Logano goes from rejection to redemption

Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:29pm EST
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By Lewis Franck

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (Reuters) - Thanks to Roger Penske's keen eye for motor racing talent, Joey Logano’s career went from rejection to redemption on Sunday as he steered one of "The Captain's" cars to victory at the Daytona 500.

While it was Logano's maiden visit to Victory Lane in NASCAR's showcase event, it was also just the second for team owner Penske, an American motor racing giant known to race fans as "The Captain" who has record 15 Indianapolis 500 winners.

But success has been harder to come by in Florida, Penske and Logano coming together to form a Daytona dream team.

“It feels just like the way you dream it,” Logano said in Victory Lane.

Growing up in Connecticut, Logano dreamt of following in the tire track of four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon, a three-time winner of the 'Great American Race' who ran his final 500 on Sunday.

Later he would come under the watchful eye of NASCAR driver, Mark Martin, who told tell anyone who would listen that the young Logano was a future champion.

Nicknamed “Sliced Bread”, an American term often used to described the next best thing, Logano was tipped for stockcar stardom.

He was hired by three-time Super Bowl winning coach Joe Gibbs in 2009 to replace three-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart who was forming his own team.   Continued...

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Joey Logano (22) celebrates winning the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey