Joey Logano / No. 20 Sport Clips Toyota NNS Preview – Daytona Int’l Speedway

Joey Logano / No. 20 Sport Clips Toyota NNS Preview

Subway Jalapeno 250 powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona Int’l Speedway

No. 20 Sport Clips Toyota News & Notes:

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· WELCOME BACK SPORT CLIPS: Sport Clips, a national sport-themed hair-care franchise for men and boys founded in 1993 with nearly 1,000 stores nationwide, will make its fourth appearance of 2012 with the Joe Gibbs Racing Nationwide Series program on Friday night at Daytona International Speedway. It will make the first race of the season as a sponsor with Joey Logano. Sport Clips has sponsored Logano’s JGR teammate Denny Hamlin in three other races this season – Texas, Darlington and Charlotte. In those three races, Hamlin has brought home finishes of fourth, second and second respectively. Sport Clips is scheduled to also sponsor Hamlin later this season in the Nationwide Series at Indianapolis and Richmond and will ride with Logano again at Dover.

· NATIONWIDE SERIES START NUMBER 100: When Logano takes the green flag at Daytona International Speedway, it will mark his 100th-career NASCAR Nationwide Series start. Logano’s Nationwide Series career began on May 31, 2008 when he made his much-anticipated debut behind the wheel of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota at Dover. Just three races later, Logano grabbed his first career Nationwide Series victory, coming at Kentucky Speedway at the age of 18 years, 21 days, making him the youngest Nationwide Series winner in history. Since that first start and first win, Logano has collected 14 total Nationwide Series wins and 19 poles. Logano has also finished in the top-five 47 times and in the top-10 an amazing 77 times. Maybe one of the most amazing stats is that Logano has recorded just five DNFs in his first 99 races. Logano has won Nationwide Series races at Kentucky, Dover, Nashville, Michigan, California, Talladega, Daytona, Gateway, Kansas and Darlington.

· RIDING A HOT STREAK: Despite the fact that Logano hasn’t raced in the last two NASCAR Nationwide Series events, he is riding a wave of momentum that still makes him the hottest driver on the circuit these days. Logano leads the Nationwide Series with five wins in 2012 and three pole positions. Those five wins match a career-high of five wins, four of them come in the last five races he’s participated in (Logano also won five races in 2009). The streak began in Talladega and he followed that up with a victory at Darlington. Logano sat on the pole but finished sixth in Charlotte due to pit strategy gone awry. Then, he followed that up with back-to-back wins at Dover and Michigan. Logano’s other win came earlier this year at Auto Club Speedway in California.

· THE DEFENDING CHAMPION: Logano will come into the second-race of the season at Daytona International Speedway as the defending race winner. Logano has always been strong on the circuit’s superspeedways and finally got his first restrictor-plate win in the summer Daytona event last season. Logano, who had been second or third in most of his restrictor-plate races in the Nationwide Series prior, got a huge push from JGR teammate Kyle Busch to hold on for the victory. Since then, Logano has added another restrictor-plate victory at Talladega earlier this season.

· ALREADY A SPORT CLIPS WINNER: While this will be the first Sport Clips sponsored race this season for Logano, should he get to Victory Lane, it wouldn’t be the first time he’s visited Victory Lane with Sport Clips in 2012. Logano captured the victory earlier this season in the VFW Sport Clips 200 at Darlington Raceway. While Logano was driving a car sponsored by Dollar General, Logano was able to celebrate in Victory Lane with several Sport Clips execs by taking the victory.

· SHOULD BE TWO IN A ROW AT DAYTONA: With Logano leading the series in wins in 2012 with five, the 22-year-old also knows that it could easily be six. In the NASCAR Nationwide Series opener at Daytona back in late February, Logano found himself in the mix all afternoon long behind the wheel of his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing machine. As the race came down to its conclusion, Logano was hooked up with Trevor Bayne and making a charge to the front. On the white-flag lap, the duo of Logano and Bayne found themselves racing toward the front and suddenly passing for the lead through turns three and four while coming to the checkered flag. However, just as Logano was pushed into the lead, the No. 1 car of Kurt Busch came up the track to try and block the advancing duo of Logano and Bayne and in the process, spun Logano’s No. 20 Toyota and triggered a multi-car accident that knocked Logano from the lead and from the victory. Logano would end up finishing 16th.

· THE RACE: The Subway Jalapeno 250 powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway (Daytona Beach, FL; 2.5-mile superspeedway) is set for Friday evening, July 6, 2012. The race will be broadcast on ESPN at 7:00 p.m. ET, with radio coverage on MRN.

Logano’s 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series Season Stats:

Starts

Wins

Top 5

Top 10

Poles

Laps Led

Earnings

Avg. Start

Avg. Finish

11

5

6

8

3

456

$378,450

6.8

6.5

Logano’s Career NASCAR Nationwide Series Stats:

Starts

Wins

Top 5

Top 10

Poles

Laps Led

Earnings

Avg. Start

Avg. Finish

99

14

47

77

19

1,909

$3,437,784

7.1

7.4

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

7

1

3

4

0

24

$370,313

13.3

8.9

From the Cockpit:

Joey Logano Quotes: “After having the last couple of NASCAR Nationwide Series events off, I’m ready to get back in the car. I really feel like the No. 20 team still has maybe more momentum than any other team in the series right now. The communication between (crew chief) Adam (Stevens) and myself right now is second to none. When we unload the car, its near perfect and we can work on just fine tuning the thing and making it better. Things are just going really well right now and I think we can keep that going in Daytona. And I’ve been out of the Nationwide car for a couple of weeks and Adam and the guys have had a couple of weeks off as well, so it will be great to get things going and get back on the track.

“Daytona is a different animal for sure. We have been strong so far this year on all types of tracks, but Daytona is not only about having a good car but also about a little bit of luck. Our superspeedway program has been strong and we’ve been in contention at both plate races. We should have won at Daytona before that last-lap accident and we were fortunate enough to put ourselves in the right position to win at Talladega. You have to survive on these plate races and then make sure you find the right partner at the end of the race to get to the front. I feel like we are still the car people will look at beating when we unload. And that shows that you are doing something right when people look at you that way.”

From the Pit Box:

Adam Stevens Quotes: “From my view point, it’s nice to get back to the track. Our team have has had the last couple of races off, so everyone is really itching to get back at it. It’s odd we have to go to Florida to get a break from the heat wave. I think this is going to be a little different race than we have seen the past couple superspeedway races. With the elevated July air temperatures and restricted grill opening, it will be hard to keep the engines cool in the pack, so the two car tandem will be near impossible. You certainly won’t be able to push for very long. We have raced the car that we are taking in the last four superspeedway races. It’s been fast and stable in the race but not much of a qualifier. Joey is the best at restrictor plate racing in the Nationwide Series in my opinion. So we just plan on giving him a good piece and letting him work his magic.”

No. 20 Sport Clips Toyota / Joe Gibbs Racing Team:

Driver – Joey Logano Crew Chief – Adam Stevens Car Chief – Heath Landis Race Engineer – Curtis Ratzlaff Shock Specialist – Joel Weidman Front-end – Dave Rudy Rear-end – Chris “Yoshi” Jones Tire Specialist – Glen Wheeler Engine Tuner – Peter Jellen

Truck Driver – Tim Clancy Spotter: Rocky Ryan

Jackman – Jason Tate Gasman – John Eicher Front Tire Changer – John Royer Front Tire Carrier – Joe Crossen

Rear Tire Changer – Chris Taylor 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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