Joey Logano looks to complete two-week Charlotte sweep

After winning the Sprint All-Star Race and the $1 million that went with it, what else could Joey Logano possibly want out of May race weeks at Charlotte Motor Speedway?

The answer to that question is simple. He wants the two-week Charlotte Sprint Cup sweep.

Winning the non-points All-Star Race was awesome — not only in terms of the pile of money it represented, but also, as Logano stated immediately afterward, as a "resume-builder."

But now he wants to add a Coca-Cola 600 victory to that career resume. And he said he’s hoping that the momentum he and his No. 22 Team Penske Ford group gained by winning the All-Star Race will carry over into NASCAR’s longest race this Sunday.


"That definitely gives us momentum for us and our race team," said Logano, who currently sits eighth in the points standings. "… Going into last weekend we came off three crashes in a row. That confidence gets killed in those moments. I think our team is a lot stronger than that, so it’s nice to break through after three tough weekends and be able to break through and get that first victory of the year — even though it was the All-Star Race and it didn’t count for points."

See, that’s just it.

While his teammate at Team Penske, Brad Keselowski, already has won two points races this season to secure his spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Logano still needs to win at least one to make sure he’ll have a shot at contending for the 2016 championship in NASCAR’s playoffs over the season’s final 10 races.

Plus Logano knows that winning the prestigious Coca-Cola 600 also would fill yet another hole on his resume.

"We really want to win this Coca-Cola 600. … I feel like I’ve got a good car so far in practice," Logano said after Thursday’s opening practice for the 600. "We’ve only been in qualifying trim, but there’s not really a whole bunch different from last weekend. I’m really excited about it. I think we’ve got a good piece."

Logano is confident not only because of his All-Star victory, but also because he won the Bank of America 500 at CMS last fall. So he’s now on a two-race winning streak at the 1.5-mile track where he previously had never won.

Of course, the fall race at CMS is one thing — and the 600 is its own beast entirely. Not only is it 100 miles longer, but it also begins in daylight and ends under the cover of darkness, meaning track conditions from start to finish vary wildly.

"It’s become one of our best race tracks, for sure," Logano said. "Anytime you go to the race track and the last two races you’ve run you’ve won, that makes you feel good and obviously gives you a lot of confidence going into the race.

"But this track changes so much."

And that’s not all that changes frequently. NASCAR announced Thursday morning that it is tweaking its aerodynamic rules yet again — although the latest changes won’t take effect until future races at Kentucky and Michigan.

He said to keep up with all that, he relies heavily on his crew chief, Todd Gordon.

"If you look at what happened here last fall to the All-Star Race to now it’s three different packages from a rules standpoint," Logano said. "So yeah, it takes something different every time, but I think the one thing that’s consistent is that feel inside the race car you need to have and being able to communicate that to your crew chief. 

"Todd really understands what that is and we’re able to talk about that and be able to make sure we have it in our car. That’s the hard part: making sure you have that feel in your car because what worked last week probably isn’t going to work as well. I mean, you can have a direction on things, but it’s probably going take something a little bit different to make the car work this week because I think it will be a little bit different."