Logano heads to Penske to stay in Cup series for 2013

Amanda Vincent, NASCAR Correspondent

After officially revealing on Tuesday that Joey Logano would drive the No. 22 Penske Racing Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2013, the organization held a press conference on Wednesday morning with Logano, currently driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, and Tim Cindric, President of Penske Racing.

"I think it's a great opportunity to work with Roger Penske and have a great teammate in Brad Keselowski," Logano said to open the press conference.

Logano began his full-time Sprint Cup career in 2009, replacing Tony Stewart in the No. 20. He has since won two races, the most recent victory coming earlier this season at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa.

Sam Hornish Jr. will finish out the year behind the wheel of the No. 22. Hornish has driven the car since the July race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway when A.J. Allmendinger, in his first year with Penske, was indefinitely suspended by NASCAR.

"He's going to continue to drive the No. 22 car for the reminder of the year," Cindric said of immediate plans for Hornish.

According to Cindric, Hornish will return to the No. 12 entry in the Nationwide Series he currently drives full-time in 2013, but the ultimate goal for Penske Racing is to get Hornish back into a Sprint Cup Car for the organization.

"Our first preference would be to put together a third full-time Sprint Cup car (for Hornish)," Cindric said. He went on to say that it was probably too late in the year to accomplish that.

Logano began looking outside the Gibbs organization for a ride when he was notified that he would be replaced next year by Matt Kenseth and that he was going to be relegated to a full-time Nationwide Series ride with the possibility of a few Sprint Cup races.

"You kind of see it coming," Logano said. It was best to be proactive about it."

Soon, Penske driver Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Penske Racing Dodge that will switch over to Ford next year, was talking to Logano about joining Penske.

"He was the one that called me," Logano said.

Logano went on to say that he already had a teammate-like relationship with Keselowski, that the two drivers had been bouncing racing ideas off each other for a few years. According to Cindric, that relationship played a part in Penske deciding on Logano for the No. 22.

"We focused a bit more on the chemistry between the two drivers was obvious," Cindric said, stating that chemistry would override the lack of an older, veteran driver in the Penske camp.

The fact that Logano also has a couple of Cup wins under his belt was also a factor that set him apart from some of the other available drivers.

"The fact that he's won at the Cup level set him apart from some of the drivers that were available," Cindric said.

The deal between Logano and Penske Racing may include some Nationwide Series races, as well.

"I foresee Joey running some Nationwide races for us next year," Cindric said.

Logano's contract with Penske is a multi-year deal, but neither party would say specifically how many years. Shell-Pennzoil, the current primary sponsor on the car, will remain on the hood next year and for the foreseeable future.

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Series NASCAR-CUP
Article type Breaking news
Tags cindric, featured, logano, penske, vincent