NASCAR

Logano, Davis to square off in All-Star event

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In a race where there are no points at stake and the only thing on the line is bragging rights, Marc Davis will get the chance to even the score with Joey Logano, his friend and teammate at Joe Gibbs Racing, when he heads out to Irwindale, Calif., in two weeks for the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown. "It's going to be a pretty cool experience," said Davis. "I can't wait to get out there and run it again. It's the Showdown — it's big. Everybody is going to be there." Including the defending champion, Logano. As the initial batch of entries for the event arrived in Daytona Beach, Fla. for the race, the names of the two 18-year-old up-and-coming superstars were among those to first to finalize their intentions of running in the postseason showcase at the Toyota Speedway at Irwindale. The NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown will feature two days of exciting action Jan. 23-24 among some of the top drivers in NASCAR Camping World Series and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action. The competition will air live on SPEED beginning at 10 p.m. ET both nights. "I can't wait to go back," said Logano of returning to the fast, multi-grooved half-mile track. "I've got the same car and that track is just a real cool race track. And we had a great time out in Southern California. I really enjoyed being out there. "It's pretty much the Daytona 500 of short-track racing, and it would be awesome to go back and win it again." Logano knows that returning to Irwindale as the defending race winner he will carry a big target on his back. And nobody may be gunning for him more than Davis. Davis qualified fourth in the last NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, starting one row behind his teammate. But carburetor issues that surfaced at the start of the race quickly put him 16 laps down. Once he got back on the track, his time was among the leaders but the opportunity to contend for the win was gone. "We have a lot to prove this year — being so strong last time and having nothing to show for it," Davis said. "We're taking the same baseline as last year. We should be pretty good off the truck and we have a whole lot of stuff to experiment with and see how the track has changed." In his NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown win, Logano led the final 87 laps and held off a fierce challenge from Peyton Sellers on a green-white-checkered finish. "In the beginning of the race, we weren't a bolt of lightning," Logano said. "We made a couple of changes and got it to the front. It was exciting." Among those joining Davis on the early entry list looking to dethrone Logano is three-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday Jr., 2008 NASCAR Camping World Series West champion Eric Holmes, former NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champions Peyton Sellers and Greg Pursley, and Eddie MacDonald — who swept the NASCAR Camping World Series East races at New Hampshire last year. The list of top short-track drivers who have already committed to the event includes NASCAR Camping World Truck Series veteran Matt Crafton, 2008 NASCAR Camping World Series East champion and 2006 NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown winner Matt Kobyluck, and 2008 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series champion Scott Steckly. Also confirmed to compete are four drivers who have earned rookie of the year honors in the NASCAR Camping World Series in the last three seasons (Jason Bowles, Sellers, Jeff Barkshire, and Austin Dillon), and Brian Ickler, winner of the NASCAR Camping World Series combination race in Iowa this past May. Champions of each of NASCAR's developmental series earned secured spots in the event. In addition to Holmes, Kobyluck and Steckly, those champions include Philip Morris (NASCAR Whelen All-American Series), Antonio Perez (NASCAR Mexico Series), Ted Christopher (NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour) and Brian Loftin (NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour). Logano won the NASCAR Camping World Series East title in 2007 and became the youngest winner in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2008. He is preparing to make his debut in the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in February in his brand-new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series ride, the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota. His first on-track racing action of the 2009 calendar, though, will be at the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown — where he capped his breakthrough rookie season in NASCAR in Victory Lane. Logano won the event in October of 2007. The event has been moved to January, where it will share the racing weekend with the Grand-Am Series Rolex Daytona 24. "I can't wait to get back into a race car," said Logano, who has got his racing fix running go-karts against his friends and participating in the Whelen Bodine Bobsled Challenge at Lake Placid, N.Y. "It's been a while and I'm just getting antsy to race. It's going to be great to get back on track at the Showdown." Davis is coming off a 2008 season in which he finished fifth in points in the NASCAR Camping World Series East. He led a race-high 57 laps at Iowa Speedway in the combination race between the NASCAR Camping World Series East and West. He also made his debut in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Davis again plans a mixed schedule of the three national series in 2009.
Tagged: Matt Crafton, Ted Christopher, Ron Hornaday Jr., Peyton Sellers, Antonio Perez, Eddie MacDonald, Joey Logano

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