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Jul 31, 2012 - 06:55 PM
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2012 Pocono II: Joey Logano NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview
Posted by: newsla on Jul 31, 2012 - 06:51 PM
2012 Pocono II: Joey Logano NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Preview

No. 20 Home Depot Toyota News & Notes:
· COMING INTO POCONO AS DEFENDING WINNER: For the first time since his rookie season, Joey Logano will be pulling into the track with a bulls-eye on his back. Logano comes into this weekend’s Pennsylvania 400 as the defending winner at Pocono when the 22-year-old picked up his second-career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory at the “tricky triangle” on June 10. Logano put together the most impressive run of his four-year NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career with his win earlier this year. Logano won the pole, had the dominant car all afternoon long, led a race-high 49 laps and passed one of his childhood heroes, Mark Martin, in the final laps to take the victory. It was Logano’s second-career Sprint Cup Series win, following his rookie season triumph at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, where Logano won a rain-shortened event.


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· IT’S ALL ABOUT THE WINS NOW: While Logano was running strong at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last weekend and spending much of the day in the top-10, a late-race accident dropped Joey to 33rd in the final rundown and his points position took a big hit, falling back to 17th. However, Logano still finds himself in fourth in the running for one of the two Wild Card positions trailing his teammate Kyle Busch by 44 points. With just six races remaining before the cutoff, Logano and his No. 20 Home Depot team are now focused on winning their way into the Chase. If Logano can pick up another win, he will automatically move into the second Wild Card position. Two more wins will all but guarantee a spot in the 10-race Chase.
· TIRE TESTING AT MICHIGAN: Logano and the No. 20 Home Depot team were a part of this past week’s Goodyear tire test at Michigan International Speedway. The 2-mile speedway was repaved before the race in June and tire issues forced the series to hold a tire test at the track to come up with a new Goodyear compound. Logano was fast at Michigan in June and the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota were equally as fast at the test this past Monday, although no “official times” were kept.
· GETTING A SPECIAL “SNEAK PEAK” AT THE MOVIES: While in Indianapolis, Logano got a chance to go to the movies. And it was a movie that no one will get to see for a few more weeks. Travis Pastrana, the action sports legends and now part-time NASCAR Nationwide Series driver, invited Logano and several other drivers, along with their friends and crew members, to get a sneak peak at Pastrana’s new “Nitro Circus 3D” movie. The full-length feature film enhances the Nitro Circus shows that have been featured on TV in the past and features Travis and the rest of his stunt-junkie crew. Logano later tweeted that the movie was “freaking awesome. You guys need to see it when it comes out.” Logano joined other NASCAR drivers Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon and TJ Bell in attendance.
· LETS DO IT ALL OVER THIS WEEKEND: Some drivers have a lot of superstitions. Joey is not one of those drivers. But, if he were, and his superstition was to do the same things over when something good happens, this would be his week. First off, Logano and the team are taking the same car to Pocono that they used when they won there a couple of months ago. Also, Logano was featured on the NASCAR Cam teleconference leading into this week’s Pocono even, much like he was before his win at the track in June. Logano is also once again planning to make a trip to sign autographs for his fans at his merchandise trailer raceday morning, just like he did as well the morning of his Pocono victory. To those who are superstitious, it’s all about doing the same things over.
· STATS SAY IT’S HIS BEST TRACK: If you look at the stats, Logano’s numbers at Pocono Raceway are some of his best of all the tracks on the circuit and for good reason. Logano has raced at Pocono seven times and has won the last two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole awards at the track (July 2011, June 2012). He has one win and has led 93 laps at the track, more laps then he has led at any other track on the schedule.
· WEEKEND APPEARANCES: Logano will be signing autographs at his merchandise hauler on Sunday morning at Pocono Raceway. He’s scheduled to sign from 9:30-10:00am. Fans interested in getting a ticket to get an autograph will be to check with the merchandise trailer for ticket distribution times. Logano is also scheduled to be on ESPN’s NASCAR Now and SPEED’s NASCAR Raceday Sunday morning.
· RACE INFO: The Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway (Pocono, PA; 2.5-mile tri-oval) is set for Sunday, August 5th at 12pm ET. The race will be broadcast on ESPN (TV) and MRN (radio).

From the Cockpit:
Joey Logano Quotes: “As everyone can imagine, I think me and all of the guys on the No. 20 Home Depot team are looking forward to going back to Pocono for obvious reasons. It’s always a pretty cool feeling going back to a track where you were the last race winner and knowing everyone wants to knock you off of that throne. That is really, really cool. I still think about Pocono. It was a great day and a big part of my career. But, in this sport, you can’t look back on things for too long, even race wins, or you will hurt your chances going forward. Yeah, we are going into the Pocono weekend looking to repeat, but we go into every weekend thinking we can win the race. You always just come to the track prepared and go from there.

“You can’t expect to just unload and be right back to where you were. There are a lot of things that go into the car, the track conditions, the tires and your competitors. You might have the exact same set-up, with the same changes that you made during the race and you might not even be in the ballpark of where you were. The best thing you can do is just go with a better baseline and hopefully you will have less to work on to get it right. In the end, I still think we’ll have a very fast Home Depot Toyota and we’ll be one of the cars to beat. We have to go out there and get another win and keep getting points. It’s going to take at least one more win, maybe two, to get yourself into the Chase. We have to go out there and maybe even take some chances to get some wins. You’ve got to risk it to get the biscuit.”

No. 20 Home Depot Toyota / Joe Gibbs Racing Team:
Driver – Joey Logano Crew Chief – Jason Ratcliff Car Chief – Jason Shapiro
Race Engineer – Jacob Canter Engineer – Mike Lorusso Spotter – Rocky Ryan
Shock Specialist – Dusty Boyd Mechanic – Scott Geerts Mechanic – Todd Foster
Mechanic – Leo Thorsen Tire Specialist – Jerold Shires Engine Tuner – Mike Johnson
Tires – Bill Byrne Truck Driver – Thomas “Thumper” McCrimmon Truck Driver – Scott “Scooter” Crowell
Jackman - Jason Tate Gasman - John Eicher
Front Tire Changer - John Royer Front Tire Carrier – Joe Crossen
Rear Tire Changer – Chris Taylor Rear Tire Carrier - Eric Groen

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