June 28: Joey Logano becomes the youngest winner of a NASCAR Cup race

Tuesday, June 28, 2022 by René Fagnan

A young, inexperienced driver scored his first NASCAR Cup victory on June 28, 2009 on the one-mile oval at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

This gifted youngster is called Joey Logano. A native of Middletown, Connecticut, Logano was a busy boy and started racing in the Quarter Midget class when he was six years old. A few years later, he dominated in the Late Model category where he was spotted by veteran Mark Martin who praised him to Joe Gibbs, the former NFL coach who became the owner of NASCAR Cup and Nationwide Series teams.

In 2007, NASCAR granted permission to drivers aged 16 and over to race in the Nationwide Series. Logano joined Gibbs’ team and won in his third race in this series and thereby became the youngest driver to win in Nationwide at only 18 years and 21 days.

That year, Logano contested only 19 of 35 races in the Nationwide Series. His boss is preparing for the future, as he must replace Tony Stewart, two-time NASCAR Cup champion, who is leaving him at the end of the season.

Logano is entered in five Cup races at the end of the year with the Joe Gibbs Racing and Hall of Fame Racing teams. He missed qualifying twice and finished 32nd in New Hampshire, 39th in Kansas and 40th in Texas.

It is therefore with amazement that the motor racing world learns that for the 2009 NASCAR Cup season, it is the young Joey Logano, 19, who will be driving the Toyota Camry No. 20 sponsored by the chain of Home Depot building supply stores.

Arrive the beginning of the 2009 season. Logano has a little trouble, but signs three ninth places almost consecutively. In June, the Cup teams park their huge trucks in the paddock of the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon to compete in the Lenox Industrial Tools 301.

The young rookie is well supported by one of the best team leaders in NASCAR, Greg Zipadelli, who worked for ten years alongside Tony Stewart at Joe Gibbs Racing.

Qualifying is canceled due to rain, which puts Logano in 24th position on the starting grid.

Logano almost lost everything

From the start of the race, everyone noticed that rain was threatening and likely to fall during the 301-lap event of this 1.058 mile long oval. Logano is following Zipadelli’s directions carefully and is part of the group of competitors who opted to refuel out of sequence.

Logano was close to disaster during the race when, stuck in traffic, he spun and hit the wall, which caused some damage to his Toyota and caused him to lose a lap on the leaders.

Fortunately for him, he was granted the “free pass” from the next neutralization, which put him back in the lead.

The black clouds are really close to the circuit… The team leaders know full well that the rain will start to fall in a few minutes.

The point guard, Ryan Newman, hopes that the rain will soon appear. He slowed down to save fuel, but his V8 ran out of fuel on lap 264. Logano finds himself leading the pack. However, four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon was second and caught Logano. The two try to save fuel and watch the sky.

Three laps later, the rain begins to fall. The peloton completes the next six laps behind the safety car. The rain is now heavy and the officials raise the red flag at the 273rd lap. Logano, who took part in his 20th Cup start, was declared the winner ahead of Jeff Gordon and Kurt Busch.

At 19 years, one month and four days, Joey Logano becomes the youngest winner of a NASCAR Cup race, breaking the record set by Kyle Busch by 20 years, four months and two days.

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