Joey Logano Wins Toyota All Star Showdown at Irwindale Speedway 17-Year-Old Wraps Up Season Just How He Started It... With A Dominating Performance MOORESVILLE, NC (October 22, 2007) -- All the way back in April, Joe Gibbs Racing Development...
Joey Logano Wins Toyota All Star Showdown at Irwindale Speedway
17-Year-Old Wraps Up Season Just How He Started It... With A Dominating Performance
MOORESVILLE, NC (October 22, 2007) -- All the way back in April, Joe Gibbs Racing Development Driver Joey Logano opened some eyes in the NASCAR community when he won in the NASCAR West Series at Phoenix International Raceway (AZ). Not only was it Logano's first start in a Grand National Division car, but it was also on the biggest track that he had ever competed on (in competition) and it came on one of the biggest stages the Grand National Division competes on; in front of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup contingent.
Throughout the season, Logano continued to impress by winning the Busch East opener. Then, he won more races and became not only a talented rookie, but a championship threat. Then, a few more wins later, he became the favorite. In the end, Logano was the man to beat; he won both the Busch East Series Championship and Rookie of the Year at the age of 17.
On Saturday night at Irwindale Speedway, in the fifth running of the Toyota All Star Showdown, Logano and the #20 Joe Gibbs Driven Monte Carlo had just one more thing to accomplish -- winning NASCAR's premier race for its short track season. And much like he did at Phoenix to open the season, Logano did just that in a dominating fashion.
"This is a real big race win for us," said Logano. "We've had a real stellar year and this is a great way to top it off. We won the biggest race of the year. I just had a great race tonight. My crew, they picked it up a ton. To be able to run up front all night, this team is unbelievable. I just have a lot of confidence; that's what you have to have to win. We came here knowing we can win and that's what we did."
Logano qualified second for the event and was in the thick of things all night long. He hung in the top-five throughout the first 100-lap segment. Then, he made his move in the middle portions of the second 100-lap segment on lap 164. From there, Joey would never fall out of the top-spot.
"We started on the outside there and we had a good run off of two," said Logano of his race-winning pass on the West Series' Brian Ickler. "It was right after a red flag, so the tires had cooled down. I drove it in there until I got scared and then just turned the wheel and romped on it. Once you get that run on the back straightaway I knew I pretty much had him. He worked the bottom real good though. I don't know what happened after that, but we had a real strong car.
"We weren't the best when we began the race. After our first stop we changed everything. I don't know what they changed, but it was like a brand new car. She was loose as a goose at first. She was real free off the corner. I would get in through the center as good as anybody; I just couldn't get on the throttle. They gave me a lot more forward bite without hurting my center a lot and that's what it took."
During the last segment though, Logano had to hold off fellow Busch East Series driver Peyton Sellers for the win. Sellers got several late-race restarts to try and get by Logano, but each time, Logano would get the jump at the green. Sellers laid a bumper to the rear of the #20 near the end of the event, but wasn't able to grab the top spot.
"I knew we were faster than him, but on a green-white-checker you are going to wheel as hard as you can," added Logano. "I knew that was going to happen. Restarts were pretty big and I had been able to clear him at the corner every time. He got in the back of me a little bit, and that was cool. It was good racing. It was three- to-go and I would expect that. He's a great guy to race with and it was fun."
The All Star Showdown officially ended Logano's 2007 season. The youngster finished with seven wins in 16 starts, including one in the West Series (Phoenix) and two in combination races with the West and Busch East cars (Iowa Speedway and Irwindale Speedway). He also finished with 12 top-five finishes.
Future plans for Joey's 2008 season will be announced in the near future.