Joey Logano relishing tradition of Champion’s Diary in Nashville

Joey Logano poses with the Bill France Trophy at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville
Chris Graythen
Getty Images

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Newly-crowned NASCAR Cup Series champion Joey Logano spoke with the media gathered in downtown Nashville Thursday morning for the highly-anticipated NASCAR Awards Ceremony scheduled for later that evening and televised Saturday evening at 8 p.m. ET on Peacock.

Among things Logano said he was most looking forward to as champion was the chance to both read and contribute again to the “Champion’s Diary” – a private record of handwritten notes passed on yearly from one NASCAR Cup Series champion to the next. It’s a tightly-guarded tradition and one that Logano – now a two-time series champion – wishes had started decades ago.

RELATED: Previewing Champion’s Week celebrations | Champions tour Nashville

“I can’t wait to read it again,” the driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford said with a huge smile.

“Some are kind of quick and simple, but it’s very interesting to read it, and it’s cool because it’s a real secret. It’s kind of like an unwritten rule. You can’t take pictures of it and post it. It’s a thing that only the championship drivers know and have read and seen and heard the stories. It’s a cool thing.

“Every time I get it, I’m so nervous. I’m like, don’t spill anything on this. Don’t lose it. It would suck to be the guy who loses the book. It would really be bad. I get nervous, I put it in the safe right away. I won’t see this for a year, that’s what I do.”

As of Thursday morning, Logano had not yet received the book from 2021 series champion Kyle Larson, who conceded last week, that he had not crafted his message to Logano quite yet. Kevin Harvick, the 2014 series champion, smiled when asked about the tradition, saying he’s glad the champions have not shared details of the various messages inside the book.

The tradition began when 2010 champ Jimmie Johnson, now a seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, first left a message for 2011 champion Tony Stewart. Stewart passed along words for 2012 champion Brad Keselowski and so on ever since.

“It’s a congratulatory message from one champion to the next, it’s kind of that passing the torch of ‘great work this year, great job,’ ” two-time series champion Kyle Busch said, recalling specifically the message he left for 2020 champion Chase Elliott.

“I remember him from him being a little kid,” Busch said. “Honestly, I remember watching him on TV being a little kid with his dad (NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott), like [Kyle’s son] Brexton is now.”

“I think Jimmie did a great thing getting it started,” Busch said, adding with a grin. “It probably definitely should have started 30 years prior, at least. It would have been a lot of good stories, I’m sure. It would have been pretty cool.”