Joey Logano Kicks Off Championship Series with Runner-Up Finish 15-Year-Old Thinks like a Veteran to Compete with Veterans at Jennerstown MOORESVILLE, NC (September 26, 2005) -- When Joey Logano got a late start on the 2005 USAR Pro Cup ...
Joey Logano Kicks Off Championship Series with Runner-Up Finish
15-Year-Old Thinks like a Veteran to Compete with Veterans at Jennerstown
MOORESVILLE, NC (September 26, 2005) -- When Joey Logano got a late start on the 2005 USAR Pro Cup season, it wasn't expected that he would make much noise when it came to the Championship Series. After all, conventional wisdom would say that 15-year-old Logano would be too busy trying to gain experience, or maybe he would be intimidated by racing against drivers with years more experience.
Logano showed again on Saturday night at Jennerstown Speedway (PA) that conventional wisdom was just plain wrong when he finished a strong second in the first of five Championship events. Ironically, the young driver got his good finish by acting more like a veteran than a rookie.
"We qualified eleventh and stayed around eighth for most of the race," said Logano. "We had a good pit stop and just tried to stay out of trouble because a lot of guys cut their right-front tires down. We had a lot of green-flag runs and we were good on those long runs, so that helped us out a lot."
Logano took a late-race shot at eventual winner Joe Gaita, but came up just .342 seconds short at the finish line.
"I burnt off my right-front tire for the green flag run at the end with two laps to go. It was close, though. I was on his bumper at the finish line and he was just a tad faster, but I think if he was behind us, he wouldn't have been able to pass either. I could stay with him, but I wasn't fast enough to get under him and pass him clean."
With the second-place finish, Logano has made up quite a bit of ground in the battle for the overall USAR championship. His regular season point tally was weighted since Logano only ran a limited schedule in the regular season, so finishing high in the points would be a challenge. However, his runner-up finish at Jennerstown gives him a great deal of momentum to work his way up the points' charts. Doing just that is one of the young driver's goals.
"We started 120-something points back, so we definitely need a lot of top-five finishes to catch up. I guess our goal is to finish top five in the championship and be Rookie of the Year. Right now, we've gained a few spots," added Logano, who is listed as 15th in overall Championship points. If we keep having good runs like last week and let the points fall where they will, we'll be in good shape."
Logano has now finished in the top 10 for 60 percent of his career Pro Cup starts. That's so impressive that it even surprises Logano himself.
"We are doing a lot better this year than we thought that we would when we started. We just have to keep doing what we are doing and have good runs like this."
Logano and his #51 team plan to test later this week at Mansfield Motorsports Park in preparation for the second round of the Championship Series, which will be held at the Ohio track on October 8th.