Joey Logano won’t be competing at this weekend’s NHRA 4-Wide Nationals at zMax Dragway.
He did, however, get a behind-the-steering-wheel look at the competition and liked what he saw.
“I had the chance to fire-up Cruz (Pedregon’s) Funny Car, and I got to rev it up and that was amazing. That was crazy. I can’t even imagine what that would be like,” said Logano, who took part in a “ride swap” with the NHRA’s Pedregon set up by Snap-on Tools on Wednesday.
Logano and Pedregon took turns driving a Cobra Jet Mustang, used in the NHRA Top Sportsman class, down the quarter-mile dragstrip, with Logano quickly able to match Pedregon’s performance in time.
“So they toned it down about 9,000 horsepower for me,” Logano joked as he finished his first solo run. “It still feels incredibly fast. The first time I rode with Cruz and I was in the passenger seat, the thing launched and I didn’t know what to do.
“I got that feel like you get on a roller coaster that you’re going way too fast. I felt like that. My hands were flaying everywhere. I yelled and I screamed.”
Pedregon, who comes from a family of drag racers, walked Logano through the car and offered tips on the start. Both made several practice runs in a side-by-side Cobra Jet before the Daytona 500 winner took three drag racing runs on his own.
“Every run you kind of get a little bit more used to it. It’s crazy how fast it accelerates, and it never really stops,” said Logano, who enjoys experiencing different types of motorsports. “Just learning different techniques and what they do, it makes it more fun for me when I watch it and understand more what they’re doing.”
Pedregon, a two-time Funny Car champion, called Logano “a great student.”
“Compared to people off the street that have never driven, in this type of car there are a lot of similarities to his car in NASCAR – it even kind of sounds like one,” he said. “He took to the staging, the burnout, the shifting all very well. There is no doubt he could do this.”
Later Wednesday afternoon, Logano walked Pedregon through the garage area at nearby Charlotte Motor Speedway and gave him the rundown of a Sprint Cup Series car. Pedregon rode with Logano around the 1.5 mile oval before making three solo runs.
“I really like any professional opportunity that allows me to get behind a wheel and put my racing expertise to the test,” Pedregon said. “Joey’s got the skills and intuition that far exceed his years, and I had a lot of fun turning left for a day.”
For ticket information for this weekend’s 4-Wide Nationals, visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or call (800) 455-3267.
NASCAR issues penalties
Crew chief Slugger Labbe was fined $50,000 by NASCAR on Wednesday and suspended for the next three Cup races after inspectors found an illegal truck trailing arm – a part of the rear suspension – on Circle Sport Racing’s No. 33 Chevrolet last weekend at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.
Labbe will be on probation through the end of the year. In addition, car owner Joe Falk was docked 25 car owner points.
Also Wednesday, NASCAR issued penalties to five crew members of the No. 8 TriStar Motorsports team for failing to comply with directives from track security prior to last Saturday’s race.
Crew member Mark Armstrong was fined $1,500 and suspended until April 21 and placed on probation through Dec. 31. Crew members Tyler Bullard, Nathaniel House, Jeremy Howard and Ryan Mulder have all been placed on probation through Dec. 31.