With Denny Hamlin’s top-five finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway last weekend, the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team retook the championship lead in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Owner’s Championship standings. This weekend, Joey Logano will be back behind the wheel of the No. 18 looking to extend that lead, which now stands at 10 points over the No. 6 Roush-Fenway Racing team and 23 points over the No. 2 Richard Childress Racing team. Both Joe Gibbs Racing and the No. 18 team know a thing or two about winning the Owner’s Championship. JGR has won three Owner’s Championships in the last four years. The No. 20 team, which Logano was a part of, won the Owner’s Championship in 2008 and the No. 18 team won it in both 2009 and 2010. This year, Logano has piloted the No. 18 on three occasions, picking up two wins and a fourth-place finish in those three starts.
ANOTHER POLE, ANOTHER SPOT UP THE LIST: Logano earned the pole for last week’s NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The pole was Logano’s third for the year, which leads all drivers in the series, and the 19th of his career. That put Logano in sole possession of ninth on the all-time NASCAR Natoinwide Series pole winner’s list. Logano will have to get a couple of more before taking over eighth position, which is held by David Green with 22-career poles.
NEAR MISS LAST YEAR AT DOVER: Logano has always been good at the track nicknamed the “Monster Mile.” And last year was no exception. Logano qualified his No. 20 11th last year but didn’t stay there long. He quickly made his way to the front and grabbed the lead, pacing the field for 37 laps. As Logano was coming to get the white flag, he had series veteran Carl Edwards on his tail. As the two raced out of turn four side-by-side with the white flag waving, Edwards got Logano just a little loose and Logano shot up the track and slammed into the outside wall. Logano then came back across the track and collected several other cars in an accident that was scary in looks. The two drivers talked it over after the race and concluded the accident was a “racing deal” and had no hard feelings towards each other, both commenting it was one of the best races they’ve each had at Dover.
LOOKING FOR ANOTHER DG WIN: The last time Joey Logano was behind the wheel of the Dollar General Toyota, he brought the sponsor its first NASCAR Nationwide Series victory of the season and first with Joe Gibbs Racing. Logano took the win at Darlington Raceway, his first career triumph at the legendary track, after grabbing the lead late from JGR teammate Hamlin. This will be the fourth time this season that Dollar General has rode with Logano in the Nationwide Series. Dollar General also serves as a full-time sponsor for Brian Scott in the Nationwide Series, so DG will be well represented with two cars in the Nationwide Series event this weekend.
THIS WEEK ON THE NO. 20 DOLLAR GENERAL TOYOTA: Dollar General vendor partners STP, Lysol, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Gildan, Purex, Today and Always, Colgate, Glad, Hellmann’s, Slim Jim and Scott Products will be featured on Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 20 Toyota this weekend at Dover International Speedway.
THE RACE: The 5-hour Energy 200 at Dover Internatoinal Speedway (Dover, DE; 1-mile oval) is set for Saturday, June 2. Watch and listen live on ESPN, Sirius XM Channel 90 and MRN Radio starting at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Joey Logano On Dover: “We actually added the Dover event this weekend at the last minute and I’m glad we did because I’m a huge fan of the track. It’s probably one of my favorite tracks we run at. With the high banks, it’s very fast, but being that it is only a mile long, it races like a short track. It’s a lot like Bristol in that when you get into the corners, you have to stay on your toes because anything can happen and you don’t have a lot of time to react. I’ve had a lot of good things and a lot of bad things happen to me at this track over the years, from winning championships to rolling my Sprint Cup car several times down the banking there. But that doesn’t matter, because you put all of that behind you and just go on to the next week.
“We’ve had a lot of success this year so far in the Nationwide Series and I really think we can continue that at Dover. Adam (Stevens, crew chief) and all of the guys have been on their game both in the shop and at the track. Several years ago we won five races and we’d really like to match that this year. Plus, we’ve got the No. 18 back in the points lead in the Owner’s Standings which is big, because at the start of the year they were down there. So it would be a big deal to get that Owner’s Championship once again. Hopefully we can just continue to run strop and get another win this weekend in Dover.”
Crew Chief Adam Stevens On Dover: “Dover is my favorite track on the schedule for sure. It’s one of a kind. The best cars are on edge all race long, which takes an unusual amount of focus and stamina from the driver. The track awards aggression but will punish you if you make a mistake. It’s extremely hard to get onto pit road under green and there are frequently cautions when attempting a green flag stop which you have to be mindful of. Joey is very fast here. It is probably one of his better tracks even though he doesn’t have a win under his belt. We are looking for a strong run with the Dollar General #18 Toyota.”