'Silly Season' seems to start earlier and earlier in the season but regardless, names and teams are jockeying for jobs in 2012. Positioning for a driver involves being a winner, dealing with sponsors well, not using up equipment and a load of other factors involved with matching up personnel.
As teams head into summer, one of the more talked about rides is Joe Gibbs Racing's #20 Home Depot Toyota currently driven by Joey Logano (source - Jayski). Logano has not fared well after being signed when he hadn't even turned 18 yet. In his first three full seasons in NASCAR Sprint Cup, Logano had not finished higher than 16th in the points and had garnered all of one win, which he earned in only his 20th Cup start back in '09.
Promising in 2010
The following season in 2010, although Logano wasn't able to win, he did grab 16 Top 10s and before the season-ending race at Homestead, he had five straight Top 10s. It seemed he was ready to make the next move. But the next move never materialized unless you call a 24th in the final point standings and a tepid six Top 10s for the entire season a move … down.
Coming into 2012, with Logano in the final year of his contract, his seat was being shopped around. Different names have come up including that of his teammate's older brother, Kurt Busch. But they say timing is everything so while Kurt was on a one-race suspension (see related articles) for losing his cool during an interview, Logano won his second Cup race this past week at Pocono. The win moved Logano into a tie for 14th place in the points with Ryan Newman (another so-called rumored driver being talked about for the #20 seat). So when you figure on tiebreakers with the wildcard - Logano would currently be in the Chase (playoffs) if it started now.
Add to this win the fact that Logano has driven to victory lane in four Nationwide events out of only 10 attempts this year, and all-of-a-sudden, he's one of the hotter drivers in the series. So the question is: Did Logano earn another contract with JGR?
Potential is a loosely used word but certainly Logano has it in boatloads. But is his winning too little, too late? Is this just a streak he's on where he'll just go back to wallowing around the middle of the pack? Sponsorship also matters so Home Depot will obviously be involved in the decision process as well.
At 22, Logano potentially has many more years of racing in NASCAR; and without a doubt, he has at least attained a tenable position with JGR. Whether his ride is predicated on winning more races and being in the Chase is unknown, but if this highly talented young driver finally starts reaching some of that long-awaited potential (there's that word again) , he just may be with JGR for several more years to come.
Sources - Yahoo! Sports, NASCAR
Daryle has been involved in motorsports most of his life and has three decades of experience inside racemarketing, plus for several years has blogged about every type of racing.
- Motor Racing
- Sports & Recreation
- Joey Logano
- Joe Gibbs Racing