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Joey Logano trades seat with NHRA Funny Car driver for a day: ‘I yelled and I screamed’


Cruz Pedregon (left) and Joey Logano prepare to take a spin around Charlotte Motor Speedway in Logano’s Sprint Cup car. (Photo: HHP/Harold Hinson for Charlotte Motor Speedway)


NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Joey Logano and NHRA Funny Car driver Cruz Pedregon spent Wednesday afternoon in each other’s respective worlds - and cars.

Both drivers are sponsored by Snap-On Tools and took part in a “seat swap” at zMAX Dragway and Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Logano got behind the wheel of Pedregon’s 10,000-horsepower car, fired it up and literally felt the earth move when he revved the engine.

But Logano did not try to take Pedregon’s ride for a full spin, considering it can hit 330 mph in just over four seconds.

The two drivers did go head-to-head, though, in a Ford Cobra Jet Mustang, making several individual passes to see who was quickest.

“So they toned it down about 9,000 horsepower for me,” Logano joked to The Charlotte Observer. “It still feels incredibly fast. The first time I rode with Cruz and I was in the passenger seat, the thing launched and I didn’t know what to do.

“I got that feel like you get on a roller coaster that you’re going way too fast. I felt like that. My hands were flaying everywhere. I yelled and I screamed.”

Logano, who won this year’s season-opening Daytona 500, is a drag racing fan and enjoyed the chance to swap rides with Pedregon, a two-time NHRA Funny Car champion.

“It was a pretty awesome experience for sure,” Logano said in a media release. “I’ve been to several NHRA drag races and had the chance to stand on the starting line and feel the power those cars have.

“So to get a chance to take a couple of passes in the Cobra Jet was intense. I can only imagine what it’s like to sit behind the wheel of a race-ready Funny Car or Top Fuel Dragster. Those of us who compete in a form of motorsports always wonder what it’s like to drive another type of car. Hopefully, Cruz got that experience today. I know I did for sure.”

After going down the straight line, the pair moved across the street to Charlotte Motor Speedway, where it was Logano’s turn to teach Pedregon the nuances of driving a stock car.

After Logano took Pedregon for a few laps, Pedregon climbed behind the wheel of Logano’s Team Penske Ford Fusion and did three solo laps.

“There’s nothing I love more than drag racing,” Pedregon said in a media release. “But I got my start racing a truck, and I really like any professional opportunity that allows me to get behind a wheel and put my racing expertise to the test.

“Joey’s got the skills and intuition that far exceed his years, and I had a lot of fun turning left for a day.”

Follow @JerryBonkowski