No place like (close to) home

Joey Logano walks on pit road prior to  qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 5-Hour Energy 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 17, 2015 in Loudon, New Hampshire.

Joey Logano walks on pit road prior to qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 5-Hour Energy 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 17, 2015 in Loudon, New Hampshire.

LOUDON, N.H. –  OK, it’s a stretch.

The state of Massachusetts and roughly 180 highway miles separate Joey Logano’s house in Connecticut from New Hampshire Motor Speedway, but if the driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford thinks of the Magic Mile as his home track, so be it.

After all, success and history are on his side.

Two of Logano’s nine career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories have come at Loudon, most recently in last September’s Chase race at the one-mile flat track.

So Logano returns to New Hampshire for Sunday’s 5-Hour Energy 301 as the most recent winner here—and as the runner-up in last week’s event at Kentucky Speedway.

“Any time you come back to a race track that you won at, coming off a weekend that you had a really good run at in Kentucky, the confidence is high in the team,” Logano said on Friday before opening Cup practice. “I think that’s good. That’s what momentum is–it’s just confidence. This is a race track that I’ve always loved coming to. I consider it my home race track. We were running second before we got crashed (in last year’s July race), and then we came back and won the fall race.

“So it’s a special place for me considering I started my first Cup race here and watched my first Cup race when I was seven here, so this is just a special place to come to and I’ve always enjoyed it. It’s a tricky place. It took me a long time to understand what it takes to go fast, but lately the last four or five times we’ve been here we’ve had some fast cars, so I’m ready to go. I can’t wait to get on the track.”

Later Friday Logano just missed winning the pole. He will start second Sunday.

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