Pawtucket Times

Logano focused on next title


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Joey Logano has a simple target for the future even as he celebrates his 2022 NASCAR Cup championsh­ip.

Add yet another. Logano this season joined Kyle Busch as the only active NASCAR drivers with multiple Cup series titles, adding to the first Cup championsh­ip he won in 2018. Being the only active driver with three Cup titles would be even sweeter.

“That’s where my head is at right is, ‘Let’s go get another one,’” Logano said Thursday before he was feted at NASCAR’s annual awards ceremony.

“It is something special though for sure. Winning championsh­ips is hard in profession­al sports, right? This is so hard to come by, and so hard to do, and everything has to come together at the right time,” he continued. «It’s not just the driver, but it’s the team, the cars. Everything has to be clicking at the right time to be able to do it.”

Logano, at 32, was already the oldest of the four drivers in the championsh­ip finale. Credit— or blame — the new

Next Gen car for evening out competitio­n to where the Cup Series had 19 different winners, with five first-timers and two drivers making their first appearance in the championsh­ip race.

Logano won his second NASCAR championsh­ip by finishing first in a winner-takeall finale at Phoenix Raceway, giving Team Penske both the Cup and IndyCar titles in the same season for the first time in 31 tries.

Roger Penske, owner of Logano’s No. 22 Ford, knows how hungry Logano is to win a third title. He’s part of a roster that includes Ryan Blaney and Austin Cindric, who both made the playoffs with Team Penske, and Harrison Burton in an affiliate Wood Brothers Racing car.

“We’ve got the same team, so we should,” Penske said. «We should be able to compete now. A lot of great talent out there today. New talent, young talent. Teams and the cars brought us closer together. But I think we’re someone you’re going to have to beat in ‘23.”

The immediate celebratio­n of his second Cup championsh­ip was a bit muted for Logano with the death of Joe Gibbs Racing vice chairman

Coy Gibbs hours before that season finale. Logano started his career at JGR, where he spent four Cup seasons.

Coming to the NASCAR awards in Nashville allowed Logano time and space to really enjoy his latest championsh­ip.

He posed with the trophy on a bridge over the Cumberland River and suggested a visit to the NFL’s Tennessee Titans, where Logano visited with two-time rushing champ Derrick Henry and swapped his helmet for a No. 22 Henry jersey. He also got to spend time on the team’s practice field.

Logano said he loves picking up tips and ideas on how other people at the top of their sports work to stay there because he’s learned that nobody, even in the same sport, sees or approaches things the same way.

“So it’s good to learn all that for sure,” Logano said.

Logano also knows he’s among one of NASCAR’s older current drivers and wants to embrace being more of a leader and help grow the sport. He’s still young enough to relate to all the young drivers coming into NASCAR, yet old enough to remember what it was like over a decade ago.

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