Logano Has Eye on Chase

Joey Logano

"We definitely want to be in the Chase, and I think we are a Chase-caliber team now." (Photo: Getty Images)


Joey Logano has a simple goal for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season – win races and make the Chase.
It’s doesn’t get much easier than that in Logano’s eyes as he readies for his fourth year as a member of the Joe Gibbs Racing team.
"We definitely want to be in the Chase, and I think we are a Chase-caliber team now," Logano said. "I think we showed it at the end of last year for sure that we are capable of doing it. We just have to make the least amount of mistakes possible."

His run at the end of last season caught a great deal of attention among Logano’s teammates and competitors. Five straight finishes inside the top seven to close out the 2010 campaign lifted Logano to 16th in the final standings and gave the young driver a huge shot of confidence to carry into the new year.
“We had some tough stretches in the early part of the season and really I think that made us stronger,” said Logano. “What we did in October and November I think is what all of us on this team knew we were capable of and that to me was a much better indication of just how good we can be.”
His performance impressed some of his, at times, harshest critics including teammates Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin.
“Joey’s talented, there’s no question,” said Busch. “But in this sport it takes a team effort and I think we saw that 20 team come together as a whole last year with Joey doing a great job behind the wheel.”
Some point to the developing relationship between Logano and crew chief Greg Zipadelli as a reason for the improvement on the No. 20 Home Depot team. Logano admits at times it has been a work in progress but feels comfortable about where the two are as they prepare for a new year.
"We're getting along really well, and our chemistry is great," Logano said. "We've figured out - finally - what makes each other's wheel turn. We're two very different people but we have one common goal."

Logano’s 2010 season also included a few run-ins both on the track and off, most notably with Kevin Harvick and Ryan Newman. Logano believes showing that he was willing to stand up for what he believed was right helped him feel even more secure in his job as a Sprint Cup Series competitor.

"I feel like I've been here long enough that I feel like one of the guys or whatever you want to say," Logano said. "Yet, you also don't want to be pushed around.

"We showed at the end of the year what we are capable of."

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