ESPN has put the cart before the horse.
Joey Logano has been nominated as "Breakout Athlete of 2009." The only problem is, 2009 isn’t here yet and Logano hasn't done anything to deserve the nomination.
Currently Logano runs a limited schedule in the Nationwide Series for Joe Gibbs Racing and won his first race in only his third career start.
The kid—nicknamed “Sliced Bread”—has won in everything that he’s ever sat in and most of that equipment has been Joe Gibbs Racing equipment. This has prompted the officials at JGR to promote Logano to a full time Cup ride in 2009 when Tony Stewart moves on to his own team.
In order to prepare him Logano officials at JGR wanted Logano to get seat time and to show the world that he was ready for the big time.
They probably should have waited.
Logano made his first Sprint Cup start at New Hampshire in September driving for Hall of Fame Racing. Sure, he didn’t wreck the car but that was about all he did. He couldn’t keep pace with any of the leaders and finished thirty-second...three laps down.
Round two came at the Kansas Motor Speedway. Logano again couldn’t keep pace and bounced the car off the wall a couple times. He finished thirty-ninth.
On both of these occasions Logano blamed the equipment of Hall-of-Fame Racing and couldn’t wait to get in a Joe Gibbs Racing prepared car. In Logano's defense, Hall-of-Fame Racing doesn't exactly have top notch equipment; however, there has been so much hype surrounding him and the way he talks, we're lead to believe that he could not only compete but win in anything.
Finally at the Texas Motor Speedway, both Logano and the world saw him in a JGR race car.
Not surprisingly he didn’t perform.
He finished fortieth and nine laps off the pace. There was no excuse this time.
Many fans and media, specifically Jimmy Spencer, has said that Logano is just not ready for the Sprint Cup Series and that extra time in the Nationwide Series wouldn’t hurt.
Now, ESPN The Magazine is ready to declare him a breakout for a year that isn't even on the calander yet. Apparently they have not seen how he has performed at this point either.
However, maybe they have it right. Maybe he will be a breakout-only because he’s going to have Tony Stewart’s championship winning team and cars.