At Michigan, Joey Logano stamped his name into the 2016 edition of the Chase for the Sprint Cup with a dominating performance, leading 138 of 200 laps.
However, through the first-half of the season, that is Logano’s solo triumph, while Cup Series teammate, Brad Keselowski is leading the series with four victories, including the last two weeks at Daytona and Kentucky.
The two teams have combined for five victories, the second most to any organization in 2016, only behind Joe Gibbs Racing, which has seven among four different drivers. In other words, Keselowski’s victories brings a lot to the Team Penske organization.
“I’m not frustrated at all,” Logano told Frontstretch on Friday afternoon in New Hampshire. “I’m proud of his success. When one of our Team Penske cars win, it’s success for all, it’s just the way we work as a race team and the way we’ve been successful in the past. We’re happy for each other and it builds momentum for the whole race team. Believe it or not, we gain a lot when he wins. Yes, I would rather be in Victory Lane, but the point of this is we want to be racing each other for the win and I’ve seen us do that quite a bit, even this year.”
At the halfway point of the season, Logano has seven top-five finishes, along with his 11 top 10s, which is down one from Keselowski’s 12 top-10 finishes.
But Logano doesn’t look at it that way.
Arguably, Team Penske has the closest two drivers as teammates in NASCAR. Since the duo united in 2013, the organization has visited Victory Lane 25 teams. When one team wins, everyone wins.
“We’re as tight as I feel like anybody else, or more than anybody else in my opinion,” Logano stated. “As drivers, I’ve never had a relationship like the one I have with Brad, which is more like friends than a working relationship. We have a friendship, which I think is important.”
Having that distinct friendship is something that Logano feels is important and a necessity to win races. Though he had 22 top-five finishes in 2015 and a series-high six victories, friendships are more than winning and it’s an epidemic throughout the race team.
“I think that a friendship and relationship that you have with someone as drivers trickles down to the teams,” Logano elaborated. “It brings everyone closer together. Our crew chiefs are close and obviously we have Roger there to make sure that happens to. That part has clicked really well.”
Statistically, the move to Team Penske was Logano’s best career-decision. It wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Keselowski and crew chief Todd Gordon. In the three-and-a-half seasons driving a Penske Ford, he has 11 more victories than he did when he drove for Joe Gibbs Racing from 2009 to 2012.
The Connecticut native is looking to improve on those statistics and finish the season out strong, winning his first Cup Series championship.
“We’ve had a great season as a team thus far,” Logano said. “We have a long ways to go as the Chase hasn’t even started. It’s cool because we only have a couple bullets in the chamber, and we have the No. 21 car which is one of ours as well. It’s nice to be able to have a lot of wins when you don’t have as many cars.”
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