In his first time out in the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, Joey Logano took home the championship trophy. Last year, he nearly did it again.
Logano hopes the third time is the charm in his quest to become a two-time winner. Logano, who was in Lake Placid, N.Y., over the weekend for the Fifth Annual Lucas Oil Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge presented by Whelen Engineering – which he won – confirmed that he will enter the “Daytona 500 of short-track racing” at the Toyota Speedway in Irwindale (Calif.) on Jan. 29-30.
“I'm really excited to have an opportunity to get back out to the Toyota Speedway for the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown,” Logano said. “I had a lot of fun last year and we are going try and get the trophy back this year.”
Logano, the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year winner, will carry the trademark orange of his Sprint Cup sponsor Home Depot in the event. But the car will have distinct NASCAR Camping World Series roots – he will drive for series veteran Mike Olsen.
Logano appreciates the importance of the series, which thrust him into the national spotlight. He won the Showdown as a 17-year-old in the Fall of 2007 to cap off his NASCAR Camping World Series East championship season. When he was looking for a car owner to field him a car capable of winning the race, he turned to Olsen, a two-time NASCAR Camping World Series East champion as a driver who has transitioned to being a car owner in the series. In addition, Logano will run his first race with his new NASCAR Nationwide Series crew chief, Kevin Kidd, atop the pit box.
“We are really excited to have Home Depot on board with us for the weekend,” Logano said. “Mike Olsen from Fadden Racing stepped up and is going to provide us a solid car for the weekend. We have Kevin Kidd coming out with us to call the race, so we feel like we have a pretty good shot.”
Logano set the series mark for youngest pole winner and race winner during his NASCAR Camping World Series East championship season. While both records have since been eclipsed by Brett Moffitt, Logano has gone on to become the youngest winner in NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history.
Last year, he returned to Irwindale with Joe Gibbs Racing. Logano looked like he was on his way to a second win before losing the lead on a late-race restart. His bid for a last-corner, last-lap pass of race leader Peyton Sellers resulted in him making contact with Sellers. Sellers spun and Logano crossed the finish line first. However, a subsequent penalty on Logano for the move meant Matt Kobyluck became the first two-time winner of the all-star event.
The seventh running of the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown will be highlighted by the 225-lap Camping World Series all-star race. Each race winner during the 2009 Camping World Series East and West seasons is eligible for a protected starting spot, as are the 2009 champions from each of NASCAR's six regional touring series and the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion.
Logano will face some of the best short-track drivers in North America in an already impressive field. Early commitments include Camping World Series champions Ryan Truex (East) and Jason Bowles (West), two-time Showdown winner Matt Kobyluck, Sean Caisse, Eric Holmes, Jim Inglebright, David Mayhew, Eddie MacDonald, Steve Park and Greg Pursley.
In addition to eligible 2009 race winners and series champions, the starting lineup will be determined through time trials, limited provisionals for Camping World Series regulars, and the last-chance "Open" race that provides drivers one final chance to make the grid.
The 2010 NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown schedule also includes 100-lap Whelen All-American Series Super Late Model and 75-lap Late Model races. Both nights of racing will air live on SPEED.