The rumor mill is chugging in overdirve out in the Valley of the Sun with Joey Logano now on center stage.
Stories have surfaced that the young phenom may not be handed the keys to Joe Gibbs Racing's No. 20 Toyota to replace Tony Stewart next year with management at JGR getting cold feet over Logano's development.
Supposedly Gibbs is targeting Martin Truex, Jr., who is under contract for 2009 with the depeleted DEI operation, and Kurt Busch, limping through a dismal season with Penske Racing.
None of these scenarios will come true.
True, Logano's seasoning has taken a bit longer than some had anticipated but with three straight qualifying rainouts in the last five weeks, he was robbed of getting any quality Cup seat time.
Since coming into NASCAR full-time back in May, Logano has a Nationwide Series win and some solid runs in the sanctioning body's number two series.
He was thrown into the JGR Cup plan in a rush when Stewart bolted for his own team in 2009. It's a bit unfair to expect the kid to be competitive in the top stock car series around with precious few laps under his belt.
But make no mistake, Gibbs isn't about to bail on Logano and I fully expect him to be in the 20 rise full-time next season with growing pains galore.
It will be worth the wait.
But the situation does bring to the forefront the "what have you done fo rme lately?" mentality in NASCAR, especially in these tough economic times. Sponsors want an immediate return on their investments, which is an unreasonable demand most of the time given the competitive world of NASCAR. And it's especially unfair in the case of a young talent like Logano to expect success at the snap of a finger.
Logano's future is bright but getting there won't be as easy as switching on a lightbulb.