JOEY LOGANO GameStop Team Heads to Bristol HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (Aug. 20, 2008) -- Joey Logano and the GameStop team head to Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway for Friday night's Food City 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Logano, who drives the...
GameStop Team Heads to Bristol
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (Aug. 20, 2008) -- Joey Logano and the GameStop team head to Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway for Friday night's Food City 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race.
Logano, who drives the No. 20 GameStop Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), will work with veteran JGR crew chief Wally Brown, who takes over for Dave Rogers this weekend in an interim role.
Even though it's their first race together, Logano and Brown are far from strangers. They have spent considerable time together working with JGR's research and development team. In fact, it's safe to say no one at JGR
knows Logano better than Brown.
So while it will be their first time working together on a race weekend, they've already become quite adept at communicating with each other, something that is often the most difficult hurdle to clear in a new driver/crew chief relationship.
And while Logano is seeing many tracks for the first time this season, Bristol won't be one of them. The 18-year-old Nationwide Series rookie participated in a USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series race there in 2005 and was running third when he was involved in an accident not of his making.
He'll return to the .533-mile concrete oval this week looking to add to his already impressive Nationwide Series resume, which includes one win, two poles and seven top-10 finishes in nine starts thus far in 2008.
Joey Logano -- No. 20 GameStop NASCAR Nationwide Series Toyota Camr at y Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedwa y
You will have a different crew chief this weekend with Wally Brown as the interim crew chief of the No. 20 car. Can you talk about the history that you have with Wally?
"It will be cool working with Wally (Brown) in a race. I've worked with him a lot in the JGR Sprint Cup testing team but never under race conditions. I probably have more time working with Wally, overall, than I have with Dave (Rogers). It's a really unfortunate situation, but I think we can still be really competitive this weekend and beyond. We are going to sit down and talk to each other about the car and what we need to do to run well this weekend in Bristol. He knows what I want in a race car and I know his mindset setting up the car. I've really worked with him closely since he came over to JGR in 2006, so it will be nice to still have someone around that I'm really comfortable with and can communicate well with."
You ran a Hooters Pro Cup race at Bristol in 2005. What do you remember from the race and about the track?
"I was running third toward the end of a Hooters Pro Cup race there in 2005 and the leaders wrecked each other and I got in the middle of it, which can happen at Bristol any time. Bristol is crazy. You are plastered down in the seat and it's kind of like a small Dover, which is also a demanding track. The biggest thing about Bristol is that everything happens so fast there, since you are getting around that place in around 15 seconds a lap."
You grew up with a short track background, so are you most comfortable racing on the short tracks?
"I look forward to it. There's no doubt it's the most physically demanding track we run at. You push so many G's through the corner that you spend so much time down and to the right in the seat, and you really don't have much time to think. As soon as you come out of the corner and onto the straightaway, you are back in the corner again before you know it. You have to be on your 'A' game every lap at Bristol. But I feel like I'm prepared for a place like Bristol. Even though I don't look it, I work out at the shop every day and it's one of those races that the workout regimen will always pay off."
Wally Brown -- Interim Crew Chief, No. 20 GameStop NASCAR Nationwide Series Toyota Camry at Bristol
What are your thoughts on being the crew chief for Logano and the No. 20 team for Friday night's Food City 250 at Bristol?
"While the circumstances are far from ideal, I'm looking forward to Bristol and getting to work with Joey Logano in this weekend's Nationwide Series race. I've had the pleasure of working with Joey throughout the past couple of years on the JGR Sprint Cup test team and I've obviously been impressed with his natural talent and ability to give excellent feedback on the handling of his race car. It's a really unfortunate situation, but we are going to work hard in order to run up front and be in contention to win like this team has all year long."
Chassis No. 2041: This chassis has the most race experience of any chassis currently in JGR's Nationwide Series shop. The Food City 250 will be the 46th race for Chassis No. 2041, dating back to its debut in the 2003 Tropicana Twister 300 at Chicagoland Speedway with former JGR driver Mike Bliss at the controls. While this chassis made its debut in 2003, it didn't get its first win until Denny Hamlin brought the car to victory lane in the 2006 Diamond Hill Plywood 200 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. Hamlin also brought this same chassis to victory lane one year later in the same event at Darlington. In addition to the wins at Darlington, Hamlin drove No. 2041 to poles at Darlington, Dover (Del.) International Speedway and Chicagoland in 2007. In its only start in 2008, Hamlin had a strong run going in the March race at Bristol before puncturing a tire on lap 70 and being forced to pit under green flag conditions, costing the No. 20 team several laps. Hamlin had no time to rally back as rain stopped the event 129 laps short of the 300-lap distance, and he wound up with a disappointing 26th-place finish.