Long before Joey Logano ever won the Daytona 500 or a NASCAR Cup Series title, he ran laps on asphalt tracks around New England. Dirt was not part of his resume. This past weekend the 2015 Daytona 500 winner showed despite not having much experience on the dirt, he’s quite adept at the driving style, and it might be something to consider exploring in the future like so many other Cup drivers have done in the last year.
Joey Logano sliding around in North Carolina snow
Joey Logano grew up in Connecticut. He’s familiar with driving in snowy conditions. When the Charlotte area received some winter precipitation this weekend, the 31-year-old driver hopped in his Ford Bronco and took it for a spin — lots of them.
“It doesn’t snow often in Charlotte, NC. But when it does…,” he tweeted.
The Team Penske driver included a video that showed him performing a variety of maneuvers in the snow and ice, including donuts, and drifting sideways in his blue Bronco around an open field.
At the close of the video, Logano starts in the distance, heads toward the camera, and zips by sliding sideways. While it wasn’t evident in the video, he was undoubtedly flashing his trademark smile behind the wheel.
Joey Logano wins on Bristol dirt
Some people might think Joey Logano’s ability to drive sideways in the snow doesn’t necessarily translate into him being skilled as a dirt racer. They would be wrong. He proved that last year during the spring race at Bristol.
In NASCAR’s first dirt race in more than 50 years, Logano and the field waited out torrential rains and a muddy track to race on Monday. Under clear skies and with the sun baking the track, the drivers raced in a dustbowl that got so bad NASCAR changed the rule during the race to single-file restarts.
Logano was the beneficiary of the change and held off Denny Hamlin on the final restart to capture the overtime win, his first and only victory in 2021. The result surprised most fans who expected dirt veterans like Kyle Larson or Christopher Bell to contend for the win, but both drivers saw their chances go up in dust during an early accident.
“The guys were joking that I’m going to change my name to Joe Dirt now,” Logano said after the win.
Other drivers crossed over into dirt racing
While Logano’s lone win in 2021 came on the dirt at Bristol, he didn’t pursue dirt racing for the rest of the year as multiple other drivers did. Kyle Larson, who has a long history of success on the dirt, led the charge last year, his first season with Hendrick Motorsports.
The 29-year-old dominated on the dirt and in the Cup Series all year and seemingly validated his theory that racing on the dirt during the middle of the week kept him sharp for his weekend gig with NASCAR. Larson’s success resulted in multiple drivers crossing over and trying their hand on the dirt, including teammates Alex Bowman and Chase Elliott.
Conversely, Logano stuck to the asphalt for the rest of 2021 and didn’t earn a single win on the surface. He did, however, make the playoffs and finished eighth for the season.