Logano toughening up

Published 7:24 pm Friday, June 11, 2010

One of the more memorable scenes, and sound bites, from the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup thus far happened Sunday after the race at Pocono. The scene of young Joey Logano, showing a bit of fire, tossing a few four-letter words at Kevin Harvick in the pits Sunday proved he has emotion necessary to compete on this level.

Logano was having a top-five run when his Home Depot car tangled with Harvick with less than five laps remaining. After the race, Logano parked in Harvick’s pit to “talk to him a little bit,” but could never make it through the dozen or so pit guys in red and yellow Pennzoil suits to get close to Harvick.

The sound bite came after Logano settle down a bit and said that Harvick’s “stupid” driving probably wasn’t his fault because his wife, Delana, “wears the fire suit in the family and tells him what to do.” Ouch.

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Pretty tough stuff from a guy that isn’t old enough to legally drink a beer and only a couple of years into his career. But, as Kyle Petty mentioned during the telecast, if Logano hadn’t have stepped up and “faced the bully,” he would continue to be pushed around. Good for you, Joey.

Sports Illustrated is reporting that Kasey Kahne and Rick Hendrick are nearing a deal for Kahne to drive the No. 09 car owned by James Finch in the 2011 season before moving to the No. 5 car in 2012.

Hendrick Motorsports would provide the chassis and engines for the car, much like the arrangement with Stewart Haas Racing. In essence, Kahne would be driving a fifth Hendrick car, just without Rick Hendrick’s name listed as the owner.

If you recall, this was the arrangement that led Brad Keselowski to win the April Talladega race last season. He drove the No. 09 Chevrolet, powered by a Hendrick engine.

The magazine is also reporting that Mark Martin, the 2011 driver of Kahne’s 2012 ride, would consider purchasing the team from Finch after the season. That move would allow Martin to continue driving, at a competitive pace, past the end of his contract with Hendrick.

I still have a sneaking suspicion that, somehow, Kahne will end up in the No. 5 car next season. Rick Hendrick has a penchant for making these types of things happen.

The aforementioned Harvick continues to lead the points standings after the Pocono race last week. With 14 races in the books, I don’t think it is too early to begin looking at the points and which drivers are inside the top 12, and which are out.

Some big names are on the outside looking in at this point. Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, Juan Montoya, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. will all have to step up performance to make the show.

Michigan International Speedway, the super-fast two-mile track, is next on the schedule. Teams always like to perform well at this location, simply because of the close proximity of the corporate offices of the domestic automakers in Detroit.

Look for Carl Edwards to end his winless streak and make Ford proud this Sunday by picking up the win.