Logano Learns & Picks Up Sixth Top-10 in Eighth Career Nationwide Series Start GameStop Driver Finishes Seventh at The Glen in Only Second Road Course Race Joey Logano used patience, track position and fuel mileage to score his sixth top-10 ...
Logano Learns & Picks Up Sixth Top-10 in Eighth Career Nationwide Series
GameStop Driver Finishes Seventh at The Glen in Only Second Road Course Race
Joey Logano used patience, track position and fuel mileage to score his sixth top-10 result in eight career NASCAR Nationwide Series races as the 18-year-old finished seventh in Saturday's Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.
Logano wheeled his No. 20 GameStop Toyota from 20th in the 43-car field to 10th by lap 75. With the steadying voice of crew chief Dave Rogers on his radio, Logano kept his fenders straight and his nose clean around the 2.45-mile, 11-turn road course to outlast many of his more experienced competitors.
"I learned a lot this weekend, and I picked up a whole lot through the whole race," said Logano, who was headed to a top-five finish last week at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve Formula 1 road course in Montreal before a downpour sent him hydroplaning into another car and then into the wall. "Dave Rogers made an awesome call on our fuel mileage and that got us the finish we ended up with. I'll take what I learned and be happy with it. I'm glad I've got something to go back to next time we race here."
In a race that featured 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regulars and seven road course specialists, Logano appeared right at home turning left and right, despite his thoughts to the contrary.
"I wasn't feeling very confident in myself at one point during the race, but Dave worked really hard to pick me up," Logano said. "I think we got a really good points day out of it after that whole mess. It turned out to be a race of survival and a race of fuel mileage. That's what it came down to, and I've got to hand it to the team for staying behind me. We picked up a ton from the beginning of the race to the end of the race. That's the positive we leave here with. I'm glad I learned a lot, but I'm also glad it's over. I'm looking forward to running the ovals again."
Rogers, who helped steer Logano to his first career Nationwide Series win on June 14 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta -- giving Logano the designation of youngest Nationwide Series winner ever at 18 years, 21 days -- continues to be impressed with his young driver.
"Joey's got really high expectations for himself," said Rogers, who has led the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team to nine wins thus far in 2008 -- once with Logano, five times with Tony Stewart, twice with Denny Hamlin and once with Kyle Busch. "We try to be optimistic with him, but we try to be realistic, too. There were a lot of great race car drivers here. Joey's amongst the best. He just needs more seat time here. He came here not knowing where the turns are, where the curbs are -- it was something different. And we haven't had the best Watkins Glen package, either. If you look back over the years, the 20 car really hasn't been that strong here. So I'm not going to blame anything on the driver. This GameStop Toyota Camry race team did really, really well today. We made the best of it. We got a top-10 out of it. The driver learned a lot. Joey was fastest at the end of the day. When we got here, my goal was to get better from the time we unloaded to the time we loaded. I'd say that goal was satisfied, so I'm really proud of this effort. We'll take it and go on to Michigan."
Logano's seventh-place effort kept the No. 20 car first in the Nationwide Series owner standings, extending its lead to 282 points ahead of the No. 2 entry of Richard Childress Racing after 24 of 35 races on the Nationwide Series schedule.