NASCAR Nationwide race preview

Third time could be a charm
for Logano at Kentucky

Young driver has won from pole
twice at Kentucky Speedway

By Konnie McCollum
Staff Writer

(June 2010) – Only one name comes to mind when Kentucky Speedway and NASCAR Nationwide Series are mentioned together – and that name is Joey Logano. For the past two years, Logano has dominated the race at Kentucky Speedway, winning from the pole both times.

Meijer 300 logo

• Distance: 200 laps, 300 miles (1.5-mile tri-oval)
• Race: 8:10 p.m. Saturday, June 12. Gates open at
2 p.m.
• 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 band Sawyer Brown performs at
6:30 p.m. Saturday.
• NASCAR Nationwide Series practice sessions begins at 5 p.m. Friday, June 11. Legends Cars race at 8:30 p.m. Friday.

Nicknamed “Sliced Bread,” as in “the best thing since,” Logano, 20, will return to Kentucky on June 12 for NASCAR Nationwide Series’ “Meijer 300 Presented by Ritz.” The No. 20 GameStop Toyota driver will try to make it three in a row when he arrives, but he will face some stiff competition from the rest of the pack. That includes series leader Brad Keselowski and defending NASCAR Nationwide Series Champion Kyle Busch.
After eight starts out of 11 races this year in the Nationwide Series, Logano stood in eighth position in driver points standings. His record for the season includes three poles, three top-five finishes and seven top-10s.
In 2009, Logano won five races for the NASCAR Nationwide Series, including consecutive victories at Kansas and Auto Club. He had four poles and posted 16 top-10 starts.
He also had a breakout year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and became the Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year. He broke the record for the youngest Sprint Cup series winner at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Joey Logano racing

Photo courtesy of NASCAR

Joey Logano leads Greg Biffle earlier
this season in the Auto Club race
Logano drives the No. 20 Toyota
GameStop for Joe Gibbs Racing.

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. It was in his third start that he claimed his second-in-a-row pole and his first victory, at Kentucky.
He was the youngest driver, at age 18 and 21 days, to win. And 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 Carl 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 Joe Gibbs Racing entry claim the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series Owner’s Championship.
He 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 Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. The Middleton, Conn., native has won in every division he’s ever raced. He currently resides in Concord.
After winning many races and titles in several other series, including the Legends series, American Speed Association 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 Speedway’s NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown.

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