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With his victory in Nov. 6, 2022, NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race, Joey Logano won his second series title in his 14th full season of racing at NASCAR’s highest level.
Two-time champion Kyle Busch is the only other active driver with more than one title in NASCAR’s premier division.
From a shaky start as a teenager, Logano has become one of stock car racing’s elite drivers, with an unrelenting competitive fire that accounts for his win-or-bust mentality.
Born in Middletown, Connecticut, Joey Logano began his racing career as a six-year-old, driving quarter midget. A year later, he won his first title, the Eastern Grand National Championship in the Junior Stock Car Division.
Logano’s rise to NASCAR national series racing was meteoric. In 2008, he made his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut at Dover International Speedway. That same year, he became the youngest winner in series history with a victory at Kentucky Speedway.
In 2009, Logano began his full-time Cup Series career as a 19-year-old—put in the unenviable position of replacing three-time series champion Tony Stewart in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, after Stewart left to join Gene Haas Cup effort as a co-owner/driver.
Logano’s tenure at Joe Gibbs Racing failed to live up to the expectations he had engendered as a young racer.
Veteran Randy Lajoie had dubbed him “Sliced Bread” (as in Best Thing Since) based on Logano’s early exploits, but the young driver struggled as he tried to fill Stewart’s shoes in the vaunted No. 20 car.
Yes, Logano won a rain-shortened race at New Hampshire in his first full season, becoming the series’ youngest winner at 19 years, 35 days, but he wouldn’t win again for JGR until 2012 at Pocono, where he started from the pole.
JGR discarded Logano in favor of veteran Matt Kenseth to start the 2013 season, but owner Roger Penske hired Logano and gave his career an opportune second chance. Logano responded with 12 victories over the next three seasons.
In 2015, the second year of NASCAR’s elimination Playoff format, Logano swept the three races in the Round of 12 (Charlotte, Kansas and Talladega) and appeared headed for his first Cup title.
But in spinning Kenseth for the win at Kansas, Logano angered the veteran, who exacted his revenge in the first Round of 8 race at Martinsville. With Logano leading on Lap 453 of 500, Kenseth pile-drove Logano’s No. 22 Ford into the Turn 1 wall.
Kenseth earned a two-race suspension for the wanton contact, but the accident effectively eliminated Logano from the Playoffs.
Logano had to wait three more years for his first championship. In 2018 he outran fellow Championship 4 contenders Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch to win the season finale and the title at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Four years later, Logano earned his second championship at Phoenix Raceway, where he led 187 of 312 laps and dominated the action to become only the second active multiple championship winner in the series.
The victory at Phoenix was the 31st of Logano’s career.
In 2022, Penske announced a long-term contract extension that will keep Logano with the organization.
Award-winning motorsports writer Reid Spencer has served as lead writer for the NASCAR Wire Service for 16 years, having also spent a four-year stint as NASCAR columnist and beat writer for Sporting News. He is currently serving as president of the National Motorsports Press Association. Email: [email protected]More info on Reid Spencer
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