NASCAR GRAND NATIONAL DIVISION, BUSCH EAST SERIES NEWS & NOTES * Joey Logano's 32-day NASCAR Career Brings Three Wins In Four Starts * Sixteen-Year-Old's "Allowance" From Joe Gibbs Racing Chevy Totals $37,600 * Ones To Watch:...
NASCAR GRAND NATIONAL DIVISION, BUSCH EAST SERIES NEWS & NOTES
* Joey Logano's 32-day NASCAR Career Brings Three Wins In Four Starts
* Sixteen-Year-Old's "Allowance" From Joe Gibbs Racing Chevy Totals $37,600
* Ones To Watch: Rogelio Lopez, Jesus Hernandez Closing In On Point Leader
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 23, 2007) -- Joey Logano (No. 20 Joe Gibbs Driven Chevrolet) continued to demonstrate his remarkable talent by posting his third NASCAR Grand National Series win in his fourth career start Sunday afternoon at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. While seeming unnatural for the 16-year-old to win a third time in four career NASCAR races, the Iowa victory was a natural continuation of a genuine phenomenon. Here's Logano's 32-day NASCAR career record:
* April 19, Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway, one-mile oval, (NASCAR West Series season opening race): First career NASCAR start and first career superspeedway start. Qualified second-fastest. Fourth lap of race (fourth lap of NASCAR career), takes lead for first time from two-time NASCAR West Series champion Mike Duncan. Leads race on four occasions, including final 23 laps. Scores first career NASCAR win and $13,700.
* April 28, Greenville-Pickens Speedway, Greenville, S.C., .500-mile oval, (NASCAR Busch East Series season opening race): First career NASCAR Busch East Series start; first career NASCAR short-track start. First career pole award. Takes lead for first time in NASCAR Busch East Series race from defending race winner Sean Caisse on lap 75. Takes lead from Caisse for final time on lap 123 to win 150-lap race. Scored second career NASCAR win in second career start and wins $8,800.
* May 18, Elko (Minn.) Speedway, .375-mile oval: First ever NASCAR Grand National Division combination point race. Qualifies fourth fastest. Three laps after a lap 60 restart and running in top-5, tangles with Peyton Sellers, who spins and brings out the caution. NASCAR officials move Logano to tail end of lead lap cars for the restart as a penalty for overly aggressive driving. Logano was also part of race's final caution flag with West Series driver Brian Ickler on lap 144. Logano posted a 19th-place lead lap finish and won $800.
* May 20, Iowa Speedway, Newton, Iowa, .875-mile oval, first NASCAR intermediate track start: Qualified second-fastest to 2007 Daytona 500 winner Kevin Harvick, who less than 24 hours earlier won the NASCAR NEXTEL All Star Challenge and $1 million at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C. Logano takes lead from Harvick for the first time on lap 38. The two swap the lead a total of 15 times. After a total of 18 lead changes among four drivers (Duncan and Justin Lofton also briefly led following pit stops by Logano and Harvick), Logano drives off to finish 2.4 seconds ahead over Harvick. Harvick jumps from car and bolts for victory lane, to be among the first to congratulate Logano, who won a single race career record $14,300.
In 32 days, Logano won three of four races, one pole award, qualified second fastest twice and fourth once (at Elko), and won $37,600 -- considerably more than the average 16-year-old's weekly allowance of $15.79, according to www.kidsmoney.org.
NEWS & NOTES
* Caisse in & out of points lead ... Sean Caisse (No. 44 Casella Waste Systems Chevrolet) led the NASCAR Busch East Series point standings following his win in the Minnesota 150 at Elko Speedway. The victory and his runner-up finish to Logano in the season opener at Greenville, S.C., April 28, combined with Logano's 19th place Elko finish, put Caisse out front. Caisse had difficulties in the Featherlite Coaches 200 at Iowa, however, cutting a tire on lap 80, followed by an accident on lap 99. Caisse finished 37th at Iowa, and fell to fourth in points.
* "Huntin' The World" joins Chew team ... "Huntin' The World... Southern Style," a Men's Outdoor and Recreation satellite television program, has joined the NASCAR Busch East Series' No. 99 Buzz Chew Chevrolet team and driver Bryon Chew starting at Elko Speedway. Chew rewarded the new sponsor a second-place finish in their first outing at Elko Speedway.
* Lopez, Hernandez on the rise ... Rogelio Lopez (No. 03 Lucas Oil/Telmex Chevrolet) and Jesus Hernandez (No. 4 Waste Management Chevrolet) surged the second and third in the series points race following strong performances during the combination weekend. Lopez was the first driver from Mexico to compete in the NASCAR Busch East Series (2005), and competed in five events each year in 2005 and 2006. Lopez enjoyed a career-high finish of fourth at Elko and placed 16th at Iowa. Hernandez, a member of the Drive for Diversity program, placed seventh at Elko and a career-high third at Iowa. Like Logano, Hernandez had never competed in the NASCAR Busch East Series prior to 2007.
* Defending champ gets first top-five ...: Defending NASCAR Busch East Series champion Mike Olsen (No. 61 Little Trees Chevrolet) posted his first top-5 finish of the year (fifth place) at Elko Speedway Friday. He had a tough race at Iowa, starting and finishing 29th and getting caught up in a mid-race wreck.
Rusty says "Welcome" to drivers, fans ... 1989 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion Rusty Wallace, who designed Iowa Speedway, spent race morning visiting teams in the garage area at the track. Later, he and his NASCAR Busch East Series driver Chase Austin, joined more than 50 NASCAR Grand National Series drivers, Daytona 500 winner Kevin Harvick and his car owner Richard Childress for more an autograph session early Sunday afternoon at Iowa Speedway. Local fans expressed their appreciation to Wallace for bringing the major league speedway to central Iowa, often offering a simple "thank-you." Wallace seemed humble. "It makes me feel real good to hear that from the fans, but there are a lot of great people involved with Iowa Speedway," Wallace said. "Stan Clement (President), Andy Vertrees (Chief Operating Officer), Craig Armstrong (Vice President/General Manager) and Mike Beecher (Director of Media Relations) and a lot of really good people have spent countless hours working on this track and building it. ... It was only 14 months from the day we dug dirt (at ground- breaking) until we opened the doors. That was fast, but it took a huge team effort. In auto racing it's all about teamwork. You can't do it yourself. I seem to get a lot of accolades because I'm a past driver and designer of the track. A team is what brought this track to today.
* On to Peyton's Place ... Race number four on the NASCAR Busch East Series will be the third consecutive inaugural appearance of the series at a track this year. South Boston (Va.) Speedway will host a 150-lap event on Saturday, June 2. Teams can expect to see a sea of orange in the South Boston grandstands. The track is home to 2005 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion Peyton Sellers of nearby Danville, Va. Sellers car colors are traditionally orange and white, and so is the Sellers family's NASCAR Busch East Series car. Sellers No. 83 Clarence's Steakhouse/Strutmasters.com Chevrolet still carries the colors. "We didn't have team at the end of February, and here we are with our championship crew from 2005 back together again heading back home to South Boston," Sellers said. "I'll tell you what, I've got one of the best hometown crowds a driver could have at South Boston," he said. "I'm proud to be going back to my home track with the NASAR Busch East Series."