Joey Logano / No. 20 GameStop Toyota Preview – New England 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Joey Logano / No. 20 GameStop Toyota Preview

New England 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway  

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

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·     LOGANO HOPES TO PULL STRENGTH FROM “CAPTAIN AMERICA” AT NHMS :  While he doesn’t call himself a superhero, Joey Logano and the No. 20 GameStop Toyota will have one riding with them this weekend at New Hampshire.  Captain America: Super Soldier by Sega will be the featured game this weekend on the GameStop Toyota.  Become Captain America, the ultimate Super Soldier, in the darkest days of World War II as you face the Red Skull and his army in this epic third-person action adventure. Wield Captain America’s legendary shield to take out multiple enemies at once, deflect incoming fire back at your enemies, solve puzzles, and scale walls. Captain America: Super Soldier combines an acrobatic combat system with fluid platforming and a highly-tuned suite of shield attacks including melee combos. The completely original story for Captain America: Super Soldier is penned by noted comic, film, and TV writer Christos Gage. Set to be released on July 19, Captain America: Super Soldier is available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, DS and 3DS.

·     ANOTHER SHOT FOR HOMETRACK GLORY:  Joey Logano hails from Middletown, Connecticut.  However, with no racetrack on the schedule in the state of Connecticut, New Hampshire Motor Speedway takes the spot of Logano’s “hometrack” on the NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule.  And Logano’s past NNS history at NHMS is good.  In two-career races at the track, Logano has a average start of fourth and an average finish of third.  In 2009, Logano led over half the race (108 laps) after starting from the pole, only to finish second to Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch.  Last season, after starting seventh, Logano raced towards the front, led some laps and finished an eventual fourth.

·     A LITTLE SHORT ON FUEL LAST WEEKEND:  Logano and the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing bunch headed back to Kentucky Speedway last weekend hoping to extend their streak of both poles and wins at the 1.5-mile track.  The pole streak fell first, with Logano qualifying fourth for the 200-lap event.  Then, in the race, Logano fought handling in the No. 20 GameStop Toyota, but the team appeared to play fuel strategy just right, crossing the start/finish line fourth as the white flag flew.  However, despite doing all of the fuel saving he could, Logano ran out of gas on the final lap and had to coast back to the finish line, eventually coming home 10th and ending his streak of three-straight victories in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Kentucky.

·     SUMMER BREAK UPCOMING FOR LOGANO:  When the checkered falls on this weekend’s NASCAR Nationwide Series event at New Hampshire, Logano will find himself on “summer break” of sorts from the Nationwide Series.  Logano’s next scheduled event in the NNS won’t be until Aug. 13 when he races at Watkins Glen International.  Until then, the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota will be piloted at a number of standalone events by JGR development drivers. 

·     CHASSIS:  The JGR team will take chassis #20132 to New Hampshire Motor Speedway.  It will be the first race of the season for the chassis.  Chassis #20127, which last raced at Michigan as the primary car, will serve as the team’s backup.

·     STAT OF THE WEEK:  111  The total number of laps Logano has led at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, which is one of only six tracks on the NNS schedule that Logano has led more than 100 laps at in his career (others include Nashville, Kentucky, California, Chicago and Dover). Logano is known for coming on strong late, accounting for his lack of leading laps despite his nine-career NNS wins.

·     THE RACE:  The New England 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Loudon, NH; 1-mile flat oval) is set for Saturday, July 16, 2011.  The race will be broadcast on ESPN at 3:30 p.m. EST, with radio coverage on PRN 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 12 1 5 9 1 90 $331,185 7.6 6.8  

Logano’s Career NASCAR Nationwide Series Stats: Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 Poles Laps Led Earnings Avg. Start Avg. Finish 78 9 38 63 16 1437 $2,865,389 7.3 7.0  

Logano’s Career NASCAR Nationwide Series Stats at New Hampshire Motor Speedway: Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 Poles Laps Led Earnings Avg. Start Avg. Finish 2 0 2 2 1 111 $60,175 4.0 3.0    

Joey Logano Quotes: “New Hampshire Motor Speedway has always been a pretty special place for me.  It’s really the closest track we have on the schedule to where I’m from, so we always seem to have a lot of added attention on us up there.  I always have some family come to the track, which puts a little more pressure on you because they don’t get to watch you race in person that often anymore, so you want to win for them. 

Also, it’s the track I got my first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at, which was cool.  But that came under a red flag for rain, so you want to win there again and get to celebrate the right way.   “We’ve run well in the past with the GameStop Toyota at New Hampshire.  A couple of years ago, we should have won the race. I think we were the best car, but Kyle (Busch) got by us late in the going, and we had to settle for second.  Last year, we were solid, but not as good as we should have been.  This year, we’ll be strong.  New Hampshire is a unique place and a place you need to get the setup right on to have a good day.  If you are off just a little bit, you are off a lot.  With these new style of cars, you can’t take a whole lot of what made you good at places in the past back there.  Things handle so differently and drive so differently. So going out there will be like going out there the first time again.  But we’ll be strong and I think we’ll have a shot to win the race.  

“This is the last race in the GameStop Toyota for a month or so, so I’d like to go out with a win.  GameStop has been a huge supporter of mine, and it’s time to get them back in Victory Lane with the Captain America car.  There would be nothing cooler than to win at my home track and get the GameStop folks back in Victory Lane.  And I think we have a shot to do it this weekend.”  

Adam Stevens Quotes: “Even though New Hampshire is a mile track, a lot of people pretty much consider it a short track and run it like one.  That makes us feel really good going into the weekend, because the Joe Gibbs Racing short track program is really strong.  If there is one place where we are excelling right now would be on our short track program and in our (restrictor) plate program.  At both of those styles of tracks, we are always a team to beat, and I think that will show this weekend.  

“Loudon is so flat that it takes a good handling car to be fast.  If you get off a little, it will really show in the times.  But Loudon is a place with a lot of passionate fans and a lot of Joey Logano fans, so this would be a great place to get another win with the No. 20 Toyota.  On top of that, it’s probably one of the neatest areas we go to all year long, so when you are enjoying the weekend away from the track, it gives you an added jump to just do that much better at the track.  Plus, I’m ready to get some of that good Northeast lobster.”    

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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