Joey Logano, crew chief Todd Gordon seeking to join elite club with Daytona 500 repeat

Joey Logano (left) and crew chief Todd Gordon are gearing up for Speedweeks.

How long has it been since a driver made it back-to-back Daytona 500 wins?

Perhaps a history lesson will best answer the above query.

Since then, no one has captured consecutive Daytona 500 wins, although a few drivers have been close.

"I think as a kid, any young racer dreams of winning the Daytona 500," Logano said. "It’s the biggest race we have all year. You’re down there for two weeks. So much buildup coming into the race, with the qualifying, the Budweiser Duels. You get out there, the first time you’ve raced in a couple months. There’s a lot of anxiety, a lot of nerves before the race."

In 57 editions of the Daytona 500, just three drivers have gone back-to-back. Prior to Marlin in 1994 and 1995, the only others to achieve the feat were Cale Yarborough in 1983 and 1984, and Richard Petty in 1973 and 1974. Petty and Yarborough — who ultimately combined for 10 championships and 283 wins in NASCAR’s top series — are both now members of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

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"To be able to pull that car into Victory Lane and see my team there, see my family and my friends, it couldn’t be any better," Logano said, recalling last year’s Daytona 500 victory. "It’s an amazing feeling. I can’t really put it into words. It’s something that you can’t describe. … An amazing feeling."

Crew chief Todd Gordon said Logano’s No. 22 Team Penske bunch began preparing in earnest for Daytona Speedweeks 2016 following last October’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway, the series’ only other restrictor-plate track. Logano won that race, making it two victories in the season’s four plate races, which gives the team added confidence heading back to Daytona next month.

"The guys after Talladega really started to work on what we can do to be better, yet," Gordon said. "You put so much on it. It’s the Daytona 500. It’s the quintessential race of our sport. You don’t understand it until you’ve been there, but when they can call you a Daytona 500 champion it’s different than any other race that you go to."

"For us last year, it was just a lot of ecstatic feelings," Gordon said. "You look at what we’ve been able to do as a group and as a team since Joey’s been here, and this whole group together, that was checking another box. We hadn’t won a speedway race, and we won the Daytona 500, so we’ve managed to win at about every type of racetrack in our three years together, and that was one that we hadn’t done yet, so just pure excitement for the opportunity to be, for all intents and purposes, guaranteed in the Chase at that point.

"It opens your season up to do a lot of things that you don’t do until you know you’re in, and it’s just a pretty cool deal."

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