Joey Logano Races Video Games Into Victory Lane
NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide driver Joey Logano has raced with GameStop as his sponsor in the Nationwide series since 2008, and since the beginning he's achieved great things. In just his third career start he became the youngest driver in Nationwide series history to win a race, and so far he's notched 10 wins and 52 top 5 finishes in both series. Logano's cars and their video game paint schemes have also turned heads at the track, with the #20 GameStop-sponsored Toyota Camry with Joe Gibbs Racing featuring games like Max Payne 3, Mario Kart, Mad Catz, BioShock 2, and many more through the years.
We talked with Joey about his video game paint schemes and his gaming habits while at the track and when he's at home.
For more on Joey Logano's GameStop cars, take a look at the gallery of cars at the bottom of the page, check out time-lapse video below of the Mortal Kombat car, and read about the paint scheme wrap process in the July issue of Game Informer Magazine (#231).
What are you playing at the moment?
I'm always into racing games, so Gran Turismo, Forza are two games...I like those a lot. We've played the NASCAR game, so that's pretty fun. We play that in the basement in my house, so that's always always a good time to have your friends over. We play hockey a lot, too. Shooting games I'm just not good at them, so I don't play them. If I'm not good at it, I'm not going to do it.[laughs]
I've tried playing football a few times...totally confused! I don't know what button to hit, so I haven't tried that enough. I just stick to the things that I know I can beat my friends in. You know, you come to my place, you're going to play the game I like to play - the game I'm good at.[laughs]
Do you have a racing wheel setup while you're on the road?
I don't have a wheel setup in my motorhome, but I have a PlayStation 3 on my bus, so that kind of works out good. You know, we don't have a whole lot of time at the race track, but those rainy days, when you're sitting around and don't have much to do it really comes in handy.
Do you play with other drivers?
Every once in a while. I usually have a friend that's there and we'll play a little bit. The drivers - we don't hang out as much as you might think.
Watching TV, it looks like you guys are having fun, joking around in the pre-race introductions...
Yeah, there are some. David Ragan is a good friend of mine, and I've grown up racing against him, so I've known him my whole life. A lot of the guys are a little older than me, so they're in a different stage in their life. But David comes over and we play a little bit now and again, and at home is where we play the most anyway.
Do you save the video game car wraps?
I got a couple, but a lot of the time it's one big sticker basically. So, when the race is over and the car is still in one piece, they'll just take the sticker off and put the next one on. A lot of times you don't end up with it, but if it's special or it's a car that looks really cool...the Beatles car I had a few years ago was really, really neat. There are some cars that are really cool you want to get a hood out of or something.
Is The Beatles Rock Band your favorite video game-related paint scheme?
I think for a paint scheme, yeah. It's old school. It looked kind of like an old-school paint scheme, and it had The Beatles right in front on the hood. I've had a lot of really cool ones. The Cabela's Big Game Hunter is pretty cool. It had a big grizzly bear. The Call of Duty car was cool – we've had so many of them.
Do other drivers make comments to you when they see a video game on your car?
All the time, the other drivers are like, "Hey, can you hook me up with this game?" and I'm like, "C'Mon!" [laughs] They're always looking for the deal. Yeah, they comment on the car like, "That one looks cool." It definitely draws attention. I think my fans enjoy seeing what the car is going to look like every week, because I know I do. The sponsor itself being GameStop and brining in a younger demographic into NASCAR, it kind of works for me. I'm one of the younger drivers out there, if not the youngest, and to have a sponsor that goes with you as good as GameStop does is a big deal.
Is there any particular game you'd want to get on the car?
I'm fine with just about anything on there. Obviously I lean to the racing games because I'm a racer, that's my sport. I think it would be cool to have Madden on there or something like that, that would be pretty cool. That would kind of be breaking into something different, so that would be kind of neat. Or like a fighting game or boxing game, that would be cool to see in a race.
After this interview, Joey went on to race the #18 GameStop/Max Payne 3 car to victory at Talladega!
Be sure to watch Joey and the #20 GameStop Toyota at these races on the 2012 Nationwide schedule:
- July 28 Indianapolis
- Oct. 12 Charlotte
- Oct. 20 Kansas
- Nov. 3 Texas
- Nov. 10 Phoenix
- Nov. 17 Homestead-Miami
Check out this time-lapse footage of the team putting on the Mortal Kombat paint scheme
[Full Disclosure: Game Informer is owned by GameStop]