Joey Logano Visits Alabama As Part Of NASCAR’s ‘Chase Across North America’ [PHOTOS]
Joey Logano, one of the 16 Challengers for the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, made a pit stop in Birmingham earlier today to visit with kids at Children’s Hospital.
While there he talked about NASCAR’s revamped Chase, which includes the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, Oct. 19.
Logano was one of 16 “Chase Across North America” drivers participating in events within the U.S., Canada and Mexico Wednesday. The driver of the No. 22 Ford for Team Penske and winner of three races this season enters the 10-race playoff seeded fifth for the first race of The Chase this weekend in Chicago.
The 24-year old driver said,
I think the Chase Across North America is a pretty fun experience. I had a great time with the kids at the Children’s Hospital of Alabama. They gave me a “bead of courage” for good luck, and coming from them, it really means something to me. They create necklaces with colorful beads to tell their story of courage along their path of treatment. It’s really special to receive.
The day was a part of the Hospital’s month-long “Celebrating our Superheroes” program, in which the kids presented Logano with the special “bead of courage,” a special, meaningful symbol that was pinned his uniform for good luck in the upcoming Chase races. During the day, Logano made personal visits with patients and their families, as well as participated in activities with the kids that included building wooden toy cars, complete with Talladega Superspeedway stickers.
Behind the wheel at NASCAR’s mammoth 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway, Logano has shown he has the strength and “courage” of a superhero to compete for wins. The GEICO 500 will be the final race of the all-important “Contender Round” of the Chase, which will narrow the field of eligible drivers from 12 to eight for the championship. He has a pair of top-five Sprint Cup Series results at NASCAR’s Most Competitive track, including a third in the 2009 GEICO 500. Earlier this year in May, he was a frontrunner, leading four times for 25 laps before being involved in a late-race accident which wiped away his chances at that elusive Cup Talladega triumph.
Logano also said,
I think Talladega is so exciting for the fans. There is always action at Talladega. We are going 200 mph all the way around. It’s just all-out. It’s like ‘Wow’ for me. The cars are always in big packs. Towards the end of the race, the intensity levels boils over bigtime and you start pushing and banging each other’s doors off a little bit harder, then something big happens. Don’t know what will happen, but you can bet something big will. The fans are drawn to Talladega and I know why. It’s going to be a crazy finish, and the race could play a big role in outcome of the championship this year.
Of the 16 drivers in the Chase, half have gone to Gatorade Victory Lane at Talladega Superspeedway. They include: Jeff Gordon (6 wins), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (5 wins), Jimmie Johnson (2 wins), Brad Keselowski (2 wins), Kevin Harvick (1 win), Kyle Busch (1 win), Denny Hamlin (1 win) and Matt Kenseth (1 win). Other Chase Challengers vying for the title include Logano, Carl Edwards, Kurt Busch, Kasey Kahne, Aric Almilora, AJ Allmendinger, Greg Biffle and Ryan Newman.
The number of championship drivers in contention for the title will decrease after every three Chase races – 12 after race No. 3 in the Challenger Round; eight after the GEICO 500 (race No. 6) in the Contender Round and four after Chase race No. 9 in the Eliminator Round. A win by a championship-eligible driver in any Chase race automatically clinches the winning driver a spot in the next round. Four drivers will enter the season finale with a chance for the Cup, with the highest finisher among the quartet the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion.