Prior to the Cup Series playoffs beginning this past weekend at Darlington, Joey Logano boldly declared himself the championship favorite during the NASCAR Playoff Media Day held earlier in the week in Charlotte, North Carolina. “I told my team that we’re the favorites,” the Team Penske driver stated matter-of-factly. “I gave reasons for it. So I don’t feel like it’s something made up in our mind. You have to race with confidence. I don’t see any reason why we wouldn’t right now.”
Logano justified his confidence on the basis of several strong finishes he’d posted in recent weeks and the fact that he’d amassed more points than any of his fellow playoff drivers over the final few races of the regular season. Thankfully for Logano, nothing happened at Darlington to cast doubt on his assessment. Although Logano didn’t win as he did at Darlington in the spring when he outdueled William Byron in controversial fashion, he qualified on the pole and came home in fourth after leading 64 of 367 laps in his Roger Penske-owned Ford. More importantly, he took over the points lead and now sits atop the standings as the Cup Series prepares for Kansas – one of his best tracks and a place where he’s been to Victory Lane three times at the Cup level, most recently in the fall of 2020.
Logano is by no means guaranteed entry into the Round of 12, but he couldn’t be in a more enviable position right now. Especially with Kansas on tap this weekend.