After watching Joey Logano secure a sixth-place position during the qualifying race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) in Loudon, New Hampshire, on July 11, AutoTrader had a chance to sit down with the No. 22 Ford Fusion driver for Team Penske and AutoTrader.com as he geared up to race at the place where his career took off.

Logano had his first win at NHMS at the age of 19 in 2009, propelling him forward from the 64th overall ranking for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series to the 24th -- and right into the spotlight. Before then, he had quickly powered through many of the major racing series, including the CARS X-1R Pro Cup Series, both the K&N Pro Series East and West, and the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

"When I was growing up, I was always waiting on my age to race a certain type of car," Logano said in his exclusive one-on-one interview with AutoTrader.com.

Currently in his seventh season of the Sprint Cup with two wins already, Logano sits in the ninth spot in the overall standings and is starting to catch up with his competitors in more ways than one.

"Now I'm 24, so I'm starting to get up there a bit in age," he said. "I'm not the youngest guy anymore, which is what I've been used to my whole career."

Even though he might be blending into the more common demographic among his peers, Logano says that he still works to be a well-known name in NASCAR. But this time it's for a somewhat different reason.

"Winning," he said, with a smile. "That's what we're here to do. To me, it doesn't really matter what age you are. You have to go out there and perform."

After spending almost a decade in the big leagues, Logano still has a golden past of wins to reflect on. He spent his childhood playing with Matchbox cars, and after getting his first go-kart for Christmas when he was 6 years old, he realized that racing was all he wanted to do. Though he attempted other sports, such as hockey and baseball, he humbly said that he "wasn't very good at them" nor did he enjoy them as much as racing.

"I got to the point that I was racing so much that you end up missing half your games or half your practices for hockey," he said. "Next thing you know, you have to pick one. I think I made the right choice."

In his free time, Logano says he is able to translate well from racing to "regular driving" and even does his part to give back to the community that has supported him over the years. He started the Joey Logano Foundation earlier this year. Its mission is to rally the NASCAR community to help out those across the nation who've struggled through human or natural disasters and are in need of a second chance.

Even with the laundry list of impressive accomplishments in such a short amount of time, Logano keeps a modest, laid-back demeanor that impresses the many who know him. And when it comes to advising those who are looking to pursue their own passions, his advice is sweet but surefire.

"I made sure I enjoyed it, I made sure I worked hard at it," he said. "Make sure you enjoy the opportunities you get, but make the most of it at the same time."

author photo

Melissa Proulx Melissa Proulx is a University of New Hampshire journalism student who won the first-ever "AutoTrader500" essay contest for aspiring reporters. As the winner, she attended a NASCAR race in New Hampshire as an embedded journalist and had the opportunity to interview driver Joey Logano one-on-one before the race.‚Äč

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