Joey Logano’s pursuit of his first Sprint Cup title and his win Sunday in Charlotte were not on his mind Thursday morning.
Instead, the Penske Racing driver was trying to do his part to help with the relief efforts caused by flooding throughout Columbia and the Palmetto State.
Logano and Columbia native Jordan Anderson, a rookie in the Camping World Truck Series, toured the damage at the Columbia canal and also met members of the Columbia fire department and Salvation Army during the stop that was spearheaded by Darlington Raceway.
“You got to have your priorities straight and use racing as a platform to help others,” said Logano, the Sprint Cup points leader. “If we are able to the right thing on the race track, we are able to do the right thing for people.”
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In addition to his appearance, Logano’s foundation is donating $50,000 which will go three different organizations helping in the restoration efforts. Logano said seeing the damage on TV had an effect on him, similar to how he felt when he toured and helped the clean up efforts Joplin, Missouri, after a tornado hit there in 2011.
“It goes straight to your heart to see how many lives were altered by this disaster,” Logano said. “You are going along with your life and all of sudden your house is wiped out and you weren’t expecting that. I couldn’t imagine how much that changes someone’s life. That is what the foundation is about – second chances.
“We want to keep some awareness. Seems like these situations the media is gone and everyone forgets about it while people are trying to clean up and get their lives straight.”
The flooding hit close to home for Anderson, who grew up in the Forest Acres area and attended A.C. Flora High. The 24-year-old was driving his team’s hauler back from the race at Las Vegas when he watched news of the flood on TV at a rest area.
Anderson said the flooding wiped out his mother’s beauty shop in Forest Acres and his parents’ roof collapsed. There also was damage to rental properties owned by Anderson’s father.
“You see it on the news but it takes on a different meaning when it is something so close to you. It hits your heart in a way nothing else does,” Anderson said.
Like Logano, Anderson also is doing his part to help out flood victims for the truck race at Talladega on Oct. 24. Anyone who donates will have their name go on his truck that week with proceeds toward the disaster relief fund.
“This is my stomping grounds and this is my people here,” Anderson said. “And to be here today and give back to the community that helped me so much is an honor.
“The one thing about South Carolina we are Palmetto strong. It has been incredible to see the love South Carolinians have for another and everyone helping each other.”