Young Sprint Cup Series driver Joey Logano knew he needed just a bit more seat time in preparation for the Pocono 500. So, he did what any good driver would do: He sought out another series racing at the same track to get some additional time behind the wheel.
Logano partnered with Venturini Motorsports to run the No. 25 Home Depot car in the ARCA RE/MAX series, also racing at Pocono this weekend.
Logano battled Justin Lofton, another youngster in the series, in the No. 6 car. In fact, several times during the race they traded the lead back and forth.
But Logano was the stronger driver and led most of the laps. He had great pit stops, including his final stop where the entire team celebrated how quickly they got Joey back out on the track.
Logano was in a jovial mood in the media center for the post-race interview. He said that ARCA was a good series, where he could "learn a lot, especially for the Cup race".
"I definitely learned a little that I can try tomorrow," said Logano. "I had a great race car, was pretty quick, and led most of the laps."
When asked if he was toying with the No. 6 car in the race, he bristled slightly: "I wasn't toying with him, I just didn't want to abuse my car."
Logano disclosed that this was not the same race car he had in Rockingham. It was instead an old No. 20 car from Joe Gibbs Racing.
Logano said that he learned more by staying at Pocono Raceway, rather than running back and forth to the Nationwide race this weekend in Nashville.
But having said that, he made one commitment: "I am running Kentucky next week, though."
Logano said that the best thing he could do was stay and run "at a track I've never been at that is so different."
When asked what he learned in the ARCA race that could translate to the Cup series, Logano said it was "a bunch of little things." He primarily learned about "bumps, grip, and let-off points."
The ARCA race technically was not Logano's first time on the Pocono track. Denny Hamlin, his fellow Cup driver, had taken him around the track in a street car for a few hot laps.
Logano said he learned a great deal about the reference points on the track from Hamlin. But then he said that Hamlin started to go too fast and he was just "hanging on."
"It's tough to be in the passenger seat with another race car driver," said Logano. "Now I know how people feel when they ride with me."
Logano said that he has had a great run with Billy Venturini and Venturini Motorsports. This was his fourth ARCA race with them, and so far he has had two wins and two second-place finishes with the team.
Logano said that the team was "pretty cool," acknowledging that Venturini and Joe Gibbs Racing work extremely well together.
Indeed,there is magic between Venturini Motorsports and Joe Gibb Racing, especially with Joey Logano behind the wheel.
Logano proved just that, grinning widely in victory lane, as he accepted the ARCA trophy amid the cheers of the crowd and the Budweiser spray of his team.
The top 10 in the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series at Pocono Raceway are as follows:
1. Joey Logano
2. Justin Lofton
3. Patrick Sheltra
4. Joey Coulter
5. Matt Merrell
6. Parker Kligerman
7. Robb Brent
8. Mikey Kile
9. Craig Goess
10. Alli Owens