Joey Logano punches ticket to Hall of Fame with second title

AVONDALE, ARIZONA - NOVEMBER 06: NASCAR President Steve Phelps presents the Bill France NASCAR Cup Series Championship trophy to Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, in victory lane after winning the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway on November 06, 2022 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Joey Logano torched the field Sunday at Phoenix Raceway. He led 187 of 312 laps to score the victory and win his second NASCAR Cup Series championship.

Once a rising prospect who became the youngest driver to ever win a Cup Series race, Joe Gibbs Racing left him out to dry for Matt Kenseth. Eventually, he found his place and success with Team Penske. Now almost a decade later, if there was any doubt before Sunday, Logano has booked his place in the NASCAR Hall of Fame with his second title.

Numbers Don’t Lie

With his victory at Phoenix, Logano moves into a tie withย Martin Truex Jr. for 28th on NASCAR’s all-time wins list. Of the 27 ahead, only Jimmie Johnson and five other active drivers aren’t currently in the Hall of Fame. Logano has more victories than roughly three-quarters of the drivers to win a Cup Series race.

But it doesn’t stop at wins. With title number two, Logano joins 16 other drivers that have won multiple Cup Series championships, amongst a list of 35 to ever claim the title.

Perception Isn’t Reality

Logano isn’t the pompous rich kid of his rookie years (if he ever was one). I’ve seen him stick around to sign autographs for race fans, long after the race concluded and the cameras turned off. He’s about as approachable of a NASCAR driver as you’ll find.

Even if he is, he walks the walk. As mentioned before, he is already 28th on NASCAR’s all-time wins list. For a fan base that to this day worships at the alter of Dale Earnhardt, what driver is more aggressive and hard-racing than Logano? Yet most weeks, he receives the loudest boos in driver introductions.

 

Much like Jeff Gordon and, to an extent, Jimmie Johnson, I suspect Joey Logano won’t receive the overall respect and appreciation from fans until he retires from NASCAR. After Sunday (plus five years), that retirement will come with a spot in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Featured Image Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images