By Cole Cusumano
They say you shouldn’t mix business and friendship, but that’s exactly the hand Joey Logano and Coleman Pressley were dealt in the latest shakeup at Team Penske. A spotter swap shipped T.J. Majors off to Brad Keselowski, while uniting a brotherhood between two lifelong friends.
It’s been a long road for the new spotter-driver pairing, who went from racing Bandoleros with each other at six years old, to living together when Logano got promoted to the NASCAR Cup Series in 2008.
With imminent change coming to Team Penske next year, Pressley believes the stars finally aligned to where he could have a working relationship with Logano.
“We’re as close to brothers as you can be,” Pressley told NEWS FROM THE PITS. “I’m really looking forward to working with my best friend. If we can win races together, that’s really cool. It’s special working with someone that’s like family. You always want what’s best for each other.”
The opportunity arose for Pressley after it was revealed Keselowski would be joining Roush Fenway Racing as a driver and part-owner in 2022. Citing contract obligations as the driving factor, the 32-year-old wanted to remain at Team Penske, and that path went through teaming up with Logano — a decision both parties were mutually apprehensive to in the past.
“Honestly, we never really had the desire to work together much, whether it be through timing or scared of making a spotting decision that would make the friendship hurt,” Pressley revealed. “Ultimately, this all came together where we both felt really confident in our ability to do each other’s jobs where we didn’t get too scared about the friendship-side of it.”
Pressley credits his readiness to work with Logano to years of collaboration with talented drivers. Keselowski, who he called the “easily the most studious person” he’s ever been around, helped hone his superspeedway skills and generate a different outlook for each race, while A.J. Allmendinger aided in developing his road course program.
He also brings a racer’s mentality to the spotter stand. Pressley has competed against many drivers in Cup in his sporadic NASCAR developmental series starts, and he believes he’s formed an understanding of their approach over the years.
August 22 at Michigan International Speedway marked the beginning of Pressley and Logano’s working relationship at Team Penske, but it wasn’t the first time they paired up. In the early 2010s, he spotted for his best friend at Dover International Speedway in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
“Luckily, Joey and I talk so much, it was a very seamless transition at Michigan,” Pressley said. “I guess all those talks after a race just added up, and we were really in sync as one.
“That was really nice, but like on top of the team-side, I worked with Paul Wolfe and his entire team before in 2019 when they were with Brad. I kind of had a foundation built within the team.”
This could spell success for the No. 22 team, as Pressley and Wolfe helped guide Keselowski to three wins in 2019. Furthermore, the 32-year-old earned a combined eight victories during his tenure with the No. 2 crew and navigated his driver to a Championship 4 appearance last year.
Pressley feels his attentive mentality has prepared him for a successful chapter with his best friend. He makes the transition to a new team during a pivotal period — the postseason.
It’s been a rough start for the new driver-spotter combo, who haven’t placed above 23rd since the switch, but don’t expect this trend to continue into the Round of 16. Pressley assures he’s already developed a healthy rapport with Logano, and they have one goal in mind: to hoist the Bill France Cup at Phoenix Raceway when it’s all said and done.