Two weeks ago, Joey Logano completed the season-sweep of NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Dover International Speedway, winning his seventh NNS race of the season and his 16th career NNS race taking the checkers in the OneMain Financial 200. In the process, Logano set another new record for his impressive Nationwide Series career – the highest number of laps led in a single race. Logano led 184 of 200 laps en route to the dominating win. With his two wins at Dover this season, Logano led a total of 338 of 400 laps run in the two races at the track. Despite running in only 17 of the 28 races thus far this season, Logano has now led more laps than any other driver in the Nationwide Series this year.
CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS II & GAMESTOP JOIN JOEY IN CHARLOTTE: It’s been a few months, but GameStop, Logano’s longtime NASCAR Nationwide Series sponsor, will finally be returning to the side of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. And GameStop will be bringing one of the biggest video games of the year to ride along – Call of Duty®: Black Ops II. Pushing the boundaries of what fans have come to expect from the record-setting entertainment franchise, Call of Duty®: Black Ops II propels players into a near future, 21st century Cold War, where technology and weapons have converged to create a new generation of warfare. Call of Duty®: Black Ops II will be available Nov. 13 and is available on a number of platforms, including PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.
READY FOR WIN NUMBER TWO THIS SEASON. WAIT, WHAT??: Even though the record books will show that Logano has a total of seven wins in 2012, six of them have come while driving the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing machine and helping that team try and win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Owner’s Championship. The one other win, which came at Darlington Raceway, was driving his usual No. 20 that Logano will be piloting again this weekend. Denny Hamlin will race the No. 18 JGR Toyota in Charlotte as that team continues to chase the Owner’s Championship. The No. 18 team now has a 21-point advantage over the No. 2 Richard Childress Racing machine and a 30-point lead over the No. 6 of Roush-Fenway Racing on the strength of Logano’s six wins behind the wheel of the No. 18 machine.
LOOKING FOR A LITTLE REDEMPTION FROM THE SPRING: In the May race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, it appeared that Logano would finally overcome his long attempt to pick up a win at what he often calls his favorite racetrack on the circuit. The race started well as Logano picked up his then 19th-career Nationwide Series pole and led 22 laps before pit strategy bit the No. 20 GameStop team and forced them to race from 15th to sixth over the race’s final laps. Logano’s best career finish at Charlotte is third, coming back in May 2010 when he also finished fourth in the fall race. In eight races at the track, Logano has finished in the top-five three times. His pole back in May was the first of his career at Charlotte.
THE RACE: The Dollar General 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (Concord, NC; 1.5-mile tri-oval) is set for Friday evening, October 12, 2012. The race will be broadcast on ESPN at 7:00 p.m. ET, with radio coverage on PRN.
Joey Logano on Charlotte: “There is always a bit of excitement about racing in Charlotte, and that is no different this weekend. It’s pretty exciting to be back in the Nationwide car for the rest of the year here on out and to have GameStop with me for each and every race. They have some pretty cool cars coming out, and this weekend’s Call of Duty®: Black Ops II car is really one of the coolest of the year. I really would like to get GameStop another couple of wins before the end of the year. We have been able to win one with them, but me and all of the guys on the No. 20 team want to win a couple of more races before all is said and done.
“I feel like we have a better handle on Charlotte then we have in the past. Last year, we really struggled on the tracks like Charlotte, Chicago and all of the 1.5-mile tracks. This year, Adam (Stevens, crew chief) has figured out some stuff, and our 1.5-mile packages are a lot better. We just are missing that win on the 1.5-mile tracks this year, but we have a few more shots to get it before the season it out starting in Charlotte. We were on the pole and felt like we had a great shot to win in Charlotte back in May, but our pit strategy was a little off. Same thing happened just a few weeks ago in Chicagoland, where we had the best car and led a bunch of laps but we just had a shock go bad. Hopefully, we can go out here and win this weekend. That would be huge for our team and for GameStop.”
Crew chief Adam Stevens on Charlotte: “We were decent there in the spring and I feel like we have only made our program better since that time. This place is extremely track position sensitive. It came down pit strategy and miles per gallon in May and I didn’t make the right call, which cost us a better finish than we ended up getting. The 1.5-mile tracks have been extremely competitive this year, and I expect the competition to be close. Practice is difficult in Charlotte because the tire combination seems to be extremely sensitive to heat cycles. It can be difficult to distinguish between the track changing and the heat cycles hiding the true balance of the car. It’s good to be back home. It’s always a lot of fun because a lot of guys from the shop get to come out to this race. Everyone wants to, but I would really love to win here.”