Going into Sunday’s STP 500 at Martinsville, Joey Logano is without a doubt the most overdue driver for a Martinsville win. Starting on the pole for Sunday’s event, Logano has four top-fives and five top-10s, three of those coming in his last four starts there.
Last fall at Martinsville, Logano led a race-high 207 laps before an accident sidelined his race as well as his championship hopes. The culprit of the accident was none other than Matt Kenseth, in retribution for Logano dumping him just two weeks before at Kansas. If it weren’t for the accident, Logano would have already had a Grandfather clock in his trophy case (and maybe a Sprint Cup championship trophy as well) heading into the STP 500.
A lot of hype has centered around that incident going into Sunday’s race, but it’s safe to say that nothing of that caliber should happen. Logano has led 414 laps in his last four starts at Martinsville and aside from winning three straight poles at the track, he also has started in the top-10 in the last six races there, with a sixth-place starting effort in October 2013 being his lowest Martinsville start since joining Team Penske.
If that’s not enough, Logano also recorded his first Camping World Truck Series win at Martinsville in the Spring 2015 event, beating Matt Crafton by .431 seconds after leading 150 of 258 laps. He’s become a Martinsville expert at Penske, and he continues to improve and gain closer to that first win at the Virginia paperclip. It’s not a matter of if he’ll win there; it’s a matter of when, and Sunday looks like his likeliest chance at victory.
With an average finish of 10.5 in 14 starts, plus zero DNFs, Martinsville has become one of Logano’s best tracks on the circuit, and he has become something of a short track master. A win on Sunday would only serve to solidify that, as he has already won at Bristol and Richmond, and it is time for the No. 22 to cross the finish line first and get one of Martinsville’s famous clock trophies.