Difficult decision awaits Joey Logano

August, 16, 2012

Joey Logano may be faced with the toughest decision of his young career.

He also may be faced with the easiest.

If one of his two offers for a 2013 Sprint Cup ride indeed is from Penske Racing to drive the No. 22 -- or even a third Penske car -- it could be a no-brainer unless Joe Gibbs Racing comes up with sponsorship in a hurry.

Logano, 22, has been with JGR since he was 16. The organization has a lot invested in him and Logano has a lot invested in the organization. There are loyalty issues on both sides.

But without a guarantee of sponsorship to drive a full season in 2013 and beyond, and with primary sponsor Home Depot likely going to Matt Kenseth next year, the opportunity to latch on with Shell Pennzoil or another sponsor at Penske would be too good to pass up.

Here's what we know: Logano has two offers on the table, including one from Gibbs. The JGR offer depends on sponsorship, and team owner Joe Gibbs said Wednesday on ESPN that "everything is up in the air'' with Logano.

Without directly addressing Kenseth, Gibbs said he hoped to be able to announce something in two weeks, when the Cup series coincidentally will be in Atlanta, the headquarters for Home Depot.

Logano said last week he should have clarity in a few days to two weeks, with the two weeks now in the equation since a few days have passed. He also was noncommittal on whether he preferred to stay at JGR.

Team owner Roger Penske said last weekend at Watkins Glen he hoped to have an announcement on the No. 22 by the Chase opener at Chicagoland Speedway the weekend of Sept. 16. He didn't rule out Sam Hornish Jr., who has been in the car since AJ Allmendinger was suspended and subsequently released for failing a drug test.

Penske also suggested there are other options.

However this saga unfolds, it will happen in the next month, probably in two weeks. The longer it goes on, the more it feels like Logano will leave JGR.


Predicting where Logano lands may be easier than who will win the title, or even make the Chase as a wild card.

So I reached out to RJ Bell of Pregame.com in Las Vegas. Here are his latest odds for winning the title: Jimmie Johnson, 2.5-1; Tony Stewart, 7-1; Denny Hamlin, 8-1; Brad Keselowski, 9-1; Dale Earnhardt Jr., 9-1; Kasey Kahne, 10-1; Matt Kenseth, 10-1; Greg Biffle, 10-1; Kevin Harvick, 15-1; Jeff Gordon, 15-1; Kyle Busch, 18-1; Carl Edwards, 25-1; Clint Bowyer, 25-1; Martin Truex Jr., 30-1; Ryan Newman, 75-1; Joey Logano, 75-1.

Bell doesn't set odds on who will earn the two wild-card spots, but as you can see by the odds, Kahne and Gordon are favored.

David Newton | email

ESPN Staff Writer


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