This week has been one of celebration for Joey Logano.
The Team Penske driver celebrated not just one but two 25th birthdays: His own on Monday and then on Wednesday, the 25th anniversary of New Hampshire Motor Speedway, which opened on June 5, 1990.
A native of Middletown, Conn., Logano considers the track in Loudon, N.H., his home track. It’s also been the site of a few firsts in Logano’s life, including the first Sprint Cup race he attended in 1997 and also his first career Sprint Cup win on June 28, 2009.
Logano will return to the track the weekend of July 19th to compete in the New Hampshire 301.
“We hope to put on a great race, and New Hampshire has put on great races in the past,” Logano told the Boston Herald during a gala in Nashua, N.H., marking the anniversary.“I’ve seen New Hampshire play out in a lot of different ways, so it has always been a great race and the fans are awesome up there, and they all like me because I’m the New England boy up there.”
Logano also defended the “Miracle Mile” from the criticism of defending Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick, who recently has said that the NASCAR schedule is “stagnant” and that 90 percent of tracks that host two races are in “one-track markets.”
NHMS hosts races on July 19th and Sept. 27th, the latter as the middle event of the first round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
“I think the racetracks that deserve two races are the ones that have a great fan following,’’ Logano told the Boston Globe.
“Anytime you can pack the stands, well that must be a racetrack we should go to more often,’’ Logano said. “Loudon does a great job. It’s one of the few racetracks up this way [in the Northeast], and there’s a lot of race fans up north — a lot of fans – and there’s not many venues up here to go watch Cup races.’’
Logano described winning at his home track as “as cool” as winning the Daytona 500, which Logano did this year for the first time. It’s his only win so far in 2015.
“I’m never where I want to be, and I think that’s just a driver wanting to be better and wanting to win more races,” Logano told the Herald. “A lot of people would say winning the Daytona 500 is a great year, but winning one race is not a great year no matter how big of a race it is. There are 36 races in a year and I want to win 36 of them. That is what we show up to race for.
“Obviously, that is an impossible feat but that is the goal you set for yourself going into the season.”