Some High-Banked Excitement Awaits Joey Logano at Bristol 16-Year-Old JGR Development Driver Hopes to Bounce Back after Peach State MOORESVILLE, NC (August 14, 2006) -- Bristol Motor Speedway has been called many different things by many ...
Some High-Banked Excitement Awaits Joey Logano at Bristol
16-Year-Old JGR Development Driver Hopes to Bounce Back after Peach State
MOORESVILLE, NC (August 14, 2006) -- Bristol Motor Speedway has been called many different things by many different drivers. In just about every race at the concrete half-mile, phrases such as "tough," "tricky," "fast" and "rough and tumble," amongst plenty of expletives, can be heard describing Bristol.
Sixteen-year-old Joey Logano may be entering his first USAR Hooters Pro Cup Southern Division race at Bristol on Wednesday, August 23rd, but as a result of his recent test at Bristol, Logano has another word that he uses to describe the track.
"The place is really cool," said Logano, a Development Driver for Joe Gibbs Racing. "The night before the test, the gate was open to the racetrack and we just walked in. The racetrack in unbelievable. It's only a half-mile racetrack, but it's pretty massive. It's cool just to be there. You hear people talking about that place and all its history, so it was cool just to run there.
"As far as driving, there's not much to that place. You just put the car on the bottom and let it rip. By the third lap I was up to speed. It's a neat track; I had a good time there and I'm looking forward to the race."
Logano will be making his first-ever start at Bristol on August 23rd, but like most people who enjoy stock car racing, he has been paying attention to the big-league events at Bristol. Logano has already formed his strategy for the Bristol race, and it involves simply staying out of trouble on the track. that can make a strong finish turn into calamity in a hurry.
"Survival is going to be big. The race is only 150 laps, and it seems like a really hard place to pass at, so it will be interesting. Hopefully we can just start up front and finish up front.
"I think our body guy is going to be a little busy over the next couple of weeks. Last time out at Peach State, we needed a new body on that car and we may need a new one on the other car after Bristol, but I think we'll be okay at Bristol. I tested out there in an open test, and we were one of the fastest things there. I think we'll be even better for the race. I think we'll be real good."
The damage suffered at Peach State Speedway last Saturday night was a reminder of what can go wrong during a race despite having a good car. Like most of his races so far in the 2006 Pro Cup Southern Division season, Logano had a fast #51 Joe Gibbs Racing Oil Chevrolet at Peach State before a series of bad luck forced him to work his way through the field late in the race.
"We had a good run going at Peach State. We started second, and we were running up front for the first part of the race. My spotter said another driver was looking low, which meant he wasn't there yet, and I went in there normal. I guess the other guy dove it in there and got into me and spun me out.
"We were still okay after that, because we were going to pit around that time anyway. We came into the pits and came out second behind Clay Rogers. I thought we'd be alright. The spin bent a couple things on the car but nothing too bad. Then the official found one of my hood pins on the ground and they made us come in and put it back in. That put me back in the 20-something range and I just had to do the best I could from there."
Logano was able to climb back through the field over the final laps, eventually settling into the eighth position at the checkered flag. It was his eighth top-10 finish of the Pro Cup Southern Division season. Finishing eighth was still an impressive result considering the late spin that cost him valuable track position. Now Logano focuses on getting the ship righted for success at Bristol.
"It seems like every time I go to Peach State I have no luck. It's been the same way since my Late Model days. I've always been the fastest thing going, but something always happens. That's kinda the way my year's going. Just a little bit of luck could turn my season around, and hopefully we'll get it at Bristol."
The Bristol Motor Speedway Pro Cup event will take the green flag on August 23rd at 7pm and will be broadcast on SPEED on August 30th at 5pm. The Peach State event from last Saturday will air on SPEED at 5pm on August 16th.