The series of weekly driver interviews continues with Joey Logano of Team Penske. I spoke with Logano last weekend at Pocono Raceway. These interviews are recorded as a podcast but are also transcribed for those who prefer to read.
1. How often do you have dreams about racing?
I have dreams a lot about racing. I recently had a dream in Charlotte that it started raining during the race, so I got out of the car, went back to the hauler to get some food and the race started back up without me. And I went running back onto pit road and my team was changing out my seat and they were putting Paul Menard’s seat in.
So I woke up and of course it was raining — like in real life it was raining — and I was like, “Oh my God, am I actually missing this?” And I was nervous. Usually I have dreams about missing things. Which is probably why I’m early to everything in my life.
That’s a good policy though.
Yeah. I like being early. I get really nervous about being late.
2. If you get into someone during a race — intentional or not — does it matter if you apologize?
Yes, I think it matters. I don’t know about apologizing, but what I’ve learned at least is sometimes it helps just to talk about it. You know? Say, “Hey, here’s what happened.” And if it’s good or bad, at least you know what happened. Talk about it.
A lot of times those conversations aren’t really good, especially if it’s recent, like if it just happened. It’s usually not a good conversation, but I’ve learned in life sometimes the tough conversations are the best ones.
3. What is the biggest compliment someone could give you?
I’d say the biggest compliment would be something about your integrity or who you are as a person. I think a good job, pat on the back doesn’t really hold much. But when someone talks about your character, it probably holds more value to me. Someone that knows me that says something about my character means the most.
Not somebody on Twitter or something?
I appreciate everyone on Twitter and their opinions. But it’s hard to know somebody from just social media alone, which is why I try to do things that show who I am more often, whether you like it or not. Sometimes I think social media, it’s all about the posts, it’s about what you put up — and a lot of people post things that aren’t real life sometimes. And I’m not talking about racing and all that, but just in general. People always post the good days, they don’t post the bad days or the work that gets to that post you put up. So I always take social media with a grain of salt when I look at other people’s stuff.
4. NASCAR comes to you and says they’re bringing a celebrity to the track and they want you to host them. Who is a celebrity you’d be really excited to host at a race?
(Deep sigh) I don’t know. (Thinks for a moment)
That was a big sigh. Are you not real big on celebs?
Not really. I mean, I think it’s great we’re bringing celebrities to the racetrack, that means there’s a lot of great things that come along with that for our sport. Honestly, I kind of live in my own little world sometimes. I get excited about meeting people — a lot of times athletes, because I like asking them a bunch of questions. Most of the time, I ask about their life and how they handle pressure and how they handle the family and work and putting all that together — what they do, how they prep for a game. I really enjoy meeting athletes more than probably anyone.
I guess like Tom Brady or somebody would be cool to talk to. But just because I’m a New England fan. No one else really sticks out in my mind, because a lot of times, it’s fun to invite people to the racetrack — but you’re still doing your job, so you never really have time to meet them. I’d rather have the time to go to dinner and actually get to know somebody than just like, “Hey, thanks for coming out, I’ll shake your hand, cool to meet ya.” That doesn’t really get anywhere to me.
5. In an effort to show this is a health conscious sport, NASCAR decides to offer the No. 1 pit stall for an upcoming race to the first driver willing to go vegan for one month. Would you do it?
So my wife and I watched this documentary called What The Health. Don’t ever watch it, because it scared the crap out of us. (Laughs) And we did go vegan for about two weeks until we said, “What are we doing?” (Laughs) I needed a hamburger. So that was the end of that. But yeah.
So with that being said, I’ve kinda done it already somewhat. If there was like a pot of gold at the end like a first pit stall, yeah. I think let’s do it.
Most people have said no to that?
Yeah, most people said absolutely not, no way. Which I thought was kind of surprising.
There’s still a lot of things you can eat.
Yeah. And a lot of that food is disguised to taste good.
It’s not that bad. If you put enough barbecue sauce on something, you can make anything taste good. (Laughs)
6. It’s time for the Random Race Challenge. I’ve picked a random race from your career and you have to tell me where you finished. This is the 2014 Michigan spring race for Cup.
Hmm. Is that the one I won? I think I won 2015 there. I think we won that race? No…
No, I don’t make it that easy on you.
The answer is ninth. You started ninth, finished ninth, you led 29 laps at one point. Jimmie Johnson won. You finished behind Kyle Larson and ahead of Clint Bowyer. That’s all I know.
Eh. I don’t remember that. (Laughs)
Are you typically good at remembering races or not?
No. Not at all. That’s why I have to write notes and have to rewatch races to remember what happened. I don’t even remember the last time we were at Pocono (in 2017).
7. Who is the best rapper alive?
(Crinkles his face while thinking.) Honestly, I don’t know many rappers.
I wish the face you just made could have translated to the interview.
Yeah, I don’t know. I mean, I listen to a lot of different types of music, and I’ll listen to some rap — but it’s more like older rap, like 90s to early 2000s. But I don’t know. I’m not into music a whole bunch to know that. Like I said, I live in my own little world sometimes, and I don’t really know what’s going on.
8. Who has the most punchable face in NASCAR?
You, for asking the question. How’s that sound? (Laughs)
I’m surprised nobody said that yet. I think I actually do have a punchable face. I’m worried about it at times when I look in the mirror.
If someone’s going to ask that question, you’re probably going to get punched in the face.
That’s fair. I think I might get off this golf cart now though.
(Laughs) Has anyone answered me for that?
It didn’t happen to me.
Oh, that’s right. He missed.
I slipped it. If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a punch. Isn’t that how it went? If you can dodge a ball?
I thought at the time you were just saying you didn’t get punched — but you actually didn’t?
No! I did an interview after. You didn’t see it on my face, did you?
No, but I just thought you were trying to save face.
Not my face, at least. I know that.
I believe you.
I will say that the camera did show that it looked like (Busch connected). I will say that.
It was like The Matrix where you’re like barely getting out of the way.
It was close. I think I felt some breeze. Just a cool breeze. (Laughs)
9. NASCAR enlists three famous Americans to be involved with your team for one race as part of a publicity push: Taylor Swift, LeBron James and Tom Hanks. Choose one to be your crew chief, one to be your spotter and one to be your motorhome driver.
I’m gonna say LeBron James is the crew chief.
You like sports guys, so you want him.
Yeah, I feel like he’s gonna have a little sports insight.
I’m gonna put Taylor Swift as the spotter because she’s got a good voice, and that’s a talking job and she’s a singer, so that makes sense. And then Tom Hanks is gonna drive the bus and we’re gonna hang out and have a good time together.
10. What is the key to finding the best pre-race bathroom?
Some places, they don’t have a really good place to go. But whatever’s closest when you get off the truck after the parade lap — you just (go to) whatever’s closest.
It’s always kind of funny for us, because there’s always fans around because fans are smart enough that they figure it out this is where everybody’s going and they sit there and wait. And it’s kind of weird because they want to shake your hand. And I’m gonna be honest with you — I wash my hands, but I don’t see every driver washing their hands in there afterward. And then I see them (going for the handshake) and I’m like, “That’s…um…” and I go for the knuckles on the way out because I don’t want a chance for the germs.
So this is a public service announcement.
Yes. Go for the knuckles. Do that. (Laughs)
11. NASCAR misses the highlight reel value brought by Carl Edwards’ backflips and decides a replacement is needed. How much money would they have to pay you to backflip off your car after your next win?
I’m not sure if I’m capable. I’ve never tried to do a backflip, not even on a trampoline or anything because I’m really scared of landing on my head and my neck. I’ve got a long neck, I’m afraid I’m gonna snap my neck. (Ryan) Newman probably wouldn’t have this problem at all. (Laughs)
But I think you have to look at it and say, how long is it gonna put you out of work? So if it’s gonna put you out your whole career, you need whatever the rest of your career is. Like if it’s gonna paralyze you, the rest of your career is paid. If it’s gonna put you out for three months, then you have to look at that, too. So I think you have to look at worst-case scenario, and that’s what it would cost.
12. Each week, I ask a driver to give me a question for the next interview. Last week was Alexander Rossi and his question was: What do you think of Danica?
I think Danica is a pioneer in our sport from a women’s standpoint in the things that she was able to accomplish. I think what she brought to our sport as far as eyeballs that watched it, a lot of fans came from it, and I think the improvement and the hard work she put into it is admirable.
Obviously, as a woman in our sport has a lot of challenges. I think she overcame a lot of them. Honestly, I think she earned a lot of respect in here that no one really cared if she was a boy or girl or whatever. I don’t think it really mattered at the end. So I look up to her for that, because I think there was a lot that comes with that.
And I also kind of like how she’s smart enough to realize that racing is something that is sometimes here today and gone tomorrow, and she has put herself in position to invest into her future outside of motorsports. I don’t think all athletes do that, so that’s impressive to see. She’s got the wine thing, she’s got some clothing stuff. I think that’s admirable as well. So I think she’s done a lot. I think she should be proud of her career and proud of what the next steps are.
The next interview I’m doing is with a yet-to-be-determined NASCAR driver. Do you have a question I can ask him?
I thought about this a while ago, I was reading one of these articles, and I thought, “Man, I’ve got a good question for next time I do this.” And now I’ve completely forgotten. (Laughs)
That wasn’t the setup I thought you were going for.
I know! I completely forgot. So I’m trying to think of something.
How about, “What do you think of Joey Logano?” (Laughs hysterically) That could be funny. From Joey Logano!
So “What do you think of me?”
I think that’s an alright question. “What do you think of Joey Logano?” (Laughs) I think that’s kinda funny. (Laughs)
Previous 12 Questions interviews with Joey Logano: