Joey Lagano: Don't Move Too Fast

Matt EddieContributor IJune 15, 2008

Last night was a huge night for Joey Lagano and Joe Gibbs Racing. Joe Gibbs has invested more money in this 18-year-old than he did in Tony Stewart when he was making his transition to NASCAR from the IRL.

His first pole came in only his second start and his second pole in only his third start last night at the Kentucky Speedway. Game Stop came on board and took a chance with this young kid. He showed up the field last night. That was a heck of a run he had and he deserves a pat on the back.

People are saying he is the biggest thing. Some people are even talking that he could replace Tony Stewart next season if Tony leaves Joe Gibbs Racing. Even though Joe Gibbs says that is not an option, I still get the feeling that they are moving this kid too fast.

Sure, he needs some seat time, but this has all happened so fast. Casey Atwood was the next Jeff Gordon for a few many years. He moved to the Sprint Cup series with Ray Evernham in 2001 at the age of 20. Now he is testing cars for Joe Gibbs and Jack Roush and can't find a ride anywhere. I would slow the kid down some and run him in some ARCA races before I threw him in with the wolves. Despite his sensational rookie performance, his progression should be slowed or Joe Gibbs will wind up with $10 million of wasted money.