Is Logano NASCAR’s MVP of the 2015 season?

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By Aaron Burns

Football fans can spend hours arguing over who they’d pick for Most Valuable Player.

It’s the biggest individual honor an NFL player can get, and I think Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton deserves it. He’s led his team to a 5-0 record and has done everything asked of him.

Picking NASCAR’s version of a Most Valuable Player is tougher.

For years, we’ve ranked Jimmie Johnson as the No. 1 driver in Sprint Cup, and with good reason. Death, taxes and Jimmie Johnson going for the title.

We could always rely on those, right?

Johnson was eliminated in the 16-driver Challenger round of the Chase, though, and he’s not had an MVP-caliber season. No one from Chevrolet’s camp has unless it’s Kevin Harvick.

Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing have given us several picks for MVP, but none of them measure up the way Logano does. This is the same guy who, after I wrote one of my first racing columns about him in 2012, I was asked, “Why would you feature Joey Logano?”

Now, those same people would probably ask me why I didn’t feature him more. Don’t blame me. I saw his potential early. I just wasn’t very outspoken about it.

Seriously, what is Logano’s weakness? He can win on any track. He’s won at Daytona, Watkins Glen, Bristol and Charlotte. He’s Ford’s best driver. And unlike the boys at Hendrick Motorsports or Joe Gibbs Racing, it doesn’t matter what aero package you throw at Logano.

He’ll throw his steering wheel from victory lane.

Much like Newton, a young quarterback who is now one of the NFL’s best, Logano is officially part of NASCAR’s elite.

There was a time when people thought the kid nicknamed “Sliced Bread,” as in “best thing since,” was kind of stale. He won one race in his first three Cup seasons. He only won it because it was rained out when he led.

Logano was the same age as a college kid then. While he doesn’t look much older, he’s a much smarter driver, a more successful one as well.

And my pick for MVP.

 

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