of old-school NASCAR drivers? (SBN: Yeah, no NASCAR) You're really limiting me down, because I don't know much outside NASCAR. I don't watch too much other racing. It's always been NASCAR stuff for me, growing up and watching it.
How long do you see yourself driving?
JL: Hopefully forever. I see Mark [Martin], he's still doing a great job. Hopefully for as long as he does. My answer is obviously is going to be different than everyone else, because I'm still new, I'm still having fun, it's not wearing me out. I don't really have to go home to my family and spend time with my wife and kids or anything. So I'm always wanting to go to the racetrack: "Let's go!" All the time. So right now I'll say "forever," but in a few years when I have a family, that might be a different story. But I don't know until that happens. Until then, let ‘er rip, tater chip!
When you get home from a race, what's first thing you do?
JL (tilts head back and pretends to relax): Aaaaaaah (laughs). Usually I go to Johnny Brusco's when I get home and get a nice, hot pizza. It's an Italian restaurant right near our house. I'll get a big pizza and head on home and take a nice, hot shower and eat my pizza and watch a little bit of replay of the race. And hit the hay.
Do you have any superstitions when it comes to racing?
JL: Nothing. None of it works. I used to try some things and it never worked, so screw it.
Who wins the Sprint Cup in 2015?
JL: In 2015? (points at himself) This guyyy! I mean, that's five years from now. Lord knows what happens in five years. Holy moly. In five years, Jimmie Johnson could be going for nine in a row (laughs). Hopefully that won't happen!
Would you rather be known as great person or great driver?
JL: Can I say both? I strive for both. I think you can be both. I don't think you have to be a moron to win races. I don't think you have to be stuck up and think you're better than everyone to win races. So I don't see why you can't be a good person and win races. Why not? I feel like I'm a decent person. I don't know, you tell me! I might be a douchebag, I don't know! (laughs)