AVONDALE, Ariz. — Story by Race Chaser Online West Coast Correspondent Ryan O’Hara — Todd Warshaw/Getty Images North America photo —
Joey Logano comes into Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) needing to finish 11th or better to advance to the Championship Round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
If 2013 was considered a breakout year for the Penske Racing driver, 2014 must be the sequel. Unlike most movie series, the legend of Joey Logano is not ending, but is just getting started.
With five wins on the season and six top fives in the Chase out of eight races, Logano is on his way to becoming one of the youngest Cup champions of all-time. But, the 24-year-old driver needs to pull through this weekend.
This weekend marks the 12th start at PIR for Logano. In his first nine starts at the one-mile track, he has an average finish of 18th. Over the past two races, Logano has an average finish of 6.5. He gave credit to himself for understanding more about his race car.
“That has happened at a lot of places since the beginning of my career and having a hard time in life,” Logano laughed. “I have figured out how to go faster, why I am going faster, and how to communicate that with my crew chief. Understanding what makes you fast is just as important as being fast. If you do not understand why you are fast, that is not a good thing,” he added.
Given Logano’s improvement at Phoenix, it may take some misfortune to remove him from the Championship Round.
There are eight drivers and only four can make it. Sunday’s Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 will be intense for drivers, crews, and fans.