This weekend’s Brickyard 400 will mark the first of 17-straight races to end the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. There are only seven races until the start of the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship and Joey Logano is still fighting for one of the spots in the Chase. Logano currently sits fourth in the race for the two Wild Card spots, just three points behind his next closest competitor. Logano is one of four drivers who are vying for the two spots that have won at least one race this season. With seven races to go, Logano feels it’s going to take another win, maybe even two more, to lock down one of those final two Wild Card spots.
OFF-WEEKEND TOP-FIVE: While most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers spent their final off weekend of the year vacationing overseas or at the beach in some tropical location, Logano was doing the only thing he really knows how to do – racing a car. Logano took part in the annual IWK 250 at Riverside International Speedway in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, one of the biggest Super Late Model events in Canada. Logano was this year’s “special guest” and had a great weekend both on and off the track. Logano was fast in his No. 12 Super Late Model and qualified third for the race. Logano traded the lead with local standouts John Flemming and Donald Chisholm early in the race. However, his car just wasn’t good enough on the long runs to challenge the leaders and Logano eventually settled for a third-place finish. In addition to racing, Logano also spent Thursday afternoon at the IWK Health Care Centre in Halifax visiting with patients and their families. The IWK 250 annually raises up to $100,000 for the IWK Health Car Centre.
INDY ONE OF THE “BIG ONES”: There are certain races on the Sprint Cup Series schedule that standout: The Daytona 500, The Coca-Cola 600 and The Southern 500. But what may be one of the biggest of the year these days, just behind the Daytona 500, is the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This will be the 19th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, what may be the most historic track in all of the United States. The facility, which was opened in 1909, annually holds the Indianapolis 500, the biggest Indy Car race in existence, and opened its doors to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 1994. Logano has an up-and-down history with Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He finished just outside the top-10 (12th) in his rookie season and then came back to grab a top-10, a ninth-place run, at the historic track in 2010. Last season, Logano struggled with the setup and came home with a 25th-place run. His best career qualifying effort at the track came in his rookie season, when he qualified 18th.
BACK TO DOUBLE DUTY: After a couple of weeks with no NASCAR Nationwide Series race on the agenda, Logano will get back to double-duty work this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Logano will drive the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in the Nationwide Series event this week, giving him extra track time on the 2.5-mile oval throughout the Indy “Super Weekend.” It will be the first-ever race for the Nationwide Series at IMS. The series previously raced at the Indianapolis Raceway Park short track just down the road from Indy.
BOB, TOM & JOEY: Joey will make an in-studio appearance Friday morning on the nationally-syndicated “Bob and Tom Show” radio program. With a foundation built around comedy and talk, The Bob and Tom Show features news, sports, lifestyle content and interviews with today’s top actors, authors and newsmakers. It began national syndication in 1995 from its flagship station, WFBQ Q95, in Indianapolis. The show has won five Marconi Awards – the absolute highest award in radio from the National Association of Broadcasters. The program airs live weekdays from 6am-10am EST. Logano is scheduled to be on the show at 9am ET.
WEEK ON THE NO. 20 DOLLAR GENERAL TOYOTA: Dollar General vendor partners Ragu, Delsym, Huggies, STP, Colgate, Slim Jim, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Today and Always, Glad and Gildan will be featured on Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 20 Toyota Camry this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
THE RACE: The Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Speedway, IN; 2.5-mile superspeedway) is set for Sunday, July 29 at 12:00 pm ET. The race will be broadcast on ESPN (TV) and the IMS Radio Network (radio).
Joey Logano on Indianapolis: “I’m always excited to go to Indianapolis for the Brickyard 400. It’s one of the biggest races of the year and one of the races that everyone wants to win. We all go out there trying to win every weekend, but I’d say a lot of people try a little bit harder this weekend just so you can say you’ve won at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. That is a really big deal in this sport and would be really big for any driver. For me, it would be huge. I’ve won a Nationwide race at Daytona so I’ve got the thrill of winning there. And to win at a place like Indy would be just amazing. The history in Indy is really unmatched. So we are going to go out there and try our best. I think it would mean a lot to me and to a lot of guys on my team and it would mean a lot to Dollar General as well. A lot of the guys on the have won at Indy in the past, but to get everyone back to Victory Lane again, and what it would mean for our Chase hopes and the Wild Card hopes, would be pretty awesome. And with Rick Dreiling (Dollar General CEO) being such a big fan of motorsports, getting DG a win at Indy would be huge.”
“I’ve always run really well at Indy. In fact, I think I’ve run better than our results have showed. A couple of years ago, we were one of the fastest cars there all weekend, but things just didn’t work out to get the finish we deserved. Indy does drive a lot like Pocono and you traditionally see a lot of guys who are good at Pocono be pretty good at Indy. After winning Pocono, I really hope that is the same for us. Track position is really key at Indy because it is a hard place to pass. So getting a good qualifying lap in and getting a good starting spot, along with a good pit stall, will be pretty important. You will see a lot of that focused on Saturday in practice and qualifying. With the interesting schedule there and all of our practice and qualifying on Saturday, it will be intense. I’m hoping that having the Nationwide Series cars run there this year and giving us a little extra track time will be beneficial. I’m pumped about the weekend.”