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From the Marbles

2012 season in the rear view: Joey Logano

Vitals: 17th in the points standings. 1 win, 2 top 5s, 12 top 10s. 3 DNFs.

Moment to remember: Logano started and finished first in the spring Pocono race, leading 49 of the race's 160 laps. And he made his pass for the lead on Mark Martin on lap 157 with authority.

After looking to the inside down the frontstretch, Logano entered turn one on Martin's bumper and made slight contact with Martin's rear. That was enough to move Martin up the track and opened the inside for Logano to shoot through for the lead.

It was a risky move; had Logano hit Martin harder, it could have sent Martin (and Logano) careening into the fence. Had Logano backed off, he would have lost his momentum and may never have gotten to Martin's bumper again. He had his run, he went for it, and he got it, notching his second career Cup Series win.

Moment to forget: That win at Pocono put Logano in the thick of Wild Card contention at 14th place in the points standings. He would never be any higher. The following week at Michigan, Logano crashed on the backstretch after moving to avoid David Gilliland and finished 35th, falling to 15th in the standings.

The wrap: So, how did Logano end up 18th in the points standings with 12 top 10 finishes? Easy answer: 13 finishes below 20th place. The Loganocoaster was climbing and diving at a high rate of speed throughout 2012 and there were more valleys than peaks between that Pocono win and the Chase. In the 12 races that Logano had to grab a second win and really be a Wild Card contender, he finished in the top 10 three times and 30th or worse three times. If the Loganocoaster is a little more even-keeled in 2013, he could be a Chase contender in his new ride at Penske Racing.

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