Joey Logano

Logano ‘Fine’ with carrying the torch

At a media event to promote the upcoming Duck Commander 500 at the 1.5-mile oval, Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage made mention of a possible “passing of the torch” from four-time Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon and defending Daytona 500 champion Joey Logano.

Gordon’s first Sprint Cup Series start was at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 1992, the same race that saw Richard Petty, a seven-time champion and arguably the sport’s biggest icon, finish an illustrious career on the same day. Fast forward through the 90-plus wins and four titles to the start of the 2015 season, the same Gordon announced he would retire at the end of the year, all while Logano has begun to come into his own at NASCAR’s top level.

Logano, once dubbed the next big star of the sport, was thrust into the Sprint Cup scene seven years ago with the weight of high expectations on his shoulders, incredible pressure for an at the time raw driver. Now, after a transition to Team Penske from Joe Gibbs Racing, the 24-year-old hot shoe has immersed himself in the conversation of consistent Sunday frontrunner and championship contender.

Logano, admittedly a Gordon fan growing up, didn’t mind the high praise from Gossage.

“That would be okay,” said Logano. “I’ll carry the torch, that’s fine, probably not an easy torch to carry though. I’m focused on what we’re doing over here at the 22 team. I’ll just be the next Joey Logano, I’ll just be that.”

As the 2015 season carries on, both drivers could find their futures intertwined and battling for a championship once they reach Homestead, a fitting hand off from a an eventual Hall of Famer to the sport’s future.

Image: Kevin C. Cox/NASCAR via Getty Images

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Joey Barnes is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Motorsports Tribune. He has covered auto racing since 2013 that has spanned from Formula 1 to NASCAR, with coverage on IndyCar. Additionally, his work has appeared on Racer, IndyCar.com and Autoweek magazine. In 2017, he was recognized with an award in Spot News Writing by the National Motorsports Press Association.

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