Joey Logano addresses NASCAR penalties: ‘We pushed a little too far’ – USA TODAY
USA TODAY Sports’ Brant James previews the upcoming Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race.
USA TODAY Sports
TALLADEGA, Ala. â Despite being hit with major penalties by NASCAR this week, Joey Logano on Friday described his team as âthe most professional organization out hereâ and said he and his teammates âwill move on and attack again.â
A follow-up inspection of Loganoâs winning car at Richmond International Raceway revealed an illegal suspension. NASCAR labeled the win as âencumberedâ and penalized the team five playoff points, 25 regular-season points and $50,000. More importantly, crew chief Todd Gordon was suspended for two races, and the tainted Richmond victory canât be used to qualify Logano for the playoffs.
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On the opening day of practice for Sundayâs Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, Logano admitted that Team Penske was guilty of a rules infraction at Richmond but said the team was pushing the envelope to gain speed advantage.
âI think what happened was something thatâs very, very small,â Logano said. âWhat we got in trouble for was something that really didnât make our car any faster. I drive the car and I really donât know whatâs underneath it.
âThe penalty is pretty severe. It wasnât like a big thing, but the rule is written in black and white. We pushed a little too far. Weâll pay that penalty and move on.â
Logano said the loss of Gordon for Sundayâs race and next weekâs event at Kansas Speedway is a major hit.
“Todd is a very big piece of our race team,â he said. âThatâs something thatâs very challenging. Losing playoff points is something thatâs very big, as well. Losing 25 regular-season points that basically are playoff points in the first 26 races is tough. Weâre taking the hit, for sure. Itâs not going to be easy to overcome it.â
The silver lining, Logano said, is that the penalties âwill make us more determined to make it happen. I think we can make up those points.â
He said the teamâs approach wonât change. âWe have to get as close to that edge as we possibly can to be successful and win races,â he said.
Paul Wolfe, crew chief for Logano’s teammate Brad Keselowski, will also miss this weekend’s raceÂ as Team Penske continues to fightÂ penalties imposed on the No. 2 team for a March 19 infraction at Phoenix Raceway.
Wolfe, who was initially suspended for three races, already sat out one race, at Fontana, Calif., but the teamÂ later appealed and has a final hearing scheduled for May 9.Â If the penalties are upheld,Â Wolfe would have to miss next weekend’s race at Kansas Speedway, but would be eligible to return later this month for the All-Star race and Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
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