Penske Racing has announced the signing of Joey Logano as the new driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil NASCAR Sprint Cup car for the 2013 season.
The news came just hours after Logano's current Cup team Joe Gibbs Racing confirmed the long-expected news that they had signed Matt Kenseth to join the team, and that Logano would be leaving the squad after the end of the current season. (See separate story
"Joey Logano is a very talented driver who has already achieved a lot of success at a young age," said Tim Cindric, the president of Penske Racing. "Joey is a great fit for our organization, and we look forward to building on his success as he takes his place behind the wheel of the #22."
Logano leaves JGR after four years with the team. He'd been offered a Nationwide drive and a partial Cup season by the team in 2013 with a view to rejoining a full-time four-car JGR line-up in 2014, but instead opted to accept the deal offered by Penske.
"I am very excited to join Penske Racing and begin the next phase of my career," said Logano. "I am looking forward to the opportunity, as it will be an honour to drive for Roger Penske and race for wins and championships.
"I am also proud to represent Shell-Pennzoil as they are a respected global brand that does a great job of activating in the sport on and off the track," he added.
“We welcome Joey Logano to the Shell-Pennzoil team, and we know he will do a great job representing our brands and Penske Racing in 2013 and beyond," responded the president of Shell Lubricants Americas, Lisa Davis.
Shell and Penske will both be please if Logano can bring some stability to the #22 team in 2013, after what's proved to be an unpleasant and unsettling 18 months with began with a tempestuous final season in the car for Kurt Busch which led to a "mutual agreement" between the team and driver to terminate their relationship at the end of last season.
Penske signed AJ Allmendinger from Richard Petty Motorsports as a replacement, only to have the driver test positive for a stimulant in a random drugs test over the summer. That meant he was suspended from all NASCAR competition indefinitely, and was subsequently fired by Penske at the start of August.