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It's A Family Thing: How Joey Logano Fulfilled Championship Pledge To His Son
Joey Logano earned his 2nd NASCAR Cup Series title at Phoenix, making good on a promise to an ecstatic Hudson, 4.
There’s an intrinsic satisfaction to making good on your word, but how about making good on a promise to your 4-year-old son you’d win the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Championship? Well, considering how excited Joey Logano’s eldest son Hudson was to receive the checkered flag hand-in-hand with his newly minted champion dad, Mr. Sliced Bread just might know a thing or two about it.
Logano’s Championship victory at Phoenix punctuates a superb year for the driver behind Team Penske’s No. 22 Ford Mustang who began 2022 by winning the Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum in Los Angeles. More importantly, it marks the culmination of a promise he was never going to break.
"[Hudson and I] had so many conversations over the last couple weeks before bedtime,” revealed Logano. “First was, 'Daddy is going to get a pole, and he's going to meet me out here, and we're going to win the race,' and I couldn't be a liar to my son."
To cap off the glorious occasion, Logano celebrated by taking Hudson for a little joy ride down victory lane, including the obligatory accoutrements of doughnuts and burnouts.
“Ever since [Kevin] Harvick gave his son a ride in the car, I always wanted to do that with Hudson,” noted Logano, referring to the time in August 2019 Harvick won Michigan and gave his son Keelan a ride after the race. “[Hudson is] such a little car guy. It was a special moment to ride together.”
“The first time I won [the Championship in 2018], [Hudson] was like nine months old,” Logano added. “He didn’t know which way was up, could barely hold his head up. Now, to see him running up there and grabbing the flag and going for a ride with me, couldn’t have picked a better race to do that for the first time.”
Motivated to keep his promise to his son, Logano didn’t just win the 2022 Cup Series Championship, he dominated it. The 32-year-old wheelman decisively won the pole and led 186 of the 312 laps Sunday without ever really facing any threats. Winning decidedly in Phoenix bookends a consistently strong year for Logano who will always remember the incredible manner in which it all began.
“It’s a week that will never be replicated,” Logano, who shares three children with wife Brittany, told USA Insider's Stephanie Gomulka in August at the premiere of USA Network’s "Race for the Championship," while holding his daughter Emilia, who was born shortly after he won the Clash in Los Angeles. “You can’t reproduce what happened that week. You go out to the Clash, win the race, first time in the Next Gen car in a new racetrack, a whole new experiment for the sport… [Then], a day and half later, she pops out and says hello to the world, and everything went smooth.”
“There was plenty of opportunity for all of that to go bad, and it all went just the way it’s planned,” Logano continued. “How often do things go the way its planned? We say we’re going to win the race and come back and have a baby. Yeah, that sounds great, but it actually did happen.”
“We’re just so blessed to have that all happen so early in the year. It’s definitely a memorable week forever. Think about that. You never forget the birth of your children, and then that on top of a race win [is] really neat.”
"I don't know what to think, but obviously my condolences go to the Gibbs family," Logano said.
Though Gibbs’ passing was a sad part of the weekend, with his victories at the Clash in Los Angeles, the Goodyear 400 at Darlington, the Enjoy Illinois 300 and now the 2022 Cup Series Championship in Phoenix, Logano’s got enough bedtime story material for Hudson, Jameson and now Emilia to last a lifetime.
“If you have kids, you understand the love that you have for them,” Logano stated. “It’s truly unconditional love. To see [Hudson] smiling and celebrate the moment together, it’s truly the most awesome feeling.”