By admin | May 30, 2012
By Richard Allen
One rumor that has made the rounds recently is that Joey Logano may be out at the end of this season as the driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing #20 Toyota. According to the Jayski.com website and various other sources, the young driverâ€™s contract is set to expire at the end of the current season and there has been little if any talk of him re-signing.
And, it is not exactly a well kept secret that Logano has struggled at the Sprint Cup level despite the fact that he has put up excellent numbers in his JGR Nationwide Series ride. Now one-third of the way through his fourth full season at NASCARâ€™s highest level, the Connecticut native has posted only one career win along with 14 top-5s and 32 top-10s. Those numbers pale in comparison to teammates Kyle Busch(12-38-56) and Denny Hamlin(15-40-59) in that same time period.
At the end of last season, another rumor was insinuating that sponsor The Home Depot had grown unhappy and was applying pressure to JGR from behind the scenes. In 2012, Loganoâ€™s performance has been below what would typically be expected of a driver in that caliber of equipment as he has registered only three top-10 finishes.
With all that said, it would certainly be believable that Logano is on thin ice.
So, who would replace him if he is sent away? Still another rumor has placed often embattled driver Kurt Busch as a possible candidate to move into the potentially open JGR seat and become teammates with his brother.
The question that would have to ring out regarding such a move would be- why? If that hiring has even been remotely considered one would have to wonder if the folks at JGR have been totally oblivious to the past several years of NASCAR history. Who needs all that controversy and anguish?
Trevor Bayne would be a much better option at JGR than Busch if any change is made there. Not only has he shown that he can win, but he exhibits many of the same personality qualities that the owner of the organization demonstrates.
Like Joe Gibbs, Bayne is an unashamed Christian who occasionally speaks at conferences and has gone on mission trips. His behavior has been exemplary while in NASCAR and an expletive laced radio tirade has never been played back(or rather bleeped back) on a racing highlight show.
Now thatâ€™s not to make judgment on Kurt Buschâ€™s spiritual condition but instead to point out that he has had his less than exemplary moments.
But every bit as important as Bayneâ€™s behavior is his ability to drive a race car. He won NASCARâ€™s biggest event in only his second Sprint Cup start and has also won on the Nationwide Series when last year he held off the likes of Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards, Clint Bowyer and Brad Keselowski in Texas.
And nowadays in NASCAR, how well a driver can represent his sponsors is just as important as how well he can drive a car. Bayne is intelligent and well spoken.
If indeed the #20 becomes available in the near future, there directions JGR can go other than just handing the keys over to a guy that will without doubt cause them to deal with controversy at some point, probably sooner rather than later.
As an east Tennessean, I would love to see Knoxvilleâ€™s Trevor Bayne get a chance in a fully funded, fulltime Sprint Cup ride such as this.
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