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Published on June 7th, 2012 | by Michael J Smith

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Should Joe Gibbs Racing Re-Sign Joey Logano?

With each passing Sprint Cup Series race, the questions surrounding Joey Logano’s future at Joe Gibbs Racing will grow louder. Logano is in the final year of his contract, and could find himself out at JGR at season’s end. Should JGR re-sign the driver once heralded as “the greatest thing since sliced bread”?

Logano has posted lackluster results since taking over the famed No. 20 Home Depot car made famous by now three-time champion Tony Stewart. (Two of those championships came in the No. 20.) Logano has only one win to his credit in about three and a half seasons – the rain-shortened Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2009 – and has almost as many DNFs (11) as he does Top 5s (14). Logano also has 20 finishes of 30th or worse, which translates into an average of about one every six races. That’s not awful, but it isn’t very good either.

The most comparable driver to Logano in the Cup series is Brad Keselowski. Both he and Logano made their Cup debuts in 2008. Keselowski ran 15 races in 2009, Logano’s first full season, before switching to Cup full time in 2010.

Logano’s numbers aren’t that far from Keselowski’s. Logano has 14 Top 5s, compared to 15 for Keselowski. He has seven more Top 10s (33) than Keselowski (26). In 22 fewer starts than Logano, Keselowski has 18 finishes of 30th or worse, which is actually a worse average than Logano, and Keselowski has three fewer DNFs. But, the most glaring difference is that Keselowski has six wins while Logano only has one.

And that stat may be what leads JGR to let him go.

For his part, Joe Gibbs, owner of JGR, told the Sporting News:

He’s 21 years old. He’s one of the youngest guys out there. He’s stepped up this year to 15th in points. That’s been an improvement but he’s still not where our other two cars are. That’s the goal — get him to where our other two cars are. And, we have a lot invested in Joey. We really like him.

Still, that’s not saying much.

Would you re-sign Logano, if you were JGR? Let us know in the comments.

Update: Following the writing of this article, Logano went on to win his second career victory, taking the checkered flag of the Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway. This victory might have made the decision much easier for JGR. While it doesn’t change the stats much for Logano, it does prove that he can at least drive to victory without having to rely on the weather.

Does this change your opinion on whether or not Logano should be re-signed?

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About the Author

Michael J. Smith is a NASCAR enthusiast and blogger. In addition to founding this website, Michael is a journalist with over a decade of experience writing for prestigious media organizations.



13 Responses to Should Joe Gibbs Racing Re-Sign Joey Logano?

  1. Justin L. says:

    One thing you forgot to mention is his Nationwide stats with the team.

    He’s won 13 races behind the wheel of a JGR car. They can’t overlook that.

  2. Michael J Smith says:

    Thanks for reading and for commenting Justin.

    That’s a very good point. But, do you think it is wise to re-sign Logano for a Cup ride based on what he does in the Nationwide Series? I’m not sure it is. But, it also depends on who else is available. Is Logano a better option than Brian Vickers or Kurt Busch? I don’t know. There are pros and cons with each of those guys and its up to JGR to figure them out.

  3. Steven says:

    It’s obvious that Home Depot has no chance of competing against the Lowes/Johnson car with Logano drivng. Just as obvious is that results of the Gibbs Nationwide cars are great no matter who is driving. I want to see Wallace, Truex and Blaney get a chance to race with a top notch team. Joey has had his chance.

  4. Jeff Marcosky says:

    The real question is…at some point Home Depot is going to want to see there car in the winners circle, not getting lapped.

    Sure Joey has some Nationwide wins but that has absolutly nothing to do with the Sprint cup ride.

    If Home Depot wants another driver then Joe Gibbs Racing releases Lagano and finds another driver. Or,HD leaves and end up at Stewart/Hass where they are rumored to be going anyway.

  5. Michael J Smith says:

    Thanks for reading and for commenting, Steven.

    You make a good point. But, I’m wondering if Joey Logano was moved up to Cup too fast. I think he was, and there’s a good chance that moving Darrell Wallace, Ryan Truex or Ryan Blaney (who I assume you’re talking about) up too quickly would put them in the same boat as Logano.

    With that said, I think that in three and a half years, if you haven’t shown what you’re capable of, then there is something wrong with you. I think Logano has had his chance.

  6. Michael J Smith says:

    Thanks for reading and for commenting, Jeff.

    You’re absolutely right. Home Depot, and other sponsors, may force JGR’s hand in the matter. HD’s contract expires at the end of the season, if I am not mistaken. So, they may leave. But, if they give JGR an ultimatum to replace the driver or they won’t re-sign, I think they’ll have to get rid of Logano.

    It will also depend largely on who is available, and how they feel about their stable of young drivers — whether or not one of them is ready to step up into Cup.

  7. Brian 97 says:

    Joey is and was not ready for Cup. Gibbs needs to put him in the Nationwide Series for a few years more. The problem is that Cup owners push kids into the Cup series too soon. They all have Jeff Gordon syndrome. Bring in youth and burn them out before they are really ready. I really think that Joe Gibbs can do something with Kurt Busch, I really do. He would be an instance success in the 20!

  8. Keith Murray says:

    I would have loved to see Joey be successful, but he has no excuses. He had a top-tier, championship crew chief for two years and is driving for a top-tier team. I hate to say it because I like Joey, but JD and the boys need to fill that ride wit a winner. There is too much talent out there to keep fielding a field filler. Nice article.

  9. Michael J Smith says:

    Thanks for reading and for commenting Brian.

    I completely agree. He could definitely win some races with Kurt Busch. The question is, will JGR think Busch is worth the headaches he brings? Also, would a sponsor be willing to put up with him? Still, if you have one Busch, why not have two?

  10. Michael J Smith says:

    Thanks for commenting Keith.

    I like Joey too and I think he has the skills to be successful. But, I think he should’ve run more Nationwide Series races before moving to Cup.

    When you have a sponsor like Home Depot on a top tier car, that car needs to be up front, plain and simple. And with Logano, so far, it really hasn’t.

  11. Josh says:

    If I were Gibbs, I would resign Joey. However, I would “demote” him in a sense and make him run for the Nationwide title instead like Penske did with Sam Hornish Jr. It would help rebuild his confidence and it would also strengthen the Nationwide program if Brian Scott had a consistent teammate to work with, making Dollar General happy. Joey when he’s ready could run a 4th R&D car in Cup.
    Now for the actual 20 car? Kurt Busch is probably the best available talent but there are other drivers like Brian Vickers or David Reutimann who ran well and won races despite inferior equipment. With all these options, I think Joey is going to be shown the door in Cup if he doesn’t step up his game in this upcoming summer stretch of races.

  12. Michael J Smith says:

    Thanks for commenting, John.

    I think re-signing Logano for a Nationwide ride would be a good idea, if he were willing to re-sign to drive in the Nationwide Series full time.

    I also think Busch is the best available talent out there, but is he worth the headache? I don’t know; JGR may think so.

    I don’t think I would sign Reutimann. I like the guy, but he’s comparable to Logano, though he has one more win. Maybe if Reuti won 4 or 5 races, I would feel more comfortable.

    Vickers is intruiging.He has two wins, and seems too talented to not be in a competitive machine. I just wonder why he isn’t getting calls.

  13. Pingback: Kenseth Leaving RFR; Stenhouse To Cup In 2013 | Lead Lap's NASCAR News

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