The NASCAR notebook …CHARLOTTE ó Joey Logano better be good. Very good.
Scratch that. He better be great.
A longtime developmental driver for Joe Gibbs Racing, the team had been counting down the days until Logano turned 18 last week. That made the phenom eligible to compete at NASCAR’s national level and JGR wasted no time putting their prized prospect in a car.
Logano makes his debut Saturday in the Nationwide Series race at Dover International Speedway, and his boss clearly expects big things ó now.
“The last time I called him … I said, ‘Hey, no pressure ó we’ll take a first or second every time,’ ” Joe Gibbs quipped.
He was only partly joking.
Gibbs has likely invested several million dollars in Logano in the three years he’s been in JGR’s developmental system. The team won the race to sign him after veteran Mark Martin raved about the then 15-year-old “real deal” who was cleaning up in everything from legends to late models.
“I am high on Joey Logano because I am absolutely, 100 percent positive, without a doubt that he can be one of the greatest that ever raced in NASCAR,” Martin said in 2005. “I’m positive. There’s no doubt in my mind.”
PENALIZEDCHARLOTTE ó Three members of Brad Keselowski’s team, including crew chief Tony Eury Sr., were penalized Wednesday for participating in post-race altercation with Denny Hamlin’s crew on pit road at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.
Crew members from both teams scuffled after late race contact between the two drivers in Saturday night’s Nationwide Series event. Keselowski ran into the back of Hamlin under caution, and Hamlin retaliated by hitting him back.
The drivers finished second and third in the race, and their crews had to be separated in the impound area.
Eury Sr. was fined $1,000 and placed on probation until June 25.