Joey Logano Wins at Phoenix in His First NASCAR Start 16-Year-Old Joe Gibbs Racing Development Driver Takes West Series Victory MOORESVILLE, NC (April 20, 2007) - A few years ago, teenager Joey Logano set the short track racing world on its...
Joey Logano Wins at Phoenix in His First NASCAR Start
16-Year-Old Joe Gibbs Racing Development Driver Takes West Series Victory
MOORESVILLE, NC (April 20, 2007) - A few years ago, teenager Joey Logano set the short track racing world on its ear by winning in only his second career USAR Pro Cup Series start. That kind of thing just isn't done is auto racing, where experience and seat time are usually two of the most important tickets to victory lane.
So as Logano, now 16, prepared for his start in the NASCAR Touring Series ranks, observers wondered if he could equal that feat. The answer came in his NASCAR debut on Thursday night at Phoenix International Raceway. That is where Logano qualified on the outside pole and won the NASCAR West Series event leading up to this weekend's NASCAR Nextel Cup Series races at PIR.
"One for one, not bad," said Joey with a laugh. "Bob Dillner told me I beat my Pro Cup record of winning the second time out; I didn't realize that until then. The last two years my second race in a series I won; I wanted to keep that tradition alive, but I'll take this any day."
"It's pretty cool we can do this the first time out here. The first laps on the track were today. We have a brand new crew chief in Mike Sibley. It's basically a brand new team with the exception of a couple guys from last year. We came right out of the box great today."
Logano was able to take the lessons that he learned early in the race and apply them when he battled Andrew Myers for the lead. Logano and Myers swapped the top spot several times during the first portion of the race.
"It was my first time here; I didn't know where I was going at first. And I was learning a lot during the race, especially when I was catching the leader and we were running two totally different lines. He was running high and was fast and I was running the bottom. I gave it a try up top after watching him, but I always run better on the bottom. I was just two tight up there; it started chattering the right front (tire). It might have worked earlier on in the race when my car was loose, but I couldn't do it then so I just went back down the track. He dropped out, but it would have been a great race till the end if he was still there."
Although he is widely referred to as one of the most talented young drivers in all of stock car racing, Logano remains modest. He downplayed his own efforts and credited everything else having to do with the team, including the car number, for the victory.
"I told the guys when we left the shop and we put the 10 on it for the West race, that it brought back memories from the Legends days - the Quarter Midget days even. I told them it was a guarantee we were going to win now; I was just joking around. I think 10 is the lucky number. We'll see though. In the Busch East Series we are going to break out the 20, so that might be good too."
The circumstances for the victory were just about perfect for Logano. He held off his longtime friend and fellow Joe Gibbs Racing development driver Marc Davis in a white-knuckle run to the finish.
"That's pretty cool; that's awesome. Green-white-checker and we're starting door-to-door; that was great for Joe Gibbs Racing. We (Marc Davis and Joey) go back to the Legends Car and Bandolero days. We've known each other for a while and raced against each other for a while. I got on his radio there before the last restart and talked to him a little bit and he came back and talked to me on mine. It was fun because we were messing around a little bit."
Logano will get his chance to make more history when he makes his NASCAR Busch East Series debut next Saturday, April 28th, at Greenville-Pickens Speedway (SC).