17-Year-Old Humbled By Banquet Experience and Standing Ovation
MOORESVILLE, NC (December 17, 2007) – Joey Logano has been living the dream this year and the 17-year-old does not want to wake up. The NASCAR Busch East Series awards banquet at Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun Casino and Resort was the culmination of that dream year, as Logano was officially crowned the 2007 Series Champion. Logano, who is the youngest champion in the history of the Busch East Series, was also awarded with Rookie of the Year honors.
The Joe Gibbs Development Driver admitted that the Awards Banquet, which included the teen receiving a standing ovation from all in attendance, was an overwhelming experience.
"At first, I didn’t realize everyone standing because I was a nervous wreck and I was trying to not look at everyone," said Logano. "Then I looked and everyone was clapping and standing up, and that is when it personally started sinking in for me. It made me a little more nervous, but it’s definitely one of the neatest experiences I have ever had in my life.
"Tonight is way cooler than I even thought it would be. It’s pretty sick because you have all the banners and this big stage, and it’s cool to be up on the stage as a champion."
Joey showed his competition that he could handle whatever was thrown at him during 2007. Logano joked that the pressure of racing is nothing compared to making his first ever speech on the big stage at Mohegan Sun’s Uncas Ballroom.
"I’m not going to lie, I was a nervous wreck. I wasn’t feeling good about it. But I just wheeled it, and there was nothing special about the speech. I made it quick and easy."
The Busch East Banquet wasn’t the only champion’s celebration keeping Logano busy. A week earlier, Logano joined all of NASCAR’s Champions, including NASCAR Nextel Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, in the NASCAR Awards Banquet festivities in New York City.
"New York was cool. It was neat to be with all the champions. Jimmie Johnson was there; Carl Edwards and Ron Hornaday were all there. We got to do the luncheon and the banquet. It’s cool to be up there and go to Rockefeller Center. I wanted to lace up the (ice) skates, but I didn’t have any with me. We had police escorts everywhere we were going. We had this police car in front of us just diggin’, and I was thinking ‘this is cool.’ They gave us championship helmets, and all the champions signed each other’s helmets."
Joey finished his phenomenal rookie season with six victories in the NASCAR Busch East Series on his way to the championship. He and his Joe Gibbs Driven Racing Oil #20 Team proudly wore their NASCAR Champions’ rings together as they left the banquet hall.
“This ring is pretty cool," said a very-happy Logano. "They sent me a picture of what it was going to look like, but the picture did it no justice. We got everyone all measured up and got them for the whole team. It’s a little heavy, and it’s weighing down my hand. It’s giving me a little workout. I haven’t worn a ring since running quarter-midgets, so getting a ring like this is definitely special.
"This whole team worked so hard this year, and to celebrate with everyone here is awesome. We have 75 people here and so much of my family here. It’s sinking in right now as I stand on this stage and look over at the ol’ championship trophy. It sinks in when you look around at all of this."
Joey is set to make his debut in May of 2008 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series as soon as he turns 18 years old.