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Is Joey Logano No Longer the Number 1 Driver at Team Penske?

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Joshua Lipowski

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What’s Happening?

This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of Joey Logano’s last win, which came at Atlanta in 2023. The start of 2024 has not been kind to Logano either as he sits 30th in points with 2 DNFs and only 1 top-10 in the first 4 races. Meanwhile, his teammate and defending Cup Series Champion, Ryan Blaney, is the points leader. Is Logano still the number 1 driver at Team Penske?

  • Joey Logano has been with Team Penske since 2013, and he has won 2 Championships in his time there. His seat is by no means in danger, but, he’s been the top driver at Team Penske for some time now. That spot is the one in danger.
  • Meanwhile, teammate Ryan Blaney is the current points leader. He also won the Championship in 2023 with 3 wins all coming since Logano’s last win.
  • Fans are pretty confident that Logano will turn it around, but, some are nervous about his difficult start. They also have taken notice of the start Ryan Blaney has put together.

Just How Tough Has This Stretch Been for Logano?

Logano’s losing streak currently sits at 35, and it will extend to 36 if he does not win at Bristol this weekend. That’s not necessarily unprecedented for Logano, as he has gone at least a year between wins 4 times in his career. He broke 1+ year losing streaks in both of his Championship seasons, 2018 (36 Races) and 2022 (41 races).

However, the losing streak does showcase that this stretch is far more than just a blip early in the 2023 season. Logano was 2nd in points after his win at Atlanta in 2023, and he wound up falling out of the Playoffs in the Round of 16. He’s also led more than 25 laps in only 2 races since that win at Atlanta. For comparison, he did that 5 times in his Championship year of 2022.

What makes the start of 2024 so frustrating for Logano is that he has had good speed. He started on the front row in each of the first three races, but, he’s parlayed that into only two finishes on track. Meanwhile, his teammate is doing great.

The Challenge of Ryan Blaney

Ryan Blaney has gone on a tear since the summer of 2023. After waiting for more than a year between victories, Blaney won a “Crown Jewel” event, the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. He also notched two clutch wins in the Playoffs en route to the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Championship.

That momentum has carried over into 2024 with 3 consecutive top-5s. He missed out on a victory by literal inches at Atlanta, and he has been Ford’s most consistent performer early in 2024.

Since Blaney joined Team Penske in 2018, many have wondered if he would reach the heights that teammates Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski would. While Blaney was still solid, he often lagged a small step behind, but, not anymore. Blaney is currently every bit as good as Logano is.

Who is the Number 1 Driver at Team Penske?

At this point, Ryan Blaney is easily performing better than Joey Logano, and Blaney is the defending Champion. That’s far and away enough to catapult Blaney over Logano for that number-one driver role in most instances, but Logano has a pedigree.

As much as Logano is struggling currently, remember his Championship seasons in 2018 and 2022 we referenced earlier? He was in a similar slump heading into those seasons. He won the Championship in 2018 after missing the Playoffs entirely in 2017.

While Blaney is the hot hand currently, Logano has a history of making fierce comebacks. He also has Paul Wolfe on top of the pit box, who is a two-time Champion crew chief and a 38-time winner. Logano will likely turn it around, but, he is no longer the undisputed top driver at Team Penske.

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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