DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 8, 2008) - "Sliced bread" is coming to the Daytona 500.
Joey Logano, nicknamed "sliced bread" from the famous phrase "the greatest thing since sliced bread," will make his first career Daytona 500 start in next year's 51st annual "Great American Race" on Sunday, Feb. 15.
The 18-year-old Logano, who in only his third career start became the youngest winner in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in June, will replace two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart behind the wheel of the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing beginning with the 2009 Sprint Cup Series season and the 51st annual Daytona 500.
In addition, Logano, who will campaign for Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, will make his DIRECTV Speedweeks debut in the Budweiser Shootout on Saturday, Feb. 7. The 2009 non-points All-Star race will have a new format featuring the top six teams in owner's points for each car manufacturer and Logano will be representing Toyota in the No. 20 car.
"I'm really excited," Logano said. "Plus I just found out that I'll be running the Shootout as well. That will be really cool too since that will give me a little more experience there at Daytona. That means a lot to be in the Daytona 500. I went down there last five or six years and I've had to watch from the sidelines and to be involved in it next year is really exciting.
"There's a lot to learn with the draft there so there will be a learning curve too. There's just so much history there and to be able to be on the same track that so many legends have won at is really an honor. It's Daytona and that's the Daytona 500. Even though I've never run in the race, I know how much of a big deal it is."
Logano, who was signed to Joe Gibbs Racing's driver development program back in 2005, has generated plenty of buzz since he began racing at the age of six. He has already amassed a long list of accomplishments including most recently winning in his ARCA RE/MAX Series debut in May at Rockingham and winning 2007 Camping World East championship.
He'll next try to add youngest Daytona 500 winner to that list. The current record is owned by Jeff Gordon, who won the Daytona 500 back in 1997 at the age of 25 years, six months and 12 days.
"We've got a big job ahead of us representing Home Depot and their 320,000 associates and it would be great to start the season off right and have a good run in such a big race," Logano said.