By admin | May 28, 2008
By Richard Allen
Tiger Woods and Lebron James each entered their respective sporting professions at young ages and with considerable hype. Each has lived up to and perhaps even exceeded their advanced billing. Ryan Leaf and Ralph Sampson each entered their respective sporting professions at young ages and with considerable hype. Each failed to live up to their advanced billing.Few race car drivers who were not related to already accomplished drivers have entered the sport with such advanced hype as Joey Logano. Perhaps only Kyle Petty and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. have entered the sport being so well known and looked forward to as Logano.
Logano recently turned 18, the minimum age for competing in NASCARâ€™s top three divisions. This weekend he will make his much anticipated Nationwide Series debut in Dover, Delaware.
The previously mentioned athletes, with the exception of Tiger Woods, had to rely on others to succeed. Football and basketball players have teammates. Race car drivers also have teammates and Logano is fortunate that he has the best in the series.
The Joe Gibbs Racing car #20 has been a dominate force in the Nationwide Series this year. It has been driven by Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin and has won six races so far this year and each of those drivers has won at least once in the car. Along with that, JGRâ€™s #18 has won two Nationwide races.
Logano comes to NASCAR with as impressive a resume as an 18 year old can have. He has won numerous races in various seriesâ€™, including the ARCA race held in Rockingham earlier this year.
Logano will be stepping into the best equipment on the circuit. Fair or not, he will be judged immediately. In some ways he is in a no win situation. If he wins, many will say he should win because he is driving the best car. If he does not win he will probably be given a break for a short time but eventually many will wonder why he is not doing well since the other drivers have won in that car.
Donnie Allison has said Logano is the best talent he has seen in 35 years. Mark Martin calls him phenomenal. That is high praise from people who know what they are talking about.
Only time will tell whether or not the young man who has nicknamed himself â€œSliced Breadâ€ because he is the best thing since sliced bread will live up to the hype. Will he be a Tiger Woods or a Ryan Leaf?
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press ever Wednesday.
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