Joey Logano / No. 20 GameStop Toyota Preview Scotts EZ Seed 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway
No. 20 GameStop Toyota News, Notes & Paint Scheme:
· NASCAR THE GAME 2011 ON THE NO. 20 ONCE AGAIN: The new NASCAR The Game 2011, developed by Eutechnyx and Activision, will once again be the featured game on the No. 20 GameStop Toyota at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. Players can choose to play as themselves or as one of the sport’s real-world drivers as they battle it out for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship. Each pro driver has the AI characteristics of his or her real world counterpart, setting the stage for intense rivalries played out on the track. Damage is meticulously detailed and multi-car wrecks are the most extreme ever experienced in an officially licensed racing game. From the 22 real world tracks to full pit stop strategy action, NASCAR The Game 2011 captures the real atmosphere, sense of speed and spectacle that embodies NASCAR. The game is scheduled to come out March 29th, 2011 and will be available on the Playstation 3, Xbox and Wii systems.
· COME RACE AGAINST JOEY LOGANO: Fans in the Bristol Motor Speedway vicinity will have the opportunity to race against Joey Logano on Friday night as part of a track promotion between GameStop, NASCAR The Game 2011 and Bristol Motor Speedway. Logano will be at the GameStop show car trailer in the Hospitality Village area from 7-8 p.m. during Food City Race Night on Friday and will “race” against fans while playing the new NASCAR The Game 2011. To get the chance to race against Joey, fans will be asked to make a $10 donation to Speedway Children’s Charities. The $10 donation will get fans a 10-lap “grudge” match against Joey around the high-banks of Bristol.
· MEET THE NEW CREW CHIEF, ADAM STEVENS: This season, the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota is being led by a new face to the team, but not a new face to the organization. Daytona marked the debut of 32-year-old Adam Stevens as the Crew Chief for the No. 20 Toyota and driver Joey Logano. But Logano and Stevens are not strangers. Stevens spent the previous six seasons as the race engineer for JGR’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series No. 20 Home Depot Toyota team. The team captured the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship in Stevens’ first season in 2005 with driver Tony Stewart behind the wheel. Stevens has also been part of the team’s transition to Joey Logano, who captured NASCAR Rookie of the Year honors in 2009 and completed a strong 2010 season with seven top-five and 16 top-ten finishes. A native of Portsmouth, OH and graduate of Notre Dame High School, Stevens grew up racing Dirt Late Models with his father in Ohio. Stevens worked on cars until he turned 16 and then got behind the wheel until he moved to North Carolina following his college graduation from Ohio University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
· BRISTOL’S STATS DON’T SPEAK FOR LOGANO’S PERFORMANCE: Despite running well at what is arguably the most famous half-mile racetrack in America, Bristol Motor Speedway is statistically one of Joey Logano’s toughest tracks. In four career races at Bristol, Logano has an average start of 16.3 and an average finish of 12.3. In fact, Bristol is one of only five tracks that Logano has an average finish of 10th or worse. However, Logano’s performance on the track is not indicative to his results. In fact, Logano qualified second in both races at the track in 2010 and had top-five runs going in both events before late-race accidents took him out of contention for the win. In the spring race in 2010, Logano was running fifth on the white flag lap before getting wrecked on the last corner by another competitor. Logano limped home in 14th place. In the fall race, Logano was running second with just 25 laps to go when he got spun by another driver. He came back from restarting 19th to finish 10th.
· CHASSIS: The team will be taking chassis #20107 to Bristol Motor Speedway for this weekend’s race. The chassis is actually one of the first “new car” Nationwide Series chassis the Joe Gibbs Racing crew actually built. The car raced twice in 2010, first at Michigan International Speedway (where it finished sixth) and again at Charlotte Motor Speedway (where it finished fourth).
· STAT OF THE WEEK: 28. Joey has finished the last 28 NASCAR Nationwide Series races he has run on the lead lap, a streak dating back to the November 2009 event at Texas Motor Speedway, the site of Logano’s last DNF. In fact, Logano has finished on the lead lap in 62 of his 68 career NASCAR Nationwide Series starts.
· THE RACE: The Scotts EZ Seed 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway (Bristol, TN; .533-mile high-banked oval) is set for Saturday, March 19, 2011. The race will be broadcast on ESPN at 2:00 p.m. EST, with radio coverage on PRN starting at 1:30 p.m. EST.
Joey Logano Quotes: “What can you say about Bristol? There is a reason it is one of the fan favorite’s. I really like the place, but luck has not been on our side the last few times we’ve been here in a Nationwide car and this is a track that you need to be good at, but also have some luck to get to the finish. Things happen so fast there and can really take you out of it if you are not careful. That’s what the last two races here have been. We’ve been fast and qualified up front, ran up front all day long, but things just happened. Last year, we got turned in both races while running in the top-five in both races and had terrible finishes because of that.
“A lot of us will say we like Bristol because it is a track a lot of us can relate to. Everyone always says that because it’s a short track and that’s really pretty true for all of us. We didn’t grow up racing on two-mile tracks or 1.5-mile tracks. All of us grew up on quarter-miles and half-miles. Although, there aren’t a lot of places that we as drivers have raced that will remind us of Bristol. Maybe Salem Speedway (in Indiana) and Winchester Speedway (also in Indiana) are the closest thing some of us have been able to experience before we experienced Bristol for the first time.
“It’s very cool to have a NASCAR game on the GameStop Toyota. Back in 2008 when I was first getting going in the Nationwide Series and with GameStop, we had a NASCAR game on the hood. Now, several years later, here we are with another NASCAR game on the car. I’m a huge fan of racing games. In fact, when I play my Xbox or Playstation in my motorhome, a lot of the time I racing my friends in this racing game or that racing game. So this is a game that will be very close to my heart. And last year, I got a chance to play an early build of the game and it was cool. I can hardly wait for them to come out with the full game at the local GameStop store and to get the chance to race against myself. I think I can take him.”
Adam Stevens Quotes: “Bristol is a tough place on the driver, on the crew and on the equipment. It’s also a place where communication is extremely difficult, with the high noise level and the fast lap times. Things happen so fast at the track, so it’s hard to stay on top of things. One lap, the car can be doing something, and 25 laps later, it can be doing something else, but those 25 laps can go by in 10 minutes, so things are always changing. It makes staying on top of things very difficult, but that is normally why you see the best rise to the top at the end.
“In addition, the pit area space is cramped and there is often mishaps on pit road because of the tight quarters. That means everyone has to stay on the toes all race long, from Joey behind the wheel to the guys on the pit crew, especially during yellow flag pit stops when the pit road is crowded. Getting a good pit stall at Bristol is key as well.
“The track changes a lot throughout the weekend as it takes rubber, so even the fast cars in one practice will be changing their cars a lot to keep up with the track in the next practice. Since they repaved the track a couple of years ago, multiple grooves have opened up, so the racing is extremely competitive. That means the team has to be patient and stay calm here to have a good run. That goes without saying for the driver, but it holds true for the crew as well.”
No. 20 GameStop Toyota / Joe Gibbs Racing Team Driver – Joey Logano Crew Chief – Adam Stevens Car Chief – Mike Sibley Race Engineer – Curtis Ratzlaff Shock Specialist – Joel Weidman Front-end – Nick Fuller Rear-end – Dave Rudy Tire Specialist – Chris Jones Setup Specialist – Donny Brown Engine Tuner – Roger Purcell Truck Driver – Tim Clancy Jackman – Jason Tate Gasman – John Eicher Front Tire Changer – John Royer Front Tire Carrier – Brett Morrell Rear Tire Changer – Coleman Dollarhide Rear Tire Carrier – Eric Groen Windshield – Chris Jones