Joey Logano: Time to Grow Up
Joey Logano is far removed from his moniker “sliced bread” that was given to him long ago. Long ago, before his perplexing 2009 rookie of the year campaign when Logano for once in his career was not the fastest driver or car on track.
2009 was the first year Logano was thrust into full-time NASCAR competition. Since then, two uneventful race wins and a handful of lackluster seasons in top-tier equipment, the year is 2013 and people have to begin to question not whether or not Joey Logano is elite or not, but whether he belongs in top-tier equipment at the Sprint Cup Series level.
Logano has not once finished higher than 16th in the points standings despite full factory support from Joe Gibbs Racing while having both Jason Ratcliff (2012) and Scott Zipadelli (2009-2011) as his crew chiefs throughout his career.
Since leaving Gibbs, Matt Kenseth, a championship driver, has shown consistent speed, and is considered the favorite for the Sprint Cup title. Meanwhile, Logano serves as Penske Racing’s second driver behind Brad Keselowski, the 2012 champion. So far this season Logano has posted no top-ten finishes, and cannot simple keep up with his teammate despite having similar equipment.
At this point in his career, Joey Logano is a bust. Despite being only 23, it is time for Logano to evolve, develop, and mature. No longer is Logano the greatest thing since sliced bread, rather he needs to step up his maturity level and the way in which he carries himself, before it is too late.
The way Logano carries himself, there is a bit of arrogance to it. A bit of self-entitlement that was absolutely earned by his phenom status and impressive resume that led him up the NASCAR ladder. Take for example the way Logano handled his 2010 incident with Ryan Newman. The incident was clearly Logano’s fault, yet Logano refuses to admit any fault and rather goes at Newman for “racing too hard.”
The sport doesn’t need this. “Boys have at it” was not intended for twitter feuds. It was intended tobring back the hard but respectful racing the sport needs. There is no respect given or received on Joey Logano’s end. This kid still has to learn to handle his business like an adult, before it is too late.
The incident Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway was purely a racing incident. Both drivers were at fault. Rather than settle things on the track, Logano took the cowards way out saying there would be payback, and then starting twitter beef with Denny Hamlin, his former teammate at Gibbs.
Logano needs to accept that he is not entitled, and will not be given anything on track. At this level, and with young talent continuing to develop, Logano needs to be careful. The difference between relevance and a fading career has never been smaller. A few more bad years and Logano could easily go the way of Casey Atwood, gone from sliced bread to stale in a heartbeat.
Follow Mike Guzman on Twitter @Mike486