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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)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, leads Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, at the end of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 28, 2015 in Sonoma, California. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 28, 2015 in Sonoma, California. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 28, 2015 in Sonoma, California. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 28, 2015 in Sonoma, California. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 28, 2015 in Sonoma, California.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Kingsford Charcoal Chevrolet, leads the field to the green flag at the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 28, 2015 in Sonoma, California.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Fans cheer as cars race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 28, 2015 in Sonoma, California. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Pro Services Chevrolet, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 28, 2015 in Sonoma, California. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Folds of Honor/Outback Steakhouse/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place, Sunday June 28, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Folds of Honor/Outback Steakhouse/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place, Sunday June 28, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place, Sunday June 28, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place, Sunday June 28, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)

Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place, Sunday June 28, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)

Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Folds of Honor/Outback Steakhouse/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place, Sunday June 28, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)

Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Folds of Honor/Outback Steakhouse/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place, Sunday June 28, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fourth position, Saturday June 27, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fifth position, Saturday June 27, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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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

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.



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