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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Tearing Apart the Trucks: Joey Logano Set to Debut at Talladega

After taking a weekend off, the Craftsman Truck Series returns to action Saturday afternoon at Talladega Superspeedway. Joey Logano will be making his Truck Series debut in the No. 59 Team ASE/Harris Trucking Toyota. Logano takes the place of Ted Musgrave, who resigned from HT Motorsports after being accused of intentionally wrecking his truck in practice at Las Vegas Motor Speedway two weeks ago.

Logano started racing quarter midgets when he was six years old. Within one year, Logano had already won his first Eastern Grand National Championship. When Joey was 15, Mark Martin told the NASCAR world to keep an eye on “the real deal.”

“I am high on Joey Logano because I am absolutely, 100% positive, without a doubt that he can be one of the greatest that ever raced in NASCAR,” Martin said. “I’m positive; there’s no doubt in my mind.”

Logano made his debut in the Nationwide Series just one week after turning 18; he finished sixth in the Heluva Good! 200. The 18-year-old scored his first win in one of NASCAR’s top-three series in just his third start and became the youngest winner in Nationwide Series history.

Logano should have started out in the CTS and gained as much experience as he could with a smaller field. Sure, he has already made a couple starts in the Sprint Cup Series, but neither one of those starts were anything to write home about – he finished 32nd (three laps down) at New Hampshire International Speedway and 39th (four laps down) at Kansas Speedway.

In late May, I wrote about what a valuable training ground the Truck Series really is, and I still stand by that belief. I would be more than happy to see 18-year-old Logano finish out the CTS schedule with HTM. The seat time he would have and the experience he would gain is very important to his future.

Racing with veterans like Mike Skinner, Ron Hornaday Jr. and Johnny Benson, the experience Logano will gain in this weekend alone can help him for years to come.

Did You Know?

  • Logano will be racing for Venturini Motorsports in the ARCA Re/Max Series Friday night at Talladega?
  • The total margin of victory in eight combined races at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway is 0.858 seconds?
  • Todd Bodine has won the 20th race on the schedule in three of the past four seasons?
  • John Andretti will be piloting the No. 15 Hyprene-Ergon Toyota again this weekend for Billy Ballew Motosports?
  • Skinner and Scott Speed will be sharing the No. 84 Red Bull Toyota in the Sprint Cup Series for the remainder of the season? The two will replace AJ Allmendinger; Skinner will run at Talladega Superspeedway and Lowe’s Motor Speedway, and Speed will race the remainder of the season.
  • Landon Cassill will be driving the No. 81 National Guard Chevrolet of Randy Moss Motorsports at Talladega? Cassill’s best finish for the team, third at the Milwaukee Mile in June, came before Randy Moss joined as co-owner.
  • Mike Wallace will return to the Truck Series for Germain Racing this weekend? Wallace will pilot the No. 9 GEICO Toyota Saturday afternoon.
  • American Motorcyclist Association champion Ricky Carmichael will run a partial schedule in the Truck Series next season? Kevin Harvick Inc. intends to field a third truck, but they’re still searching for a sponsor.

Quotable

“Talladega is your typical superspeedway where anything can happen and happens fast. We just have keep out of the big wreck and be there at the end of the race.” – Johnny Benson, who currently holds a one-point lead over Ron Hornaday Jr.

“Last year going into Talladega, I would say we were more on the conservative side. We were only three points behind Skinner and we just needed to make it out of Talladega with a good, solid finish and not try too hard and let one little mistake cause us to lose points. We need to have the same mindset this year.” – Ron Hornaday Jr.

“At tracks like Daytona and Talladega, so much of it is good fortune, pure and simple. It’s about getting the right break at the right time.” – Matt Crafton

“The hardest part of being a rookie in this type of racing is getting the feel of how the truck works in the draft, and hoping you have some friends out there to draft with you. The guy with the fastest truck can’t win this race alone.” – Colin Braun, Raybestos Rookie of the Year leader

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