NASCAR: Why Roger Penske Will Regret Choosing Joey Logano to Drive for Him

Hugo Olguin@@RealHugoOlguinContributor IIISeptember 5, 2012

HAMPTON, GA - AUGUST 31:  Joey Logano, driver of the #20 The Home Depot Toyota, looks on during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Advocare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2012 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo by Tyler Barrick/Getty Images)
Tyler Barrick/Getty Images

When it became official that Joey Logano was going to drive the No. 22 car for Roger Penske, I just shook my head. 

I know I'm not the only one who believed that Sam Hornish Jr. deserved a chance to drive that car full time. I would have understood Penske bringing in someone like Matt Kenseth or Ryan Newman over Hornish, but Joey Logano?

I'll say this about Joey Logano: He's a good Nationwide Series driver, and I bet he could win a championship if he had a full-time ride.  

As a Sprint Cup driver, Logano is the definition of overrated.  

Granted, Logano won at Pocono earlier this season. What else has he done this season to deserve the Penske ride?

Logano sits 18th in points and has eight Top 10 finishes. If that's the standard that Penske has for the No. 22 ride, he should have called Paul Menard.  

Menard sits 15th in points with seven Top 10 finishes. Do many people think of Paul Menard as Chase contender or even a contender for wins on a regular basis?

The fact is, Menard has technically out-driven Logano this season.  

Let's look a little deeper into Logano's finishes this season: In 15 of 25 races this season, Logano has finishes 15th or worse, and that includes four finishes outside the Top 30. By the way, all of those finishes outside the Top 30 have come in the last 11 races.  

Taking it a step further, three of those bad finishes came in the last six races.  

As successful as Roger Penske is in the world of racing, he still has not been able to bring home a championship in the Sprint Cup Series.  

He has a great young driver in Brad Keselowski that I believe will bring him a championship someday. Even this season, possibly. Joey Logano brings mediocre finishes with a few good races mixed in.  

Logano can't even blame the team he drove for. Logano's former crew chief, Greg Zipadelli, couldn't do anything with him, and he was able to control Tony Stewart. That Home Depot team won two championships, and Logano has dragged it down to where Top 15 finishes are a good day.

Penske picked Logano over Sam Hornish Jr., who has been driving the No. 22 car since A.J. Allmendinger was suspended.  

Hornish has done a good job in that car after being thrown into that ride, and he's getting better every week. Hornish is starting to get that car to run closer to the front, week after week.

I'm sure Penske is nervous about bringing Hornish back to the Sprint Cup Series after how bad he struggled when he was driving in the Sprint Cup Series a few years ago.  

The difference between now and then is that Hornish has had the chance to develop in the Nationwide Series, and he's currently third in points. He's right in the middle of a championship battle.  

Roger Penske should have put Sam Hornish Jr. in the No. 22 car for next season.  

Penske now has Joey Logano, who is going to be under the microscope next season to win multiple races and be a championship contender.  

I don't have any faith in Logano achieving those goals. In fact, I could easily see that No. 22 car go winless in 2013.  

All I can say to Roger Penske and Joey Logano is "good luck."