Logano to reach 600 starts across NASCAR at Texas

When Joey Logano takes the green flag for the upcoming O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 19, he will reach a significant milestone of his racing career. By starting this weekend’s race at the Lone Star state, Logano will reach 600 starts across NASCAR’s three major division series, (NASCAR Cup, Xfinity and Truck Series).

A native from Middletown, Connecticut, Logano’s racing career started at age six when he was racing quarter midgets. After racing in Late Models and various stock cars series throughout his early youth, he competed in the Camping World East Series, (known today as ARCA Menards Series East), in 2007. He ended up winning the series championship in a season where he won five races, including the Toyota All-Star Showdown at California’s Irwindale Speedway in October.

The 2008 season would serve as Logano’s breakthrough year, which started when he won his first ARCA Series race in his series debut at Rockingham Speedway in May. More than three weeks later, he made his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut at Dover International Speedway. Driving the No. 20 GameStop Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing, he finished sixth in his series debut. The following race at Nashville Superspeedway in June, Logano recorded his first career pole. During the race at Nashville, Logano led 64 laps before he was involved in a wreck shy of the halfway mark and he settled in 31st. The following race at Kentucky Speedway, Logano started on pole for a second consecutive race and this time, he led 76 laps and scored his first Xfinity career win in his third series start. With his victory, Logano became the youngest winner in the Xfinity Series at age 18 years and 21 days, (surpassing Casey Atwood’s record of 18 years, 10 months and nine days old accomplished in 1999). He competed in 16 more Xfinity races in 2008, where he recorded 12 top-10 results, a pair of runner-up results at Milwaukee and Gateway in June and two more poles at Richmond in September and at Homestead in November. By finishing 10th in the finale at Homestead, Logano also delivered Joe Gibbs Racing’s first owners’ title in the Xfinity Series. He also competed in one NASCAR Truck Series race at Talladega Superspeedway in October, where he finished 26th while driving for HT Motorsports.

In August 2008, Joe Gibbs Racing announced that Logano will be moving up to the NASCAR Cup Series to drive the iconic No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry in 2009, replacing Tony Stewart, who was set to form and drive for Stewart-Haas Racing. Prior to his rookie Cup season, he made his series debut at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September 2008, driving the No. 96 Home Depot/DLP HDTV Toyota Camry for Hall of Fame Racing in a technical partnership with JGR. Finishing 32nd in his Cup debut, he qualified for two more Cup races at Kansas Speedway in September with Hall of Fame Racing and at Texas Motor Speedway in November with JGR. His finishes were 39th and 40th.

Entering the 2009 season as a Cup Rookie-of-the-Year candidate, Logano made his first Cup start in the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota in the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway in February, where he finished last of the 28-car field after being involved in an early multi-car wreck. He rebounded by finishing fourth in the first Gatorade Duel at Daytona, but finished last of the 43-car field in the rain-shortened Daytona 500 after being involved in a single-car wreck near the midway point of the race. After finishing no higher than 13th in the first eight Cup races of 2009, Logano recorded his first top-10 result at Talladega Superspeedway in April. The following month at Darlington Raceway, he had a stellar performance, where he led 19 laps and finished ninth. He would record another ninth-place result in the rain-shortened Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte’s Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The previous week, he won the Fan Vote and made his All-Star Race debut, where he finished eighth. In June at New Hampshire, Logano’s home track and the same racetrack where he made his Cup debut the previous season, he rallied from a midway spin to stretch his fuel cell to the fullest and emerge with the lead over Jeff Gordon and Kurt Busch when the caution fell due to rain. Shortly after, the race was declared official due to weather and Logano was awarded his first Cup win in his 20th series start. With the victory, he became the youngest Cup winner at age 19 years, one month and four days old. For the remainder of his rookie Cup season, he recorded three more top-10 results, including a fifth-place result at Charlotte in October and a third-place result at Talladega in November, and he claimed the Rookie-of-the-Year title over Scott Speed despite finishing 20th in the final standings.

Throughout the 2009 season, Logano also competed in 22 of 35 NASCAR Xfinity Series races. He won five races in five different tracks that included Nashville, Kentucky, Chicagoland, Kansas and at Auto Club Speedway. He also recorded four poles, 13 top-five results and 16 top-10 results, all while driving Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 20 GameStop Toyota Camry.

In 2010, Logano went winless, but he recorded his first Cup career pole at Bristol Motor Speedway in March. He recorded seven top-five results and 16 top-10 results while concluding the year in 16th in the standings, four spots better than his rookie season. He also competed in 25 of the 35-race schedule in the Xfinity Series, where he won two races and eight poles while recording 15 top-five results and 24 top-10 results. By then, Logano had surpassed 100 starts across NASCAR’s three major division series.

The year 2011 was one of Logano’s disappointing years, though he reached 200 division starts in NASCAR. In the Cup Series, he went winless again, but he recorded two poles, four top-five results and six top-10 results while concluding the season in 24th in the final standings with no opportunity in making the Chase and competing for the title. In the Xfinity Series, Logano recorded a single victory at Daytona International Speedway in July. He also recorded a pole, eight top-five results and 15 top-10 results in 22 starts.

The following season, Logano was paired with veteran crew chief Jason Ratcliff when longtime crew chief Greg Zipadelli left JGR for Stewart-Haas Racing. In his first 13 Cup races with Ratcliff, Logano’s only top-10 results came in the season-opening Daytona 500 in February and at Dover in June. Shortly after, Logano dominated and prevailed over a late battle with his childhood hero, Mark Martin, to notch his second NASCAR Cup career win at Pocono Raceway, first since winning the rain-shortened event at New Hampshire in 2009. With the breakthrough win, Logano became the first Cup competitor to win a race from the pole in 30 races as he also claimed his first Cup victory in a race spanning through its scheduled distance. The victory was also the first in the Cup Series for crew chief Ratcliff. Throughout the 2012 Cup season, however, he recorded two poles, two top-five results and 12 top-10 results while concluding the season in 17th in the final standings, missing the Chase in his fourth season in the series.

The 2012 Xfinity Series season was Logano’s breakout year, where he won a season-high nine races in eight different tracks, among which included Auto Club, Talladega, Darlington, Dover, Michigan, Bristol, Charlotte and Phoenix. Throughout the 33-race Xfinity schedule, he competed in 22 races and along with his nine victories, he recorded six poles, 12 top-five results and 17 top-10 results, all while serving as one of many competitors who contributed to delivering the fourth Xfinity owners’ title to Joe Gibbs Racing.

The 2013 season came with a fresh start for Logano when he was released from Joe Gibbs Racing and the Connecticut native joined forces with team owner Roger Penske to drive the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion led by crew chief Todd Gordon while paired with the reigning Cup champion Brad Keselowski. In his first Cup season with the Penske organization, Logano won at Michigan in August 2013, recorded two poles, a career-high 11 top-five results, a career-high 19 top-10 results and a career-high 323 laps led, all while making his first Chase appearance and finishing eighth in the final standings. He also competed in 15 Xfinity Series races in the No. 22 Hertz/Discount Tire Ford Mustang for the Penske organization, where he won three races and was one of four competitors who contributed to delivering the first Xfinity owners’ championship for Roger Penske by a single point. In addition, he made three NASCAR Truck Series starts in the No. 19 Reese Towpower/Draw-Tite Ford F-150 for Brad Keselowski Racing. His best result was a runner-up finish at Rockingham Speedway in April behind rookie Kyle Larson. By then, he had surpassed 300 starts across NASCAR’s three major division series.

The following season, Logano recorded five wins in the NASCAR Cup Series in five different tracks that included Texas, Richmond and Bristol in the regular season, and New Hampshire and Kansas in the Chase. To go along with a pole, 16 top-five results, 22 top-10 results and 993 laps led throughout the season, Logano was one of four competitors vying for the 2014 Cup title in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. During the finale, a late pit road error, where the jack dropped and the driver lost numerous spots on pit road, cost Logano and the No. 22 Penske team a shot for the title as he settled in fourth in the final standings. Throughout the 2014 season, Logano competed in 10 Xfinity races, where he went winless despite recording three poles and nine top-10 results, and serving as one of five competitors who contributed to achieving the second consecutive owners’ title for Team Penske in the Xfinity Series. He also made two Truck starts for Brad Keselowski Racing, finishing third and 18th in his two races.

In 2015, Logano won a season-high six races, including the Daytona 500, Watkins Glen International following a last-lap pass on Kevin Harvick, a victory in the Bristol Night Race for the second consecutive year and three consecutive races in the Round of 12 in the Playoffs at Charlotte, Kansas and Talladega. Logano’s championship hopes, however, came to an end during the Round of 8, starting at Martinsville Speedway in November when he was deliberately wrecked out by Matt Kenseth as a result of retaliation when Logano spun Kenseth for the win at Kansas a couple weeks earlier. The following week at Texas, Logano’s blew a tire and spun while damaging his car, where he ended up in 40th. Despite finishing third the next week at Phoenix, Logano was eliminated from title contention as he concluded the season in sixth in the final standings and in a year where he recorded six poles, 22 top-five results and 28 top-10 results. He also made 11 starts in the Xfinity Series, where he won four races, and one start in the Truck Series at Martinsville Speedway in March, where he won for the first time in the series. To July 2020, Logano is one of 33 competitors to win across NASCAR’s three major division series. At the time the 2015 season concluded, Logano had also surpassed 400 starts across the three division series.

In 2016, Logano won three races, including the All-Star Race at Charlotte and the penultimate race of the season at Phoenix that enabled him to secure a spot in the Championship Round at Homestead. At Homestead, he rallied from a late restart incident, where he made contact with title contender Carl Edwards, to finish fourth in the finale, but runner up in the title battle behind Jimmie Johnson. He also made 13 starts in the Xfinity Series and won twice.

Following a dismal 2017 season, where he won a single race at Richmond that was encumbered due to a violation discovered during post-race inspection that prevented him from making the Playoffs, Logano had surpassed 500 starts across NASCAR’s three major division series. In 2018, he won three races and claimed his first Cup championship with a victory in the finale at Homestead. With the championship, Logano became the 34th competitor to win a Cup title as he also recorded the second Cup championship for Team Penske and the first for crew chief Todd Gordon.

Following a productive 2019 season, where he won two races and finished fifth in the final standings, Logano started the 2020 Cup season by making his 400th series start in the Daytona 500, his first race paired with veteran crew chief Paul Wolfe. After finishing 26th due to being involved in a late accident, Logano rebounded by winning at Las Vegas Motor Speedway following a late restart. Two weeks later, Logano won for the second time of this season at Phoenix.

Through the first 17 Cup races of this season, Logano has recorded three top-five results and seven top-10 results. He is ranked fifth in the regular-season standings, trailing points leader Kevin Harvick by 111 points, but is guaranteed a spot in the 2020 Playoffs by virtue of his two recorded wins this season.

In his previous 599 division starts in NASCAR, Logano has won 25 Cup races, 30 Xfinity races and one Truck race.

Catch Logano’s milestone start in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on July 19 at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

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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