Joey Logano is heating up this summer just in the right time to be the hot free agent on the market. J.D. Gibbs, of Joe Gibbs Racing, was quoted saying, “Obviously, we’ve been together for a long time,” Gibbs said. “We’ve got a lot invested. He’s our guy and we plan on going forward … right now in the 20 car.”(ESPN)(6-18-2012). However with that being stated, at least he has options that may just open the door for other really big things to happen.
If Joe Gibbs Racing really starts pursuing Joey Logano to come back in the #2o car, then other major organizations in the Sprint Cup Series with an open seat may just try themselves to land the 22year old kid. He has up till this point not lived up to the hype “Sliced Bread”, but considering his statistics, he has not been a bust either.
In his fifth year of service in the #20 Home Depot car, Joey Logano has compiled 2 victory’s, 15 top 5’s, 34 top 10’s and 4 poles in a 126 career starts in the Sprint Cup Series. Not necessarily the numbers Home Depot were used to considering he inherited his ride from former 2 time Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart, who left to form his own team Stewart-Haas Racing and won last year’s Sprint to the Cup for his 3rd championship.
Understand that Joey Logano should not be compared to his teammates at Joe Gibbs Racing. Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin have proven their right to be where they are today. Joey was clearly not ready for his sudden leap into the Sprint Cup Series, but has learned really fast. If you take a look at his Nationwide statistics, you may just be looking at what his future could hold.
With 99 Nationwide starts, Joey has won 14 times with 47 top 5’s, and a whopping 77 top 10 finishes. His average start and finish is 7.1 and 7.4. With those kind of numbers, you have to give him some kind of credit considering the up’s and down’s a young driver may have to go thru in the beginning of his career.
Now is the “Million Dollar Question”, how bad does JGR want Joey Logano to stay with the organization? Does Joe Gibbs Racing really want to take a gamble on new project kid that could cost the organization a bunch more time and equipment? If they bring in a new driver with experience, should they explore expanding to four teams? It will show very soon in the upcoming weeks if Gibbs is really interested in retaining Logano as he tests the free agent market and his options may have just started opening doors as soon as Gibbs stated that they wanted him back.
With the uncertain economy and good drivers being let go from rides, this really could turn out to be great for NASCAR’s newest star. Dodge has yet to announce their plans for next season and Joey maybe just what that car company needs to market their car brand into a new identity. Who knows if Ryan Newman doesn’t land somewhere else and that could open the door for yet another big piece of Joe Gibbs Racing to land over at Stewart-Haas Racing? It may all sound far way out there now, but “Silly Season” is not called silly season for nothing.
Expect Joey Logano to continue to improve throughout the rest of the year. His talent is very real and he really is an exciting kid to watch. Success plus marketability usually make a good combination for a multi –year, multi-million dollar contract in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series and now it is time for Joey Logano to cash in on his.
Chris Creighton is a writer for RantSports.com and you can follow him on Twitter at @nascar28_chris,