Joey Logano won a series-high six races last season, including the Daytona 500, while teammate Brad Keselowski won just once.
But in 2016, Keselowski is the first Team Penske driver to reach victory lane, capturing Sunday’s Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
And no one could have been happier than Logano, who finished behind his teammate in second place for a 1-2 Team Penske and Ford sweep.
“Brad’s a confident guy,” Logano said in the post-race media conference. “It’s hard for him to lose confidence. We won a lot of races last year. I don’t think it really took a toll on him. He was up there racing with us the whole time.
“Look at the way we finished in points (sixth and seventh) … We were really similar the whole year, but we were able to squeak out a few more wins.”
As for a Team Penske and Ford 1-2 sweep, “This is obviously a big weight off his shoulders, to be able to get that win,” Logano said. “It’s almost been a year (since Keselowski won a Sprint Cup race). He’s been knocking on the door quite a few times with a fast car.
“Last year wasn’t because they didn’t have fast cars or weren’t working well together. They were doing everything right. It’s just circumstances have to go perfectly a lot of times to win these things.”
Sunday’s win evens out the first three races of the season. Toyota and Denny Hamlin won the season-opening Daytona 500, Jimmie Johnson and Chevrolet won last Sunday at Atlanta, and now Ford and Keselowski got their reward.
“You see the typical guys are up there,” Logano said of who is strong with the low downforce package. “(Kevin Harvick) led some laps, he was fast. (Johnson) was fast at times. (Ryan Blaney) and (Kyle Busch) obviously were fast at times.
“So no one’s really head and shoulders above everybody by no means. … I feel like we’re definitely in the hunt of it for sure. But you see the typical guys up there, Stewart‑Haas, Hendrick and the Gibbs guys.”