Joey Logano: It Is Time to Move on from Joe Gibbs Racing

Sandra MacWattersCorrespondent IAugust 20, 2012

SONOMA, CA - JUNE 22:  Joey Logano, driver of the #20 The Home Depot Toyota, sits in his car in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma on June 22, 2012 in Sonoma, California.  (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Joey Logano has had a wild ride with Joe Gibbs Racing since he was 16-years-old. He was thrust into the prestigious Home Depot No. 20 Cup car perhaps before his time, now it is time for him to cut the cord with JGR.

There is little doubt that much has been invested in the young driver by JGR. The last two years though, have been a true test for Logano with him not knowing how his future will play out.

During the 2011 season, Logano had the threat of Carl Edward's decision to stay or leave Roush Fenway Racing and his possible move to JGR and the No. 20 car.

Logano, 22, has had to wonder once again about his future this season, a contract year for him.

Matt Kenseth announced he would leave Roush Fenway Racing in June. It is perhaps one of the worst kept secrets in the sport that Kenseth is coming to Joe Gibbs Racing.

Logano has talked to one other team owner, likely Roger Penske. The coveted seat in the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford for 2013 could well be a possibility for Logano.

Sam Hornish Jr. currently has control of that ride with Penske, but it is probable that there will be a third Cup team at Penske Racing next season.

Sponsorship is key to decisions with not only Penske, but Joe Gibbs Racing as well. Should Logano stay with JGR he might be relegated to a new Cup team that could have funding for only a partial schedule.


He would then have to drop back down to the NASCAR Nationwide Series and run for the title. He has had considerable success in that series, but it is not the way he wants his future to go.

If indeed Penske is the other option being considered by Logano, he needs to make the leap of faith and go with the highly respected owner who will be loyal to the young driver.

Joe Gibbs stated recently to ESPN, "Everything is up in the air" so far as the status of Logano and his future with JGR.

Gibbs added that he hoped to make an announcement within the next two weeks. The timing just may coincide with the race at Atlanta, which by-the-way, is home base for Home Depot.

Lee Spencer of Fox Sports reported that Penske hopes to make an announcement regarding who will drive the No. 22 before the start of the Chase at Chicagoland.

The pieces are slowly falling into place with upcoming announcements. Logano is maturing and with two career Cup wins, he has served his apprenticeship with JGR.

It is the biggest decision of this young driver's career and one that can't be easy. He owes a lot to Joe Gibbs Racing, but the time has come for him to move on. It is often said that change is good.