Joey Logano returns to the site of his first win at NASCAR's highest level on Sunday. He'd love another win, which would move him closer to nailing down a wild card Chase berth.
LOOKING AT THE SECOND WILD CARD SPOT: With his fourth-place finish in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway, Joey Logano moved himself into position for the second Wild Card spot in the Chase just behind Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch.
Logano, on the strength of five top-10 finishes in his last seven events, moved up two spots in the point standings following his fourth-place run and is the second highest of four drivers ranked between 11th and 20th in the point standings who have won a race in the 2012 season. The two drivers with the most wins that rank between 11th and 20th in the standings will earn the two wild cards spots for the Chase. If drivers have the same number of wins, the drivers highest in the point standings will earn the spot. Both Logano and Busch have one win a piece, with Busch 12th in the point standings and Logano 14th.
A BUSY, “HOME TRACK” WEEK: Being from the Northeast (Middletown, CT), New Hampshire Motor Speedway weekend is always quite busy for Logano and this race week is no different.
Things start on Tuesday when Logano will treat Joe Gibbs Racing employees to a “victory lunch” for his win at Pocono. On Wednesday, Logano will be in Cromwell (CT) on July 11 for the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce member breakfast at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. He will then head to Toyota of Wallingford (859 North Colony Rd. Wallingford, CT) for a meet and greet and autograph session with fans from 4-7pm.
On Thursday, Logano will make appearances at two of his favorite charities in the Northeast. He will visit David’s House at 11:30am and then head to C.H.A.D. (Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock) at 2pm. Logano will also once again participate in the Governor’s Breakfast Friday morning at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
NO NATIONWIDE RACE THIS WEEK: For the second time in three weeks, Logano will feel a little funny when Saturday afternoon rolls around. While Logano normally runs the NASCAR Nationwide Series companion events, Logano will be sitting out this weekend’s race, much like he did in Kentucky. The event was never on Logano’s season schedule due to sponsorship. Ryan Truex will race the No. 18 Grime Boss Toyota in the Nationwide Series this weekend, leaving Logano on the sidelines watching. Logano has two top-five finishes in three-career Nationwide Series events at Loudon.
WANTING TO GET A “REAL WIN” AT NHMS: New Hampshire Motor Speedway holds a special place in Joey Logano’s heart. Not only is the track considered his “home track” on the circuit, but the youngster also earned his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at the “Magic Mile” coming back in his rookie season of 2009.
However, if you ask Logano, what he wants most is to win another Sprint Cup Series event at New Hampshire and to do it by taking the checkered flag after 300 laps. Logano’s win in 2009, which made him the youngest ever Sprint Cup Series winner, came in an event that was shortened by rain in which Logano and his Home Depot team played pit strategy perfectly. Last month, when Logano crossed the finish line at Pocono to win his second Sprint Cup Series event, he famously said how finally felt to win one the right way, with “no stupid rain.”
NO OFF WEEKEND FOR THE OFF WEEKEND: Following the New Hampshire Motor Speedway event, the Sprint Cup Series will look at its final off-weekend of the season before making a big run to end the year.
While most drivers will take vacations or just spend some time at home with their families, Logano is proving to be a real racer and will continue with on-track action. Logano will head north of the border and race in the IWK 250 presented by Steve Lewis Auto Body at Riverside International Speedway on July 21. The annual Super Late Model event is one of the biggest of the year in Canada and has previously been raced in by NASCAR drivers Aric Almirola, Marcos Ambrose, Ricky Craven, David Reutimann, and Regan Smith, who is the only NASCAR driver who has managed to take the prestigious IWK 250 crown from the local drivers.
WEEKEND APPEARANCES: Logano will make two public appearances this week/weekend while in New Hampshire. The first will come Wednesday evening, when the driver will sign autographs at Toyota of Wallingford (859 North Colony Rd. Wallingford, CT) from 4-7pm. Logano will also sign autographs at his merchandise hauler at 9:30am (tentatively) Sunday morning.
RACE INFO: The LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Loudon, NH; 1-mile oval) is set for Sunday, July 15th at 12pm ET. The race will be broadcast on TNT (TV) and PRN (radio).