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Kid Joey Logano is all grown up at age 20
01-26-2011, 09:43 PM
Post: #1
Kid Joey Logano is all grown up at age 20
A story about Joey Logano written by a journalist that's know him since he raced legends at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Quote:Rick Minter / Cox Newspapers

Atlanta— At some point in the past year, Joey Logano made the transition from kid to adult. Meeting with media members at Daytona International Speedway last week, Logano, who will turn 21 in May, was much more poised and confident than during his first two seasons on the Sprint Cup circuit.

He was comfortable speaking about his personal life, his relationship with crew chief Greg Zipadelli and his prospects for the coming season.

He had finally moved out of his parents' house into what he describes as a bachelor pad that he shares with fellow racer Coleman Pressley, son of former Cup driver Robert Pressley. When he set up residence in his new digs in Huntersville, N.C., Logano was far from prepared for the housekeeping that comes with it.

"It's an empty house," he said. "I have nothing. I moved over there with one pickup truck full of my clothes. I threw an air mattress on the (floor), and off I went."

He now has a bed, TV and other furniture. He's spent a lot of time and money at stores operated by his Cup sponsor, The Home Depot, in order to paint walls and put putty in holes.

"We're getting there slowly but surely," he said. "It's been fun, though. It's a cool adventure. I'm enjoying it."

Logano also appears more at ease when he's at work in the Cup series. He said the turnaround started toward the end of last season, when he posted seven finishes of seventh or better in the final 11 races. Of the 53 laps he led during the 2010 season, 40 of them came in that 11-race stretch run.

The surge came about, he said, because he and Zipadelli began working together better than they had in the past.

"We started really understanding each other and what kind of makes each other go," Logano said.

As he began running up front more, Logano said his relationships with other drivers changed, too. Most show him more regard.

"You've got to be up there running with them every week to get that respect from them," he said. "I think if you're up there one out of every three or four weeks they don't really care. You've got to be up there all of the time to get that respect back and forth."

Logano had several run-ins with veteran drivers last year, most notably Kevin Harvick, but won't let the past controversies weigh on him.

"I don't think you can talk to one race car driver in this whole garage that says he's never been in some kind of scuffle with anybody," he said.

Logano said it's too awkward and difficult for a teenage rookie to stand his ground.

"Now it's to the point that, OK, I've been here long enough," he said. "I feel like I'm considered one of the guys, if you want to say that. There's no reason to take that stuff anymore. You've got to stand up for yourself."

Logano finally has gotten to the point where he feels like the No. 20 Home Depot-sponsored car belongs to him, rather than to Tony Stewart, who drove it before starting his own team two years ago.

Perhaps the person who most appreciates what Logano has gone through is Zipadelli, who also was the No. 20 crew chief when Stewart was driving the car.

"Let's face it, he came in here at 19 years old, and he got put in a car (that had been driven by) arguably one of the best drivers the sport has seen," Zipadelli said. "He had huge shoes to fill in a lot of ways, from Tony's performance on the race track to his spirit off the race track. There were a lot of different things where he got thrown to the wolves.

"I think it took him the first year just to get through that and see whether he was going to be here."

The crew chief said Logano had a particularly difficult period his first year, when media members were questioning him about whether he was about to lose his ride because of poor performance.

"That kid was just crushed at that point that that could possibly happen to him," Zipadelli said. "I think we got through all that stuff at the end of the first year and were able to put that behind us."

From The Detroit News:
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01-28-2011, 02:18 PM
Post: #2
RE: Kid Joey Logano is all grown up at age 20
aww thats such a good story. interesting little facts about him in there.
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01-29-2011, 01:22 PM
Post: #3
RE: Kid Joey Logano is all grown up at age 20
Minter is a great writer and the piece was very well written. I mean, everyone who knew Joey's talent knew it was going to be a process but coming in with the Sliced Bread nickname, Mark Martin's statement and filling in the car of Tony Stewart, not many other drivers have had to do that in this sport at such a young age. Barring Harvick going into the Intimidator's car I think Joey was put in a situation that was hardest ever.
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