Daytona Shootout: Joey Logano preview

* Joey Logano will be making his second start in The Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. Logano captured the 2009 Raybestos Rookie of the Year title to make him eligible for the all-star event. Last year, The Home Depot team was hoping...

* Joey Logano will be making his second start in The Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. Logano captured the 2009 Raybestos Rookie of the Year title to make him eligible for the all-star event. Last year, The Home Depot team was hoping to gain invaluable experience in The Shootout after Logano finished second in the ARCA RE/MAX race just hours earlier. Unfortunately Logano missed the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) drivers meeting due to the caution-plagued ARCA race and was forced to start in the back for The Shootout. A multi-car incident broke out mid pack on lap four collecting Logano and the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota. The car was damaged beyond repair and Logano was scored in the 28th position.

* The Home Depot Team looks to build on Logano's experience last season on the restrictor-plate tracks. After a rough start at Daytona last February where he finished 28th in The Shootout and 43rd in the Daytona 500, Logano quickly got a handle on drafting and went on to finish 19th at Daytona in July and captured two top-10 finishes at Talladega (ninth and third).

* Meet Logano! Fans in the Daytona area can meet Logano at The Home Depot Store down the road from the track on Feb. 10 from 6 - 8 p.m. The store is located at 2455 International Speedway Blvd. There will be a children's workshop, photo opportunities with the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota and an autograph signing by Logano. Wristbands will be distributed starting at 5 p.m. to the first 700 fans.

* Did you know Logano helped develop the sleds the U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team now uses? Logano has the opportunity to see the sleds and noticed they were in disrepair. It was a nine month project, but in December with the help of Logano and the Extreme Ice Center, 20 new sleds were delivered to the U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team's headquarters in Rochester, N.Y. In fact the U.S. Team just captured first place at the 2010 Japan Para Ice Sledge Hockey Championships in Nagano a few weeks ago and will head to the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, B.C., March 13-20.

* There will be two new members on The Home Depot Team's over-the-wall crew in 2010. Coleman Dollarhide, from Hickory, N.C., joins the team as the rear-tire changer while Andrew Bruckler of Pinellas Park, Fla. takes over as the team's gasman.

* Welcome aboard The Home Depot associates from store # 4654 in the city of Waynesboro. Waynesboro is centrally located in the eastern portion of Virginia's scenic and historic Shenandoah Valley, just 90 miles northwest of the state capital of Richmond and the Richmond International Raceway. Like many southern towns, Waynesboro was named in 1797 after Revolutionary War hero Mad Anthony Wayne.

* Logano stayed busy during the off season. After collecting his rookie of the year award in Las Vegas, the 19-year-old driver captured gold in the Bodine Bobsled Challenge in Lake Placid in his third year participating in the event. The annual event raises money for the U.S. Hockey Team which is set to compete in the 2010 Winter Olympics. Logano also took the checkered flag in the Toyota All-Star Showdown at Irwindale Speedway in a Home Depot Toyota. The victory was the second win for Logano in the race dubbed the "Daytona 500 of Short-Track Racing."

* The No. 20 Team is taking chassis #245 to DIS for the shootout. This chassis served as the back-up car at every restrictor-plate race last season, but was never needed on the track.

Logano on The Shootout:

"Last year's Shootout did not go well at all. I was really looking forward to getting good drafting experience in the Home Depot Toyota for the 500, but that only lasted about three of four laps. I had competed in the ARCA race just before The Shootout, but it was red flagged and I missed the driver's meeting. So I was sent to the back of the pack. It didn't take long to get caught up in something.

"This year I am so much more confident heading to Daytona. I had no idea what I was getting into last year and I was a little lost at first. This year I know what I need to do in the draft and we ran really well in the July race at Daytona before getting shuffled a little there at the end. I feel like a different driver going into this season. I know how to communicate with Zippy (crew chief Zipadelli) now about the car and we have a much better understanding of one another. I really feel like we are going to continue to build on how we ran at the end of last season and that makes me extremely excited about this year.

"Our goal for this year is simple, keep improving. If we can gain the same amount this year as we did from the start of last year to the end of the season that would be huge. Obviously everyone's goal is to make a run at the Chase that would be awesome for The Home Depot Team."

-source: jgr

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Joey Logano