Joey Logano will start from pole position for the second time in 2012 after he managed to pip Marcos Ambrose to the top spot by one eighth of a second on the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway, in qualifying on Friday for Sunday's Ford EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup season finale.
"It's a really good weekend so far" beamed Logano, the last man out in the 47-car session. "That's awesome to get the pole like that. The guys worked their butts off. We got one more."
It's also the last pole he'll get with Joe Gibbs Racing, as he leaves the team at the end of the season to make way for Matt Kenseth. "They did their part and I did my part, and it came out perfect. I appreciate it. My last run with them — so it's awesome to get a pole for them again," he said. "I've been working with them since I was 15 years old so it's really neat to get them a pole here at Homestead."
Logano made no bones about how hard they'd run at getting pole position for this weekend, admitting that they'd concentrated on speed in the sole practice session available to them earlier on Friday.
"We only made a couple runs today. We really focused on qualifying trim today. We got tomorrow to really focus on our race trim stuff," he explained. "Goal number one is to win the race no matter what. No matter where we go, no matter who else is on the race track, no matter what is going on, it's all about winning."
Logano isn't going to get anything distract him from that goal, although inevitably there were questions about the fall-out from the late wreck last weekend at Phoenix when he had been taken out of a strong top five finish by running into a wreck caused hen Jeff Gordon deliberately retaliated against Clint Bowyer ahead of him.
"Really, that stuff doesn't matter," he insisted, although he admitted that the incident has left a simmering breach between him and Gordon. “I reached out for an apology and didn't get one. - and got hung up on," he revealed, before adding: "But he did text me, and I'm sure we'll meet up at some point. We're going to be able to go out and figure it out. We're big boys.
Gordon also admitted that the midweek phone call had not been a success. "You know, I'm not one that calls right away. I like things to kind of settle down," Gordon explained. "I'd really rather do face-to-face. But he called me and so I called him back, and I can't say it went exactly very well. I reached out to him again to try to get together with him here at the track, and I have not been able to speak with him."
The other man involved in the Phoenix fracas, Clint Bowyer, was ducking questions about the whole incident this weekend. The late wreck wiped out his remaining hopes of still featuring in the Chase for the 2012 Sprint Cup championship coming into Homestead-Miami: even though he'll start from sixth place on the grid on Sunday, Bowyer is now mathematically out of the running for the title.