A one-hour practice session Saturday morning gave Joey Logano an idea of what might lie ahead in the Monster Energy All-Star Race.
“We’re going to crash some stuff tonight, I think that’s pretty apparent,” the Team Penske driver said.
The aero package for this weekend is designed to keep the cars closer together, hopefully resulting in more competition. Logano spent time in final practice ahead of others and then running in dirty air and after experiencing both situations, he says he’d rather be out front.
“They drive pretty good when you’re by yourself – like Daytona and Talladega,” Logano said. “But in dirty air with that big spoiler, they get out of control behind each other.”
Restrictor plates, aero ducts, the 2014 style splitter and a six-inch spoiler with ears on each end bring unpredictability to the exhibition race. Many of the questions Logano faced after practice he admitted couldn’t be answered just yet. No one knows what will happen when the green flag flies.
How the cars will handle in a pack? What type of racing will it produce? What will be the challenges getting through the field in the final segment? Is this package any more fun than the regular one?
“I don’t know yet,” Logano said. “I don’t want to say it is better or worse until we race it. To be honest with you guys, I just don’t know yet. Was practice pretty entertaining to watch? Probably. It was a big pack, and the cars were rolling in and out. It is something, that is for sure.
“When everyone is on the same tires, will the pack look the same? I don’t think we can honestly answer that yet. So I can’t give you a fair answer yet, and I want to be honest with you, but I can’t tell you exactly how it is going to look yet.”
Except for its typical craziness.
“Toward the end of this race, business picks up, and hey, it’s the All-Star Race. It’s the same thing every time we come here no matter what package you got – you got nothing to lose and a million dollars to gain,” said Logano.
“ I think every driver knows that, and that whole caring about things goes out the window. You think about winning that race and winning that money, that’s what this is about.
“Doesn’t matter what package we have or if we’re racing tricycles or race cars. It doesn’t matter when there’s that much money on the line, there’s going to be some aggressive racing, and we will see that here tonight no matter what. Especially when you have a 10-lap shootout there.
“That’s going to get pretty chaotic, pretty quick. I don’t think the last 10 laps will go caution free. Just a thought. Maybe I’m wrong. If there are any cars left. It might be survival, that could be a big deal tonight.”