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April 17, 2018

Joey Logano taking big steps on the track, on TV, as a parent

Joey Logano’s ability to multitask is getting put to the test this year.

The 27-year-old driver and his wife, Brittany, became parents, welcoming their first child in January. Logano has also found time to mentor a father-son duo’s path into stock-car racing, having the relationship unfold on the Discovery Channel series “Twin Turbos,” which debuted in February. All that comes in addition to a hat he’s worn for the last five-plus seasons, as a valued teammate for Team Penske’s growing organization.

Of all the roles Logano currently holds, none has compared to caring for the young family’s 3-month-old son.

“Being a new dad is probably the biggest adjustment I’ve ever made. It’s a lot more than taking wedge out, I can tell you that much,” Logano says. “It’s a big adjustment. It’s been challenging, but it’s been the most fun and rewarding thing already.”

Logano’s search for more gratifying moments continues this weekend at Richmond Raceway, the site of his most recent victory in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. That win came almost a full year ago, a drought that included missing out on last season’s playoffs.

Joey Logano celebrates winning the Toyota Owners 400 with his team and wife Brittany
Matt Sullivan | Getty Images

Since then, Logano and his No. 22 Ford team have made methodical gains to rekindle those winning ways. So far this year, consistency has been their hallmark. Logano sits second in the Monster Energy Series standings with seven top-10 finishes in the first eight races of 2018. Points leader Kyle Busch — winner of the last two events — is the only other driver to reach that figure.

“We’re right on the edge of getting those top fives, which does always sting a little bit, but we’re not where we want to be, by no means,” Logano said. “If you’re not winning races, you’re not where you want to be. But we’ve made progress from where we were last year. We’re sitting second in points, so we’re close to where we want to be but we need to start racking up those wins, start racking up those playoff points.

“Those are very important, but we’ve been running up front and getting those stage points, which is important and which shows in the overall point standings right now, but like I said, wins are everything in this game right now.”

Ready for his close-up

Logano has made multiple appearances on television as himself, taking a guest-starring role on automotive-themed shows such as “Fast N’ Loud” and “Jay Leno’s Garage.” But his screen career also includes a cameo turn on 2015’s “Sharknado 3,” opposite teammate Brad Keselowski.

Logo for Twin Turbos TV showHis newest on-screen project, though, provides an opportunity to nurture a young driver’s career — and drive fast cars as a bonus. Logano has taken aspiring driver Brad DeBerti and his father, Doug, under his wing for “Twin Turbos,” which airs Wednesdays (10 p.m. ET/PT) on Discovery.

The DeBertis share Logano’s passion for cars, working to create custom builds in an effort to fund Brad DeBerti’s racing endeavors. Logano said he saw plenty of parallels between their family and his, which had little experience with the ins and outs of motorsports early in his career.

“Just like I had some people and role models who helped guide me, I’m kind of that person for them to help guide them along,” Logano says. “So there’s a lot of similarities in the way they do things together and the way my dad and I did a lot of things together growing up.”

And the show has also provided an authentic look at Logano’s life away from the race track.

“I can be who I am. I don’t have to act and be something else,” Logano says. “It’s a very natural fit, and I think that’s what fans want to see is what you are in a natural, fun environment.

“It’s just hanging out with cars, cool people and doing some fun things.”

Zeroing in

Joey Logano talks with Ryan Blaney
Jonathan Ferrey | Getty Images

As for Logano’s other roles, he’s played a stabilizing part in a Team Penske operation that has broadened its reach this season. The organization added a full-time third car for Ryan Blaney in the offseason, and it has continued its alliance with the Wood Brothers Racing team and driver Paul Menard.

The steady strength Logano has enjoyed has been a teamwide phenomenon, with Keselowski currently fifth in the standings and Blaney sixth. And Menard, in his first season in the Wood Brothers’ No. 21, already has two top-10 finishes this season, one shy of his total for all of 2017. All four Penske-affiliated cars ran first through fourth at one point last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway.

“There’s definitely some hurdles when you add a race team like that,” Logano said. “It’s not just putting another car on the race track. You’ve got to hire a lot more people, you’ve got to build more cars, right? So the production side of this whole thing is something that’s very challenging, from the machine shop to building chassis to hanging bodies. You’ve got to build another car for all these races, so it’s a big, big challenge for the race team, but we’ve handled it fairly well, I think, right off the bat and been able to show that we’ve all been consistent.”

If only his son’s sleep schedule could be as consistent. Logano said close friends had told him how much different his life would become after getting married, which he did after the 2014 season.

The even bigger change to his already busy life came shortly after New Year’s Day, when the Loganos became a party of three.

“You’re so focused on your job all the time, right, but you also want to be a good dad and husband at the same time,” Logano says. “It’s hard to balance all that off, and I’m sure that a lot of people can relate to that. You don’t have to be a race car driver to be able to relate to that and how you do that work-life balance.”