There's nothing worse than leaving the race track feeling like you didn't try your best or give everything you had, and I certainly ain't gonna finish my last season like that and carry that with me the rest of my life.
And he and his No. 88 Hendrick Motosports team are in real danger of missing the playoffs, which would eliminate any chance he has of winning a championship before his retirement.
Both Logano and Clint Bowyer, who enters Sunday's race just 17 points behind Kenseth, have road-course wins on their Cup resumes - Logano at Watkins Glen two years ago and Bowyer at Sonoma in 2012.
So far, though, it's been another struggle.
"I'm not going to race someone different due to their situation". It isn't where we want it to be. It was just about managing where everybody was at and I feel like we did a good job of that.
He was 26th-fastest in the first practice and even after the set-up changes, he managed the 31st-fastest speed in the final practice. Could he pull off the back-to-back trick for a third year?
"I don't know what the expectations were".
"That'll be a bridge I guess I'll have to cross when I get there", he said. "You look at 2013, 2014, 2015, that's our potential". And for us to be able to win that weekend, we need to be ready mentally. He sees how fast Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. are running and doesn't see his Hendrick Motorsports team keeping pace.
He has some stiff competition with road course ringers like AJ Allmendinger and drivers like Kyle Busch who is a serious threat, especially after his win last week at Pocono. It's easy to say that but, damn man, we've got a lot of speed to find. "We've got to go in there with that attitude if we want to win". We were right on par with where I felt we needed to be at. In final practice, Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch, Truex and Hamlin were the five quickest while Earnhardt struggled mightily, finishing 31st out of 36 cars, almost four miles per hour off the leader's pace. All we can do is go out there and give it our best effort.
"If that opportunity falls in our lap, you have to have your head on straight".
Keselowski won the opening stage under caution and gained a big advantage over Busch, who drove through too many pit stalls (four) during his first pit stop and was penalized. "But I'm not going to lie, I'm more comfortable at Sonoma than I am here".