Joey Logano will make his fourth appearance in the Championship 4 in search of his second NASCAR Cup Series title.
Logano By The Numbers:
2 – Number of NASCAR Cup Series race wins at Phoenix Raceway.
3 – Number of NASCAR Cup Series wins in 2020.
4 – Number of career appearances in the NASCAR Cup Series Championship 4 (2020).
5 – Number of top-five finishes at Phoenix Raceway.
6 – Number of stage wins during the 2020 season.
6.5 – Average starting position during the first 35 races of 2020 season.
8.1 – Average finishing position during the first nine races of the 2020 Playoffs.
11 – Number of top-five finishes in the first 35 races of 2020 season.
12 – Number of top-10 finishes at Phoenix Raceway.
12.1 – Average finishing position during the 2020 season.
14.3 – Average finishing position at Phoenix Raceway.
20 – Number of top-10 finishes in the first 35 races of 2020 season.
22 – Total number of Playoff points accumulated in 2020.
98.4 – Career driver rating at Phoenix Raceway – eighth-best among active drivers.
101.0 – Season-to-date driver rating – third-best among active drivers.
449 – Total number of laps led at Phoenix Raceway.
814 – Total number of laps led in the 2020 season.
9,473 – Total number of laps completed in the 2020 season (98.7%).
Logano has a shot at second Cup title in three years
Team Penske’s Joey Logano has a chance to become just the 11th different driver to win two or more titles within three seasons and the 17th to win multiple NASCAR Cup Series championships.
Herb Thomas, Buck Baker, Joe Weatherly, Lee Petty, Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip, Jeff Gordon, Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt and Jimmie Johnson all won two or more of their multiple NASCAR Cup Series titles within a three-year period.
NASCAR.com: Why Logano will win the 2020 Cup Series title
Joey Logano started the 2020 season with high hopes in landing new crew chief Paul Wolfe. But they had a rough start in the season-opening Daytona 500 following an incident that relegated him to a 26th-place finish. But the 30-year old didn’t take any time to wallow, bouncing back the following week at Las Vegas with a win and an automatic berth to the Playoffs. He then collected another win at Phoenix Raceway just before the pandemic swept the nation. Once the series returned to action, Logano’s success slowed, and the 2018 series champ put up 12 top 10s to round out the regular season. He entered the 2020 Playoffs as the fourth seed with 22 Playoffs points.
No. 22 team’s path to the season finale at Phoenix
Team Penske’s Joey Logano has been a staple in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. He has qualified for the Playoffs in seven of 12 seasons he has competed fulltime NASCAR Cup Series, and since the inception of the elimination-style format in 2014, Logano has made the Championship 4 round a total of four times (2014, 2016, 2018, 2020).
Besides the wild card that is Talladega, Joey Logano’s 2020 Playoff campaign has been the most consistent among the Championship 4. Logano not touts the best average finish (8.1) among the four title contenders through the first nine races of the postseason, but he also grabbed the first win of the Round of 8 to guarantee his spot in the season finale.
In the Round of 16, No. 22 team and driver Joey Logano put up back-to-back third-place finishes at Darlington and Richmond and then closed out the round with an 11th at Bristol. The Round of 12 was the most treacherous for Logano throughout the postseason. He finished 14th at Las Vegas, 26th at Talladega due to an incident, but managed pullout a runner-up finish at the Charlotte ROVAL to advance to the Round of 8. Logano took the victory in Kansas locking himself into the Championship 4 and has been on cruise control ever since, finishing 10th at Texas and third last week at Martinsville.
Logano’s time to shine in the Valley of the Sun
Of the four drivers vying for the NASCAR Cup Series title this weekend at Phoenix Raceway, Team Penske Joey Logano has to be the most thrilled it will be decided on the one-mile oval in the Valley of the Sun, as he is the most recent winner.
Back in March, Joey Logano started 13th at Phoenix and raced his way to the win leading 60 of the scheduled 316 laps. Logano actually passed his teammate Brad Keselowski for the lead in the closing laps for the victory. In total, Logano has made 23 series starts at Phoenix posting two wins (2016, 2020), five top fives and 12 top 10s. His average finish is 14.348, ninth-best in the series, but fourth among the Championship 4. Expect Logano to be in the mix this weekend at Phoenix, he ranked in the top 10 in several key pre-race Loop Data categories with an Average Running Position of 12.205, eighth-best, a Driver Rating of 91.4, eighth-best, 215 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-best and 5,001 Laps in the Top 15 (69.7%), ninth-most.
The Wolfe in the room
Of the four crew chiefs contending this weekend for the NASCAR Cup Series title, none have been as successful as Paul Wolfe, and now the veteran crew chief has another chance at becoming the 16th different crew chief with multiple Cup championships.
Before becoming a crew chief, Paul Wolfe competed in the NASCAR Xfinity Series driving for car owners Ray Evernham, Armando Fitz, Tommy Baldwin Jr. and Eddie D’Hondt from 2003 – 2005. Wolfe’s first NASCAR crew chief opportunity came at Fitz Bradshaw Racing in 2006. He then moved to Braun Racing in 2008 and then CJM Racing in 2009 before settling at Team Penske in 2010.
In 2010 Wolfe led Brad Keselowski to the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship after posting six wins on the season. In 2011 the duo made the leap to the NASCAR Cup Series and in just their second season together in the NASCAR Cup Series (2012), he led Brad Keselowski to the series championship, becoming the first crew chief in NASCAR history to win a NASCAR Cup Series and a NASCAR Xfinity Series championship as the duo posted five wins in 2012.
From 2011-2019, Keselowski and Wolfe put up 29 wins, 110 top fives and 175 top 10s. This season Wolfe joined Joey Logano and the No. 22 team and hasn’t missed a beat. In 2020, the No. 22 team has posted three wins, 11 top fives and 20 top 10s – including the victory at Phoenix earlier this season.