Joey Logano doesn’t have a diminished view of what his team accomplished at Richmond after NASCAR’s penalty.
Logano and his No. 22 team were penalized 25 points after his car failed post-race inspection following Sunday’s win at Richmond. NASCAR said on Thursday the truck arm in the back of the car was installed improperly.
“What we got in trouble for was something that really didn’t make our car any faster,” Logano said. “It wasn’t enough to make it much faster, so, personally inside, I still look at it as a win. Obviously, from the outside we’ve lost all the benefits of the win. We’ve lost the playoff points. We’ve lost a lot of regular points. We’ve lost our crew chief for a couple of weeks. We’ve lost some cash. The penalty is pretty severe. With that being said, it wasn’t like it was a big thing, but the rule is written and it’s black and white. We pushed a little bit too far and we’ll pay that penalty and move on and attack again.”
In addition to the points penalty, Todd Gordon, Logano’s crew chief, was suspended for two races. The team declined to appeal the penalty and Gordon will miss this week’s race at Talladega and next week’s race at Kansas.
Logano’s penalty is the first time NASCAR has “encumbered” a win since the word entered the sport’s vocabulary in 2016. The win doesn’t count for qualification into the playoffs and Logano can’t use the five bonus points for the playoffs that he earned for the win.
Gordon’s suspension means that Sunday’s race at Talladega will be a race with interim crew chiefs for both Team Penske cars. Paul Wolfe, the crew chief for Logano’s teammate Brad Keselowski, is serving the second race of a three-race suspension given for a Phoenix violation. Wolfe is serving his penalty as Penske awaits the final appeal for the penalty.
“Honestly, I don’t believe that we wear a black hat or anything like that,” Logano said about the team. “I think we’re the most professional organization out here. I think we push as hard as we can because we’re looking for hundredths of a second – every race team is – the fact of the matter is we’re winning right now and when your car wins it gets put through tech a lot. That’s the way I look at it is we’re successful right now and that’s why our car has to go through tech, and that’s just part of it, but we’re gonna have to push as hard as we can to be successful, and sometimes you go over that line.”
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