Logano familar with Kentucky track

The recent string of victories by drivers who got their introduction to racing in Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Legends program could stretch into another week if Joey Logano can continue his successful run at Kentucky Speedway.

The Sprint Cup Series makes its inaugural run at Kentucky on Saturday night with the Quaker State 400, but Logano is a three-time winner in Nationwide Series racing at the Sparta track. He also won the pole for all three of those races.

And he enters this weekend with the momentum that comes from a K&N Pro Series West victory and a Cup pole at Infineon Raceway, a Nationwide Series victory at Daytona and a third-place finish in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona.

Logano’s Kentucky wins came in a conventional car, but he’ll be racing a Car of Tomorrow this time. Still, he said on this week’s NASCAR teleconference that he should have at least some advantage over his Cup competitors, many of whom have tested often at Kentucky in the past, but haven’t raced there.

“I’d say I’ve got a little bit of an advantage, but I think a lot of it is going to come down to getting your car good,” he said. “I think my big advantage that I have is I just know what I need to make the car go faster.

“I know what I need when the race starts.”

Besides the Kentucky experience, Logano is on a roll thanks to his recent strong performances in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas. He said momentum is “something we needed as a team a lot lately.

“We’ve been in a hole, and I think we’re doing a really good job digging ourselves out of it right now. It seems like once we get up on top of it, we’ll be fine.”

Two of his fellow Legends drivers from his childhood also have built some momentum. David Ragan got his first Cup win at Daytona on Saturday, and Reed Sorenson won the Nationwide Series race at Road America then finished third at Daytona. Sorenson also is the series points leader.

During his teleconference appearance, Logano reminisced about the days when he, Ragan and Sorenson ran against each other on AMS’ quarter-mile Legends track.

“It was me, David and Reed all the time,” he said. “We raced against each other a lot. We didn’t really talk about the future that much. We just talked about beating each other that day. We were competitive.

“We’re still very competitive with each other. But the cool thing is that it’s so hard to make it in this sport. For all three of us to be out there racing and still racing against each other, that’s unreal.”

Reinstatements, suspensions

NASCAR has reinstated two members and suspended two others, according to a news release. NASCAR has reinstated Jack Smith, a part-time driver in the Camping World Truck Series, and Gary Frost, a crew member in the Sprint Cup Series.

Smith’s reinstatement comes following his Sept. 7 suspension for “actions detrimental to stock car racing.” News reports from that time indicate he was arrested for trying to buy a controlled substance. He remains on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.

Frost has successfully completed NASCAR’s recovery following his May 24 suspension for violating the sanctioning body’s substance-abuse policy.

Troy Hartman and Denise Harmon-Mixon, both crew members in the Nationwide Series, were suspended indefinitely for violating NASCAR’s substance-abuse policy.

New rainout plan

NASCAR has announced a new rainout qualifying plan for its top three series, and it will be in effect this weekend at Kentucky.

If the first practice is run but qualifying is rained out, the starting lineup will be based on speeds from the car’s fastest lap from the first practice, with top-35 cars in owner points no longer segregated from the non-top 35 cars. Under the old rules, cars from the top 35 in car owner points lined up ahead of the other starters.