Joey Logano embarrassed by NASCAR glove penalty, Roger Penske’s disappointment

The two-time driver says it didn't even result in a significant advantage

NASCAR: Cup Practice & Qualifying
Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Joey Logano says it has been ‘embarrassing’ to be the topic of conversation this week after his team was penalized for an illegally modified driving glove last weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Specifically, his left-hand driving glove had been modified to feature webbing used to deflect air away from the cockpit anytime he placed it up against his window net. Since the glove had been modified, it was no longer SFI safety certified, and thus ran afoul of NASCAR regulations.

Logano was penalized $10,000 this week in addition to having to start the race on Sunday at the rear of the field, plus having to serve a pass-through pit road penalty at the start of the race, penalties that were effectively negated by a crash on the second lap anyway.

“As a driver, you work with the team and, hey, I’m going to take a portion of responsibility of that too, obviously,” Logano said on Saturday. ” I should. I put the glove on. I didn’t build the glove or make it on my own. I can’t sew, but that’s what it was.

“We had conversations about it. What I’m proud about with this team is, yeah, that was a tough situation for us. It was hard to go through and embarrassing for sure, but the fact we got through it and just move on and focus on the next week. We showed that we have some speed in our race car and to be able to put it on the pole here, to me, is a statement type lap so I’m proud of that.”

The statement was that Logano and his No. 22 Penske team captured the pole for Sunday’s race at Vegas but that wasn’t the topic of conversation due to what happened the previous week. His team even drew public criticism from team owner Roger Penske in a statement issued to the Associated Press.

“I didn’t like that at all,” Penske told the AP. “It’s not good. Period. I told him. He’s the leader of the team. Look, we are under so much scrutiny and the last thing we need to do is have any noise like that. It’s not good for us. It’s not good for him. We’ll take our punches.”

What is most embarrassing, according to Logano, is that he doesn’t even think it made that much of an advantage.

“I didn’t feel better after it, I can tell you that much,” Logano said. “Directionally better, how much better? Probably nothing. That’s the part that hurts the most. It isn’t even worth it. It didn’t do anything to speak of.

“It’s directionally an area that everybody goes to try to block that hole. You see everyone put their hand there. We just tried to cover more space.”

He also doesn’t believe he put himself in a position where he was less safe behind the steering wheel.

“I have kids,” Logano said. “I have a wife. I have a family that I care way more about than race cars, so, no, I didn’t feel concerned about what we did. I didn’t race with it. Qualifying on speedways is pretty simple.”

Despite the pole on Saturday at Vegas, a result that genuinely surprised him, Logano isn’t sure what kind of race speed his No. 22 will have on Sunday. He was 18th in practice and posted the 11th fastest 10 lap average during the session.

This is the first downforce, or non-drafting race of the season, and thus the first chance to see where Ford Performance shakes out with the new Mustang Dark Horse body style.

“We’re still uncertain of what the new Mustang Dark Horse will be like,” he said. “It’s really challenging to unload at a track like Vegas with limited practice, where you can’t change many things. We can’t go throwing springs and stuff at this car and you’re going off of really not much physical notes with this car – some of what we had last year, but the aero numbers are different with this car and you’re putting a lot of trust into what the wind tunnel numbers spit out, and how much of it is real and how much of it is fabricated or different.

“There are a lot of what ifs between sim world wind tunnel world to reality. There are a lot of things that can be different, so it’s really hard to make those changes to your car and getting that balance right. It took us a couple runs, obviously, to do that. We still have a lot to learn with the car, but it’s a good start for sure.”

Matt Weaver is a Motorsports Insider for Sportsnaut. Follow him on Twitter. 

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