Celebrity Drive: NASCAR’s Joey Logano

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Quick Stats: Joey Logano, Daytona 500 winner, NASCAR driver
Daily Driver: 2018 Ford F-150 Raptor (Logano’s rating: 10 on a scale of 1 to 10)
Other cars: see below
Favorite road trip: Charlottesville, North Carolina, to Bristol, Tennessee
Car he learned to drive in: 1982 Honda Civic (manual transmission)
First car bought: 1937 GMC truck

As a NASCAR driver for Team Penske, Joey Logano has an enviable collection of Fords in his garage. But the vehicle he drives on a daily basis isn’t necessarily what you’d expect.

“My daily driver is a Ford Raptor,” Logano says. “I love driving it. They run so well, and it’s got the EcoBoost in it.”

On a scale of 1–10, Logano rates it an unmitigated 10. “The thing handles unbelievably off-road. It jumps really well, too,” he says with a gleeful laugh.

Ford GT

Ford is expected to make just 1,000 copies of the GT supercar. Logano’s matte black Ford GT is even more exclusive because it’s a Heritage Edition model. With unique color themes and wheel finishes, the special models pay homage to the GT40’s string of victories at Le Mans starting in 1966.

Like the Raptor, he ranks his GT a perfect 10. He enjoys its futuristic looks and its acceleration with launch control.

“It’s incredible, the way it accelerates, handles, [and] stops,” Logano says. “It really does all of it better than my race car, so it’s pretty incredible to drive something like that.”

Further distinguishing itself from other GTs, Logano’s car bears the badge “22,” referencing the No. 22 Fusion that he races for Team Penske. It also carries a VIN of 22, as it’s the 22nd copy built.

“You know, it’s a lot of fun; there are no limitations really on it,” Logano continued. “I mean with our race cars there are so many rules and stuff that the car can only do so much, but the Ford GT feels like it’s pretty much wide open.”


1924 Ford Model T

On the opposite end of the spectrum from his GT, Logano owns a 1924 Model T. Because it’s old, he only drives it 10 miles or so down the road at any given time. Despite its slowness, he says it’s probably one of the most fun cars to drive in his collection.

“I absolutely love driving it, but when it comes to the way it drives, it’s probably a 1 [on a scale of 1–10], you know, not fast or anything like that,” Logano says. “But it’s something challenging to drive and fun, so it’s got a little bit of everything in between.”


1961 Ford Econoline

Logano revamped an old Econoline pickup at his shop, putting a camper in the back. If the exterior isn’t wild enough for you, peek inside and you’ll find shaggy green carpet. It looks like a “’70s hippie wagon,” Logano says, but he likes it because it makes people laugh and smile.

Based on looks alone, the Econoline probably gets a 2, Logano admits. But he embraces the unusual design. ”You know, in all honesty, it’s not the best-designed car that I think Ford has ever produced,” Logano says, “but it’s something so unique, and that’s what kind of draws my attention.”

Once again, this isn’t the quickest car. But it’s authentic, retaining the stock straight-six engine and three-on-the-tree shifter.

“It goes on the highway about 65 mph, which is great,” Logano says. “But the way they are, you sit, you know, it’s a cab over design, so you’re sitting in front of the front tire. It gives you a weird sensation when you drive it.”


WaterCar

Other than a flying car, perhaps, an amphibious vehicle is one of the strangest things you can have in your automotive collection. Logano says his WaterCar can go 40 mph in the water. On a scale of 1–10, he gives it a ranking of 1 through 10 because the vehicle is in a class of its own.

“It’s kind of neat, you know, just to be able to drive something in the water and the wheels pull up and it has a transfer case that puts it into jet drive and off you go,” Logano says. “Once it’s in the water, obviously it’s a smaller boat, so if it’s really choppy out or something, then the car will bounce around a lot in the water. But heck, you’re driving a car into the water. It’s kind of cool.”


Car he learned to drive in

Logano got his first experience with driving much younger than most of us. By age 7, he had already won the 1997 Eastern Grand National Championship in the Junior Stock Car Quarter Midget division.

Shortly thereafter, he was tackling full-size cars. Logano recalls when he was around 8 years old, his dad gave him keys to a manual-transmission 1982 Honda Civic. That and plenty of freedom to explore the car on his own. As his dad ran a waste management company, he would drive it and all the trucks around the yard.

“I watched him enough growing up, so he goes, ‘You know what to do,’ and he went back to work,” Logano says. “So, you know, I just figured it out.”

Logano’s father was a formative part of his racing career. “Racing was something fun that my dad and I could go do together,” Logano says. “He was busy running a business, but racing was something that we went and did and really didn’t know anything about when we got started. I think it was something I was pretty good at from the start, and that helped fuel the interest even more and really start things moving forward.”

First car he bought

The first car Logano bought wasn’t fancy, but it’s one to remember. It was an old rat rod, a 1937 GMC truck chopped 6 inches and extended by 6 and a half inches. Logano says it “had all of these weird things done to it. And it was pretty neat for sure. 1–10, that one looks really cool.”

It had a Packard nose, he recounts, and remained unpainted with the sheetmetal exposed. He bought it that way and left it alone. “My guess is if you were to pull it out of the woods and chop it up and put it on the road, it’s kind of what it looks like,” Logano says.

Favorite road trip

Recently, Logano made the road trip from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Bristol, Tennessee, where his races were to be held. He made the journey there with his family, so he took the Raptor to hold all the people and gear.

“You’re driving through the mountains through Tennessee and North Carolina, and you’re turning back and forth as you’re jumping down through the mountains,” Logano says. “It was actually pretty enjoyable as long as you’re driving. I get carsick if I’m in the passenger seat, so I always drive up there.”

Joey Logano Foundation

In 2013, Logano formed his namesake foundation dedicated to giving people up to 24 years old a second chance in life. To date, it has given more than $2.4 million to a variety of organizations, including those that help sick children, offer safe places for kids from abusive homes, and assist in housing for veterans. Along with hosting annual charity events, the organization makes 10 donations during the 10 weeks of the NASCAR Playoffs, giving grants to nonprofit organizations in each community where the races are held.

Logano says he received his own second chance five years ago when Team Penske recruited him after his career at Joe Gibbs Racing ended. His goal is to give others an opportunity “in their own race of life.”

“My wife, Brittany, was a huge influence in giving me perspective and helping me form the foundation,” Logano says. “I was so focused on becoming a champion on the track that I forgot the need to be a champion in life, and that’s where she really helped me. It’s been a blessing to have so many fans and our partners give their time, money, goods, and services to help the foundation grow, and hopefully we’ll be giving people second chances far beyond the span of my driving career.”

NASCAR

Logano, who turns 28 in May, has nabbed 18 victories in the NASCAR Cup Series and 29 in the Xfinity Series. He became the youngest winner in Xfinity, then called the Nationwide Series, when he won from the pole at Kentucky Speedway shortly after his 18th birthday. A year later, he went on to become the youngest to win a NASCAR Cup Series race (then Sprint Cup Series) at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. His next goal is simple: to keep winning races.

“You know, for me, every race there is, I want to win,” Logano says. “I think there are obviously some marquee events—Brickyard 400 and Southern 500 championship is probably the biggest thing that stands out—to be able to win a championship in your sport. We’ve come close to it a few times, but that would probably be the biggest thing to try to knock off the bucket list.”

For more information on the 2018 NASCAR season, head to joeylogano.com.

Photos courtesy of Joey Logano

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