Game On For Logano

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Joey Logano couldn't have a better sponsor on the NASCAR Nationwide Series side than Gamestop.

For one, he's just 18 years old and what teenager doesn't like to play video games. But who would have thought that one particular console game could help him in his transition to a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racer.

Since the announcement of the ban on testing in NASCAR, Logano will have to look for more ways to help him learn some of the tracks on the circuit he has yet to see. One of those ways can be simple as playing a video game that his sponsor sells in their stores.

Along with watching video tapes and playing computer simulations, Logano can soak up knowledge about the tracks by playing EA Sports' NASCAR 09 on Xbox 360 or the Playstation 3.

"I do a lot," Logano said about playing racing games.

"Going into a lot of these race tracks I'm pretty much blindfolded," said the upcoming Sprint Cup rookie. "Playing the video games and simulators you kind of get at least what kind of shape the race track is before you get there and not looking at pictures and videos. Videos help too. Between videos and simulation in some way it helps a lot. I try to do everything I can before I get to the race track to be prepared for it."

With the next generation home systems the tracks are represented almost life-like with stunning graphics. All of which could help Logano learn with out leaving the couch.

"The graphics these days and the way they can shape the race tracks is pretty close to real life," Logano said. "Even some of the bumps and shadows and this and that...that's big. Even as far as pit entrance and all that stuff, it's all the same. It helps you quite a bit as far as visual."

Although the virtual world could help, it's just not the same as turning laps in a stock car.

"Obviously it's tough for me because of not being able to test and not much experience at all of these racetracks," Logano said. "It makes it harder, but I'm just going to have to go with it. There's not much we can really do about it."

Another possibility to help the rookies in 2009 could be to open the track for just a short "rookie" session like the NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series did in the past.

"Something like that would help us a lot," Logano said about an extra session.

Logano will get some extra seat time next season when he returns to the Nationwide Series for a number of events.

"We have a majority of the races I want to say," Logano said. "We don't have a set program yet, I know Gamestop is with us for a few and I think we still have a few open I'm not really sure. I'm not going to run the full season, but I'm going to run most of the companion races and maybe a couple others."

When not behind the wheel of a stock car in real life or in a video game, Logano likes to trade in the steering wheel for a hockey stick on the gaming systems.

"I've got some hockey games," Logano said. "I'm all about some hockey. I like going to a lot of the actual games. I play video games against my buddies all the time. It gets pretty fierce sometimes. Sometimes there are controllers flying."

With the racing and hockey games already in his library, Logano can expect his gaming collection to grow thanks to his sponsor.

"I got a care package not too long ago with a bunch of good stuff," Logano said. "It's not a bad sponsor to have."

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