Joey Logano Scores New Hampshire Victory and Edges Closer to BES Title 17-Year-Old Adding Even More Accolades to a Remarkable and Historic Season MOORESVILLE, NC (September 17, 2007) -- The NASCAR Busch East Series is one of the most ...
Joey Logano Scores New Hampshire Victory and Edges Closer to BES Title
17-Year-Old Adding Even More Accolades to a Remarkable and Historic Season
MOORESVILLE, NC (September 17, 2007) -- The NASCAR Busch East Series is one of the most prestigious short track series in the country. It's been a stepping stone for many elite drivers in the NASCAR world and it has seen its fair share of big names in the sport competing, and winning, trophies and championships.
But never has the NASCAR Busch East Series seen anything like it is seeing in Joey Logano during the 2007 season. The 17-year-old took the victory on Friday, September 14th, in the Aubuchon Hardware 125 BES event at New Hampshire International Speedway. It was Logano's second win at NHIS in as many tries, and his fifth win in 13 starts this year. The victory also all but clinched the 2007 NASCAR Busch East Series Championship for the young racer, a title that would make him the youngest-ever NASCAR champion.
Logano will enter the final event of the year, coming Friday, September 21st, 171 points ahead of his closest competitor. With performances like the one he turned in at New Hampshire, it will be extremely tough for anyone to catch Logano for the title.
"I don't think I'm the favorite and I don't think I was the favorite (for the championship)," said Logano. "We come in expecting to win races and that's what we did all year. We have one more to go and we're going to try and win that one too. Definitely getting this championship, which we don't have yet, would be really cool."
Cool was exactly the word that described Logano's performance at New Hampshire. Just as he did in the first NHIS race in June, Logano showed the patience of a veteran at the front of the field early on. When it was time to go, Logano went, as the young driver was credited for leading the most laps. Even with another dominant car, even Logano wasn't sure that it was a good enough car to win.
"I just kind of rode around there, and then the 81 (Mark McFarland) got by me," said Logano. I didn't think we had anything for him because on the long runs I got real tight."
But a series of late-race caution flags were the perfect opportunity for Logano to re-claim the lead on a restart with 10 laps to go. The young racer was able to hold on for one final restart to claim the victory.
We both hit (the accelerator) at the same time and the 81 spun his tires a little bit on the restart. That just got me running down that front straightaway and I was able to clear him by the time I got into one. I really felt that I could get him there on the outside. I kind of thought that was the preferred line going into the first turn. It was definitely what we were looking for.
"Then on the last restart, on the inside, I didn't think I was going to get him there. The couple laps and the short runs is just what we needed."
Now, all Logano needs to do is start the Dover International Speedway event on September 21st in order to become the youngest NASCAR Champion ever. His closest championship competitor going into New Hampshire, Matt Kobyluck, was spun out by another competitor late in the race, giving Logano the comfortable margin going into Dover, but Logano wishes he could've settled the crown on the racetrack.
"I didn't know how many points I needed to get to win the championship (at New Hampshire). I always had points on my mind, and I was going to run smart. Winning a race obviously would help me out a lot. It is too bad for him (Kobyluck). I really hate to get (the championship) this way, but it was a really good year for us.
"We were definitely a contender for sure being with Gibbs. They are a great organization. I knew we were going to be a contender."