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?