Joey Logano / No. 20 GameStop Toyota Preview – 5-Hour Energy 200 at Dover International Speedway

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

· A RETURN TO WHERE IT ALL STARTED: On May 31, 2008, on a rainy day at Dover International Speedway, Joey Logano made one of the most anticipated debuts in NASCAR history. The young phenom, who had been praised year-after-year coming up through the short track ranks, made his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut just seven days after turning 18. After a three-hour rain delay, Logano came home with a ninth-place start and a sixth-place finish in his debut, battling back from a pit road incident that left him with fender damage and as far back as 28th. Just two races after that initial start in Dover, Logano scored his first Nationwide Series win, coming at Kentucky Speedway. That first year, he had 19 starts, one win, three poles and helped guide the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota to the Nationwide Series Owner’s Championship. Now, three years later, Logano is one of the budding superstars of both the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, with eight-career Nationwide Series wins and one Sprint Cup win.

· FLYING THE GAMESTOP COLORS: This weekend, Logano will be back behind the wheel of the No. 20 GameStop Toyota. And fittingly so. When Logano made his Nationwide Series debut at Dover three years ago, it also marked the debut of sponsor GameStop in the Nationwide Series. Since then, GameStop has become a fixture in the Nationwide Series with Joe Gibbs Racing and Logano. GameStop has been with Logano on seven of his eight-career Nationwide Series victories. GameStop has also used its sponsorship to capture racing fans’ attention, coming to the track nearly every week with a different paint scheme promoting various video games and gaming consoles. Over the span of the last three years, GameStop has utilized more than 40 different paint schemes on the No. 20 GameStop Toyota.

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· HUNT FOR AN OWNER’S CHAMPIONSHIP: Thanks to two strong runs by Denny Hamlin at Richmond International Raceway and Darlington Raceway, the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team has extended its points lead in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Owner’s Points standings . Hamlin, who finished first atRichmond and second at Darlington, helped extend the No. 20’s points lead to 34 points over the No. 33 and 39 points over the No. 18. In 10 races, the No. 20 JGR Toyota has just one finish outside of the top 10, coming in the season-opener at Daytona where Logano was wrecked while going for the lead on the final lap of the event. Joe Gibbs Racing has won the Owner’s Championship in the Nationwide Series the last three seasons (No. 20 team in 2008, No. 18 team in 2009 & 2010).

· SUPPORTING THE CAUSE: This weekend, the No. 20 GameStop Toyota, along with both JGR team cars (No. 18, No. 11) will be carrying an Autism Speaks blue puzzle piece logo decal on the racecar as a sign of support for the nation’s leading autism science and advocacy organization.

· CHASSIS: The JGR team will take chassis #20113 to Dover this weekend. The chassis has already raced twice this season, with Logano at both Phoenix (start: 3rd, finish: 6th) and Nashville (start: 1st, finish: 4th). Chassis #20107 will serve as the team’s backup.

· STAT OF THE WEEK: 5.0, 6.0. Of all drivers entered for this weekend’s event at Dover, no driver has a better average starting position (5.0) and finishing position (6.0) than Logano. Logano has raced in the Nationwide Series at Dover four times, with finishes of 6th, 14th, 2nd and 2nd. In addition, Logano has earned two poles at The Monster Mile.

· THE RACE: The 5-Hour Energy 200 at Dover International Speedway (Dover, DE; 1-mile high-banked oval) is set for Saturday, May 14, 2011. The race will be broadcast on ESPN at 2:00 p.m. EST, with radio coverage on MRN starting at 2:00 p.m. EST.

 Joey Logano Quotes:

“It’s hard to believe that it’s already been three years since I ran my first Nationwide Series event. That was a day I’d looked forward to my whole life. It seemed like it would never get there. And then, here I was at Dover, ready to make it all happen. Since then, things have changed dramatically, with the Sprint Cup ride opening up, being associated with Home Depot, winning my first Cup race and getting a bunch of wins in the Nationwide Series with GameStop. I never would have thought that day that my career would be where it is now.

“Dover is a pretty big track for me. It seems like I’ve got a lot of things that have happened to me both good and bad at Dover. I locked up the Busch East Series title here at Dover back in 2007. I made my first Nationwide start at Dover 2008. And I had my biggest wreck at Dover when I flipped the Home Depot car in 2009, which is not one of my favorite memories of all of them. Now, I just need to add a win here. We’ve been close the last two races here and finished second each time. Now, we just need to improve on that one more spot. But I’ll tell you what, I am one person who knows why they call this place the Monster Mile.

“I’m glad to be back in the Nationwide Series car and happy to be back in the GameStop Toyota. Thanks to Denny, we’ve been able to keep the No. 20 up there in the Owner’s Points Championship lead. Since we can’t run for a Championship as drivers, we are all focused on getting the Owner’s Championship. Things have fallen in place this year, and we’ve been able to run solid and be there at the finish of every race. But I’d really like to start getting some wins. The No. 20 team was able to get their first win with the new crew a couple of weeks ago, and I know their confidence is up. Now, hopefully we can use that over the next several races and get a couple more wins and see where things shake out.”

Adam Stevens Quotes:

“Dover is one unique track. The elevation change between the straights and corners is unlike any other place we go. A lot of people say Dover is like a big Bristol, which it is in some subtle ways, but it’s rather unique on its own. The concrete surface is unforgiving and changes a lot thru the weekend as it takes rubber. There is a lot of banking on the straightaways, which creates some entry and exit handing issues you don’t see at most places.

“One thing I remember is that pit road used to be terrible, but thankfully, it was redone a few years ago and is very nice now. It was a nightmare when there were only 42 stalls for 43 cars and the pit boxes were very narrow and small. The improvements they’ve made help our job out a lot as a crew chief and as a pit crew. But for all of the problems Dover can give you, it is one of my favorite tracks and I would love to win here. We’re riding a lot of momentum now, so hopefully, we can keep that going and get another win this weekend.”

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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