- Chris Sprow, ESPN Insider
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There are a lot of intersting things about the one they call "Sliced Bread." Did you know he has deep ties to Terry Bradshaw via the Smokey and the Bandit film series? What about his connections to the impossibly good prayer scene in Talladega Nights, or the fact that he might as well be Bill Belichick's cousin. Yeah, dude is in it deep. Check it out.
1. Football Ties
Joey Logano was born in Middleton, CT, which should really be considered more of a football hotbed. Consider that Wesleyan University is there, and both Bill Belichick and Eric Mangini went there, and were Middleton residents. When will they play an AFC East game in Middleton?
It makes sense of course that Joey will stay tied to football, racing for Joe Gibbs Racing. Gibbs, we should note, has more traditional NASCAR roots, even though he came to the sport after he got into football. He's from Mocksville, North Carolina, where Daniel Boone was born.
Joey's family moved to Georgia when he was ten, and he was racing the Legends series at Atlanta Motor Speedway at that age, at one time winning ten races in a row. Lucky? Well, consider that in Georgia, you can't even ride a moped 'til you're 15. Atlanta is considered one of the sports' fastest tracks, and qualifying times there routinely top 190 MPH. Better yet? Smokey and the Bandit II filmed scenes there. Who guest-starred in Smokey the Deuce? Terry Bradshaw. Yeah.
4. Call Me a Midget
Joey Started racing quarter midget cars at the age of just six. Don't let the midget part fool you, a) the cars don't mind being be called "midget" at all, and b) they go up to 45 MPH. At age six. Yowsa.
5. High Praise
When Joey was just 15, Mark Martin saw him race and said, "I am high on Joey Logano because I am absolutely, 100-percent positive, without a doubt that he can be one of the greatest that ever raced in NASCAR. I'm positive. There's no doubt in mind." What does Martin know? Well, he was not only born in 1959 (he's seen some racing), but won his first American Speed Association's rookie of the year title in 1977. He was 18, the age Joey is today.
6. Joey C. Reilly?
Joey was born on May 24th, 1990. Yeah, you're old. It's not a bad birthday, at least. Though nobody we know shares the year, the day is stacked. Other athletes include soccer star DeMarcus Beasley, Tracy McGrady, Brad Penny, Brian Ching, Bartolo Colon, Kris Draper, Rich Rodriguez and Joe Dumars. Need someone in pop culture, try Bob Dylan (born Robert Zimmerman!) or Tommy Chong. Or you could go with John C. Reilly, Mr. Film NASCAR himself. Guy was the friend of Tom Cruise in Days of Thunder and co-starred with Will Ferrell in Talladega Nights.
We say a prayer for that move every night. (Note Reilly with the "Mm!" when Ferrell mentions his wife, mid-prayer. Mildly epic.)
7. Pearl Harbor
Logano will drive the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Camry next year, a car that is currently driven by Tony Stewart. Toyota hasn't been long for NASCAR, and their inclusion in the series sparked what is, in our opinion, one of the more epic press conference moments of all time. When Jimmy Spencer was asked about Toyota, he mentioned, "They bombed Pearl Harbor, don't forget."
It was a while ago, Jimmy.
8.Slice It Up
Joey's nickname is "Sliced Bread", a name given to him by fellow racer Randy LaJoie, who was ostensibly referring to Joey as "The best thing to come around since…" Sliced bread is actually pretty cool stuff. It wasn't even really invented or produced on a mass scale until 1928, its inventor being the famed Otto Frederick Rohwedder of Davenport, Iowa. (Can you imagine cutting your own bread? Talk about hell on earth.) Believe it or not, sliced bread was banned for a time during World War II as a measure to counteract the rising price of bread during a time of scarcity and war. It didn't stick.
9. Walk Tall
Joey is 6-foot-1, which is tall in a sport where drivers are often small so they can fit into their tight cars. NASCAR is literally sport's version of Hollywood, where all the guys you assume are tall until you get the facts, or see them in person. Jeff Gordon is just 5-7 and Tony Stewart is just 5-9. Even the great Dale Earnhardt, who seemed to have a domineering presence, was a mere 6-foot tall. Joey could do some carbo loading on his nickname, though. He's just 140 lbs. Even Gordon's got him by ten pounds. (Hey, Danica Patrick is just 5-2 and 100 pounds.)
10. Orange Inspiration
Logano will be sponsored next year by Home Depot. He has a long way to go before he's officially a star in NASCAR, but he can look on his side panel for inspiration. When Home Depot was founded in 1978, they wanted to create massive stores where they could store huge amounts of building and home supplies. Didn't start easy. The first two stores were in small spaces leased from J.C. Penney that used to be Treasure Island supermarkets. Thirty years later, Arthur Blank owns the Atlanta Falcons, and can afford to spend the millions to pain this name across Joey Logano's car.
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