Joey Logano enters what he himself calls the biggest year of his racing career in 2012, his fourth full-season on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit for Joe Gibbs Racing. But if there was a single word to describe 2012, that word very well might be new. Logano comes into 2012 with a whole new outlook and a whole new attitude, as well as a new sponsor in Dollar General joining long-time sponsor Home Depot and a new crew chief in highly-successful Nationwide Series crew chief Jason Ratcliff.
Logano is coming off of a 2011 season that saw him earn two poles (Infineon and Pocono), four top-five finishes and six top-10 finishes in 36 starts behind the wheel of the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota. Logano nearly captured his second career win at Pocono Speedway when he led a bunch of laps and dominated the middle stages of the race, eventually finding himself up front when rain began to fall. However, the rain passed and Logano fell victim to a flat tire late in the race, dropping him from contention. He ended the year 24th in the point standings.
Loganos road to Joe Gibbs Racing and the No. 20 Home Depot/Dollar General Toyota began when he was just six years old and began competing in Quarter-Midgets throughout the Northeast. At the tender age of seven, he captured the 1997 Eastern Grand National Championship in the Junior Stock Car Quarter Midget division. As he continued through the Quarter-Midget ranks, he followed up his first title with Eastern Grand National Championships in 1998 and 1999.
In the middle of 1999, the Logano family moved from Connecticut to an Atlanta suburb where he began racing Bandoleros and became the National Bandoleros Bandits Champion. Logano also became the youngest driver to compete in a Legends car when he made a start in a Legends car at nine years of age. The following year he captured the Bandoleros division championships at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.
From there it was onto Legend cars full time, where a 12-year-old Logano set a track record of 14- consecutive wins at Atlanta Motor Speedway, along with winning the Young Lions National championship in 2002. Logano also won the Pro National championship that year, making him the youngest Pro division champion in Legends history. Logano followed up the 2002 titles by transitioning into the Georgia Late Model Series and Southern All-Star Series. Logano also made headlines when he competed in the American Speed Association National Tour, one of the most famous short track series in existence. In 2004 he competed in the ASA Late Model Series, where he earned five top-five and eight top-10 finishes.
Loganos racing career kicked into high gear in 2005 when he was signed as a development driver by the legendary Joe Gibbs Racing. As part of that development program, Logano started competing in the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series. The youngster made his debut in the series just four days after his 15th birthday and earned his first Pro Cup Series victory on June 11 at Mansfield (Ohio) Motorsports Park. In 14 starts that year, Logano tallied one win, six top-five and seven top-10 finishes, leading respected NASCAR veteran Mark Martin to call Logano the real deal at just 15 years of age.
The young talent competed in the Pro Cup Series again in 2006, scoring another two wins before beginning his NASCAR career in 2007. That NASCAR career started in the NASCAR Camping World Series, where Logano visited victory lane in both his Joe Gibbs Racing and Camping World Series debut in the West Series race at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway on April 19.
He then won the NASCAR East Series season-opener on April 28 en route to the NASCAR Camping World Series East Championship and East Series Rookie of the Year with five wins, two poles, 10 top-five and 10 top-10 finishes in just 14 starts. Logano won a total of seven races at six different tracks in 2007: twice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and once each at Greenville-Pickens (S.C.) Speedway, Iowa Speedway, Adirondack (N.Y.) International Speedway, Phoenix and at the Toyota All-Star Showdown at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway on Oct. 20.
The 2008 season was a year of NASCAR firsts for Logano. Having to wait to make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut until he turned 18 in May, Logano kept busy by competing in a variety of events including the ARCA RE/MAX Series event at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway on May 4. In his first start in the ARCA Series he started from the pole and went on to lead the Carolina 500 five times for a race-high 257 laps on his way to victory lane.
Less than two weeks after turning 18 in May, Logano made his Nationwide Series debut at Dover (Del.) International Speedway and earned his first pole in only his second-career start at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway in June. His third start in the Nationwide Series would be one for the record books. Logano captured the pole at Kentucky Speedway on his way to becoming the youngest winner in Nationwide Series history at 18 years and 21 days on June 14. He would compete in a total of 19 Nationwide Series events 18 races in the No. 20 and one in the No. 18 Toyotas earning one win, three poles and 14 top-10 finishes. Logano, along with Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch secured the car owners championship for the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Team.
Logano also made his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the No. 96 Home Depot Toyota on Sept. 14. He also made additional Sprint Cup starts at Kansas Speedway in September and Texas Motor Speedway in November all in preparation for his rookie 2009 season behind the wheel of the No. 20 Toyota.
In his first year behind the wheel of The Home Depot Toyota, Logano earned three top-five and seven top-10 finishes while leading laps at notoriously difficult tracks like Darlington (S.C) Raceway, Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Not only did Logano become the youngest Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year in the 55-year history of the award, but also the youngest Sprint Cup winner in series history at 19 years, one month and four days with a victory in Loudon, N.H. Logano had several other highlights in 2009 including winning the Sprint Fan Vote into the All-Star event at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May, a top-20 finish in the Sprint Cup Series driver point standings and five victories in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
The Home Depot Team and Logano made great strides in the 2010 season. Logano more than doubled his career top-five and top-10 finishes in the Sprint Cup Series. He finished inside the top five on seven occasions including a runner-up run at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and earned 16 top-10 finishes. Logano, despite a wreck in the season finale, captured seven of those top-10 runs during the final 11 races of the season moving him from 22nd in the standings to 16th. In the Nationwide Series, Logano continued to be strong, posting wins at Kentucky (his third-straight win from the pole at the 1.5-mile track) and Kansas. He also captured a series high eight poles.
The 2011 season offered some challenges for Logano and the Home Depot team. He captured four top-five finishes and six top-10 finishes, along with two pole positions. In the Nationwide Series, Logano made it four-straight years with wins in the series, earning the victory at the summer event at Daytona International Speedway, a win Logano called the biggest of his career. Away from the track, Logano enjoys spending time working around his house in Huntersville, North Carolina. Other hobbies of Loganos include working on and collecting classic cars, sim racing, four-wheeling and playing foosball.
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