Can we please stop talking about Joey Logano losing his ride now?
I know he has yet to live up to his potential as a driver, and has struggled mightily at times.
I know he's still got a long way to go until he can be considered among the best drivers in the sport.
But now that he has shown what he can do by winning from the pole at Pocono, I would say Joey Logano has earned a break from all the talk that he might be out of a ride next year.
Don't get me wrong; he definitely still has more to prove, but it's gotten a little ridiculous lately with people calling for him to lose his ride. I thought the TNT announcer was a bit harsh in Victory Lane, when he indicated that many people had thought Logano belonged in the Nationwide series. Sure he's struggled in Cup, but bumping him down a series is a bit harsh and goes beyond removing him from his current ride.
I've been a Logano backer from the start of his career, and still think he will grow into a superstar who wins regularly. Once he gets on a roll, the sky should be the limit.
A few points:
1. The kid is young. It doesn't seem that way cause he's been around a while, but that's because he started at 18 in Nationwide and moved straight up to Cup a year later. He has a couple decades left in his career; and has shown signs he can be great in the future. He's bad fast when he's in a good car, and is still improving.
2. Just because you drive for a winning team doesn't mean you'll win as much as your teammates. Just ask Dale Earnhardt Jr.
If Logano deserves to lose his ride, so does Dale Jr. if you're going to base it on wins.
3. People had unrealistic expectations of Logano from the start. When you come in to the sport with a nickname like "sliced bread" and the public believes you'll be the next Jimmie Johnson instantly, you are bound to fall short of what people expect.
Logano is a good kid, with genuine talent and Gibbs is lucky to have him. You could tell he was positively thrilled with the result Sunday at Pocono, and was hoping the haters would step down their talk of him losing his ride.
"I hope it shuts them all up is what I hope. I tell you what, it just means a lot for this whole team. Jason Ratcliff (crew chief) to get his first Cup win for him -- man, it means so much. You don't understand. Man, it's just cool."
I'll just say this: Logano was probably safe in his ride before this win (really, what better free agent are they going to get?), and after the win he is almost 100 percent safe, especially if he goes on to make the Chase. Another win and a solid standing in the top 20 would make that almost a certainty, and he is very capable of achieving that.
So in closing, no I do not think Joey Logano is the next Richard Petty, but he is definitely worthy of his seat at Joe Gibbs Racing and will win more races and make Chases in the future.
And I don't think he'll be a free agent anytime soon.