Joey Logano / No. 20 GameStop Toyota Preview – Royal Purple 300 at Auto Club Speedway

Joey Logano / No. 20 GameStop Toyota Preview   Royal Purple 300 at Auto Club Speedway  

No. 20 GameStop Toyota News, Notes & Paint Scheme:

·     FROM WORST TO BEST FOR LOGANO:  Statistically, Bristol Motor Speedway, host of last weekend’s NASCAR Nationwide Series event, is one of Joey Logano’s worst tracks on the Nationwide schedule.  However, Auto Club Speedway, host of this weekend’s Royal Purple 300, is one of his best.  In five career races at the track, Logano has never finished out of the top-10.  Included in those stats are one win (coming in fall 2009), two poles (fall 2009 and spring 2010) and four top-five finishes.  Logano’s average finish at Auto Club Speedway is a resounding fourth place.  In fact, Auto Club is one of six current Nationwide Series tracks that Logano owns an average finish of fourth or better (Kentucky, Talladega, Loudon, Kansas, Chicago).

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·     NATIONAL “JOE” DAY:  This Sunday is National “Joe” Day.  And even though National “Joe” Day falls on Sunday, we encourage everyone to celebrate “Joes” all weekend long.  What is National “Joe” Day?  National Joe Day is a chance to change your name, if only for one day.  Many people do not like their given name and they wish they could change it. On National “Joe” Day, it’s customary to have everyone call you “Joe.” Why?  Because everyone likes the name Joe. Auto Club Speedway even offered a special ticket package to meet “Joe”y during a special meet-and-greet on Sunday at the track.

·     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 Auto Club Speedway.  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 and Xbox systems. A version for the Wii is coming soon.

·     LAST WEEKEND’S RECAP:  Joey earned his first top-five finish of the season at Bristol Motor Speedway in the No. 20 GameStop Toyota.  The team fought a tight car all weekend long and struggled on restarts, but was able to fight back from as low as 12th to finish fifth last Saturday.  The finish, coupled with Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch’s victory, allowed the No. 18 and No. 20 JGR cars to take over first and second in the NASCAR Nationwide Series owner’s championship standings respectively.  The No. 20 team is just two points behind the No. 18 heading into Auto Club Speedway. ·     CHASSIS:  Chassis #20118 will race this weekend at Auto Club Speedway for the GameStop team.  This will be the first race for the car, built new during the offseason at the Joe Gibbs Racing shops.  The team will have chassis #20113  as a backup, another new car for the JGR team.

·     STAT OF THE WEEK:  70.  This weekend will mark Joey’s 70th career NASCAR Nationwide Series start.  In the previous 69 starts, Logano has racked up eight wins, 34 top-five finishes (49%) and 56 top-10 finishes (80%).  He also has 15-career poles, including eight in 2011, to put him in a tie for 13th on the all-time list with JGR teammate Denny Hamlin, Jimmy Hensley and Michael Waltrip.

·     THE RACE:  The Royal Purple 300 at Auto Club Speedway (Fontana, CA; 2-mile banked oval) is set for Saturday, March 26, 2011.  The race will be broadcast on ESPN at 5:30 p.m. EST, with radio coverage on MRN starting at 5 p.m. EST.   

Joey Logano Quotes: “I’m really looking forward to getting back to California (Auto Club) Speedway.  If there is anywhere that we have run so far this year that I feel we have a real shot at winning, it will be this weekend.  I’m really confident at California and feel like we’ll have a really good GameStop Toyota.  I’ve always run well at this track and can take that confidence into the weekend with Adam and the guys.  I really know what I like in a car at California, so it is easy to communicate to the guys.  This will be our first time at California with the new car, but I don’t think that will make that big of a difference.  I know the guys have been working hard on it.  We should be pretty strong.  

“We’ve got the new NASCAR game on the car again this weekend.  I finally got a chance to play the final version of the game last week at the GameStop show car hauler during the Fan Fest at Bristol.  The people loved the game, and I thought it was cool too.  The graphics on it are sick. The cool thing about it is that everyone can play it.  If you are a serious racer, you’ll do well at it.  If you are just having fun, you’ll be good at it too.  It’s a game for everyone.  And there are some pretty good video game racers out there.  A few of the fans really gave me a run.  But I was able to pull out some victories.  I couldn’t let them beat me, you know?  Hopefully, I’ll translate that success on the game into success this weekend at California.”  

Adam Stevens Quotes: “I really am looking forward to Auto Club Speedway because the 1.5- and 2-mile tracks seem to really be Joey’s strongest places and some of the strongest for Joe Gibbs Racing in general.  So I think we’ll have a great shot this weekend to be competitive, lead laps and contend for the win.

“Auto Club is a big, wide track with sweeping corners.  With these Nationwide Series cars and the tapered spacer, your car can sometimes run wide open or near wide open, meaning getting the maximum power and the lowest drag is going to be key.  Of course, you have to have your car handling well too so you can hopefully keep it wide open in the corners.  Joey really has run well here and that will help in getting the setup right from the beginning and making the right adjustments during the weekend.  He knows what he is looking for, so that really gives us a good baseline going into the weekend.  Of course, we don’t know how the new Nationwide Series car will react to the track since this will be the first time there with it, but we’re confident.  

“And as a crew chief, I’m growing more and more confident each weekend.  Our communication as team is getting better and my communication with Joey is as well.  Each weekend, we keep making strides and that is encouraging.  We just really need to put together a whole weekend from beginning to end and I think we’ll be right there.”    

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 “Yoshi” Jones                      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

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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