Logano Heading Back To Familiar Place For Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500
He was just a kid when Joey Logano moved to Atlanta with his family to pursue a career in professional auto racing. At just 10 years old, the youngster from Middletown, Connecticut began building his resume with a Bandolero Bandits Series championship on Atlanta Motor Speedway's "Thunder Ring," setting a track record with 14 consecutive wins.
Today, that resume has grown to include nine wins in NASCAR's top division, including a victory in the 2015 season-opening 57th running of the Daytona 500.
While the quarter-mile "Thunder Ring" at AMS was a cinch in his formative years, success on its 1.5-mile speedway has not always come easy for the now 24-year-old veteran.
"When I first started, I hated it," he said. "I wasn't any good there."
But two years ago, he learned a few things at Atlanta Motor Speedway and scored a second-place finish there. Since then, all he's done is win seven races in NASCAR's top division, including five in 2014, and earned a spot in last year's the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship 4.
"I felt like we should have won there in '13," he said. "Last year we also had a fast race car. So, I look forward to going there and trying to get a win."
On Sunday, Logano will have that opportunity in the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Sprint Cup Series race and will vie for a victory at a track he's familiar with.
"Atlanta for me - I lived there for six years. It's one of those race tracks that's special to win at," he said. "I've watched probably more Cup races there than I've raced in it so far, so that also makes it a little more special after watching that many there."
Another driver fans will keep a close eye on is four-time Sprint Cup Series champion and five-time winner at Atlanta, Jeff Gordon, who recently announced his retirement from full-time racing following this season. After making his Sprint Cup Series debut in Atlanta in 1992, the racing icon will return one last time to the place where it all began nearly 23 years ago.
But Gordon's focus remains on racing and what it takes to win at a track where he's had continued success.
"I obviously think about the temperature and the weather, but the first thing that really comes to my mind is that I just love Atlanta," said Gordon. "It's a great track for us, one track that I always feel competitive at with a shot to win. Especially the way we ran last year, I think we could have another great shot at it this year."
On-track action in Atlanta gets underway Thursday with the first open team test of the 2015 season. On Friday, Sprint Cup Series drivers will vie for Sunday's pole position in the Drive Sober Georgia Qualifying Day.
Saturday's doubleheader will feature the XFINITY Series Hisense 250 and the Camping World Truck Series Hyundai Construction Equipment 200, and Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Sprint Cup Series race rounds out Atlanta's 2015 NASCAR weekend.
For more information about Atlanta Motor Speedway's NASCAR week or to purchase tickets, call the AMS ticket office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX or visit http://www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.