Dover: Joey Logano preview

LOGANO BECOMES ONE-YEAR 'VETERAN' AT DOVER Huntersville, N.C. -- Time flies these days for Joey Logano. A year can pass in the blink of an eye. Prior to May 31, 2008, the name Joey Logano was already well-known in stock car racing circles. Mark...

LOGANO BECOMES ONE-YEAR 'VETERAN' AT DOVER

Huntersville, N.C. -- Time flies these days for Joey Logano. A year can pass in the blink of an eye. Prior to May 31, 2008, the name Joey Logano was already well-known in stock car racing circles. Mark Martin tabbed him as the "real deal" when Logano was just 15 years old. Fans and enthusiasts greatly anticipated his first race in one of NASCAR's major touring series.

Logano first had to turn 18, which he did on May 24. One week later, Dover International Speedway would be the site of his first NASCAR Nationwide Series race in the No. 20 GameStop Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. Dover is one of the toughest tracks on the schedule with its concrete, high-banked layout, but Logano had previous experience on the surface from his NASCAR Camping World East days. That experience served him well as he qualified ninth and finished sixth in that first start.

A lot has happened to Logano since that day last spring. He has picked up two Nationwide Series wins and has firmly established himself as a threat every time he gets behind the wheel of the No. 20 GameStop Toyota. He is also a full-time competitor in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Logano has proven to be the "real deal" and is clearly the future of NASCAR.

Joey Logano:

"Dover promotes some of the best racing on the circuit. It's exciting and competitive. A bigger version of Bristol is a good description. As a driver, you are always busy, there is no time to rest and you are just flying around that joint. You will see guys running on the bottom or up at the top of the track. Any time you can do that the drivers are going to enjoy it."

"There was a lot of hype surrounding my first Nationwide Series start. I wasn't immune to it, but pressure is something that has never bothered me. We are in a pressure sport and if you can't take it you probably need to find something else to do. I had raced in some Camping World East Series races at Dover, so I knew my way around the track. I was confident when I woke up that day and really thought we had a chance to win. In the end we were just a little bit off and finished sixth. As much as I want to win every race, I knew I was still learning and sixth was a solid finish for my first start."

Noteworthy

* Joey Logano and the No. 20 JGR Toyota team started ninth and finished 14th in their last trip to Dover in the "fall" of 2008.

* The No. 20 JGR Toyota has competed in 13 Nationwide Series events at Dover, garnering one win, three top-5 finishes and seven top-10 finishes.

* Though not running a full season, Logano sits fourth in the Nationwide Series standings. He did not race at Las Vegas.

* Crew chief Dave Rogers led Denny Hamlin to a win in the No. 20 Toyota in the 2007 edition of this race.

* Logano's driving coach, Mike McLaughlin, was the first driver to pilot the No. 20 JGR Toyota at Dover in 2001. He finished fifth in the "spring" race of that year.

Chassis Info
Primary: JGR #2073
History: This is the oldest chassis in the No. 20 stable. In the last race for this chassis, Tony Stewart drove it to a win in the "spring" race at California in 2008.

Backup: JGR #2089

-credit: jgr

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Tony Stewart , Mike McLaughlin , Denny Hamlin , Joey Logano , Mark Martin