Will Tony Stewart Still Be Driving No. 20 Car in 2009?

William EdwardsContributor IJune 27, 2008

Look, Tony Stewart is a great driver.  I'm not about to knock his ability to win races and create buzz for Joe Gibbs Racing.  In fact, they are one of my favorite teams in NASCAR.

There is one problem that seems to be hurting them in the 2008 season—Joey Logano.

It's too late for them to bring him into the Sprint Cup and contend for the championship or the chase.  He is good enough to be racing among NASCAR's best, but he needs to gain experience in the Nationwide series first.

The Gibbs Nationwide team has had the wonderful opportunity to find Logano at a young age and let him mature in Gibbs Developmental-sponsored car.

He has had some of the best equipment over the years, and it is starting to show it in the Nationwide series.  In just a couple of starts he already has three top ten finishes, two poles, and one win.

This is the reason why Tony Stewart needs to watch his back when it comes to his No. 20 Home Depot Toyota.  Logano can and will be pulled at some point in the 2008 season to race for Gibbs in the Sprint Cup.

If he performs well, there is no reason why the team would not want Stewart to buy out of his contract early (it ends in 2009).

If this happens, there is a real chance that Logano—at age 18 mind you—could be racing at the beginning of '09 in the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota car.

Unless Tony has that usual summer heat to give him some momentum, I wouldn't be surprised if we hear by October that Tony has backed out of his contract with Joe Gibbs Racing for the 2009 season.

I don't know about you guys, but I'm ready for a changing of the guard.

To Harvick, Gordon, Johnson, Kenseth, Junior...there are some new young guns named Logano, Busch, and Kahne that have come steal your thunder as the top dogs.