This weekend, Joey Logano will climb aboard the No. 20 Home Depot/Red Beacon Toyota for the final time. When the green flag falls on Sunday, Logano will begin his final race in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing ride after four years full-time behind the wheel of the famed car. At season’s end, Logano will be moving on to Penske Racing while former Sprint Cup Series Champion and two-time Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth will take of the seat of the No. 20 for 2013.
Logano made his debut in the No. 20 as a rookie in the Daytona 500 in 2009, becoming the youngest driver to ever start the “Great American Race.” Later that same year, Logano became the youngest Sprint Cup Series winner at just 19-years of age when he took the victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway en route to winning the 2009 Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year award. Since that first season, Logano has worked with the likes of Greg Zipadelli and Jason Ratcliff as crew chiefs, picked up another win at Pocono Raceway earlier this season and collected 41 top-10 finishes along the way. In addition to his accolades in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Logano has also earned a remarkable 18 wins in Nationwide Series competition for Joe Gibbs Racing, where he also is the series youngest winner. Logano won his first Nationwide Series event just three weeks after turning 18 years old in just his third series start.
RED BEACON BACK ON THE HOME DEPOT TOYOTA: Once again this weekend, the familiar orange Home Depot colors will be replaced with a new red No. 20 on the track. Redbeacon will join The Home Depot as primary sponsors of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota and driver Logano at Homeastead. Redbeacon, a fully owned subsidiary of The Home Depot, is a free online and mobile resource for consumers seeking reliable home-service professionals. By simply requesting a service such as a maid, plumber, electrician, painter and more at redbeacon.com or through Redbeacon’s iPhone and Android apps, consumers receive competitive price quotes from qualified local pros in their area. Redbeacon service providers compete for the business, which saves consumers both time and money. Customers complete an online or mobile form that includes what home service they need, key details about the size and scope of the job, and when and where they need the job done. Redbeacon’s home-service matching system taps into its network of qualified local pros and checks their availability. Customers choose from up to four competitive quotes for the project and book the chosen professional on redbeacon.com or through the mobile apps. To ensure that each customer is satisfied, Redbeacon backs every job up to $1,000 with its Home Service Guarantee. Readbeacon made its debut as a sponsor for Logano a few weeks ago at Martinsville.
SOLID FINISH AT PHOENIX TAKEN AWAY: Logano was looking for his third top-five finish of the season last weekend at Phoenix International Raceway just as the leaders were getting ready to take the white flag. Unfortunately, Logano ran into a little trouble – that of the No. 24 and No. 15 machines wrecking right in front of him. With the two cars crashing, Logano had nowhere to go and slammed into the two, effectively ending his day just shy of the finish. Logano, who was running sixth at the time and was getting ready to pass the No. 15 for fifth, had run in the top-10 for much of the second half of the race, but fell out of the event due to the damage and had to settle for a 27th-place finish.
A NEW GOOD MORNING AMERICA CO-HOST? NO, JUST DRIVER COACH: This past week, Logano took on a new role – that of a television morning show host. Well, not really, but Logano did participate in an event, along with drivers Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and Darrell Wallace Jr., in teaching the weekend hosts of the popular Good Morning America show how to drive racecars around Charlotte Motor Speedway. Each driver paired up with a host – Logano teaming with Ron Claiborne – and took them for several laps around the 1.5-mile track in Concord, NC behind the wheel of a NASCAR Racing Experience racecar. The drivers also gave the hosts plenty of pointers, from how to get in and out of the car to the proper line around the track. With the morning’s activities slowed by overnight rain, Logano took his host around the track in his personal Lexus LSF at speeds toping 120 mph.
ON THE OTHER SIDE… ANOTHER WIN: Last weekend, Logano continued his strong run in the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series season, grabbing his ninth victory in just 21 series events this season. In the process, he set up the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Nationwide Series team to hopefully claim the 2012 Nationwide Series Owner’s Championship this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The team needs to finish 28th or better to lock up the Championship, which will be their fourth in the last five years. Logano has won seven of his nine races this season driving the No. 18 JGR Toyota.
RACE INFO: The EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Homestead, FL; 1.5-mile oval) is set for Sunday afternoon, November 18, 2012. The race will be broadcast on ESPN at 2:00 p.m. ET, with radio coverage on MRN.
Joey Logano Quotes: “Man, this is the end of an era this weekend at Homestead. It will be crazy to climb in that No. 20 one last time on Sunday morning and know that it’s the last time I will be behind the wheel of that car. It’s been a long time and in the Cup world, it’s all I’ve ever known. So it will be pretty crazy to think that this is the last time I will be with the car and these guys. We’ve had a lot of good memories in my four years in the No. 20. From winning that first race to getting voted into the All-Star race my rookie season to winning again this year at Pocono and beating my childhood idol Mark Martin in the process. The guys on the team have been great to me over the years. They’ve stuck by me and they’ve always supported me and my driving. So it will be sad to leave them, but I will have lasting friendships with a lot of them and I’m sure I will see them in the garage area and stop by and see how things are going. But that is how this sport works. We move on and move onto other opportunities. I’m sure Matt (Kenseth) will do a good job with the guys.
“It’s also been a great run with Home Depot. They really took a chance on me when I was growing up in this sport. They had some big shoes to fill when Tony (Stewart) left and I hope I’ve done them proud. I will never forget getting to shoot my first commercial with them and doing a few more after that. I’ve got to meet so many great fans at some of the store appearances over the years and got to do a lot of fun things along the way. It will be weird to be out there on the track next year and think that I will be racing against the Home Depot No. 20 and not driving it. But I will forever be grateful for what they have done for me and my career. The best thing we can do this weekend is to go out there and try to go out with a bang and give them a win in my last race in the Home Depot Toyota.”