Misguided Anger

AVONDALE, Ariz. - Jealousy is a horrible thing.

But for whatever reason it seems there are a lot of NASCAR fans who share that trait.

How else can you explain the hatred and anger I see and hear pointed at Joey Logano?

The rookie driver has not gotten off to the best start in his maiden Sprint Cup season to be sure. Like any freshman in NASCAR's top series, even one as talented and highly-touted as Logano, there is going to be a learning curve.

But apparently by not winning the first seven races of the Cup season, Logano deserves the label of failure or underachiever in many people's eyes.

Give me a break.

True, Logano has been heavily promoted and marketed since it was announced he'd replace Tony Stewart in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota last summer, a move that again apparently needs to be pointed out again that wasn't part of the master plan.

Logano was to spend at least the 2009 season as a full-time Nationwide Series driver to learn and get more experience driving at some of the bigger tracks in NASCAR.

However Stewart's decision to bolt to start his own team forced JGR to expedite the process and elevate Logano to the Cup level ahead of schedule.

If you're Logano, it's a dream come true. What would you expect a talented 18-year-old kid to say when someone asks to drive one of the most iconic cars in the sport at NASCAR's top level?

This was not Pete Pistone starting a race team and reaching out to hire Joey Logano. It was one of NASCAR's premier organizations offering an opportunity of a lifetime.

As for the promotional and marketing blitz that I admit may have gone overboard, that again was not Logano's doing. Home Depot has a large investment in sponsoring the No. 20 and now Logano and decided to put its advertising dollars behind a significant television campaign.

That's why it seems like every commercial break during a Cup race includes a Logano - Home Depot spot. But contrary to what some may believe, Logano doesn't program television network's advertising traffic.

Last week when Logano outran teammate Kyle Busch to win the Nationwide Series race at Nashville it was a reminder of what a special talent the kid really is. He's now won two races in NASCAR's number two division as a teenager.

But his detractors point to the powerhouse JGR car he's driven with one reader writing to tell me a "chimp could win" in that car.

Maybe it's a lost cause.

Logano will be around NASCAR for a lot of years and you can stop the comparisons to the unfortunate plight of Casey Atwood.

Logano is young, personable, has a world of talent and potential and drives for one of NASCAR's best teams.

I guess I can understand where the jealousy of some comes from.

But it's unbecoming.

Related Topics:

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, 2009

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