Joey Logano: Contract extension with Penske “a dream come true”

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A superb week for New Hampshire winner Joey Logano continued yesterday with word that he’d signed a multi-year contract extension with Team Penske.

He wouldn’t say how big of a raise he got – “it was good,” he replied today at Dover with a laugh – but we can guess he won’t have any problems paying for Shell gasoline or bottles of Coke.

What we know is that Logano’s put in the effort to earn that extension with a pair of Chase berths since jumping to Penske in 2013, and a break-out campaign this season with four victories (the other three coming at Texas, Richmond, and Bristol).

And what we also know is that Logano’s very happy to seal his future with one of the elite teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

“To be able to extend my relationship with Team Penske is a dream come true,” he said. “The last couple years have been really good. I feel like I’ve found myself a home over there. I feel like this 22 team is awesome.

“It’s a great team to work with, working with [crew chief] Todd [Gordon] and basically everyone at Team Penske, working with [teammate] Brad [Keselowski], I feel like all of that put together has been very successful, so it makes sense to try to prolong that as long as possible and to be able to get this extension done and be able to focus in on the Chase is good.”

It wasn’t that long ago that Logano’s place in NASCAR’s top level was in doubt. His lower-level success in his teenage years brought him into the Sprint Cup Series on a serious wave of hype back in 2009.

But his subsequent four-year run at Joe Gibbs Racing was disappointing in terms of performance, as Logano had to grow up and mature in a sometimes cut-throat sport.

Ultimately, JGR chose to bring on Matt Kenseth from Roush Fenway Racing and cut ties with Logano. But instead of disappearing, Team Penske took a chance on the Connecticut native.

To say that it’s paid off is an understatement of massive proportions.

“A few years back, only a couple of years ago I really didn’t have a job,” Logano said upon reflection. “It was like, ‘Oh boy, what am I gonna do? Am I gonna race the rest of my life? What’s Plan B?’ And all of a sudden I’m sitting in a good position. I’ve got a multi-year deal that I’m gonna be racing for awhile. I’m winning races. We’ve got a lot of top fives.

“If you would have told me all of this was gonna happen a couple years ago I would have said, ‘Yeah, that’s nice. I don’t know if that will happen, but it sounds really good.’ But that hard work is paying off now. You talk about the experience I got from all that and I wouldn’t trade any of that for the world.

“I love that I went through each and every experience that I’ve gone through because that’s what shaped me into who I am and the driver and person that I am now. So I’m proud that I went through all of it. It was hard, but did I think I’d be sitting here a couple of years ago saying what I’m saying right now? Probably not, but I’m gonna enjoy the ride while I can, that’s for sure.”

Supercross: Talon Hawkins to debut in Houston in relief of Jalek Swoll

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Talon Hawkins, 19, will make his Monster Energy Supercross debut on a 250 this week in Houston, Texas as a fill-in rider for Jalek Swoll.

During the Anaheim 2 weekend, the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team announced Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken arm suffered in a practice crash.

That same weekend, Hawkins made some noise. He took the lead from teammate Casey Cohran on Lap 2 of the 250 SX Futures Main and led for three laps before he was overtaken by eventual winner Daxton Bennick. Cochran also got around him to push Hawkins to third.

This will not be Hawkins SuperMotocross professional debut, however; he made three Lucas Oil Pro Motocross starts last year with results of 19th at Spring Creek in Millville, Minnesota, 27th at Ironman in Crawfordsville, Indiana and a best finish of 17th in the season finale at Fox Raceway in Pala, California.

Hawkins also has a top-10 finish in the 125 All-Star division at Pala in 2019 riding a Husqvarna.

Speaking with RacerXOnline.com before the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals, Hawkins predicted his future with Husqvarna would come down to how he performed in that race.

“It all just comes down to how I perform at Loretta’s,” Hawkins said. “Say I do really well, I get a top three in both classes and do a pretty solid job, I would like to go pro and just kind of finish out the rest of the series. But there’s also the option of waiting a little bit longer, going back out to [Aldon] Baker’s [Factory] or going anywhere and training, and just being prepared. I’m also open to that too. Honestly, it’s whatever the team wants. Whatever we think is the best option is what we’re going to go with. So, I don’t really have a plan right now, just looking into the future.”

Hawkins finished third overall in the 125 B/C and Schoolboy divisions at the Loretta Lynn Amateur Nationals.