Report Card: Joey Logano

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Joey is currently 15th.  in the points standings, losing three positions after a 24th place finish at the Richmond. He has had no wins, no poles, no top 5’s and 2 top tens on the young season. Both of his top 10’s came at Daytona in the Gatorade Duals and The Daytona 500.

Logano had his best run of the year, and his career at The Great American Race. After finishing 6th in the qualifying race, he toughed out a 9th place finish with no drafting partner on the Green White Checker finish. He lost some positions after the Lap 160 Red Flag brought out by the Juan Pablo Montoya accident with the drying truck, because he didn’t have enough fuel, and had to shut his engine down while following the pace car, not keeping up with pace car speed.

He had a good run at Phoenix, qualifying 9th. and finishing tenth. He ran in the top ten for the first 100 laps, but after a pit stop on lap 248, he come out tight, and unable to get back to where he could contend for a win.

At Las Vegas,  he qualified 9th, but moved up to 4th as quite a few cars in front of him went to the rear before the green flag for one reason or the other. He had a good run for 50 laps, then his car went tight and he finished 16th. This race was where Joey’s free fall started, until a 15th place finish in Kansas where he qualified 3rd, his best of the year, but had to go to the rear for an engine change. He fought a tight race car all afternoon.

At Bristol Joey had a good qualifying effort, and started 9th. He ran in the top 10 early in the race, but started to expierence tight conditions off the corner, and because of the long 200 lap green flag run, was unable to make good adjustments. He got down laps and just couldn’t make up the ground. He finished 16th.

His efforts at California, Martinsville and Texas were pretty much the same. He experienced a tight race car at all three tracks and finished 24, 23, and 19 respectfully. He ran good for 40 laps at Martinsville but faded due to the tight conditions. Texas was more of the same with adjustments coming at a premium during long green flag runs.

In my opinion, Joe Gibbs Racing brought Joey Logano up to Sprint Cup a little too soon, not giving him more time to mature in the Nationwide series where he had moderate success. That coupled with replacing the then two time Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart in a high profile ride like the Home Depot Toyota, maybe put too much pressure on the youngster.

Joey seems to lack a real understanding of car setups, and is unable to communicate good information to his crew chief , thus making it difficult to keep up with changing track conditions that occur during the course of a race.  This is somewhat evident with his career start vs. finishing position ratio. Over the course of the 120 Sprint Cup races he has started, his average starting position is 20.3 and his finishing numbers are 22.0.

I think Joey Logano is in trouble and will probably lose his ride with JGR even if he makes the chase. If he doesn’t, I think we will see a new face in the Home Depot car next year. That’s too bad, because when a driver with the potential Joey has, it’s tough to recover from a failure in a top organization like Joe Gibbs Racing. Those opportunities don’t come around too often, and when they do, sometimes they come too early.



Tags: Joe Gibbs Racing Joey Logano NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

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