17-Year-Old Wins Five Events And Grabs Rookie of the Year Title As Well MOORESVILLE, NC (September 24, 2007) -- Even at just 17 years old, Joe Gibbs Racing Development Driver Joey Logano is one of the most competitive people anyone will ever...
17-Year-Old Wins Five Events And Grabs Rookie of the Year Title As Well
MOORESVILLE, NC (September 24, 2007) -- Even at just 17 years old, Joe Gibbs Racing Development Driver Joey Logano is one of the most competitive people anyone will ever meet. That's why Logano, despite finishing second on Friday afternoon at Dover International Speedway in the final race of the year for the NASCAR Busch East Series, and despite locking up both the NASCAR Busch East Series Rookie of the Year and National Championship trophies, still wasn't very happy.
"We had a good weekend, that's for sure," said Logano, driver of the #20 Joe Gibbs Driven Chevrolet. "We unloaded fast. We were on the outside pole. We led the most laps. We should have won the race. It's just unfortunate that we didn't. If we did, we could have won half the races this season that we ran, which would have been great."
But it took nothing away from what Logano accomplished in his rookie NASCAR season. In 13 Busch East Series events, Logano won five times. In fact, Logano finished out of the top-five in just two races. He grabbed three Bud Poles during the BES season as well. Logano also competed in two NASCAR West Series events, winning one (at Phoenix International Raceway to open the season) and leading a majority of the other (at Infineon Raceway) before falling out with mechanical problems.
The stats all led up to Logano becoming the youngest Busch East Series Champion in the series' illustrious history. Logano captured the title by 166 points over Sean Caisse. He dominated the Rookie of the Year standings, beating DEI Development Driver Jeffery Earnhardt.
"We had a good season for sure. I learned a lot from the years before and I put that to use. That is what I'm going to do next year. Every time I go somewhere, I learn something that you put to use the next time out. I think that is what helped us out a lot.
"My team was a huge part of this season too. Everywhere we went, we were a threat to win. It didn't matter if it was a short track, speedway or road course. We were always fast off the trailer.
"Between those things, that is what made us dominant."
At Dover, in the Sunoco 150, Logano qualified second and led the race on three different occasions but got bumped out of the way with just six laps to go by Caisse. It put just a brief sour note on what was a great weekend. Logano wrapped up the BES title by just taking the green flag at Dover.
"It's just too bad that things played out how they did. I know it's racing, but you have to at least try and pass someone before you go and dump them.
"We had a little more fun this weekend; I'm not going to lie. Normally when we go to a race, we are all about winning the race. We were able to have a little more fun this weekend, though, knowing we already had the championship under our belt. We knew we could try a few more things. I had a note in my car that actually said 'after lap one, game on.' So we were going for the win. It's just too bad we didn't get it."
The second-place finish at Dover just capped what was a very memorable season for Logano. From the opening season win at Phoenix, and his win in the BES season-opener at Greenville-Pickens Speedway, Logano's season was full of memorable moments.
"I am going to remember when I beat (NASCAR Nextel Cup star Kevin) Harvick at Iowa," added Logano. "That was a big win for me. I will remember that for a long time. But we had a wicked good year. I will remember running at Infineon and running good out there. I really enjoyed Adirondack. That was a cool way to win the race on the last lap like we did. And it was fun to sweep the races at New Hampshire. That is something that isn't done too often. There were quite a few good times. I will take a lot out of the season."
But Dover, and celebrating the championship, was the best memory of all.
"We had a blast. I did this awesome burnout. We had some champagne that we sprayed around. (NASCAR President) Mike Helton came up and presented the championship trophy to me. The Gibbs Busch teams were both there. There were a lot of people that came over to congratulate me. It was all great."
But the season isn't completely done for Logano. He will still be the number one seed representing the Busch East Series in the Toyota All Star Showdown at Irwindale Speedway in California at the end of the season.
"That race is a checker or wrecker," laughed Logano. "We've got nothing to lose there. We are going for it there. I don't really know what to expect going out there."
When not racing, Logano will still stay plenty busy as well.
"They keep me plenty busy over here (at the Gibbs shop). I do a lot of testing. I will stay busy being at the shop working out, testing, doing school work and all that stuff."