No. 20 Home Depot Toyota News & Notes:

  • OH SO CLOSE AT MARTINSVILLE: Joey Logano has tasted victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in the past, winning at New Hampshire Motor Speedway during his rookie season of 2009. But Logano came “oh-so-close” to a win at Martinsville Speedway in the spring race of 2010, finishing second to his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin. Logano was running in the top-five late and took advantage of contact between two other cars to grab second. Unfortunately, laps ran out and Logano had to settle for the runner-up position. It was Logano’s career-best finish at the half-mile track. That same season, Logano finished sixth in the fall event at Martinsville. Logano also has “just misses” to the top-10, coming home 12th and 13th in two other starts. His career-best qualifying effort at Martinsville is fourth, which he did in the spring race last season.
  • QUALIFYING STRONG FOR LOGANO THIS SEASON: Logano has always been a pretty strong qualifier in his NASCAR career (as evident by his ninth-place standing on the all-time career pole list in the Nationwide Series) and the 21-year-old has stepped up his game in 2012. Not counting the season-opening Daytona 500 and its unique qualifying format, Logano has qualified in the top-10 in each of the other four races this season. His average start position of 9.2 is fifth-best among all NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers this season.
  • ROLLER COASTER OF A WEEKEND IN CALIFORNIA: Logano experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows during the California race weekend. On Saturday, Logano won his 10th-career NASCAR Nationwide Series event leading a race-high 93 of the 150 laps. It was also Joe Gibbs Racing’s eighth-straight NNS win at Auto Club Speedway. On Sunday, Logano fought a tight car early in the Auto Club 400 and fell back through the field. The lack of a single caution flag didn’t allow time for the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team to make a lot of adjustments. Then Logano was caught speeding on pit road, forcing him to come back through the pits for a pass-through penalty and putting him a lap down. Eventually, the race was called because of rain and Logano had to settle for a 24th-place finish.
  • LOOKING TO REBOUND IN POINTS: For the first time this season, Logano fell out of the top-10 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings following California. Logano is now 13th in the standings (tied with Carl Edwards). However, Logano runs strong at several of the upcoming tracks, including Richmond, Talladega and Charlotte, which could help him get back into the top-10 in the points. Even in 13th, Logano is still just 20 points out of fifth-place in the standings.
  • SOCIAL MEDIA UPDATE: Logano got a lot of congratulations for his Nationwide Series win on Twitter, including accolades from actor Kal Penn, football player Hank Baskett, racing star Morgan Lucas and even from fellow drivers Brad Keselowski and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. You can find Joey on Twitter @jlogano, on Facebook at facebook.com/joeylogano20 and on YouTube at youtube.com/joeyloganoracing. Home Depot Racing can be found on Twitter @HomeDepotRacing
  • RACE INFO: The Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway (Martinsville, VA; .5-mile short track) is set for Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 12:30 pm ET. That race will be broadcast on FOX (TV) and MRN (radio).

Logano’s 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season Stats:

Starts

Wins

Top 5

Top 10

Poles

Laps Led

Earnings

Avg. Start

Avg. Finish

5

0

0

2

0

2

$744,508

9.2

15.0

Logano’s Career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Stats:

Starts

Wins

Top 5

Top 10

Poles

Laps Led

Earnings

Avg. Start

Avg. Finish

116

1

14

31

3

149

$15,005,378

18.3

18.9

Logano’s Career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Stats at Martinsville Speedway:

Starts

Wins

Top 5

Top 10

Poles

Laps Led

Earnings

Avg. Start

Avg. Finish

6

0

1

2

0

0

$680,132

17.7

13.8

From the Cockpit:

Joey Logano Quotes: “I’m heading into Martinsville hoping to turn things around after last weekend in California. We had a lot of momentum at the beginning of the year and we ran into some bad luck at Bristol and Vegas where we had fast cars but just didn’t have the luck and the finishes that we should have. Then after winning the Nationwide race on Saturday in California, I had pretty high hopes for Sunday but we were just off right from the beginning. We really struggled and then I put us in even a bigger hole by getting caught speeding on pit road. We made the car better during our stops, but we just never got it to where it was in practice. I was probably one of the few people who really wanted to the rain to clear and to go back racing, because that was going to give us our shot at getting back on the lead lap and getting a better finish than we ultimately got.

“Martinsville has always been a pretty good track for me. A couple of years ago, we finished top-10 in both races there. I always feel like we have a good Home Depot Toyota when we get there. Like Bristol, it’s all about staying out of trouble and trying to finish the race with all your fenders and on the lead lap. If you do that, you can almost be assured of a good finish and have the chance to race for the win at the end. I’ve come close to winning there so I know what it’s like to be that close. I’m ready to get back on the short track and try and make up for the points we lost at California and get ourselves back in a Chase position.”

Jason Ratcliff Quotes:  “I haven’t been to Martinsville since the Nationwide Series cars raced there in 2006.  It’s a track that Joe Gibbs Racing has done well at in the past and I’m really looking forward to a good weekend.  Just like any short track, it can be intense and can turn out to be a survival game at the end of the day.  I believe Joey and the No. 20 Home Depot team are up for the challenge.  Joey has a great attitude going into the weekend; the kind of attitude you need to have going into a race like Martinsville.  So I think the race should be successful and should be fun.”

No. 20 Home Depot Toyota / Joe Gibbs Racing Team:

Driver – Joey Logano
Crew Chief – Jason Ratcliff
Car Chief – Jason Shapiro
Race Engineer – Jacob Canter
Engineer – Mike Lorusso
Spotter – Rocky Ryan
Shock Specialist – Dusty BoydMechanic – Scott Geerts
Mechanic – Todd Foster
Mechanic – Leo Thorsen
Tire Specialist – Jerold Shires
Engine Tuner – Mike Johnson
Tires – Bill Byrne
Truck Driver – Thomas “Thumper” McCrimmon
Truck Driver – Scott “Scooter” Crowell
Jackman – Jason Tate
Gasman – John Eicher
Front Tire Changer – John Royer
Front Tire Carrier – Chris Taylor
Rear Tire Changer – Joe Crossen
Rear Tire Carrier – Eric Groen