There is a New Young Gun in Town (The Backstrech)

Pena and Logano.JPG For the last few years Joey Logano has been riding the wave as the reigning king of the young guns in the world of NASCAR. Saturday at Toyota Speedway in Irwindale, Calif. Logano got the chance to get an up and close and personal look at a youngster who surprised many by looking to have all the skill to supplant him as NASCAR’s darling of the teenage set. In the end though it was Logano, the 19-year old Middletown native, spoiling what looked to be shaping up as colossal upset. Read more on The Backstrech

A Star is Born (Fox Sports)

Joey Logano won Saturday’s NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, but a new star was born in runner-up Sergio Pena. With the finish line in sight at the half-mile Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, Logano captured the point and led the final 12 laps en route to his second career victory in this event. But the 16-year-old Pena, who secured his ride for this race a mere two days earlier by winning a qualifier against three other Drive for Diversity participants, kept pace throughout the evening, swapping the lead multiple times with the defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rookie of the year. Initially on the restarts, it was easy to beat (Pena) and I didn’t have to do nothing,” Logano said. “As I kept going I had to pull out all my tricks and try to find a little bit here and there to get him on the restarts. Read more on Fox Sports

Pena Impresses. Logano Wins.

IRWINDALE, Calif. – Joey Logano got his second NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown trophy and Sergio Pena nearly made a historic debut on the national stage. Logano, 19, held off the 16-year-old Pena and two-time race winner Matt Kobyluck for the victory in the 225-lap race Saturday before a sold-out crowd at the Toyota Speedway at Irwindale. It was Pena’s first career race in NASCAR’s top developmental series and it came in the non-points, postseason event, which has earned the moniker the “Daytona 500 of short-track racing.” Logano made his mark by winning as a 17-year-old rookie in the 2007 edition; Pena, who only has one year of Late Model racing on his resume, nearly out-did that.
Pena quickly became a fan favorite at Irwindale
Logano and Pena waged a race-long battle for the lead from drop of the green. For most of the race it was the Pena in heated pursuit of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year. Pena was able to grab the lead on several occasions. Logano, however, got the best of two late-race restarts to pull away for the victory. Kobyluck go t by Pena briefly on Lap 218, and by the time Pena got back to second four laps later he didn’t have enough time to track Logano back down. Logano wound up leading a race-high 171 laps. Pena led the other 54 and they swapped the lead five times. Following Logano, Pena and Kobyluck across the line was Matt DiBenedetto and Andrew Myers. Eric Holmes, David Mayhew, Eddie MacDonald, Paulie Harraka and Steve Park rounded out the top 10. Reigning NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Champion Jason Bowles finished 11th while K&N Pro Series East 2009 titlist Ryan Truex was relegated to 26th after a late-race accident. It’s been a whirlwind weekend for Pena, a Winchester, Va., native. Pena, driving for Revolution Racing and Drive For Diversity, beat out three teammates Thursday in a race-off for a chance to qualify for the Showdown. He easily did that, earning the pole in Friday’s qualifying. The win was a vindication, of sorts, for Logano, who crossed the line first in last year’s NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, but was penalized to last place for aggressive driving on the last lap. This was the second year the postseason event was held in January. The first five – 2003-2007 – were held in the Fall. Complete Results | Lap-by-lap Recap

Pena Makes A Splash At NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown

Earns Pole In NASCAR K&N Pro Series Debut IRWINDALE, Calif. – Sergio Pena highlighted an action-packed day in Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on Friday as he captured the pole for Saturday’s NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown. In his first competition in a NASCAR K&N Pro Series race car, the 16-year-old Pena captured the 21 Means 21 Pole Award presented by Coors Light for the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown with a fast lap of 18.390 seconds (97.879 mph) during qualifying Friday evening. Pena, a member of the Drive for Diversity initiative, earned his way into the event by competing in a qualifying race among his three teammates at Revolution Racing in similarly prepared cars from one of Toyota Speedway’s entry divisions on Thursday evening. A run-away win in that run-off allowed Pena a shot at competing on Friday. Pena’s pole run bested that of 2007 NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown winner and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Joey Logano. Logano qualified second at 18.421 (97.715). The second row for Saturday night’s 225-lap NASCAR K&N Pro Series race will consist of Greg Pursley (18.475 seconds/97.429 mph) and Eric Holmes (18.498/97.308). Sean Caisse was the fifth-fastest qualifier (18.520/97.192). Jeff Barkshire filled out the third row and the fourth row will consist of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Gilliland and Josh Combs. The two fastest in afternoon practice, Jason Bowles qualified 10th and Ryan Truex ninth. Defending winner of the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown Matt Kobyluck qualified 14th. Complete qualifying results

Revolution Racing to Debut at Toyota All-Star Showdown

NASCAR K&N Pro Series Rookie Sergio Pena to Pilot No. 4 Freightliner Chevrolet. Revolution Racing will make its on-track debut tomorrow at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale (Calif.) in the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown. Revolution will enter the No. 4 Freightliner/Revolution Racing Chevrolet with rookie NASCAR K&N Pro Series East driver Sergio Pena behind the wheel. Pena, 16, of Winchester, Va., is relatively new to stock cars, but has been racing karts and open wheel cars for more than half his life. In his first season of late model competition, Pena won six races and rookie of the year honors at Shenandoah (Va.) Speedway. He also competed in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series late model races at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va. “It’s amazing to be here this weekend representing Revolution Racing in its debut race,” said Pena. “To have the opportunity to make my first start in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series here at the Toyota All-Star Showdown is indescribable.” Pena caught the eye of Revolution Racing management at the annual Drive for Diversity Combine presented by Sunoco, held last October. Pena was invited back for further testing with Revolution in November. “We have been very impressed with Sergio,” said John Story, President of Revolution Racing. “He showed a lot of speed during the Combine and our evaluation process that followed throughout October and November. We have a lot of interest and high expectations for Sergio. It is our goal to elevate him to the highest levels of NASCAR competition and we believe he has what it takes to make it in the sport.” Revolution Racing, owned by Story and Max Siegel, was formed in late 2009, bringing together some of the top names in driver development. Four-time NASCAR K&N Pro Series champion Andy Santerre serves as Director of Competition for the K&N Pro Series operations, while Blair Addis, a Greenville-Pickens (S.C.) Speedway track champion, heads the Late Model program. Revolution Racing’s complete 2010 driver roster will be announced in early February.