Joey Logano had a year to remember in the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
And while some of what transpired will be unforgettable for all the wrong reasons, Logano also forged plenty of positive memories en route to a series-high six wins, six poles, 22 top-five and 28 top-10 finishes.
For starters, Logano won the season-opening Daytona 500, completing a life-long goal.
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"I can't believe it ... This is awesome," Logano said afterward. "The Daytona 500? Oh, my God. Are you kidding me. I was so nervous the whole race."
It was the first restrictor-plate victory of Logano's eight-year Cup career, but wouldn't be the last of his 2015 season.
He didn't win again until the road course race at Watkins Glen in early August, although he did finish second both at Kentucky and Indianapolis and third in the spring Martinsville race.
And once he claimed his second victory of the year at Watkins Glen, Logano literally was off to the races. He won again two weeks later in the night race on the short track at Bristol, part of on an 11-race streak of finishing 10th or better, including seventh or better in nine of those races and fourth or better in seven of them.
Logano capped that streak by ripping off three victories in a row during the Chase for the Sprint Cup -- winning at Charlotte, Kansas and then in another restrictor-place race at Talladega.
But it was how he won at Kansas, of course, that got him in all sorts of trouble and arguably cost him a legitimate shot at his first championship.
Having already secured his spot in the Eliminator Round of the Chase by virtue of his win at Charlotte in the opening race of the Contender Round, Logano found himself in second place, right on the heels of Matt Kenseth, as the laps wound down at Kansas. Kenseth likely needed to win either that race or the following week at Talladega to advance in the Chase, but that didn't stop Logano from eventually laying a bumper to Kenseth's No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, wrecking him. Then Logano sped by and went on to the victory in his No. 22 Team Penske Ford.
Afterward, Kenseth was furious with Logano and hinted that he would look to exact revenge.
Logano insisted he had done nothing wrong, adding: "That's good, hard racing. He raced me hard, so I raced him back."
When Logano continued to insist that he did not wreck Kenseth intentionally, Kenseth fired back by telling reporters: "Someday he might mature a little bit. First of all, he should have stopped running his mouth, and he's lying when he says he didn't do it on purpose. He lifted the tires (of Kenseth's car) off the ground and offset it to the left. He's too good a race-car driver to do that by accident."
Two weeks later, Kenseth got his revenge by taking out Logano at Martinsville in the first race of the Chase Eliminator round. Logano was leading at the time and Kenseth was nine laps down.
Even though it led to a two-race suspension for Kenseth by NASCAR and two races still remained in the Eliminator Round, it put Logano in a hole after a 37th-place finish that was by far his worst of the season -- until the next race. On just the 10th lap of that event at Texas, Logano suffered a blown tire that ruined his day, eventually relegating him to a 40th-place finish.
Needing to win the following week at Phoenix to keep his championship hopes alive, Logano nearly pulled it off but was forced in the end to settle for third, eliminating him from the Chase. Despite his series-high total of six race wins, Logano was not one of the Championship 4 drivers to compete for the 2015 championship in a winner-take-all season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He ended up finishing sixth in the final points standings.
FOX Sports television analyst Kenny Wallace, a former driver, said that he thinks Logano will benefit from his topsy-turvy 2015 season, learning from his mistakes while building on his successes. Wallace also said it's important to remember that Logano is still a very young driver.
"Joey learned, 'Look, it's an eye for an eye, man.' He thought what he did at Kansas was cool. But we all said, 'He's going to get wrecked back,'" Wallace said. "But I think he will become a better driver in the long run because of what he's gone through. Joey Logano, for me, is right up there with the talent to become one of the next champions. We all learn lessons along the way. He's very young. He's only 25 years old, you know?"