Joey Logano was winning a lot of Nationwide races.
Nothing wrong with that.
But it took his Sprint Cup win Sunday at Pocono to take some of the pressure off of him in a contract year with Joe Gibbs Racing.
He showed he might yet deliver on the enormous promise he showed three years ago when he won a rain-shortened Sprint Cup race in Loudon, N.H., as a 19-year-old.
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He hadn't won since. But he had kept a job.
"It's pressure all the time," he said in a conference call with reporters this week following the victory, his first in 125 races since that day in Loudon. "So whether it's a contract year or not, you're always out there to do the same thing. So for me, I'm out there to win every race, and that doesn't change from what it was this year or three years ago.
"So there's no added pressure to that. Is there something extra on your mind? Yeah, there's something extra on your mind that you have to figure out before the season is over. But at the same time, you go out there and focus on your job."
Focusing on the job matters for Logano, 22, who is trying to get the most experience he can, even now in his fourth full year in Sprint Cup, by running as many Nationwide races as possible.
It's a good experience so far. He's won four times in the Nationwide Series, including two weeks ago in Dover, Del.
"It's a lot of fun to run Nationwide races," Logano said. "I have a lot of fun doing it. You're always really busy, running from practice to practice and a lot of cars and all that, and it can get confusing. So you just have to make sure you take your time and focus in on each car. I just think it's a game to be able to do it, and Dover for me has been one of my better racetracks in the past, too, so I felt like either way we were going to have some good runs."
Counting the Nationwide and Cup victories, Logano has been in Victory Lane five times in nine weeks. That's a good stat for his job evaluation, isn't it?
"My job is to go out there to win races, so as long as I do that, all of that will come together pretty easily," he said. "I just have to keep focusing on what's most important, and that's this year, right now, and all of the stuff will kind of follow when it needs to."
Back to Texas?
It looks as though the relationship between the IndyCar Series and Texas Motor Speedway has warmed up.
TMS president Eddie Gossage said Wednesday the series has asked him about hosting the season finale this year, now that the Aug. 19 race in China has been canceled.
That leaves a race to make up on the schedule. The IndyCar season finale is now set for Sept. 15 at Fontana, Calif.
TMS has a NASCAR race weekend in November, and Gossage said the timing of the IndyCar race has to be figured out.
"A September or early October date could pose several obstacles on a variety of fronts that we would have to consider before making a decision," Gossage said. "Considering the shrinking window to properly promote the season finale to its fullest, we will have to make a decision fairly quickly."
Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7407