Logano looks to join teammate Keselowski in title hunt

Joey Logano has driven well this season, but he also has been aided by solid pit stops by his No. 22 Team Penske Ford team.

Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images

In just his second year with Team Penske, 24-year-old Joey Logano is having a career year and enters the 16-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup with confidence on his side.

With three victories already this season, Logano has come into his own as the driver of the No. 22 Ford. Now making his second consecutive Chase start, the young driver once deemed "Sliced Bread" is focused on earning his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title.

Heading into next weekend’s first Chase race at Chicagoland Speedway, Logano and his team led by crew chief Todd Gordon plan on doing what got them to this point in the season.

"We’ve been very consistent, running up in the top 5 every week and in contention to win," Logano said after Saturday night’s race at Richmond International Raceway. "If we do that the next 10 races we’re going to get ourselves to (the season finale at) Homestead and then we’re going to have a hell of a race from there. But right now we’ve got to just stay focused, do what we do, don’t get spun out about the pressure kicking in or anything like that, which I know my team is good at, we’ll just keep our heads down and maybe shut off the TVs and do our jobs, don’t let other people influence what we’re going to do, and like I said, do what we do."

Working closely with teammate Brad Keselowski, the entire Team Penske organization has emerged as a serious threat to Hendrick Motorsports and the rest of the Chase field.

Logano has three wins on the season, while Keselowski earned his season-leading fourth victory in dominant fashion Saturday night in Richmond.

While the two teams have been working closely throughout the entire year, and vow to do so throughout the Chase, if Logano wants to become the Sprint Cup Series champion it appears he will have to beat Keselowski and the No. 2 team in order to do so.

"I think at least from the driver standpoint, I think both Brad and myself understand that we need to work together to be able to run well," Logano said after his win at Bristol Motor Speedway. "We’re a two-car team out there. We need to work very tight together to make it work, and I think that’s the same throughout all of Team Penske.

"You see that all the way through, but we have to make sure, and as a driver it’s our responsibility right now, to make sure we race each other right and make sure we still share our information because the moment we stop doing that and the moment we go away from each other the performance will go away."

And that’s why Logano doesn’t see their level of cooperation diminishing over these next 10 races — at least to a point.

"I think we both understand that, that if we grow apart from each other we’re not gonna be running first and second anymore, we’re gonna be racing for 15th and 16th and we don’t want that," Logano said. "Brad says it all the time and I say it too, I’d much rather finish second to Brad than beat him and finish 14th.

"That’s the attitude we’ve got to keep throughout this whole thing. Yeah, I see ourselves racing for the championship and I see that becoming tough, but I think we’re aware of what we need to do to go fast every week and we’ll keep that throughout everybody."

VIDEO: Looking back as Joey Logano celebrates his third win of the season at Bristol

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