The Untold Truth Of Race Car Driver Joey Logano

One of NASCAR's most divisive drivers climbs through the window and behind the wheel of Team Penske's No. 22 Ford Mustang each racing weekend. Despite still being in his early 30s, Joey Logano has been a fixture at the top of the NASCAR Cup Series standings — and in victory lane — for over a decade.

As with most successful athletes, Logano will do whatever it takes to win, and at times his methods have ruffled the feathers of not only fellow drivers but fans as well. As one of NASCAR's most polarizing drivers, Logano's introduction at tracks around the country is often met with a chorus of boos, per Fox Sports.

Still, it's impossible to become one of the sport's greatest heels without success, and Logano certainly has seen his fair share, with 27 career wins to his name since his Cup Series debut back in 2008 and even a NASCAR Cup Series Championship in 2018 (via Racing Reference).

Logano gets his start in racing

While the southern United States is most often associated with stock car racing, Joey Logano was born on the East Coast — in Middletown, Connecticut on May 24, 1990. According to NASCAR, Logano was quick to take up racing, and by the time he was only 7, he was winning championships starting with the 1997 Eastern Grand National Championship in the Junior Stock Car Quarter Midget Division. That upward trajectory would continue as he would continue to win championships in both 1998 and 1999.

According to Bleacher Report, it was around this time that the Logano family moved down south to Georgia. The move was intended to help his sister's figure skating career, but it had the added benefit of putting a young talent like Logano in a racing hotbed. He would continue his winning ways and by age 12, he had his sights set on the next rung of the traditional ladder to the upper levels of NASCAR — late models — and it was there that Logano would begin to catch the eye of the stock car racing world.

Joey Logano becomes Sliced Bread

It was while racing late models that Logano started to get a lot of attention. At one point his potential was pointed out by NASCAR great Mark Martin who, per Bleacher Report, said "I am high on Joey Logano because I am absolutely, 100% positive, without a doubt that he can be one of the greatest that ever raced in NASCAR. I'm positive. There's no doubt in my mind."

Logano eventually caught the eye of one of NASCAR's biggest teams, Joe Gibbs Racing, owned by — who else? — Hall of Fame football coach Joe Gibbs. Logano signed with the team as a development driver in 2005. Logano would have some success in the lower series, but in 2009 the time came for Logano to drive full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series.

It was that high praise that earned him the nickname Sliced Bread because he was going to be the next best thing. It would eventually be a tag that would at times become something of a nuisance for Logano, with the high expectations the NASCAR world had for him from the moment he sat behind the wheel of a Cup Series car.

Trials and tribulations in the Cup Series

Logano's Cup Series debut came in 2008 where he ran a handful of cares, but the 2009 season would see Logano getting behind the wheel of an iconic car on a top team. He was put in Joe Gibbs Racing's No.20 car which had been made famous by NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart.

According to NASCAR, Logano would grab his first career victory at the same track on which he had made his Cup Series debut a year earlier: New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It was also fitting that such a milestone would come in New England, the part of the country where he was born and started his racing career.

However, after that victory in New Hampshire, he hit a dry spell, earning only two more victories that lasted for two entire seasons, not finding victory lane again until 2012 according to Racing Reference. Logano then parted company with Joe Gibbs Racing and joined Team Penske.

Logano's career rebirth at Team Penske

Penske is one of the most famous last names in all of racing, let alone NASCAR. Roger Penske's team is virtually synonymous with racing success in everything from IndyCar to sports car racing to Formula 1 where his team won the 1975 Austrian Grand Prix.

This culture of winning is precisely what Logano needed to rejuvenate his career. He would get one win during the 2013 season — his first year with the team — but would explode for 11 wins between 2014 and 2015 according to Racing Reference. The 2015 season also started with Logano being first to the checkered flag at that year's Daytona 500.

This period of Logano's career wasn't just notable for his wins, it was also when he became the divisive driver he's known as today. According to Fox Sports, it started when Logano spun driver Matt Kenseth en route to a victory at Kansas Motor Speedway. The next race at Martinsville saw Kenseth return the favor by ramming his heavily damaged machine into Logano taking them both out of the race and drawing massive cheers from the crowd.

Logano becomes a champion

While not at the same rate as he did in 2014 and 2015, Logano continued his winning ways in at least one race every season since and three in 2016, 2018, and 2020 (via Racing Reference).

In 2018, Logano put himself in a position to fight for a championship, doing so by using his aggressive style of driving to bump and then drawing the ire of Martin Truex Jr., per NASCAR. The two would meet again in the next race this time as two of the Championship 4 along with Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch.

Logano would come out on top winning the race at Homestead-Miami Speedway and taking the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series Championship. While he has yet to repeat as champion, he would make another appearance in the Championship 4, doing so in 2020, but coming up short in the race at Phoenix Raceway, finishing in third behind teammate Brad Keselowski and that year's champion, Chase Elliott.