It's been a whirlwind season for young Joey Logano.
The Middletown, CT native is a talent that rarely comes along.
Regular readers know how highly I think about him. This is a guy that won the East Series title at the age of 17. He followed that up by dominating the ARCA race at Rockingham this May in preparation for his Nationwide Series debut, which came at Dover in May.
He would go on to capture poles at Nashville and Kentucky, and won in Kentucky after just three series starts.
Logano followed up with consecutive runner-up finishes at Milwaukee and Gateway and top-10 runs at O'Reilly Raceway Park, Watkins Glen, and Michigan.
The kid's ready to contend at any level you put him in.
For Gibbs, this meant not going outside of the organization to find a replacement for Tony Stewart in the No. 20 Home Depot Camry.
Why go through that process and deal with possible chemistry issues when the best choice is already there?
Logano's been a teammate to both returning drivers, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch. Hamlin in particular has taken an active role in Logano's development, which will only accelerate the learning curve.
Logano may actually be on the same level as most drivers in the COT, since he has been the primary test driver for the cars since their inception.
I'm going on record right now and saying that Logano wins in 2009 and qualifies for the Chase. I'm that confident in his ability, not to mention the Joe Gibbs Racing camp and the quality of the team he will inherit.
As for the rest of 2008, Logano is looking at running six Sprint Cup races in the No. 02: Richmond, New Hampshire, Kansas, Lowes, Atlanta, Texas.
He'll also race in nine Nationwide races in the No. 20, as well as an ARCA race at Talladega in order to garner some plate experience before the Daytona 500 this fall.
Here is his ride for 2009, courtesy of Home Depot Racing: