CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — It’s been three weeks since Joey Logano and wife Brittany welcomed their first child, Hudson, into the world.
How bad has the kid wrecked Logano’s sleeping habits?
“Dude. Dude,” Logano said Wednesday during the NASCAR Media Tour when asked by an older media member. “You have no idea. I’m sure you know. Actually, you should know. You know.”
Three fellow Cup drivers definitely know.
Ty Dillon, Paul Menard and Kevin Harvick joined Logano in having children in the last few months.
Dillon and his wife Haley became parents for the first time with daughter Haley in late November. Menard and his wife Jennifer had their second child at the beginning of November. Kevin and DeLana Harvick welcomed their first daughter, Piper Grace, before the New Year.
On Wednesday, Logano was euphoric about the amount of sleep he got the night before thanks to his brother-in-law taking his shift.
“It’s a big day today,” Logano said. “I have never felt better with seven hours of sleep in my life. This is great. Usually it is about four, so this is awesome.”
Three weeks in, the 27-year-old Team Penske driver has reevaluated some aspects of his work-home life balance.
“Mainly that I can’t halfway do something,” Logano said. “When I go to work, I have to be 100 percent at work and when I go home, I have to put my phone down, and that’s it. I have to learn to do that a little better probably. Sometimes it is hard to detach. That is probably one of the biggest things I think that will be very important moving forward as he gets older. There is a time for work and a time for family. I need to do 100 percent at each one of those and not try to do 50 percent at all of them. It just doesn’t work. I don’t think that is the best avenue at least.”
The late nights of trying to rock Hudson to sleep have been a humbling experience.
“I think it probably changes the perspective you have of your parents a lot,” Logano said. “I tell you I appreciate them a lot more. Not that I didn’t before but holy moly. I sit there in the middle of the night and it is three in the morning and he is crying his eyeballs out at me and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, my parents had to do this for me. I was like this at one point.'”
For Dillon, the 25-year-old father gets introspective during his late night tours of duty.
“When I’m sitting there at midnight or one in the morning trying to rock her back to sleep or hold her and just kind of looking into her and seeing small parts of myself and my wife in her is the coolest feeling in the world,” Dillon told NBC Sports.
The Germain Racing driver said he has realized “what life is truly about.”
“Just looking at what life starts as gives you such a perspective on living,” Dillon told media members. “So I hope to take what I’ve learned from being her father for just two months and kind of adapt it to every aspect of my life and the appreciation for what I have and what I am and who I am.”
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT
It’s the second time around the baby block for Harvick and Menard.
Even so, the Harvick household has been a “war zone” since Piper Grace arrived, complete with Harvick having to walk around in a protective mask.
“Keelan (his first-born) was a handful the first couple of weeks trying to get adapted to someone else taking some of the attention,” Harvick told NBC Sports. “Then we all got sick the third week. So we’ve had Piper quarantined in one room. I was quarantined in another room. Mom and Keelan were in the middle of the house. I’ve been walking around with a mask on for three days. Finally got to get rid of my mask. I feel like everything is starting to flow as a house of four instead of a house of three. The family travel will be different for sure. But we also have to make sure that Keelan gets to do the things that he’s accustomed to doing and being a part of. That will be a main focus of family for sure.”
Harvick said he was “scared to death” when Keelan was born. But things are different the second time around with a baby girl.
“You expect no sleep, you know you’re going to get pooped and spit up on,” Harvick said. “There’s going to be some challenges of getting it all situated.”
According to Menard, his new-born son already has racing on the mind.
“I was holding him on the couch the other day and I had a little race car on my hoodie,” Menard told NBC Sports. “I had a Wood Brothers Racing sweatshirt on and it had a little race car on it and he stared at it for 20 minutes so I know we’re already in trouble with him.”
Menard said his son will get likely his first exposure to racing at next month’s Daytona 500.
For a long time Dillon told people he wouldn’t change any child’s diapers unless it was his own.
That time is here.
“The moment finally came and the first diaper up and this black tarry substance is in there and I’m changing the diaper very slowly and using like 20 wipes and every detail,” Dillon told NBC Sports. “She’s almost two months and a week (old) now and I can change diapers blindfolded and in zombie mode at two in the morning in like five seconds. It’s funny how you develop.”
Logano said his favorite moments as a dad so far have come in those late-night sessions with Hudson.
“You’re changing diapers and he’s crying and yelling and fussing at you and then he decides to take a leak all over you,” Lognao told NBC Sports. “At the time it’s not that funny but now it’s funny. If you’re a parent you understand. A few weeks ago someone told me this I’d say, ‘What is wrong with you?’ I get it now. Everything ends up great. You can get crapped on and you still like it. Go figure.”