WS/ES: Joey Logano season preview

Joey Logano Ready to "Go West" to Start NASCAR Career Joe Gibbs Racing Development Driver Plans Full Busch East Campaign, Starts At Phoenix MOORESVILLE, NC (April 11, 2007) -- A couple of years ago, NASCAR great Mark Martin told Joey Logano...

Joey Logano Ready to "Go West" to Start NASCAR Career
Joe Gibbs Racing Development Driver Plans Full Busch East Campaign,
Starts At Phoenix

MOORESVILLE, NC (April 11, 2007) -- A couple of years ago, NASCAR great Mark Martin told Joey Logano he was already ready for the big time. Martin said he'd feel perfectly comfortable racing with Logano side-by-side in a Cup car at speed. However, at the time, Logano was only 14 years old and couldn't compete with any NASCAR divisions because of his young age.

Now 16 years old, Logano is finally ready to start his NASCAR career. He'll make his NASCAR Grand National Division debut driving for Joe Gibbs Racing on April 19th when he heads out west to Phoenix International Raceway to compete in the AlphaTrade.com 150 for the West Series. Then, the following weekend, Logano will begin his chase for the Busch East Series championship, competing in the first race of the 2007 season at Greenville-Pickens Speedway.

"We're planning to run the whole Busch East schedule and a few West races," said Logano. "The real plan for the year is to win some races, though. I think we have a good shot at that. This is a strong team we've got. We tested at Richmond and Greenville and were pretty good. I think once we get a few races under our belt and get some things worked out, we'll be really good.

"I'm really excited about the year. "This is exactly where I want to be. I'm going to get a lot of seat time at some pretty big tracks. It's going to be a huge learning experience, but it's something I'm ready for and something I want. We've got a whole new team. I've got a new crew chief. I've got a teammate (fellow 16-year-old Marc Davis, who is also a Joe Gibbs Racing Development Driver). It will be a learning experience for sure."

Logano spent the last two seasons competing with the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series. Over those two years, Logano picked up three victories, including a win in just his second-career race. That win, coming during the 2005 season, made Logano the youngest ever Pro Cup Series winner, displacing Brian Vickers of that honor.

Now, Logano will move to the similar Busch East cars.

"It's not a massive change between cars.  It feels like the
Busch East car has less power.  I think that spec engine they use just
doesn't have the same low-end torque.  But once you get the cars
going, you don't notice any difference.  When we tested at
Richmond, the engine was good.  I didn't notice a thing.

"The Pro Cup car is basically a Busch car anyway. Our (Joe Gibbs Racing) cars are all 110-inch wheelbase cars, which might be a little bit of a disadvantage to the 105-inch wheelbase cars, but nothing that we can't overcome."

Before the start of the Busch East season, though, Logano will compete in his first of a couple of West Series races. His first will be at Phoenix on April 19th.

"I think we'll be pretty good at Phoenix," added Logano. "We really should be contenders. I'm looking forward to running there. It will be a big race for us. I've been playing it on my video game all of the time. It will be neat to get on a bigger track and all. I think we've got a good setup for that place."

Then, he'll head to legendary Greenville-Pickens Speedway in Greenville, South Carolina.

"Greenville-Pickens is Greenville-Pickens. I think that race is going to be fun. I was there four years ago testing an ASA National Tour car. Then, we went there and tested a couple of weeks ago. I had a lot of fun. It is so different. It is so flat. The car drove real good there."

In addition to the full Busch East schedule, Logano will also compete at Phoenix and again at Infineon Raceway on June 23rd. Then, he'll return out west for the Toyota All Star Showdown at Irwindale Speedway at the end of the year.

-credit: joeyloganoracing.com.

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