Second championship cements Joey Logano’s place in NASCAR history

Joey Logano has cemented a place in NASCAR history (Getty Images)

When the checkered flag waved over the 2022 Cup Series Championship race on Sunday at the Phoenix Raceway, Joey Logano had achieved something that only a short list of other competitors can claim. The Middletown, Connecticut racer became just the 17th driver in the history of NASCAR to win multiple championships at the sport’s top division. In doing so, the 32-year-old went a long way toward cementing a place in history.

The only other active driver on the list of multi-time champions is Kyle Busch.

Further, Logano’s win in the finale pulled him into a tie on the all-time victory list with Martin Truex Jr. at 31. Those two stars rank 28th among the sport’s leaders in collecting trophies.

Fresh off his triumph on Sunday afternoon, Logano was asked about the significance of becoming a two-time champion. At the same time, he reflected on some previous disappointments while also praising his crew chief.

“Yeah, it’s great,” the Team Penske driver declared. “I guess I haven’t really put much thought into it yet. It’s awesome to hear it. I guess the greed in me feels like I should have four or five at the moment, so I guess the feeling is it’s about time. But that’s just how I am and how I work, I guess. This one is special for a lot of reasons, and one thing that I think probably stands out most to me is just the way Paul(Wolfe) did it and we all did it together all the way through.”

Logano won the NASCAR Cup Series title in 2018 but failed to capitalize on making the Championship 4 in 2014, 2016 and 2020. Crew Chief Wolfe won a championship in 2012 with then Penske driver Brad Keselowski.

Those previous disappointments taught Logano and his crew how to better prepare for this particular opportunity.

“When you get this far, I said it all week, we weren’t satisfied with being in the Championship 4,” Logano explained. “There was nothing to celebrate for us. We’ve been here before. We know what it feels like to lose. It’s the worst feeling in the world, if I’m being honest, and winning is the best feeling in the world. It’s great to be able to accomplish it. I said that this was revenge for 2020. It certainly was. Something that’s going to stick with me for a while.”

But how is the second championship experience different from the first from an emotional standpoint?

“I mean, it’s definitely — it feels a little different, if I’m being honest,” the victor pointed out. “It definitely feels a little different. But it still feels really special. What I remember of the first championship was the moment when you get out of the car and you see everybody for the first time. That’s the most special moment of the whole thing.”

Logano had a feeling this time around would be different from 2018. Now a father with three young children, his priorities have changed a bit since then which has given the driver a new perspective on life and racing.

“I knew it was going to be this time,” he added. “Last time it was a surprise. I didn’t know, like, oh — now seeing your team, seeing your wife, your kids, your mom, your dad, like just all that stuff for the first time and celebrating together and really taking a moment to really enjoy that, even more so than we did last time, I was conscious about that because it’s the best moment. That first 10 minutes is the best. There’s just nothing like it. It’s so hard to achieve it, and you just hope to have that feeling again.”

The now two-time champion took time to savor his achievement with his family during the post-race celebration and had no regrets about doing so.

“Yeah, I took my time. I’m glad I did. Because, like I said, it’s just so tough to do.”

This was not just a win but a turning point in the history of this driver and the sport of NASCAR. There haven’t been very many multi-time champions and there are even fewer of them who remain active today. Joey Logano now holds a prominent and historic place in the racing world.

Keep in mind that at his current age, there could very well be many more wins and even a few more championships to go in his career.

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Richard Allen has been covering NASCAR and other forms of motorsports since 2008.

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