"Obviously there's a lot of talent out there," said Martin Truex Jr., winner last week in Las Vegas. "We've seen what the young guys are doing. They're nipping at our heels and making me feel old."
Also in the field is rookie Ty Dillon (24) and Trevor Bayne, who six years ago became the youngest winner of the Daytona 500 one day after his 20th birthday. He's 26 now and practically a Cup veteran.
Of course, pole-sitter Logano is no old-timer at 26, but he's well established as one of the circuit's stars. He has 17 NASCAR wins, including last year's November race in Phoenix.
He's also in a little bit of a firestorm — he came to Phoenix embroiled in controversy after hard-racing with Kyle Busch last week led to a scuffle on pit road.
But Logano isn't considered part of this group of fresh new NASCAR stars, among them Larson, who keeps flirting with another win.
"It would be nice to get a win and we have challenged now for most of, the last probably five, races," he said. "It's really cool to run up front. I've never had this speed this early in the year. I'm soaking it all in and enjoying it."
Truex said today's young drivers are helped by the cooperation between teams in the same ownership group or part of an alliance. Truex and his Furniture Row Racing group benefit as the sister team to Joe Gibbs Racing. The deep resources and sharing practices differ greatly from when he started his career driving for Dale Earnhardt.
"When I started, we had two cars at DEI and it was two different teams and two different buildings and not sharing everything," he said. "So things have changed a lot, and I think it's helped those guys a ton get off the ground, but obviously we've seen a ton of talent come into the series, and it's been exciting to watch."
Blaney drives a Ford for Wood Brothers Racing, but the team is essentially a B Team for Roger Penske, who has Logano and Brad Keselowski starring for Team Penske.
"They have been really good to us as far as sharing information," Blaney said. "We sit in on all their meetings and I feel like a part of the team. At the same time, we are still the Wood Brothers, a single-car team on the dragstrip in Mooresville. We have a great relationship with Team Penske and they are a big part of why we run so well."
Blaney feels he's closing in on that first win. He started third in Las Vegas last Sunday.
"Our cars have been competitive enough to win all three races (this year)," he said. "It just was circumstances. It is just about putting a full race together. It is really tough to win one of these Cup races."