By Toby Christie (Originally appeared on RubbingsRacing.com)
He came into the sport with overwhelming expectations. He was immediately dubbed “Sliced-Bread”, because people were saying he was the best thing since… well sliced bread.
I’m talking about Joey Logano the 19-year-old phenom. Logano isn’t the first to enter the sport with such expectations, see Casey Atwood circa 2000, however Logano seems to be meeting his expectations.
In 2009 Logano struggled early on, but he did get his first career win at New Hampshire. Later on through the season Logano worked his way solidly into the top-35 in points, as he got much better at racetracks he was visiting for the second time. Sliced Bread would finish the season with a win, three top-fives, and seven top-ten finishes.
Not too shabby for a rookie campaign, and on top of it all he ranked 20th in the year-end point standings… Let’s fast-foward to 2010.
Logano was the beneficiary of the Jeff Gordon / Matt Kenseth shoving match this past week, as he weaved through the mayhem to finish second.
“Yeah, towards the end of the race, it was crazy,” Logano said, “I don’t know what happened in front of us there, but the two cars washed up. Like I said, I was just right place, right time.”
Whether you think the finish was luck or not, you can’t disagree that Logano was running in the top-five anyway. Add this to a fifth-place finish at Auto Club Speedway, and a sixth-place finish in Las Vegas, and what you have is the start of a very impressive season for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver.
Through six races in 2010 Logano has registered his first career pole, three top-ten finishes, and he sits 13th in Sprint Cup Series points just 13-points from the ever-important 12th-place position in points.
Watch out for Joey Logano down the stretch… He is showing that he really is starting to get this Sprint Cup Series thing down, and if not for being caught up in Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski’s issue in Atlanta, he’d undoubtedly be in chase contention already.