By admin | January 14, 2009
By Richard Allen
Over the next few days and weeks I will be presenting a review of 2008 and a preview of 2009 for each of the drivers and teams who appear to be set for a full time run in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. For the most part these pieces will run in order by car number. If you should miss out on your favorite driver simply type his name into the search box at the upper right hand portion of the website.
#20- Joey Logano
Something just doesn’t sound right in talking about car #20 and not naming Tony Stewart as the driver. Stewart was in that role for ten very successful years.
Now, 18 year old Joey Logano will take over the championship caliber ride. The young driver comes to Joe Gibbs Racing’s Sprint Cup program with much fanfare. He has been one of the most closely followed teenage racers in history. He has won in several classes of racing and has rapidly ascended to the top of the sport.
Logano was not able to begin his racing career in the top three divisions of NASCAR until May of last year due to the sanctioning body’s 18 year old rule. His entry into the Nationwide Series came with a splash. He won a race in Kentucky and took Top 5 and Top 10 finishes thereafter. Although it is worth noting that his development did seem to taper off a bit as the season wore on.
Ultimately, Logano finished his rookie campaign with one win, five Top 5s and 14 Top 10s. However, his brief incursion into the Sprint Cup Series did not bring about such impressive results. In five attempts, he failed to qualify twice and his highest finish was only 32nd.
This team will certainly be capable of competing at a high level in 2009. Crew chief Greg Zipadelli and his crew have proven themselves to be among the best in the sport. However, Logano is lacking in the kind of experience he will need to be able to race with other, longer tenured drivers. And, he will also not have the experience on the various tracks which will make it difficult for him to communicate to the crew exactly what he wants and needs.
In the end, the driver’s lack of experience will hold this crew back a bit, especially the first time around at each track. However, a bright future does appear likely once that experience is gained.
Driver: Joey Logano
Owner: Joe Gibbs Racing
Sponsor: Home Depot
Crew Chief: Greg Zipadelli
Scanner Frequencies(?): 462.5250 & 462.4750
Chances of making the Chase for the Championship: Possible, but not probable
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
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