Interstate Batteries [6 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2014 races:
Auto Club - 3/23
Texas - 4/6
Daytona - 7/5, striped scheme
New Hampshire - 7/13
Michigan - 8/17
Dover - 9/28
There are six current race tracks the Sprint Cup Series runs on that Kyle Busch has not won at a Sprint Cup race:
Martinsville, Charlotte, Kansas, Pocono, Indianapolis and Homestead.(11-2-2014)
Contract Status: Driver: 2017; Primary Sponsors: M&M Mars 2017; Interstate 2014+; Manufacturer: 2014+
Kyle Busch Undergoes Scheduled Offseason Foot Surgery: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) had successful surgery on his left foot this morning. Busch is expected to make a full recovery in time for the start of the 2015 NASCAR season in February. The scheduled offseason surgery was performed to relieve a recurring source of inflammation in his left foot. The surgery was performed by Dr. Robert Anderson of OrthoCarolina.(JGR)(12-11-2014)
New #18 crew chief talks about jump to Sprint Cup: While new #18 crew chief Adam Stevens will be making his Sprint Cup debut in 2015, he's a very familiar face to the driver he'll be working with: Kyle Busch. Stevens has collected 31 wins as a crew chief for JGR's NASCAR XFINITY Series program over the last four years. 19 of them have come over the last two seasons alone from working with Busch; after racking up a staggering 12 wins together in 2013, the duo followed up with seven more this past year. In an interview today on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Stevens touched on how he and Busch quickly became a successful pair. "Kyle and I, we have a little bit of history now of building some communication and some success behind us," he said. "The cool thing about him and I is we look at race cars the same way, and immediately when we started working together, his feedback and what I'm thinking and how I think race cars work just seemed to mesh really well. And in our brief history [together], it's added up to quite a few wins. We're hoping to see if we can carry some of that into the Cup Series. There are certain aspects of the race that will make it a little bit more easier, comparatively. But the [Cup] races as a whole - being so much longer, the track conditions, and the preferred line and handling conditions you're fighting - tend to change a lot more through the race. You're trading one set of problems - managing your tire sets - for another set of problems, which is managing changing track conditions."(NBC Sports)(12-6-2014)
Todd Berrier joins Joe Gibbs Racing: Todd Berrier has joined Joe Gibbs Racing. The veteran crew chief started his new job on Monday and is expected to transition into Jimmy Makar's role. Makar, who has been with JGR since its inception in 1992 as Dale Jarrett's crew chief, is currently the senior vice president of racing operations. JGR president J.D. Gibbs confirmed Berrier's hiring on Thursday but was not certain of his title. Berrier was most recently the crew chief for Furniture Row Racing and the #78 Chevy but transitioned out of his role over the last year. Berrier honed his crew chief skills at Richard Childress Racing starting with truck in 1997. He led Kevin Harvick to the Nationwide Series title in 2001 before graduating to Cup full-time in 2002. Berrier has four Chase appearances, eight Cup wins, six Nationwide Series wins and four truck victories.(Motorsport)(12-5-2014)
Joe Gibbs Racing Announces 2015 Crew Chief Lineup: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced crew chief assignments for each of its four 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and three NASCAR XFINITY Series teams.
JGR's 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crew Chief lineup:
Jason Ratcliff, #20 Toyota driven by Matt Kenseth
Dave Rogers, #11 Toyota driven by Denny Hamlin
Darian Grubb, #19 Toyota driven by Carl Edwards
Adam Stevens, #18 Toyota driven by Kyle Busch
(Rogers moves from #18 Cup team, Grubb moves from #11 Cup team, Stevens moves up from JGR's NNS team)
JGR's 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series Crew Chief lineup:
Eric Phillips, #18 Toyota driven by Daniel Suarez
Chris Gayle, #54 Toyota driven by multiple drivers
Mike Wheeler, #20 Toyota driven by multiple drivers
"With the expansion of our NASCAR Sprint Cup Series operations to four teams next year with the addition of Carl Edwards, we have been able to take a step back and evaluate each of our teams and make decisions that we feel are best for our organization long term," said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. "Like Jason and Dave previously, Adam (Stevens) has clearly proven that he is ready to move into the Cup Series and we feel that his familiarity with Kyle (Busch) provides the opportunity for us to make that move now. We think pairing Dave (Rogers) with Denny (Hamlin) and Darian (Grubb) with Carl (Edwards) will also make each team stronger heading into next season. Jason (Ratcliff) and Matt (Kenseth) came together quickly and we felt it was in the best interest of the 20 team to keep it as is.
Stevens joins the Sprint Cup Series after spending the previous four seasons as a crew chief in JGR's NASCAR Nationwide Series. Over that time, Stevens has been a part of 31 wins, 73 top-five and 95 top-ten finishes in 124 starts.
"The XFINITY Series has been very important to us at Joe Gibbs Racing. Not only from a driver development standpoint, but also in the development of crew chiefs and other team members that eventually make their way into our Cup programs. Mike Wheeler has been a vital part of our success with Denny on the Cup side and we're excited that he will have a chance to be a crew chief. It is a similar transition to the one we made with Chris Gayle a couple of years ago, and Chris will remain with us, but move over to the 54 Toyota with Kyle. We're also excited to have Eric Phillips join our operations from KBM to work with Daniel Suarez next season."
Mike Wheeler has been with JGR since December 2002 and served as the race engineer on the #11 Cup team since that team's formation in 2005. He will now serve as crew chief on the #20 XFINITY team which will run a full season with multiple drivers. Gayle, who has served as the crew chief on JGR's #11 Nationwide Series team the previous two seasons and was an engineer on JGR's #18 Sprint Cup Series team prior to that, will now lead the organization's #54 XFINITY Series team. Eric Phillips joins JGR from Kyle Busch Motorsports where he served as crew chief for the NASCAR Camping World Series Owner's Championship #51 Tundra team. Phillips, who joined KBM in 2010, will work with Daniel Suarez on the #18 XFINITY Series team in 2015.(JGR)(12-4-2014)
New look for the M&M car in 2015: Kyle Busch goes green in 2015 as the #18 M&M's Crispy Toyota Camry will take the track for 24 races next season, starting with the Daytona 500 (JGR), see an image of the scheme on the #18 Team Schemes page.(12-3-2014)
Kyle Busch says JGR needs an affiliation: #18-Kyle Busch says that Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing need to work more closely together if they are to compete against the Hendrick Motorsports-Stewart Haas Racing conglomeration and other teams next season. While Busch's teammate, #11-Denny Hamlin, raced for the championship Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, there was a disparity in victories among the Toyota teams and others, including Stewart-Haas Racing, which won the championship with #4-Kevin Harvick. "We have four cars going next year and in reality we should have six, no ifs, ands, or buts,'' Busch said Monday, alluding to the addition of #19-Carl Edwards to JGR, which gives that organization four teams, and MWR's two teams. "We need to have as much as we can have.'' Busch views Hendrick Motorsports and Stewart-Haas Racing as one eight-car entity. Stewart-Haas Racing receives chassis and engines from Hendrick Motorsports and shares information. "We need to have an affiliation,'' Busch said during a luncheon before Monday night's Nationwide and Camping World Truck banquet. "It would be nice if MWR ... made us all eight. It would be better for all of us. There's a couple of reasons that we're fighting internally why we're not mingling with those guys quite yet, but hopefully that gets resolved here soon.'' Busch described the information shared between Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing as "informal. It's like ... "Hey we're running these four springs and bars and shocks,' but in reality what's your pivots, what's this, what's that, what's everything else?'' Busch said that aero information from a wind tunnel is shared among the two teams but other areas of information doesn't transfer as well. Busch noted that the two teams have different chassis simulation programs.(in part from MRN)(11-18-2014)
Banfield Pet Hospital featured on the #18 at Phoenix: While Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Banfield Pet Hospital Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), and his wife Samantha live a lot of their lives out of a suitcase, a part of home they bring with them whenever possible are their dogs Kelly, Suzie and Lucy. While the three Busch canines are no strangers to the racetrack, they will be in a unique position - actually, their likenesses will be - during Sunday's Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500k at Phoenix International Raceway. Kelly, Suzie and Lucy will ride along with Busch as their pictures will adorn Busch's #18 Banfield Pet Hospital Toyota. Kyle and Samantha Busch travel with their four-legged friends every opportunity they get, and this is the first time they'll be included on the #18 Toyota Camry paint scheme fielded by Joe Gibbs Racing. West-Highland Terriers Suzie and Kelly have been part of Busch's extended race team since he began racing in NASCAR's top touring series in 2005. Lucy, a Pomeranian Yorkie, joined the family shortly after the Busches were married in 2010. Founded in 1955, Banfield Pet Hospital is the largest privately owned veterinary practice in the world. The practice has more than 850 hospitals in the United States and Puerto Rico, most of which are located inside PetSmart stores. And, good news for the Busches in case there is a need for veterinary service while on they're on the road, chances are there is always a Banfield Pet Hospital nearby (JGR), see an image of the scheme on the #18 Team Schemes page.(11-5-2014)
Some #18 2015 Toyota images posted: Toyota Racing posted a few images on their Twitter of the #18 M&M's 2015 Toyota Camry that was shown at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Nov 4th. See images of the car on the 2015 #18 Team Schemes page.(11-4-2014)
Kyle Busch running his 10th 'triple' UPDATEs 2 for 3: Kyle Busch is entered in the Camping World Truck (#51 ToyotaCare), Nationwide (#54-Monster) and Sprint Cup (#18-M&M's) races this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. It's the 10th time in his career he's entered all three series in the same weekend. Busch swept the entire weekend once, at Bristol in August 2010.(MRN)(10-31-2014)
Trucks: Busch won the WinStar World Casino & Resort 350 Camping World Truck Series race Friday night, leading 80 of 152 laps for his 42nd series win.(11-1-2014)
Nationwide: Busch won the O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge Nationwide Series race at Texas on Saturday, leading 116 of 200 laps for his 70th NNS win. So if Busch can win the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race, he will win his 2nd 'triple'.
Sprint Cup: after going down a lap, Busch was able to get a lucky dog pass, get back on the lead lap and finish 4th at Texas.(11-2-2014)
The Four drivers eliminated from Chase...comments:
Busch's crew chief Dave Rogers talked to the media:
How hard did the team work to try to advance to the next round following the accident?
"My hats off to all these guys -- everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing and everyone at TRD (Toyota Racing Development). It's a shame, everyone has been working really hard. I felt like we got off to a slow start early in the season and we were advancing through the playoffs pretty well with hard work and good decisions and good teamwork. The team was performing really well and working extremely hard. I thought we were in a decent spot coming into the race and rode around in the back. Kyle (Busch) got checked up for the wreck and had everything saved up, but he got run over from behind. There is no safe place in here. Everyone, every time we come to a speedway everyone will strategize -- we're going to ride in the back, we're going to ride in the front, we're going to do this. The truth is that if you're out there on the race track at Talladega or Daytona, you have a pretty good chance that you're going to get in a wreck and today was our day."
How did Kyle Busch react?
"I can't praise him (Kyle Busch) enough. He's really stepped up to be a great leader of this race team in the Chase. We've had a couple things go against us -- getting the nose knocked off at Loudon, today and Kyle's done a really good job of biting his lip and just backing the race team to let us do our job. Kyle, I can't say enough good about him. I'm really proud of him. It's been a lot of fun working with him and we're not done yet. We can't win the championship, but we can still advance in points and work our way up to fifth. We're going to go to Martinsville working hard and we're going to try to win all these races."(Toyota Racing PR)(10-20-2014)
Congrats to Kyle & Samantha Busch: #18-Kyle Busch and wife Samantha announced on Twitter Saturday that Samantha is pregnant and expecting the couple's first child in May 2015.(10-18-2014)
2015 team sponsorships coming together: Some top NASCAR Sprint Cup teams have sold their primary sponsorships for all of next season, but space remains on the cars of #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #5-Kasey Kahne, Carl Edwards and #15-Clint Bowyer four months before the 2015 season begins. Among the teams that have sold all their primary sponsorship for next year are #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #22-Joey Logano, #4-Kevin Harvick, #20-Matt Kenseth, #18-Kyle Busch and #11-Denny Hamlin. "It's certainly not easy finding a sponsor, but there was an abundant amount of interest in our sport and in our team," said Dave Alpern, chief marketing officer at Joe Gibbs Racing, which expands to four cars next season. Steve Newmark, president of Roush Fenway Racing, says that the three-car organization has fewer primary sponsorship openings then it did at this time a year ago. Ben Schlosser, chief marketing officer at Richard Childress Racing, says that his three-car organization also is ahead in selling sponsorships, noting some companies were willing to start negotiations earlier. "I think the climate is getting better," Newmark said. "It's not where we need to be, but I think the whole sport is doing a better job of marketing." Newmark credits more collaboration with NASCAR compared to when he arrived at Roush four years ago. Newmark also said that the team has made many changes to better serve sponsors. See more team-by team info at Motor Racing Network and check out the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Team / Driver Chart.(10-16-2014)
Gibbs says crew chief changes on hold: NASCAR team owner Joe Gibbs told FOXSports.com Saturday that he his holding off on planned crew chief changes with his Sprint Cup team while his drivers battle for the championship and the team finalizes its NASCAR Nationwide Series sponsorship deals for next year. The hot rumor in the garage area is that #18-Kyle Busch's crew chief, Dave Rogers, will become JGR's competition director next year, with Adam Stevens moving to Busch's Cup car from the Nationwide Series. Likewise, Darian Grubb is thought to be in line to move from #11-Denny Hamlin's Cup car to the new fourth JGR Cup car with Carl Edwards for next year. But Gibbs said Saturday those plans are not final yet. "Our biggest concern is, we want to do everything at once," said Gibbs. "We've got a lot up in the air on the Nationwide side, still. And so, I think as soon as we get that settled down, we can kind of make an announcement." Typically, major Sprint Cup primary sponsorship deals are three years or so in duration. But on the Nationwide side, the deals are usually only one year at a time, and often not wrapped up until late January or early February, right before the racing season starts.(Fox Sports)(10-12-2014)
Toyota teams have limited time to test new Camry: Toyota unveiled its 2015 Sprint Cup Camry on Saturday with five weeks left in the 2014 season. That means the teams have five weeks to test. With a testing ban going into effect after Nov. 16's 2014 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing will experiment with the car. The 2015 car conforms with NASCAR's new lower horsepower, less downforce rules package. "We'll be at Nashville and things like that," MWR driver Clint Bowyer said. "We have (Goodyear test at) Auto Club Speedway, we have a Phoenix test coming up. We've got opportunities to get in this race car. I really see the new rule package that NASCAR has implemented being a bigger change feel-wise for a driver than this new car. If you're going to unveil a new car, this is a perfect time to do that because it's basically start over from scratch across the board for everybody."
The 2015 car includes changes to the hood, nose, tail and quarter windows. Both Ford and Chevy racing engineers were present at wind tunnel tests conducted by NASCAR to approve the Toyota design. "We hope it races better," said Dave Wilson, president of Toyota Racing Development. "But realistically, practically speaking, it's not outside the box. It's still working with the same set of rules that we've had. We've got until the Sunday of Homestead. We'll test our guts out. We'll have this car on the race track a couple of times." While his drivers will want to test, JGR owner Joe Gibbs said the team must focus on 2014. All three of his drivers remain in the hunt for the title. "It'll be hard" to test, Gibbs said. "Our whole focus is on right now with where we are with the Chase and everything. I can't see us being able to do much."(Sporting News)(10-12-2014)
Joe Gibbs Racing Fall FanFest Scheduled for Friday, October 10: Joe Gibbs Racing Fall FanFest will be held this Friday, October 10 from 9:00am - 1:00pm at its team headquarters in Huntersville, NC. JGR drivers Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Elliott Sadler, Darrell Wallace, Jr., and Daniel Suarez are all scheduled to sign autographs at staggered times throughout the morning. In order to receive an autograph, fans must have a wristband for each respective driver. Beginning at 8:00am on Friday morning, 300 wristbands for each driver will be distributed in separate lines. No wristbands will be required for Wallace and Suarez who will be on hand to sign from 9:00am to 11:00am. The complete driver autograph schedule for Friday is as follows:
9:00am Elliott Sadler
9:30am Kyle Busch
10:00am Matt Kenseth
10:30am Denny Hamlin
9:00-11:00am Wallace, Jr. and Suarez
The third annual JGR Fan Fest Car and Motorcycle Show will be from 9:00am - 1:00pm (registration begins at 7:00am and judging concludes at 11:00am with awards presented at 1:00pm). Categories for the show include street rods, muscle cars, original class, custom, motorcycles, pick-ups, best engine and best in show. Participants can preregister at http://joegibbsracing.com/carshow. For more information and directions for JGR Fall FanFest please go to http://joegibbsracing.com/fanfest. Funds raised from JGR Fall FanFest will be donated to Project Pink. More information on Project Pink can be found on the home page of the Kyle Busch Foundation at http://www.kylebuschfoundation.org/.(JGR)(10-7-2014)
Kyle Busch to get a new crew chief in 2015?: Multiple sources say #18-Kyle Busch and longtime crew chief Dave Rogers will end their long-running association at season's end, as part of a multi-divisional realignment involving both JGR and Kyle Busch Motorsports. While Rogers' departure from the #18 team was announced in-house on Tuesday of this week, no one from JGR has commented publicly on the move. Rogers is expected to remain a part of JGR's Sprint Cup Series operation, possibly as crew chief for newcomer Carl Edwards' and the #19 Stanley Tools / ARRIS Toyota. Sources close to the team say Adam Stevens will move from JGR's Nationwide Series operation to replace Rogers atop the #18 pit box. Stevens has gone to Victory Lane five times this season with Busch, and is the obvious heir-apparent to Rogers. There is no word on the 2015 status of Darien Grubb, who currently serves as crew chief for Denny Hamlin's #11 Fed Ex Toyota at JGR. Jason Ratcliff is expected to return as crew chief for Matt Kenseth's #20 Toyota next season.(Godfather Motorsports)(10-3-2014)
Gibbs says crew chief changes coming: Joe Gibbs said he expects to announce multiple changes to the team's driver-crew chief lineup within about two weeks. "We've already decided," Gibbs said Wednesday of the moves, "but we need to talk to the sponsors and have quite a few discussions yet with people." Gibbs said the changes would be for next season. "We're kind of crew chief driven here," Gibbs said. "We spent a lot of time talking to all of our crew chiefs and making sure that we had the right lineup. The other key people you have to have involved in that, it always starts with the drivers. The drivers have strong feelings on who they feel like they can match up with. "That driver has got to believe in that crew chief, and that crew chief has got to believe in that driver. If you look at that over the years, that's a very hard thing to keep together. It is complicated. I think we've talked our way through all that. We've had a lot of intense meetings." The moves come with Carl Edwards joining the organization next year in a fourth car. That will require the team to find a crew chief for him. Kyle Busch has been with crew chief Dave Rogers since 2010 - the longest tenure among JGR's Sprint Cup teams. They've made the Chase four of their five seasons together, placing fourth last year. Frustration has mounted with the team, culminating with a radio exchange last month at Bristol where Rogers told Busch to "park it behind the truck and take your whiny little ass to the bus." Hamlin is in his third season with Darian Grubb. They've made the Chase twice. Hamlin's injuries caused him to miss it last year. Grubb returned last week after serving a six-week suspension when NASCAR discovered infractions with Hamlin's third-place car at Indianapolis. Hamlin is sixth in the points. Matt Kenseth, 10th in the points, is in his second year with Jason Ratcliff. They've made the Chase both years, finishing second last season after winning series-high seven races. Kenseth made the Chase this year despite not winning a race.(MRN)(9-18-2014)
Kyle Busch says things are good with Rogers: By all accounts, the past few weeks have been challenging for Kyle Busch -- and that's putting it extremely mildly. After finishing second in the Brickyard 400 on July 27, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver failed to record a single top-10 finish over the final six races of the Sprint Cup Series regular season. In four of those races, Busch finished outside the top 35, and it was after the last of those results -- a 36th-place finish at Bristol in August -- that frustrations finally boiled over for the driver and his #18 Joe Gibbs Racing team. After Busch radioed to crew chief Dave Rogers late at Bristol that his ill-handling car needed a whole new right-front suspension, Rogers promptly responded by telling his driver to "park it behind the truck and take your whiny little ass to the bus." Cooler heads have since prevailed, and Busch indicated during Thursday's Chase Media Day activities in Chicago that there is harmony between the two heading into the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup. "Things are fine. Things were fine at Atlanta, things were fine at Richmond," Busch said, referring to the two races that followed Bristol. "Everyone's at zero now. You want to be running better, you want to be winning those last two or three races before going into the Chase, but I don't know that anybody's ever really done that in a row, and then they go into the Chase and carry that momentum through. This is just sort of like going to Daytona. It's a fresh start to the year, and you just try to work it out."(FoxSports)(9-12-2014)
Joe Gibbs Racing, new air guns? UPDATE same guns all season: Denny Hamlin's #11 team was especially strong at Atlanta Motor Speedway, performing 11-second pit stops every time their driver came to pit road. While no one seemed to be able to get by #4-Kevin Harvick on the track, Hamlin's pit crew successfully gave him the lead multiple times throughout the night. The team's fastest stop of the night came at Lap 174, when the pit crew changed four tires and added two cans of fuel in an astonishing 11.0 seconds. Another thing that helped the JGR teams beat the competition on pit road is a reportedly new generation air gun being utilized by the teams as of late. Though few details are known about the new air guns at this point, their advantage was clear Sunday night. After the race, Kenseth would not go into details about the new technology, saying he honestly had no idea, but credited the organization's training skills for the fast stops.(in part from FoxSports) and see an opinion piece about the air guns at Pit Talks: Gibbs dominance on pit road in Atlanta has everyone talking.(9-2-2014)
UPDATE: As the JGR team of Denny Hamlin consistently beat the Stewart-Haas Racing team of Kevin Harvick off pit road Sunday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Harvick crew chief Rodney Childers told Harvick that JGR had some new air guns they were using. Mike Lepp, the JGR athletic director who oversees the pit crews, swears that these are the guns that they have been using all year to loosen and tighten lugnuts during a pit stop. He said the team typically has some pit stops under 12 seconds and others over 12 seconds but Sunday whipped off all pit stops under 12 seconds. With JGR not having been in contention to win as many races this year, it just became noticeable Sunday with Hamlin and Harvick battling for the lead. Lepp said he believes it was just Childers trying to calm down his driver. "There wasn't anything new or anything," Lepp said in a phone interview Tuesday with the Sporting News. "It was an attempt to calm his driver down. ... (Like the cars), it's the same thing with these guys, you still have to have good athletes. But there's nothing that we brought to Atlanta that we haven't been bringing. The difference is we were running up front. When you go from 12th to ninth, you're not going to be feature (on TV)." Childers said Monday in an email that he wasn't trying to knock the JGR pit crew ability and talked to Lepp to make sure there were no hard feelings. Childers did say he believes the JGR air guns are better than the current ones SHR uses. But what about the sound of the guns? The guns might sound different depending on the tire changer, Lepp said. Each of the major teams make their own guns, which must be air-powered, and each tire changer is responsible for determining how fast they go. The only rule on air guns dictates that they must be NASCAR approved, air-powered and can only do one lugnut at a time. A NASCAR spokesman said Tuesday that it has "no issue whatsoever" with the air guns that JGR is using.(Sporting News)(9-3-2014)
Truex Jr. not happy with Kyle Busch: After starting sixth based on his qualifying effort on Friday for the Oral-B USA 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta, #78-Martin Truex Jr. had to contend with handling issues with his #78 Furniture Row/World Vision Chevy during the 335-lap race. "I couldn't drive off the corners," said Truex. "But we hung in there, fighting for every possible position until Kyle (#18-Busch), for whatever reason, ran into the back of me, causing pretty good damage to our car. I passed him clean earlier and then he comes back and hits me from behind. It was totally uncalled for and hard to figure out why he did what he did. We were in the top-17 when that happened and had a chance of picking off a few more positions. Not sure why someone wants to go out and purposely wreck you when you're racing for 17th. Doesn't make any sense." But instead of gaining track position, Truex had to battle a damaged race car in the 10 laps of overtime. "We weren't great tonight, but we were better than 23rd," noted Truex.(FRR)
AND After the race, Truex, who finished 23rd, parked his car behind Busch's car in the garage. Truex then went to the window of Busch's car and had a discussion with Busch as Busch remained seated in the car. After that discussion ended, Truex had a discussion with Busch's crew chief Dave Rogers that continued as Busch, who finished 16th, exited the car and walked away. "They're hard-nosed competitors, and they don't cut each other much slack,'' Rogers said. "I talked to Kyle about what happened. He said he was expecting Martin to go in on the bottom, and Kyle was banzaing on the top and trying got get the pass. Martin surprised him by going up top, and Kyle said he got to the brake but he got to the brake too late.'' As for what Truex said?
"He came over and said his peace and asked why Kyle got in the back of him,'' Rogers said. "Martin didn't say or do anything wrong there. He kept it peaceful. He said what was on his mind, and I think that is accepted. It didn't get out of control. Kyle tried to explain what happened and I think they agreed to disagree tonight but they'll probably talk later this week and figure it out.''(Motor Racing Network)(9-1-2014)
Rogers, Kyle Busch Have Meeting After Race: #18-Kyle Busch came into the weekend with hopes of adding to his 16 career Bristol win total and perhaps sweeping the three-race weekend. But he left Saturday night with serious questions about the cohesiveness of the #18 Sprint Cup team. Busch was involved in an early accident and also endured a pit road speeding penalty to erase any hopes of winning the main event. But things went from bad to worse for Busch, who angrily left his car on pit road when he exited the race with a handful of laps remaining despite crew chief Dave Rogers instructing him to do otherwise. "Park it behind the truck and take your whiny little ass to the bus," Rogers said over the team radio. Busch's frustration is understandable given the circumstances that came his way, but the behavior should raise more than a few concerns about the team's ability to compete for a title. Simply said, Busch and Rogers need to find a way to harness the emotional outbursts before they can be seriously considered championship material.(in part from Motor Racing Network)(8-24-2014)
Kyle Busch to run the triple at Bristol: Kyle Busch is entered in the three National Series races at Bristol Motor Speedway: #18 DoubleMint Toyota in Sprint Cup; #54 Monster Energy Toyota in the Nationwide Series; and #51 Dollar General Toyota in the Camping World Truck Series.
Busch said: "I love Bristol, and getting back there running all three divisions is going to be fun again. Being able to get back in the Truck, of course, and then run the Nationwide car and also run the Cup car. We'd love to be able to repeat 2010 - that would be amazing - and do another trifecta. But, since they've ground that place, it's not necessarily been my best track, lately. So, I've got some work to do to figure out how to get better there and make it happen. We're excited to have Doublemint on the car this weekend. It's the company's 100th anniversary this year and it was on my car for the sweep in 2010, so hopefully we can bring them back to victory lane on Saturday night."
Kyle Busch capped an elusive hat trick at Bristol by winning the August 2010 Sprint Cup event. Then 25 years old, he swept the slate of NASCAR races at the .533-mile oval that weekend, winning the Truck Series race, along with the Nationwide Series race, before wheeling his #18 Toyota to victory and into the history books in the Sprint Cup race. Busch led four times for a race-high 282 laps in the Sprint Cup race. For the weekend, Busch led 514 of a possible 956 circuits.(JGR/TSC)(8-20-2014)
Mars renews with Gibbs, Busch, NASCAR: Mars announced that it has signed new multi-year deals with Joe Gibbs Racing and NASCAR, further anchoring its presence in the sport. The new agreement with JGR will extend the winning partnership that has brought the #18 M&M'S Toyota to victory lane 20 times since 2008 and continue with the popular M&M'S brand as the primary paint scheme in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The renewed contract with the sanctioning body will designate Mars as the Official Chocolate of NASCAR. Mars will continue to leverage its Official status to ensure its various chocolate brands remain a race day staple for millions of racing fans.(True Speed Communications)(8-13-2014)
Stewart-Haas lining up test sessions for rest of year: With five races left to make the Chase, Stewart-Haas Racing is doing what it can get to get Tony Stewart a win. One thing the team won't be doing, though, is testing at a NASCAR Sprint Cup track before the Chase field set. It's not that the team didn't want to, it just couldn't make it work, said Greg Zipadelli, vice president of competition at Stewart-Haas Racing. "We tried to go to Atlanta," Zipadelli said of a track before the Chase. "We couldn't get it worked out. We tried a couple of other places. It's become very difficult getting four drivers on the same schedule to come and test because they've got so many appearance, so much stuff that they do for track promotions and NASCAR. It's insane." With all four tests at Cup tracks available, Stewart-Haas Racing will test test Aug. 25-26 at Chicagoland Speedway and Sept. 2-3 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The team also plans to save a test for the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway and is deciding where to have the fourth test, possibly Martinsville Speedway or Texas Motor Speedway.(Motor Racing Network)(8-10-2014)
Gibbs Hints of 4th Team in 2015: Team owner Joe Gibbs side-stepped questions about Carl Edwards' expected move to his race team. "We don't have anything right now to announce," Gibbs said on pit road before Sunday's race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "Anything that we're going to do will be coming up in the future. I'm not sure exactly what the time line is." Gibbs did allow that his organization is making a more concerted effort this year to field a fourth team in 2015 than has been the case in the past. "We've been (preparing for a fourth team) each and every year," Gibbs said. "But it's so hard to do that, we haven't been able to get it done. But I think we're taking a serious look at it this year." Asked if those efforts involved signing a serious driver, Gibbs replied, "You've got to have a serious sponsor." But he did acknowledge Edwards' star power. "When Carl's name came up during this year ... almost everybody recognizes Carl as being somebody I think is a star," Gibbs said. "Because of that, there are a lot of teams that have tried to entice him."(NASCAR Wire Service)(7-28-2014)
JGR plane hits parked SHR plane at Concord airport: A Joe Gibbs Racing plane collided with a parked plane from Stewart-Haas Racing at Concord Regional Airport on Sunday night as the NASCAR teams were returning to the Charlotte area after Sunday's Crown Royal 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, according to the Haas team. A spokesman for Stewart-Haas Racing said the team's empty, parked plane was hit by a Joe Gibbs Racing plane as it was parking. The plane's wing clipped the tail of the parked SHR plane. No one was hurt, the spokesman said.(Charlotte Observer)(7-28-2014)
Kyle Busch Narrowly Edges Nemechek at Stripe to Win Circle City 100: Kyle Busch only led one lap of the Circle City 100 ARCA/CRA Super Series event at Lucas Oil Raceway, but it was the one that mattered. Over the final 15 laps of the event, Busch tried high and low to work his way around John Hunter Nemechek, but until the final turn the youngster was able to hold off the challenge. 'Rowdy's' JEGS Camry dove to the inside of Nemechek's car through Turn 4 on the final lap and the two remained side-by-side all the way to the start-finish line, with Busch picking up the win by a nose. "That was a lot of fun -- I just timed it right and it was a drag race to the finish," Busch said. "We've had a lot of great runs in this late model car over the years and I have to thank JEGS for coming onboard for this one. I won the race the same way Earnhardt would. Opportunities like these for young guys like John Hunter are going to take them a long ways." 'Rowdy' will be back behind the wheel of his No. 51 Super Late Model on Tuesday, Aug. 5 for the PASS Triple Crown Series race at Autodrome Chaudiere in Valley Junction, Quebec, Canada.(KBM)(7-26-2014)
Sprint Cup teams form Race Team Alliance UPDATE: A group of nine multi-car teams participating in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) announced today they have formed a collaborative business association called the Race Team Alliance (RTA). The purpose of the organization is to create an open forum for the teams to explore areas of common interest and to work collaboratively on initiatives to help preserve, promote, and grow the sport of stock car racing. The organization intends to open up its membership to all full time NSCS teams in the very near future. In providing a vehicle for the teams to work together, the organization creates for the first time a single entity to engage with stakeholders on creative ways to market and experience the power of the sport's teams and drivers. As part of its focus, the RTA also plans to explore innovative ways to harness the combined purchasing power and scale of the teams' operations to drive efficiencies in costs. Rob Kauffman, co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, has been elected the first chair of the RTA.
"With the encouragement of NASCAR and the manufacturers, the teams have met in various forms and forums over the years to explore areas of common interest. This simply formalizes what was an informal group." said Kauffman. "The key word is 'Collaboration'. We all have vested interests in the success and popularity of stock car racing. By working together and speaking with a single voice, it should be a simpler and smoother process to work with current and potential groups involved with the sport. Whether it be looking for industry-wide travel partners or collaborating on technical issues - the idea is to work together to increase revenue, spend more efficiently, and deliver more value to our partners."
The following teams are the executive members of the RTA: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Hendrick Motor Sports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing, Richard Childress Racing, Richard Petty Motor Sports, Roush Fenway Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Team Penske.(RTA)(7-7-2014)
UPDATE: Statement from NASCAR: "We are aware of the alliance concept the team owners have announced, but have very few specifics on its structure or purpose. It is apparently still in development and we're still learning about the details so it would be inappropriate to comment right now. NASCAR's mission, as it has always been, is to create a fair playing field where anyone can come and compete. Our job is to support and strengthen all of the teams, large and small, across all of our series and we'll continue to do that. NASCAR is a unique community with hundreds of stakeholders. They all have a voice and always will."(NASCAR)(7-7-2014)
Kyle Busch makes odd comments about M&M's: File it under things that make you go "hmm..." but there was an interesting exchange over the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing radio frequency after Carl Edwards won the Toyota/SaveMart 350 on Sunday. While Kyle Busch was driving into the garage after race he asked, "Is the M&Ms contract signed yet?" To which an unidentified voice replies, "No". Crew chief Dave Rogers then adds, "But you fought hard all day. Sorry we didn't bring you a better race car. You drove all day. Bring it back to us." While we're not sure what to make of the comments, the timing seems curious, particularly since J.D. Gibbs told reporters this weekend that M&Ms will remain with Busch through 2015.(Motorsport)(6-24-2014)
Striped scheme for Kyle Busch at Daytona: When #18-Kyle Busch returns to Daytona International Speedway for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on July 5 this year, he will run a special green-and-white striped paint scheme, courtesy of sponsor Interstate Batteries (NASCAR.com), see images of the car on the #18 Team Schemes page.(6-23-2014)
M&M's to move to Edwards if he goes to Gibbs? UPDATE4 M&M's move denied: Rumors persist that Carl Edwards' sponsor at Joe Gibbs Racing will be none other than the M&Ms/Mars brand. While even the Edwards to JGR piece of the puzzle has yet to be confirmed, the most recent speculation has the current Roush Fenway Racing driver with America's most popular confection as his livery for 2015. Over the last few weeks, representatives from Gibbs have been actively recruiting throughout the garage for a fourth team but both Edwards and Gibbs remain mum on the driver's status. Where would that leave Kyle Busch? Sources say Monster, a long-time supporter of Busch, would step up to the primary sponsorship level. Still, it's hard to fathom an athlete as health-conscious as Edwards could embrace a brand with so little nutritional value. When Motorsport.com asked the driver two weeks ago about representing a company that he would not personally support off the track, the response was similar to Edwards' previous "no comment" replies regarding next year.(Motorsport)
UPDATE: hearing that the deal between Edwards and Joe Gibbs Racing is done, no word when it will be announced.(6-19-2014)
UPDATE 2: Just 24 hours ago, reports surfaced that Carl Edwards will leave Roush Fenway Racing to drive an M&Ms-sponsored Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing beginning in 2015, with Kyle Busch driving a JGR Camry backed by Monster Energy Drink. Now, however, reliable sources say the M&Ms sponsorship will absolutely remain with Busch next season, and beyond. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a JGR insider said there is no truth to yesterday's rumor that M&Ms will back Edwards next season, rather than Busch. "Kyle is M&Ms guy," said the source, "and it is going to stay that way." Edwards' remains characteristically tight-lipped about his ongoing contract negotiations, and no one at either Joe Gibbs Racing or Roush Fenway Racing have commented on reports of his impending move. If he does jump to JGR, however, it appears that it will not be with the support of M&Ms (Godfather Motorsports)
UPDATE 3: A clause in his [Edwards] contract prohibits him from discussing his plans until September, just as Matt Kenseth did not announce where he was going in 2013 until long after the team said he was not returning. If Roush handles Edwards' departure the same way it did Kenseth's, an announcement about his future with the team could be imminent. As speculation mounted Kenseth had signed with JGR during the Sonoma race weekend, Roush officially confirmed his departure two days after the race.(Associated Press)(6-21-2014)
UPDATE 4: from FoxSport's Tom Jensen's Twitter about some recent Joe Gibbs Racing rumors:
1) JD Gibbs just told me it will be at least September before Joe Gibbs Racing announces if it will run a fourth car.
2) JD Gibbs also confirmed that M&Ms will be back with Kyle Busch on the #18 next year (2015).
AND If, as expected, Carl Edwards moves to a fourth Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota for 2015, an announcement will not come before September at the earliest, according to JGR President J.D. Gibbs. In an exclusive interview with FOXSports.com prior to Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350, Gibbs also confirmed that contrary to recent rumors, sponsor M&M's will remain with Kyle Busch in the #18 JGR Toyota next year. And while Gibbs did not confirm Edwards would leave Roush Fenway Racing to join JGR, he said this year represents a better chance to expand to four cars than in prior years. Asked if it would be September before the team would make an announcement of a fourth car, Gibbs told FOXSports.com, "It would probably go at least that long, if we did anything."(FoxSports)(6-22-2014)
Kahne discusses Kyle Busch and contract: #5-Kasey Kahne met with members of the media at Michigan International Speedway on Friday and discussed the status of his contract with Hendrick Motorsports and Kyle Busch, the transcript in part:
Q) WHERE ARE YOU WITH YOUR DRIVER'S CONTRACT WITH HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS?
Kahne: "I like being at HMS. It is just an unbelievable place. Getting to work with the three teammates that I get to work with each week is better than anything I've ever done in racing as far as guys I've been able to work with. I am getting information there from three of the best in racing. I've enjoyed every bit of it. Mr. Hendrick is always trying to help me as a driver; as a person and he gives us every opportunity. So, I want to be there a long time. We still have a year-and-a-half before my deal's up. So I think performance, and sponsors that want to be part of them, and just getting our team back where it needs to be. We've struggled some this year for really no reason. We can't have that. If we can get rid of some of those struggles, I would hope that I would be at Hendrick Motorsports for a long time."
Q) WHEN DO YOU START TALKING ABOUT RENEWAL?
Kahne: "I think you start talking about it whenever they start talking about it. I don't know when that date is, but I think we have a lot of really good things going on, and with a little bit of performance here and there, maybe it will come up sooner than later. I would love to be there for a long time, so we will kind of have to see how that works out."
Q) HAVE YOU AND KYLE BUSCH SPOKEN SINCE LAST WEEK? IF SO, HOW DID THAT GO?
Kahne: "He sent me an email, then a text to ask if I got it. I told him I did, and that is how it went. I talked through every situation and scenario last year with him when we had them, and to this day, I've still raced him the exact same way. For him to do that, I knew it was coming as soon as he floored it in the corner. I was like 'He can't. He can't. He's going to run me right in the wall'. I think he was having a bad day, and just loses it. But as far as us talking, we haven't. He did write me an email, but I don't really care anymore. I don't care to talk to him or anything."(Team Chevy)(6-14-2014)
Kahne unhappy with Kyle Busch: #5-Kasey Kahne wasn't happy with #18-Kyle Busch after their accident with 17 laps remaining Sunday in the Pocono 400. The accident occurred on the lap following a restart, and Kahne was on the outside of Busch, who appeared to try to cut in front of Kahne. Contact between the two sent Kahne into the outside wall twice, ending his day. "I had just passed Kyle and I caught (Ryan) Newman (and) I was passing him off Turn 3," Kahne said on the race radio broadcast. "We were side-by-side so Kyle was able to get a good draft down the straightaway. We got to Turn 1 and I was on the outside and then he knew if he didn't clear me there that I would pass him back because I just had. So he just floored it and didn't care there was someone out there and ran me right in the wall."(Sporting News)(6-9-2014)
M&M's Peanut Butter scheme wins the vote: Sunday's Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway will serve as the culmination of a unique contest run by #18-Kyle Busch's primary backer M&M's. Fans last month had the opportunity to visit the M&M's Racing Facebook page (www.facebook.com/mmsracing) and share which M&M's flavor they would "draft" - M&M's Peanut, M&M's Peanut Butter, or M&M's Pretzel. The top vote-getter was M&M's Peanut Butter, which as a result will be the colorful scheme that will adorn the #18 Toyota this weekend at Pocono for the second consecutive weekend. The M&M's Peanut Butter scheme made its season debut last weekend at Dover. There are only three race tracks where Busch has yet to win in any of NASCAR's top three divisions (Sprint Cup, Nationwide, Camping World Truck). Left on that list - Martinsville Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Pocono Raceway, the site of Sunday's Pocono 400 Sprint Cup Series race. Of the 28 tracks that will host NASCAR's top three divisions in 2014, Busch has competed at every circuit but Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, and he has won at 25 of them. Busch has won at 17 of the 23 tracks at which the Sprint Cup Series competes. The only six tracks Busch has failed to reach victory lane in the Sprint Cup Series are: Martinsville, Charlotte, Kansas, Indianapolis, Homestead and Pocono.(JGR/TSC), see image of the M&M's Peanut Butter scheme on the #18 Team Schemes page.(6-5-2014)
Kyle Busch going for the triple at Dover: In August 2010, #18-Kyle Busch won all three National Series races at Bristol Motor Speedway. Winning the Camping Workld Truck Series race, the Nationwide Series race and then the Sprint Cup Series race. After winning the Truck Series and Nationwide Series races at Dover on Friday and Saturday respectfully, Busch can 'do the triple' by winning the Sprint Cup Series race at Dover on Sunday. Busch has now won 134 races over the three National Series [29 in Sprint Cup, 66 in Nationwide and 39 in the Truck Series] and has won at least one race in each series at Dover [2 in Cup, 4 in NNS and 4 in Trucks]. See the Drivers Who Have Won in all three NASCAR Series page for who has the most wins across the three series and more stats.(6-1-2014)
#18 Hauler driver wins Charlotte event: Jamie Price, #18 Joe Gibbs Racing, won the Pilot Flying J Truck Driver Challenge in the NASCAR Chicane #1 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. More info at pfjtruckchallenge.com.(5-21-2014)
Is Joe Gibbs Racing ready to expand? with Edwards? With silly season in full swing, it's not surprising that Joe Gibbs is in the middle of it. Over the last month, the rumors of Carl Edwards considering a move to JGR have picked up considerably. But Coach says it would take a lot for JGR to add a fourth team. "I'm not going to guess on stuff and the rumors and everything," Gibbs said. "We get into this every year and there's a period we kind of got to go through, I've come to feel." When asked specifically about Edwards, Gibbs would not offer a definitive answer. "Anything that's going on right now, to me, is kind of that rumor time - and I don't think I need to be commenting on it," Gibbs said. "So many times when the top guys come up, everybody in the sport kind of looks at it. There's a couple of guys this year - that are on their last year, so it kind of happens." JGR expanded to three full-time teams in 2005, but moved to three full-time drivers with the addition of Denny Hamlin in 2006. Inevitably, it's a question as to whether a fourth team makes sense for JGR. "We have said for the last five years that when things come up we have always looked at it," Gibbs said. "But it's hard to do. Like I've said, it's extremely hard to do cause you've get so many things to work to make it happen. I'd say for the last four to five years we've looked at it, but it's hard to do and we haven't been able to think it's best for us."(Motorsport)(5-18-2014)
Fans can pick Kyle Busch's Pocono paint scheme: It's draft week ...NFL teams across the country are ramping up for a big weekend, but M&M'S Racing is working with Joe Gibbs to let NASCAR fans draft a #1 pick of their own. Between now and May 19, fans can share which M&M'S flavor they would draft - M&M'S Peanut, M&M'S Peanut Butter, or M&M'S Pretzel. The flavor with the top picks by May 19 will serve as the featured paint scheme on the #18 M&M'S Toyota during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Pocono, Pa, on June 8. For more info, see the Jayski NASCAR Related Contest page.(5-8-2014)
Tire test underway at Dover UPDATE: Goodyear is conducting a tire test Tuesday and Wednesday at Dover International Speedway. Drivers participating are #18-Busch, #78-Truex, Jr., and #99-Edwards.(Goodyear Racing)(5-6-2014)
UPDATE: Nationwide drivers Ty Dillon (Richard Childress Racing) and Elliott Sadler (JGR), as well as two teams from the Camping World Truck Series (the #29 from Brad Keselowski Racing and #51 from Kyle Busch Motorsports), are at Dover, too. Goodyear says that Busch, Truex and Edwards will be running both days, while Dillon and Sadler will get one day each.(NBC Sports)(5-7-2014)
Kyle Busch cited for speeding: #18-Kyle Busch was issued a speeding citation on April 29 in Denver, NC on suspicion of traveling 60 mph in a 45 mph zone. According to the police report, the stop happened in front of Beach's Grocery. Busch said he thought the speed limit was 55 mph. The officer commented in the police report that Busch had a "disrespectful attitude." He was driving a Lexus sedan when he was stopped around 7:45 pm. This is not Busch's first documented driving incident. In 2006, he was ticketed for reckless driving after he "chirped" his tires while pulling out of a Richmond, Va., gas station and into a fast-food restaurant next door. Busch was cited for careless and reckless driving and speeding in 2011 when he was stopped in Iredell County for going 128 mph in a 45 mph zone.(WWOC)(5-5-2014)
Teams complete tires test at Sonoma Five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams completed a rain-dampened two-day Goodyear tire test at Sonoma Raceway on Wednesday. Intermittent rain fell at the raceway both Tuesday and Wednesday, but #9-Marcos Ambrose, #18-Kyle Busch, #24-Jeff Gordon, #14-Tony Stewart and #55-Brian Vickers were able to log approximately nine hours of track time over the two days. "Goodyear had a pretty stout tire here last year, and they want to improve on it if they can. They came here with some different compounds to try, and a good mix of teams and drivers to get feedback," said Ambrose, who started from the pole in Sonoma in 2012. "We also get a chance to set up the car up with the new technical regulations, which is helpful for the team. Ninety-five percent of the time was getting tires dialed in for Goodyear, and then the rest of the time was for us to see what we'll need when we come back." The two-day test marked the first Goodyear Sprint Cup Series tire test of the year, and is currently the only scheduled road-course test. Goodyear worked closely with the teams and drivers to develop a durable race package while giving teams the appropriate amount of grip.(Sonoma)(3-27-2014)
Kyle Busch wins at Auto Club Speedway: #18-Kyle Busch won the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway for his 1st win of 2014, his 3rd at Auto Club Speedway and his 29th career win.
Rookie of the Year candidate #42-Larson finished 2nd followed by: #41-Busch, polesitter #20-Kenseth, #14-Stewart, #1-McMurray, #55-Vickers, #47-Allmendinger, #27-Menard, and #99-Edwards.
Tire problems throughout the weekend continued during the race with numerous teams having flats and cautions coming frequently. #48-Johnson was leading the race with 7 laps to go when he cut down a tire. A caution came out with 2 laps to go after #15-Bowyer lost a tire and spun out, causing the race to finish with a green-white-checker.
#11-Hamlin missed the race due to a sinus infection. He was replaced by Sam Hornish, Jr, who had to start at the rear of the field because of the driver change. Hornish finished 17th.
#2-Keselowski, who came into the race as the points leader, also had a late flat and finished 26th.
#99-Edwards is now in the points lead, 1 point over #88-Earnhardt, Jr.
There were 35 lead changes among 15 drivers and there were 9 cautions for 42 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 132.987mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Auto Club Speedway Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Auto Club Penalty Report (pdf).(3-23-2014)
Kyle Busch looking to lead 10000 laps: #18-Kyle Busch is approaching a major series milestone, one that could come this Sunday at Bristol. With 140 laps led - something he's done four times at Bristol - Busch will become the 15th driver in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history with 10,000 laps led.(NASCAR)(3-14-2014)
Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Kenseth, Ragan running in Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown: NASCAR stars #18-Kyle Busch and #20-Matt Kenseth are joining host Denny Hamlin as headliners for the celebrity-laden Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown scheduled for South Boston Speedway on April 24. The three teammates at Joe Gibbs Racing have a combined 82 NASCAR Sprint Cup series wins among them. Defending champion Busch is the only three-time winner of the Short Track Showdown. Fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup driver David Ragan also confirmed his participation in the charity event. Like Hamlin, another group of drivers is returning to South Boston Speedway, the track referred to as SoBo that served as a major springboard for their entry into NASCAR. Elliott Sadler, Hermie Sadler, Timothy Peters, Jeb Burton and Drew Herring are scheduled to race the 200-lap Short Track Showdown along with many of the top Late Model racers in the region. Elliott Sadler, Peters and Herring each won track championships at South Boston. Scheduled as a weekday prelude for the weekend NASCAR races at Richmond International Speedway, the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown raises awareness and funding for the Denny Hamlin Foundation, which supports and funds Cystic Fibrosis research and new therapies in the region. Advance tickets to the Short Track Showdown are available by calling the track ticket hotline at 1-877-440-1540. General admission is $20 Advance/$25 Race Day for Adult; $10 Advance/$15 Race Day for Youth (ages 12-17); and Free for Children ages 11 and under (with an Adult ticket purchase). Season passes are not honored for this special event.(Denny Hamlin Foundation)(3-13-2014)
Kyle Busch would also like to try the double someday: Someday in the future, #18-Kyle Busch would love to emulate his older brother's attempt to run the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 in the same day. He just doesn't think he should do the double until he's got a NASCAR series championship in his trophy case. "I've thought about doing that for years," Kyle Busch said Friday at his hometown Las Vegas Motor Speedway. "I've always said that I wouldn't do it until I've gotten a Cup championship, which obviously Kurt has (but) I don't have. I've always put it on the back-burner and not really worried about it, but I think it's good. I hope he has fun with it. Hope he don't get too wore out." He understands the challenges faced May 25 by Kurt Busch, who won his series championship in 2004. The double requires about 580 miles of plane travel in between several hours of grueling driving in IndyCar's biggest event and NASCAR's longest race.(Associated Press)(3-8-2014)
Skittles makes first appearance on the #18: After a 15-year break, the "Rainbow" will be making its return to the Sprint Cup ranks as the colorful Skittles paint scheme will adorn Busch's #18 Toyota on the Phoenix mile oval. The Skittles brand made its NASCAR debut in 1998 in partnership with MB2 Motorsports on the #36 Pontiac for driver Derrike Cope. In 1999, driver Ernie Irvan took the wheel of the Skittles #36 Pontiac and went on to take the top starting spot at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.(TrueSpeed Communications/Joe Gibbs Racing), see an image of the car on the #18 team paint schemes page.(2-26-2014)
Joe Gibbs Racing Announces Changes to Front Office Structure: Joe Gibbs Racing announces today a re-organization to its management structure. Longtime JGR executives Dave Alpern and Todd Meredith have been named Chief Marketing officer and Chief Operations Officer, respectively. Both have over 20 years of experience in the sport and have been invaluable assets to J.D. and Joe Gibbs since the team's inception. In the front office, Alpern will oversee the team's three primary business units: Sponsorship, Communications and Marketing. Meredith will manage all departments involved in the racing operation.
"This is something that we believe will make us more efficient in all aspects of our organization," said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. "Over the years we have grown from 18 employees to nearly 450 today, so it's important to review our structure and make sure we are operating in an efficient manner that best serves our partners. Todd (Meredith) and Dave (Alpern) have been with us from the beginning of our organization and have had a tremendous impact on our growth over the past 20 years. Their leadership will help guide JGR for years to come."
Dean Noble will continue his role of Senior Vice President of Business Affairs and will oversee sponsor contracts and business to business opportunities across JGR's partners. Also announced were the promotions of Heath Cherry, Vice President Sponsorship; Chris Helein, Vice President of Communications, and JJ Damato, Vice President Marketing Services, each of whom will report to Alpern. Cherry enters his 10th season with Joe Gibbs Racing and will direct the organization's sales efforts as well as the day to day sponsor management. He also currently serves as the rear tire carrier for JGR's #11 Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series teams.
Prior to joining Joe Gibbs Racing in 2008, Helein was Vice President of Communications for Comcast SportsNet and more recently served as Vice President of Public Relations for the Washington Redskins. Helein will manage all traditional public relations as well as digital media. In addition, Jessica Smith, who serves as the PR representative for the No. 20 Sprint Cup Series team, will take on the additional role of Director of Media Relations to assist PR efforts across the organization. Bryan Cook has also been promoted to Director of Digital Media. Damato enters his 6th season with Joe Gibbs Racing after long stints with the National Hockey League and NASCAR. Damato will continue to manage Consumer Products along with other branding and marketing initiatives.(JGR)(2-10-2014)
Special M&M's scheme in Daytona 500: Kyle Busch is scheduled to drive a special M&M's Peanut scheme on the #18 Toyota in the Daytona 500 (JGR Facebook), see an image of the scheme on the #18 Team Schemes page.(2-4-2014)
Skittles Returns to NASCAR with JGR and the #18 team: The Skittles brand made by Wrigley, a subsidiary of Mars, Inc. will make its comeback to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in the 2014 season as part of Mars, Inc.'s longtime partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing. The Skittles #18 Camry will take the track for two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races this season, piloted by NASCAR star Kyle Busch on March 2 at Phoenix and March 16 at Bristol. For the first time in more than 10 years, the Skittles brand will join the lineup of Mars, Inc.'s world-class sponsors at Joe Gibbs Racing including, M&M'S, Doublemint and Snickers in the 2014 season.
"We're proud to bring one of America's most iconic candy brands back to NASCAR and eager to see what victories 'The Rainbow' brings this season as Kyle Busch takes the wheel of the Skittles #18 Camry," said John Starkey, Sr. Director of Confections at Wm. Wrigley Co. "Sometimes 'The Rainbow' likes to mix things up and now seemed like a great time for Skittles to return to the track to have some fun."
"I am honored to help Skittles make a comeback to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series," said Busch, driver of the #18 Camry. "Skittles was one of my favorite candies growing up and still is today, so I am thrilled to be driving the Skittles paint scheme this season." Skittles brand first made its NASCAR debut in 1998 in partnership with MB2 Motorsports with the #36 Pontiac and driver Derrike Cope. In 1999, driver Ernie Irvan took the wheel of the Skittles #36 Pontiac and went on to take the top starting spot at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.(JGR), image of the scheme on the #18 Team Schemes page.(1-30-2014)
Kyle Busch's cars to be auctioned at Barrett-Jackson: Two of Kyle Busch's personal collector cars are set to be auctioned off this weekend as part of Barrett-Jackson's 43rd Annual Scottsdale Auction. Busch's vehicles, a Velocity Yellow 2006 Z06 Corvette and an Orange 1969 Camaro SS, are scheduled to roll across the auction block this Sunday, Jan. 19, during Fox Sports 1's live coverage from 5:00-7:00/pm/et. Busch's two vehicles:
Barrett-Jackson lot #1657 - 2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 2 Door Coupe: 2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 powered by a 7.0 Liter V8 engine that produces 505hp. Busch acquired the vehicle in 2005 from Rick Hendrick's City Chevrolet. Rarely driven, this vehicle is in pristine condition featuring Velocity Yellow exterior and black leather interior with a 6-speed manual transmission and aftermarket CD stereo.
Barrett-Jackson lot #1658 - 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe: 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe features a 350cid engine with 4-speed manual transmission and has been owned by Busch since 2006. Runs and drives great. Fresh orange paint on the outside and fresh white upholstery on the inside. 17" American chrome plated 5-spoke wheels. New tires and new brakes.(Kyle Busch Motorsports)(1-16-2014)
Johnson, Busch Kenseth getting most TV coverage: According to data compiled by Joyce Julis, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth & Kyle Busch have accounted for 40% of all driver mentions during NASCAR telecasts though the Kansas race this year:
Statistics reflect all live race telecasts and replays of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season through Kansas (Race #30).(Joyce Julius)(10-23-2013)
Busches raise money for 'champions': Just after her husband clinched the pole for Friday night's Dollar General 300, Samantha Busch stepped in front of a hospitality tent full of breast cancer patients and their families to give them a little bit of good news. And it didn't have a thing to do with racing. "I want you to know that your medical bills are covered," Busch said, presenting a check for $80,000 as she wiped away tears. One by one the breast cancer champions (the preferred term by the foundation) came up to hug Busch, pick up a bright pink bag of goodies, and share stories with the woman who spearheaded the fundraising effort that will help them fight for their lives. "Breast cancer touches everybody; it's somebody's sister or wife or mother or aunt," Busch said. "For us it's a wonderful employee at KBM who's a survivor. It's wonderful to hear the stories and know that we're making a difference in their lives." The Pretty In Pink Foundation exists to provide financial assistance to uninsured and underinsured breast cancer patients in North Carolina with quality, life-saving medical treatment regardless of their ability to pay. It was those qualities that drew the Busch family to this local organization. "These 12 champions have come from Charlotte and right around here - they're neighbors," Busch said. "We knew we had to help them so that the only thing they had to focus on was getting better. Kyle Busch couldn't be at the presentation because of his on-track duties, but he made sure to mention the effort after his pole-winning run. "Samantha has done a wonderful job with all of our Pretty In Pink Foundation people that are here," Busch said. "We raised a lot of money for them this week. This is just the first part of it."(CMS Pit Note)(10-13-2013)
Kyle Busch Hands Over Keys to Charlotte Habitat for Humanity Home: Earlier this season, Kyle Busch and his #18 M&M'S Toyota teammates traded their race helmets for hard hats and helped to frame the future home of Yasin Mohamed and his family in Charlotte. Busch and his team volunteered at the Habitat for Humanity Charlotte site as part of M&M'S 'M'Prove America' effort, which is donating $500,000 to fund the construction of Habitat homes across the nation, as well as encouraging fans to join the effort by volunteering their time and talents at Habitat job sites. On Thursday the team's efforts came full circle as Busch passed the keys to the Mohamed family to enjoy their new home.(KyleBusch.com)(10-11-2013)
Kyle Busch Voted Third Quarter Driver of the Year Award Winner: NASCAR's Kyle Busch has been voted the third quarter Driver of the Year by an elite panel of American broadcasters and journalists. Busch, one of the most prolific winners across NASCAR's three-top national series, easily out-tallied drivers across a broad spectrum of racing this summer in the period ending with his victory in the Sprint Cup race at Atlanta on September 2d. The 28-year-old Las Vegas native scored a total of six wins in those three divisions including: two in the Sprint Cup Series, three in the Nationwide Series and one in the Camping World Truck Series. In the voting Busch, who drives the #18 M&Ms/Interstate Battery Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing, had eight first-place ballots and totaled 124 points according to the Driver of the Year points system. Donny Schatz, the World of Outlaws sprint car driver, earned seven first-place votes and totaled 110 points. New Zealand's Scott Dixon, who drives the Target IndyCar for Chip Ganassi Racing, scored two first-place votes and totaled 89 points. Also from the IndyCar series, France's Sebastian Bourdais also received one first-place vote. A total of 18 drivers scored points in the first quarter voting. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4,3,2,1 basis. Kenseth will receive a trophy and a Tissot wristwatch to be presented at a race weekend at to be determined.(DOTY)(9-27-2013)
Joe Gibbs Racing Launches Chase Digital Magazine: Joe Gibbs Racing currently holds the first and second position in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship standings, and now fans will have a unique way to follow the team over the next nine weeks with the launch of a new digital magazine. The magazine will be available on both Apple and Android devices including tablets. It will be available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store and accessed through the following direct link: www.joegibbsracing.com/chaseapp. The magazine, which will be updated throughout the Chase and through the conclusion of the season, will feature profiles on each of Joe Gibbs Racing's three teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The digital magazine will be informative for all NASCAR fans and not just those passionate about JGR's three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams. It includes educational pieces that provide in-depth and interactive aspects of the sport including the importance of camber and toe to the performance of a race car. In addition, there is an infographic on each of the race tracks featured in the Chase. Of course there is plenty of information specific to JGR, including photo essays, video profiles of each driver, a feature on driver Darrell Wallace, Jr. and statistical analysis of each driver.(JGR)(9-20-2013)
Joe Gibbs Racing Partners with Pit Crew U: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announces today that it has partnered with Pit Crew U, a division of Performance Instruction & Training, on a pit crew development program designed to keep a flow of talent coming to the organization for years to come. "It certainly is no secret how important pit crews have become in our sport especially with track position playing such a vital role in each race," said J.D. Gibbs, President of JGR. "We've always believed in developing our own talent through our driver program and our Nationwide Series program, which has seen many team members, including crew chiefs, make the step to the Sprint Cup Series. We're excited to partner with Pit Crew U now to make sure we have a consistent flow of over the wall talent coming to JGR in the years to come." Pit Crew U has produced some of the best over-the-wall talent in NASCAR with several of JGR's current Sprint Cup Series pit crew members having come out of their program. JGR will work with Pit Crew U to identify 10 talented athletes to form a development squad for their racing programs with the intent to eventually fill the organization's needs in their Nationwide Series programs and ultimately the Sprint Cup Series.(JGR)(8-15-2013)
Johnson and Kyle Busch getting most TV mentions: #48-Jimmie Johnson and #18-Kyle Busch have accounted for 16.6% of all NASCAR driver mentions on TV so far this season according to a report from Joyce Julius. Statistics reflect all live race telecasts and replays of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season through Indianapolis (Race #20).
Joe Gibbs Racing and Kyle Busch Agree to Contract Extension: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced today that it has signed driver Kyle Busch to a long-term contract extension. In addition, JGR will field the #54 Monster Energy Toyota in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2013 with Busch serving as the primary driver.
"I'm passionate about winning and that was a big factor in deciding to re-sign with Joe Gibbs Racing," said Busch. "I think JGR gives me the best opportunity to win a championship in the Cup Series for M&M's and Interstate Batteries. I know that everyone on our team is committed to that goal and will push towards making that a reality in 2013. I'm also looking forward to the opportunity to work with Adam Stevens in the Nationwide Series and put Monster Energy in Victory Lane where they belong. "I'm extremely proud of what we have accomplished in a short period of time at KBM in both the Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide Series. When we started KBM our attention was to build something for the long term and now we are going to put a greater focus on our future with Parker (Kligerman) competing in Nationwide and Joey (Coulter) running trucks."
The #54 Monster Energy Toyota will run a full season schedule for JGR with crew chief Adam Stevens calling the shots from atop the pit box. Busch is currently scheduled to drive the majority of the races in 2013. Additional drivers for the 54 team will be announced soon. "This is a big deal for us," said JGR President J.D. Gibbs. "It's no secret that you have to have great drivers to win in NASCAR and in the past year we've been able to secure long-term deals with Kyle and Denny and of course we were able to add Matt as well. Kyle is a big part of our success at JGR and we're thrilled to know he will be with us for a long time."(JGR)(1-24-2013)
JTG & JGR re-sign with Toyota: Joe Gibbs Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing and JTG Daugherty Racing announced new multiyear extensions with Toyota on Tuesday. Lee White, the president of Toyota Racing Development, said all three teams will be with Toyota "for a long time to come." The announcement was made at TRD's Salisbury, N.C., shop where the re-designed 2013 Camry was introduced. It came amid speculation that Dodge, which loses anchor Penske Racing to Ford after this season, might target JGR. White admitted that one of Toyota's organizations was "ripe for the picking by one of our fellow manufacturers." "All have agreements with Toyota and TRD that extend beyond two more years," White said. "Rest assured, we enjoy our partners, we value our partners, and we expect to be competing with our partners on this dance floor for a long time." JGR owner Joe Gibbs said he never had conversations with Dodge.(ESPN)(5-23-2012)
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, FL
Happy Hour Practice:
Saturday, February 21, 2015, TBA pm/et
Born in DECEMBER:
21 Michael McDowell, Travis Kittleson
22 David Pearson
23 Greg Biffle, Peter Sospenzo, Ray Dunlap, Chris Cook, Addison Frye
24 Fr. Steven Janoski, David Ragan, Krista Marie Allison, Mike Gooch
25 Jesus Christ, Charles Comstock, Randy Earnhardt, Jimmy Buffett, Starr Elliott, Butch Lamoreux, Curtis W. Key, Noel Schafer
26 Blair Makenzie Nemechek, Josh Mick
27 Mike Laughlin, Don Radebaugh
28 Nelson Stacy, Brittany Wallace, Joyce Kearns
29 Waddell Wilson, Boston Reid, Mike Bagley, Owen Kearns Jr., Jessica Stroupe
30 Fred Lorenzen, Donnie Mergard, Ryan Hemphill, Kole Kahne, Cooper Berrier
31 Beth Simons-Dykes, Dorthy Schrader, Riley Craven, Ryan Blaney, Joe Hicks, Benny Ertel
Born in JANUARY
1 The New Year, Godwin Kelly, Scott Riggs, Dan Elliott
2 Robby Gordon, John Linville, Jimmy Lacroix, Karen Hensley, Robert Holt, Danny Baptista
3 Tony Eury Jr., Clifton "Coo Coo" Marlin, Joe Littlejohn, Michael Schumacher
4 Trent Owens
5 Dexter Bean, Dennis Connor
6 B.A. Wilson, Malcolm Young
7 Marty Houston, Cindy Page
8 Bobby Hamilton Jr
9 Mark Martin, Stephen Leicht, Briggs Pemberton, Bob Rahilly, Stephen Hawkins, Jim Rosenblum
10 Harry Gant, Larry McReynolds, Dennis Lacroix, John Mulloy, Rodger Ward
11 Brett Bodine, Jeff Hood, Shane Wallace
12 Lloyd Ruby, Brian Scott, Walter Ballard, Jacob Dallenbach, George Bignotti, Catlin Marie Waltrip, Randy Goss, Brian Taylor
13 Ernie Irvan, Kirk Hanson, Ron Denton, Earl Balmer
14 Mack Shirley
15 Scotty Hazlett, Chris Ostrander, Tim Andrews
16 A.J. Foyt, Dick Rathman, Bill Pappas, Harold Elliott, John Ambrose, Jeremy Clements
17 Lake Speed, Harry Hyde, Michael McSwain, Gabe Martin
18 Bill Davis, Christian Fittipaldi
20 Fireball Roberts, Ryan Pepe
21 Ernie Saxton, Roman Pemberton, John Willenborg, Robert Hughes
22 Ashton Lewis Jr., Sean Pragano, Rebecca Shepperd, Emma Blaney, Josh Pate
23 Bill Patterson, Emanuel Zervakis, Daryl Rasnake, Boris Said Jr., Matt Eversole
24 Greg Wallace, Scott Speed, Bob Schacht, Mike Harmon, Austin Cameron
25 Buddy Baker, Mike Broadwater, Harry Ranier, Chuck Hill
26 Scott Wimmer, Paul Newman, Troy Welty
27 Lake Speed, Jr., Jerry Robertson, Mike "Bubba" Hart, Gary Bradberry
28 Phillipe Lopez, Jimmy Cox, David Green, Randy Renfrow, Mark DeMarco, Kenneth Lankford, Timothy Morgan, Chase Miller
29 John Witske, Tommy Houston, Frank Mathalia
30 Wendy Venturini, Sean Caisse, Andy Eversole
31 Kevin Patrick Dowd, Shana Mayfield, Rick Wilson, Scott Lagasse Jr., Rex Hathcock, Tony Mullett, Jerick Johnson