NASCAR driver Joey Logano and family mourning their Frenchie

Joey Logano will have one more off-track obstacle to fight through this weekend.

Joey Logano will be racing with a heavy heart in the Coca-Cola 600 this Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, as he and his family lost their French Bulldog Luigi earlier this week.

Dog O’Day learned of this sad news from NBC Sports.

Logano competes in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for Team Penske in the No. 22 Ford Mustang, and is the defending series champion.

Luigi disappeared from the backyard of the family’s Charlotte, North Carolina, home on Tuesday evening, and Logano’s wife Brittany posted a description of the dog on Facebook but to no avail.

He is black and brindle, about twenty pounds, with a green collar with his name and their phone numbers on the tag.

“We’ve learned that Frenchies are one of the most stolen dogs around,” Logano said during Coke 600 practice on Thursday. “It’s kind of sad that someone does that. It’s a member of your family. It’s a jerk move.”

We agree.

“Unfortunately we got the news we didn’t want to share about our Luigi, ” Logano tweeted Thursday night (May 23).

“We’ll miss him, but thank you to everyone for your thoughts, prayers and efforts trying to find him.”

In an interview with Dog O’Day, fellow Ford driver Chase Briscoe (who is sponsored by Nutri Chomps dog treats) estimated well over half of the garage of NASCAR’s three national series have  dogs, and people usually bring them along from track to track, which makes for a good conversation starter.

Briscoe competes for Stewart-Haas Racing in the triple-A level Xfinity Series.

“We will miss our doggy friend!” Paige Keselowski replied to Logano’s announcement. Paige’s husband is Logano’s teammate Brad Keselowski, the 2012 MENCS champion.

Joey Logano has 22 career MENCS wins, and he has a win, six top-fives and eight top-10’s through 12 races so far this season. He is also locked into the playoffs.

The Coke 600 closes out a day full of racing action on Sunday, May 26 at 6:30 p.m. ET on Fox. While you wait for the race to begin, or if you get bored during the event, check out the Garth Stein novel The Art of Racing in the Rain (our review is linked), which is narrated by a dog whose owner is a race car driver, and will soon be a movie starring Kevin Costner, Milo Ventimiglia and Amanda Seyfried.

For more racing news, analysis and opinions, see Beyond the Flag, FanSided’s home for motorsports, or the independent racing news site Fronstretch.