Originally written on Start 'N' Park Blog  |  Last updated 11/10/14

While Joey Logano will be looking to race his way into the NASCAR Sprint All Star Race on Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway, he also knows he’ll have his legions of fans to once again help him out if needed.  The top-two finishers of the Sprint Showdown will automatically move into the Sprint All Star Race.  The rest will rely on the Sprint Fan Vote, a season-long competition that will allow the fans to vote one more driver into the All Star event.  In 2009, Logano’s rookie season, that is exactly what happened to the then 18-year-old.  Logano finished fifth in the Showdown and didn’t qualify for the All Star event.  However, a strong push on his website and social media channels allowed Logano to earn the Sprint Fan Vote.  He went on to start 21st in the All Star event and come home with a respectable eighth-place finish.

RIDING THE BIG “MO” FOLLOWING DARLINGTON:  The first two events of the season produced top-10 runs and a lot of momentum for Logano.  Then, the 21-year-old struggled over the next eight races with a best finish of 15th despite qualifying up front each week.  Last weekend at Darlington Raceway, Logano got his momentum back, finishing a hard-fought 10th in an event where Logano likely passed more cars than anyone else all night long.  Logano started 21st and raced up to fourth before getting into the wall and falling back to 20th late in the race.  However, with less than 25 laps to go, Logano put on a brilliant drive back to the front of the field, coming from 20th to 10th when the checkers waved.

ALL-STAR STATS:  Logano has competed in two Sprint Showdowns and two All Star events since his rookie season of 2009.  In 2009, Logano finished fifth in the Sprint Showdown and then qualified for the All Star event through the fan vote.  In the All Star Race, he went on to finish eighth.  In 2010, Logano was already qualified for the All Star Race with his win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway during the second-half f his rookie season.  He started second and finished third in that event, tying his best-career finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway.  Last season, Logano once again had to try and race his way into the All Star Race.  Unfortunately, he didn’t make it and ended up fifth in the Sprint Showdown.

HOME SCHOOLED HERO:  With his busy racing schedule growing up, very few fans know Logano was home schooled throughout his upbringing.  This past week, Logano was interviewed by Home Educating Family Magazine and the Home Educating Family organization about his unique upbringing as a student and racecar driver.  The article will appear, along with a video, in an upcoming issue of Home Educating Family Magazine, which is the most popular homeschool magazine on the market.

CHEERING FOR THE PIT CREW:  Fans of the No. 20 Home Depot team will not only be cheering for Joey this weekend in Charlotte, but will also be rooting for the over-the-wall guys as well.  After missing last year’s competition, the Home Depot guys will be back at it in the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge on Thursday night at Time Warner Cable Arena in downtown Charlotte, NC.  With his 10th-place finish at Darlington last Saturday night, Logano locked in a spot for the over-the-wall team in this year’s competition.  The No. 20 Home Depot pit crew consists of tire changers John Royer and Chris Taylor, tire carriers Eric Groen and Joe Crossen, jackman Jason Tate and gasman John Eicher.

HOME TRACK ALSO JOEY’S FAVORITE TRACK:  One of the questions most commonly asked of Joey and any racecar driver is “what is your favorite racetrack.”  While Logano likes to answer with “the next one,” he will also commonly tell fans and media alike that Charlotte Motor Speedway ranks high on his list and for good reason.  Logano has an average finish of 8.2 in six career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts (points paying races) at Charlotte Motor Speedway.  In those six starts, he’s earned two top-fives (third in 2011 Coke 600, fifth in fall 2009 event) and four top-10s.  Adding his Sprint Showdown and Sprint All Star race stats, Logano has earned five top-fives and eight top-10s in 10 starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway.   His worst career finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway is an impressive 13th.

RACE INFO:  The Sprint All Star Race and Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway (Concord, NC; 1.5-mile oval) is set for Saturday night, May 18 at 7:30 pm ET.  The race will be broadcast on SPEED (TV) and PRN (radio).

Joey Logano on the All-Star Race:  “This is probably one of the best weekends of the year.  We are right here in our own backyards and get to compete in an event where points don’t mean anything.  It’s all about going out there and getting the ‘w’ this weekend.  Plus, the special format that they have for this race, which really changes every year, makes for an interesting night too.  Really, each of the segments is like a local short track feature event.  Twenty laps to see what you can do. You will see guys racing Saturday night like they don’t normally race other race weekends – checkers or wreckers.  That is why the fans love this race, plus under the lights, it makes for some pretty good action.

“For us, we want to be able to race our way into the All Star race from the Showdown and then show everyone what we got.  Charlotte really is one of my favorite tracks on the schedule and I’ve always run really well here.  I don’t know what it is about this track, but I’ve just been pretty good here since I’ve started racing.  We need to really just work on dialing the car in during practice and getting a good qualifying lap in on Friday night.  Starting upfront in the Showdown will be important because it’s a very short race.  If we can’t make it in through the Showdown, hopefully we will be able to rely on the fan vote.  We won the fan vote in my rookie season and went on to finish top-10 in the All Star race.  That always means a lot when your fans vote you in.  But we really want to just win the Showdown and get in that way.  Plus, the weekend also helps you get ready for the Coke 600 next week.  The crew chiefs and the engineers will pay a lot of attention to that, but you can bet us drivers, we aren’t thinking about the 600.  We just want to go out there and try to win a million dollars in the All Star race.”

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