Late-night icon talks with 24-year-old about Gen-6, Earnhardt and more
Joey Logano visited Jay Leno's Garage in March before the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway of Southern California, and the two car guys talked about the Gen-6 car, drivers as athletes, Leno's run-in with Dale Earnhardt and more. The video posted today on NBC.com.
"There's real science in these cars. The last few years, the jump to electronics and guys with telemetry, it's really high tech."
Leno asked the driver what his mom thought when Logano got behind the wheel of a quarter midget at age 6.
"Mom wasn't a huge fan of it, and she still isn't to this day," Logano said. "We run a couple superspeedways a year which is 2.5-mile race tracks, and we're all in a big pack. And when one crashes, we all crash. She hates those races still."
Logano recalled a pleasant superspeedway memory, running his first Great American Race in 2009 at age 18, with his dad by his side.
"I remember starting my first Daytona 500 and walking out on pit road," Logano said. "It was actually with my dad and kind of saw my car on the grid, getting ready to go. It's kind of a surreal moment. You've been working your life to get to that moment and then obviously your first win and all of that behind you."
The Team Penske driver brought along his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series No. 22 Ford Fusion and discussed the main difference between the Gen-6 car and the previous version.
"From this to the generation car before this, obviously the whole body style is completely different," Logano said. "This is the Ford Fusion model of the NASCAR cars. Obviously they made them look a lot more like the actual street car."
Leno appreciated the "win on Sunday, sell on Monday" message, and he noted the engineering that goes into the cars today.
"There's real science in these cars," Leno said. "The last few years, the jump to electronics and guys with telemetry, it's really high tech."
The former host of "The Tonight Show" on NBC also recognized the skill and athleticism it takes to wheel a NASCAR car.
"You've got to be a real athlete, too," Leno said. "I come from the era when the drivers were fat and the tires were skinny. Now, it's the other way around. People don't realize what athletes you guys are."
The comedian recalled racing "The Intimidator" at Homestead-Miami Speedway some 15 years ago and how rubbing was racing for Earnhardt.
"I knew Dale Earnhardt a little bit, and we went out on a track and he was with me in another car and I'm going around 120," Leno said. "He comes up, and he just tried to send me into the wall.
"I go, 'Hey! I'm a comedian! I'm not a race car (driver)! But he just kept (shoving). I had big tire marks on my car from him ramming me. It just made me laugh how competitive most race car drivers are."
Watch the entire video below for more.