Joey Logano / No. 18 Sport Clips Toyota Preview
Dollar General 300 at Chicagoland Speedway
No. 18 Sport Clips Toyota News & Notes:
. LOGANO HELPING JGR No. 18 IN SEARCH FOR OWNER’S TITLE: While most people are used to seeing Joey Logano behind the wheel of the No. 20 Toyota in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, this weekend things will look a little different. Logano will pilot the No. 18 Sport Clips Toyota, normally run by Kyle Busch, this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway in an effort to help the No. 18 team win its third-straight NASCAR Nationwide Series Owner’s Championship and fourth-straight for Joe Gibbs Racing as an organization. Logano was a part of the championship winning team from 2008, when he and several other drivers shared duties in the No. 20 JGR Toyota. The last two seasons (2009, 2010), Kyle Busch and others have helped the No. 18 JGR team win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Owner’s Championship. Heading into this weekend’s event at Chicagoland, the No. 18 team holds a 48-point lead over the No. 60 Roush-Fenway Racing team and a 100-point lead over the No. 6 Roush-Fenway Racing team with just seven races remaining. Busch, Kelly Bires, Michael McDowell and Drew Herring have all spent time behind the wheel of the No. 18 JGR Toyota during the 2011 season. It won’t be Logano’s first time ever driving the No. 18 in Nationwide Series competition. He drove the No. 18 Toyota during his rookie season of 2008 at Michigan, finishing seventh.
. SPORT CLIPS CONTINUES PARTNERSHIP WITH JGR AND LOGANO: Sport Clips, a national sport-themed hair-care franchise for men and boys that can be found in 38 states, will continue its partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway by sponsoring the No. 18 Toyota driven by Joey Logano. This will mark the second race of the season Sport Clips has rode on the side of the No. 18 and the eighth race overall they have sponsored a JGR racecar in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The season has been a successful one for Sport Clips, as they’ve racked up two wins, coming with Denny Hamlin in Richmond and Logano at Daytona, a race Logano called the biggest win of his career. Founded in 1995, Sport Clips has over 810 stores nationwide, including 54 Chicago area locations. Sport Clips will also be the primary sponsor on the No. 18 Toyota at Dover International Speedway in October with Logano behind the wheel.
. LOGANO-BUSCH ONE-TWO BECOMING A NORM: Despite the fact that JGR teammate Kyle Busch is taking this weekend off in Chicago, the two recorded their 10th-career one-two finish a few weeks ago at Bristol in an amazing photo finish. In fact, both of Logano’s races at Chicagoland Speedway have resulted in one-two finishes between he and Busch. In 2009, Logano beat Busch to the checkers, while last season, it was Busch getting the upper hand. Logano and Busch have finished first and second in 10 races since the start of the 2009 season. Of those 10 head-to-head battles, Logano has won four (Nashville 2009, Kentucky 2009, Chicago 2009, Kansas 2009) and Busch six (Loudon 2009, Texas 2010, Chicago 2010, Dover 2010, Talladega 2011, Bristol 2011).
. CHASSIS: The JGR team will take chassis #132 to Chicagoland Speedway. That chassis last raced at Loudon, where Logano ran in the top-five much of the race before two late spins ended his day early. The team will take chassis #117 as a backup.
. STAT OF THE WEEK: 7, 16, 22 The No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota team has recorded seven wins, 16 top-five finishes and 22 top-10s this season. 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) behind the wheel.
. THE RACE: The Dollar General 300 at Chicagoland Speedway (Joliet, IL; 1.5-mile D-shaped oval) is set for Saturday afternoon, September 17th, 2011. The race will be broadcast on ESPN2 at 3:30 p.m. EST, with radio coverage on MRN starting at 3:00 p.m. EST.
Joey Logano Quotes:
“I’m ready to get back in the Nationwide car this weekend at Chicagoland. Chicago has been a really good track for me on the Nationwide side. I’ve got a first and a second in my two races there. That is a pretty good track record I guess. And it’s a track that I like a lot. There are some similarities to Kentucky, where we’ve always been pretty good as well. Kentucky, Kansas and Chicago have been three really good tracks for me in my Nationwide Series career and I’ve won at all three, so that goes to show you we’ve always been strong on the 1.5-mile tracks. This year, we haven’t been as strong on the mile-and-half tracks with the new Nationwide Series car, but we are getting there. We are learning things at each track we go to and using that to make the cars better for the next time we go back to one. We’ve got our work cut out for us because some of the other cars have been really strong on the intermediate tracks, but I have total confidence in my guys. Every time we unload at the track, I feel like we have a shot to win and it will be no different this weekend.
“The crazy thing about this weekend will be driving the No. 18. It will be weird to climb in the window of the car and see the No. 18 on the side instead of the No. 20. But that is what we need to do as an organization to help the No. 18 team win the Owner’s Championship. This team has had a lot of great runs this year and won a lot of races with Kyle. Hopefully we can go out there and get another win and help extend that points lead. And, at the end of the year, it would be pretty cool to know you were a part of helping the team win a third-straight Nationwide Series Owner’s Championship and four-straight for Joe Gibbs Racing.
“I was fortunate enough to be a part of the Championship team from 2008 when we won it with the No. 20 team. That was an amazing feeling and started a pretty strong stretch for JGR as an organization. I know Joe (Gibbs), JD (Gibbs), Steve (DeSouza) and everyone associated with the Joe Gibbs Racing Nationwide program takes great pride in it and that winning the Owner’s Championship is something we want to do going into the year. To be able to win four-straight Owner’s titles, especially with the number of different drivers who have been in the No. 18 this year and the really tough competition that the Nationwide Series has this year, would be amazing feat.”
No. 18 Sport Clips Toyota / Joe Gibbs Racing Team
Driver – Joey Logano Crew Chief – Adam Stevens Car Chief – Mike Sibley
Race Engineer – Curtis Ratzlaff Shock Specialist – Joel Weidman Front-end – Nick Fuller
Rear-end – Dave Rudy Tire Specialist – Chris “Yoshi” Jones Engine Tuner – Roger Purcell
Truck Driver – Tim Clancy Jackman – Jason Tate Gasman – John Eicher
Front Tire Changer – John Royer Front Tire Carrier – Brett Morrell
Rear Tire Changer – Coleman Dollarhide Rear Tire Carrier – Eric Groen