Joey Logano / No. 20 Sport Clips Toyota Preview – Subway Jalapeno 250 at Daytona International Speedway

No. 20 Sport Clips Toyota News & Notes:

·     TIME FOR THAT SUPERSPEEDWAY VICTORY:  While the victory column in Joey Logano’s career stats at superspeedways reads “zero,” the 21-year-old driver is anything but a “zero” at superspeedways. The restrictor-plate superspeedways of Daytona and Talladega have been strong for Logano, not only in the Nationwide Series, but in the Sprint Cup Series as well.  At Daytona, Logano has collected two top-fives and three top-10s in Nationwide Series competition, while at Talladega, Logano has never finished outside of the top-five in any of his three-career Nationwide Series starts.  And over the last couple of years, Logano has gotten even better.  His last four finishes at Daytona include a fourth, seventh, second and 12th, which came in the opening event of the 2011 season.  In that event, Logano was going for the lead on the final lap of the event with help from his JGR teammate Kyle Busch when Busch tapped Logano, sending him into the outside wall and limping back to the finish.  The last two years at Talladega, Logano has finished second each time.

·     SPORT CLIPS MAKING THE No. 20 LOOK GOOD & RUN FAST:  Sport Clips, a national sport-themed hair-care franchise for men and boys that can be found in 38 states,will return as sponsor of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota at Daytona International Speedway.  This will make the fourth event in 2011 that Sport Clips has sponsored the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing machine (Phoenix, Richmond, Iowa).  Earlier this year, Denny Hamlin took Sport Clips and the No. 20 to victory lane, earning crew chief Adam Stevens his first Nationwide Series win, at Richmond International Raceway.  Sport Clips will also be the primary sponsor on the No. 20 at Chicagoland Speedway in September (Logano) and at Dover International Speedway in October (Logano).  Founded in 1995, Sport Clips has over 750 stores nationwide. 

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·     “I GOTTA THANK JOEY LOGANO FOR THE PUSH”:  Those are words Joey Logano is tired of hearing coming from race winners in Victory Lane.  Now, he’s ready to be the car being pushed and not the driver doing the pushing.  Half of Joey’s NASCAR Nationwide Series races on restrictor-plate tracks (four out of eight) have resulted in him pushing the eventual winner to the checkered flag and, in three of those cases, finishing second.  It started in 2009 at Talladega Superspeedway, where Logano pushed long-time friend David Ragan to his first career Nationwide Series win and finished third himself.  In 2010, Logano pushed Brad Keselowski to the win at Talladega Superspeedway and finished second while also pushing Dale Earnhardt Jr. to the win at Daytona and again coming home second.  Logano also pushed his teammate Kyle Busch to the win at Talladega earlier this season, earning yet another second-place finish.

·     RIDING THE BIG “MO” FROM CALIFORNIA:  One of the biggest advantages in racing is the thing they call the “big mo…” momentum.  And Logano is riding momentum from the last couple of weeks.  Logano earned the pole and finished sixth in the Sprint Cup Series event in Sonoma last weekend.  In addition, he started second and won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West event at Sonoma as well.  Adding to the momentum was that Joey’s Nationwide Series crew chief, Adam Stevens, and several of his No. 20 Nationwide Series crew members, were with Logano in California for the West Series victory.

·     CHASSIS:  The JGR team will take chassis #20129 to Daytona International Speedway.  This is the same chassis that Logano used when finishing second at Talladega Superspeedway.  The team will take chassis #20103 as a backup.

·     STAT OF THE WEEK:  100%.  Despite the frequency of the “big one” and other multi-car wrecks at restrictor-plate tracks like Daytona and Talladega, Logano has completed 100% of the laps in all eight career NASCAR Nationwide Series starts between the two tracks.

·     THE RACE:  The Subway Jalapeno 250 at Daytona International Speedway (Daytona, FL; 2.5-mile high-banked superspeedway) is set for Friday evening, July 1st, 2011.  The race will be broadcast on ESPN at 7:30 p.m. EST, with radio coverage on MRN starting at 7:30 p.m. EST.

Logano’s Season-To-Date NASCAR Nationwide Series Stats: Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 Poles Laps Led Earnings Avg. Start Avg. Finish 10 0 4 7 1 89 $235,635 6.9 7.0

Logano’s Career NASCAR Nationwide Series Stats: Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 Poles Laps Led Earnings Avg. Start Avg. Finish 76 8 37 61 16 1436 $2,769,839 7.2 7.1

Logano’s Career NASCAR Nationwide Series Stats at Daytona International Speedway: Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 Poles Laps Led Earnings Avg. Start Avg. Finish 5 0 2 3 0 23 $246,368 10.6 9.0

Joey Logano Quotes: “I’m pretty excited to get back to the Nationwide car and back to a track like Daytona, especially riding the momentum that we’ve got going from last weekend in Sonoma.  When you run good in any series, it gives you a lot of confidence that then can transfer over into any of the other series that you run as well.  So running good in Cup can help you run better in Nationwide and running good in Nationwide can help you run better in Cup.  I feel we are on an upward swing right now and there isn’t much better place to go next than to Daytona, a track I feel like I’m pretty good at.

“Daytona is a crapshoot really.  As long as you can keep your nose clean and keep out of trouble, you can have a shot at it.  We had a shot at it in February but just got hooked by our teammate there on the last lap.  It wasn’t intentional, it just happens in the kind of bump draft racing you have at Daytona and Talladega.  But our Sport Clips Toyota has been strong at the restrictor-plate tracks the last few years and I feel that I’m getting better at running them myself.

“I saw the stat that I’ve pushed four different winners to victory lane between Daytona and Talladega over the last couple of years and that is crazy.  It is good, because that means we’ve always had a fast car and been able to stay out of trouble and be up at the front at the end of the race, but it sucks to always finish second.  I think it’s about time to get the No. 20 up front and let someone push me for the win.  It is all about putting yourself in the right position with just a handful of laps left in the race.  If you can do that, you can win these races.”

Adam Stevens Quotes: “There are two really important aspects of Daytona… staying out of the big wrecks and making sure you can find someone to work with in the new two-car draft.  We’ve been fortunate enough this year to get hooked up with our teammate and we’ve worked well with him at both Daytona and Talladega.  In fact, we’ve been in position to win the race at both of the restrictor-plate tracks this year but haven’t been able to pull it off.  It’s all about being in the right position at the right time.

“The two-car draft has made this kind of racing a lot different now.  So has the new track surface.  Before, getting your car to handle at Daytona was the most important thing.  Now, it’s making sure you can keep the car cool during the two-car breakaways.  You still have to make sure the car handles good in the draft, but getting it to keep cool is important.  It’s also important to be working with someone that can make the ‘switch’ right and do it without losing the most time.”

No. 20 Sport Clips 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

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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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