Joey Logano Still Perfect in His NASCAR Career 16-Year-Old Now Two-For-Two with Busch East Victory at Greenville MOORESVILLE, NC (April 30, 2007) -- Race fans recognize the legendary Richard Petty with two numbers -- 43 and 200. ...
Joey Logano Still Perfect in His NASCAR Career
16-Year-Old Now Two-For-Two with Busch East Victory at Greenville
MOORESVILLE, NC (April 30, 2007) -- Race fans recognize the legendary Richard Petty with two numbers -- 43 and 200. Petty wheeled the number-43 car to 200 career NASCAR Cup victories during his 30-plus year racing career, a total that seems insurmountable.
But at his current pace, could 16-year-old Joe Gibbs Racing Development Driver Joey Logano shatter that number? After all, he now has two wins in his first two NASCAR starts with his win Saturday night in the Greased Lightning 150 NASCAR Busch East Series event at Greenville-Pickens Speedway (SC).
Logic would have it that Logano will not win every NASCAR race he enters for the remainder of his career, but after starting that career with wins in his first two starts at Greenville and the NASCAR West Series race at Phoenix the week prior, the Middletown, CT-native well on his way towards legendary status in the stock car racing world.
"You can't ever get used to winning; this is awesome," said Logano after his victory at Greenville. "I couldn't ask for anything more. We're two-for-two. We've had great cars at both racetracks. We were dominant at Phoenix and we were dominant here, even though the tracks are from one end to another.
"You've got a flat, half-mile track like Greenville, and we came here from Phoenix which is a fast one-mile track that's also pretty flat. This place is worn out, so me and my crew chief had an agenda to just go out there and save tires. I dropped back to fourth or fifth and I was watching everyone in front of me coming off the corners sideways. I just figured I'd keep on going with that strategy. At about halfway, their tires were gone and I still had a lot left."
When Logano left Phoenix after his first West Series win, he was not about to stop obtaining new "firsts." He sped his way to another first, by taking his first career Busch Pole Award in qualifying for Saturday's Greased Lightning 150 at Greenville. Logano knocked last year's BES Greenville winner Sean Caisse off the Busch Pole, setting up a duel of young drivers at the front of the field that lasted until the fall of the checkered flag.
At the start, Logano dropped back in the pack, fully knowing that tire conservation was going to be the name of the game at Greenville. He began picking off spots one by one, eventually passing Caisse on lap 73. From there, Logano checked out and held his ground over several late-race restarts to earn his second checkered flag of the still young season.
"I caught Caisse right around halfway. I had been running behind him, pressuring him a little bit, and he kept coming off the corner sideways. I knew he was trying to hold me off, but that was helping me even more. I just kept the car straight, and I had a good run off the corner. He got a little sideways and I was able to get by him in one and two.
"I knew I had a good car. He had his stuff worn out, and I still had a lot. Restart after restart I would clear him. He would get in front of me a little bit on the high side, but not enough to clear me and come across my nose. I was just able to come off the corner a little bit better than he was, and that is what won us the race."
This year, Logano is part of a new youth movement in the Busch East Series. Fifteen registered rookies took the green flag at Greenville, but Logano's yellow stripe on the rear bumper of his number-20 Joe Gibbs Racing Oil Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS does not reflect the veteran smarts that the young racer showed in both of his wins, especially the one at Greenville.
"I came into this year thinking about the race I won with the Pro Cup car last year at Myrtle Beach. In the Pro Cup car, I had to save the tires for about 80 laps. Here I had to save them for 150. You had to save them that much more. You have to tell yourself that if you get on the outside of someone, if they get by you, they get by you. Each position doesn't matter a bit 50 laps into the race. I just cruised behind the fourth-place guy for the longest time. Then I got on the outside of him. As soon as I did that, I wasn't driving the car hard, and that's what it took to win this race. It's easy to save tires when you have a car that can go fast too.
"It's a blast to come out in my first two races and win them both. I told my guys that for the last three years, I've won my second race of the year. I told them we had to keep that up and we did.
"I'm just really thankful to be associated with this Joe Gibbs Racing team. To be hooked up with Gibbs is tough to start off with. You have to win races just to get the attention from a team like that. Then once you get in a good car, things start clicking. Things are clicking right now, that's for sure."
Logano now is looking ahead to the May 18th BES event at Elko Speedway (MN) for his chance to go three-for-three in his NASCAR career.
"I was able to run at Elko in the ASA car when I was 14. We started at the back because qualifying was rained out. I was digging through the field and made a rookie mistake and wrecked myself. Hopefully I can come back and have just as fast a car as I've had this year and pull it off.