Logano admits being shaken, not scared
KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Joey Logano did not hesitate as he climbed back into his car Friday and headed onto the track for the first time since his harrowing accident at Dover.
Rolling his Toyota seven times left the rookie shaken, but not scared.
And there's a difference.
"I think the first time is going to shake you up more than anything else," Logano said before practice at Kansas Speedway. "You go through a ride like that and tell me you aren't shaking when you get out of there. You are going to be shaking."
Logano wrecked early in last Sunday's race when he was hit from behind by Tony Stewart. The contact sent him spinning into the grass, and his car darted back up the track and into traffic. He was hit in the door by Reed Sorenson, and the second impact sent NASCAR's youngest driver on the ride of his life.
Although he walked away unscathed, the 19-year-old Logano seemed ashen and admitted he was still shaking after he had been released from the care center.
Showing such emotion is fairly taboo in NASCAR, where drivers aren't supposed to admit fear.
But Logano insisted his emotions were not fear, and he'd be nerve-free as he headed into his first few turns at Kansas.
"If anything, it's going to give you more confidence 'cause you can go through that and come out of it fine," he said. "If anything, it's going to give you more confidence when you're in the next corner. That didn't even cross my mind."
There's been rampant speculation about Logano's fear factor since the accident, and he said he looked forward to proving to everyone that he's unaffected.
Little has fazed him this year, his first season as two-time champion Stewart's replacement at Joe Gibbs Racing. After a rocky start to the year, he grabbed a win in the rain-shortened June race at New Hampshire, has five top 10 finishes and at 20th in the standings is ranked higher than Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Martin Truex Jr.
Logano said the attention on the accident has been far greater than the amount of time he's spent thinking about it.
"It's just because it was so different," he said. "I'd never been through a wreck like that before. I think if it happened again, I'd be fine. I don't care who you put in the car, if you go through a ride like that, you are going to get out and go 'Holy Moly.'
"But I was fine. I went to sleep fine that night. No problems. I've forgotten all about it. Everybody else is wanting to talk about it, not me."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press