Guest Author - Debra Lamb
Joey Logano was one racer that was certainly in need of a win this past weekend. Though his teammates Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch have racked up a number of wins and even fought for championships, Logano has struggled to win just one race this season.
This is Joey’s fourth season with the Joe Gibbs Racing team. He came into the season in the hot seat after scrambling to reach 24th in points last year and many feel that this might be his last season with this team. Before this race, he was holding on to 16th in points with only one race won this year.
This last victory at the Pocono 400 could be a big help in keeping his place on the team, but no one has said anything about where Logano stands for next season just yet.
Logano scored his first win during his rookie year in 2009, but it was not a victory that most would count. The win came after the race was called because of rain. Logano was declared the winner because he took the lead on pit strategy.
His win on Sunday has branded Logano as a winning Sprint Cup driver at last. He’s also had 13 Nationwide victories, four for this season. This was his opportunity to really shine in the Cup series.
The feel of crossing the finish line for a win makes all the difference in the Sprint Cup series. Logan hopes that it is a win that keeps him on with Gibbs, one of the top teams in racing.
Though Mark Martin, 53, was beaten out by the 22-year old Logano, many racing fans still feel that Martin is a major contender.
Martin came close to winning his 41st Sprint Cup victory on Sunday. He took the lead from Logano during the final restart and was bumped out of the lead by Logano, landing him in second place.
Mark left Hendrick Motorsports after last season and is racing only a partial schedule this year for Michael Waltrip Racing. He will run 24 races this year, with Sunday being his 11th race. This was his fifth top-10 finish for the season.
Martin was his usual positive self after the race on Sunday, saying that he was just thankful to get the chance to fight for a win.
He gave all the other drivers, including Logano, a run for their money during the race. He remained out front the whole day and gave spectators a thrill when he passed Logano after the final restart in what would have been an exciting victory.
Martin’s record at Pocono Raceway is amazing. He has 33 top-10s and 19 top-five out of his 55 races on that track. One thing he does not have is a win at Pocono. This last race was his seventh time as the runner-up.