Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

Global Global
Interview

Team building pays off for Joey Logano and Penske crew

Just off of Dale Earnhardt Boulevard in Kannapolis, N.C. —and right before you get to side streets named Ford, Plymouth, Dodge and Chrysler—Joey Logano and members of his road crew are participating in the ultimate team-building exercise.

Joey Logano Foundation and Habitat for Humanity partnership event
Joey Logano Foundation and Habitat for Humanity partnership event
Joey Logano Foundation and Habitat for Humanity partnership event
Joey Logano Foundation and Habitat for Humanity partnership event
Joey Logano Foundation and Habitat for Humanity partnership event
Joey Logano Foundation and Habitat for Humanity partnership event
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford, Team Penske, Ford Fusion
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford

With just three weeks remaining before the Daytona 500, they’re working non-stop. But on this rare Saturday off and away from the race track, Logano isn’t behind the wheel. His hands are on a circular saw cutting sand-colored planks for one of the newest Habitat for Humanity houses in Cabarrus County.

Soon, Latasha Wallace will call 605 Foster Street home.

“This is my home,” Wallace said. “I’m super excited. I have a 14-year-old daughter and two grandkids. It has three bedrooms and two baths. I’ll be four minutes away from my job. Thank God for that.

“I’ve put in almost 300 hours of sweat equity right now.”

“That’s one of the great things about Habitat for Humanity,” adds Logano. “You’re not just given a home. You have to put the work in—as it should be.”

Wallace’s new home, 18 miles southeast of the Team Penske campus and 13 miles north of Charlotte Motor Speedway, marks the third collaboration between the Joey Logano Foundation and Habitat for Humanity of Cabarrus County.

“You’ve got to be strong about it and push on through,” Wallace said. “I’ve learned a lot of building houses. They haven’t given me a move in date, yet. But it won’t be too much longer. I’ll be even happier when they paint it purple. I’m doing that to promote (awareness of) domestic violence. My mother was murdered a year and four months ago. I never cared too much for purple before, but I’m doing it for a good reason.”

Wallace’s mother, Stephanie Jenkins, was killed by her husband. Following the tragedy, Wallace felt powerless, ready to give up. She didn’t want to go to her job as an activity director for an assisted living community.

“I felt I had nothing else to live for,” Wallace said. “Finally, I turned everything around and now I’m moving forward. I know she’s happy for me.”

Helping the less fortunate

Logano believes in second chances—the impetus behind JLF, which he founded in 2013. He initially focussed on providing shelter for the less fortunate in his native Connecticut, but since Logano now calls North Carolina home, he has expanded his focus to the Concord and Kannapolis area as well.

“We have some Team Penske guys, we have some members from Planet Fitness and we have some people from the JLR team,” Logano said. “We’re doing siding today—which is what we did last time—so we’re getting pretty good at it as you can see. So, I’m the head saw technician. That’s what I liked to be called. And then everyone else hammers the boards up there and it’s been going pretty well.

“Habitat for Humanity does a good job at training you and making sure we don’t cut our fingers off.”

Logano is taking orders for the planks. He measures twice, then cuts the wood.

“Another perfect cut,” Logano jokes. “Just call me 'Perfect-Cut Logano.'”

He carries the piece to the back of the house where the crew has almost finished siding. Flanked with helpers on either side, Logano climbs the ladder and hammers his section of the plank.

Respect of his crew

His car chief, Raymond Fox III, marvels at Logano’s generosity and work ethic. The third-generation NASCAR mechanic has worked with his share of talented drivers—Dale Jarrett, Ricky Rudd, Elliott Sadler and Ernie Irvan. But Logano has inspired Fox on and off of the race track.

“Joey is a different character,” Fox said. “I’ve worked with a lot of drivers, and I would have to say he’s one of the best if not the best. As for as his personality and the things he does for and gives to other people, it’s pretty awesome.

“This is kind of like building a race car, but it’s different. It’s a different atmosphere. It’s been fun. The 22 crew is pretty tight-knit. It’s been a real team builder. It’s nice to be able to do something for other people. We’re having a ball.”

With Speedweeks in Daytona fast approaching, time is precious. Even Logano admits that, following birth of son Hudson on January 4, he doesn’t have the luxury to work on cars the way he used to. But it's still important to sacrifice a Saturday to work together for a worthy cause.

“I think it fits our mission to our foundation for giving a second chance,” Logano said. “This is a second chance for her to start over and kind of go after it again. We’ve seen a few stories like this, but it makes it more special to actually come out here and build the house. It’s one thing to build a home, but when you know who you’re building it for, it hits your heart a little deeper.

“That’s what we want to do as a team. We know that God has given us an amazing opportunity to go live our dreams. We race cars for a living. It even sounds ridiculous. It doesn’t even sound like real life to me. For us to take that opportunity and do something with it when we come out here and do stuff like this as a team is a big deal. It’s been really good.”

Be part of Motorsport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Look out NASCAR, Ty Dillon is ready "to explode" this season
Next article Daniel Suarez: "Good is not enough in the Cup Series"

Top Comments

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

Global Global