NASCAR Notebook: Joey Logano Extends Contract With Penske Racing

(NASCAR Wire Service)

Reid Spencer ~ NASCAR Wire Service

Joey Logano celebrates following a victory in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Can-Am 500 at Phoenix International Raceway last November (Photo: Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – In a sport whose landscape is constantly changing with movement among drivers, crew chiefs and sponsors, the watchword at Team Penske is “status quo.”

The Roger Penske-owned organization went a long way toward ensuring its long-term stability by signing seven-year extensions with driver Joey Logano, crew chief Todd Gordon and sponsor Shell/Pennzoil, all of whom will remain integral parts of the No. 22 Ford’s effort well into the next decade.

“We thought if we would extend Shell, it might be a good idea to give Logano a call and see if he’d be interested in hanging around for another seven years,” Penske quipped during the announcement in the Daytona International Speedway media center. “We called Joey, and Joey came down with his team to see us, and I think in two hours, once he heard the good news about Shell, we were able to sit down and put together a long-term contract, which is amazing.

“I think that’s the confidence that he has in our team and also our people… I think we’ve been successful because the driver makes such a difference, because they set the tone at the top, which then drives all the way down to the guy changing the right-front tire and the left-rear tire. So we’re thrilled to have Joey, and he can think about driving and not worrying about his contract, which is probably good for both of us.”

To Logano, the long-term deal isn’t a reason to grow complacent. The way he sees it, the opposite is true.

“A lot of pressure comes along with this, and I love pressure, and I’m glad to have it,” Logano said. “I said it last year at Homestead, pressure is a privilege and it honestly is to have this opportunity to race for Roger Penske and Shell and Pennzoil and what they expect – to go out there and win. I want to have that opportunity and want to be with people that want to win as bad as me.

“So it was a no-brainer for me to look at this and say, ‘Hey, this is working really well.’ I’d love to extend this as long as I can, so when a seven-year deal is thrown in front of you, you obviously jump on that opportunity to go out there and win championships together as a team. So I’m looking forward to the opportunity and looking forward to kicking it off here in Daytona.”

In a sense, Logano already has kicked it off. He won last Saturday’s Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona, the season-opening exhibition race at the Birthplace of Speed.

“We talked about this (deal), and I said, ‘You’ve got to win at least 50 races,’” Penske added. “So of course he sent me (a text) after last weekend: ’49 to go.’”

Penske also indicated the team is making progress in discussions of a long-term extension with driver Brad Keselowski.


With their primary cars damaged in Thursday night’s Can-Am Duel 150-mile qualifying races, Jimmie Johnson, Paul Menard and Ryan Blaney will start the Daytona 500 from the rear of the field in backup race cars.

They’ll be joined at the rear by three cars that failed to meet the minimum ride height requirement during inspection after the Duels. The two cars of JTG/Daugherty racing—the No. 37 of Chris Buescher and the No. 47 of AJ Allmendinger—were demoted to the back of the field in their respective Duels, as was the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota of Martin Truex Jr.

Allmendinger lost the seven points he would have scored for his fourth-place finish in the second Duel, and Truex lost the four points he would have earned for finishing seventh in the first Duel.

All three drivers, however, will start ahead of Brendan Gaughan (39th) and Elliott Sadler (40th), who timed their way into the field as the fastest two “open” drivers in last Sunday’s qualifying session.

The drivers in backup cars, on the other hand, retain their respective qualifying positions for statistical purposes but will drop to the rear of the field before the green flag waves.

Note: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series cars are measured for ride height during post-race inspection only at the restrictor-plate superspeedways (Daytona and Talladega).


In 154 official Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts, Danica Patrick has yet to post a top-five finish. In her first two races of the 2017 season, however, Patrick has an average finish of 5.0 in short-field events. She ran fourth in in the Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona last Saturday and followed that with a sixth-place result in the second Can-Am Duel qualifying race on Thursday night. Patrick scored five points in the Duel…

David Ragan posted the fastest speed in Friday’s first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice with a lap at 194.898 mph (46.178 seconds). He was followed by six Chevrolets driven by Kasey Kahne, Daytona 500 pole winner Chase Elliott, Ryan Newman, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Johnson had the fastest average speed over 10 consecutive laps (192.731 mph)…

As they did during last year’s Daytona 500, Toyotas dominated Friday’s second practice session, with Kyle Busch leading the six-car Joe Gibbs Racing/Furniture Row Racing draft at 197.265 mph (45.624 seconds). Matt Kenseth, defending Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones, Daniel Suarez and Martin Truex Jr. were close behind. Jones had the fastest 10-lap average in the draft, posting 195.933 mph.

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