NASCAR Race Weekend Central

2014 NASCAR Driver Review: Joey Logano

Joey Logano

2014 Ride: No. 22 Team Penske Ford
2014 Crew Chief: Todd Gordon
2014 Points Finish: Fourth
2014 Stats: 36 starts, five wins, 16 top fives, 22 top 10s, one poles, 993 laps led, four DNFs, 9.8 average start, 11.3 average finish
2014 Best Finish: First, five times (Texas I, Richmond I, Bristol II, New Hampshire II, Kansas II)

High Point: Pick one. Logano’s season was littered with high points, from his electrifying last-lap pass to win the spring Texas race all the way through to his Chase victory at Kansas in the fall that locked him into the Eliminator Round. But if forced to pick just one, that Kansas victory would have to be it. Logano was riding high at that point in the Chase, as he had scored more points than anyone by that stage of the playoffs and appeared primed for a championship run, proving to all of his doubters that he will be a title threat for years to come.

Low Point: This one is pretty cut and dried. Logano’s team fought their way into the Championship 4 round at Homestead, and did so with the expectation of a trophy at the end of the race based on how well the team performed all year long. Instead, what they delivered was a series of bad pit stops in the second half of the race that essentially torpedoed any hope Logano had at capturing the championship.

Summary: Five wins, 16 top fives and a Championship 4 berth. You can’t ask for much more than that. Logano finally delivered the breakout season in 2014 that the sport has been waiting for for over a half a decade. Logano was fast at seemingly every race track, as evidenced by victories at tracks as disparate as Texas and Bristol. It took five years, but Logano finally showed gave us a peek at the kind of talent that made Mark Martin anoint him as Sliced Bread back in the mid-2000s.

Ultimately, Logano proved that he has what it takes to fight for championships on a yearly basis, and very well could have won the 2014 title outright had it not been for some bad pit stops. Now the question is, can he handle the pressure of being a yearly title contender going forward?

2015 Outlook: The No. 22 team put up some ridiculous numbers in 2014, and the law of averages would suggest that such gaudy results will be difficult to replicate every year. Nonetheless, this team is undoubtedly on the upswing and should be good for at least three wins and an Eliminator Round berth in 2015, if not more.

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kb

Mark Martin is often quoted as that coining that horrible nickname and old Mark never stopped anyone in an interview. That impossible nickname for anybody to live up to was given by Randy Lajoie. Hopefully that name is a thing of the past. Logano..isn’t fond of it either.

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