Joey Logano Participates and Wins in His First Offseason Race … As a Spotter
Joey Logano started the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season with a bang, winning the first-ever Clash at the Coliseum exhibition race. The Team Penske driver continued that success in the regular season, scored a couple of wins, and advanced to the postseason.
In the playoffs, the 2015 Daytona 500 winner elevated his game and raced like a champion, winning a couple of times, including the season finale at Phoenix, where he hoisted his second championship trophy in five years. This past weekend and the first of the offseason, the 32-year-old found himself at the race track where he once again made his way to Victory Lane, except this time he did it as a spotter.
Joey Logano wins second Cup Series championship
When Joey Logano drove the first-ever race in the new Next Gen car to Victory Lane in the Clash at the Coliseum, no one put too much stock in it simply because the race was held on a track unlike any other on the 36-race schedule. The driver may not have taken anything away as far as notes for future races, but he did take away confidence.
That showed in the season’s first 10 races when the No. 22 recorded five top-10 finishes, including three in the top five. In race 12, Logano won for the first time of the year at Darlington and clinched an automatic berth in the playoffs. Less than a month later, he showed a penchant for winning at first-time tracks, winning the inaugural race at Gateway near St. Louis.
The Penske driver ran well the remainder of the season and grabbed his third trophy in the first Round of 8 playoff race at Las Vegas, which advanced him to the Championship 4 race in Phoenix. Last weekend in the desert, the No. 22 car was dominant, winning the pole and the first stage, finishing second in the second stage and then cruising to the race win and his second Cup Series championship.
Logano wins as spotter in late-model race
While Joey Logano is the one in the photos and giving interviews, NASCAR is a team sport. Others critical to a team’s success include the pit crew, crew chief, and spotter. This year Logano welcomed his best friend and former driver Coleman Pressley as his spotter.
Fans of the No. 22 car who listened to the radio communication between the two during the season know why the pairing works well. Pressley calmly provides his driver with a significant amount of information in each race, including lap times, where others are running their lines, and of course, the most important part of the job, guiding his driver through traffic.
Interestingly, in the first off-season weekend and just days after celebrating victory in Phoenix, the two swapped positions. Pressley got behind the wheel for the first time in seven years, and Logano served as his spotter during the 25th anniversary edition of the Fall Brawl at Hickory.
Pressley, who won the race in 2009, had a bit of fortune go his way when the two frontrunners wrecked late in the 200-lap late-model stock car main event. The spotter-turned-driver took advantage, made a pass for the lead with five laps remaining, and held on in a restart for the win.
“It’s so cool to see how good Coleman is,” Logano told NASCAR.com. “I know he is a great spotter, but how much he’s watched what we do and the studying what we do together and how it’s transformed him into a better driver even though he hasn’t driven in seven years. It’s pretty cool.”
Pair could team up for another run at Cup championship in 2023
Joey Logano and Coleman Pressley had a fantastic week at the track together. There is no reason to believe they can’t continue their winning ways in 2023.
The No. 22 team proved it was one of the best cars all season, from that first race in LA to the final event at Phoenix, posting 17 top-10 finishes along the way.
And at just 32 years of age, Logano is in the prime of his career and has at least another decade of potential high-level success in front of him. If he, Pressley, and the rest of the team continue working together as well as they did in 2022, there could be more championships in store.
And who knows, maybe there are more trips to the local tracks where the pair reverse roles and allow the other to get a taste and appreciation for what their partner is doing every weekend in their regular job.