NASCAR Busch East Series Champion Joey Logano Announces 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series Debut

Hampton, GA –  Joey Logano, the 2007 NASCAR Busch East Series champion and winner of the Oct. 20 NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway, revealed today at Atlanta Motor Speedway that he’ll make his debut in the NASCAR Nationwide Series May 31 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.  The Joe Gibbs Racing driver will make his first career Nationwide Series start just one week after turning 18, the minimum age required by NASCAR to compete in the stepping-stone division to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The NASCAR Nationwide Series is the No. 2 form of motorsports in the U.S.

Joining Logano was Mark Dyer, president and CEO of Motorsports Authentics (MA), the leader in the design, promotion, marketing and distribution of licensed motorsports merchandise.  Dyer announced that as part of Logano’s rapid ascent toward the pinnacle of NASCAR racing, MA had created a licensing program for the 17-year-old from Middletown, Conn., a first for a driver not in one of NASCAR’s top-three series (NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series).

Also announced on Friday was a “Countdown to ‘The Dream,’” a running clock on goracing.com that allows fans to count down the days, hours and minutes until Logano’s debut in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Dover.  Sam Bass, NASCAR’s first officially licensed artist, was on hand to present Logano with an original print celebrating his historic run to the Busch East Series championship.

As part of this new program, MA, through its Action Racing Collectables (ARC) brand, will produce a 1:24 scale replica of Logano’s Busch East Series championship-winning car – the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Driven Racing Oil Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS.

In addition, MA will produce a 1:24 scale ARC die-cast replica of Logano’s 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series car.  Also, through its Chase Authentics apparel line, MA will produce a series of t-shirts, hats and other apparel as demand dictates between now and Logano’s trek toward Sprint Cup.

Logano’s championship die-cast will come with a Sam Bass print and a piece of race-worn tire from his series-clinching car.  The die-cast will initially be made available through MA Authorized Dealers nationwide.

“We’re happy to commemorate Joey’s first NASCAR championship with a special die-cast package, and we’re working with Joe Gibbs Racing to help promote Joey’s budding career as he moves up the NASCAR ladder,” Dyer said.  “We think his Nationwide Series debut next year will be one of the most anticipated in the history of the series.”

Logano, who clinched the NASCAR Busch East Series championship at the track where he’ll make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut, already has a lifetime of experience behind the wheel of a race car.
“Winning the championship is what we tried to do all year,” Logano said.  “It’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever gotten to do in racing.”

Before he became the series’ first rookie champion and its youngest since the inception of Busch East in 1989, Logano started racing quarter-midgets at age six.  He successfully moved on to many other forms of racing, winning races and championship as he advanced from Bandoleros and Legends cars to late model and full-bodied stock cars.

Logano signed with Joe Gibbs Racing in 2005, and just days after turning 15, made his debut in the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series.  Less than a month later on June 11, Logano scored his first Hooters Pro Cup win at Mansfield (Ohio) Motorsports Speedway.

The 2006 season saw continued success in Hooters Pro Cup, with Logano winning two races and a pole en route to a solid fifth-place finish in the Southern Division point standings.  It was a precursor of the success Logano would attain in 2007.

Logano visited victory lane seven times this year, scoring five wins in Busch East, one in the NASCAR Grand National West Series, where Logano made his Joe Gibbs Racing debut at Phoenix International Raceway and, most recently, at the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, which is billed as the “Daytona 500 of Short Track Racing.”

His win at Phoenix, where Joe Gibbs Racing teammate and fellow development driver Marc Davis finished second, sparked Logano’s Busch East campaign.  Logano never went more than two consecutive races without a victory, as Logano won the Busch East season-opener at Greenville-Pickens (S.C.) Speedway April 28, Iowa Speedway in Newton May 20, New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon June 29, Adirondack Speedway in Beaver Falls, N.Y., July 29 and New Hampshire International Speedway Sept. 14.
Logano’s championship was the fourth for Joe Gibbs Racing, with the company’s three previous titles coming in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series via Bobby Labonte in 2000 and Tony Stewart in 2002 and 2005.

About Motorsports Authentics, Inc.
Motorsports Authentics, Inc. is the leader in the design, promotion, marketing and distribution of licensed motorsports merchandise.  The company’s products include a broad range of motorsports-related die-cast replica collectibles, apparel, souvenirs and other sports-inspired memorabilia.  Motorsports Authentics markets and distributes product through a variety of channels including their Authorized Dealer network, the Racing Collectables Club of America (RCCA), QVC, GoRacing.com, Trackside at racing events, direct corporate promotions, mass retail and department stores, specialty dealers and select online retailers.  For more information about Motorsports Authentics, please visit the Web site at www.motorsports-authentics.com

For additional information, contact:
Scott Warfield, Motorsports Authentics Director of Media and PR, 704-454-4376 or
swarfield@motorsports-authentics.com.