Joey Logano has evolved from one of NASCAR’s most promising young drivers into a legitimate championship contender right before our eyes in 2014.
The 24-year-old’s victory at Bristol tied him for the series lead with three wins, matching the total from his entire career previously.
With two races left before the chase, Logano arguably has more momentum than any other driver. In fact his Bristol checkered flag placed an exclamation point on a torrid five-week stretch marked by four top fives and a sixth-place finish. Statistically, he ranks among the best drivers in the sport, leading the series in average running position (9.460) and boasting its second-best driver rating (106.4).
“It’s definitely the best shot I’ve ever had at winning the championship,” Logano said about his Chase chances. “I can promise you that, so I feel very confident going into it.”
This Sunday, Logano returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway, a place where he made a name for himself as 12-year-old by winning a track-record 14-consecutive Legends car races, for the Oral-B USA 500 (7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN).
Already locked into the Chase, Logano can help his championship chances in the final two events of the regular season by gaining the three bonus points that come with each win. He can also solidify himself as a driver the veteran contenders can’t underestimate.
“I don’t care what they think of us,” Logano said. “We’re going to do what we’ve got to do. They can underestimate us. They can overestimate us. I don’t really care. We’re going to go out there and do the best we can, do what we’ve been doing.”
As a Cup driver, Logano experienced little success on his childhood track until a second-place breakthrough there last year.
“I do feel like Atlanta is a good race track for us, a place we were very, very fast, probably the best race car I ever had was last year in Atlanta, so I’m very, very excited about going back over there,” Logano said.