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Penske confirms signing of Joey Logano

Sam Hornish Jr. stepped in behind the wheel of the #22 with just six hours' notice when the suspension was originally handed out, and he has been driving the car since then combining it with his full-time Nationwide Series campaign for Penske. He'd been hoping to get the #22 Cup car on a permanent basis, but the signing of Logano announced on Tuesday dashed that chance.

There was no mention of Hornish in the press release announcing Logano's signing, and his future with Penske in either Cup or Nationwide in 2013 is unclear. However, in an interview with USA Today published before the news of Logano's signing, team owner Roger Penske is quoted as saying: "At the end of the day, no matter how we end up, Sam's going to have a ride with us in 2013."

Logano enjoyed early success with JGR after joining the team in 2009, becoming the youngest winner in Cup competition at the age of 19 in 2009, the year he was names the series' rookie of the year. However, he's widely seen as not having lived up to that early promise in the time since then and has failed to make the Chase in any of his seasons with the team.

Logano is currently in 18th position in the Sprint Cup standings and will again miss out on the Chase cut-off despite winning a race at Pocono mid-season..

However, his current boss JD Gibbs said that there was no prospect of releasing Logano early from his current contract, so Penske will continue to need to rely on Hornish or another stand-in driver for the remaining 11 races of the season, which ends at Homestead on November 18.

Joe Gibbs himself, the owner of JGR, said that the team had worked hard to keep hold of Logano. "We tried a little bit of everything," he said, talking of attempts to build a four-car line-up as soon as next season. "Nothing clicked ... He had a chance to have other opportunities, I think he felt like one of those would be better.

"We had so much invested in him, and he's so young, and you know he's going to blossom and wind up having a great career. It's sad to think that we won't be a part of that," he said.

Logano will also clearly be missed by his current JGR team mates, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin.

"I love Joey to death, I think he's one of the best and he's one of the hardest working drivers out there," said Busch. "I wish Joey would stay, but obviously if there's something better out there for him, he's got to do what's best for him."

"He's got a good opportunity," added Hamlin. "I think he's making a lateral move, and so I think he's as optimistic as anyone."

Logano will be getting a new team mate at Penske in the form of Brad Keselowski, who has been one of the break-out drivers in Cup racing in the last couple of years, having made the Chase on a wildcard in 2011 and by being in the top ten in 2012.



Related Pictures

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AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge, looks on in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway on February 17, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge, walks on the grid after NASCAR announced that AJ Allmendinger was temporarily suspended prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday in Daytona Beach, Fla. Sam Hornish Jr. was Allmendinger replacement for the Coke Zero 400. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Roger Penske during the 2011 pre-season Sprint Media Tour [Picture Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR}
Joey Logano climbs from the #20 The Home Depot Toyota after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pocono 400 presented by #NASCAR at Pocono Raceway on Saturday in Long Pond, Pa. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Team Penske driver Brad Keselowski in the garage at Martinsville Speedway (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, and Erik Jones, driver of the #51 ToyotaCare Toyota, lead the field during a restart of the American Ethanol 200 at Iowa Speedway on July 11, 2014 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Erik Jones, driver of the #51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Camping World Truck Series car (Photo Credit: NASCAR)
Erik Jones, driver of the #51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Camping World Truck Series car (Photo Credit: NASCAR)
Erik Jones in action in the #51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Camping World Truck Series car (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 McDonald`s Chevrolet SS, qualifies fifth Friday, July 11, 2014 for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, qualifies fourth Friday, July 11, 2014 for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, qualifies second Friday, July 11, 2014 for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, qualifies second Friday, July 11, 2014 for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
 
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, qualifies second Friday, July 11, 2014 for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
 
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, qualifies fourth Friday, July 11, 2014 for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
 
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 McDonald`s Chevrolet SS, qualifies fifth Friday, July 11, 2014 for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, right, poses with Miss Coors Light Rachel Rupert and the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 11, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 AutoTrader.com Ford, looks on in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 11, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, lead a group of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 United States Air Force Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 after the race was called for weather at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 United States Air Force Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 after the race was called for weather at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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OZFan - Unregistered

September 05, 2012 4:26 PM

If Penske is able to find a wealthy sponsor, I think they should not waste time, money and efforts in a Sprint Cup team for Hornish Jr. Bringing Sam back to Indy car would be a win-win situation for everyone.

Chris J - Unregistered

September 05, 2012 1:47 PM

Although Joey has not flourished as much as some people have expected, he's still very young and talented and a change of team might do him some good. With the team switching to Ford next year and a pair of drivers as talented as Logano and Keselowski, Penske have the potential to be successful for years to come. Having said that, Sam Hornish Jr has been doing a great job in the #22 so it's a shame he didn't get the seat. Penske need to find him a sponsor and bring back the #12



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