When Joey Logano climbed into the No. 22 Team Penske Ford Mustang on September 17, it marked his 500th career Cup Series start. At only the age of 32, the 2018 Cup Series champion is well on pace to join a very exclusive list that only features Richard Petty.
The King is the only driver to make more than 1,000 starts in the Cup Series. He made 1,184 during his Hall of Fame career. The closest driver to him is Ricky Rudd at 906 starts, but Logano has an opportunity to become the second driver to make 1,000 starts. He just has to remain healthy and focused on making starts for several years.
Logano will end the 2022 season with 507 Cup Series starts. He will still have 493 starts to go before he hits 1,000, but he can reach this mark by starting every single race for the next 13.5 seasons. This would put him at the age of 45. It’s not a major stretch to believe that Logano could still be competing considering that Kurt Busch (44) and Kevin Harvick (46) are both active.
Logano Could Take Down an Important Record
Will Logano make it to 1,000 starts? He doesn’t know the answer. There are many factors in play that could impact the longevity of his career. However, he has a really good opportunity ahead of him given his age and his consistency.
There is another mark that Logano could hit, which would be a NASCAR record. Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon holds the Iron Man record for the most consecutive Cup Series starts. He made his debut in the 1992 season finale and then went full-time in 1993. Gordon started every single race until he retired after the end of the 2015 season. This gave him 797 consecutive starts.
Logano, for comparison, has made 497 consecutive starts in his career. He only needs to make 300 more without missing a start to chase down Gordon. He can achieve this goal in the next 8.33 seasons, which would put him close to the age of 41.
“I’m already losing my hair. I don’t know if I’ll make it, [to 1,000],” Logano told media members at Bristol Motor Speedway. “I don’t have a start goal. I’ve looked into the Iron Man award. It’s definitely possible for me if I can keep consistently making the starts that I’ve been able to do. I’m probably one of the only ones that can really achieve that, so it’s there. I don’t know how much that means to me.”
Logano Has a Different Focus During the 2022 Season
There is a scenario where Logano chases down and passes Gordon before going on to join Petty on the list of drivers with 1,000 career Cup Series starts. No one knows if he will achieve this goal, and it’s not even the biggest concern.
For Logano, the most important thing is stacking points and continuing to move through the playoff rounds. He believes that he is capable of reaching the championship four and winning the second title of his career. Checking off these goals is the priority for Logano and the No. 22 team, especially after a significant contract extension.
“I know where I am for the foreseeable future right now and I’m happy where I’m at,” Logano added. “I just re-signed with Penske and Shell and I’m obviously in a great spot there, but you fast forward a few years down the road and who knows? You can’t call life. You don’t know where you’re gonna be and how competitive you’ll be. I know one thing, if I can’t win and I feel like I am holding back a race team, I probably don’t belong there anymore. When I feel like I’m not contributing to performance in our race team, that’s gonna be my cue.”