Joey Logano says NASCAR's new cars are like 'marbles'

Joey Logano says the Daytona 500 will be ‘intense’

Team Penske driver Joey Logano enters The Fox Garage to talk about the Daytona 500 and what to expect from NASCAR’s Next Gen car.

Get ready for a wild ride.

Sunday’s Daytona 500 kicks off a new era for the racing league as it will be the first official points-paying race to feature the all-new Next Gen Cup Series car.

Logano won the Clash at the Coliseum in NASCAR’s Next Gen car.
(Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

The entirely redesigned Fords, Chevys and Toyotas feature innovations like independent rear suspensions, five-speed sequential gearboxes, composite bodywork and wider tires with a lower profile.

The cars have already appeared in the exhibition Clash at the Coliseum race, which was held on a quarter-mile short track built inside the L.A. Coliseum and featured plenty of car-to-car contact. The event, designed to draw new eyes to the sport, was won by Joey Logano.

But what can they expect to see if they tune in to the Daytona 500 superspeedway race?

The Daytona 500 will be the first official points-paying race for the Next Gen car.
(Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

“Same thing here in Daytona. You’re going to be bumping and banging, but you’re going to be going 200 mph while you’re doing it,” Logano told The Fox Garage.

“The risk is a lot higher, so it changes a lot. The reward’s a lot bigger, though.

The Team Penske driver said winning at Daytona is “second to none,” and he should know, having taken the checkered flag at the 2015 running of The Great American Race.

“Everyone pushes hard for this one. It becomes crazy. There’s going to be some big crashes, we’re going to be all over each other, it’s going to be intense, I can promise you that.”

Logano knows that all too well. He was leading on the last lap last year when he was hit from behind and wrecked race in a multi-car crash.

It’s the sort of thing he thinks there could be more of due to the design of the new car.

The Next Gen car’s bodywork is designed to look more like a production car’s.
(Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

“One thing that’s very different is they have round front and rear bumpers on it,” he explained. “We have full contact racing. And one of the ways to move your line forward is physically pushing the car in front of you.”

The 2021 NASCAR Cup Series car had larger flat areas on its front and rear bumpers that allowed them to come into contact with less chance of crashing.
(Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“When your car has flat bumpers, that’s, not that it’s easy, but it’s a little more comforting. When you have two round bumpers it’s like pushing two marbles against each other, and you don’t know which way it’s gonna go, and it moves that car around in front of you a lot and when there’s only a couple of feet to spare to the left or the right of you, and you move a car in front of you one way or another, it’s going to cause a big crash.”

The Daytona 500 kicks off Sunday, Feb. 20 at 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX.

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