Shell-Pennzoil Team and Joey Logano Eye Championship Run
Feb 18, 2014
Joey Logano returns to Team Penske and the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford in 2014 with even more to prove, coming off a 2013 campaign that was a game-changer for the 23-year-old driver.
With considerable pressure to perform through his first four years in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS), Logano finally found his stride in 2013 in his first season with Team Penske. Logano teamed up with second-year crew chief Todd Gordon to help bring stability to the famed No. 22 team and in the process, showed the NASCAR world that Logano can live up to the hype he faced for much of the early portion of his NASCAR career.
Logano would end the season eighth in the NSCS point standings after qualifying for his first ever Chase for the Sprint Cup. Along the way, Logano earned his third-career NSCS victory, coming at Michigan International Speedway, earned two poles and set career-high marks in a number of statistical categories. His top-fives (11), top-10s (19), laps led (323), races led (15) and average finish (14.1) were all career-bests. In fact, his 323 laps lead nearly doubled the number of laps led through his first four seasons combined.
For 2014, the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil team and Joey Logano have higher aspirations and their sights set on a championship with a simple formula. The team hopes to rely on consistency inside their organization and on their team to take it to the next level.
“The big thing for us this year is we don’t have much change within our organization,” said Logano.
“All of the crew chiefs, all of the drivers at Team Penske stayed the same, and we were able to build off of what we had last year, so that’s really important right now.
"You look at last year how much stuff we changed going into the season – new driver, the crew chief stayed the same, but we had a new engineer, a new car chief and all of that now is the same and we’re able to just kind of build off where we finished last year, so last year we had a pretty decent year but now we’re able to build off something to make it even better.
"We’re excited about that.”
"Obviously, our goal is to win the championship,” said Team Owner Roger Penske. “Over the last four years we've had three championships (Keselowski -- Nationwide Series in 2010, Sprint Cup Series in 2012, and 2013 Nationwide Owner's champion) and we won 16 races last year, but we've got some work to do. Consistency and continuity are key from the standpoint of our team.”
Logano made his NSCS debut at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September of 2008 and made additional Cup Series starts at Kansas Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway.
In his first full Sprint Cup season in 2009, Logano recorded his first career series victory when he took the checkered flag at Loudon, and he went on to secure three top-five and seven top-10 finishes. With his early success on the track, Logano earned the distinctions of being both the youngest Sprint Cup winner at 19 years-old and the youngest NSCS Rookie of the Year in the 55-year history of the award.
“We're looking for a year that we try to win this championship,” Logano added. “I feel like we're in position to do it. We've got the best owner in the business. We've got the best teammates in the business and the best crew chiefs, so we're ready to go and I can't wait for Daytona."