This Sunday, there is a chance for a Middletown native to accomplish a major sports feat. Joey Logano, born in Middletown, is one of four drivers in contention to win the Sprint Cup, the championship prize for the highest level of NASCAR. The four drivers will race among the field of 43 in the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Whoever finishes best will be crowned the Sprint Cup Champion.
Joey currently drives the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford for Team Penske. He first rose to NASCAR fame as a teenager, becoming the youngest driver ever to win a race in the Nationwide Series, NASCAR’s second highest level of racing, at 18 years, 21 days old, and then a year later becoming the youngest driver to ever win a Sprint Cup race at 19 years, 35 days old. Since these feats, Joey has been widely seen as one of NASCAR’s brightest young stars.
Despite his early success, this year marks Joey’s first chance at winning the Championship. Now 24, Joey has undoubtedly had the best season of his young career. He has won five races, second only to his teammate Brad Keselowski, and has comfortably advanced through each round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup playoff system. While Joey’s season has been a success no matter the outcome of this weekend’s race, he is considered one of the two favorites to win the championship. Joey’s winning the Cup is a very real possibility and this success would likely be among the most significant sports victories ever achieved by a Middletown or even Connecticut native.
Although Joey and his family moved to the South in his teenage years so he could further pursue racing, he has remained connected to the area and regularly acknowledges Middletown as his hometown. He has contributed greatly to the local community through his charitable foundation, and with his help, The Connection – a Connecticut non-profit tackling poverty and homelessness – was recently able to open Logano’s Place, a transitional housing unit for homeless men and woman in Middletown. Should Joey succeed in winning the Cup, he has stated he will consider it a victory on behalf of Middletown and Connecticut. Perhaps there will even be a parade down Main Street.
I encourage you all to watch Joey’s attempt at victory or at the very least think positive thoughts for him. The race is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. and will be shown on ESPN. I wish the best of luck to Joey and his Penske team and recommend you keep abreast of this potential piece of town history.
Jacob Blumenthal is a member of the class of 2013.