NASCAR driver Joey Logano visits 38th National Veterans Wheelchair Games
By John Groth
Joey Logano talks to the crowd during kid’s day on Wednesday, August 1, 2018 at the 38th National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Orlando, Fla. (Photo by Courtney Cooper)
One prominent NASCAR driver made a special pit stop to check out Kids Day on Wednesday at the 38th National Veterans Wheelchair Games (NVWG).
Team Penske’s Joey Logano visited the Orange County Convention Center for Kids Day at the NVWG, co-sponsored by Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
He joined other PVA members in helping children with physical disabilities in wheelchairs learn about adaptive sports.
“I think when you see what PVA stands for and you see a lot of the veterans here today and how they’ve given their life and sacrificed a lot for our country and then to see that continue today as they try to encourage and mentor kids in wheelchairs that are going through similar situations. As a kid, not that it’s ever easy as an adult either, I can only how much harder it is realizing that,” Logano said. “So it’s really cool to see the way they take their time, hang out with everyone and all that.”
It was the second day of competition at the 38th NVWG, with air rifle events, field events, table tennis matches, wheelchair slalom also known as an obstacle course, an indoor rowing exhibition and wheelchair softball, quad rugby and power soccer games going on.
Logano, 28, ranks fifth in the current Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings so far this season. In 21 starts, he has 15 top-10 and five top-five finishes along with one win – coming at the GEICO 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala., on April 29. He won by just .127 seconds over Kurt Busch in the 188-lap race. Logano led the final 42 laps and a race-high 70 overall. It marked his 19th career victory and ended a 36-race winless streak.
His next race comes Sunday at the GoBowling at The Glen at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, N.Y.
Logano joined other PVA members in participating in four events – wheelchair softball, an obstacle course, wheelchair basketball and boccia ball – with the children. He talked to other PVA members as well as children and teamed up with one – 9-year-old Jaylah Miller from Clermont, Fla. – for softball, the obstacle course and boccia ball.
After the event was over and as he was leaving, she even wheeled from one end of the convention center to the other to say goodbye.
“We joked around, had a lot of fun together and she’s a smart little girl,” said Logano, the youngest driver to win a Nationwide Series race, doing so at 18 years and 21 days old.