Joey Logano / No. 18 GameStop Toyota Preview
Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway
No. 18 GameStop Toyota News, Notes & Paint Scheme:
. KANSAS IS THE NEW KENTUCKY???: Joey Logano is well known for his record at Kentucky Speedway. Prior to this season, Logano scored three-straight poles and three-straight victories at the 1.5-mile track. This year, a fuel mileage race ensued and Logano was left with 10th-place finish after having to go into gas conservation mode late. However, Kentucky isn’t the only track that Logano shows a fond liking to. In fact, now that his Kentucky streak is over, Logano might be able to start a new three-peat at Kansas Speedway. Logano has won the last two NASCAR Nationwide Series events at Kansas Speedway and will be looking to make it three-in-a-row this weekend in the Kansas Lottery 300. Logano won at Kansas in 2009 after starting from the seventh position and holding off a spirited charge from teammate Kyle Busch. Logano then backed it up last year, grabbing the pole and winning again, leading the final six laps after grabbing the lead once again from Busch.
. DARK KNIGHT RIDES ALONG IN KANSAS: GameStop returns as the primary sponsor of Joey Logano and the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota this weekend. And Batman: Arkham City will be the featured game on the side of the car this week. Batman: Arkham City builds upon the intense, atmospheric foundation of Batman: Arkham Asylum, sending players soaring into Arkham City, the new maximum security home for all of Gotham City’s thugs, gangsters and insane criminal masterminds. Set inside the heavily fortified walls of a sprawling district in the heart of Gotham City, this highly anticipated sequel introduces a brand-new story that draws together a new all-star cast of classic characters and murderous villains from the Batman universe, as well as a vast range of new and enhanced gameplay features to deliver the ultimate experience as the Dark Knight. The game is set to release from Warner Brothers on October 18th and will be available for Xbox 360, PS3, Wii and PC.
. No. 18 TEAM STILL LEADING POINTS, GETTING TIGHT: Joey Logano will help the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota continue its quest for the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series Owner’s Championship this weekend at Kansas Speedway. The last two weekends, the No. 60 Roush Fenway team has cut into the lead of the No. 18 Toyota, which now stands at 13 points with just five races remaining in the 2011 Nationwide Series season. Logano and the No. 18 team have an 81-point lead over the No. 6 team of Roush Fenway Racing, who sits in third. This season, the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota team has recorded seven wins, 16 top-five finishes and 22 top-10s. Drivers who have shared the ride this season include Kyle Busch (18 starts, two poles, seven wins, 16 top-10s), Michael McDowell (five starts, one pole, four top-10s), Kelly Bires (two starts, one top-10) and Drew Herring (one start, one top-10), along with two starts for Logano.
. A LOOK BACK AT LAST WEEK: Logano and the No. 18 Toyota ended the race last weekend strong. running the fastest lap times of anyone on the track for the last 30 circuits of the event. Unfortunately, the team was trapped a lap down and never got a caution to get the “lucky dog” and get back on the lead lap. The No. 18 team pitted for a scheduled stop while running in the top-10 under green-flag conditions late in the race and went two laps down in the process. However, before pit stops cycled through and all of the leaders came in for their stops, a caution came out, trapping Logano and the team two laps down. They were able to take the wave around and get one of their laps back, but the final 30-plus laps of the event went green with Logano running faster lap times than anyone else on the track.
. CHASSIS: The JGR team will bring chassis #117 to the track this weekend at Kansas. That particular chassis has been a long-time backup and will see its first race of the year as a primary. Chassis #132 will serve as the team’s backup car.
. STAT OF THE WEEK: 3.7, Two stats for Logano equal 3.7 at Kansas Speedway. First, Logano leads all active NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers in average finish at Kansas Speedway with a 3.7 (two wins, one ninth-place). Also, even though Logano has two wins at the track, he has led just 22 total laps or 3.7% of the laps he’s run at Kansas Speedway.
. THE RACE: The Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway (Kansas City, KS; 1.5-mile tri-oval) is set for Saturday, October 8, 2011. The race will be broadcast on ESPN2 at 3:30 p.m. ET, with radio coverage on MRN starting at 3:00 p.m. ET.
Joey Logano Quotes:
“Everyone always talks to me about Kentucky and I love that track for obvious reasons, but I’ve been fortunate enough to have a lot of success at Kansas Speedway as well and I really enjoy going to that track and running there. Yeah, there are similarities between Kentucky and Kansas and that sure has helped over the years, but it doesn’t matter if you were to try and build two identical tracks in every sense of the word, there would still be differences between the two of them and you know those differences when you get to the track. I’ve always been really comfortable on the mile-and-a-half tracks and that has showed with my past performance. I think I have something like six wins on those style of tracks. And working with Joe Gibbs Racing doesn’t hurt. We’ve always been strong on the mile-and-a-halfs.
“We’ve had a couple of tough weeks the last two times out in the Nationwide car, so I’m ready to get back to the front and challenge for the win. We had something wrong with the car in Chicagoland that was beyond our control and last week at Dover, we were strong, especially there at the end but we got caught a couple of laps down by an ill-timed caution. There is nothing you can do about stuff like that. The best thing you can do it just bounce back and that is the plan this weekend in Kansas.
“I’m looking forward to wrapping up the season with GameStop. We’ve got five races left and all five will be with them. We haven’t been able to get them a win yet, but I feel pretty good it will happen at one of these five races before the season is out. Kansas, Charlotte, Texas, Phoenix and Homestead are all really good tracks for me and for JGR. And there is a lot of incentive to get GameStop a win before the year is out. I’m going for it these last five races, that’s for sure.”
No. 18 GameStop Toyota / Joe Gibbs Racing Team
Driver – Joey Logano Crew Chief – Jason Ratcliff Car Chief – Charlie Brock
Race Engineer – Matt Lucas Shock Specialist – Brad Rothlin Front-end Mechanic – Todd Brewer
Rear-end Mechanic – Jason Clements Tire Specialist – Matt Sauer Setup Specialist – Kevin Kelley
Engine Tuner – Chris Woodward Truck Driver – Dennis Valverde