Joey Logano / No. 20 GameStop Toyota Preview – Alliance Truck Parts 250 at Michigan International Speedway

Joey Logano / No. 20 GameStop Toyota Preview

Alliance Truck Parts 250 at Michigan International Speedway

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

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American Muscle

·     KA-CHOW: “LIGHTNING” LOGANO HOPES TO RIDE HIS CAR INTO VICTORY LANE :  Cars 2: The Video Game will ride along with Logano at Michigan International Speedway.  Inspired by the upcoming Disney-Pixar animated film, Cars 2, the game lets players jump into the Cars 2 universe with some of their favorite Cars personalities in exotic locations around the globe, including Mater and Lightning McQueen, as well as some brand new characters, as they train in the international training center to become world-class spies. Players can race against friends and family in either single or multiplayer modes with up to four players to unlock challenging new tracks, characters, events and thrilling spy missions. The game releases June 21 and will be available for the Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, Macintosh and Nintendo DS.

·     NEW PHILOSOPHY FOR THE NO. 20 TEAM… JUST WIN BABY WIN:  Due to a lack of sponsorship, the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team was forced to miss the NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Chicagoland Speedway, the first time the No. 20 JGR car has missed an NNS event since the 2002 season.  Now, with the team out of the race for the Owner’s Championship, they are going to finish out the rest of the year with a new philosophy… just win.  Not racing for points, the new philosophy will allow the team to do a number of things to give them their best chance to win, from taking risks during fuel mileage races, to making a different pit strategy call near the end of races.  The No. 20 JGR team already has one win and nine top 10 finishes in 2011.

·     MICHIGAN A TOP-10 TRACK FOR LOGANO:  Michigan International Speedway hasn’t been Logano’s worst track on the NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule, but it hasn’t been his best either.  In fact, Logano has only raced at Michigan twice in the Nationwide Series and only once in the No. 20 GameStop Toyota.  Logano’s first shot at Michigan was in 2008 when he drove the No. 18 to a seventh place finish.  Logano didn’t race at the track in 2009 and came back to finish sixth in the No. 20 GameStop Toyota in 2010.  In four-career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at the track, Logano has racked up three top-10 finishes.

·     CHASSIS:  The JGR team will take chassis #20127 to Michigan International Speedway this weekend.  This is the first time this chassis will hit the track in 2011.  Chassis #20107 will serve as the team’s backup.

·     STAT OF THE WEEK:  0  In two races at Michigan International Speedway, Logano has never earned a top-five finish.  In fact, it is one of only six tracks on the NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule that Logano has failed to record a top-five finish (others include Atlanta, Darlington, Montreal, ORP and Richmond).

·     THE RACE:  The Alliance Truck Parts 250 at Michigan International Speedway (Brooklyn, MI, 2-mile oval) is set for Saturday, June 18, 2011.  The race will be broadcast on ABC at 3:30 p.m. EST, with radio coverage on MRN starting at 3 p.m. EST.

Logano’s 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series Season Stats: Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 Poles Laps Led Earnings Avg. Start Avg. Finish 9 0 4 6 1 89 $221,510 6.7 7.1

Logano’s Career NASCAR Nationwide Series Stats: Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 Poles Laps Led Earnings Avg. Start Avg. Finish 75 8 37 60 16 1436 $2,741,764 7.2 7.1

Logano’s Career NASCAR Nationwide Series Stats at Michigan International Speedway: Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 Poles Laps Led Earnings Avg. Start Avg. Finish 2 0 0 2 0 0 $44,553 7.5 6.5

Joey Logano Quotes: “Michigan is one of those tracks that I’ve always been good at, but never quite good enough to contend for the win. That’s  really surprising because Michigan is so similar to California and I’ve always been really successful at California.  I don’t know what the difference is, but I’ve only run a couple of races at Michigan and run more at California, so maybe it is just track time.  We’ve been successful in the Cup Series at Michigan and I think the more I learn, the more that will carry over.  Every week I get in the car, be it the Nationwide Series car or the Cup car, I’m learning something new.  There is always something to be learned in the car.

“I like the new philosophy that our team is going to go after in Michigan.  We just want to win races.  We’ve always been in it to win races, but I think there were times that maybe we would have made a conservative call to not fall way back in the field, which is what we needed to do to stay in the Owner’s Championship standings.  Now that we are in it to win it, we can go after it for all that it’s worth.  And Michigan is normally a fuel mileage race, and that philosophy could come down to it this weekend.  It should be a lot of fun.

“We’ve got the Cars 2 game on the car this weekend, and that is always pretty cool because I’ve love the original Cars movie and I’m sure the second movie is going to be a great.  All of us in racing and all of us who are big fans of cars in general loved the movie Cars, so to get to represent it on the track is awesome.  There are some cool paint schemes we’ve had over the years and to have a movie like Cars on the car is pretty neat.”

Adam Stevens Quotes: “Michigan is definitely a horsepower track, so hopefully we’ll be pretty good because the engine department here at Joe Gibbs Racing has been working extra hard to get our Toyota engines even more power, which is always a good thing at a place like Michigan.  Michigan is also a very aero-sensitive track as well, meaning you need to keep the car clean and keep all of the fenders on it.  The last thing you want to do is wrinkle a fender and mess up your aero, because you will get tight and your day will be ruined.  And that can happen on those double-file restarts with as crazy as they’ve been this year.

“A lot of people really say Michigan is similar to Fontana and it; Michigan just has a little more banking.  And Michigan really tends to change grip a lot with track temperature changes, so as a crew chief, you have to stay on top of the changes and make sure the driver is giving you the best feedback possible so you know what to do to the car.  Joey and my communication continues to get better and better each week and he’s great at giving feedback, so that shouldn’t be an issue.  In the end, Michigan is a great track to race because there is lots of room and multiple lanes to race in, which makes for an exciting race.”

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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