By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
* Editor’s note: Motorsports Tribune will be previewing the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season for the top-30 drivers in the series leading into next month’s 60th running of the Daytona 500.
Years in Cup: 10
Career Wins: 18 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Victories
The 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season is one that Joey Logano likely wants to forget. Although the Team Penske driver scored one victory at Richmond Raceway, it was ultimately encumbered. That eliminated Logano’s guarantee to make the Playoffs, a goal that was unmet.
Logano earned 10 top-fives, and 17 top-10s in 2017. He led just 376 laps, the fewest laps Logano has led in a season since 2013. Last year was Logano’s worst season since the 2012 season when he finished 17th in points. It was also the first time during his tenure with Team Penske that he failed to make the Playoffs. The Middletown, CT native finished 17th in points last year.
For 2018, Logano’s team is mostly unchanged. He’ll have a new voice in his ear as TJ Majors will move from Hendrick Motorsports to Team Penske to assume the duties for Logano. Majors most recently spotted for Dale Earnhardt, Jr until he retired at the end of last season.
In addition to a new spotter, Logano will also have a new teammate. Ryan Blaney will officially move from The Wood Brothers Racing Team to drive the No. 12 Ford Fusion. Last year, The Wood Brothers worked in an extremely close alliance with Penske.
Expectations are unknown for Logano and most Ford Performance teams in 2018. Although Fords swept all four restrictor plate races in 2017, they will have the oldest body model competing in NASCAR’s Premier Series. Toyota is using a 2018 Camry while Chevrolet will utilize their new Camaro ZL1. The performance of Toyota in 2017, and high expectations for Chevrolet leave some thinking that Ford will be falling behind in 2018.