By Konnie McCollum
June 2009 Kentucky
Speedway Guide Cover
(June 2009) When Joe Gibbs Racings Joey Logano arrives at Kentucky Speedway in June, he will have some pretty big shoes to fill his own. In his first racing season last year, Logano became the youngest driver to win a NASCAR Nationwide Series race from the pole, and that was at Kentucky.
At this years June 13 Meijer 300 Presented by Ritz, at Kentucky Speedway, Logano will face fierce competition from other NASCAR Nationwide drivers, including current leaders Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards, in his bid to once again dominate the track.
After 10 starts out of the 11 series races for 2009, Logano was ranked fourth in drivers points standing. That record includes a win in April at the Nashville Superspeedways Nashville 300, and five top-fives and seven top-10s.
Nicknamed Sliced Bread, as in the best thing since, Logano, 19, started his racing career with quarter midgets at the tender age of 6. By age 7, he had become the Eastern Grand National champion in the Junior Stock quarter-midget division. He followed that in 1998 and 1999 with Eastern Grand National champions in Stock and Modified divisions, respectively.
By age 9, Logano was racing Bandoleros and won the Summer Shootouts at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Lowes Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. The Middleton, Conn., native has won in every division hes ever raced in. He resides in Concord.
NASCAR Nationwide Series
Meijer 300 Presented by Ritz
Distance: 200 laps, 300 miles (1.5-mile tri-oval)
Race: 8:30 p.m. Saturday, June 13. Gates open at
Radio: MRN Radio
Admission: $50-80 Saturday; $20 on Friday.
Nationwide Race Record at Kentucky: Bobby Hamilton Jr., 136.123 mph, set 6-14-03.
Nationwide Qualifying Record at Kentucky: Jay Sauter, 171.860 mph, set in 2001.
Also at the Speedway:
Country music singer Pat Green performs at
6:30 p.m. Saturday.
NASCAR Nationwide Series Day and practice sessions begins at 5 p.m. Friday, June 12.
After winning many races and titles in several other series, including the Legends series, American Speed Association (ASA) Late Model Series and other late model series, he moved on to the NASCAR series in 2007.
In that year, he began racing in the NASCAR Camping World Series East division. Not only was he named 2007 NASCAR Camping World Series East division Sunoco Rookie of the Year, but he also won the championship, which included a victory in the Irwindale Speedways NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown.
In 2008, he was named to assume No. 20 Toyota of the two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion and legendary driver Tony Stewart for the 2009 racing season. While in his first season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, he finished 20th in series points and won his first career pole, at Nashville, in only his second-ever series start.
Photo courtesy of NASCAR
Logano will be behind the wheel of
the no. 20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing
at the Meijer 300 Presented by Ritz.
It was in his third start that he claimed his second-in-a-row pole and his first victory, at Kentucky. He became only the 19th driver in series history to win his first race within his first three starts. He tied for the series lead in poles with four, which equaled the totals of stars Busch and Edwards.
He also had five top-fives and 14 top-10s in only 19 career starts for the series that season. His success over those races also helped the No. 20 Joes Gibbs Racing entry claim the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series Owners Championship.
When not racing, Logano likes to hang out with his friends while wearing his Wiley-X sunglasses, listen to newer rock music and drive around in older cars. His hobbies include car restoration. His advice for up-and-coming young drivers is to work hard, learn what you can and get plenty of seat time.