Joey Logano After Winning Atlanta: The Dream Was Always To Race On The Big Trackby Hunter Thomas March 19, 2023 1 comment
HAMPTON, Ga. – Joey Logano finally won at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Cup Series, a track where he grew up racing Legend Cars.
On Sunday in the Ambetter Health 400, Logano absolutely dominated the event en route to winning his first race of the season and his first at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Although the configuration at the speedway has changed, it took Logano 19 starts in the Peach State to win at the track in the NASCAR Cup Series. Logano led a race high of 140 laps, and he won Stage 1, finished second to his Team Penske teammate, Austin Cindric in Stage 2 and captured the checkered flag in Stage 3 after outdueling Brad Keselowski.
“It was just lane versus lane is what it was, right,” Logano said about the battle with Keselowski. “Inside versus outside. I mean, there were times that I could have almost cleared him and moved up. I really wanted to get my teammates clear because I’d much rather have my teammates behind me if I could. I knew how fast the Team Penske cars were. Obviously they qualified fast. I felt like, man, if I can get them clear, I have a better chance of winning this thing.”
On the final lap of the race that surprising ended without a big crash, Logano had Christopher Bell propel him to the lead over Keselowski who was getting drafting help from Corey LaJoie. The win meant a lot for Logano who used to live up in the condo at the track as he competed in a Legend Car as a kid.
“Ran so many races,” Logano said about his career on the grassroots level. “There’s so many memories of showing up here Monday nights, practicing. Sorry, Wednesday nights, Thursday nights we’d race. Our race shop was two miles up the road. I lived in the condo up there. The dream was always to race on the big track, right? Every time you run that quarter mile over and over again, someday I want to go straight and hit the big banks. That’s what it was about for me.”
Prior to Sunday’s race, Logano had the opportunity to meet the Legends Cars kids who were scheduled to put on a show for the fans at Atlanta Motor Speedway until their event got rained out.
“I guess this win here is for those kids,” Logano said. “I got to meet a lot of them this weekend. I’m sure you saw them around. Just shows you keep working hard, chasing your dreams, the dream of always driving a Cup car into Victory Lane came true today. It was really neat.”
Logano believes that the Legends Cars and Bandoleros provide kids with an opportunity to learn the basics of racing and to have fun with their family.
“I think it’s a good way to learn the basics of racing, right,” Logano said. “I always say this is your college education in a way. When I have an RCD. What is that? Race car driver. I don’t have a Ph.D., but I got an RCD. That comes from years of racing, actually going out there and doing it, learning about your race car, working on your race car, learning the craft out there. But most importantly having fun. That’s the biggest thing. When you’re racing out here at this level, don’t make it too serious, right? You need to try hard, don’t get me wrong, but you need to enjoy it and have fun. You never know when that’s going to end. Not everyone gets the opportunity to drive a race car, get to push a car as hard as you possibly can and race it.”
Following the checkered flag on Sunday, Brad Keselowski finished second, followed by Christopher Bell, Corey LaJoie who scored a career high and Tyler Reddick. Completing the top-10 was Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones, Ty Gibbs and Kyle Busch. The NASCAR Cup Series will visit Circuit of the Americas on Sunday, March 26. Live coverage of the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix will broadcast on FOX at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com