Go, Speed Racer
Finally, Joey Logano is old enough to drive -- for NASCAR
Photograph by Chris Edwards
On May 24, Joey Logano turns eighteen. For many, that birthday represents legal adulthood and striking out on your own. For Joey, it means being allowed into one of the top tiers of the fastest-growing sport in America—NASCAR.
A week later, Joey will climb into the driver's seat of the No. 20 Toyota to compete for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Nationwide Series at Dover International Speedway. It's a huge step for the talented young driver, as the Nationwide Series is the last barrier to the Sprint Cup, NASCAR's premier league and the top motor sports series in the country.
Age restrictions like this one are nothing new for Joey, whose birthday falls smack in the middle of racing season. A few years ago he had to wait until his fifteenth birthday to compete in the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series.
Joey got his start in a go-kart at age five at his father's garbage company in Connecticut. He began entering racing competitions a year later, and his passion for speed hasn't waned since. Hired by owner Joe Gibbs in 2005, he has since moved with his family to Concord. Even with a New England accent and Northern roots, Joey fits right in with the racing culture of the Charlotte area.
Joey will also have the benefit of learning from his new teammates at Joe Gibbs Racing, who include NASCAR superstar Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, and Denny Hamlin. Until May 31, however, he'll be watching from outside the driver's seat.
This month's action at Lowe's Motor Speedway begins with the All-Star Challenge on May 17, continues with Speed Week in Charlotte, and ends with the Sprint Cup Coca Cola 600 on May 25, just a day after Joey turns eighteen.
"It's a family atmosphere," he says about the highly successful Joe Gibbs Racing teams, and he says he feels privileged to be a part of it all.
"[Joe Gibbs] is a real smart guy. He has to be, to have something like this."