Joey Logano on Jeff Gordon: Once a fan, always a fan

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So much has been said about Chase Elliott following in Jeff Gordon’s footsteps.

But if fate were different, Joey Logano could see himself trying to fill Gordon’s shoes.

Logano grew up idolizing Gordon. The former tried to emulate the latter’s actions and the way he raced, ultimately being one of the chief inspirations for Logano once he started racing himself.

“I watched him when I was six years old … and I was a big Jeff Gordon fan,” Logano said during Thursday’s Speedweeks media day at Daytona International Speedway. “Why? Because he was the young guy out there. I rooted for him.”

And eventually, Logano was racing fender to fender with his hero.

“You never think then that you are going to race against him someday or race against him for wins like we did in Texas or for a championship like we did last year,” Logano said. “That is really cool.

“When you are a kid watching whatever your favorite sport is, you typically don’t get to play with or against that guy because they are usually retired by then. Racing is cool because you get to race against your childhood heroes.”

Logano was quick to add that Gordon didn’t just blaze a trail for young drivers such as himself. Gordon also served as perhaps the last connection to NASCAR’s Golden Age of racing.

“He paved the way for a lot of things; (young drivers) is one of them,” Logano said of Gordon. “There are a lot of other things he has done that he will be remembered for: Obviously, the four championships and all the race wins.

“It is really cool I got to race against him. For me, I never got to race against Bobby Allison or Richard Petty but I got to race against Jeff Gordon and that is just as cool.”

Logano revealed that when he was struggling earlier in his Sprint Cup career, he went to Gordon for advice. Rather than Gordon rebuffing Logano, he gladly imparted some advice upon his longtime fan and now racing rival.

“I was trying to figure it all out and I asked him,” Logano said. “He started at a young age and had seen what I was doing and I asked him what I was doing wrong. He was very helpful on just giving me some very good advice to help me turn the corner. I thought that was very big of him to do that.

“Every time I asked he had something for me. That is cool. As a competitor you are always skeptical about helping your other competitors because you have to race against them, but as long as you ask he was always there to help. I think that is neat.

“I was able to relate to him quite a bit and we talked about how he got to this point and what he did and I shared what I was struggling with. We talked about it for about an hour and a half or more. That was really cool.”

And even though he’s only 24 now, Logano is already thinking about how he may serve as a Gordon-like inspiration to the next generation of drivers that will not only seek to emulate him, but eventually succeed him.

“Hopefully there is some kid out there racing quarter midgets right now looking at me that someday will kick my butt,” Logano said. “It is funny because when I was seven, the Hartford Courant (newspaper) interviewed me about racing up there and it was a small little thing but I said in that interview I was going to be Jeff Gordon’s worst nightmare. It is hilarious.

“I don’t think I am his worst nightmare by any means but it is so cool to race against him now. As a kid, you say stuff like that and you are seven and don’t know what is going on but I got to race against him and that is really cool.”

Logano will race in his seventh Daytona 500 on Feb. 22, while Gordon will compete in his 23rd and final Great American Race. Both will be going for the checkered flag, but from different perspectives: Gordon will seek his fourth Daytona 500 victory (his last was 2005), while Logano pursues his first.

And if it comes down to Logano vs. Gordon on the final lap? For Logano, it’ll be yet another childhood dream that becomes reality – racing his idol for a win in NASCAR’s biggest race.

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Portland Xfinity race results, driver points

Portland Xfinity results
Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

Cole Custer went from fourth to first on the overtime restart when the top three cars made contact and went on to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Portland International Raceway. Custer is the 10th different winner in 13 races this season.

MORE: Portland Xfinity race results

MORE: Driver points after Portland Xfinity race

JR Motorsports took the next three spots: Justin Allgaier placed second, Sam Mayer was third and Josh Berry was fourth. Austin Hill completed the top five.

John Hunter Nemechek remains the points leader after 13 races. He has a 14-point lead on Hill. Nemechek leads Allgaier by 44 points.

Cole Custer wins Xfinity race at Portland in overtime


Cole Custer held off Justin Allgaier at the finish to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race in overtime at Portland International Raceway. It is Custer’s first victory of the season.

JR Motorsports placed second, third and fourth with Allgaier, Sam Mayer and Josh Berry. Austin Hill finished fifth.

MORE: Race results, driver points

Custer went from fourth to first on the overtime restart when Parker Kligerman, who restarted third, attempted to pass Allgaier, who was leading. Sheldon Creed was on the outside of Allgaier. All three cars made contact entering Turn 1, allowing Custer to slip by. Creed finished seventh. Kligerman placed 14th.

Custer won the second stage when John Hunter Nemechek made contact with Creed’s car while racing for the lead on the final lap of the stage. The contact spun Creed and Custer inched by Nemechek at the line.

Early in the final stage, Creed gained revenge with contact that spun Nemechek, who went on to finish 10th. A few laps later, Nemechek and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Sammy Smith had issues. Smith spun Nemechek. After getting back around, Nemechek quickly caught Smith and turned into Smith’s car, damaging it.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Sheldon Creed

STAGE 2 WINNER: Cole Custer

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Despite the contact on the overtime restart, runner-up Justin Allgaier managed to score his fourth consecutive top-three finish. … Sam Mayer’s third-place finish is his best on a road course. … Austin Hill’s fifth-place finish gives him four consecutive top-five results.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Daniel Hemric finished 33rd after a fire in his car. … Riley Herbst placed 32nd after an engine issue. After opening the season with six top 10s in a row, Herbst has gone seven races in a row without a top 10.

NEXT: The series competes June 10 at Sonoma Raceway (8 p.m. ET on FS1).

Truck race results at WWT Raceway: Grant Enfinger wins


Grant Enfinger took the lead when the leaders wrecked in the final laps and held off the field in overtime to win Saturday’s Craftsman Truck Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway.

It is Enfinger’s second win in the last five races. He also collected a $50,000 bonus for winning the Triple Truck Challenge.

MORE: Truck race results

MORE: Driver points after WWT Raceway

Christian Eckes finished second and was followed by Stewart Friesen, Carson Hocevar and Chase Purdy.

Ty Majeski and Zane Smith wrecked while racing for the lead with six laps to go. Majeski, running on the inside of Smith, slid up the track and clipped Smith’s truck. Both hit the wall. That put Enfinger in the lead.

Smith finished 20th. Majeski placed 30th.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Grant Enfinger

STAGE 2 WINNER: Stewart Friesen

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Grant Enfinger’s victory is his fourth top 10 in the last five races. … Carson Hocevar’s fourth-place finish is his fourth consecutive top-five result. … Stewart Friesen’s third-place finish moved him into a playoff spot with four races left in the regular season. … Matt DiBenedetto‘s sixth-place finish is his third consecutive top 10. … Jesse Love finished ninth in his series debut.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Ty Majeski had a chance to take the points lead with series leader Corey Heim out because of illness, but Majeski’s 30th-place finish after running at the front most of the day, leaves him behind Heim. … Hailie Deegan finished 32nd after contact sent her truck into the wall hard. … After finishing a career-high third last week at Charlotte, Dean Thompson placed 34th Saturday due to an engine issue.

NEXT: The series races June 23 at Nashville Superspeedway (8 p.m. ET on FS1)

Xfinity starting lineup at Portland: Sheldon Creed wins pole


Sheldon Creed scored his first career Xfinity Series pole by taking the top spot for Saturday’s race at Portland International Raceway.

Creed, making his 50th career series start, earned the pole with a lap of 95.694 mph on the 1.97-mile road course.

MORE: Portland Xfinity starting lineup

Cole Custer will start second with a lap of 95.398 mph. He is followed by Josh Berry (94.242 mph), John Hunter Nemechek (95.127) and Charlotte winner Justin Allgaier (94.897). Road racing specialist Jordan Taylor, driving for Kaulig Racing, qualified sixth at 94.772 mph.

The green flag is scheduled to wave 4:46 p.m. ET Saturday on FS1.