Team Penske came into 2021 after a NASCAR Cup Series season in which two of the organization’s three drivers made the Championship 4. Unfortunately for “The Captain,” neither was able to get the job done in the final race a year ago and Penske’s championship hopes faded to black. Team Penske was hoping to resurface as a top-tier team in 2021 and achieve a better season in terms of final results. Perhaps the veteran trio of drivers could capture Roger Penske that elusive NASCAR championship. The season certainly started out with promise. However, the catastrophic end for the Penske group in the Daytona 500 foreshadowed what would ultimately turn out to be a rather difficult season.
The following article continues a FlurrySports series that looks back on the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season from the perspective of drivers and race teams. Read on for a season review of Team Penske driver, Joey Logano.
(article by Zach McAdoo)
NASCAR Cup Series 2021 Season Reviews | Team Penske
Joey Logano — No. 22
Coming off of a Championship 4 appearance last season, Joey Logano brought plenty of hope and high expectations into 2021. Things were on the verge of starting out great as Logano led the field to the white flag at the Daytona 500. What looked like a win in the “Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing” went awry as Brad Keselowski pulled out of line and Logano went for a late block. The move ended up taking out the two Team Penske teammates and they started a big wreck into Turn 3. In reality, the near-miss at Daytona foreshadowed a season of underwhelming results for the No. 22 team.
Win on Bristol Dirt Highlights Steady Spring for Joey Logano
The following week Joey Logano was again leading late in the race until Christopher Bell passed him with two to go. Logano went on to finish second. After a below-average Homestead race, Logano got back to his top-10 ways with a ninth-place run at Las Vegas and another runner-up at Phoenix. Two weeks later, he was able to get to the front and get his first win of the season in surprising fashion on the dirt at Bristol. After another top-10 at Martinsville, he was battling for the win with Denny Hamlin at Richmond before a late caution came out. He finished third in the end.
Top-10 Finishes Fail to Breed Wins
Over the next three races, Joey Logano wrecked out at Talladega and had two more sub-top-10 finishes at Kansas and Darlington. The No. 22 team then turned it around a bit and scored top-10 results in six of the next seven races. However, aside from finishing fourth at New Hampshire, he did not have any really strong runs. He fell from fourth in the NASCAR Cup Series points standings all the way down to ninth for the start of the playoffs.
Bad Luck at Texas Stalls Logano’s Championship Hopes
Finishes of eighth at Darlington, fifth at Richmond and 11th at Bristol were enough to move Joey Logano 22 into the Round of 12. He maintained his consistency with finishes of 11th at Las Vegas, third at Talladega and seventh at the Charlotte ROVAL to advance through to the Round of 8.
In the next race at Texas, Logano’s engine expired. He finished 30th and fell behind the eight ball in the standings. While he rebounded to finish ninth at Kansas, the No. 22 team knew they would need to make something happen at Martinsville in order to get back to the Championship 4. Unfortunately, Logano simply did not have the speed to keep up with the leaders. However, a savvy pit strategy saw him take over the lead in the latter portion of the race. Logano failed to make it stick, leading all of nine laps before falling back and finishing tenth. After being eliminated from the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, Logano ended his season with an 11th-place run at Phoenix.
Joey Logano Set to Move Forward as Veteran Team Penske Driver
Joey Logano had a down year by his standards. His final numbers included only one win, ten top-5s, 19 top-10s, and an average finish of 12.6. He wound up eighth in the final points standings. Next year, Logano will be the veteran in the Team Penske garage as the entire organization looks for a bounceback season.
Logano is from Middletown, CT