AVONDALE, Ariz. — Going into the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series elimination race weekend at ISM Raceway, Joey Logano remains the only driver currently locked into the Championship 4 after his victory at Martinsville Speedway.
With nothing to sweat about as seven playoff drivers vie for three remaining championship spots in Sunday’s Can-Am 500 (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC/NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), Logano made known the confidence he has in himself, stating he believes the No. 22 Team Penske squad is the favorite to win the title in next Sunday’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
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“Honestly, it’s funny. … I was talking with Todd (Gordon, crew chief) on the way out here, and I told him, ‘When the playoffs started I kind of felt like we were an underdog of making it,’ ” Logano told a group of reporters at a Team Penske event in Phoenix on Thursday night. “And honestly, the last six or seven weeks we’ve led a lot more laps, we’ve won a lot of stages, won a race, was fast at Kansas, was fast at Texas, you know what, I think we’re the favorite now to win.”
Other postseason contenders did not share that opinion when asked about their reaction to Logano’s bold belief. Those assessments came from “Big 3” drivers Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr., along with three-time 2018 race winner Chase Elliott.
Kyle Busch: “Uh, sure, he’s the only one locked in to go to Homestead. He’s the only guy racing right now. He can be the favorite if he wants to.”
Chase Elliott: “I mean, I don’t really care what he thinks.”
Kevin Harvick: “I’m just worried about Phoenix.”
Martin Truex Jr.: “Good for him. I mean, I really don’t care. I think it’s good for the sport. It’s good for the fans to get them fired up. For me personally, I know what I have to do, I don’t need to tell anyone. Talk is cheap. Put it on the race track and show us what you got. That’s all that matters. That’s what I focus on and that’s what I plan on doing if I get there.”