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Impressive Debut
07-27-2009, 02:39 PM
Post: #1
Impressive Debut
INDIANAPOLIS -- The word mature has been used to describe Joe Gibbs Racing rookie Joey Logano a lot lately.

But one could argue the adjective fit most on Sunday evident by the way Logano, 19, made his way through the field in his first outing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, one of the most technically difficult tracks NASCAR visits.



The youngest driver to make a start in the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, Logano was forced to start at the rear of the field due to an engine change. Nevertheless, he and the No. 20 team climbed into the top 15 in less than 100 laps and brought home a 12th-place finish.

He even showed maturity near the end during a battle with Juan Montoya, who dominated Sunday's race but faltered after a pit road speeding violation.

"We were racing hard," Logano said surveying his No. 20 Toyota after the 400-mile race. "Every position counts you know. We run hard. I didn't want to blow our good finish away though. It's like race hard but eventually enough is enough and you've got to be smart out there. We had a really good car. We took off on restarts like no other."

The team and crew chief, Greg Zipadelli, were pleased with the finish. Still, Logano regretted not being able to start closer to the front -- he originally qualified 18th.

"We could run with top-10 cars," he said. "We were as fast as anybody on the restarts, just at the end I started over-driving it and giving it all I had and killed the car. I've had to start in the back before for other reasons and had a real good race car. If we were at Charlotte or somewhere you can move around and pass race cars it wouldn't be a big deal, but here it's a big deal."

A big deal because passing is difficult. The racing groove is narrow at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the speeds are fast making it rather challenging heading into the corners.

Logano managed however to pass 31 cars, mostly in the short chute, he said.

"That was the best place for me. That way I could try and clear them before I get off to the big straightaway so I could keep some momentum going," Logano explained. "That's kind of a big deal there. That's probably the biggest part where it's hard to get them. You get them wherever the heck you can really. It's so tough. It's all about timing.


"You get behind these cars at the same speed or you're faster and I mean just get behind them and you're stuck. You're totally screwed and you can't do anything about it. ... So you've got to get them quick when you get there but you've got to have a plan while you creep up on them."

Zipadelli, who has two previous Brickyard wins with Tony Stewart, was impressed with Logano's run and the entire team's effort.

"It was a great day for our group, [Logano] did a great job all weekend," he said. "Those green flag runs gave us opportunity to gain track position and he's learning and he's doing better. The whole team is doing better and I couldn't be prouder."

The start of Logano's rookie season left opponents wondering if Joe Gibbs Racing made the decision to take Logano Cup racing too soon. But since Darlington and his Cup win at New Hampshire, the young racer has silenced the critics.

"You never die and keep digging and figuring all this out. The motivating part is, like I say, getting better every week and going to some of these places for the first time like here and running better than we would in the beginning of the season at a first-time place. That's motivating to me," Logano said.

"[We] ran good at Indy so that's pretty neat for the first time here and we had fun with it. Learned a lot and we'll come here next time and be even better."

[Image: joey-logano-loudon.jpg][Image: joeyLoganoBio_age6.jpg]
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07-27-2009, 10:54 PM
Post: #2
RE: Impressive Debut
I think if Joey didnt have to go to the back, he wouldve been in the top 10 all day and mightve won the race. Either way, Joey did great! Smile

*MJ* Big Grin
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07-29-2009, 04:10 PM
Post: #3
RE: Impressive Debut
I agree!
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07-30-2009, 12:20 PM
Post: #4
RE: Impressive Debut
Ohh. I read this article on NASCAR.com at work :]
Joey is pretty darn impressive, if I do say so myself.
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07-30-2009, 03:14 PM
Post: #5
RE: Impressive Debut
(07-30-2009 12:20 PM)Priyanka Wrote:  Ohh. I read this article on NASCAR.com at work :]
Joey is pretty darn impressive, if I do say so myself.

I agree!!

[Image: joey-logano-loudon.jpg][Image: joeyLoganoBio_age6.jpg]
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08-02-2009, 10:37 AM
Post: #6
RE: Impressive Debut
yeah, I think he would have had a top 10 but the win may have been tough. Than again there were only 2 cars in the field that could pass multiple cars (48 and the 20) so......
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