Rockingham: Joey Logano race report

Re-Birth Of "The Rock" Turns Into "The Joey Logano Show" 17-Year-Old Wins Pole, Dominates Race & Nearly Laps Entire ARCA Rockingham Field MOORESVILLE, NC (May 5, 2008) -- Over the last few years, race fans across the country have become...

Re-Birth Of "The Rock" Turns Into "The Joey Logano Show"

17-Year-Old Wins Pole, Dominates Race & Nearly Laps Entire ARCA Rockingham Field

MOORESVILLE, NC (May 5, 2008) -- Over the last few years, race fans across the country have become fans of "The Joey Logano Show." It doesn't have fixed time slot, nor does it always necessarily air on the same network. Still, no matter what, fans know where to find "The Joey Logano Show."

Just tune in to victory lane.

Sunday's ARCA RE/MAX Series Rockingham 500 was just another installment of "The Joey Logano Show" and the 17-year-old driver was the star. Logano scored the pole, led 257 of 312 laps and lapped nearly the entire field at one juncture of the race en route to victory. The win was Logano's first in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, coming in his first start, repeating the episodes of his show when he won both his NASCAR West Series and East Series debuts in 2007 for Joe Gibbs Racing.

As Logano now prepares to make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut in the #20 JGR Toyota on May 31st at Dover International Speedway, Logano hopes the show keeps up its successful run.

"I hope that's the same deal with the Nationwide Series as it was in ARCA and the East and West Series. That sounds like a good plan," smiled Logano. "When you're surrounded by so many good people, you can go to races expecting to win. Even though it was my first ARCA start, our tests were so good, we qualified on the pole and we led a bunch of laps to win the race.

"It helps to have so many good people on your side to help you do that. You start thinking that there's no way you're going to get beaten. Our pit strategy was there, everything was there that we needed to go out there and be pretty dominant."

Logano immediately had all cameras on him, jumping out to a lead that eventually found him putting all but the top handful of drivers down a lap. Even with the domination that Logano displayed in the #25 Venturini Motorsports machine with Crew Chief Billy Venturini on the pit box, he still had to earn the trip to Rockingham's victory lane.

With Logano up front late in the race, a caution period allowed many leaders to come to pit road for their final set of tires. Logano and Venturini instead chose to stay out, allowing that last set of tires to be bolted on if there was to be another caution. Logano, on older tires, lost the lead to drivers on fresh rubber, but worked his way back up to the top spot before the final caution of the day. With only a handful of cars on the lead lap with 10 laps remaining, Logano brought the #25 car to the attention of the Joe Gibbs Racing pit crew that was waiting to put on four new tires.

When the race was restarted for the final time, "The Joey Logano Show" was back on air.

"We knew that we had one set of tires left, and we decided to stay out on the second-to-last caution with the #99 (Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.)," said Logano. "We debated on whether or not to pit, but Billy was sure that there was going to be another caution. I just said 'Alright,' because we only had one set of tires left and I didn't want to get beat on tires. They went back green and I dropped back to third, but I got right back by them because they had 15 laps on their tires and we were right with them at that point. That was pretty cool.

"Then we got that caution with a few laps to go. We came in and took our last set and came out fourth. We passed them all in about two laps. The tires really help you a lot there. Plus, with as quick as that car was, we were able to get back up there pretty quick."

With the victory, Logano became the 21st driver to win on the ARCA RE/MAX Series in their first-ever start. But to say that Logano just won would be an understatement. With all the fastest speed in practice, the pole, and all the laps led, Logano's star shined brightest.

"I knew the car was going to be good, but I didn't think it was going to be that good. I thought we'd have a shot to win after the test, but never did I think I'd be able to win the way that we won. I was joking around after the test that we'd go out and lap the whole field. I thought it was a joke at the time, at least.

"I had a blast out there. Billy Venturini and his team gave me a real good car all weekend. Having the Gibbs guys come down (from Richmond International Raceway where the crew pitted JGR teammate Denny Hamlin's Sprint Cup Series car Saturday night) and pit the car was a big help, too. They did a great job getting me out up front every stop. Everyone did a great job, and it was a lot of fun out there."

Logano will now prepare for his 18th birthday on May 24th, allowing him to be eligible for his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut one week later, May 31st in the "Heluva Good! 200" at Dover International Speedway (DE).

-credit: joeyloganoracing.com

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Billy Venturini , Denny Hamlin , Joey Logano
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing