Joey Logano current driver of the No.20 Home Depot Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) is said to be considering two offers for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) rides in 2013. One of the offers is from JGR while the other is believed to be an offer from Penske Racing to drive the No. 22 car.
Logano’s status at JGR became questionable earlier this summer with reports that Matt Kenseth had been signed by the organization to take over the Home Depot sponsored Toyota Camry. An official announcement regarding the contract of Kenseth is expected to be released later this month.
We decided to take a look at whether JoLo should stay or should he go…
Joey Logano should stay at Joe Gibbs Racing (John)
If Joe Gibbs Racing can indeed expand to four teams in 2013 then Joey Logano should sign on the line now to remain there. The entire Gibbs organization has been patient with Logano and his progress in the NSCS.
Logano may be 22 years of age but this is his fourth full season in the Cup Series. In 132 career starts he has managed only 36 finishes inside the top ten. His highest finish in the points was 16th in 2010 and this year he finds himself 17th.
Sure the above numbers are not awful but he also has been running the same equipment as Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch. In Hamlin’s first three full years at JGR he scored 4 victories and managed a staggering 56 top ten finishes. Hamlin also managed to finish 3rd, 12th and 8th in the NSCS standings.
Since Logano’s first full Cup season in 2009 his teammates have won a total of 27 races. Hamlin has won 15, Busch has won 12. That Joe Gibbs wants to keep Logano around when you compare him to his teammates speaks about how strongly they are committed to him. Consider the following.
David Ragan was let go by Roush Fenway Racing following last season with eerie similar stats. Ragan, 26, had hoped to have sponsorship to stay in the fourth RFR car for this year but it never materialized. Now he’s running at Front Row Motorsports and has managed to finish just 3 of his 21 starts on the lead lap.
Is Joey Logano going to find that type of patience anywhere else? Sure he could go to Penske Racing in the No. 22 car but at the first hint of struggles it could implode. A.J. Allmendinger returning at Penske was doubtful prior to his failed drug test because he lacked the numbers. If Logano lacks the numbers early on who is to say the same thing would not happen to him?
Sure Matt Kenseth may end up driving the Home Depot sponsored car but is that the worst thing for Logano? If nothing else the Kenseth signing could give Logano another perspective on racing. Wouldn’t everyone want a former series champion who is respected throughout the garage on their team, giving them advice?
Joey Logano should leave Joe Gibbs Racing (Carrie)
Joey Logano should leave JGR because after Kenseth arrives, he will be in the fourth car. Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Kenseth will be the other drivers on the team, of all those drivers; Logano will surely be the “third wheel” or “fourth wheel” in this context.
Logano is still young, and there is still hope for his career, but I think he would be better off leaving JGR to pursue a possible ride with Penske Racing; a ride that would have full sponsorship with Pennzoil/Shell in 2013. I think at Penske, Logano would be able to reach his full potential in the NSCS.
Leaving JGR would be a good idea as Penske only has Brad Keselowski. Logano is an appealing addition as Keselowski and Logano could work well together. Keselowski has had glowing praise for the 22 year old in comments on twitter and recent interviews.
In an organization with two cars – Logano could show his potential rather then being overshadowed by what Hamlin, Busch and Kenseth are doing. Logano in his 132 cup starts over five years (four full seasons in NSCS) has 36 top ten finishes for JGR, but only two wins. One of the wins came at Pocono this year, the other a rain shortened event at Loudon in 2009.
Currently, JGR doesn’t even have a fourth car. Penske has a completely open ride and I think Logano should jump on the opportunity, it could be one of a lifetime.