#18 Team News Archive

(NOTE: some older links may not work)


2016 News

  • Special M&M's schemes are scheduled to be run at the following 2016 races:
    Daytona, Sprint Unlimited, 2/13, 75th Anniversary M&M's
    Daytona - 2/21, 75th Anniversary M&M's
    Atlanta - 2/28, 75th Anniversary M&M's
    Las Vegas - 3/6, 75th Anniversary M&M's
    Auto Club - 3/20, 75th Anniversary M&M's
    Martinsville - 4/3, 75th Anniversary M&M's
    Kansas - 5/7, Red Nose Day
    Charlotte, All-Star race, 5/21, #75 M&M's 75th Anniversary
    Charlotte, 5/29, Red, White, Blue
    Michigan, 6/12, Red, White, Blue
    Pocono - 7/31, 75th Anniversary M&M's
    Bristol - 8/21, 75th Anniversary M&M's
    Martinsville - 10/30, Halloween

  • Interstate Batteries [6 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2016 races:
    Texas - 4/9
    Daytona - 7/2
    New Hampshire - 7/17
    Michigan - 8/28
    Darlington - 9/4, throwback
    Charlotte - 10/8

  • Skittles [4 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2016 races:
    Phoenix - 3/13
    Talladega - 5/1
    Indianapolis - 7/24
    Chicago - 9/18

  • Banfield Pet Hospital [1 race] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2016 races:
    Richmond - 4/24

  • Pedigree Dog Food [1 race] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2016 races:
    Dover - 5/15

  • Snickers [2 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2016 races:
    Watkins Glen - 8/7, Crisper
    Talladega - 10/23, Halloween

  • Two drivers in the top 10 all season: Just two drivers spent the entire 2016 Cup season in the top 10 in points: #18-Kyle Busch and #19-Carl Edwards.
    Busch spent four different weeks at the top - after Atlanta (Feb), Las Vegas (March), Texas (April), and Richmond (Sept). His lowest point in the standings was 9th, following Michigan and Sonoma in June.
    Edwards led the points after Richmond in April. He was 10th after New Hampshire and Dover in September.
    (NASCAR)(12-31-2016)

  • Kyle Busch to run five truck races in 2017: Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) announced that owner-driver Kyle Busch will compete in five NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events in 2017. Busch's #51 Tundra will carry primary sponsorship from Textron Aviation, an aircraft industry leader that provides its customers with the most versatile and comprehensive general aviation product portfolio in the world. KBM will promote Textron Aviation's Cessna, Hawker and Beechcraft brands. Busch ranks second on the Truck Series All-time win list with 46. The Las Vegas native has been victorious in a remarkable 34.6 percent (46/133) of his starts since debuting in NASCAR's third division in 2001 and has finished first or second 52.67 (70/133) percent of the time. 'Rowdy' collected two wins and three top-five finishes across four Truck Series starts in 2016. His 170 all-time combined NASCAR national series wins rank second to NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty (200). Busch will make his 2017 Truck Series debut Saturday March 4 at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway and will also race May 12 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, May 20 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, July 29 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway and Aug. 12 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. Announcements for the rest of the driver lineup that will share driving duties behind the wheel of the #51 Tundra with Busch are forthcoming.(Kyle Busch Motorsports)(12-20-2016)

  • Kyle Busch to compete in Race of Champions: Kyle Busch is the latest star in the field of racing legends who will compete at the first Race Of Champions on American soil - inside Marlins Park in Miami on January 21-22, 2017. Busch joins a star-studded ROC Miami field that features many of the greatest stars in world motor sport. Along with the American drivers, other competitors include Formula 1 world champions Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button, fellow F1 greats Felipe Massa and David Coulthard, 'Mr Le Mans' Tom Kristensen, Indianapolis 500 winners Juan Pablo Montoya and Tony Kanaan, IndyCar star Gabby Chaves plus double FIA World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg. Even more big names will be announced in the run-up to January's event. The Race Of Champions is an annual contest which has been held for over 25 years. It brings together some of the world's greatest drivers from motor sport's major disciplines - including Formula 1, NASCAR, IndyCar, Le Mans, MotoGP, Touring Cars, World Rally and action sports - and sets them free to battle head-to-head in identical machinery. All the racing takes place in a stunning range of superfast cars. The ROC event is run over two days: first comes the Race Of Champions itself (on Saturday, January 21) featuring a flat-out battle for individual glory. Then on Sunday, January 22 comes the ROC Nations Cup when drivers pair up in teams based on nationality to bid for the title of 'World's Fastest Nation'. In 2017, this will see America take on the rest of the world in a special contest in celebration of the host venue.(Race of Champions)(12-20-2016)

  • Halloween M&M's scheme for Busch at Martinsville: Halloween is here and, as has been typical for Kyle Busch the #18 M&M'S Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), the colorful candy maker will go racing with a special Halloween scheme Sunday afternoon at Martinsville Speedway to celebrate Halloween the following day. The spooky-looking M&M'S scheme will race Sunday at a place that used to challenge Busch earlier in his career and early on in his now almost nine-year tenure with JGR. In fact, Busch finished outside the top-10 in three out of his first four races with JGR in 2008 and 2009. By contrast, Busch has scored four top-five finishes in his last seven starts there, with his worst finish being 15th.
    Q) Your racecar is sporting the special M&M's Halloween paint scheme this week. What was your favorite Halloween costume that you wore as a kid?
    Kyle Busch: "Actually, one year I went as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. I think that was my favorite costume as a kid. I was Michelangelo and I even had the fake nunchuk. One year, I was a football player and, one year, I even dressed up as Jeff Gordon since he was my favorite racecar driver when I was a kid."(JGR), see an image of the car on the #18 Team Schemes page (10-25-2016)

  • Kyle Busch gives teens NASCAR experience of a lifetime: #18-Kyle Busch gave two NASCAR fans the homecoming experience of a lifetime, but the fun didn't stop there. In addition to sending the couple a race car to drive to the dance in style, Busch invited the two out to Talladega to watch him compete in the NSCS Hellmann's 500 on Sunday. Holman Head and his long time friend, Taylor Johnson, got to experience NASCAR like they never had before. "Holman said it was the best day of his life," said Johnson. "And it truly was great!" When they arrived, the couple had the opportunity to ride around the track in a pace car, got a tour from Busch's crew chief, learned what the crew does on race day and took home many goodies.(WCNC.com)(10-25-2016)

  • NASCAR: JGR strategy didn't violate 100% rule: NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell, appearing on "The Morning Drive" on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Monday, said he did not expect the sanctioning body to take action against Joe Gibbs Racing for its strategy of dropping three cars to the back of the pack during Sunday's Chase elimination race at Talladega Superspeedway. O'Donnell said employing that strategy did not constitute a violation of NASCAR's 100% rule. "I would say that they do not fall into that," O'Donnell said when asked about the 100% rule. "The spirit of that rule is really to prevent somebody from intentionally allowing another teammate to do something that would not be really within the spirit of the rules of the race. In this case, we look at the strategy decision that the team made, and they executed it. ... In this case, that wouldn't be something that we look at that violated that rule."(NASCAR). The 100% rule: "NASCAR requires its competitors to race at 100 percent of their ability with the goal of achieving their best possible finishing position in an event" (ESPN)
    AND #20-Kenseth finished 28th, #20-Edwards 29th and #18-Busch 30th at Talladega, good enough to advance to the semifinal round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. The three Joe Gibbs Racing drivers never made much of a move, dropping to the rear of the field before the green flag ever fell and staying there throughout the day.(ESPN)(10-24-2016)

  • JGR cars sent back through Talladega qualifying inspection: NASCAR asked three Joe Gibbs Racing teams to make adjustments on their Toyotas just before Coors Light Pole Award qualifying Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway. The cars driven by #18-Kyle Busch, #11-Denny Hamlin and #20-Matt Kenseth were flagged in the minutes before qualifying. As the cars were being rolled out to the track, NASCAR noticed the right rear quarter panels had been manipulated around the deck lid area. NASCAR inspectors pulled the cars out of line, and the teams corrected the issue before going back through tech. However, #19-Carl Edwards' team did lose its pit stall selection for a fourth warning related to inspections. Kenseth's team lost its pit stall selection for the same reason. "The bodies on these cars can be pushed and prodded and these teams are very smart at the areas ... for a bunch of little gains," NASCAR's Senior Vice President for Competition Scott Miller said. "It's nothing huge but it's our job to make sure it's even across the board and that's what we do. A little infraction is an infraction, right? The quarter panels appeared to have been messed with around the deck lid and we brought them back in and rectified it."(NASCAR)(10-23-2016)

  • Snickers Halloween scheme for Kyle Busch: As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Talladega this weekend for the final race of the Round of 12 in the 2016 Chase for the Sprint Cup, Kyle Busch's #18 Snickers Halloween Toyota is appropriately dressed for the occasion with a special Halloween-themed livery (JGR), see an image of the scheme on the #18 Team Schemes page (10-19-2016)

  • Kyle Busch, Larson penalized for swerving after Charlotte race: #18-Kyle Busch and #42-Kyle Larson were held out of the first 30 minutes of practice at Kansas Speedway as punishment for swerving after Sunday's race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "You swerve, and you're sitting," vice president of competition Scott Miller said Friday. "That's about all there is to it." It's the first instance in which the infraction has been enforced. NASCAR executive vice president chief racing development officer Steve O'Donnell warned Sprint Cup drivers before the Sept. 25 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway of penalties for swerving, which teams have employed to help ensure their cars pass the Laser Inspection Station.Asked whether the teams of Busch and Larson specifically were warned, Miller said the New Hampshire announcement "was pretty specific to what's happening" and noted NASCAR has been analyzing postrace video.(NBC Sports)(10-14-2016)

  • Kyle Busch Looks for First Charlotte Win: Earlier this season, #18-Kyle Busch wrecked out inside the final 10 laps at Charlotte, finishing 33rd. Despite 10 top 5s in 25 career starts at Charlotte, it is 1 of 2 active tracks (the other is Pocono) on the schedule where Busch has never won. Busch has led the 13th-most laps at the track in series history, but never the final one. Most Career Laps Led at Charlotte - Drivers to Never Win:
    Kyle Busch, 907 laps led, 25 races
    Fireball Roberts, 467, 10
    Greg Biffle, 437, 27
    Tim Richmond, 362, 12
    Dale Earnhardt Jr., 360, 33
    (ESPN Stats)(10-8-2016)

  • Special Interstate Batteries scheme at Charlotte: Kyle Busch heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway with the Interstate All Battery Center logos aboard his green-and-white-striped #18 Toyota for Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500. The car's scheme represents the Interstate All Battery Center slogan "Ready for Anything," could be a perfect mantra as the Sprint Cup Series enters its fourth race of the 2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in this exciting and sometimes unpredictable playoff format. Busch & Company roll into Charlotte with support from Interstate All Battery Center retail stores, as the sponsor continues its franchise expansion throughout the United States, Canada and Latin America. Interstate All Battery Center stores provide consumers with just about any type of battery, with more than 16,000 portal power solutions for all household needs. From batterires for power tools around the house, to flashlight batteries in anticipation of incoming weather, Interstate All Battery Center will have consumers ready for anything. Interstate Batteries' colors are already in the win column in 2016 via Busch's victory in April at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, right smack in the backyard of Interstate's Dallas headquarters.(JGR)(10-6-2016)

  • Kyle Busch to be honored at the White House UPDATE: On Wednesday, September 28, President Obama will welcome #18-Kyle Busch and his team members to the White House to honor his 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. This visit will continue the tradition begun by President Obama of honoring athletes and sports teams for their efforts to give back to their communities.(NASCAR)(9-23-2016)
    UPDATE: President Barack Obama is celebrating NASCAR's winning team - and eyeing the team's wheels. Obama says soon he'll finally be able to drive a car without alarming the Secret Service. In fact, he said gleefully, "in a few months, I can actually do anything I want!" Obama joked about his post-presidency plans as he welcomed NASCAR driver Kyle Busch and his team to the White House. The team took home the 2015 Sprint Cup Series championship. Obama praised Busch for his quick recovery from injury and for his charity work off the track. He also noted that some people expected to see a Bush in the White House in 2016, but "they didn't know it was going to be Kyle."(Associated Press)(9-28-2016)

  • Kyle Busch wrecks, not happy with #46 team: #18-Kyle Busch was involved in a multi-car wreck when a part broke on his car while running 2nd at Bristol Motor Speedway on lap 357. Busch led a race high 256 laps. His comments:
    Q) What broke to end your race?
    Kyle Busch: "I don't know. It's a shame. The last few times we've been here, we've had really fast M&M's Toyota Camrys and we haven't been able to finish. We've been having parts failures here, so something we've got to address and fix. I'm really tired of losing races here with parts falling apart, so they'll hear about it on Tuesday. But the person that's really the biggest moron out there is the spotter of the 46 and the driver of the 46 (Michael Annett). I've been wrecking for half a lap and they just come on through and clean us out. That's stupid, so I don't know - frustrating day. Let's go home."
    Q) Did a part eventually break?
    Busch: "It finally did break and it was breaking, but it finally did break and I couldn't hold onto it there and it spun out and then spun out the wrong way and it's frustrating. We've had really, really fast race cars here. The guys do a great job setting them up, but, man, we've got parts failures, you know? You can't have parts failures in this business. That's stupid. My Camrys have been fast. We've just got to stop making stupid mistakes that take us out of races and beyond that the 46 (Michael Annett) spotter needs fired and the damn driver too. He's an idiot. I've been wrecking for half a lap and they come through and clean us out. I mean, there's plenty of room to miss me. Everybody else seemed to be able to do a good job of it."(Toyota Racing)
    Allgaier's comments on the wreck: Justin Allgaier, who subbed for an ill Michael Annett in the #46 Pilot Flying J / Battle of Bristol Chevy comments on what happened in the wreck:
    Allgaier: "Well from my point of view we got done in the corner. I was trying to let the leaders go as best I could. We were a couple laps down right there and let them go. The #22 (Joey Logano) ducked in front of me getting into (Turn) 1 and I had to jam on the brakes pretty hard. I got really loose and I was just trying to catch it. That is when the spotter was telling me that the #18 (Kyle Busch) was spinning and he kept rolling down the hill so at first I committed to go below him because I was already on the bottom and then he was still coming down the hill so I tried to go out around the outside of him and unfortunately I just didn't make it. The #22 was right there and just really a shame. I hate it for these guys. This Pilot Flying J #46 team they did a good job all day. We weren't up there battling for the lead, but we had a good solid day going. I just cost us a decent finish. Thanks to them for letting me drive the car today. Sorry to Kyle (Busch) that is the worst possibly scenario when the leader spins out and you hit them. Just really frustrating." (Team Chevy)(8-22-2016)

  • Kenseth: no talks with JGR about his future, Hamlin in talks: #20-Matt Kenseth has no insight into the news that Furniture Row Racing owner Barney Visser isn't expecting Erik Jones, who currently drives for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Xfinity Series, to return to his team after his rookie season in Sprint Cup. Furniture Row Racing is expanding to a field a #77 Toyota for Jones, teaming with Martin Truex Jr.'s #78. Multiple sources have told NBC Sports that Jones could return to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2018 or 2019, and that several scenarios are being considered depending on the future status of drivers and sponsors. Gibbs has #11-Denny Hamlin, Kenseth, #19-Carl Edwards and #18-Kyle Busch under contract in Sprint Cup through next season, and the team also has Daniel Suarez running for a second consecutive full season in the Xfinity Series.
    Kenseth, 44, said he hasn't discussed "the master plan for 2020" with team owner Joe Gibbs, though he was made aware of Jones' move to Furniture Row in 2017. "I've been involved in a lot of those talks, so I knew that was happening, but I can't say we've ever sat and had the conversation as to what exactly is 2018 going to look like and 2019," he said. "I don't think anybody probably knows 100% sure." Kenseth is sure he isn't considering retirement. "There's been times where I've been asked about (retirement) a lot," he said Tuesday. "Maybe you're not running as good and then you start thinking about it, 'Well, maybe is it time?' I don't really feel like I'm that close where I really can put a date on it to be honest. I feel great. More times than not, I'm having fun. I feel like we're really competitive more times than not. And we're capable of winning races, and I think we're capable of winning championships. That's just way on the bottom of my list of things to think about or worry about at the moment."
    Joe Gibbs said it's "probably unclear some right now" what will happen with Jones after 2017, but the team owner said Jones would remain in Sprint Cup and wouldn't return to the Xfinity Series with JGR. Could Jones return to Joe Gibbs Racing in a Cup car? "I think Furniture Row wanted to make this step to go to two cars, so their future is going to be two cars," Gibbs said. "And whatever their future is past that, it's up to them. I think it's kind of what Erik does. Does he stay there longer than that? That's the question." Gibbs noted that Jones' 2017 sponsor, 5 Hour Energy, also has a one-year deal. "It's whatever Furniture Row wants to do," he said. "They came up with the sponsor and are going to be footing the bill for everything. They're going to be ramping up out there. I'm sure that 5 Hour is going to have their option of what they want to do. I think Furniture Row is going to try to put together their future. They've done a real good job of putting this thing together." Gibbs said his team is in negotiations on a contract extension with Hamlin, who is signed through next season. "It's still in the works," Gibbs said. "We're talking now."(NBC Sports)(8-17-2016)

  • Most mentioned drivers in first half of season: According to research by Joyce Julius, #4-Kevin Harvick recevied the most TV interviews and TV mentions in the first half of the Sprint Cup season (through Kentucky) and #18-Busch had the most interview time. They also note that there were 46 fewer (-23%) NASCAR driver TV interviews at mid-year compared to 2015 at the same point in the season.

    Driver Interviews Interview
    Time
    Mentions
    #4-Harvick 22 16:34 2,458
    #48-Johnson 13 9:46 1,961
    #18-Busch 23 21:11 1,870
    #78-Truex, Jr. 17 17:27 1,792
    #2-Keselowski 15 14:50 1,634
    #19-Edwards 20 16:15 1,622
    #20-Kenseth 10 6:21 1,522
    #22-Logano 17 17:00 1,489
    #11-Hamlin 17 11:36 1,349
    #41-Busch 10 6:38 1,295
    #88-Earnhardt, Jr. 17 12:26 1,240
    #24-Elliott 14 7:16 1,049
    #42-Larson 8 7:26 823
    #14-Stewart 9 9:34 714
    #21-Blaney 9 6:47 594
    (7-29-2016)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Indianapolis: #18-Kyle Busch won the Combat Wounded Coalition 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for his 4th win of the season, 2nd win at Indianapolis, and 38th career win. He started from the pole and led 149 of 170 laps. That is the most laps led in a race at Indianapolis.
    The race required two NASCAR Overtime attempts to complete after a rash of late race cautions.
    Busch is the first driver to capture the XFINITY and Sprint Cup poles and win both races in the same weekend.
    #20-Kenseth finished 2nd followed by #48-Johnson, #11-Hamlin, #42-Larson, #4-Harvick, #22-Logano, #78-Truex, Jr., #3-Dillon, and #27-Menard.
    #14-Stewart, running his final race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, finished 11th.
    Jeff Gordon, subbing for #88-Earnhardt, Jr. finished 13th.
    There were 4 lead changes among 3 drivers and 8 cautions for 34 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 128.940 mph.
    Scheduled Race Re-Air: None
    See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more [NOTE: money/winnings are no longer reported] at:
    Unofficial Race Results page (pdf)
    Lap Summary Report (pdf)
    Penalty Report (pdf)
    Pit Stop Times (pdf)
    Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and
    Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf)

  • Kyle Busch, Edwards clinch Chase spots at New Hampshire: Joe Gibbs Racing teammates #18-Kyle Busch and #19-Carl Edwards officially clinched berths in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs based on their finishes in Sunday's race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Busch, the defending series champion, led a race-high 133 laps and finished eighth in Sunday's New Hampshire 301. Edwards faded to a 20th-place finish after involvement in a crash that forced the last of the race's seven yellow flags. Each qualify for championship eligibility in the 10-race postseason based on their status as multiple winners in the regular season and because of their points stature in the Sprint Cup driver standings, mathematically unable to fall outside of the top 30 requirement. Heading into Sunday's 301-lapper, Brad Keselowski was the only certified Chase-eligible driver, based on his points position and status as a winner of multiple regular-season races. Keselowski leads the series this year with four victories.(NASCAR.com)(7-18-2016)

  • Kyle Busch nominated for "Best Driver" ESPY UPDATE: Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion #18-Kyle Busch could see his celebration of last year's championship continue on July 13 - at the ESPY Awards. The yearly awards show, hosted by ESPN with winners decided via fan voting, will air on Wednesday at 8:00pm/et on ABC. Busch is nominated for "Best Driver" and is up against Scott Dixon (IndyCar), Lewis Hamilton (Formula One), Erica Enders-Stevens (NHRA) and Alexander Rossi (IndyCar). NASCAR is the defending winner in that category as well. Kevin Harvick , the 2014 champion, took home the hardware last year.(NASCAR.com)(7-11-2016)
    UPDATE: The 24th annual ESPY Awards got a little "rowdy" as reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Kyle Busch was named Best Driver at last night's ceremony. He received the most votes among fellow nominees 2015 IndyCar Series Champion Scott Dixon, 2015 Formula One World Driver's Champion Lewis Hamilton, 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi, and 2015 NHRA Pro Stock Champion Erica Enders-Stevens. NASCAR drivers have been victorious in the Best Driver category eight of the last ten years, with Busch joining fellow competitors Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson on the elite list of winners.(NASCAR) For a list of complete winners, see ESPN.com.(7-14-2016)

  • Joe Gibbs Racing makes changes to pit crew management: Joe Gibbs Racing announced changes to the management structure of its pit crews with Matt Osborn now in charge of day-to-day operations and former athletic director Mike Lepp assuming new duties within the organization. Lepp has served as Athletic Director for the past 10 years overseeing Joe Gibbs Racing pit crew operations. In his new role as Senior Athletic Advisor, Lepp will assume an increased role in marketing and public relations duties. Lepp will continue to do public speaking events, drawing on his extensive experience in athletics and motorsports, on subjects related to pit crew training and trends related to pit stops. He remains available for media interviews on those subjects and will also be available for public speaking to JGR's sponsors and partners. In his new role, Lepp will also assist in seeking sponsorship opportunities with companies involved in athletic apparel and equipment.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(7-13-2016)

  • Kyle Busch crashes hard in practice after cutting right rear tire: Suddenly and without warning, Kyle Busch's #18 Toyota veered hard to the right and nosed into the outside SAFER barrier at Daytona International Speedway. The wreck occurred 35 minutes, 47 seconds into Friday morning's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, a session rescheduled from the day before because of afternoon rains on Thursday. Busch was second in a four-car line, drafting with teammates #11-Denny Hamlin (who led the pack), #20-Matt Kenseth (running third) and #!9-Carl Edwards. As the quartet rolled through Turns 1 and 2 at the 2.5-mile track, the right rear tire on Busch's Camry exploded, sending the car out of control and into the wall. Busch walked away from the wreck. "It wasn't any fun, that's for sure," Busch said after a mandatory trip to the infield care center. "Your first instinct is to correct, and the car automatically corrects, and then finally when it catches... or hit the apron and caught, it turned back the other way and headed on into the fence. That was certainly a big hit, so you've got to thank NASCAR for their safety advancements in the cars and the driver's equipment and things like that-and of course the SAFER barrier as well. That could have been a heck of a lot worse than what that was."
    A Goodyear spokesperson noted that Busch's tire had sustained a gash roughly the size of a fist. And Busch, who had to go to a backup car, wasn't the only Joe Gibbs Racing driver to experience issues with a cut tire on Friday. Teammate Edwards was far more fortunate. The driver of the #19 Toyota brought his car to the garage before his tire suffered a catastrophic failure. "I felt something vibrating... I thought it was the drive line or the engine," Edwards said. "We had a puncture in the tread of the left rear tire. It was leaking in the garage. It was five or 10 pounds low when we came in." After returning to the track with his teammates, Edwards had a close-up look at Busch's accident. "It was Matt in front of me and Kyle in front of him," Edwards said. "I saw something come out from under Matt's car and I thought, 'I wonder what that is?' Then I saw Kyle sideways. He drilled the fence. Honestly, he hit hard enough (that) I was really worried about him. But it seems like he's OK. Adam (crew chief Stevens) said he was good...It's just kind of odd to have two out there like that. We were in the same group and had them happen one right after the other. There's just some debris out there causing punctures. I got lucky because I don't think I would have stopped if we were racing out there, if I had felt that vibration. It was very slight. I'm fortunate that mine didn't blow like that. It looked like a pretty violent hit." Because the accident occurred with fewer than 10 minutes left in practice, Busch had no opportunity to get laps in the car before Friday's scheduled 4:10pm/et qualifying session.(NASCAR Wire Service)(7-1-2016)

  • Kyle Busch Foundation Selects Third Round of "Bundle of Joy" Recipients: The Kyle Busch Foundation (KBF) has selected the third round of recipients of the "Kyle and Samantha Busch Bundle of Joy Fund" and awarded a total of over $34,000 to three Charlotte, N.C.-area couples toward their infertility treatments at Reproductive Endocrinology Associates of Charlotte (REACH). On June 4 KBF learned of its first success story when one of the couples previously awarded with funding welcomed twins (a boy and girl), while five other couples are currently expecting. The Buschs started the fund through the Kyle Busch Foundation in 2015 following the birth of their son, Brexton. After struggling with infertility issues themselves and completing successful treatments at REACH, they started the fund for other couples in similar situations who may not have the financial means to undergo treatments. Quite frequently medical insurance does not cover a majority of the costs associated with infertility treatments.
    Applications for the "Kyle and Samantha Busch Bundle of Joy Fund" can be obtained through REACH in Charlotte and the fund is currently only available to patients of REACH who are residents of North Carolina. Stay up-to-date with all the latest KBF news online at KyleBuschFoundation.org, by liking the foundation on Facebook (KBFoundation) and by following the foundation on Twitter (@theKBFoundation).(KBF)(6-25-2016)

  • Seven winners in seven races: The last seven Cup points races each have had a different winner: #19-Carl Edwards (Richmond), #2-Brad Keselowski (Talladega), #18-Kyle Busch (Kansas), #20-Matt Kenseth (Dover), #78-Martin Truex Jr. (Charlotte), #41-Kurt Busch (Pocono) and #22-Joey Logano (Michigan). It's the longest streak of different winners since there were eight from the 2013 season finale to the first seven races of the 2014 season.(NBC Sports)(6-14-2016)

  • Drivers ranked on ESPN World Fame 100: It started off with a simple question: Who's the most famous athlete in the world? Ben Alamar, ESPN's director of sports analytics, devised a formula that combines salary and endorsements with social media following and Google search popularity to create the ESPN World Fame 100 rankings. The names might be familiar, but where the planet's biggest stars land on the list could surprise you. The #1 athlete is soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo. Motorsports drivers on the list include:
    57. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (NASCAR)
    58. Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR)
    59. Lewis Hamilton (Formula 1)
    63. Danica Patrick (NASCAR)
    75. Fernando Alonso (Formula 1)
    77. Tony Stewart (NASCAR)
    94. Kyle Busch (NASCAR)
    97. Kimi Raikkonen (Formula 1)
    (ESPN.com)(6-2-2016)

  • Box of Chocolates help mend fences between Edwards and Busch: Joe Gibbs Racing driver #19-Carl Edwards was made available to the media at Charlotte Motor Speedway and one of the questions was:
    Q) How did the photo come about with you and Kyle Busch with the box of chocolate after the Richmond incident?
    Edwards: "Richmond, we pushed it right to the limit, as hard as I could race a teammate and Mars does a really neat thing for the winners of a race. If you win the race, Mars sends you a really neat box of chocolates. So at the shop the next week, Kyle (Busch) and I got together, we had a meeting and it was kind of a tough meeting, but we left on decent enough terms and Randy (Fuller, PR) gave me this box of chocolates and it's 'Congratulations on the Toyota Owners 400 win from Mars.' I don't know if that might have got sent before they stopped it or what, but I thought it was really cool of them to send that and I saw Kyle across the shop and I thought, 'Man, I have to ask him to sign it.' That's where that picture that we put up on Twitter and all that. I thought it was pretty cool. We somewhat made peace over chocolate so that's pretty good."(Toyota Racing)(5-27-2016)

  • R-W-B M&M's for the #18 at Charlotte: On this Memorial Day weekend, Kyle Busch will sport a special #18 Red, White and Blue M&M'S Toyota promoting M&M'S partnership with Operation Gratitude and Walmart. For a limited time, fans can buy the Red, White and Blue M&M'S exclusively at Walmart. M&M'S candies were created 75 years ago as rations for our troops. During this year's promotion, for every bag purchased by a consumer, one bag will be sent to our American troops abroad. Fans can also show their support for our troops on social media with #CelebrateWithM. More can be learned about the program at www.myconfectioncorner.com. The Coca-Cola 600 would be special because the event is at what Busch often says is his favorite racetrack. He has come close to winning a Sprint Cup event at Charlotte, but he's yet to carry home a coveted Sprint Cup trophy from the track that is home to a majority of the NASCAR teams and is just around the corner from where Busch now lives in Mooresville, NC. Continuing the sport's longstanding tradition of honoring the United States Armed Forces, all 40 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers will bear the name of a fallen service member on their racecar windshields during Sunday's Coca-Cola 600. Busch's #18 Red, White and Blue M&M'S Toyota will feature U.S. Army PFC Robert Stephan Underwood, who hailed from O'Fallon, Missouri, on the windshield for Sunday evening's race (JGR), see an image of the car on the #18 team paint schemes page.(5-25-2016)

  • All-Star Origins: JGR's Dominance Began Last May: Since #11-Denny Hamlin won the 2015 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, Joe Gibbs Racing has been the most dominant team in NASCAR, capturing the checkered flag in 19 of the 36 points races (52.7%). #18-Kyle Busch leads the four-driver contingent with eight wins, followed by #20-Matt Kenseth's five. #19-Carl Edwards has four victories, while Hamlin owns two. Additionally, JGR has won all of the marquee events on the NASCAR schedule since then: Coca-Cola 600 (Edwards), Brickyard 400 (Busch), Bojangles Southern 500 (Edwards), Ford EcoBoost 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship race (Busch) and Daytona 500 (Hamlin).(5-20-2016)

  • Kyle Busch's Darlington throwback scheme honoring Dale Jarrett: With the help of reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kyle Busch and 1999 NASCAR champion Dale Jarrett, Interstate Batteries revealed the paint scheme that will appear on the #18 Interstate Batteries Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota for the Bojangles' Southern 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sept. 6 at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina. The paint scheme Busch will race is a replica of the original design Jarrett raced to victory in the 1993 Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway - the first ever Sprint Cup Series win for JGR and Interstate Batteries. In addition to appearing on the #18 entry for Jarrett's Daytona 500 victory, the Interstate Batteries scheme was run for the first two years of JGR's foray into NASCAR's top series during the 1992 and 1993 seasons. The 2016 NASCAR season marks the 25th anniversary for JGR and its relationship with founding partner Interstate Batteries.(Interstate Batteries), see an image of the car on the #18 team paint schemes page.(5-17-2016)

  • New number for Kyle Busch at All-Star race: M&M's Racing announced Friday on their Facebook page that Kyle Busch will drive the #75 at the Sprint All Star Race in Charlotte. The number honors M&M's 75th anniversary. See an image of the car on the #18 team paint schemes page.(5-13-2016)

  • Berrier to serve as #18 crew chief at Dover: In the absence of suspended crew chief Adam Stevens, Joe Gibbs Racing will use a committee approach for Kyle Busch's #18 Toyota this weekend at Dover International Speedway. Former Sprint Cup crew chief Todd Berrier, who is JGR's director of inspections, will call race strategy for Busch during Sunday's race at Dover. The team's engineers will run Busch's team during practices and qualifying Friday and Saturday. Stevens and front tire changer Josh Leslie were suspended for a race Wednesday after a violation of NASCAR's revised lug nut rule was discovered in postrace inspection of Busch's winning car from last Saturday at Kansas Speedway. JGR hasn't confirmed who will replace Leslie at Dover.(NBC Sports)
    AND: Per, ESPN.com's Bob Pockrass Brian Eastland will be the front tire changer for Kyle Busch this weekend in place of the suspended Josh Leslie.(5-12-2016)

  • Joe Gibbs Racing will not appeal penalty: Joe Gibbs Racing announces it will not appeal the penalty issued by NASCAR earlier this afternoon to its #18 team. The 18 team utilized unaltered stock lug nuts during Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway and each wheel had all five lug nuts attached to the wheel at the conclusion of the race. The team does acknowledge that not all lug nuts were tightened to the wheel.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(5-11-2016)

  • Kansas post-race warnings; #18 crew chief suspended: NASCAR has issued one penalty and several written warnings following the GoBowling.com 400 at Kansas Speedway:
    The #18 team of Kyle Busch has been given a P3 penalty for violating the lugnut rule. Crew chief Adam Stevens has been fined $20,000, suspended from all NASCAR Series Championship Points Events through May 18, placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31; front tire changer has been suspended from all NASCAR Series Championship Points Events through May 18 and placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31;
    #43-Almirola & #78-Treux, Jr. failed laser inspection twice in pre-qualifying inspection and were given written warnings;
    #7-Smith, #43-Almirola, #47-Allmendinger, and #48-Johnson failed template inspection twice in pre-qualifying inspection and were given written warnings.
    See the Kansas Post-Event Penalty & Warning Report (pdf) for more.(5-11-2016)

  • NASCAR watching bodywork modifications: Two instances of bodywork modification -- one mid-race, one post-race -- caught the eye of NASCAR officials during last Saturday's Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway. Scott Miller, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition, detailed those circumstances in a Monday morning appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's "Morning Drive" program. Kyle Busch scored his third Sprint Cup victory of the season in Saturday night's GoBowling 400, breaking an 0-for-16 drought at the 1.5-mile Kansas City track, historically a stumbling block for the reigning series champ. Busch's exuberant post-race burnout shredded the right-rear tire, causing significant damage to the fender of the Joe Gibbs Racing #18 Toyota.
    "We really don't like to see that happen," Miller told SiriusXM. "There was a little bit of a rash of it last year and we kind of got that in check, and this is the first time we've seen it in a while. We certainly don't like to see it, but I believe Kyle was very happy because he's really, really struggled at that race track and he just got a little overzealous there with the celebration. We've had a lot of JGR cars through NASCAR, so we have a pretty good idea of what they're doing with their stuff so I don't ... it's not that suspicious to me, really."
    The other bodywork issue that drew officials' attention, Miller said, involved the Chip Ganassi Racing #1 Chevrolet for driver Jamie McMurray . The team was flagged on Lap 30 in the 267-lap race for unapproved adjustments to the car's body during a pit stop. Miller used a football analogy to describe the alteration.
    "We've gone to great lengths to get bracing in the side of the cars and define how all the parts and pieces have gotta be, and that's for one reason -- so that the sides don't cave in and the quarterpanels don't cave in," Miller said. "Their jackman looked like an offensive lineman throwing a block at the side of their car, so it caved the side in. We saw it, didn't like it, and back down pit road they came to fix it. That's just how it works. You can't pull on the skirts or cave the sides in or alter the body of the car on pit road, and that's what they did."(NASCAR.com)(5-10-2016)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Kansas: #18-Kyle Busch won the GoBowling.com 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway for his 3rd win of the season, 1st win at Kansas and 37th career win. Busch lead 69 of the 267 laps. He ties Tony Stewart for the winningest driver at Joe Gibbs Racing with 33.
    #4-Harvick finished 2nd followed by #41-Busch, #20-Kenseth, #21-Blaney, #3-Dillon, #31-Newman, #47-Allmendinger, #24-Elliott, and #2-Keselowski.
    Pole sitter #78-Truex, Jr. dominated most of the race, leading 172 laps. However he had to make two green flag pit stops late, after a lug nut got hung behind a wheel. He finished 14th.
    There were 16 lead changes among 10 drivers and 6 cautions for 30 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 141.909mph.
    See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more [NOTE: money/winnings are no longer reported] at:
    Unofficial Race Results page (pdf)
    Lap Summary Report (pdf)
    Penalty Report (pdf)
    Pit Stop Times (pdf)
    Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and
    Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf)

  • Edwards talks about bumping Busch for the win:
    Q: Can you take us through the final lap and how close things were with Kyle Busch?
    Edwards: "So going into the white flag Dave (Rogers, crew chief) said something on the radio basically like, 'Get your butt in gear and go get him.' So, I thought, 'Heck, I'll drive down there in turn one really far and it looked like Kyle (Busch), his car got real slow that last lap like his tires were just burnt up. He did a really good job keeping me held at bay 'til then but then we went down the back straightaway and I saw him spin the tires. So, going back down the back straight away I thought, 'I'm going for the bottom. That's where I'm going.' He went down there and just parked it and his car was sliding and I was just so much faster I had to give him a little tap and we got by him. I didn't think I was going to get him hard enough. I thought it would just be a bump and go but we got the win. We both got wins so it's just racing hard and having fun."
    Q: How much more difficult is that situation when it's a teammate you're racing for the win?
    Edwards: "It's really difficult. I didn't want to touch him at all. I just decided I was going to run the bottom and I went down there and I was like either I've got to lay on the brake and slow down or I can just kind of keep my momentum going and touch him. We were so much faster there at the bottom. If he'd have gone high I don't know, I might have just got by him but it just looked like - I'd have to talk to him but it looks like his car just gave up like he'd just used up his tires. I couldn't catch him up to that point, I thought it was over with about five to go."(Toyota Racing)(4-25-2016)

  • Banfield Pet Hospital featured on the #18 at Richmond: The life of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver can be hectic. With 38 weekends of racing in a 40-week span, the marathon-like schedule of NASCAR's top series can be incredibly grueling as competitors crisscross the country from as far east as Loudon, New Hampshire to as far west as Sonoma, California. 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 in their motorhome at the track each weekend, a part of home they bring with them is their Pomeranian Yorkie named Lucy, who joined the family shortly after they were married in 2010, and a West Highland Terrier named Suzie, who Busch has owned since 2005. 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 Busch family in case there is a need for veterinary service while they're on the road, chances are there is always a Banfield Pet Hospital nearby.(Joe Gibbs Racing), see an image of the car on the #18 team paint schemes page.(4-21-2016)

  • Kyle Busch's car hits woman in garage area: A woman who was struck by Kyle Busch's car in the garage area at Bristol Motor Speedway at first said she was uninjured by the minor contact, but Sunday went to a hospital to check for possible injuries. Erin Vandyke, a longtime race fan, was bumped into as was taking pictures on pit road. Busch was heading to the garage area after a second blown right-front tire when his #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota made sight contact with her, briefly knocking her to the ground. Vandyke at first said she was completely fine after the incident and suffered no injuries. But she did go to the track's infield care center afterwards, and later went to a local hospital Sunday night to be evaluated.(FoxSports)(4-18-2016)

  • Kyle Busch trying to tie Stewart's record at JGR:#18-Kyle Busch can match Tony Stewart's record for most wins by a Joe Gibbs Racing driver. Before leaving in 2008 to form Stewart-Haas Racing and avoid driving a Toyota, Smoke made 356 starts for Gibbs in more than a decade of racing. He won 33 Cup races and two Cup championships. Busch sits on 32 wins [has 36 total, 4 with Hendrick Motorsports] after his back-to-back victory weekends. And he hit that total in 283 starts, two seasons fewer than Stewart. He is the reigning Cup champion, his first and the first for Toyota. Come Sunday, Busch will be in a good starting position. He goes off fifth, with three Gibbs cars ahead of him on the grid. And Saturday, Busch was fastest in early practice.(Sporting News)(4-17-2016)

  • 25 years since last race sweep on consecutive weekends: Four races in NASCAR's top three series over eight days - and Kyle Busch won them all. From Martinsville to Texas, Busch had consecutive weekend sweeps, something last done in NASCAR 25 years ago. Along with his second consecutive Cup victory, taking the checkered flag just after midnight into Sunday morning, his Texas two-step included winning for the fourth time in his five Xfinity starts of 2016. His sweep at Martinsville was a truck victory and the Cup race. The next Sprint Cup and Xfinity races are at Bristol, where Busch swept all three national series races in the same weekend in August 2010. Harry Gant had consecutive weekend sweeps at Richmond and Dover in 1991, during a stretch when he won four Cup races in a row at age 51. It was Busch's second weekend sweep at Texas, after doing it in the spring of 2013. Busch won his seventh Cup race in 32 starts since returning last year from a compound fracture of his lower right leg and a broken left foot sustained in a crash in the 2015 season-opening Xfinity race at Daytona.(Associated Press)(4-11-2016)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Texas: #18-Kyle Busch won the Duck Commander 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway for his 2nd win of the season, 2nd win at Texas and 36th career win. He led 34 of 334 laps. Busch also won the XFINITY Series race on Friday night. It is the 9th time he has swept both races at a track during the same weekend.
    #88-Earnhardt, Jr. finished 2nd, followed by #22-Logano, #48-Johnson, #24-Elliott, #78-Truex, Jr., #19-Edwards, #5-Kahne, #41-Busch, and #4-Harvick.
    Pole winner, Edwards led 124 laps but had to pit under green with a loose wheel, lost a lap, and couldn't get back to the front before the end of the race.
    Truex, Jr. led 141 laps, the most of any driver, but did not pit under the last caution and lost the lead to Busch with 32 laps to go.
    There was a large wreck late in the race when Johnson got into the back of #3-Dillon, who was on old tires, and sent him into a spin. 13 cars received some damage in the incident.
    The start of the race was delayed by nearly 2 hours after light rain hit the track.
    There were 17 lead changes among 8 drivers and 7 cautions for 41 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 138.355mph.
    See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more [NOTE: money/winnings are no longer reported] at:
    Unofficial Race Results page (pdf)
    Lap Summary Report (pdf)
    Penalty Report (pdf)
    Pit Stop Times (pdf)
    Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and
    Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf)

  • Harvick and Kyle Busch dominating laps led: Two drivers have combined to lead over half the 1,815 laps so far in the Sprint Cup Series. #18-Kyle Busch is tops at 486 laps led - one more than #4-Kevin Harvick. After Busch and Harvick, only three drivers have led more than 100 laps this season: #48-Jimmie Johnson has led 171, #20-Matt Kenseth 143 and #11-Denny Hamlin at 107.(Associated Press)(4-7-2016)

  • Most mentioned drivers of 2016: According to Joyce Julius, a company that tracks media mentions for sport sponsors, #4-Kevin Harvick has been the most-mentioned NASCAR driver on TV this year while #18-Kyle Busch has received the most interview time

    Driver
    Interviews
    Interview Time
    Mentions
    #4-Kevin Harvick
    7
    0:05:42
    1,052
    #48-Jimmie Johnson
    6
    0:05:16
    846
    #18-Kyle Busch
    7
    0:06:32
    590
    #19-Carl Edwards
    5
    0:03:45
    524
    #22-Joey Logano
    4
    0:02:52
    507
    #11-Denny Hamlin
    7
    0:04:38
    474
    #78-Martin Truex, Jr.
    3
    0:02:56
    471
    #20-Matt Kenseth
    3
    0:01:52
    408
    #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
    5
    0:03:35
    404
    #2-Brad Keselowski
    2
    0:02:48
    399
    #41-Kyle Busch
    2
    0:01:40
    356
    #24-Chase Elliott
    4
    0:01:58
    318
    #2-Austin Dillon
    6
    0:04:06
    205
    #21-Ryan Blaney
    2
    0:01:10
    134
    #5-Kasey Kahne
    0
    0:00:00
    128

    Statistics reflect all live race telecasts and replays of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season through Fontana.(Joyce Julius & Associates)(4-7-2016)

  • Martinsville post-race penalties & warnings: #18-Kyle Busch was given a written warning following the STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway. The #18 team failed laser inspection twice during pre-race inspection.(4-6-2016)

  • Pole sitters not faring well in 2016: Winning the pole for a Sprint Cup race isn't all that great, at least in 2016. After six races, the average finishing spot of pole-sitters is 14.8. Other than the first spot on the starting grid, the biggest perk of winning a pole is the first pit choice. But none of this season's five different pole-sitters - #24-Chase Elliott, #41-Kurt Busch, #18-Kyle Busch, #22-Joey Logano and #3-Austin Dillon - have translated that prime real estate into a race win. The last time a race was won from the pole? Matt Kenseth in last year's spring race at Michigan International Speedway. That was 20 races ago. In all, only four pole winners claimed wins last season. That included Dale Earnhardt Jr's pole for the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona, which was awarded on practice time when qualifying was rained out.(NBC Sports)(4-6-2016)

  • Busch brothers tied for 3rd with most wins: with #18-Kyle Busch's 35th career Sprint Cup Series win, he and his brother Kurt, who has 27 Sprint Cup Series wins, now have 62 combined wins. This ties them with the three Flock brothers Tim (39 wins), Fonty (19) Bob (4) with 62 wins, 3rd best overall. Darrell (84 wins) and Michael Waltrip are 2nd with 88 wins. The Allison brothers, Bobby (84) and Donnie (10) hold the record with 94 overall wins by brothers. See the full list and some other brother records on the All-Time Sprint Cup Series Winners page.(4-4-2016)

  • Bosch Charitable Contribution to Benefit the Kyle Busch Foundation Following Victory in Martinsville: Kyle Busch has earned a $1,000 charitable contribution from the Bosch Aftermarket NA Giving Track program for the Kyle Busch Foundation, following his victory during Sunday's STP 500 in his Bosch-equipped #18 M&M's Toyota Camry. The Kyle Busch Foundation is committed to empowering children, families and communities to overcome hardship by providing essential tools, including financial, material and experiential assistance, to allow them to live their best lives possible. The Foundation's efforts are concentrated on assisting organizations that foster a stable and inspiring environment for children, families and communities to live, learn, challenge and empower themselves as well as ensuring their day-to-day needs are met.(Coyne PR / Bosch)(4-4-2016)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Martinsville: #18-Kyle Busch won the STP 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway for his 1st win of the season, 1st win at Martinsville Speedway and 35th career win. He led the most laps - 352 of 500 laps.
    #47-Allmendinger finished 2nd, followed by #42-Larson, #3-Dillon, #2-Keselowski, #19-Edwards, #14-Vickers, #27-Menard, #49-Johnson, and #31-Newman.
    Pole winner, #22-Logano, lost a lap early but got back on the lead lap and finished 11th.
    There were 11 lead changes among 5 drivers and 8 cautions for 51 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 80.088mph.
    See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more [NOTE: money/winnings are no longer reported] at:
    Unofficial Race Results page (pdf)
    Lap Summary Report (pdf)
    Penalty Report (pdf)
    Pit Stop Times (pdf)
    Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf)
    Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf)
    Official Bristol Race & Points Report (pdf).

  • NASCAR's Richest Teams and Drivers: Forbes has released its annual ranking of Sprint Cup teams and drivers based on earnings. Once again, Hendrick tops the charts. The top 10 teams and drivers and their estimated value:
    Highest earning NASCAR teams:
    Hendrick Motorsports $375 million
    Joe Gibbs Racing $256 million
    Stewart-Haas Racing $195 million
    Richard Childress Racing $175 million
    Roush Fenway Racing $155 million
    Team Penske $140 million
    Chip Ganassi Racing $75 million
    Richard Petty Motorsports $55 million
    Front Row Motorsports $26 million
    BK Racing $24 million
    Highest earning NASCAR drivers:
    #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr. $23.5 million
    #48-Jimmie Johnson $22.2 million
    Jeff Gordon $21.6 million
    #4-Kevin Harvick $15.5 million
    #11-Denny Hamlin $15.1 million
    #18-Kyle Busch $15.0 million
    #10-Dania Patrick $13.4 million
    #14-Tony Stewart $12.8 million
    #19-Carl Edwards $12.1 million
    #20-Matt Kenseth $11.9 million
    Total earnings equals salary/winnings plus endorsements and licensing
    In addition, Forbes estimates the actual cash value of a NASCAR charter to be $15-$17 million.(Forbes)(4-1-2016)

  • Penalties coming for Danica, Kyle Busch, Kahne, Pearn? Does NASCAR's competition brass fine Danica Patrick for walking on a hot race track during the Auto Club 400? Do they believe Kasey Kahne's explanation of what happened in the wreck with Patrick? Do they fine Kyle Busch for an in-car radio rant (XFINITY race)? Patrick walked up toward Kahne's car under caution and held out her hands in a "what was that?" fashion as Kahne drove around under caution after turning her and sending her hard into the Auto Club Speedway wall. NASCAR instituted a rule in 2014 after the Kevin Ward Jr. tragedy -- Ward, in a non-NASCAR sprint-car event, walked on to a track and was struck and killed by Tony Stewart, who has said he did not see Ward until the last moment -- and has fined drivers for leaving the area of their cars to motion at drivers as they pedal under caution. Last year, Jennifer Jo Cobb was fined $5,000 for walking up the track during a Camping World Truck Series race at Dover. Sprint Cup fines are typically larger than truck fines, although whether Patrick walked far enough up the track for NASCAR to consider fining her will likely be discussed this week.
    Fines and penalties typically now are announced Wednesday afternoon instead of Tuesday afternoon as in previous years. It is unlikely Kahne will face any additional penalties but it is so rare that a driver gets hooked like that, NASCAR probably wanted at least to talk to him.
    As far as Busch, he tweeted that he expects a fine this week. That fine most likely will stem from an in-car radio rant after the Xfinity Series race where he thanked NASCAR for fixing the race by not throwing a caution for his flat tire on the final lap. Busch declined to talk to the media after the race Saturday and tweeted Sunday night in response to a fan comment that "By not doing interview, I'll b getting a discount on my fine on Tuesday."
    NASCAR executive vice president Steve O'Donnell also told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Monday that NASCAR will look into #78-Martin Truex Jr. crew chief Cole Pearn's tweet following the race. He tweeted Logano can't see through his "squinty ... eyes."(ESPN)(3-21-2016)

  • Kyle Busch fighting tire issues: Adam Stevens, crew chief for #18-Kyle Busch, said his team hasn't resolved a left rear tire wear issue that surfaced during Saturday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice sessions at Auto Club Speedway. "I don't know what it was," Stevens said. "We tried multiple things to remedy it and it's getting better, but it's not like it's gone. We still have some concerns after final practice." Goodyear officials said the problem was traced to air pressures and camber settings, but Stevens said his #18 Joe Gibbs Racing team was not "out of the box on any one of those things compared to every car that we're capable of looking at and past history." JGR fields four Sprint Cup entries and has a technical alliance with Furniture Row Racing. "But we're the only ones that seem to be having a problem," he said. "I don't know what to do to fix it because everybody else is quite similar." The wear improved in the final practice, according to Stevens, "but you (still) saw excessive wear," he said. "When it gets hot and gets slick and slows down, a lot of those problems tend to go away," he said. "I don't know that anything that we've done has made it any better, other than just the normal rubbering in of the track and the lap times falling off to be honest." Stevens said his team didn't see the wear issues here last season, but a similar problem did surface at Atlanta earlier this year.(NASCAR.com)(3-20-2016)

  • Busch could be fined for Auto Club post-race: Kyle Busch could face penalties after NASCAR completes a review of his conduct following Saturday's Xfinity Series race at Auto Club Speedway. A NASCAR spokesman confirmed to Motorsport.com on Saturday night the sanctioning body would be reviewing Busch's post-race actions and comments. Busch was upset with NASCAR's decision not to throw a caution - which could have locked Busch in as the winner if the field was frozen - but he still managed to finish second. However, he failed to fulfill any of his post-race media obligations, either on pit road or in the media center, after the race. Drivers can be penalized for not fulfilling required media obligations. NASCAR is also reviewing Busch's comments after the race over his team radio, a portion of which were played on the TV broadcast by Fox Sports. At one point, Busch says, "Debris all over the race track and they don't throw a yellow. I'm just so pleased with you NASCAR. Thanks. Y'all are awesome. Fixing races. How about ...." NASCAR's code of conduct, which was updated in February, calls for fines of between $10,000 and $50,000 and/or probation for comments that disparage the sport and/or NASCAR's leadership. An accusation of "fixing races" could certainly fall under that category.(Motorsport)(3-19-2016)

  • Brad Keselowski & Kyle Busch to be honored at Auto Club Speedway: Brad Keselowski, winner of the 2015 NASCAR Auto Club 400, and Kyle Busch, winner of the 2014 Auto Club 400, will be inducted into Auto Club Speedway's Walk of Fame on Friday, March 18, 2016: Kyle Busch at 9:40am and Brad Keselowski at 1:00pm. The Walk of Fame is located outside the O'Reilly Auto Parts Fan Zone at Gate B of Auto Club Speedway. To purchase tickets to NASCAR Auto Club 400 race weekend, call 800-944-RACE (7223), or visit www.autoclubspeedway.com.(ACS)(3-16-2016)

  • Kyle Busch's qualifying time disallowed: #18-Kyle Busch's pole-winning car failed post-qualifying technical inspection Friday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway, putting his brother Kurt Busch on the pole for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race. NASCAR said the degree to which the vertical angle of Kyle Busch's rear wheels were skewed -- called the toe -- was illegal but that there would be no further penalties other than disallowing his qualifying time. The defending Sprint Cup champion will start the Folds of Honor 500 last in the field at 39th.
    NASCAR senior VP of competition Scott Miller said NASCAR began measuring rear toe after qualifying this season at the drivers' request. The maximum rear toe allowed in postqualifying inspection is 0.15 degrees more than in prequalifying inspection. "Teams asked for it, we instituted it and they didn't pass," Miller said. "The others [that went through tech] passed."
    More rear skew could improve performance by helping maintain speed through corners, though Kyle Busch crew chief Adam Stevens said the thousands of an inch that the car was in violation wouldn't have made a difference. The car passed prequalifying tech, and Stevens seemed thankful the team learned its lesson instead of in a race, where they would have likely faced a fine and points penalty.
    "The parts move, everything moves, so you expect it to be a little bit different," Stevens said. "This is the first opportunity we've had to gather post [qualifying] information, was right now, and it's game time and it was too much. ... Just the amount of load on the track moves everything a little bit, and that little bit was a little bit too much."(ESPN.com)(2-26-2016)

  • DHS And NASCAR Release New "If You See Something, Say Something" PSA: The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) "If You See Something, Say Something" public awareness campaign and NASCAR today released two new Public Service Announcements (PSAs) and new campaign materials. The new PSAs, which feature Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr., will be on display this weekend at the Daytona 500 International Speedway. Fans using their smart phones will also see messaging that highlights the individual role of everyday citizens to protect their neighbors and the communities they call home, by recognizing and reporting suspicious activity when using mobile applications. In addition to these efforts, the "If You See Something, Say Something"" campaign will also display public awareness materials at the Daytona Beach International Airport, on billboards throughout the area, and at gas stations around Daytona Beach, FL. Since 2011, DHS has partnered with NASCAR to create public service announcements and digital awareness products through the "If You See Something, Say Something" campaign. This year, fans can see the "If You See Something, Say Something" message in English and Spanish at the track. Previously, DHS and NASCAR created two public service announcements featuring NASCAR drivers Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth. For more information, watch these public service announcements by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Busch or visit www.dhs.gov.(DHS)(2-21-2016)

  • Kyle Busch wins 2nd Can-Am Duel 150: #18-Kyle Busch won the 2nd Can-Am Duel 150 Qualifying race for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway fir his third Duel win. #1-McMurray finished 2nd then #41-Busch, #19-Edwards, #95-Ty Dillon, #42-Larson, #10-Patrick, #14-Vickers, #93-DiBenedetto, #46-Annett, #38-Cassill, #35-Gilliland, #48-Johnson, #78-Truex Jr., #47-Allmendinger, #20-Kenseth, #13-Mears, #26-Richardson Jr., #43-Almirola, #83-Waltrip, #40-Sorenson and #31-Newman.
    #93-DiBenedetto was the highest finishing Open Team (non-chartered team), finishing 9th. The other three Open teams: #35-Gilliland finished 12th, #26-Richardson Jr. finished 18th and #40-Sorenson finished 21st. #93-DiBenedetto gets in the race as the highest finishing Open team and will start 20th. #26-Richardson Jr. gets in the race via his qualifying speed. #40-Sorenson and #35-Gilliland will not make the race.
    #31-Newman had an engine go sour halfway thru the race and will start the Daytona 500 38th. #13-Mears was running 2nd with two laps to go when his car ran out of fuel, he will start the 500 32nd. Coming to the checkered flag, #48-Johnson spun, trying to move around #1-McMurray, collecting #20-Kenseth, #78-Truex Jr., #41-Busch, #10-Patrick and #47-Allmendinger. Johnson, Kenseth and Truex Jr. will go to backup cars and have to start the Daytona 500 from the rear of the field.
    The finishers of the 2nd Can-Am Duel 150 will line up on the outside (even number) line. #20-Kenseth will lineup and go out on the grid Sunday on the outside pole but have to fall back to the rear due to going to a backup car. He will, however, get the 2nd choice of a pitstall. 2nd Duel winner, #18-Busch will start 4th but move up to the outside pole before the start.. #26-Richardson Jr., in on speed, will start 40th.
    See results on the Second Can-Am Duel 150 Results page (pdf).(2-18-2016)

  • 75th Anniversary M&M's scheme at Daytona: This year's Speedweeks at Daytona is where the M&M'S brand, primary sponsor of defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kyle Busch and his #18 M&M'S Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), first takes to the track in its season-long celebration of its 75th anniversary. To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the M&M'S brand, Busch's colorful #18 M&M's Toyota will bring back the familiar yellow scheme, with a few nods to its rich past, as Kyle Busch and the #18 team open their title defense in 2016.(TrueSpeedCommunications/M&M's Racing), see images of the car on the #18 Team Schemes page (2-11-2016)

  • Bobby Labonte back with Joe Gibbs Racing for an XFINITY race: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced a partnership with NOS Energy Drink (owned by Monster), as primary sponsor of the team's #18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Kyle Busch will drive his first NOS program race at Atlanta and in subsequent races that total 16 XFINITY Series events this season. To kick off the 2016 race schedule at Daytona, Joe Gibbs Racing and NOS Energy Drink announced they are also bringing back another champion for the XFINITY series program start, longtime race winner and past Joe Gibbs Racing veteran racecar driver Bobby Labonte. "We've always sought out the most determined, fearless and committed athletes to represent our company and brands," said Vice President of Sports Marketing, Mitch Covington. He commented further, "With Kyle (Busch) in the seat most of the year and a strong Daytona start with Bobby (Labonte), we have every reason to believe our program will win." Labonte proved to be a strong selection to kick off the NOS Energy Drink program for the first race of the season as he rejoins Joe Gibbs Racing while they celebrate their 25th year of NASCAR racing. "I'm excited about the opportunity to drive for JGR again. I didn't think this would ever happen and when Joe called me about the program, it was a 'no-brainer.' Great race team, great cars, the opportunity is a good one. There would be nothing better than to hang a flag in this building too," said Labonte of the Daytona opportunity in front of him with the #18 JGR XFINITY Series team. A Texas native, Labonte was an early driver of the #18 with JGR and earned them 21 victories and a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship in 2000. Labonte is also a NASCAR Champion in the XFINITY Series (1991) and the IROC Series (2001) and has victories recorded in all three of NASCAR's premier racing series. 2016 marks Labonte's 30th consecutive year as a professional racecar driver. The #18 team's goal will again be to capture an Owner's Championship in the XFINITY Series. With Busch and Labonte confirmed and the recent announcement of Matt Tifft as driver of the #18 for races later in the schedule, crew chief Chris Gayle is eager to attack that goal.(JGR)(2-11-2016)

  • Joe Gibbs Racing makes changes to executive team: J.D. Gibbs will join his father Joe Gibbs as Co-Chairman of JGR with Coy Gibbs officially joining the NASCAR operations as Vice-Chairman/Chief Operating Officer, and Dave Alpern, who has been with Joe Gibbs Racing since its beginning, has been named President of the organization. In addition, JGR announces Tim Carmichael will assume expanded responsibilities in his role as Chief Financial Officer, while Wally Brown will serve as Competition Director and Todd Bowland has been named Technical Director. Todd Meredith has resigned his position as Chief Operating Officer but will continue to consult for the organization over the next several months as he explores new opportunities.
    "The Lord has blessed me and my family with something that is truly remarkable and as we celebrate our 25th Anniversary at Joe Gibbs Racing this year, it is more apparent than ever that our people are responsible for the success we have experienced," said Joe Gibbs. "We feel the timing is right to bring Coy into the NASCAR operations in a more official capacity. He has done an outstanding job with our motocross operations and will continue to provide his leadership there as well.
    Coy Gibbs launched JGRMX in 2008 and has been at the center of every aspect of the operations from personnel decisions to sponsor acquisitions and competition direction. He will primarily be focused on the operations side for JGR's NASCAR team while continuing his daily role with JGRMX.
    "I'm excited to be more involved with our NASCAR operations," said Coy Gibbs. "I take great pride in what we have accomplished with our motocross operations and I will continue to provide direction there, while working more closely with my father and brother on the NASCAR side of the business. I know we have a tremendous team in place already and I'm looking forward to being more involved now in this official capacity."
    Alpern joined JGR in 1992 and has worked in the organization's marketing department since his arrival and most recently served in the capacity of Chief Marketing Officer the past two years. Alpern has been a key figure to JGR's involvement in the RTA and is well respected by his peers within the industry. Meredith joined JGR in 1992 and has spent the past 25 years working in the competition and operations departments of the organization. He was named Chief Operating Office in 2013.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(2-4-2016)

  • Kyle Busch skipping restrictor-plate races in the lower series: The 2016 schedule for defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion #18-Kyle Busch is coming into focus. He plans to run a full Sprint Cup Series schedule for the first time since 2014, about 15 to 18 Xfinity Series races and no Camping World Truck Series races as of now. And notably, Busch is skipping all of the restrictor-plate races in the lower series after getting badly injured during one of them last season. "No restrictor-plate races," he said Tuesday. "I'm out of that stuff." Why? "My wife won't let me," Busch said with a grin. "And (team owner) Joe (Gibbs). Joe and Samantha made that decision. I was thinking about it, but they were like, 'No.'" He needed another surgery in December - this time to remove the metal plate in his foot and metal rod in his leg. It was successful, and Busch said he's already back to 85% strength.(USA Today)(1-20-2016)

  • Kyle Busch to Race at SpeedFest 2016: Sprint Cup Series champion Kyle Busch will be racing in the 200-lap ARCA/CRA Super Series Late Model event scheduled as part of SpeedFest 2016 on Sunday, Jan. 31 at Crisp Motorsports Park in Cordele, Ga. Busch, a three-time SpeedFest winner, will pilot KBM's #51 Camry with primary sponsorship from Rheem Heating and Cooling and major associate sponsorship from JEGS.com. Busch was victorious at SpeedFest in 2009 and 2010 when the event was held at Lanier Speedway in Braselton, Ga., and most recently won the event in 2012, the first year it was held at its current location. William Byron, the 2015 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion, will join his owner at this year's event in a second KBM entry. Byron, who will compete full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for KBM in 2016, will carry sponsorship from Liberty University on his #9 Camry. "I've always enjoyed racing at SpeedFest and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to go back this year thanks to the support from Rheem Heating and Cooling and JEGS.com," Busch said. "Everything went well with my latest surgery and I feel really good. Without an opportunity to get in a Sprint Cup Series car before we get to Daytona, running this race will be a good tune-up prior to Speedweeks."(Kyle Busch Motorsports)(1-14-2016)

  • 2016 M&M's scheme unveiled: M&M's U.S.A. unveiled the new 2016 M&M'S 75th Anniversary paint scheme for Kyle Busch and #18 M&M'S Camry. The new design brings back the classic yellow and includes the iconic M&M'S Characters throughout the years (M&M's Racing Facebook page), see images of the scheme on the #18 Team Schemes page (1-8-2016)

2015 News


    Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Crispy Toyota, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the series championship and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, FL.(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

  • Special M&M's schemes [5 races] are scheduled to be run at the following 2015 races:
    Kansas - 5/9, Red Nose Day, Erik Jones
    Charlotte, Sprint All-Star Race - 5/16, Red Nose Day, Kyle Busch
    Richmond - 9/12, American Heritage Chocolate, Busch
    Charlotte, 10/10, Pretty in Pink, Busch
    Kansas - 10/18, Halloween, Busch
    Talladega - 10/25, Halloween, Busch

  • Interstate Batteries [6 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2015 races:
    Auto Club - 3/22, David Ragan
    Texas - 4/11, David Ragan
    Daytona - 7/5
    New Hampshire - 7/19
    Michigan - 8/16
    Dover - 10/4

  • Snickers Extreme [2 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2015 races:
    Phoenix - 3/15, David Ragan
    Bristol - 4/19, David Ragan
  • Pedigree [2 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2015 races:
    Talladega - 5/3, David Ragan
    New Hampshire - 9/27

  • Skittles [4 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2015 races:
    Charlotte - 5/24
    Dover - 5/31
    Indianapolis - 7/26
    Bristol - 8/22

  • Rogers surprised by crew chief changes at JGR: Dave Rogers will start the 2016 season as crew chief for the #19 of Carl Edwards after spending a season as the crew chief for #11-Denny Hamlin. The move was part of an announcement a couple of weeks ago that also included the return of Mike Wheeler to the #11. Rogers, appearing on SiriusXM NASCAR radio, said he accepts the move even though it surprised him, especially after Hamlin and all four Joe Gibbs Racing teams made the Chase for the Sprint Cup. "Denny's a brother to me," Rogers said. "I love him to death. It caught me off guard, 'You want me to work with someone other than Denny?'" Roger has spent the majority of his career with JGR. Before the 2015 season, Rogers worked on the #18 of Kyle Busch for five years. He said the decision to make the move came down to trying to improve the communication and chemistry of a "true four-car team."
    "A couple of years ago we were tough on ourselves," Roger said. "We openly admitted that we missed the boat on speed, the cars weren't good enough. We were really tough on each other. The guys at the shop rebounded with such character and integrity. You have to capitalize on those situations. It's not every year you get cars like that. Some years you're on. Some years you're off. Coach and the management staff felt there was room for improvement with the 19 and 11 ... and they made some changes. That's one thing that's really complicated about JGR, we're a true four-car team," Rogers said. "We're four cars working together. There's eight race engineers sitting in a cubicle working together. All four crew chiefs sit shoulder-to-shoulder. It's a huge team. I think we work together more than I believe other teams do and that makes it extremely complicated. There's a ton of relationships in that that have to be managed."(In part from NBC Sports / SiriusXM NASCAR radio)(12-30-2015)

  • Joe Gibbs Racing Announces Crew Chief Changes: Joe Gibbs Racing announced changes to its crew chief lineup in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the 2016 season. Dave Rogers, who most recently served as crew chief for JGR's #11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, will transition to lead the #19 team in 2016 with driver Carl Edwards. Mike Wheeler, who had spent 10 years with the #11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team before transitioning to crew chief for JGR's #20 XFINITY Series team in 2015, will return to work with driver Denny Hamlin in 2016.
    Darian Grubb, who had served as crew chief on the #19 Sprint Cup Series team last season, is currently exploring several opportunities for the 2016 season.
    Meanwhile Jason Ratcliff and Adam Stevens will continue in their current roles as crew chief of JGR's #20 and #18 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams respectively.
    "2015 was probably the strongest season we have ever had at Joe Gibbs Racing," said Joe Gibbs, owner of JGR. "We won more races than we ever have, qualified all four teams into the Chase and were blessed to end it with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship. I think every year you evaluate each of your teams however and sometimes during that process you find that a change might be in the best interest for all involved. Mike Wheeler is obviously someone that has a long history with Denny (Hamlin) and that #11 team. After seeing what he accomplished as a crew chief in our XFINITY Series program last year we felt the timing was right to move him back into our Cup program. Dave Rogers has also been successful in every role he has had with us and we think he will work well with Carl (Edwards) going into 2016."(JGR)(12-21-2015)

  • Kyle Busch Undergoes Scheduled Offseason Surgery: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) and current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, had successful surgery this morning to remove two metal plates in his left foot and a metal rod and screws in his right leg. Busch is expected to make a full recovery in time for the start of the 2016 NASCAR season in February. The scheduled offseason surgery removed the plates, rod and screws that were used to help stabilize his foot and leg following injuries suffered in an accident at Daytona International Speedway in February 2015. Today's surgeries were performed by Dr. Robert Anderson of OrthoCarolina and Dr. Stephen Sims of Carolinas Healthcare System.(JGR)(12-17-2015)

  • Harvick tops all drivers in season winnings: Kyle Busch capped his 2015 championship season by earning a combined $8,393,925 from race winnings, special awards and from the Sprint Cup points fund. But it was Kevin Harvick who earned the most money among Sprint Cup drivers in 2015 at $11,730,460, according to NASCAR officials. A significant part of why Harvick amassed more earnings than the younger Busch brother was because the latter missed the first 11 races of the season recovering from racing-related injuries. A total of 44 drivers earned more than $1 million this past season.
    Joey Logano earned the second-highest amount ($9,663,863) followed by Kyle Busch ($8,393,925), Jimmie Johnson ($8,152,877), Jeff Gordon ($7,614,469), Brad Keselowski ($7,477,096), Denny Hamlin ($7,473,268), Matt Kenseth ($6,806,416), Dale Earnhardt Jr. ($6,761,500) and Martin Truex Jr. ($6,751,609).
    Eleventh through 20th were Ryan Newman ($5,923,403), Carl Edwards ($5,787,488), David Ragan ($5,757,006), Kurt Busch ($5,752,866), Clint Bowyer ($5,702,243), Jamie McMurray ($5,680,016), Aric Almirola ($5,598,831), Greg Biffle ($5,555,082), Austin Dillon ($5,186,719) and Kyle Larson ($5,092,490).
    A total of 78 drivers earned money for competing in at least one of this year's 36 races.(NBC Sports)(12-9-2015)

  • Most-Mentioned drivers of 2015: According to Joyce Julius, a company that tracks media mentions for sport sponsors, #4-Kevin Harvick was the most-mentioned NASCAR driver on TV this year (the same position he held last season) while#11-Hamlin had the most interview time. Sprint Cup champion #18-Busch was the 12th most-mentioned:

    Driver
    Interviews
    Interview Time
    Mentions
    #4-Harvick
    42
    0:35:29
    4,937
    #20-Logano
    31
    0:35:31
    3,726
    #48-Johnson
    26
    0:19:38
    3,038
    #2-Keselowski
    24
    0:15:31
    2,940
    #88-Earnhardt, Jr.
    28
    0:26:05
    2,919
    #24-Gordon
    29
    0:33:10
    2,837
    #78-Truex, Jr.
    22
    0:42:35
    2,629
    #11-Hamlin
    27
    0:42:43
    2,607
    #20-Kenseth
    20
    0:18:53
    2,587
    #19-Edwards
    23
    0:18:12
    2,495
    #41-Busch
    18
    0:16:57
    2,395
    #18-Busch
    18
    0:27:17
    2,276
    #51-Bowyer
    11
    0:12:11
    1,310
    #42-Larson
    12
    0:15:58
    1,241
    #5-Kahne
    16
    0:13:36
    1,201

    Statistics reflect all live race telecasts and replays of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.(Joyce Julius)(12-7-2015)

  • Oddsmakers have Harvick the 2016 Championship favorite: #18-Kyle Busch may have just won NASCAR's Sprint Cup, but when setting odds for the 2016 season, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook went with last year's champion, #4-Kevin Harvick, as the 5-to-1 favorite, while installing Busch and two others as co-second favorites at 7-to-1 odds. It's easy to understand why Harvick is the favorite. His consistency over the past two seasons has been amazing, and there is little reason to believe his Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet won't be every bit as good in 2016. Along with Busch at 7-to-1 odds are #22-Joey Logano and six-time Sprint Cup champion #48-Jimmie Johnson. Johnson won five races last season and finished 10th in points, but had a rough summer after jumping out of the gate with four wins through May. Former Cup champions #20-Matt Kenseth and #2-Brad Keselowski are each listed at 8-to-1, while #19-Carl Edwards, #11-Denny Hamlin and #41-Kurt Busch are 12-to-1.(Sporting News)(12-6-2015)

  • NASCAR honors Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon: Friday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards gala at the Wynn Las Vegas honored series champion Kyle Busch for one of the most remarkable comebacks in the history of professional sports. But Busch, car owner Joe Gibbs and champion crew chief Adam Stevens had to share the stage and the limelight with retiring four-time champion Jeff Gordon, who bade a tearful farewell after 23 full-time seasons and 797 consecutive races in NASCAR's premier series - complete with a surprise introduction by mega movie star Tom Cruise. The awards banquet capped an extraordinary year for Busch, who missed the first 11 events of the season after breaking his right leg and left foot when his #54 Toyota plowed into a concrete wall inside Turn 1 at Daytona International Speedway in the NASCAR XFINITY Series season opener. Against all odds, Busch returned to action at Charlotte in May and proceeded to win five of the final 25 races, including the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the event that made him a champion.
    "We've all heard the old saying 'Break a leg!' which means, you're wishing someone good luck in show biz," Busch said. "Well, as I stand here today and think about how lucky I am, I can say without a doubt, that breaking a leg AND a foot works just as good in racing. One day, I went from being able to win races, to the next where I was just thinking about how I was going to be able to walk into the delivery room with (wife) Samantha to be a part of the birth of our son Brexton. I can't thank Dr. Todd McCall and Dr. Bob Anderson for putting me back together as well as they did. Anyone looking to have leg or foot surgery, just ask for the Kyle Busch special." The surgery and extensive rehabilitation paid off, as Busch was able to hold off defending series champion Kevin Harvick in the Championship Round race at Homestead.
    Cruise, who played California driver Cole Trickle in the movie "Days of Thunder" (an interloper much as Vallejo, California native Gordon was when he came to stock car racing in the early 1990s), summed up Gordon's stature as a champion driver and a statesman for the sport in one sentence. "He felt as comfortable discussing a championship with George Bush as he did breaking down a Homestead race with Kyle Busch," said Cruise, who went on to introduce Gordon as "my friend, the four-time champion, the legend - Jeff Gordon." After Cruise's appearance came another surprise. NASCAR Chairman & CEO Brian France conferred the seldom given Bill France Award on the retiring champion, an recognition that had not been presented since Gordon's car owner, Rick Hendrick, was honored in 2009. "You're the very definition of a champion, and quite simply, you changed the sport for the better," France said. Indeed, Gordon's most emotional moment during a heartfelt speech came when he choked back tears while thanking Rick and Linda Hendrick for hiring him in the first place.
    "Rick and Linda Hendrick, thank you so much for choosing me to be your driver," said Gordon, who finished third in the championship standings. "I'm so proud to say I only drove for one car owner - and the best car owner - my entire Sprint Cup career."
    Fourth-place finisher Martin Truex Jr. provided another emotional moment when he spoke of long-time partner Sherry Pollex's battle against ovarian cancer. "I'd like to thank Sharon, Sherry's mom, and her family for their incredible support throughout Sherry's battle," Truex said. "Sherry, I can't thank you enough for being in my life, you're a true inspiration and I love you very much."(NASCAR Wire Service)(12-5-2015)

  • Busch to have surgery in December UPDATE: #18-Kyle Busch has looked forward for months to offseason surgery on his left foot to have the plates and screws removed so that his foot can feel normal again. But he's also decided to have a second surgery, one to remove the rod in his right leg. It's not so he can feel good immediately, but it's preventative. If he gets in another high-impact crash, he wouldn't have complications of a possible broken rod in his leg. The 2015 Sprint Cup champion said Tuesday he hopes to have the surgeries on the same day in mid-December, possibly Dec. 14 or Dec. 15. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver should not have any problems being ready for the 2016 season in February. "I'm going to be down for probably, they said, about four weeks with the leg," Busch said in a teleconference Tuesday to talk about winning the championship. "Just having to re-go through the knee and to cut the knee open again in order to pull the rod out, that's going to be the most traumatic part -- and just having that have to heal and go back together and let the muscle get back together, and of course the tendon as well." Busch said he expects to be able to walk on his left foot right away following the surgery. "[I'll have] rehab to make sure that all the joints that have been immobilized for the last nine months, we get them kind of woken back up in a smooth fashion and 'break it in,' let's say," Busch said.(ESPN.com)(11-25-2015)
    UPDATE: NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kyle Busch will undergo a pair of surgeries Dec. 17 to remove metal parts from his left foot and right leg, he said Thursday. The surgeries will be done at the same time and will require a lengthy recovery process, but Busch expects to be ready in time for Daytona Speedweeks. Busch said he's confident he'll be back to normal about nine months after the surgery, given his recovery in a similar time period this year. Doctors are "pretty shocked" at how well he feels with the plate in his foot, although the rod in his leg already feels normal unless it's a cold day. "I still have pain today and every day it still continues to get better," he said.(USA Today)(12-4-2015)

  • 2015 Championship "Tire Specialist" award announced: Champion Tire & Wheel has announced the recipient of the 2015 Sprint Cup "Consistently Smooth" award is Greg "Henry" Katzke of Joe Gibbs Racing's #18 car driven by Kyle Busch. The award recognizes the skill and effort of the team's tire specialist in overseeing the #18 teams' tire and wheel program. The tire specialists' craft is an essential piece in the performance formula for a championship effort as it requires managing a program of over 2,500 tires and wheels used throughout the full Sprint Cup season. When the call for a pit stop comes, the efforts to find the right combination of tires, wheels, and air pressure is critical in the overall performance of the race car. The lead crystal trophy will be presented to Katzke at the team's shop in Huntersville with Driver Kyle Busch, owner Joe Gibbs, Senior VP of Racing Operations - Jimmy Makar, COO-Todd Meredith and Crew Chief- Adam Stevens. In addition to the Sprint Cup series recipients, Champion Tire and Wheel will also present Roush Fenway Racings' #60, Bill Campana, the Championship tire specialists award for the Chris Buescher driven Xfinity Series team, and Tyler Keiper, the tire specialist for Kyle Busch Motorsports and the Erik Jones driven Camping World Truck Series Championship effort.(Champion Tire & Wheel PR)(12-4-2015)

  • Gordon leads in 2015 television time: As the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season offered excitement on the track, it also provided nearly $1-billion in media value during race broadcasts according to Repucom, a trusted advisor in sports and entertainment intelligence. Repucom takes into account audience size and the quality of a brand exposure during in-race broadcasts. The location, size and duration of signage are among some of the factors that are also considered. The top five overall brands ranked by media value in 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series broadcasts were entitlement sponsor Sprint; followed by Chevrolet, Toyota, Ford and Coca-Cola.
    The top five primary sponsors for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams in 2015 ranked by media value as analyzed by Repucom were Lowe's, Nationwide, Jimmy John's, Shell-Pennzoil and Haas Automation.
    • #24-Jeff Gordon topped all competitors for media value and time on screen during race broadcasts, accumulating just over 24 hours of television time in the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season.
    • In addition to finishing second in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and collecting a record 13 second-place finishes, #4-Kevin Harvick ranked second for time on screen and media value in 2015.
    • 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion #18-Kyle Busch improved the primary sponsor ranking for M&Ms, moving it up six positions to seventh this year. The team also increased its time on screen. The car, driven by substitute drivers and Busch, accumulated just shy of 16 hours of television broadcast time, four more hours than last year.
    • The biggest mover in 2015 was #78-Martin Truex, Jr. It took just seven weeks into the 2015 season for Furniture Row Racing to surpass its total 2014 exposure level. The media value increased three and a half times over last year and Furniture Row moved up 18 positions in the primary car sponsor rankings.
    (Repucom)(12-2-2015)

  • Best average finishes of 2015: Even if you win the most races in a year, you're not guaranteed a championship or the best average finish over the season's 36 races. Just ask #22-Joey Logano, who finished 2015 with the second best avg finish after winning six times. NASCAR Talk takes a look at the top 10 avg finishes among Sprint Cup drivers who competed in all 36 points races. 2015 Sprint Cup Champion #18-Kyle Busch missed the first 11 races of the season due to injury and finished with an avg finish of 10.8, which would be the third best. His brother, #41-Kurt Busch, missed the first three races due to suspension and finished the season with an avg of 11.1. That would tie him with the fifth best. Even with the Busch brothers removed, #20-Matt Kenseth, who was suspended for two Chase for the Sprint Cup races, would just miss out on the top 10 with his avg of 14.3.
    #4-Kevin Harvick; 8.7 - Were you expecting someone else? Harvick won three times in 2015 but the real mark of his consistency was finishing second 13 times, the most since NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison did it 15 times in 1970. He topped his average from his championship year, which was 12.9. He also tied his best avg., also finishing with 8.7 in 2010. That year Harvick also won three races.
    #22-Joey Logano; 9.2 - Logano, the wins leader in 2015 with six, earned a top-10 average for the first time in his seven full-time seasons. His average has risen every season since ending 2011 at 19.1.
    #2-Brad Keselowski; 11.1 - Keselowski finished the year with just one win (Auto Club Speedway), but he also only fell victim to one DNF (engine failure, Daytona I). Thirty-five races later, the Team Penske driver had his best avg finish since the 10.1 he earned in his championship year in 2012.
    See the rest at NBC Sports.(11-29-2015)

  • Kyle Busch and #18 M&M'S Team Win 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M'S Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), won his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship tonight at Homestead-Miami Speedway. While it is Busch's first Sprint Cup championship, it is the fourth for JGR since its inception in 1992. JGR won its first Sprint Cup championship in 2000 with Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart earned championships with JGR in 2002 and 2005. The following are some anecdotes regarding the 2015 Sprint Cup Series champions.
    · This is Busch's third driving title in his 17 years of racing. His titles are as follows:
    2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship
    2009 NASCAR XFNITY Series championship
    2001 Late Model track championship at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
    · This is Adam Stevens' first championship as a crew chief in NASCAR. However, Stevens was a part of the 2005 Sprint Cup championship earned by Stewart, as he was the race engineer on JGR's #20 team. Stevens is the first rookie crew chief to win a Sprint Cup title since 1982 when Jeff Hammond won with Darrell Waltrip.
    · This is JGR's eighth owner championship. Its titles are as follows:
    2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship
    2012 NASCAR XFNITY Series championship
    2010 NASCAR XFNITY Series championship
    2009 NASCAR XFNITY Series championship
    2008 NASCAR XFNITY Series championship
    2005 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship
    2002 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship
    2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship
    · This is Joe Gibbs' 15th championship. In addition to the titles listed above, he won three Super Bowls (1982, 1987 and 1991) and four NFC Conference Championships (1982, 1983, 1987 and 1991) as head coach of the NFL's Washington Redskins.
    Anecdotes:
    · Busch joins Bobby Labonte, Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick as the only drivers to earn both a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship and a NASCAR XFINITY Series championship.
    · Prior to 2015, Busch's previous best point finish in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series was fourth in 2013.
    · Busch's championship season includes one pole, five wins, 12 top-fives, 16 top-10s and 736 laps led. Busch missed the first 11 races of the 2015 season after breaking his right leg and left foot during the season-opening NASCAR XFINITY Series race in February at Daytona International Speedway.
    (True Speed Communication)(11-22-2015)

  • Kyle Busch Wins 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship: Only nine months removed from suffering a broken right leg and left foot in an accident at Daytona, #18-Kyle Busch won at Homestead-Miami Speedway to capture the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. The title is the first for Busch and Toyota. To take home NASCAR's greatest prize, Busch needed to finish ahead of the three other Championship 4 drivers - #4-Kevin Harvick, #24-Jeff Gordon and #78-Martin Truex Jr. - in the final race of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Homestead. Busch and his brother Kurt Busch (2004 NSCS champion) join Terry and Bobby Labonte as the only brothers to earn NSCS titles.
    Missing three months - a span of 11 races - due to his injury, Busch returned to his #18 Toyota at Charlotte in May, showing signs of rust by logging two finishes worse than 35th (36th at Dover; 43rd at Michigan) in his first four points events. He rounded into form his fifth race back by speeding to Victory Lane at Sonoma, catalyzing a dominant run of four wins in his next four starts, including three in a row at Kentucky, New Hampshire and Indianapolis. Entering the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup as one of the favorites to take home the crown, Busch gutted his way through the first two rounds, highlighted by a runner-up showing in the Challenger Round cutoff race at Dover. He hit his stride as the only driver to log top-five finishes in each Eliminator Round race to set up his championship effort at Homestead.
    Busch joins Bobby Labonte, Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick as the fourth driver to earn both a NSCS and NASCAR XFINITY Series championship. His title marks the fourth for Joe Gibbs Racing, which also won championships with Bobby Labonte (2000) and Tony Stewart (2002, 2005).
    Toyota, which began full-time racing in the NSCS in 2007, has now captured a driver's championship in all three NASCAR national series. Busch also won Toyota its first NSCS race at Atlanta in 2008. Busch is the second consecutive champion to win the title with a victory in the Championship Race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Harvick accomplished the feat last season.(NASCAR)(11-22-2015)

  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series - Championship Fast Facts:
    #18-Kyle Busch has won his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, becoming the 31st different series champion, and the first to win the title after missing the first 11 races of the season.
    Busch won the Ford EcoBoost 400 claiming the title.
    Busch joins Kevin Harvick, Bobby Labonte and Brad Keselowski as only the fourth driver all-time to boast both a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series championship.
    Busch finished the 2015 season with five wins (Sonoma, Kentucky, New Hampshire-1, Indianapolis and Homestead), 12 top fives, 16 top 10s and one pole.
    In 25 starts Busch has led 736 of his 6,752 laps completed (10.9%)
    Busch's Season-To-Date Loop Data: Driver Rating (108.2); Average Running Position (8.9).
    Owner Champion: Joe Gibbs, Joe Gibbs Racing
    This is Joe Gibbs Racing's fourth series owner championship in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, previous titles: Bobby Labonte (2000), Tony Stewart (2002 and 2005).
    This is Joe Gibbs Racing's eighth NASCAR national series owner championship (four NSCS, four NNS).
    Joe Gibbs Racing fielded four cars this season: #18-Kyle Busch (1st in points); #19-Carl Edwards (5th in points), #20-Matt Kenseth (15th in points) and #11-Denny Hamlin (9th in points).
    Joe Gibbs Racing has won four of the last 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup championships (2000-2015), putting the team's title-winning percentage during that span at 25%.
    Crew Chief Champion: Adam Stevens
    Adam Stevens has won his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship with driver Kyle Busch.
    Stevens is the 38th different NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew chief to win a championship.
    Stevens has five career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins, all with Kyle Busch this season.
    Stevens also served as part-time crew chief on the NASCAR XFINITY Series car owner championship winning #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota team in 2012 with driver Joey Logano.
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(11-22-2015)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Homestead AND the Championship: #18-Kyle Busch won the Ford EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway for his 5th win of the season, 1st win at Homestead, 2nd Chase race win (first since 2005) and 34th career win. Busch led 41 of the 267 laps.
    With the win, Busch won the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, his first, beating out #4-Kevin Harvick, who finished 2nd.
    It is the 4th Sprint Cup Series Championship for Joe Gibbs Racing, the first for sponsor M&M's Mars, first for rookie crew chief Adam Stevens and first driver championship for Toyota.
    Kyle and Kurt Busch are the second set of brothers to win the Sprint Cup Series Championship, the first were Terry and Bobby Labonte.
    With Busch's win at Homestead, there are only four tracks the Sprint Cup Series runs out that Busch has not won a Sprint Cup Series race at: Kansas, Martinsville, Charlotte and Pocono.
    The race was rain delayed for about one and a half hours, with the green flag waving at 4:50pm/et.
    #4-Harvick finished 2nd (for the 13th time in 2015 and 44th runner-up finish in his career) followed by #2-Keselowski (led the most laps, 86), #22-Logano, #42-Larson, #24-Gordon, #20-Kenseth, #41-Busch, #48-Johnson and #11-Hamlin (pole winner).
    The four drivers in the CHAMPIONSHIP RACE of The Chase finished:
    #18-Kyle Busch, won the race
    #4-Kevin Harvick, 2nd
    #24-Jeff Gordon, 6th
    #78-Martin Truex Jr., 12th
    There were 18 lead changes among 9 drivers and 7 cautions for 30 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 131.755mph.
    See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Penalty Report (pdf) and Lap Summary Report (pdf).
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).(11-22-2015)

  • Unbreakable: Kyle Busch Aims To Finish Championship Run Nine Months After Daytona Accident: #18-Kyle Busch's season has been so improbable, even M. Night Shyamalan couldn't make it up. A mere nine months after breaking his right leg and fracturing his left foot in an accident at Daytona, Busch will race for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Busch had cooled off since winning four-of-five races including three in a row earlier in the season, but started to heat up again as the only driver to log a top-five finish in all three Eliminator Round races. Of the Championship 4 drivers, Busch has had the least success at Homestead. In 10 starts at the South Florida track he has no wins, one top five (10.0%) and three top 10s (30.0%). Busch owns three finishes worse than 30th at Homestead, including a 39th-place finish there last year. In fact, his 23.1 Homestead average finish ranks 25th among active drivers. If Busch finishes ahead of Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon and Martin Truex Jr., he'll become the first driver to ever pilot a Toyota to a NSCS title, giving the manufacturer a driver's championship in all three national series. Coincidentally, Busch won Toyota its first NSCS race at Atlanta in 2008. Busch would also join Bobby Labonte, Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick as the fourth driver to earn a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series championship.(NASCAR)(11-22-2015)

    Homestead-Miami-Specific Statistics - Chase Driver
    3) - Kyle Busch (#18 M&M's Crispy Toyota)
    · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 107
    2015 Rundown
    · Four wins, 11 top fives, 15 top 10s,
    · Led 695 laps
    · Average Finish of 11.2
    Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
    · One top five, three top 10s
    · Average finish of 23.1, 25th-best
    · Average Running Position of 16.056, 13th-best
    · Driver Rating of 91.5, ninth-best
    · Average Green Flag Speed of 162.019, eighth-fastest
    · 1696 Laps in the Top 15 (63.5), 10th-most
    · 422 Quality Passes, eighth-most

  • M&M's Renews with Joe Gibbs Racing UPDATE2: On the cusp of his first potential NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship which would cap an amazing comeback season, #18-Kyle Busch and his team at Joe Gibbs Racing have even more reason to celebrate. Mars, Inc. finalized a multi-year contract extension with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) that will continue the winning alliance for the next several seasons. The new agreement with JGR cements one of the longest-standing and most successful partnerships not only in NASCAR, but in all of sports. Kyle Busch has piloted the #18 Toyota and dozens of Mars, Inc.'s iconic brands including M&M'S Brand, Snickers Brand, Skittles Brand, Double Mint Brand and Pedigree Brand to victory lane 29 times since 2008, as well as 15 poles and 142 top ten finishes. "In order to get to victory lane, you have to have the best team on and off the track," said William Clements, Vice President, Sponsorship Mars. "Our partnership with JGR and Kyle has routinely delivered for us at the track, as well as in-store and with millions of fans. We look forward to the opportunity to continue to build upon this amazing partnership."
    "When working with a partner, collaboration, teamwork and a burning desire to win inspires us as a team, and Mars is the epitome of those qualities," added Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. "Their brands have been a big part of our sport and team for a long time and we're honored to carry them on the #18 for the foreseeable future."
    "Representing Mars, Inc's family of brands on the #18 since 2008 has been an honor, and knowing they are committed to JGR for the next several seasons is awesome," said Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Toyota. "Their support for me, my family and everyone at JGR has been incredible and this energizes me to work even harder for them and the team."(Joe Gibbs Racing PR), Mars had been sighed thru 2017, no word how long this deal is for.(11-17-2015)
    UPDATE Joe Gibbs Racing has locked in primary sponsor Mars for the next several years as driver Kyle Busch looks to win his first Sprint Cup championship this weekend. Mars, mostly through its M&M's brand, has sponsored Busch at JGR since 2008 and the extension will continue the JGR-Mars relationship at least through 2018. Specific terms were not announced, but Mars is expected to continue as primary sponsor for 32 of the 38 yearly events[36 points races, Sprint Unlimited, All-Star race]. Busch is signed with the team through at least 2017.(ESPN)(11-17-2015)
    UPDATE2: Kyle Busch will remain at Joe Gibbs Racing for the foreseeable future, as Busch confirmed he has signed a contract extension that correlates with the one the team announced Tuesday with sponsor Mars. Busch wouldn't give the exact length of what he called a multiple-year extension, but it is expected to run through at least 2019, considering he was already signed with JGR through the next couple of years. Busch also said he has a deal with Toyota that runs concurrently and includes support of his Kyle Busch Motorsports entries in the Camping World Truck Series.(ESPN)(11-20-2015)

  • Teams receive warnings at Phoenix: Six Sprint Cup teams - including championship contender #18-Kyle Busch's team - received warnings for inspection issues last weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, NASCAR announced Wednesday. Busch's team received its third warning after it failed pre-race inspection twice. If Busch's team receives a fourth warning before pit stalls are picked this weekend, his team will have to pick last for this weekend's season finale. Other Cup teams with three warnings entering this weekend are the teams of #4-Kevin Harvick, #7-Alex Bowman, #11-Denny Hamlin and #23-Jeb Burton.
    Other Cup teams receiving warnings at Phoenix:
    #10-Danica Patrick's team failed pre-race inspection three times and also will lose 15 minutes of practice Friday.
    #20-Matt Kenseth's team failed pre-race inspection three times and also will lose 15 minutes of practice Friday.
    #46-Michael Annett's team failed pre-race inspection three times and also will lose 15 minutes of practice Friday.
    #16-Greg Biffle's team received a warning after failing pre-race inspection twice.
    #27-Paul Menard's team received a warning after failing pre-race inspection twice.
    (NBC Sports)(11-19-2015)

  • Chase drivers to appear on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" tonight: The four NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship 4 drivers, #24-Jeff Gordon, #78-Martin Truex Jr., #4-Kevin Harvick and #18-Kyle Busch are scheduled to appear on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" Tuesday night, November 17th, scheduled for 11:35pm/et on NBC. Also scheduled to appear is singer Justin Bieber.(11-17-2015)

  • M&M's Renews with Joe Gibbs Racing UPDATE: On the cusp of his first potential NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship which would cap an amazing comeback season, #18-Kyle Busch and his team at Joe Gibbs Racing have even more reason to celebrate. Mars, Inc. finalized a multi-year contract extension with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) that will continue the winning alliance for the next several seasons. The new agreement with JGR cements one of the longest-standing and most successful partnerships not only in NASCAR, but in all of sports. Kyle Busch has piloted the #18 Toyota and dozens of Mars, Inc.'s iconic brands including M&M'S Brand, Snickers Brand, Skittles Brand, Double Mint Brand and Pedigree Brand to victory lane 29 times since 2008, as well as 15 poles and 142 top ten finishes. "In order to get to victory lane, you have to have the best team on and off the track," said William Clements, Vice President, Sponsorships, Mars. "Our partnership with JGR and Kyle has routinely delivered for us at the track, as well as in-store and with millions of fans. We look forward to the opportunity to continue to build upon this amazing partnership."
    "When working with a partner, collaboration, teamwork and a burning desire to win inspires us as a team, and Mars is the epitome of those qualities," added Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. "Their brands have been a big part of our sport and team for a long time and we're honored to carry them on the #18 for the foreseeable future."
    "Representing Mars, Inc's family of brands on the #18 since 2008 has been an honor, and knowing they are committed to JGR for the next several seasons is awesome," said Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Toyota. "Their support for me, my family and everyone at JGR has been incredible and this energizes me to work even harder for them and the team."(Joe Gibbs Racing PR), Mars had been sighed thru 2017, nmo word how long this deal is for.(11-17-2015)
    UPDATE Joe Gibbs Racing has locked in primary sponsor Mars for the next several years as driver Kyle Busch looks to win his first Sprint Cup championship this weekend. Mars, mostly through its M&M's brand, has sponsored Busch at JGR since 2008 and the extension will continue the JGR-Mars relationship at least through 2018. Specific terms were not announced, but Mars is expected to continue as primary sponsor for 32 of the 38 yearly events[36 points races, Sprint Unlimited, All-Star race]. Busch is signed with the team through at least 2017.(ESPN)(11-17-2015)

  • More issues with JGR cars thru tech inspection: For the second week in a row, three of the four Joe Gibbs Racing cars have had issues clearing NASCAR technical inspection. Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway, the cars of #18-Kyle Busch, #11-Denny Hamlin and #20-Erik Jones went through the tech inspection multiple times without being cleared by the NASCAR officials. The issue with Busch's car was with the rear end skew and the left rear toe, while the issue with Hamlin's car was with the camber. As of 1:05pm/et, the cars of Busch and Hamlin had cleared the inspection process, but crews were still working on Jones' #20 Toyota. By 1:20pm/et, Jones' car had cleared tech and was pushed to the starting grid. A NASCAR official said the three teams would not face a points penalty for Sunday's issue, and they would not confirm how many times the cars passed through the inspection process. Despite the issue, none of the three teams were penalized and were allowed to retain their starting spot on the grid.(FoxSports)(11-15-2015)

  • Splitters confiscated from Gibbs cars before Texas race UPDATE: The Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas driven by #11-Denny Hamlin, #18-Kyle Busch and #19-Carl Edwards were all forced to surrender their front splitters and replace them with ones that were unaltered as the cars rolled through pre-race inspection for the AAA Texas 500. NASCAR officials said the confiscated carbon-fiber splitters, "did not fit the gauges" and would be taken back to the NASCAR R&D Center in Concord, N.C. for further scrutiny. The splitter on the #20 car being driven by Erik Jones, who is subbing for the suspended Matt Kenseth, did not have any issues.
    A close inspection of photos taken by Kickin' the Tires appeared to show they were altered in a manner that made them look concaved. A source in the garage, who was watching the situation play out, explained that some type of resin or Bondo was used to misshape the splitters in a manner to let the car run lower to the track. The source said the resin would wear down easier and not impact the handling of the car as it went into the corners.
    The matter is similar to what happened with the Team Penske #2 and #22 cars at Michigan International Speedway earlier this year but those splitters hadn't been altered by adding resin, according to the source.(Kickin the Tires) See several photos at the site. If there are any penalties from NASCAR, they would likely be announced on Tuesday.(11-9-2015)
    UPDATE: No penalties to the JGR teams for the splitters NASCAR took before the race Sunday (ESPN's Bob Pockrass Twitter)(11-10-2015)

  • Kyle Busch says drivers involved impacts NASCAR penalties: Does the name of a driver or drivers involved have an impact on penalties issued by NASCAR? #18-Kyle Busch says it does. Busch believes NASCAR concerns itself more with the driver involved than the violation that occurred. Busch, who has had plenty of run-ins with NASCAR over on-track incidents in his career, was asked Sunday his opinion about Kenseth's actions toward Logano. "Did he do anything wrong? I don't know. Did he do anything right? I don't know," Busch said. "I think it all depends on whose name's above the door on whether or not you're allowed to do it." Busch said he wasn't sure NASCAR needed to necessarily curtail any of the actions taking place in recent races, but needed to enforce its rules consistently. "It's boys being boys right now. You got to be consistent. I definitely feel NASCAR is very consistent in being inconsistent on calls," he said. "I think it's 'BS.' "They better - I say 'They better', but they don't have to listen to me for squat. Really doesn't matter what I say." Asked on pit road after the race if he would be racing next week at Texas if he had done the same thing as Kenseth on Sunday, Busch simply said, "Nope."(Motorsport)(11-2-2015)

  • Halloween scheme for Kyle Busch at Kansas: As Halloween quickly approaches, there was a time not long ago where the scariest thing for Kyle Busch in October was the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stop at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. But Busch, driver of the #18 M&M'S Halloween Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing, heads to Kansas for Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 coming off a third-place finish during his most recent trip there last October. On top of that, Busch was able to test at the 1.5-mile oval last month with crew chief Adam Stevens and his M&M'S team.(Joe Gibbs Racing), see an image of the car on the #18 team paint schemes page.(10-16-2015)

  • Drivers not happy with track cleanup UPDATE NASCAR comments: #18-Kyle Busch and #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. were angry at NASCAR for what they felt was a lousy job cleaning up the track in the top of the groove between Turns 1 and 2 from a #51-Justin Allgaier oil spill on lap 182 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Both drivers hit the wall as they tried to put themselves in position to finish on the lead lap. Earnhardt, one lap down, ended up in the wall shortly before lap 200 and wound up four laps down in 28th. Busch hit it about 15 laps later, finishing one lap down in 20th. "You can't pass anybody -- it's a single-lane race track and then [a driver] put oil on the top lane [where we] to try to make anything happen and then you put yourself in the fence -- so thanks to NASCAR for cleaning that up," Busch said sarcastically.
    NASCAR Sprint Cup Series director Richard Buck said NASCAR had cleanup workers actually walk the areas where drivers complained about oil, and they felt no oil, just the kitty litter-type absorbent. Earnhardt said NASCAR might have missed the oil because of shadows on the track, but Buck said workers and the pace-car driver did not feel any oil. "I've raced this [stuff] for 20 years," Earnhardt said. "I know what oil and [the absorbent] Speedi Dri is. We hit fluid, flew into the freaking wall hard. That's not Speedi Dri. There was oil up there. ... I hit the f---ing wall. I know I hit oil. I hit it. I promise. I'll argue with them all day long because I know I'm right."(ESPN)(10-11-2015)
    UPDATE: A NASCAR executive said Monday that officials will talk to Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Busch about their insistence they hit oil in Sunday's Bank of America 500 after the track surface had been examined. Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR executive VP and chief racing development officer, addressed the matter on "The Morning Drive" on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. "In this case, we did not see oil,'' O'Donnell said. "I can't debate Kyle and (Earnhardt), they're in the race cars. If they say they hit it, it's not something that we saw out there. We'll continue to talk to them and see what maybe we can improve on in the future. We had personnel even out on the track, getting down on almost their hands and knees to make sure there wasn't any.'' O'Donnell said series officials thoroughly examined the track during the cautions. "Under any caution and condition, we obviously send out all the safety equipment to look and see if there is any oil from their perspective on the track,'' O'Donnell said. "We did that in this case. We had (pace car driver) Brett Bodine run through it multiple times and confirm back up to race control that the track was in good shape to go ahead and restart. Hopefully, there wasn't any. We go out there and we go check and did our process multiple times and they did not see any. Ultimately, we're not in the car and driving the car. From our view, the race was in good shape to get restarted and it always has to be before we go back green. That's where we were and felt like we did everything we could to ensure that the race track was in a safe condition.''(NBC Sports)(10-13-2015)

  • Pit road tangle ruins Charlotte race for both Kyles-Busch and Larson: #42-Kyle Larson was running second, and #18-Kyle Busch third, approaching pit road after NASCAR called the eighth caution of Sunday's Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway because of fluid on the track. Busch feinted toward pit road, as he often does in similar situations. But as Busch steered his #18 Toyota to the right of the commitment cone at the entrance to pit road, Larson suddenly turned his #42 Chevy into Busch's path. Busch's car sustained minor damage, and Larson's spun on pit road, but both drivers drew commitment line violations that would send them to the back of the field for the subsequent restart on Lap 201 of 334. Neither driver recovered from the incident, as their winning chances disappeared with the contact. Busch subsequently slid in oil in the high groove and further hurt his car during contact with the outside wall.
    "We stayed out there on that caution and Kyle faked like he was coming, and the 42 (Larson) in front of us, he was on the opposite end of the commitment cone and there was no way he was going to make it," Busch's crew chief, Adam Stevens, said after the race. He (Larson) panicked. I don't know what happened there, but them two came together. Then we were behind the eight ball at that point, but still going to have a good day, and the track had a little bit of oil on it, didn't get cleaned up as well-which a lot of people were talking about on the radio. Kyle slipped in it and fenced it, and that's what really did us in."
    Larson said he got contradictory instructions on his radio. "They told me to do what everybody around me was doing, and the #22 (race winner Joey Logano) was staying out, so I was committed to staying out," Larson said. "And as soon as I turned right to stay out they said 'Pit, pit, pit.'
    "I hung a left and Kyle (Busch) was there. I feel really terrible to ruin their day, and hopefully it didn't hurt their chances of transferring through this round (of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup). I know they deserved a top-three finish for sure. I felt awful immediately and still do. I hate it."
    Busch salvaged a 20th-place finish, but he's 10 points out of eighth place, the position that will transfer from the Chase's Contender Round to the Eliminator Round. "Just can't say enough about my guys - all the work that they put into these things," Busch said. "They don't deserve to be put in these situations year in, year out, but we are for some reason. But it's tough, and we're going to have to battle through with what we've got right now. I can't say enough about what they did on pit road getting us back salvageable."(NASCAR Wire Service)(10-11-2015)

  • Kyle and Samantha Busch raise money for breast cancer patients: For the third year, the Kyle Busch Foundation raised money to help the North Carolina-based Pretty in Pink Foundation award grants to what they call "champions" - people who are fighting breast cancer. This year, Busch and wife Samantha raised enough money - $57,000 - to help with medical expenses for 22 patients (21 women and one man). In three years, the foundation has raised more than $200,000 and helped 76 people fighting breast cancer. Busch sponsor Mars hosted six of the champions - the others were not healthy enough to attend - in its suite overlooking Charlotte Motor Speedway's Turn 4 on Saturday night. "It's neat to be able to help them out and give them a fresh breath of air and maybe even a fresh breath of life," Kyle Busch told USA TODAY Sports. "Hopefully they can enjoy a great day of not having to worry about things and think about things, and just kind of let loose a little bit." The Pretty in Pink Foundation assists under-insured or uninsured patients with their medical costs, which include things like radiation treatments, chemotherapy and doctor visit co-pays. Kyle and Samantha Busch founded the organization online a few years ago and reached out, saying they wanted to help. "Sometimes they get labeled as 'breast cancer patients,' but we want them to be able to go back to their other lives," Samantha said. "They never worry about themselves; they always talk about how it affects their family or friends. To be able to give them some small peace of mind, that's what's special."(see full story at the USA Today)(10-12-2015)

  • 2015 Joe Gibbs Racing Fall FanFest Scheduled for October 9: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) Fall FanFest will be held this Friday, October 9 from 9 AM to 1 PM at its team headquarters in Huntersville, NC. JGR drivers Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones, Kenny Habul, and Matt Tift 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 AM on Friday morning, wristbands for each driver will be distributed in separate lines. No wristbands will be required for Suarez, Jones, Habul, and Tift or the JGRMX riders, who will be on hand to sign from 9 AM to 10:30 AM.
    The complete driver autograph schedule for Friday, October 9 is as follows:
    9 AM Kyle Busch
    9:30 AM Matt Kenseth
    10 AM Denny Hamlin
    11 AM Carl Edwards
    9-10:30 AM Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones, Kenny Habul, Matt Tift
    9-10:30 AM JGRMX Riders: Justin Barcia, Weston Peick, Phil Nicoletti
    The fourth annual JGR Fan Fest Car and Motorcycle Show will be from 9 AM until 1 PM (registration begins at 7 AM and judging concludes at 11 AM with awards presented at 1 PM). 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: joegibbsracing.com/fanfest. Funds raised from JGR Fall FanFest will be donated to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).(JGR)(10-7-2015)

  • Pretty in Pink M&M's scheme on the #18 at Charlotte: When the 43 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers take the green flag on October 10 at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Bank of America 500, Kyle Busch's race car may look a little different than usual. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and all those who are affected, Busch will be driving the #18 M&M'S Pink Toyota. Joe Gibbs Racing will donate a portion of the proceeds from every diecast sold to the North Carolina-based Pretty in Pink Foundation. The Pretty in Pink Foundation serves people diagnosed with breast cancer who have limited or no health insurance benefits. Busch fans can now order an Action Racing Collectables die-cast of his #18 M&M'S Pink Toyota from Lionel Racing. See an image of the scheme on the #18 Team Schemes page.(10-4-2015)

  • #18 JGR team makes pit crew change UPDATES: The #18 Joe Gibbs Racing team and longtime front tire changer Nick Odell have parted ways. Odell was changing this past weekend in the Chase opener at Chicagoland in a race in which Kyle Busch finished ninth. This is an unusual development considering the timing and that the #18 pit crew has been intact for eight years and is a tightly knit group. This has been regarded as one of the best pit crews for years, and Odell is a great talent. Josh Lesley will replace Odell as the front changer this weekend in the second race of the Challenger Round at New Hampshire (NASCAR.com/PitTalks)(9-22-2015)
    UPDATE Odell to the #24? Ex #18 Joe Gibbs Racing tire changer Nick Odell is close to a deal with Hendrick Motorsports and the #24 team. After the news last Monday that Odell had been released by JGR, almost every team on pit road had some level of interest in talking with him. After sitting out Loudon, PitTalks sources say Odell is very close to finalizing his deal with HMS. If this deal goes down, then front tire changer Scott Brzozowski of the #24 becomes the man in question. Brzozowski came over to HMS a few years back after spending time on the #39 of Ryan Newman. HMS has four teams and Brzozowski is a top talent, seeing where he fits in will be the next piece in the puzzle. As far as when Odell starts changing tires for the #24, no idea. Supposedly the deal is almost done but we have not confirmed with HMS to verify.(PitTalks)(9-29-2015)
    UPDATE 2: Nick Odell, who had served as #18-Kyle Busch's longtime front tire changer, will be #24-Jeff Gordon's front tire changer this weekend at Dover International Speedway. Front tire changer Scott Brzozowski, who had been on Gordon's team, moves to #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s pit crew. Brzozowski replaces Dave Mayo, who returns to a backup role. Mayo was elevated to Earnhardt's pit crew before the Chase.(NBC Sports)(10-3-2015)

  • Kyle Busch clinches Chase spot: Now, the debate can begin: Is a driver who misses nearly a third of the season worthy of being a champion? #18-Kyle Busch will get the chance to accomplish that after clinching a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup after Sunday night's Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. That he did is remarkable after missing the first 11 races of the season because of a broken right leg and fractured left foot in the season-opening Xfinity race at Daytona International Speedway. Busch admits he wondered about his chances of making the Chase even with NASCAR granting an exemption that a driver must qualify for every race to be Chase eligible. "We weren't looking so good after Michigan," Busch said of the 43rd-place finish in the June race, which marked his second finish of 36th or worse in his first four races back. "It was really doom and gloom. I was bumming. I just wasn't sure what to do. I wasn't sure what was going on. It took a little bit of that time to get the rust knocked off, I guess. It's probably the longest I've been out of the race car in my life. That was a tough lick." He responded by winning the following week at Sonoma Raceway, starting a stretch where he won four of the next five races to make it realistic that he would climb into the top 30 in points - another requirement to be in the Chase.(NBC Sports)(9-7-2015)

  • Joe Gibbs Racing Launches Pit Road with Pals Game App: Joe Gibbs Racing announced the launch of their new interactive pit crew competition app: Pit Road with Pals. The new version of the popular pit stop game is now available for download on all Apple and Android devices. Pit Road With Pals App is a free app and provides fans the opportunity to test their skills in all facets of a pit stop. New to this version is the opportunity to play with friends in a best-of-three round competition style similar to many popular word games.(more info and links on JGRs Facebook page)(8-27-2015)

  • #18 Crew Chief not happy with speeding penalty, comments: A late speeding penalty on pit road likely cost #18-Kyle Busch a chance at victory in Saturday's Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Busch led a race-high 192 laps (out of 500) and finished eighth. He did not talk to the media afterward. In his stead, crew chief Adam Stevens discussed the costly penalty.
    Q) How frustrating is it to have the speeding penalty happen on the final pit stop?
    Stevens: "It's frustrating. We put another car on the track that's capable of winning and it's tough to do. We've been able to do it I don't know how many weeks in a row. We had a race-winning car at Watkins Glen and Pocono and just keep coming up short. This one's on us. We made a mistake at Pocono, we weren't aggressive enough at Watkins Glen and now just make a mistake on pit road. We had a loose wheel and we battled back from that and then you speed on the last stop - you can't win if you speed on the last stop. That's all there is to it."
    Q) What were you told about the section where NASCAR reported you were speeding?
    Stevens: "They (NASCAR) told us that we were speeding in section five - our pit box is in section five. You can't speed if you're stopped on pit road. That could have just been - maybe they meant to say a different number, I don't know, but there is no earthly way that you can speed in the segment that your pit stall is in, it's not possible."(Toyota Racing/NBC Sports)(8-23-2015)

  • Kyle Busch's 7 race hot streak: A mere 11 races after returning from a broken leg and foot suffered in February, #18-Kyle Busch has cracked the top 30 in the points standings and is now eligible for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Busch will qualify for NASCAR's playoffs if he can remain in the top 30 at the end of next month's Richmond race. Busch currently mans the 30th spot in the driver standings, six points ahead of 31st-place #35-Cole Whitt and one point behind 29th-place #51-Justin Allgaier. The #18 Toyota driver started off slow with just one top-10 finish in his first four races back (Pocono), but has been on an absolute tear since, winning four of the last seven races along with a runner-up. Over the last seven races Busch has dominated a majority of the statistical categories, leading the series in wins (4), driver rating (116.3), laps led (317) and points (283). No other driver has multiple wins during the span. #2-Brad Keselowski's 209 laps led marks the next-best total, while #4-Kevin Harvick's 107.5 driver rating is the second highest. The 283 points are 22 more than #22-Joey Logano's second-best total (261). Busch's run of wins has overshadowed the consistency of some other drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Harvick and Joey Logano rank tied with Busch with five top-five finishes over the seven-race span. Furthermore, Harvick and Kurt Busch lead with six top 10s each in the last seven races compared to Busch's five. Keselowski, Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth also claim five top 10s.(NASCAR)(8-13-2015)

  • Kyle Busch talks more about running out of gas at Pocono: #18-Kyle Busch talked to the media Friay morning at Watkins Glen and was asked about running out of gas on the final lap at Pocono:
    Q: Have you talked with your team about running out of fuel at Pocono last week?
    Busch: "Of course Adam (Stevens, crew chief) and I talked about it this week and I went in Tuesday morning and watching a couple of the NASCAR shows this week and heard some of the commentators kind of beating up on me about not saving fuel and listening to my crew chief. My crew chief told me I did nothing wrong. He told me that we were not short on fuel, that we were two-thirds of a lap to the good and he was not asking me to save fuel, but once I couldn't really catch the #22 (Joey Logano) to just save in case there was a yellow - save the car, save the tires, save the brakes, save all the stuff, the mechanics of the race car. So in case we did have a shootout at the end that I would be ready for it. It wasn't until the 22 bunch started getting on Joey about saving fuel with about seven (laps) to go that then I heard my first, 'Okay, save fuel.' By then, you're not going to save what you need in seven laps, you're not going to have the opportunity to do that. I could have if I would have gotten, what I told Adam, the harp. At the Brickyard we were short on fuel and Adam told me, 'Hey, save fuel.' I asked him then again, 'Are you sure?' He goes, 'Yeah bud, there's absolutely going to be no checkered flag for us if you don't save fuel.' The tone was quite higher than that. We obviously have real good communication with one another and we weren't short and for some reason we ended up being short that last run and we know the reason why now, but we didn't know at that particular point."(Toyota Racing PR)(8-8-2015)

  • Erik Jones to run some Cup races next season; full-time in future: Coach Joe Gibbs shed light on Erik Jones' NASCAR career arc Tuesday morning, saying that a full XFINITY Series schedule and some Sprint Cup events were planned for 2016. Gibbs, appearing on "The Morning Drive on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, said that advancing the 19-year-old driver through the NASCAR development ladder was a top priority at Joe Gibbs Racing. "We look at Erik as a big part of our future," Gibbs told SiriusXM, "and we've got a plan laid out and it's not something we've talked about in public, but we all kind of know inside of our racing organization, and with his parents and his agent ... is just great. So we've talked over a plan, and basically the plan next year would be a full XFINITY season and try and run for a championship there and also to, in all likelihood, have him in some Cup races so that would be the goal for next year." Gibbs, 74, said plans to get Jones into a full-time ride are taking shape, though his organization currently stands at the NASCAR-mandated maximum of four teams, with Busch, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth on the JGR driver roster. "We've got a plan laid out in the future, and it's something we can't, you know, we don't want to talk about now, but there is no question -- this guy, Erik's headed for Cup," Gibbs said with a laugh. "He's headed for Cup and we've got a path charted that we think is the best to get him ready and to fulfill his goal of being in a Cup car as quick as we can get him there."(NASCAR.com)(8-4-2015)

  • Kyle Busch skipping Watkins Glen XFINITY race: Kyle Busch won't compete in that event this week as he continues to recover from injuries he suffered at the start of the season. Boris Said will drive Busch's car in the Xfinity race. Busch broke his right leg and left foot in a crash in the season-opening Xfinity race at Daytona International Speedway in February. The only road course he has run this year was at Sonoma Raceway, winning the Sprint Cup race there. Busch was scheduled to compete in the Xfinity race at Watkins Glen this weekend but car owner Joe Gibbs said the decision was made to change his schedule. "He feels like Watkins Glen is more of a challenge than Sonoma," Gibbs said. "I feel like there's times when I get out of the car just putting weight back in my feet sometimes it hurts after race days and stuff like that," he said. "With Watkins Glen coming up (this) week, that's going to be another hard one to get through. That's going to be a tough challenge for myself and the left foot, but we'll make it and I'm sure we'll be okay just like Sonoma. It will be sore on Monday afterwards and we'll continue to ice it and make it feel better."(NBC Sports)(8-4-2015)

  • Kyle Busch runs out of fuel with 1/2 lap to go while leading: #18-Kyle Busch was leading the Windows 10 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway on the final lap, heading towards his 4th consecutive race win, when his #18 Crispy M&M's Toyota ran out of fuel. Busch finished 21st, down one lap, leaving Busch 13 points out of the top 30 in driver points and a spot in the Chase. Busch's comments:
    Q) How disappointed are you not to get your fourth straight win after running out of fuel on the final lap leading the race?
    Busch: "Yeah, that was it. I didn't know we were that close. Normally when we're close or that close I get harped on pretty hard to save fuel. They were just telling me to save just to not put too much pressure on the car and everything else. Man, that's a bummer. I wish I would've saved a little more there that last run. I wish I would've known that the 22 (Joey Logano) was that far away from making it. He was way far away from making it. Man, that was just a shame that we weren't able to get it done there. But, this M&M's Crispy Camry again I can't thank my guys enough -- Adam Stevens (crew chief) and everybody. We've got fast race cars right now so congratulations to Matt Kenseth for winning today for Joe Gibbs Racing and everybody at home can continue the celebration although it's not the right JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) car for the 18 it's certainly good for the company."
    Q) How are you feeling about qualifying for the Chase as you are 13 points out of 30th place in the point standings?
    Busch: "Was I in before we ran out? We would be celebrating a win and a Chase berth. We got greedy, I don't know how greedy but that's the position we're in. If it came down to other things that we haven't had the success that we've had here lately we would've had to have pitted and just made the opportunity of it and made the best finish that we could. But, we went for broke today and come up a little bit short so can't fault the team."
    Did you think you had enough fuel to earn your fourth consecutive victory?
    Busch: "I thought it was. I didn't know we were that short on making it on fuel and by the time I got notice that the 22 (Joey Logano) was going to run out. He was pretty much out, but by then to try to save that much gas in the last three laps of the race that just wasn't going to be feasible. I didn't know we were that close. I wish that maybe I had a little bit better heads up but I can't fault these guys for trying and going for broke. We're in the position we're in for a reason and that's because of fast race cars and today we probably could've made a few different choices there through the last run and made it and won this thing again but that just wasn't to be. This M&M's Crispy Camry was awesome today though. Really fast car. I thought I was faster than Joey (Logano), I just couldn't get there in traffic. I got real loose behind him and the closer I would get to him so I just couldn't make anything of it."
    Q) Do you think you are okay being 13 points out of 30th in the point standings?
    Busch: "Ah, we're fine. If I would've won today we'd be in and celebrating a win and a Chase berth."(Toyota Racing)(8-3-2015)

  • Kyle Busch going for 4th consecutive win: #18-Kyle Busch took the checkered flag at Indianapolis on Sunday for his third straight victory as well as his fourth in the last five races. In the Chase Era, Jimmie Johnson is the only other driver to log three or more consecutive wins. Johnson strung together four straight victories in the 2007 Chase on his way to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship and won three consecutive races in the 2004 Chase. Busch is the first driver in the Chase Era to win three consecutive races during the regular season. Jeff Gordon is the only other active driver to win three consecutive races. He has achieved the feat on three occasions. Gordon captured four straight victories in 1998, in addition to three straight in 1996 and from 1998-99. Busch has 33 NSCS wins since his career began in 2004, the second most in the Chase Era behind Johnson's 68.(NASCAR), see the full list of drivers who have won three or more consecutive races on Jayski.com's All-Time Wins page.(7-29-2015)

  • Kyle Bush talked to Stewart about injury: #18-Kyle Busch talked to the media Saturday morning at Indy, the transcript in part:
    Q) What was your mindset after the accident and did you speak with Tony Stewart about his injury?
    Busch: "Tony (Stewart) was actually the first one to the hospital -- as soon as the Daytona 500 was over he was there. He actually told everybody that was on his plane that they were going to wait. He was there for about four hours. We had a good talk, we had a good discussion about just what it was like and the process that he had to go through and how long it was probably going to be or what it was going to be. In all reality, our injuries were the same but entirely different. His was much more severe than mine. Just being able to talk with him, my mindset was okay. At first I was like, 'I'm never going to race again and I don't know what I'm going to do,' all those things go through your mind. You just continue to power through and listen to your doctors and those that are around you and of course my wife and the support system that I had. I wouldn't call it painless, there was certainly a lot of pain, but it went really, really well as far as you could say any injury healing goes. I was pretty pleased with everything."(Toyota Racing)(7-28-2015)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Indianapolis: #18-Kyle Busch won the Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for his 4th win of the season, 1st win at Indianapolis, and 33rd career win. It his 3rd win in a row and 4th win in the last five races. It is also Toyota's first win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and breaks a 12 race winning streak for Chevy.
    The race ended under a green-white-checkered finish after a late caution when #6-Bayne spun.
    #22-Logano finished 2nd followed by #4-Harvick, #78-Truex, Jr., #11-Hamlin, #15-Bowyer, #20-Kenseth, #41-Busch, #42-Larson, and #2-Keselowski
    Harvick's driver points lead is unchanged, he's 69 points ahead of #22-Logano.
    Pole sitter #19-Edwards ran near the front most of the day, but go loose on a late restart and fell back into traffic. He finished 13th.
    #24-Gordon, making his final Brickyard start, spun out and hit the wall. He had to go to the garage for repairs and finished 42nd.
    Busch is now 32nd in the points standings and just 23 points out of 30th. He must be in the top 30 in points to be eligible for the Chase. He now needs around a 24th place average finish to make the top 30 in the 6 remaining races before the Chase begins.
    There were 16 lead changes among 6 drivers. There were 9 cautions for 36 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 131.656mph.
    See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Penalty Report (pdf) and Lap Summary Report (pdf).
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).(7-26-2015)

  • Kyle Busch wins at New Hampshire: #18-Kyle Busch won the 5-hour ENERGY 301 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for his 3rd win of the season, 2nd win at New Hampshire, and 32nd career win. He has now won 3 of the last 4 races.
    #2-Keselowski finished 2nd followed by #4-Harvick, #22-Logano, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #20-Kenseth, polesitter #19-Edwards, #3-Dillon, #24-Gordon, and #41-Busch.
    Harvick increases his driver's points lead to 69 points over #22-Logano.
    Busch is now 33rd in the points standings and just 58 points out of 30th. He must be in the top 30 in points to be eligible for the Chase. He has gained 70 points on 30th in the last 2 weeks and now needs around a 19th place average finish to make the top 30 in the 7 remaining races before the Chase begins.
    There were 10 lead changes among 7 drivers. There were 7 cautions for 34 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 108.504mph.
    See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Penalty Report (pdf) and Lap Summary Report (pdf).
    See the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf).(7-19-2015)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Kentucky: #18-Kyle Busch won the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway for his 2nd win of the season, 2nd win at Kentucky, and 31st career win. He led 163 of the 267 laps.
    #22-Logano finished 2nd followed by #11-Hamlin, #19-Edwards, #20-Kenseth, #2-Keselowski, #24-Gordon, #4-Harvick, #48-Johnson, and #41-Busch.
    #42-Larson, who started from the pole, had to pit for a tire rub with 50 laps to go, then made contact with the wall and finished 35th.
    Harvick increases the drivers points lead to 68 points. #48-Johnson and #22-Logano are tied for 2nd.
    Busch is now just 87 points out of 30th (to get in the Chase) and needs around a 17th place average finish to crack the top 30 in the 8 races before the Chase.
    There were 13 lead changes among 8 drivers. There were 11 cautions for 49 yellow flag laps. The 11 cautions are a record at Kentucky Speedway.
    The average speed was 129.402mph.
    See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Penalty Report (pdf) and Lap Summary Report (pdf).
    See the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf)(7-11-2015)

  • Kyle Busch not back to 100% yet: #18-Kyle Busch talked to the media Friday at Kentucky Speedway and was asked how he is feeling:
    How far back to 100 percent are you in health?
    Busch: "When I'm inside the race car, I feel like I'm 100 percent. I feel like I'm fine for the things I have to do and all the abilities that I have to have to drive a car - I feel like I'm at 100 percent. Walking around here, I can't. They haven't approved me to go running yet. If you say me being able to go for a run is 100 percent, I'm probably 85."(Toyota Racing)(7-11-2015)

  • Kyle Busch comments on Daytona safety improvements: Toyota NSCS Daytona Kyle Busch Notes & Quotes:
    Q) Do you feel safer at Daytona with the safety improvements that have been implemented?
    Busch: "I wouldn't say you ever feel safe, but you're certainly grateful for the opportunity with the race tracks - not just Daytona, but all the race tracks to continue to work on the evolution of safety as well as NASCAR, the work that they've done throughout the years with the seats and the HANS device and our restraints and everything. I'm grateful that the Daytona International Speedway was as complimentary as they were after the crash here in the spring. They wanted to fix it and they wanted to do everything they could do in their power to make sure everything was done right here at the speedway and to make it first class. I think they've done that. I think there's certainly always room for improvements - any facility you go to, I feel like there's room for improvement. Seeing those done here at Daytona was really good."
    Have you been able to visit the area of the race track where you made impact?
    Busch: "Actually Joie Chitwood (track president) and NASCAR invited me early to take a ride around and just kind of take a look at some of the things that they've done. We went early yesterday, just after lunch and was able to take a look at some of those things. Actually got out of the van that we were in and just walked the area a little bit, kind of looked at some things and made some more suggestions of what else they could kind of look at and try to make improvements to. They were all well receptive and I think it was a good thing that we did that. Hopefully again, we can just continue to see the evolution of safety at all these race tracks continue to expand."
    Q) Did you have any suggestions for Joie Chitwood beyond removing the grass and paving that area?
    Busch: "Yeah, there's a little bit more of an opening over there in the area in which I crashed that we'd all kind of like to see get closed up some. They have a challenge there with the road course obviously having safer barriers there and everything kind of going on. So, we'd love to be able to see that area continue to be closed up more like it is off of turn four. Turn four has got a small gap over there where the safety workers and their vehicles can come in and out. That was the only other suggestion and obviously of course the grass is an issue that I think a lot of the drivers would echo my statements on."(Toyota Racing)(7-5-2015)

  • Changes made at Daytona crash scene: The section of Daytona International Speedway where Kyle Busch broke his left foot and right leg in February will look quite different this weekend. The speedway has reconfigured the inside wall with a combination of SAFER barrier and tire barriers near Turn 1, the entrance to the track's road course. That's where Busch smacked a concrete wall section Feb. 21, causing injuries that threatened to sideline him for the 2015 season. The new wall is positioned so that a skid into it would be shorter and make impact at a less dangerous angle. The speedway also paved over the grassy area that Busch slid through, as pavement offers more resistance than grass in a skid. That area isn't the only new area with SAFER barrier at the track. Daytona now has SAFER barrier around the entire outside wall, not just in the turns. It has added SAFER barrier to the inside pit wall just beyond pit road -- an area that Kevin Harvick hit in 2014 -- but needs to add some SAFER barrier in the turns to make the track completely covered.(see image of the wall at ESPN)(7-3-2015)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Sonoma: #18-Kyle Busch won the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway for his 1st win of the season, 2nd win at Sonoma, 4th road course win and 30th career win. It is crew chief Adam Stevens' first Sprint Series win as a crew chief.
    #41-Busch finished 2nd followed by #15-Bowyer, #4-Harvick, #22-Logano, #48-Johnson, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #5-Kahne, #31-Newman and #9-Hornish Jr.
    #48-Johnson led late in the race when the caution came out for #13-Mears broken axle. Most of the leaders pitted but Johnson stayed out. After the restart, #18-Busch started 7th, passing five cars before catching Johnson on lap 106 to take the lead and held off his brother, #41-Busch to win the race. Johnson finished 6th. It was the first time then Busch brothers have finished 1-2 in their Sprint Cup Series careers.
    Pole winner #47-Allmendinger led 1 lap and ran up front most of the day until having fuel problems on lap 60. Allmendinger's team made repairs and he came back out to finish 37th, 12 laps off the pace.
    Harvick increases the drivers points lead to 53 points over #78-Truex Jr. who finished 42nd after an early wreck.
    #18-Busch now has 125 points and is 37rth in drivers points. To get in the Chase, he needs to be in the top 30.
    Busch is 136 points out of 30th and needs around a 14th average finish to crack the top 30 in the 10 races before the Chase.
    There were 9 lead changes among 5 drivers. There were 5 cautions for 21 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 74.774mph.
    See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Penalty Report (pdf) and Lap Summary Report (pdf).
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).(6-28-2015)

  • Brother's Back-to-back wins: With #18-Kyle Busch's win at Sonoma on June 28, 2015 and #41-Kurt Busch's win the race before at Michigan, the Busch brothers have now won back-to-back races seven times, the most by any brother duo in NASCAR history:
    Back-To-Back Victories
    Kurt, Kyle Busch - 7
    Tim, Fonty Flock - 3
    Bobby, Donnie Allison - 2
    Tim and Bob Flock - 2
    Bobby, Terry Labonte - 2
    Brett, Geoff Bodine - 1
    Bob, Fonty Flock - 1
    Donald, Herb Thomas - 1.(6-28-2015)

  • What Kyle Busch needs to do to make Chase: Heading into Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway, #18-Kyle Busch is 39th in points, 173 points behind 30th-place #51-Justin Allgaier. If Allgaier keeps accumulating points at his current rate, he'll have roughly 435 points when the regular-season ends. That, in turn, means that to catch Allgaier, Busch will have to average a 12th-place finish in the next 11 races. Considering that in the four races Busch has run since returning from a compound fracture of the lower right leg and a midfoot fracture of the left foot, his average finish is 24.75, it's safe to say Busch has his work cut out for him. Plus Busch has to win a race.(FoxSports)(6-25-2015)

  • Jones youngest driver to win two races in a weekend: 19-year old Erik Jones is the youngest driver to win two NASCAR national series races in the same weekend. Jones won Friday's Camping World Truck Series race at Iowa Speedway and then won the XFINITY Series race at Chicago on Sunday (NASCAR). After doing some research, it looks like Jones is the first driver since 2008 to win a National Series race in the same weekend at different tracks. Carl Edwards won the XFINITY Series race at Memphis on 10/25/2008 and then won the Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta on 10/26/2008.(6-23-2015)

  • Wreck Dims Kyle Busch's Chase Hopes: If #18-Kyle Busch wants to make the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, he needs to rack up points. And he needs to rack them up fast. Yes, he also needs a win in the next 11 races. Busch's Chase hopes took a hit when he smacked into the wall on a Lap 52 restart at Michigan, causing him to finish 43rd. He ranks 39th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points standings after missing the first 11 races of the season due to foot and leg injuries. To make NASCAR's playoffs, Busch must finish the regular season 30th in the points standings and win a race prior to the Chase opener at Chicagoland Speedway. Right now, he trails Justin Allgaier in the 30th position by 173 points. In four races since his return, Busch has posted finishes of 11th at Charlotte, 36th at Dover, ninth at Pocono and 43rd at Michigan.(NASCAR)(6-21-2015)

  • NASCAR issues warnings to four teams: Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Hendrick Motorsports #88 team was one of four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams that received written warnings for pre-qualifying or pre-race inspection issues this past weekend at Michigan International Speedway. THe #88 team needed three trips to clear pre-race inspection leading into Sunday's Quicken Loans 400. The Joe Gibbs Racing entries of #18-Kyle Busch and #19-Carl Edwards, along with that of Phil Parsons Racing with driver #98-Josh Wise, had issues in pre-qualifying inspection, and made more than two trips through the line before heading out to pit road on Friday. Failing to pass either pre-qualifying or pre-race inspection twice results in a written warning from the sanctioning body; failing a third time will result in a 15-minute loss of practice penalty at the next scheduled event. In March, teams were notified that beginning with the Phoenix race weekend, the series' fourth race, any vehicle failing qualifying inspection more than twice would be subject to a 15-minute practice penalty.
    Officials began issuing written warnings prior to this year's race at Richmond International Raceway due to the number of teams requiring multiple passes through inspections. It was noted at that time that had the policy been in place the previous week, when the series was at Bristol Motor Speedway, it would have resulted in nine written warnings and three teams would have received time penalties. Since the policy was adopted, there have 44 written warnings issued to Sprint Cup teams. The warnings are a part of NASCAR's 2015 Deterrence Policy, which categorizes infractions (Level 1 through Level 6) and the applicable penalties.
    If the same team receives two warnings during the same event, or during two consecutive events, the P1 penalties may include last choice in the pit selection process, a deduction in track time for practice or qualifying, a delay in the order of inspection or selection for post-race inspection.
    If a team or member receives six or more warnings during a six-month period (from the time of the first warning), the penalty may be increased to P2. P2 level penalty options may include the loss of 10 championship driver and owner points and/or a fine not less than $10,000 and not more than $25,000. P2 level infractions also carry the potential for suspensions and probation.(NASCAR)(6-18-2015)

  • Kyle Busch's Chase chances take a hit: The debate on if a driver who misses 11 races deserves to have a chance to be in the Chase for the Sprint Cup might become moot after #18-Kyle Busch finished last - his second finish of 36th or worse since returning to the car last month. Busch said on the radio after the incident that he crashed when he hit rain in Turn 4. Call it bad luck that Busch was the one who crashed in that situation but it leaves him way behind in his bid to earn a Chase bid. He must win one of the remaining 11 races before the Chase field is determined and be in the top 30 in points by then. #51-Justin Allgaier is 30th in points and on pace to score 435 points by the time the Chase field is set. Busch needs a win (at least 47 points) and then would need to average about a 13th-place finish in the other 10 races to match Allgaier's projected total. Busch's chances are dropping.(NBC Sports)(6-15-2015)

  • Kyle Busch feels good after 600 miles: #18-Kyle Busch finished 11th in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It was his first points race back since the XFINTIY Series accident at Daytona in February. Busch missed 11 races. Busch started the race in 17th position, running in the top-10 most of the race running as high as second on lap 295. But the handling went away just a bit for Busch following his lap-329 pit stop, and he dropped back to fifth with 33 laps remaining in the 400-lap race. Busch pitted for the final time for four tires and fuel with 21 laps to go, but the aforementioned six cars made it the rest of the way on fuel, turning Busch's possible fifth-place finish into an 11th place finish. Busch Discusses the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte:
    "I feel pretty good. All in all, I felt like that was a great race for us with our Skittles Camry. We ran really strong. We ran up front, and we showed we had some speed. You know, it certainly is frustrating to finish where we did. That's disappointing. But sometimes you do win these things by fuel mileage races, so congratulations to our teammates, Carl (Edwards) and Matt (Kenseth). They finished up front there. But all in all, I can't say enough about everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing and just all of our partners that have stuck behind me, with Skittles here and M&M's Crispy, SNICKERS, Pedigree, Interstate Batteries and Toyota. Everyone pulling for me and cheering for me and helping me get back into this racecar, and to get out there and have a strong run means a lot. I'm really proud of my guys. Adam Stevens (crew chief) made some great calls tonight and got ourselves in some really good spots and up toward the front. We raced up toward the front. We battled side-by-side, door-to-door with guys for a little while and it felt good."(JGR/TrueSpeed)(5-25-2015)

  • Congrats - Kyle Busch: from Kyle Busch's Facebook: "Samantha Busch and I are happy to announce the birth of our son Brexton Locke Busch. Born 5/18 at 9:45pm weighing 7lbs 10oz and 21 inches long. Mom and baby are doing great!"(5-19-2015)

  • Kyle Busch Happy to Return, Waits on Baby Busch: #18-Kyle Busch was happy to return to the seat of his race car on Friday as practice was held for Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. It didn't take long for Busch to get back to form, but he was just as intently preparing for the birth of wife Samatha's first child. "I was optimistic about coming back and getting in some laps here at Charlotte Motor Speedway," said Busch. "Our car was fast. It was good to see all my guys, and just kind of get things to fall back in. You know, just trying to get a feel for the seat since I hadn't been behind the wheel in a while. As far as I was concerned, everything went according to plan. We made some adjustments to get in that mock qualifying run. We were able to put a fast time up, but I'm not sure everybody else made that kind of effort. I was definitely excited to see that seat."
    Busch noted the biggest adjustment was getting acclimated back to the car. "I think the biggest thing was just getting back the feel of the race car," said Busch. "These race cars have been changing quite honestly. Just trying to get a feel for what all was going on there and what I had to drive. The seat was an adjustment for me. I'm not used to the carbon seat at all; I have never run one. We had to tinker with it a little bit there and tinker with it now to just try and make it a little bit better for me for the long haul, especially for next week."
    Charlotte was also a goal for Busch to return to competition. "There were some nervous days in Daytona where I was counting the weeks," said Busch. "And I was like, 'I could probably come back at Talladega,' and that would definitely be pushing it. And then I thought that wouldn't be very smart of me to come back at Talladega. And then Kansas was the next one. And I thought, you know what, I don't know if I want that one either, so Charlotte looks really good. And so far it seems to be a good choice coming back here. I think it was always kind of a goal, just depended on how hard we pushed getting ready for it."
    Busch also is excited about soon becoming a father. "Samantha and I got up together like we always do and had breakfast." said Busch, "I told her she better keep her legs crossed and do whatever she had to do today and tomorrow, so we could keep baby Busch inside for 48 more hours. Besides that, it was a nice moment as I was getting ready and what we had is all over with all the trials and tribulations, and learning how to walk again, it was all over. We could now get back to our normal routine."(CMS Pit Notes)(5-16-2015)

  • France defends NASCAR decision about waiver for Kyle Busch: NASCAR CEO and Chairman Brian France defended NASCAR's decision to waive the 26-race rule on Wednesday and allow Kyle Busch to be eligible for the Chase. Although the sanctioning body granted the waiver, it doesn't mean the Joe Gibbs racer will automatically qualify for the playoff. That's where France says the challenge lies. "The real beauty in the way the championship is now decided, you have a little bit of flexibility to crown your champion," France said. "As opposed to the old days, when it was an accumulation of all the points. Now, you're resetting it any way. You still have to get into the Chase with a win. Once you get there, that's when the real work begins - those final 10 races and to survive that. I think the flexibility the format adds we're still rewarding the best driver in a given year is helpful for us and allows us when things like Kyle Busch happens or something else that are out of a driver's control we at least have a tool left in our tool kit so we can put them back in." Although France acknowledged that Busch's absence for nearly one-third of the Sprint Cup season played into NASCAR's decision-making process, with the new Chase format, the main emphasis is qualifying for and performing in the playoffs.
    "What we determined in this case is you still have to finish strong in the remaining events leading up to the Chase, you have to win a race and you have to perform in the final 10 when it matters the most any way," France added. "There is plenty of merit if Kyle, in this case, is able to accomplish all that, then he will be a fine champion."(Motorsport / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)(5-16-2015)

  • Kyle Busch to Remain Eligible for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship: NASCAR announced today that Kyle Busch will remain eligible to compete for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. Busch will qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup by meeting all requirements of eligibility excluding Rule 17.6.2.1.a, which requires a driver to start all Championship Events of the current season. NASCAR made the decision after the driver of the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota received the appropriate medical clearance documentation to immediately return to NASCAR racing. To qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Busch will need to be within the top 30 of the Championship point standings after race No. 26, and meet all other stated requirements within the NASCAR Rule Book. "On behalf of everyone at NASCAR, it's great to have Kyle Busch back racing," said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. "Our decision to grant Kyle a waiver that allows him to continue running for a championship is one we discussed extensively. The spirit of the rule never was designed to punish drivers who are unable to compete due to extenuating circumstances such as recovering from a racing accident. We wish Kyle the best of luck in the balance of the season, and look forward to his return to the car this week for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway."(NASCAR)(5-13-2015)

  • What will it take for Kyle Busch to make the top 30? Kyle Busch returns to the #18 M&M's Toyota for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte. To race for a title in the 10-race, season-ending Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Busch must win one of the next 15 races, receive a medical waiver from NASCAR and either finish in the top 30 in points, or receive another NASCAR waiver for that requirement as well. Right now, #14-Tony Stewart is 30th in points, with 179 after 11 races. Over 26 races, that projects to about 423 points. For Busch to get 423 points -- and ultimately, the 30th-place driver likely will have slightly more or less than 423 -- he'd have to average 28.2 points in the next 15 races. So far this season, the top 11 drivers in the Sprint Cup standings have averaged at least 28.2 points per race.( )
    AND Last year, #38-David Gilliland was 30th in the standings after the September Richmond race with 407 points. Over the past four years, the average point total for 30th place in the driver standings is 420.8 points. Factoring that, Busch would need to average a 16th-place finish to be in the top 30 when the Chase for the Sprint Cup begins in September. #14-Tony Stewart is 30th in the points at the Sprint All-Star break with 179 points in 11 races (an average of 16.3 points per race). If that pace continues for whoever finishes 30th in the points before the Chase begins in September, they would have 423 points. Busch would need to average a 15th-place finish to reach the top 30 in points(NBC Sports)(5-13-2015)

  • Kyle Busch returns to racing, will run the All-Star Race: Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch has received medical clearance to return to on-track activity beginning with Saturday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the #18 M&Ms Red Nose Toyota. Busch was injured during an accident in the season-opening NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway on February 21 causing him to miss the first 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races of the season.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(5-12-2015)
    UPDATE: on Tuesday, May 12th, the was a Joe Gibbs Teleconference with Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M Red Nose Day Toyota. Busch made a few comments then held a Q&A, answering questions about his health, the Chase, safety, testing and more, a few highlights:
    Busch started off: "I was cleared to get out of the boot a couple weeks ago, and was cleared to test my late model. That test went really well. I was able to come back again and test again last week at Hickory. My medical team was there with me and then declared I was cleared to get back in the car again for the All-Star Race in the Sprint Cup Series. I think it's a great race to come back to. For one it's shorter. It's a non-points event. There's mandatory cautions after every 25 laps and whatnot, so it gives you an opportunity to take a breather, take a rest, whatever it may be."
    Q. Kyle, how is your race shape, your conditioning in general? You mentioned this is a shorter race, that it gives you the opportunity to take breaks. Do you feel you will need them?
    KYLE BUSCH: No, I don't believe that's the reason. I think as far as my physical shape as to working out and whatnot, I've been doing therapy and whatnot three, sometimes four, five days a week. I feel like I'm well ready to go, that the cardio aspect is there, and the physical aspect of it is all there. I don't foresee there being any setbacks in that regard.
    Q. Have you heard anything from NASCAR on whether or not they will make you eligible to compete in the Chase should you qualify?
    KYLE BUSCH: I know there's been some good dialogue on the subject, but I'm not aware that there's been a decision made at this point. As I mentioned last month, I'd love to race for a win and a spot in the Chase. I think the top 30 rule makes a lot of sense. But for me, in my mind, it was intended for someone in my situation that has a car, sponsor and team that was set to run the entire year for a championship. I think it was set up to keep guys from being able to grab a win at a road course or restrictor plate track or something like that.
    Q. There's no pain or anything like that associated like when you put a lot of pressure on the pedals?
    KYLE BUSCH: No, No. I've not had that. The pedal pressure is somewhat around the same as to when I'm doing leg presses and stuff like that in therapy. All of that feels real relative. Yeah, I mean, there's probably some soreness there, but I wouldn't call it pain. It's definitely not 100% cleared up yet. But I'm not so sure that other drivers haven't raced in worse pain than I have over the years.
    Q. Kyle, is there a chance you'd get out in the All-Star Race, decide it was more than you thought it was, not continue throughout the season? Or are you fully committed and feeling you're confident and be able to move forward?
    KYLE BUSCH: I mean, my plan is to obviously get in the car and to do all on-track activity each weekend. I'll admit we'll have Erik Jones on standby in case anything happens or in case I have any issues that I need to come out during any event. That's just a precautionary thing. I plan to be in the entire time.
    Q. Specifically what day were you cleared by NASCAR's medical staff being able to come back?
    KYLE BUSCH: I was cleared by NASCAR's medical team the same day I sent in my letter for them to review to release me. So that was just yesterday.
    See the full transcript on the Kyle Busch Press Conference Transcript page.(5-12-2015)

  • Toyota intent on keeping Jones around long-term: In a short weekend at Kansas Speedway, Erik Jones has turned a lot of heads in his new job -- a job that could prove to be one-and-done. Jones will make his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start Saturday night behind the wheel of the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. And it could well be his only start in the #18, as JGR team driver Kyle Busch could be back in his car as soon as next Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Series race. So far this weekend, Jones has dazzled in the both the Cup and the Camping World Truck Series. In his first Cup start, he qualified 12th for the SpongeBob SquarePants 400, was ninth in the first practice and first in Happy Hour. Not bad for an 18-year-old young man who hails from the sleepy little hamlet of Byron, Mich., population 581.
    Of course, once Busch comes back, Jones will lose his Cup ride. But don't worry about his prospects -- the Toyota camp intends to keep Jones in the family for a very long time. In an exclusive interview with FOXSports.com, Toyota's racing boss in the United States said the automaker has big plans for Jones. "He's not going anywhere," said David Wilson, the president and general manager of TRD, U.S.A., Toyota's American racing division. "We're going to keep Toyotas underneath him, somehow, some way." Wilson said Jones' run for the Truck Series championship, where he's third in points after Friday night's race, is what Toyota is focusing on this year. In the immediate future, his biggest priority is to win his first national series championship," Wilson told FOXSports.com. "The part that is important to us about that is, OK, whether Erik belongs in a Cup car today full-time or today an XFINITY car full-time, that's secondary. He hasn't gone through a complete season and raced for a championship. There's a certain discipline and mentality that that takes, right? Whereas you jump in a car one weekend and another car the next weekend and it's all about winning. But his day job right now is to win a Camping World Truck Series championship." And from there, the sky is the limit. "We have next year lined out for him," said Wilson. "We're working on the year after that."(FoxSports)(5-9-2015)

  • Kyle Busch tests late model UPDATE: Following a 10-week absence from a race car, Kyle Busch got behind the wheel of a Late Model last week. Busch, the driver of the #18 M&Ms Toyota, has been sidelined since he sustained injuries to his foot and right leg during an accident in the XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 21. "We have a program for him and we're moving forward with everything - and that was part of it," team owner Joe Gibbs said of Busch's test, prior to the Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday. Gibbs did not recall where Busch tested his Kyle Busch Motorsports car, however, the team was expected to run at nearby Caraway Speedway, a .455-mile track in Asheboro, N.C. or Hickory Speedway. Busch is expected to return to Hickory this week in a KBM Late Model. NASCAR spokesman David Higdon said he had not heard whether Busch had been medically cleared to return to competition. Busch met with the media on April 15. At the time, Busch said his doctors had not offered a timetable for his return. Erik Jones is scheduled to drive the No. 18 M&Ms Toyota next week at Kansas Speedway, but speculation is that Busch will be in the car for the All Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 16th. During his media availability, Busch said he hoped to be eligible for the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Last month, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France told a group of sports editors that depending on when Busch returned "it was more likely than not," that the sanctioning body would attempt to "accomodate" the driver.(Motorsport)(5-4-2015)
    UPDATE: Kyle Busch tweeted Monday morning that he will not compete in a Late Model race this weekend despite reports that he was expected to compete in an event at Hickory Motor Speedway. Busch tested a Late Model car Friday as part of his return to racing after being injured in the season-opening NASCAR Xfinity race at Daytona.(NBC Sports)(5-4-2015)

  • Jones says Kansas one race deal in the #18...for now: from a Toyota Racing transcript, Erik Jones, who will run the #18 Toyota at Kansas in the Sprint Cup Series race, was asked a few questions about his first Cup start:
    Q) What will your expectations be for the NSCS race at Kansas in the #18 Camry?
    Jones: "For me, it's really all seat time and experience. I think keeping our expectations realistic is a pretty big thing for us. If we can go run top-15, I'd feel like that would be a pretty big win for us. It's a big step. We've talked a lot about it. I've talked with Adam Stevens (18 crew chief) a lot about it and kind of what the jump is and talked to Kyle (Busch) about it. It's not going to be an easy step for anybody, but I really believe we can go run top-15 and if we can do that, I think that would be a good day."
    Q) Have you had any discussion of the conflict weekends in June with the NCWTS schedule?
    Jones: "No, I haven't. For right now, Kansas is the only race I've got in the 18 so beyond that I honestly don't know. Sure, I'd love to run it again. I think it would be fun, but we'll really just have to see how things go. I'm just going to run Kansas, do my deal there, do the best I can and see what happens."
    Q) Is Joe Gibbs Racing only telling you about racing Kansas and not beyond?
    Jones: "Honestly, just Kansas at this point, that's all I heard. I've seen it too and I saw it 20 minutes ago where it says, 'Until he (Kyle Busch) returns.' Honestly, Kansas is the only one I know of right now."(Toyota Racing)(5-4-2015)

  • Erik Jones to drive the #18 JGR car starting at Kansas: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced that Erik Jones will fill in for Kyle Busch in the #18 M&M'S Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) starting at Kansas Speedway on May 9, 2015. This will mark the 18-year-old Byron, Michigan native's first official NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start. "I'm pretty excited and grateful for the opportunity to drive the #18 M&M'S Toyota Camry in the Sprint Cup Series and make my debut for Joe Gibbs Racing. This is a really good opportunity for me. We are going to try to manage our expectations and if we can go out and get a top-15 run and gain some experience, that would be a great day for us. I'm also excited about representing M&M'S, a great longtime partner at JGR and such a well-known brand. I am looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the M&M'S Toyota at Kansas." At Kansas, Jones will be running a special paint scheme highlighting M&M'S support of Red Nose Day on the #18 M&M's Toyota. Mars is proud to be a partner of Red Nose Day, a major charitable event that will be held on May 21, 2015. The M&M'S Brand is one of the world's most beloved chocolate candies and a leader in colorful fun, so it's a natural fit to leverage the M&M'S brand and humor to help raise money through this partnership. M&M'S is bringing Red Nose Day to NASCAR for the first time at Kansas and May 15 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Jones currently runs full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) for Kyle Busch Motorsports and a partial schedule for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS). Kansas will mark Jones first official Cup Series start, but earlier this season he was able to make laps in the #11 Toyota Camry at Bristol Motor Speedway after Denny Hamlin was unable to continue the race following an extended rain delay. Jones finished the race in the 26th position (which was credited to Hamlin).(JGR)(4-30-2015)

  • Pedigree featured on the #18 at Talladega; start 300 for Ragan: Sunday's race at Talladega will be the first of two this season with Pedigree as primary sponsor of the #18 Toyota, the other coming in September at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. David Ragan, an avid animal lover and dog owner, would like nothing more than to bring the dogs riding along on the Pedigree Toyota back to victory lane at Talladega, a place he's quite familiar with. The Talladega race will coincide with the launch of a new tastier and meatier PEDIGREE Dry Dog Food recipe that delivers the variety that pet parents are looking for. The new recipe is loaded with whole grains and protein accented with vegetables, providing a nutritious and delicious difference that pet parents will see and their dogs will taste. On top of his solid track record and Talladega race win, Ragan will be celebrating a career milestone Sunday regardless of the outcome. He'll be making his 300th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and his 17th Sprint Cup start at Talladega. Ragan will be filling in for the ninth and final race in the #18 Pedigree Toyota for regular driver Kyle Busch. After Talladega, Ragan will move over to the #55 Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing (JGR), see images of the car/scheme on the #18 Team Schemes page.(4-30-2015)

  • Ragan in the #55 rest of the year, starting at Kansas: Michael Waltrip Racing announced that David Ragan will drive the #55 Aaron's Dream Machine for the remainder of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup season, beginning May 9 at Kansas Speedway. Brian Vickers had planned to race the Toyota fulltime in 2015, but heart surgery in December forced the Thomasville, N.C., native to miss the first two races of the season. Vickers returned at Las Vegas on March 7, but was sidelined two weeks later by recurring blood clots in his lungs. No timetable has been set for his return.
    "Life has thrown a lot at MWR the first part of this racing season, but our team has stood tall and worked through it," said Michael Waltrip. "Our original plans for the #55 team have been challenged since December and we felt it was important for our employees and our sponsors to solidify the remainder of the 2015 season. The opportunity to bring David Ragan into the team is incredible for a number of reasons. He will bring experience, consistency and a lot of confidence based on how he has been running with our Toyota teammates at Joe Gibbs Racing. He also puts the #55 team and Aaron's right back into the Chase for the Sprint Cup contention, which is a very positive turn of events for that team. There is absolutely no question about Brian Vickers' ability, but there remains a question of his availability. We are going to remain very close with Brian while he works on his plan to return. We have told him that MWR is here when he has a clear picture about what the future holds, but we don't need to add any timeline pressures. He is working with a lot of medical advisors and once he has established his plan, we will sit down and discuss next steps. I'm really proud of the incredible job Brett Moffitt has done for us in the 55. He has been a big part of this organization for the last couple of years and he will continue in that role. With the limited number of starts Brett has in this industry, he has proven that he has the talent to be a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup driver and we are still committed to helping him get that opportunity."(MWR)
    Front Row Statement: "We are grateful to David Ragan for his contributions to the growth of Front Row Motorsports and his commitment to our partners over the past three years. He led us on our first trip to Victory Lane, and that's a moment we'll never forget. We wish him the best with his new team. As previously announced, Chris Buescher will be the driver of the #34 at Talladega this weekend. We are working on finalizing the driver line-up for races to follow and will announce those plans soon."(Front Row Motorsports)(4-28-2015)

  • Michael Waltrip in the #55 at Talladega; then Ragan UPDATES: Two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip will drive the #55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3. Waltrip, founder and co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, replaces 22-year-old Brett Moffitt who has driven MWR's #55 since the March 22nd race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana. "Talladega is a place where I know we will be very competitive," said Waltrip who owns four restrictor plate victories including a Talladega win in the fall of 2003. "This will be my 58th Sprint Cup start at Talladega so believe me when I tell you Talladega is some of the best racing in the world and I'm glad I'll get to be part of it again in the Aaron's Dream Machine." The May 3 and Oct. 25 Talladega races are the only remaining races Waltrip is scheduled to drive this season.(Michael Waltrip Racing)(4-23-2015)
    UPDATE: The team is believed to be trying to sign David Ragan to drive the #55 beginning next month at Kansas. Ragan is currently the replacement driver for Kyle Busch at Joe Gibbs Racing, but JGR is leaning toward putting 18-year-old development driver Erik Jones in the car until Busch returns. That would free Ragan, who has subbed for Busch since the second week of the season. Waltrip wasn't prepared Thursday to discuss anything beyond next week at Talladega. "We're making plans now and we wanted a more long-term solution for the situation by this point, but we just haven't been able to put all the pieces together yet," he said. He also said it's unclear when - or if - Vickers will be back. "I can't answer that," Waltrip said of Vickers, who is in a contract year with the team. "He certainly wants to be back, but he's on thinners. Until he comes up with a long-term solution to that, that challenges us in answering if he'll be back."(Associated Press)(4-24-2015)
    UPDATE 2: David Ragan, who entered the season planning to run with Front Row Motorsports, is expected to move to Michael Waltrip Racing's #55 Toyota beginning with the May 9 race at Kansas Speedway, multiple sources confirmed to the Observer on Friday. He would replace rookie Brett Moffitt in the #55, who has been filling in most of the team's races since the team's regular driver, Brian Vickers, was sidelined once again with blood clots. Ragan would remain with the team for the rest of the 2015 season, sources said. Saturday's race is expected to be the last for Moffitt with MWR in the Cup series, but the organization remains committed to obtaining sponsorship in order to run him in a third team and he remains under contract with MWR. An official announcement is expected sometime next week, sources said. Ragan's move will require another fill-in driver for JGR in the #18 as Busch is not yet set to return to competition. Sources said JGR will move Xfinity and Truck series driver Erik Jones into the #18 beginning with the Kansas race. An official with Joe Gibbs Racing said "nothing has been confirmed" thus far about any changes to their driver lineup. With Ragan moving to the #55 for the remainder of the season, Front Row Motorsports will need to find a more permanent replacement for Ragan in its #34 Ford. Roush Fenway Racing has been loaning Xfinity driver Chris Buescher to the team when the schedule doesn't disrupt his run for Xfinity Series championship. That arrangement could well continue, with other drivers used when Buscher's schedule doesn't allow double-duty, sources said. A FRM spokesman said at this time, the organization was still expecting Ragan to return to the team whenever his tenure at JGR is completed.(Charlotte Observer)(4-24-2015)
    UPDATE 3: If the deal is finalized, Vickers, who announced in March that he would have to miss at least three months while he takes blood thinners to treat blood clots that had developed in his lungs, would be left to find another ride if he is able to return this season, [a] source said. That could include the possibility of MWR fielding a third car, pending sponsorship, after Vickers is ready to return.(ESPN.com)
    AND Asked about reports that he would be moving to MWR: "I know I'm going to be in the 18 car for a little while," Ragan said. "This week and Talladega are obviously two very important weeks we're looking forward to. I'm focused on that and I just don't really have any comment.")USA Today)(4-25-2015)

  • NASCAR was willing to approve Jones at Bristol based on experience: Erik Jones had never turned a lap in the Sprint Cup Series when he became a last-minute replacement driver for Denny Hamlin at Bristol last weekend. Jones was flown in from North Carolina during a lengthy rain delay in Sunday's race when because Hamlin had neck spasms. The 18-year-old arrived 5 minutes before the race resumed, and jumped into Hamlin's car for the remainder of the event. NASCAR had to approve Jones as the replacement driver, something that isn't done until the competitor has at least turned some laps. But in the case of Jones, NASCAR was satisfied he was capable of driving. Sprint Cup Series director Richard Buck said Friday that Jones was approved "based upon his recent experience at the track, and we had just gotten a fresh look at him the day before at Bristol."(Associated Press)(4-25-2015)

  • France says NASCAR open to Chase spot for Busch: NASCAR chairman Brian France isn't sure if Kyle Busch will be granted a waiver to be part of the championship chase when he returns from injury, but said Thursday the sanctioning body would like to "accommodate" him. He'll miss his ninth race this weekend at Richmond International Raceway, but has indicated he'll return to racing this season. The only way he'd be eligible to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship is if NASCAR grants him a waiver, and he wins a race that would qualify him for the 16-driver field. He'd also have to be inside the top 30 in points. Those are the rules under a Chase system France altered last year. It gives him more flexibility to grant exemptions to drivers who miss races. "Depends on when he comes back of course, but it'll be more likely than not that we're going to try to figure out how to accommodate him, which is the beauty of our playoff system," France said Thursday during a meeting of The Associated Press Sports Editors at the NASCAR offices in Manhattan. "What happened to him was on us," he said. "We'll balance a lot of things at that point when we have to make a decision, but we're inclined to want to figure that out for sure."(Associated Press)(4-23-2015)

  • Kyle Busch meets with media UPDATE: #18-Kyle Busch, injured in an accident during the Daytona XFINITY Series race, met with members of the media at Joe Gibbs Racing on Wednesday afternoon. Some notes:
    • Busch says the accident was the hardest hit of his career.
    • He left the racing surface at 176mph and impacted the wall at 90mph.
    • The crash was so hard that his helmet and chest hit the steering wheel.
    • He says he knew instantly that both legs were broken.
    • Busch took the blame for the accident, saying that he was being too greedy trying to win the race.
    • Doctors have not given him a timeline to return to racing. They are pleased with his progress and believe he is ahead of schedule.
    • He would like to be able to return to racing by Daytona in July, but is not sure that will be possible;
    • Busch would like to be Chase eligible upon his return, but believes it could be hard to get to the top 30 in points.
    • Busch will need additional surgery. He has one scheduled for December to remove screws and plates in his left foot.
    (4-15-2015)
    UPDATE: #18-Kyle Busch said he does not know when he will get back into a race car but hopes he can return by July as he continues to recover from a broken right leg and a broken left foot suffered in a crash Feb. 21 at Daytona International Speedway. Busch, speaking about his injuries at a news conference Wednesday at Joe Gibbs Racing, said he hit the DIS concrete wall at 90 mph and the g-forces were 90 g's. He said he is healing well and still has a small crack in his right leg as well as a walking boot on his left foot. Kyle Busch suffered a broken right leg and a broken left foot in a Feb. 21 crash at Daytona International Speedway. Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images "First and foremost, I have to please my doctors. ... They say my recovery is going faster [than expected]," Busch said about his possible return. "I don't even ask. They won't release me a timetable." Busch said the wreck was his fault, being greedy trying to win the race. He was trying to push teammate Erik Jones, who ended up spinning. While Jones was spinning, he took the air off the rear of Busch's car, sending him into the skid into the wall. NASCAR has made no decision on whether it will waive the rule that a driver must compete each race weekend in order to be eligible for the Chase for the Sprint Cup. NASCAR also could waive the rule that requires a driver to be eligible with a win and a top-30 placement in the regular-season standings, although it has not waived that rule when issuing past waivers.(ESPN.com)(4-15-2015)

  • Gibbs says Jones is "ready to go" to Cup; MWR an option?: With Kyle Busch's return date still undetermined from a broken right leg and broken left foot suffered in a crash in February, Joe Gibbs has talked about putting Erik Jones in Busch's Cup car when he feels it's the right time. Jones' performance in outlasting Brad Keselowski and Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the victory Friday no doubt is encouraging Gibbs to make "the right time" sooner than later, as Jones won in just his ninth Xfinity start. "There's no question that at some point very quick he's going to be in a Cup car some," Gibbs said. "We kind of have a little bit of a strategy there that we've talked about. He's ready to go at any time." Jones is driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports full time in the Camping World Truck Series while also driving as many Xfinity races as possible for JGR that don't conflict with his trucks schedule. Gibbs doesn't have any room to expand his Cup program, as he has the current maximum of four teams and all his drivers are signed through at least 2016. He can run a fifth car for up to seven races for a development driver or loan him to another Cup team. "We know that Erik is on the fast track," Gibbs said. "It's just a matter of when."(ESPN.com)(4-12-2015)
    AND If Joe Gibbs Racing cannot find a Sprint Cup ride for Erik Jones, fellow Toyota team owner Rob Kauffman says Michael Waltrip Racing might have a Camry for the 18-year-old phenom. "There are a lot of moving parts, but we would love to figure something out," Kauffman told Motorsports.com prior to Saturday's Duck Commander 500. Kauffman acknowledged he went to Victory Lane last night during Jones' celebration to congratulate Coach Gibbs and Dave Wilson, President and General Manager, Toyota Racing Development. "We have some open seats, potentially. We'd love to expand when it makes sense." Currently MWR runs two teams - the #15 with veteran Clint Bowyer, who is in the first year of the three-year contract and the #55 with Moffitt, who is filling in for Brian Vickers while he recovers from blood clots. "I think Brian's doing better," Kauffman added. "I haven't talked to him in a bit...but right now the important thing is his health."(Motorsport)(4-12-2015)

  • Ragan would like to be in the #18 until Busch returns: David Ragan accepted a congratulatory handshake and pat from team owner Joe Gibbs and then turned to face the news media with a broad smile. In his fifth start in the #18 Toyota, he finally had a result to justify his contention that the team wasn't struggling as much as it seemed since he took over for injured Kyle Busch. But he persevered to score his first top five since his May 5, 2013 victory at Talladega Superspeedway. Even more importantly, it came after a stretch of four consecutive finishes of 18th or worse since moving into the JGR car on an interim basis from Front Row Motorsports. Ragan said multiple times in postrace interviews that he believed he could win during his stint in Busch's car. There still is no timetable for Busch's return, nor has it been announced when Ragan will return to Front Row. In the wake of Busch's Feb. 21 crash at Daytona International Speedway, NASCAR Talk has reported the plan was for Ragan to drive nine races before turning Busch's car over to Erik Jones at Kansas Speedway. "It's kind of week by week on how Kyle is feeling," Ragan said. "Certainly that's a Kyle Busch decision and a Coach Gibbs decision. There are probably a lot of different scenarios that could play out. Obviously, I hope I'm in the car until the transition for Kyle comes back. That's what the team and everybody wants. They don't want to have to put a third or fourth or fifth driver in, so hopefully Kyle can heal well, and he'll be back sooner than later, and we would have won a race, and I can go back to Front Row Motorsports and carry a Chase ticket back home. That'd be cool."(NBC Sports)(3-30-2015)

  • JD Gibbs being treated for symptoms impacting areas of brain function UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing announces today that J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing, is starting treatment for symptoms impacting areas of brain function. Gibbs has undergone a series of tests after experiencing a gradual onset of symptoms that includes speech and processing issues. Gibbs' doctors believe the complications he has experienced were triggered by head injuries likely suffered earlier in life, but no specific injury was referenced or identified. Gibbs has always enjoyed an active life participating in several sports including mountain biking, snowboarding, football, racing, and other extreme-type sports. Gibbs will be undergoing more testing and receiving treatments to help manage the symptoms. During that time, it is expected that his presence at the race track will be limited; however, he will continue many of his day-to-day responsibilities at JGR's headquarters in Huntersville, NC as well as involvement with his various ministry endeavors.(Joe Gibbs Racing)
    Statement from Brian France: "All members of the NASCAR and France family extend our thoughts and prayers to J.D. Gibbs and his loved ones. We've all watched J.D. grow up within our community, and he always has represented himself, his family, the entire Joe Gibbs Racing organization and NASCAR with the utmost professionalism, enthusiasm and energy. We wish him the best during this time and eagerly anticipate his recovery."(NASCAR)(3-25-2015)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs addressed the media Sunday morning at Martinsville:
    "J.D. at our team meeting earlier this week, he got up and basically he said, 'I know God has a plan and God puts us through things for a reason.' I think J.D. gains his strength from the fact that he has a personal relationship with the Lord and I have to tell you that he's my hero. I kind of watch him and I don't know if anybody has ever dealt with anything as crazy as J.D. does. He went through a situation with his son Taylor having leukemia at two and we fought through that for about three or four years. By the way, appreciate all of you all's prayers for Taylor and Taylor's doing great today. Like I said, J.D. through his entire life has probably been the craziest person that I've ever been around or knew. Basically, his situation medically - there's very few answers. We've been dealing with this for about six months and basically what the doctor's say is that they really don't know. J.D. has lived a very active lifestyle. All the things that he's done in his life physically he's loved all sporting events and it's everything from football to snowboarding, racing cars, racing motor bikes - he's lived in a lot of ways for him, he loved all those things. We can't point to any one serious thing that happened to him, certainly any injury is a possibility that led us into some of the symptoms that he's experiencing now.
    We've been dealing with this for about six months so as far as the management team for Joe Gibbs Racing, we have a senior management team and most of our people have been in place for the full 24 years - it's amazing really. I think very few people have noticed anything or any difference in the way we operate with the race team. The good thing there is that J.D. and I share the same responsibilities. If I'm not there for a particular reason, J.D. will be there and if J.D. is not there for some reason, I'll be there. As he goes through treatment, he will probably be doing less at the race track because he has a full week that demands quite a bit from him as he goes through treatment. You will probably see less of him at the race track, but he'll be there on a day-to-day basis with the race team and be in all of our meetings and all of the key decisions that we make, J.D.'s going to have a huge impact on that.(Toyota Racing)(3-29-2015)

  • Pole winner, Gordon, wrecks in Happy Hour at Las Vegas, goes to backup: Polesitter #24-Jeff Gordon couldn't avoid hitting #10-Danica Patrick after she lost control of her car exiting Turn 2 in the closing minute of Happy Hour at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday. "Danica spun out and we hit her," Gordon said. "Oh my (expletive) god," replied crew chief Alan Gustafson. "It shouldn't be too bad, just the right front," Gordon said. "Isn't she smart enough to know when (indiscernible) to watch out," Gustafson added. Gordon scored his 79th pole on Friday for the Kobalt 400. He was 14th on the speed chart after posting a lap of 185.306 mph. He was on stickers tires at the time when Patrick lost control of her car. "The right front fender is pretty bad," spotter Eddie D'Hondt said from above the track. "Gosh, darn it."
    "We'll have to get a backup," Gustafson concluded. Gordon wasn't alone. David Ragan also had an issue and slapped the right rear of the #18 M&Ms Toyota. "Got in a little too high in the gray stuff," Ragan radioed to the crew. Ragan will also go to a backup car.(Motorsport)
    AND Pole-sitter #24-Jeff Gordon will go to a backup car after it was damaged when #10-Danica Patrick's car spun late in Saturday's final practice session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Patrick spun and Gordon reported damage to his car. Gordon's spokesperson confirmed on Twitter that Gordon will go to a backup car. Gordon will start at the rear of the field because of the move. Gordon raced his backup car last season at Chicago, Charlotte and Texas. He finished second at Chicagoland and Charlotte during the Chase. He was racing for the lead late at Texas before contact with #2-Brad Keselowski saddled Gordon with a 29th-place finish.
    Also, #18-David Ragan, driving for the injured Kyle Busch, hit the Turn 2 wall in the final minutes of the practice session. The Joe Gibbs Racing team rolled out a backup car for Ragan.(NBC Sports)(3-7-2015)

  • Kyle Busch released from hospital: Kyle Busch has been released from a Charlotte, NC, hospital and is home, wife Samantha tweeted, and a Joe Gibbs Racing spokesperson confirmed Friday morning. Busch spent three nights in a Daytona Beach, Fla., hospital after he suffered a compound fracture of his lower right leg and a fractured left foot in last weekend's NASCAR Xfinity race at Daytona. Busch slammed into an inside wall not protected by a SAFER barrier. He was transferred to North Carolina on Tuesday. He had surgery on his right leg last Saturday and surgery on his left foot Wednesday.(NBC Sports)(2-28-2015)

  • If Ragan wins, he can get in the Chase: David Ragan doesn't know how long he'll get to drive the Joe Gibbs Racing #18 Toyota, but he'll relish every opportunity he can to compete for one of NASCAR's elite teams. Front Row has loaned Ragan to JGR as the replacement for the injured Kyle Busch, who has had surgery on a compound fracture in his right leg and on a broken left foot suffered in a crash Saturday during the Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway. JGR officials have not said how long Busch will be out. While no more surgeries are scheduled, Busch must be able to work pedals with both his feet because he likes to brake with his left foot. He remained hospitalized in a Charlotte area hospital Thursday. Ragan will drive the car for the next "several weeks," and JGR officials will re-evaluate the program at some point to see if they want to give development driver Erik Jones a shot. "As far as the length of time Kyle will be out, I don't think anyone really knows that yet," Ragan said Thursday after a test day at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "I know for the next several weeks, I'll be in the 18 car. I don't know that we have really a hard time frame on it just yet. There's a lot of moving parts and pieces and certainly it all goes back to how quickly Kyle can heal up and get back driving for them." If Ragan can win a race, he would be eligible for the Chase for the Sprint Cup as long as he finishes the regular season in the top 30 in the standings. Ragan is expected to have returned to Front Row well before the Chase starts in September, creating a possible windfall for Front Row Motorsports to have a driver in the Chase.(ESPN)
    AND Supposedly the plan is for Ragan to drive the car for nine races before Camping World Truck Series driver Erik Jones would take the wheel of the #18 in the May 9 race at Kansas Speedway. Ragan then would return to the #34.(NBC Sports)(2-27-2015)

  • Kyle Busch Undergoes Successful Surgery On Left Foot: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), underwent successful surgery this afternoon on his left foot, which was injured in an accident during last Saturday's NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Surgery was performed by Dr. Robert Anderson of OrthoCarolina. Busch is resting comfortably and will remain hospitalized for observation.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(2-26-2015)

  • Ragan to sub for Kyle Busch? UPDATE: #34-David Ragan has been contacted by Joe Gibbs Racing about driving the #18 Toyota while Kyle Busch recovers from a compound fracture in his right leg. JGR is considering a plan that would share the ride between Ragan and Camping World Truck Series driver Erik Jones, who is under contract to the team, while Busch recovers from his injury. There is no timetable on the return for Busch, who spent a third consecutive night in a Daytona Beach hospital after being hurt in a Saturday crash during the Xfinity Series season opener at Daytona.
    Ragan has driven the #34 Ford for Front Row Motorsports in the Sprint Cup Series the past four seasons. He has two victories in Cup, at Daytona in 2011 for Roush Fenway Racing and at Talladega in 2013 for Front Row. Ragan met with JGR officials Tuesday morning at the team's Huntserville, N.C., headquarters. Team owner Joe Gibbs met Monday morning with Jones, who has four career victories in the truck series, about taking over the No. 18, but there are concerns about how it might impact the 18-year-old's future sponsorship prospects if he struggled in Busch's absence.
    Jones races full time for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the truck series and is running 10 races in the Xfinity Series for JGR. He is a likely candidate to take over Busch's part-time schedule in the #54 Toyota on the Xfinity circuit. Among the plans being considered would be to put Ragan in the #18 for several races and then allow Jones some time behind the wheel after he has more Xfinity and truck experience.
    It wasn't clear immediately how Ragan's Ford relationship might be affected, but multiple sources said JGR had received approval from Ford and Roush Fenway Racing to put driver Elliott Sadler in the #18 for the Daytona 500 before electing to run truck series champion Matt Crafton. Requests for comment from Ragan and Front Row Motorsports hadn't been returned Tuesday morning.(NBC Sports)(2-24-2015)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announces that David Ragan will fill in for Kyle Busch behind the wheel of the #18 M&Ms Crispy Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series beginning with this weekend's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Kyle Busch was released this morning from Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach, FL and transferred to a hospital near his home in Charlotte, North Carolina for further treatment. Busch sustained a compound fracture of the right lower leg in an accident during Saturday's NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway. Additionally, Busch suffered a mid-foot fracture of his left foot in the accident. No specific timetable has been announced for Busch's return to the race track. It is expected that Ragan will pilot the #18 M&Ms Crispy Toyota for at least the next several weeks. Ragan's current race team Front Row Motorsports and sponsor CSX accommodated the move by Ragan and Ragan is expected to return to the team later this season. Additional updates on Busch's condition will be provided as necessary. In addition, JGR announces that Erik Jones will pilot the #54 Monster Energy Toyota in the NASCAR XFINITY Series this weekend in Atlanta. An announcement on who will drive the Monster Energy Camry following Atlanta will be made at a later date.
    "We appreciate being able to work with Front Row Motorsports and CSX for David's (Ragan) availability," said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. "We are fortunate to be able to have someone of David's caliber behind the wheel while Kyle recovers. Erik is a big part of our future at JGR and we will be increasing his schedule in the XFINITY Series beginning this weekend in Atlanta and seeking the earliest opportunity to provide him Cup experience. We appreciate all the support we have received from the NASCAR community including our fans and we look forward to getting Kyle back in the car as soon as possible."
    "Everyone at Mars is thankful that Kyle is doing well and we continue to wish him a speedy recovery," said William Clements, vice president of sponsorship and sports marketing for Mars Incorporated. "While we can't wait until Kyle returns behind the wheel of the #18 M&Ms Crispy Toyota, we are excited to work with David and we're pleased JGR was able to work it out for him to step in during Kyle's absence."(Joe Gibbs Racing)(2-24-2015)

  • Kyle Busch spends another night in the hospital UPDATE: #18-Kyle Busch will spend a third night at Halifax Health Medical Center of Daytona Beach, where he is recovering from leg and foot injuries, according to a team spokesman at Joe Gibbs Racing, who said Busch is "resting comfortably."(FoxSports)(2-24-2015)
    UPDATE Kyle Busch's wife Samantha tweeted with a pic: Off to NC! Thank u to everyone at Halifax for taking such good care of Kyle! Leaving Daytona.(2-24-2015)

  • Erik Jones meets with Joe Gibbs about subbing for injured Busch in #18 ride: Erik Jones has emerged as the leading candidate to replace injured Kyle Busch in the #18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. Jones, who drives for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series and is under contract with JGR, met Monday morning with team owner Joe Gibbs to discuss taking over the ride. Busch is out indefinitely after suffering a compound fracture in his right leg in an Xfinity Series crash Saturday at Daytona. JGR could make an announcement on an interim driver as early as Monday afternoon. Jones, 18, is scheduled to run a full truck season for KBM and a 10-race Xfinity schedule for JGR. There are no major scheduling conflicts that would preclude him from driving in NASCAR's premier series until the Martinsville Speedway weekend in late March. The team is expected to receive approval from NASCAR to put Jones in a Sprint Cup car. He wasn't approved for the Daytona 500 as NASCAR typically doesn't allow drivers to make their Cup debut in a restrictor-plate race at Daytona or Talladega without having raced at a lower-tier event at those tracks.(NBC Sports)(2-23-2015)

  • Crafton finishes 18th in first Cup start: Now that the Daytona 500 is history, and Matt Crafton brought home an 18th-place finish in an emergency relief role for injured Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing will have to turn its attention to the future. Busch suffered a broken right leg and a broken left foot after his #54 Toyota slammed nose-first into a concrete wall inside Turn 1 during Saturday's XFINITY Series race. Unknown at this point is the number of races Busch will miss as he recovers from his injuries. Whether Crafton races again in the #18 Toyota as Busch mends, he's due a vote of thanks from JGR for an excellent effort under exigent circumstances. Crafton flew back down to Daytona on Saturday night and started the Daytona 500 without the chance to run a single practice lap. "Pretty gnarly," Crafton said of the experience. "It was very, very tough, but that's what we get paid to do, drive race cars and figure it out quick. It was a learning curve. The first half (of the race) we just rode around and tried to learn, learn, learn. I made a mistake. I had a pretty good surge up top, and I tried the bottom and shuffled myself all the way to the back. I should have had a little better finish there at the end, but it is what it is."(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-23-2015)

  • First time no Busch's in a Cup race since 2001: At least one of the two Busch (#18-Kyle, #41-Kurt) brothers has raced in every Daytona 500 since 2000. Sunday's event will be the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race without a Busch brother since the 35th race of the 2001 season, at Atlanta.(NASCAR Wire Services)(2-22-2015)

  • Joe Gibbs Quotes and Notes about Kyle Busch's accident at Daytona: Joe Gibbs, owners of Joe Gibbs Racing and the car of #18-Kyle Busch, who was injured in a wreck at Daytona in the XFINITY Series race on Saturday, met with the media on Sunday morning, February 22, 2015, the transcript:
    Joe Gibbs, team owner, Joe Gibbs Racing Opening Statement:
    "First of all, I want to say that what really impresses you at a time like this is the NASCAR family. Last night - our drivers are intense competition and all the race teams are intense in competition. Something like this happens, it was just an outpouring of spirit, prayers - we had drivers coming by last night while we were at the hospital. We had NASCAR officials and everybody coming by and certainly I think that's one of the most impressive things about our sport and the way we adjust to things and the way we rally behind people particularly when we have a situation like we had last night with Kyle (Busch). I'd like to address a couple of things with him - I talked to him before surgery and then we waited until after surgery. Kyle, to be quite truthful, was kind of light-hearted and joking around with me and talking about wanting to get back in the car right away before surgery. Afterwards the doctors came in and Sam (Busch, wife) stayed there with Kyle last night and for us, we waited to get a report from the doctor. He said everything went very well. The major portion of what they did yesterday was his lower right leg where the injury was - they took care of that. They're going to wait on his foot - his left foot - and it remains to be seen there what the situation is, but that will probably be taken care of. They said there's not a rush on that and we'll probably be dealing with that in Charlotte with Dr. Anderson. I felt like considering everything that happened last night, I felt like everybody banded together. Certainly, we appreciate all the prayers and I would like to say this, we've been in racing for all the Gibbs family - J.D. (team president) and Coy and everybody -- we've been in racing 24 years and up until this point we've had one driver miss four weeks. I think that says a lot about the safety of the sport and I think yesterday in that wreck, the great thing was that Kyle had nothing from the knees up. Everything was fine and I think NASCAR does a great job of adjusting to things like this and making decisions. I think this will be the same in this case. I know the race track had a press conference yesterday and made some statements about that and I think this is probably one that again will make some good decisions again based on that. NASCAR certainly knows that the most important asset that we have is our drivers and I really applaud the fact that we have had some of the wrecks and everything that we have in sport and yet the safety factor has really been outstanding with some of the improvements that have been made. This will be a learning experience for everybody and I'm sure that the tracks will be a part of that and will probably reach the point with everything to do with the walls and everything -- we'll probably have those protected. I know there's been some decisions made today on that too. I appreciate all that and the way NASCAR handles anything like this. They took our helmet last night, they took the HANS device and they take all those things when we have a wreck like this and do an in-depth study of it. We appreciate that."
    Have you thought about drivers past this race and how long will Kyle Busch be out of the car?
    "We haven't put thought into other than just today. We were thrilled to get Matt (Crafton) - I should have brought the fact that Matt has driven some of Kyle's stuff. He's a veteran guy and we felt like it was the perfect fit. We sent him over to the race shop last night. He met our person in charge of seats and they sat in all of our cars and he's real comfortable with Kyle's seat. We brought him down last night and he climbed into the car today and he told me, 'everything's perfect.' I appreciate Matt. As far as time or length, I don't have a good understanding of that with the doctors and everything -- I think we're just going to pray for him to bounce back. I can tell you this, Kyle's already telling Sam, he said, 'Hey, I just want to get back to racing.' He has a great spirit about things like that."
    Have you determined how many races Kyle could miss and still be eligible for the Chase?
    "I really hadn't got into that other than I had a brief conversation last night about it and I'm not even sure that I'm clarified on all the rules and what would take place. I think our focus, we had so much going on last night, it was just to get everything arranged as best we could for today. I'm sure there will be some conversations on that going forward."
    Does this incident give you any pause to Kyle racing in the Xfinity or Camping World Truck Series races?
    "I think what happens on that, I've dealt with it for different driver and everything. If you take Kyle's situation, let's think about it for a minute, he has his own race team - trucks - loves that, wants to race it, it's a big part of him and Sam and his future so you kind of think about that and you know he's going to be racing some trucks. This year he cut down his schedule quite a bit there. Obviously, I think in Kyle's life, he has Sam and he has racing - he loves it. As a matter of fact, at one point there in his career, we did cut back quite a bit and it was one of the tougher years he had and he comes back to you. I think those conversations are obviously ones that you have, but I felt like in his case he just loves it so much and felt like it was something that really makes his happy, keeps him excited about life and you always wrestle with that. I think that's a little bit of my feelings about our past history with him. Racing is his life and like I said, other than Sam, that's what he wants to do."
    Did you communicate the situation to Mars and have you spoken with NASCAR about SAFER barriers at other tracks?
    "The thing about that, Mars has been in the sport for 27 years - have a great relationship, they're awesome, everybody, when I talked to everybody that was here - all on board and everybody was there last night. We had Mars people at the hospital and it is a close-knit family and they certainly are a big part of our family and they've been a big part of NASCAR's family. I don't deal with the tracks or anything like that so I haven't had any discussions along those lines. We leave that up to NASCAR."
    Will Kyle need additional surgeries and when will he go back to Charlotte?
    "As far as medically, I'm obviously not the medical person, but according to the doctor last night, the lower part of his leg is all taken care of and I think we'll have Dr. Anderson and that group look at the foot because they didn't feel that was something that would be dealt with right now. The main emphasis was on his leg. As far as going back to Charlotte, we're on standby with the plane. Whenever he feels that he can travel, we'll get him back to Charlotte."
    Will the team owners demand SAFER barriers at all tracks on all walls moving forward?
    "I think for me, just kind of the way I stated that we all work together. I think NASCAR does a great job of evaluating things. I think the safety of our cars is evident when you race cars. I think they do a great job with that. The comments I made are pretty much what I think and I think this is obviously - NASCAR realizes our most important thing that we deal with is our drivers. It's a safety issue and I think we've made great progress in the past. To have that kind of wreck yesterday and have him from the knees up be in great shape, I felt great about that. I think we all have concerns of any kind of injury to our drivers."
    When will you know how long Kyle could be out of the car?
    "I think what will happen there is the doctors, after they have a chance to look at his foot and everything and we get it all squared away, I think they will give us a good opinion. Dr. Anderson deals with, whether it's football or racing or anything so I think he will give us a good opinion of that. As far as sponsor goes, we had conversations all last night. Our Mars representatives were there at the hospital waiting all the way to the bitter end there listening to the doctor and everything. We're just going to make the best decision we can. We felt like today was perfect - you say perfect, but considering the situation we're in, to be able to get Matt (Crafton) down here last night was a big deal for us and to have him in the car - he and Kyle get along great and Kyle was saying to get him in here. Today has been our whole focus so we'll talk more about how long he's going to be out and try to get an evaluation of that and then starting tomorrow we'll talk about what's our best decision for everybody on going forward. I know our emphasis is getting him back as quick as we can. I know that's what Kyle will be wanting to do and we'll have everybody working with him and for him in rehab and everything else to get him back as quick as we can in the car."
    What is the personal side of this with your close relationship to Kyle?
    "I think what happens when you get in a relationship over a period time, which we've been with our drivers and you develop a close relationship with him and Sam and there is a personally side of that. My whole life has been involved in sports. People ask me about me about my children playing sports and I always said that, 'That's part of life for a lot of people,' and if they weren't playing sports in high school they would probably be riding around in cars and that's not safe either. So I think - you know, you look at that from a personal standpoint to just really care for Kyle, his whole family, mother and dad and so I think you are a lot like family. I look at it that way. I told him last night to be truthful - I told him before surgery that, 'Hey, I love you.' And that's the way we feel about it."
    How does Kyle's injury compare to others you've seen in football and racing?
    "I think any injury, particularly one that would affect your life and take you away from what you love to do for a period of time - I know we're going to just do everything we can to get Kyle back. And as far as the future, we're probably start thinking about that tomorrow, get a better evaluation from the doctors and what they think on time and then we'll be talking about what we can do there going forward, which will be best everyone concerned."
    Closing Statement:
    "Thank you all and appreciate all the prayers - the prayer and all of you. We care so much for our people and our family and the people you're so close to. I think in sports you go through so many things that are the highs and the lows and certainly right now this is a low. We appreciate everyone's prayers and going forward for the family and thank you for the way you guys always rally and you're a big part of our sport - thank you."(Toyota Racing)(2-22-2015)

  • Statement from Toyota on Kyle Busch Accident: "Kyle Busch is a key member of our Toyota NASCAR family and it goes without saying that everyone at Toyota and TRD (Toyota Racing Development), U.S.A. has Kyle in their thoughts and prayers. Kyle is as tough a competitor as you'll find in motorsports and I'm confident he'll recover quickly and return to the track with an even greater passion to win. We know fellow Toyota driver Matt Crafton will represent not only Toyota, but Joe Gibbs Racing well in today's Daytona 500." Ed Laukes, Vice President marketing, performance and guest experience for Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A.(Toyota Racing)(2-22-2015)

  • Kyle Busch injured in XFINITY Series race at Daytona, will NOT race in Daytona 500 UPDATE: Kyle Busch will miss the Daytona 500 with a right leg injury after a hard crash into a concrete wall during an Xfinity Series race Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. Busch, in obvious pain, had his right leg placed in an air cast before being transported to Halifax Health Medical Center. He was awake and alert at the hospital, Joe Gibbs Racing officials said. He was supposed to start fourth Sunday in the Daytona 500. A replacement driver hasn't yet been named.
    The accident occurred when Busch was racing directly behind JGR teammate Erik Jones. Jones got turned and Busch got clipped. Busch's car sped across an area of the track used as an entrance to the road course portion of the speedway and then slammed hard into a concrete wall. Busch climbed out of the car before laying down on the grass near his car. The wall did not have a steel-and-foam energy-reduction barrier (SAFER), which NASCAR has had installed in the turns and other areas at tracks but has consistently been criticized for not having everywhere on the inside and outside walls on ovals.
    If Busch cannot start Sunday's Daytona 500, he would not be awarded any points. NASCAR, which requires drivers to compete each week to be eligible for its season-long championship, would have to grant Busch an exemption to not start a race he qualified for as well as to miss any future events and still be eligible for the Chase for the Sprint Cup.(ESPN)
    AND #18-Kyle Busch will miss Sunday's Daytona 500 following a hard crash in the closing laps of Saturday's Alert Today Florida 300 at Daytona International Speedway. Busch was caught up in a 10-car crash near the end of the frontstretch on Lap 112 of the 120-lap event, his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota careening head-on into a section of infield wall that had no SAFER barrier. After the crash, Busch was transported directly to Halifax Health Medical Center of Daytona Beach. Medical updates are pending. He is being evaluated for injuries to his right leg. Joe Gibbs Racing has not named Busch's replacement or indicated how long he will be out (FoxSports)(2-21-2015)
    UPDATE: Matt Crafton will replace Kyle Busch in the Daytona 500, a person familiar with the arrangement told USA TODAY Sports. The person requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the matter. Crafton, the Camping World Truck Series champion, went to Joe Gibbs Racing on Saturday night to get fitted for a seat in the #18 car. The team thought of using Xfinity Series driver Erik Jones, but NASCAR overruled it based on his inexperience in a Cup car. Busch and Crafton are not only both Toyota drivers, but also close friends. Crafton was a groomsman in Busch's wedding.(USA Today)
    Statement from Joe Gibbs Racing: Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), sustained a compound fracture of the right lower leg in an accident during Saturday's NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona. Additionally, Busch suffered a mid-foot fracture of his left foot in the accident. Busch was transported to a local hospital for treatment immediately following the accident and is currently undergoing surgery on his right leg. Busch's injuries will sideline him for an undetermined period of time. Veteran Matt Crafton will serve as the interim driver for Busch's #18 Toyota during Sunday's 57th Daytona 500. An interim driver has not been determined for the following race March 1 at Atlanta or for any future races. Additional updates will be provided as needed.(JGR).(2-21-2015)
    Kyle Busch Undergoes Successful Surgery Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), underwent successful surgery tonight to repair a compound fracture to his lower right leg suffered earlier today during the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway. Busch is resting comfortable and will remain hospitalized for observation. There will be no additional updates tonight. Joe Gibbs Racing owner Joe Gibbs is scheduled to address the media at 9:20am/et in the media center at Daytona International Speedway.(JGR)(2-21-2015)

  • Crispy M&M's to return, featured on #18 in 2015: For Kyle Busch and M&M's Crispy, 2015 is the year of the comeback. In January, Busch's primary backer M&M's listened to the fans and launched the highly anticipated return of M&M's Crispy. Just one month later, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series fans are also looking forward to another highly anticipated return - the 2015 Sprint Cup Series season, which kicks off with Saturday night's Sprint Unlimited exhibition race and culminates Feb. 22 with the 57th Daytona 500. To celebrate the return of M&M's Crispy, Busch's colorful #18 M&M's Crispy Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) will introduce a new green paint scheme celebrating the return of Busch's favorite M&M's candy. While 2015 is about the celebration of the return of M&M's Crispy, there are also some exciting new elements for Busch and his teammates that have them looking forward to a return to success for the #18 M&M's Crispy team. The biggest of the new additions is the promotion of crew chief Adam Stevens from the JGR XFINITY Series shop to new crew chief for Busch's and the M&M's Crispy team's championship efforts in 2015. While Busch and Stevens will work together for the first time in NASCAR's top series in 2015, the driver-crew chief duo already knows its way to victory lane. In fact, Busch and Stevens have combined for 19 wins, 46 top-five finishes, and 47 top-10s in 52 XFINITY Series starts together over the last two seasons. One other exciting addition to the team, approximately mid-May, is the expected arrival of Busch's wife Samantha's first child, a son, who is due around NASCAR's annual stop at Charlotte.(JGR). See an image of the scheme on the #18 Team Schemes page.(2-11-2015)

  • Kyle Busch tired of being confused with brother Kurt: #18-Kyle Busch said Monday he has not gotten involved in his older brother's personal issues and is disappointed he has been mistaken for Kurt in coverage of assault allegations against the 2004 NASCAR champion. #41-Kurt Busch spent four days over the last two months in a Delaware courtroom as part of a hearing regarding an ex-girlfriend's request for a no-contact order. Patricia Driscoll alleged Busch assaulted her in September during an argument at Dover International Speedway. "Haven't spoken to him, don't know nothing; trying to stay away from it all and let him handle his business," Kyle Busch said. But he's been dragged into it as the case drew national attention earlier this month when Kurt Busch testified he believes Driscoll is a trained assassin. In several instances, Kyle has been wrongly identified as his brother. "I think it's stupid. I think people need to do a little bit more background before they write names or say names if they don't know what the heck they are talking about," Kyle said. "It's not that hard to differentiate between two people that have the same last name. I think people need to do a better job and not be so slackish. It hasn't been bothersome from a sponsorship standpoint, yet, that I know of. I know it could be if it continues to keep going, but it's the wrong brother. But I think the relationship I have with the Mars family is far beyond that, hopefully."(ESPN/AP)(1-27-2015)

  • Jack Men changes so far in 2015 season: There are a lot of teams making moves in the off season and the Jack Man position seems to be one that is getting a lot of attention. Below is a list of changes for 2015 with more to come.
    #5 of HMS replaces Jack Man Trey Burklin with long time HMS Jack Man Eric Ludwig
    #9 of RPM replaces Kevin Wing with Gabe Martin from the #10 team
    #10 of SHR-We arn't sure about this but we heard Tony Cardamone will be replacing Gabe Martin who is now at the #9
    #18 of JGR replacing retired Jeff Fender with David Odell from the #78
    #19 of JGR has hired Trey Burklin from the #5
    #27 of RCR replacing Carey Wimbish with Sam Abney
    #42 of GR is replacing long time Jack Man Mark Jacobs with Mark Janssen
    #43 of RPM is replacing Mike Brown with T.J. Ford from the #48
    #78 of Furniture Row is replacing David Odell-who left for the #18- with Carey Wimbish from the #27.(Pit Talks)(1-6-2015)

2014 News

  • Special M&M's schemes [10 races] are scheduled to be run at the following 2014 races:
    Daytona, Sprint Unlimited - 2/15, Peanuts
    Daytona - 2/23, Peanuts
    Las Vegas - 3/9, Peanuts
    Talladega - 5/4, Pretzel
    Dover - 6/1, Peanut Butter
    Pocono - 6/8, Peanut Butter
    Sonoma - 6/22, Pretzel
    Atlanta - 8/31, Peanut Butter
    Talladega - 10/19, Halloween
    Martinsville - 10/26, Halloween

  • 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

  • DoubleMint Gum [2 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2014 races:
    Bristol - 8/23
    Charlotte - 10/11

  • Skittles [2 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2014 races:
    Phoenix - 3/2
    Bristol - 3/16

  • Snickers [2 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2014 races:
    Kansas - 5/10
    Indy - 7/27

  • Banfield Pet Hospital / Petcare [1 race] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2014 races:
    Phoenix - 11/9

  • 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:
    #18-Kyle Busch:
    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)(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)

2013 News

  • Special M&M's schemes [5 races] are scheduled to be run at the following 2013 races:
    Charlotte - 5/26, Red-White-Blue
    Indianapolis - 7/28, Red-White-Blue
    Pocono - 8/1, Peanut Butter
    Talladega - 10/20, Halloween
    Martinsville - 10/27, Halloween

  • Interstate Batteries [6 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2013 races:
    Auto Club - 3/24
    Texas - 4/13
    Daytona - 7/6, All Battery Center scheme
    New Hampshire - 7/14
    Michigan - 8/18
    Dover - 9/29

  • Doublemint Gum [4 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2013 races:
    Darlington - 5/11
    Kentucky - 6/29
    Bristol - 8/24
    Chicago - 9/15

  • Snickers [2 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2013 races:
    Charlotte, All-Star Race - 5/18, Snickers Bites
    Texas - 11/3

  • 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:
    Driver..........Interviews...Interview Time.......Mentions
    #48-Johnson.........30.........0:32:45...............4,536
    #18-Busch...........33.........0:35:20...............4,053
    #20-Kenseth.........32.........0:33:05...............3,621
    #5-Kahne............30.........0:28:41...............2,846
    #24-Gordon..........33.........0:34:46...............2,742
    #2-Keselowski.......25.........0:20:06...............2,607
    #20-Logano, J.......19.........0:20:50...............2,510
    #88-Earnhardt, Jr...23.........0:21:40...............2,352
    #78-Busch...........22.........0:22:05...............2,215
    #99-Edwards.........22.........0:22:44...............2,169
    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)

  • Could Truex go to Gibbs? Will NAPA return? UPDATE: #56-Martin Truex, Jr., an innocent victim in this whole thing, is handling things with class. But he points out that he now has to look out for himself, and that means making some quick decisions about 2014. Immediately after NAPA's decision to pull the plug on the Waltrip-Truex team, there were hopes that NAPA, perhaps with Truex, might move to another stock car operation and continue its sports marketing here. NAPA is one of this sport's long-time sponsors. However Sunday here a man close to the situation said NAPA has now decided simply to drop out of NASCAR racing. If so, that could be a devastating blow; the sanctioning body itself just lost Nationwide as sponsor of its Triple-A tour (following the 2014 season). Where Truex might land, if he does move on? Well, Toyota's Joe Gibbs has been looking to fill a long-proposed fourth Cup team slot; Gibbs tried to get Kurt Busch earlier this year. And Richard Childress is still filling out his 2014 roster. Truex says simply "life moves on. I've moved on from it.(MikeMulhern.net)
    BUT: According to a tweet by NASCAR.com's Kenny Bruce, "J.D. Gibbs did everything but rule out 4th Cup team for JGR. 'Going from 2 to 3 was so difficult. ... I don't see it.' ".
    AND: Sporting News' Bob Pockrass reports, "Joe [Gibbs] said he's devoted to Toyota & MWR & supports them, said he has no idea what's happening and had no talks [about] 4th team w/NAPA-Truex"(9-23-2013)
    UPDATE: Waltrip ... said that if Truex could find another deal, he wouldn't hold him back even though two years remain on his contract. Right now, there's only one other real deal out there - the Furniture Row Racing #78 car. That team is self-funded by Barney Visser, who owns the furniture chain. Furniture Row general manager Joe Garone said he was interested in Truex, and he likely could wait a while for Truex to make a decision. The organization likely would go with a young driver if not Truex, meaning all those drivers probably would be available well into November before having to make a commitment for 2014. The big "if" is whether NAPA will return and sponsor another Cup team. NAPA likes to have a car for the full season but several sources in the garage said the $16 million that NAPA is reportedly paying likely includes a hefty Chase bonus and might be too low to garner a full season with other organizations. Team owner Richard Childress said he wasn't going to call NAPA, but he could start a fourth team if there is interest. "You're always interested, but we're going to see what shakes down here with those guys," he said. "I hope NAPA stays in the sport. I really hate it for Martin. I'm sure they'll see the value in our sport and hopefully stay in with whomever. We're not going to beat their door down. We can do a fourth team. I don't believe in going out and chasing somebody in a bad situation. Let them make their decision."
    Chip Ganassi had no comment on the possibility of pursuing Truex, while Roger Penske said he is set with his two Cup teams for next year. "Martin's one of the good young drivers here," Penske said. "We're committed (to) two cars next year. We have plenty of drivers. What we need to do is stay focused. ... At this point, I don't see us going with Truex or NAPA."(Sporting News)(9-23-2013)

  • 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)

  • Free M&Ms if Kyle Busch wins the Chase: Racing fans now have 1 million more reasons to cheer for #18-Kyle Busch in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Mars Chocolate North America announced a deliciously unique offer from M&M'S Brand to make this year's NASCAR "playoff races" even 'Better with M.' Here's the deal: Should Kyle, driver of the #18 M&M'S Toyota Camry, capture the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, the brand will celebrate with America by giving away 1 million free bags of M&M'S. Now that's a sweet deal every race fan can appreciate. The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is arguably the longest and most competitive playoff system in professional sports - pitting the sports' top 12 drivers from the regular season against each other for 10 grueling races to crown a champion. Busch is making his sixth appearance in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup - his fourth in the #18 M&M'S Toyota Camry. As the "Official Chocolate of NASCAR," M&M'S brand saw an opportunity to make a victory even sweeter - both for Kyle, and fans across the country.(M&Ms/Mars PR)(9-15-2013)

  • Kyle Busch to make a stop in Williamsburg; special logo at RIR: Before Kyle Busch heads to Richmond for Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 behind the wheel of his #18 M&M's/American Heritage Chocolate Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), he'll make a stopover Thursday in historic Colonial Williamsburg to take a turn at a different kind of horsepower. Busch's visit to Williamsburg is part of the "History Meets Horsepower" program - a unique partnership between Colonial Williamsburg, Richmond International Raceway and Mars Chocolate North America with its American Heritage Chocolate brand. The three parties have come together to celebrate our country's storied transportation past and rich culinary history, showcasing the evolution of both through modern times. As a part of his visit, Busch is scheduled to meet with fans in Merchants Square, take part in a colonial chocolate history demonstration by American Heritage Chocolate, and explore the "Revolutionary City" with his wife Samantha. And, at the racetrack this weekend, Busch's #18 M&M's/American Heritage Toyota will be adorned with the American Heritage logo in addition to the usual colorful M&M's paint scheme to celebrate the unique and exciting partnership. Sharing the #18 M&M's Toyota this weekend will be American Heritage Chocolate, an authentic and historic line of products made with all-natural ingredients that celebrates chocolate's important role in the culture and heritage of America. The brand was created by Mars Chocolate North America to help educate consumers about how Americans enjoyed chocolate in the 17th and 18th centuries, and how it was woven into the fabric of their lives.(JGR)(9-5-2013)

  • Kyle Busch wins Atlanta: #18-Kyle Busch won the Advocare 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway for his 4th win of 2013 and 28th career win.
    #22-Logano finished 2nd followed by #56-Truex, Jr., #78-Busch, #39-Newman, #24-Gordon, #42-Montoya, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #29-Harvick, and #55-Vickers
    Pole-sitter #17-Stenhouse, Jr. led one lap and finished 16th.
    Points leader #48-Johnson suffered some damage in an early accident and had a late race spin. He finished 28th. #15-Bowyer was in position to take the points lead, but lost an engine on laps 195, while leading the race, and finished 39th.
    There were 28 lead changes among 13 drivers and 9 cautions for 47 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 135.128mph. NASCAR no longer announces the track attendance.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Atlanta Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Atlanta Penalty Report (pdf).(9-1-2013)

  • 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).

    Driver Interviews Interview Time Mentions
    #48-Johnson 18 20:21 3451
    #18-Busch 21 21:02 3022
    #20-Kenseth 23 19:39 2661
    #5-Kahne 21 16:44 2150
    #11-Hamlin 15 14:07 1760
    #2-Keselowski 16 11:59 1722
    #22-Logano 11 10:59 1704
    #24-Gordon 20 20:38 1638
    #88-Earnhardt, Jr. 13 11:48 1611
    #99-Edwards 13 14:06 1609

    Also of note: #14-Tony Stewart is 12th in mentions and #10-Danica Patrick is 19th.(Joyce Julius)(8-13-2013)

  • Kyle Busch wins Watkins Glen: #18-Kyle Busch won the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International for his 3rd win of 2013 and 27th career win. #2-Keselowski finished 2nd followed by #56-Truex, Jr., #99-Edwards, #42-Montoya, #15-Bowyer, #22-Logano, #48-Johnson, #78-Busch, and #47-Allmendinger.
    Pole sitter #9-Ambrose led 51 laps early in the race but wrecked with 6 laps to go, while running 10th, and finished 31st.
    #14-Max Papis, subbing for Tony Stewart, finished 15th.
    There were 5 lead changes among 5 drivers and 8 cautions for 21 yellow flag laps. There was a 22 minute red flag midway through the race for oil cleanup on the track after an accident.
    The average speed was 87.001mph. NASCAR no longer announces the track attendance.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Watkins Glen Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Watkins Glen Penalty Report (pdf).
    See drivers championship points standings on the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings (pdf) and the owner points standings on the Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf).(8-11-2013)

  • NASCAR stars getting older: #24-Jeff Gordon turns 42 on Sunday at Pocono Raceway. Good for him, showing he's still got what it takes to compete for a Sprint Cup championship. Maybe not so good for NASCAR. As the sport tries to attract a younger fan base, the top talent keeps getting older with no signs of that changing. The average age of drivers in the top 10 in the standings is 36.5, four years older than in 2008. Led by #16-Greg Biffle, who will turn 44 in December, four drivers in the top 12 who would make the Chase if it started today are over 40 and 11 are 33 or older. #18-Kyle Busch, 28, is the baby of the bunch, no pun intended. Not since Jimmie #48-Johnson came onto the scene in 2002 has there been a young driver who successfully and consistently challenged the old guard for championships. He was 26 and arrived with little to no fanfare. Before that it was #14-Tony Stewart, who was 26 at the start of the 1998 season. Not since a 21-year-old Gordon entered NASCAR's top series in 1993 has a driver in his early 20s become dominant.(ESPN)(8-4-2013)

  • Different look for Kyle Busch at Pocono: #18-Kyle Busch will drive a special Peanut Butter M&M'S Toyota at the race in Pocono this weekend and again in New Hampshire.(JGR), see an image of the car on the #18 team paint schemes page.(8-1-2013)

  • Red-White-Blue scheme returns on the #18: Kyle Busch's #18 Toyota will carry a special M&M's Red, White, and Blue scheme in support of the M&M's M'Prove America campaign, a year-long partnership with Habitat for Humanity designed to fund construction of new Habitat homes across the United States. Fans can join Busch and M&M's by pledging to volunteer their time and talents at Habitat for Humanity build sites across the country at www.mproveamerica.com. Fans also can support the M'Prove America program by purchasing specially marked red, white and blue M&M's at their local retailer through Labor Day. In addition to encouraging fans to volunteer time, M&M's is donating $500,000 to Habitat for Humanity to fund the construction of Habitat homes in 2013.(JGR), see images of the scheme on the #18 Team Schemes page.(7-26-2013)

  • Kyle Busch calls Newman 'idiot' UPDATE Newman responds, Busch backs away: #78-Kurt Busch kept his cool after being involved in a wreck with Ryan Newman that ended his chances of winning Sunday's Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire, but his younger brother didn't. #18-Kyle Busch took several shots at Newman, who earlier in the week learned this would be his last season with Stewart-Haas Racing. "I really hate it that Kurt got tore up and I felt like he had the best car here today," Kyle said to ESPN of his brother, who led a race-high 102 laps. "He was definitely good. He could definitely roll the long runs for sure and I was proud of those guys, but man just stupidity. I mean Ryan Newman is the biggest stupid idiot out here. And he's a big ogre and he can do whatever he wants because he can probably kick anybody's butt, so no sense in getting into a fight with him. But glad he is out of a job." The incident occurred on lap 226 of 302. It turned a potential win into a 31st-place finish that dropped Kurt from ninth to 14th in the standings. Kurt didn't mention Newman after the incident, but said he got hit from behind. The driver behind him was #20-Matt Kenseth. Newman, who finished 39, said Kurt took himself out. "I guess [Kenseth] had a little influence on it," Newman said. "We were kind of in a bad spot having a little bit older tires. ... Just a lot of disrespect from a bunch of guys on restarts. What comes around goes around."(ESPN)(7-15-2013)
    UPDATE: Ryan Newman wasted little time responding to Kyle Busch calling him an "ogre" and "the biggest stupid idiot out here" following Sunday's Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Newman fired back Monday on SiriusXM NASCAR radio saying, "We know he's not very bright."
    "I'm sure if I rearrange his face I might fix it," [Newman] said. "He's frustrated finishing third [actually second] or wherever he was after hitting me first and then giving me a little rub down the straightaway. Just imagine how I feel. It is what it is. We know he's not very bright. He's a heck of a talent, but not very bright."
    Does that mean Newman, who is 19th in the standings and 36 points outside the top 10 needed to guarantee a spot in the Chase, might take revenge against Kyle who is seventh in points? I never said that," Newman told SiriusXM. "If he's going to run his mouth, he better be able to back up running his mouth. It seems like after his comment about me not having a ride it seems like he has way more to lose than I do." (ESPN)(7-16-2013)
    UPDATE 2: Kyle Busch responded Tuesday on Twitter:
    "I want to clarify that I was answering what I felt was two separate questions asked to me at the same time in an interview following the race in Loudon. The first was about how fast Kurt was and the second was how I felt about Ryan Newman blaming me for him getting wrecked.
    First I answered the Kurt part. He was fast... Great to see them running well... Was a shame to see him crashed... Nowhere there did I place blame on who wrecked who. I didn't see it and I still haven't seen it.
    My second answer came from being upset over an incident I had with RN on the track during the race. I answered it in the same response, but it was intended as a completely separate answer.
    I was upset because I felt RN raced me poorly, making contact and causing damage to my RF fender that affected the handling on my racecar. This isn't the first time that I've been raced poorly by RN either, which added to my frustration. All this built up and allowed my emotions to spill over for how I felt. I'm not sorry for how I feel in those moments, but could have expressed it better and certainly my comments about someone's livelihood went too far.(7-17-2013)

  • #18 Crew Chief says illegal roof flaps offer no advantage: A crew chief for one of the 31 cars cited Thursday by NASCAR for illegal roof flaps said the modification has "no advantage" at Daytona International Speedway. "There are no gains being made on superspeedways," Dave Rogers, crew chief for #18-Kyle Busch, said Friday on The Morning Drive SiriusXM program. "The advantage is 3 ounces of weight you saved up high in your roof." Busch's #18 Toyota was one of 16 Sprint Cup cars that were delayed from starting practice until changing the spacers, which NASCAR said weren't compliant with the rulebook. Spokesman Kerry Tharp said the spacers support the hinge bar on the roof flaps, which deploy during a spin to help keep a car from going airborne.(USA Today)(7-6-2013)

  • Sixteen Cup teams found with modified roof flap spacers UPDATE: Sixteen teams found to have modified roof flap spacers (lighter) during NASCAR inspection. Teams listed: #1-McMurray, #2-Keselowski, #9-Ambrose, #11-Hamlin, #13-Mears, #15-Bowyer, #16-Biffle, #17-Stenhouse Jr., #18-Busch, #20-Kenseth, #21-Bayne, #22-Logano, #43-Almirola, #55-Waltrip, #56-Truex Jr. and #99-Edwards. The modified/confiscated roof-flap spacers are on display at Daytona in the NASCAR hauler. NASCAR's Kerry Tharp addressed media on confiscated roof-flap spacers - "Spacers not in compliance with those kits." The roof-flap kits are supplied to teams for #NASCAR by one company (a Roush company) and are not to be changed.(SPEED's, Dustin Long Fox/NASCAR on Twitter)
    AND Thirty-one cars, including 16 in the Sprint Cup Series, failed inspection before Thursday's practices at Daytona International Speedway. NASCAR confiscated the teams' roof flaps, which are designed to keep cars on the ground during spins and wrecks at high speeds, for further inspection. Penalties could be possible. The roof-flap spacers had been illegally machined down to reduce weight. NASCAR inspectors made those Cup teams install new, unaltered roof flaps before drivers were allowed on the track for the first of two practices. Inspectors then went to the Nationwide garage and found similar issues on 15 cars. "When you find something in one garage, you communicate to the other garage," NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said. "We looked into it and this is what we found."(Associated Press)(7-4-2013)
    UPDATE: NASCAR Sprint Cup teams expect widespread penalties after 16 cars were found with illegal roof-flap spacers at Daytona Thursday, but they don't know how severe those penalties might be. The teams caught scrambled Thursday to make compliant spacers, which are used to attach the hinge of the roof flaps. Teams and manufacturers get roof flaps from Roush Composites and, according to the NASCAR rulebook, "the hinged air deflectors must be installed as specified in the instruction sheet supplied with the hinged air deflector kit." But it was apparent that many teams had lightened the spacers or changed them. It wasn't clear what tipped off NASCAR inspectors to the violations, but after a sweep of the Sprint Cup garage Thursday, NASCAR went through the Nationwide garage and took pieces from 15 Nationwide teams Thursday night. A non-compliant part might just be a monetary penalty but because it dealt with a safety piece - the roof flaps pop up during a spin to try to keep the car on the ground - a points penalty is definitely possible, as well as crew suspensions. NASCAR traditionally issues penalties the Tuesday after a race weekend. NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said the widespread use of the illegal spacers most likely indicates that those pieces had gotten through inspection previously. "It's probably not something that was on a normal inspection routine," Pemberton said. "The teams are told that they must assemble all that stuff using all the parts that's in the kit. Once in a while you'll find things like that and it's probably something that teams have probably done a little bit in the past." Whether the number of teams involved will impact the penalties and whether crew chiefs who are on probation will face more severe penalties will be determined Monday and Tuesday, Pemberton said. Because teams didn't have extra kits at Daytona, NASCAR allowed the teams to make spacers that were compliant.(Sporting News)(7-5-2013)

  • Special Interstate Batteries scheme for Daytona: Kyle Busch will roll into Daytona with a different look gracing the #18 Toyota this weekend - the metallic and reflective green-and-gold scheme for Interstate All Battery Center stores. The Interstate All Battery Center colors this weekend come as the company continues its franchise expansion throughout the U.S., Canada and Latin America. Recognized as a top-50 franchisor by Franchise Business Review, All Battery Center stores provide "Every Battery for Every Need," with more than 16,000 portal power solutions. Interstate Batteries colors are already two-for-two this season with Busch's wins at Auto Club Speedway and Texas (JGR), see image of scheme on the #18 Team Schemes page.(7-4-2013)

  • Keselowski says rivals stole Ford employees, information: #2-Brad Keselowski met with Ford Motor Co. employees in Dearborn on Thursday and signed autographs and answered questions. The defending NASCAR Sprint Cup champion also found time to chat with reporters and take a sharp jab at Chevrolet-backed Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing, which runs Toyotas. Keselowski criticized Hendrick and Gibbs for "stealing away" employees and information from Ford Cup teams, including his own Penske Racing outfit and Roush Fenway Racing. Keselowski didn't mince words about Hendrick and Gibbs' recruitment techniques when he was asked by the media about the recent efforts of Ford teams like Penske and Roush coming together and sharing information. "There are little things you can do," Keselowski said of Ford-backed teams opening up lines of communication in an effort to improve performances on the track. "What keeps it from going too far is the fact that Hendrick and Gibbs have this nasty little habit of going to other teams and outbidding other people and taking those employees and stealing our information, and, when that happens, that puts walls up between the camps because you are giving up more than one piece of information - you are giving up two companies' information and trying to protect yourself against that, it forces you to put up walls.It doesn't necessarily lend itself to working together. But still, we are going to put in a valiant effort where we can and where it makes sense to put Ford in a position to have the best results possible."Keselowski cited two incidents where he claimed Hendrick and Gibbs - who between them run the likes of series points leader and five-time Cup champ Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. - lured away Ford team employees with big offers."Gibbs stole the Roush aero director and took all the information," said Keselowski. "And Hendricks took three employees from our Chase-winning team last year."(USA Today)(6-14-2013)
    GIBBS STATEMENT: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) released the following statement from Owner Joe Gibbs in response to the recent comments made by driver Brad Keselowski: "We were surprised to read the recent comments and accusations made by Brad Keselowski. Clearly those comments are misguided and irresponsible. Brad's candor is well documented, but he would do well to only speak to subjects on which he is properly informed. Obviously NASCAR is a very competitive environment and we take our hiring processes seriously at JGR. The individual he referenced in his comments was working outside of the sport of NASCAR at the time we hired him. We have a great deal of respect for Roger Penske and his organization and I feel like I have always had a good personal relationship with Roger. We look forward to competing with Brad on the racetrack, but hope that he will use better judgment in the future before making such misinformed claims and accusations."(JGR)
    HENDRICK STATEMENT: HMS owner Rick Hendrick also took offense to what Keselowski said. "The comments Brad reportedly made were misinformed,'' Hendrick said. "The truth is that we hired one tire changer, who was a backup for Penske and whose contract was up. We also brought over one mechanic from their Nationwide program and, when the Penske engine shop was closing, added a few of those people. What Brad left out was that his organization also hired one of our tire changers. All of this was above board and is part of doing business in a competitive environment. I take no issue with any of it, and I expect Roger [Penske] would say the same. Brad misrepresents the facts and spends a lot of time making insinuations and accusations about other teams when he should be focused on his own program and competing at a high level. I hope he figures that out and begins representing himself and the sport with more class."(ESPN)(6-15-2013)

  • Two drivers to run the 'triple' at Kentucky: Kentucky Speedway's only two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race winners, #18-Kyle Busch (2011) and #2-Brad Keselowski (2012), will race head-to-head three times during the track's June 27-29 tripleheader weekend as they compete for the checkered flags in the NSCS Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts, NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) Feed The Children 300 and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) UNOH 225. Both drivers will race a full Kentucky NASCAR tripleheader for the second time in their career. Busch completed the feat in 2011 and Keselowski in 2012.
    Busch's sterling record at the track features four victories in four different series. He nailed down the track's inaugural NSCS Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts crown along with a NCWTS UNOH 225 victory in 2011. He reeled in a 300-mile NNS victory in 2004 and made his track debut with a 206-mile ARCA Racing Series victory in 2003 as an emerging 18-year-old talent. Overall, the 28-year-old has collected a combined six top-five and nine top-10 finishes while leading 762 of the 2,086 Kentucky Speedway laps he's raced through 11 career starts in four series.
    Keselowski, the reigning NSCS champion, will defend his 2012 Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts title. He claimed a 2011 Feed The Children 300 victory and earned his NCWTS track-best second-place finish in last season's UNOH 225.
    Race tickets, infield Fan Zone passes, driver introductions and more - season and weekend ticket packages along with campsites can be purchased at kentuckyspeedway.com.(859) 578-2300 and the speedway ticket offices.(Kentucky Speedway)(6-14-2013)

  • Kahne not planning to pay back Busch: #18-Kyle Busch admitted he would understand if #5-Kasey Kahne spun him out at some point in retaliation for wrecks earlier this Sprint Cup season. But it appears Busch doesn't have too much to worry about. Kahne and Busch have battled for the lead and position several times in the Nationwide Series the last two weeks. And nothing happened. In the Nationwide Series race Saturday at Dover International Speedway, Busch, on fresher tires, easily passed Kahne for the lead on lap 129. Then after Busch took four tires and restarted 10th with 34 laps remaining, his rally was cut short in part because of a long side-by-side battle with Kahne for seventh. There were plenty of times Kahne could have just blocked or made Busch's life miserable. He didn't. He raced Busch hard, but clean. Was there any thought of payback? "It never has been (in my nature)-I just race hard," Kahne said. "Kyle races hard. We've never had problems in the past. His were mistakes. If I were ever to hit him, it would be a mistake myself. I'm going to race him all year. It is just what we're going to do every Sunday and Saturday."(Sporting News)(6-2-2013)

  • Kyle Busch, & team helping build Habitat for Humanity Homes; scheme: Almost daily, Kyle Busch and members of his #18 M&M'S Toyota team practice to improve their efficiency changing tires and pouring gas, to ensure they can save precious seconds necessary to maintain track position. Today, the team banded together with colleagues from Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR and M&M'S to make improvements of a different kind.
    This unique team, comprised of more than 50 volunteers, is helping build two Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte homes in the Charlotte area, which includes the future homes of Yasin Mohamed and Egland Isak and their three children, as well as Kung Mang and Sung Thluai and their two children. The effort is part of M&M'S M'Prove America campaign, a year-long partnership with Habitat designed to fund construction of new Habitat homes across the United States.
    Fans can join Busch and M&M'S by pledging to volunteer their time and talents at Habitat for Humanity build sites across the country at www.mproveamerica.com. This year, M&M'S is encouraging its associates and fans to log an ambitious 1.5 million minutes -- or 25,000 hours -- of volunteer time with Habitat. In addition to encouraging fans to volunteer time, M&M'S is also making a donation of $500,000 to Habitat for Humanity to fund the construction of Habitat homes in 2013. Later this month, M&M'S will also introduce specially marked M'Prove America packages of red, white and blue M&M'S Brand Candies in stores nationwide.
    The M&M'S M'Prove America campaign will also be on display during the Coca-Cola 600 on May 26 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway when Busch gets behind the wheel of a special #18 M&M'S M'Prove America Toyota.(Wall Street Journal), see an image of the scheme on my #18 Team Schemes page.(5-20-2013)

  • Kahne says he and Kyle Busch are good: Despite three on-track incidents between them in just 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup races this season, #5-Kasey Kahne told SPEED.com that he doesn't have a problem with #18-Kyle Busch. Prior to Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kahne told SPEED.com that he and Busch talked things out and are OK going forward. "Yes, it's over. I thought it was over before Darlington," said Kahne. Kahne said Busch called him earlier in the week. "We talked about ... it was just hard racing. We were both going for the lead."(SPEED)(5-19-2013)

  • Kyle Busch discusses Kasey Kahne: from a Toyota Racing press conference transcript:
    Q) How will you race Kasey Kahne?
    Busch "You race him (Kasey Kahne) just has hard as you race him any other week. The first two instances were a mistake, just misjudgment. Kasey admitted it, he had to get on the brakes in Daytona and checked up a little bit and I ran over him. You couldn't really see through the cars in front of you to see what was happening. Daytona I just misjudged, I wanted to pull out and thought last second that I was going to stay in line and push Kasey. I turned him sideways when I was coming back in line. Last week was just hard racing. You're in the last three laps and you're past the last pit stop and it's all about track position. For us, we were racing as hard as we could. He pulled a huge slide job on me in turn three and I got back to his inside and I had been running down there on the flat all night and had been passing lapped cars down there and some of my restarts were even that low on the race track. I didn't think there was going to be a problem and when I got down there I just got tight and pushed up a little bit. Whether or not we touched, I think that's insignificant because I'm not racing to wreck Kasey Kahne, but Kasey Kahne did crash because of me so it's a part of hard racing at the end of the race and I hate that it keeps being the same guy, but if it were a Matt Kenseth on a Tony Stewart we probably wouldn't see a story."
    Q) Have the incidents occurred with Kasey Kahne due to both of you racing up front?
    Busch "It's got some merit to it sure. Being up front racing with a guy, Kasey (Kahne), he won Bristol and I think we finished second to him there and then obviously he ran well at Vegas and he ran well at Kansas. We were up front at Vegas with him and running well there, but you run up front and you try for wins in the last 30 laps and you have to give it everything you've got. You're not there to rollover and let a guy go. Even the Darlington piece, if I would have let him go, I don't know that I could have got back by him. It was a little difficult to pass and he did seem to have a good car on the long runs so I knew that protecting my spot was what I needed to do at that particular point. Racing up front, racing hard I'm sure there would be a moment where it could come back on me and I expect it, it's fine. I just told Kasey, I said, 'Just don't make it hurt too bad."
    Q) Are you expecting retaliation from Kasey Kahne?
    Busch "I don't think Kasey (Kahne) is that kind of guy, but if it happens I'll understand."
    Q) Have you communicated with Kasey Kahne?
    Busch "We have communicated."(Toyota Racing)(5-18-2013)

  • New look for the #18 in All-Star race: #18-Kyle Busch will debut a new scheme he hopes to find in victory lane on Saturday night with SNICKERS Bites. The brand new hunger-satisfying innovation that offers the trademark SNICKERS combination of chocolate, peanuts, caramel and nougat shrunk down into small, no fuss, "pop 'em in your mouth" milk chocolate cubes. The unwrapped treats are ideal for sharing, whether while watching a movie, attending a gathering, or for fans cheering Busch to victory lane.(JGR), see an image of the car on the #18 Team Schemes page.(5-16-2013)

  • Kahne expects another apology from Busch: #5-Kasey Kahne anticipates another phone call and apology from #18-Kyle Busch after an incident between them cost Kahne a chance to win Saturday night's Bojangles' Southern 500. It's the third time this season - and second race in a row - that Busch has caused Kahne to wreck. "I don't know what his deal is with me,'' Kahne said after finishing 17th. Kahne and Busch dueled for the lead 34 laps from the finish Saturday. Kahne edged by Busch in Turn 3, Busch moved ahead off Turn 4. They headed to turn 1 side by side. "He blew that entry into (Turn) 1,'' Kahne said. Busch went low into turn 1 but slid up the track. "I was like, "Oh shoot, oh shoot,' '' Kahne said. "The car moved and then just spun out. I don't know if he actually touched me or not. If he would have just entered normal like he entered the whole race there would have been no issues and I would have been leading off 2. He just didn't want that to happen, so he blew turn 1. Whether he hit me or not, he still caused that whole deal with screwing up and just mind fade. He's had a few of them this year when I've been around him."(Motor Racing Network)(5-12-2013)

  • Doublemint on the #18 at Darlington: Kyle Busch has proven he knows a thing or two about doubling up on a race weekend. So it might be appropriate that the driver of the #18 Doublemint Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing will have the iconic Doublemint gum brand adorn his racecar as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to historic Darlington Raceway for Saturday night's Bojangles Southern 500. Busch has already recorded two Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series "doubles" thus far in 2013. Those Sprint Cup and Nationwide wins on the same weekends at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., in March, and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth in April upped his total to eight career Sprint Cup-Nationwide doubles. This weekend's event will mark the first of four races in 2012 that Doublemint will serve as primary sponsor for Busch, as the iconic chewing gum brand's mint paint scheme will also adorn Busch's #18 Toyota at Kentucky, Atlanta, and the first race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup at Chicagoland.(TrueSpeed Communications/JGR), see an image of the car on the #18 team paint schemes page.(5-8-2013)

  • Kyle Busch wins Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown: Kyle Busch has won Denny Hamlin's Short Track Showdown for the third time in six years. Busch, a teammate of Hamlin's with Joe Gibbs Racing, grabbed the lead before the 5-minute pit stops that came after 46 laps, then pulled away when the race went back to green, easily holding off David Ragan on Thursday night. With Hamlin sidelined by a compression fracture of a vertebra in his lower back and forced to watch the event at his home track, Busch once again made the 75-lap race his to lose in a car that was built by his team, Kyle Busch Motorsports. Ragan was second, and Ben Rhodes finished third. The race benefits the Denny Hamlin Foundation, which is committed to helping children with cystic fibrosis.(Associated Press), other notable finishes: Kyle Larson 10th, Max Papis 21st, Matt Kenseth 22nd, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr, 25th, Trevor Bayne 26th, Tony Stewart 28th, Michael Waltrip 33rd.(4-25-2013)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Texas: #18-Kyle Busch won the NRA 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway for his 2nd win of 2013, 1st win at Texas and 26th career win. He took the lead on the final pitstop and pulled away over the final 16 laps to take the win by .508 seconds. #56-Truex, Jr. finished 2nd followed by #99-Edwards, #16-Biffle, #22-Logano, #48-Johnson, #43-Almirola, #11-Vickers, #2-Keselowski, and #39-Newman.
    There were 18 lead changes among 7 drivers and 7 cautions for 36 yellow flag laps. The average speed was 144.751mph.
    Starting this season, NASCAR doesn't release the track attendance.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Texas Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Texas Penalty Report (pdf)
    And see the Official Race and Points on the NRA 500 Official Race and Points Report page (pdf)

  • 300 Cup starts for Kyle Busch: At just 27 years of age, it's difficult to believe Kyle Busch is considered by many to be a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran. But as the Sprint Cup competitors head to Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth this Saturday night for the NRA 500, the driver of the # 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing is showing veteran-like numbers to prove it, especially since the Texas start will be his 300th in NASCAR's top series. Along with his number of starts, the number in the career wins column also serves to belie Busch's age. His 25th Sprint Cup win three weekends ago at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. - ties him with JGR teammate Matt Kenseth, along with Jim Paschal and Joe Weatherly, for 24th in all-time Sprint Cup victories. Also with the Fontana win, Busch became just the third driver to score 25 victories in both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series (25 Sprint Cup, 54 Nationwide). Mark Martin (40 Sprint Cup, 49 Nationwide) and Kenseth (25 Sprint Cup, 26 Nationwide) are the only other drivers to do so. In Busch's 299 previous starts, he's also has notched an impressive 97 top-five finishes and 144 top-10s. Not too shabby for just 300 career starts.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(4-11-2013)

  • Kyle Busch to appear on 'Anger Management': #18-Kyle Busch apparently will make fun of, of all people, Kyle Busch when he appears on upcoming episode of the FX comedy "Anger Management." According to TMZ, Busch will play himself and seek counseling from the character portrayed by Charlie Sheen, who of course isn't exactly known as the most stable person in the world. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver is one of the most polarizing personalities in the Sprint Cup Series thanks to his incredible talent, aggressive moves and an, at times, off-track surliness. Kyle Busch's wife, Samantha, posted a couple of photos of her and Kyle with Sheen on the set of the show Monday.(Sporting News)(3-29-2013)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Auto Club: #18-Kyle Busch won the Auto Club 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway for his 1st win of 2013, 2nd win at ACS and 25th career win. It is the first Sprint Cup Series win for Joe Gibbs Racing at ACS. Busch had a streak of 31 races since his last win. In a wild finish, #22-Logano was leading at the white flag and #11-Hamlin was next to hm a few feet behind the #22. The two drivers raced hard and got into each other on the backstretch, sending Logano into the outside wall and #11-Hamlin hard into the inside wall, which has no SAFER (for some reason). After climbing from the car under his own power, Hamlin laid down and was put on a stretcher and then an ambulance and taken to the infield care center. Hamlin was them taken by helicopter to a local hospital. #18 crew chew chief Dave Rogers was interviewed by SPEED's Kenny Wallace and said that he talked to team owner J.D. Gibbs and supposedly Hamlin has some back pain and was taken to the hospital as a precaution.
    #88-Earnhardt Jr finished 2nd followed by #22-Logano, #99-Edwards, #78-Busch, #16-Biffle, #20-Kenseth, #27-Menard, #5-Kahne and #39-Newman.
    #11-Hamlin, the pole sitter and involved in the last lap wreck, finished 25th.
    There were 17 lead changes among 8 drivers and 9 cautions for 35 yellow flag laps. The average speed was 135.351mph.
    Starting this season, NASCAR doesn't release the track attendance.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Auto Club Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Auto Club Penalty Resport (pdf)
    And see the Official Race and Points on the Auto Club 400 Official Race and Points Report page (pdf)

  • Hendrick Motorsports still most valuable team according to Forbes: Hendrick Motorsports is NASCAR's most valuable team with a value of $357 million, up 2%. Hendrick is worth twice as much as second-ranked Joe Gibbs Racing. Hendrick is the only four car Sprint Cup team left and brings in $125 million in sponsor revenue a year. Lowe's extended its deal last month through 2015 as the primary sponsor of Jimmie Johnson's #48 car. Earnhardt Ganassi (ranked #8 with a value of $72 million) announced it would switch engine suppliers from Earnhardt Childress Racing to Hendrick starting in 2013. This will add to Hendrick's coffers, which are already full as NASCAR's most profitable team with an estimated operating income of $16.6 million in 2012.
    Gibbs, worth $168 million, leapfrogs Roush Fenway Racing. Gibbs got a huge boost in 2013 with the addition of 2003 Sprint Cup champ Matt Kenseth, who replaced Joey Logano in the #20 car. Gibbs has been one of the most consistent teams when it comes to selling sponsorships with all paint schemes sold ahead of the season start in 2012 and 2013. JGR signed a 30-race renewal with FedEx last year on the #11 car.
    The value of Roush is down 10% to $166 million. The team has struggled to sell sponsorships in recent years and lost Kenseth to Gibbs. Richard Childress Racing ranks No. 4 with a value of $139 million, down 6%. Childress is at a crossroad as it prepares to lose its top driver, Kevin Harvick, who signed a deal to race for Stewart-Haas Racing starting in 2014. Still to be determined is if long-time sponsor, Budweiser, will follow Harvick out the door.
    The value of Stewart-Haas is up 14% to $123 million and ranks fifth. Tony Stewart and Gene Haas are building one of the top teams in NASCAR.
    NASCAR's top nine teams are worth $143 million on average, up 1% over last year. Each of these teams are profitable by our count (some just barely) with team's cutting budgets in cases where sponsor shortfalls arise. Earnings are down 10% overall compared to 2011.(see more details and the complete list at Forbes)(3-14-2013)

  • Mother of Kurt, Kyle Busch in golf-cart accident at PIR: Gaye Busch, the mother of #78-Kurt and #18-Kyle Busch, was among those taken to a Phoenix area hospital Saturday after a golf cart tipped over in the tunnel underneath Phoenix International Raceway. Kurt Busch tweeted last night: "Don't get in any moving vehicle w/ my mom. She was involved in a crash in the tunnel b4 the end of the race. A little banged up" He updated his twitter page this morning: "Thx again for all the nice comments about mom. She's here at the track & in great spirits. She was touched by all the concern" According to Fox 10 in Phoenix, Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies say the golf cart had too many people on it, causing it to roll over. No one was significantly injured. (Sporting News)(3-3-2013)

  • #18 team changes engines; Busch to the rear: #18-Kyle Busch will start Sunday's Sprint Cup race at the rear of the field after his Joe Gibbs Racing team changed engines in his Toyota Sunday morning. Busch qualified 4th on Friday. Team noticed problems during the warmup and fixing the issue would be longer than changing the engine. Supposedly this issue is not related to the #11-Hamlin engine issue.(many Tweets)(3-3-2013)

  • Five races at Daytona for Kyle Busch: #18-Kyle Busch is scheduled to participate in a total of five races during the 2013 edition of Daytona Speedweeks - three Sprint Cup events (Sprint Unlimited, Gatorade Duel, and the 55th Daytona 500), along with the Feb. 22 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race for Kyle Busch Motorsports and the Feb. 23 NASCAR Nationwide Series race in a car fielded by Joe Gibbs Racing.(JGR)(2-15-2013)

  • Interstate Batteries returns to sponsor the #18: Interstate Batteries will return for the 21st season to sponsor the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota for six races in 2013. Kyle Busch is scheduled to drive the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota at: Auto Club (3/24), Texas (4/13), Daytona (7/6), New Hampshire (7/14), Michigan (8/11) and Dover (9/29). See an image of the scheme on the #18 Team & Schemes page.(1-26-2013)

  • 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)

  • Joe Gibbs Racing Notes from the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour: the final stop on the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Media Tour was Joe Gibbs Racing: Some notes from Twitter world
    JGR officially announces multi-year extension with Kyle Busch.
    Busch says he had two serious offers from other Sprint Cup teams to leave JGR (supposedly SHR was one).
    Kyle Busch will also drive 25 Nationwide races for JGR in the #54.
    Kyle says that Joe Gibbs Racing will supply engines for KBM (Kligerman in Nationwide, Coulter & Kyle in truck)
    Denny Hamlin expects that new rear camber rules will make reliability a big topic in 2013.
    Joe Gibbs says that all JGR Cup sponsors are signed for long term deals except one (Home Depot/Husky?).
    Coach Gibbs says the 49ers will win this year's Super Bowl.
    Matt Kenseth says changing teams at the same time as learning the new #car has been beneficial.
    Elliott Sadler testing a Sprint Cup car today at New Smyrna Speedway but no Cup races set for him in 2013.
    JD Gibbs says there will be an announcement on Bubba Wallace soon.
    (from many Twitter reports/feeds)(1-24-2013)

  • Kyle Busch signed extension with JGR in December: #18-Kyle Busch has re-signed a long-term extension with Joe Gibbs Racing, removing one of the biggest names from the Sprint Cup Series' impending free-agent market. Two officials with direct knowledge of the deal told USA TODAY Sports that Busch, whose contract at JGR was set to expire after the 2013 season, signed a multiyear deal in December [supposedly thru 2017]. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the team had yet to announce the deal. The team had no comment on Busch's contract status. Asked Thursday night by USA TODAY Sports about whether he had a deal done, Busch coyly replied that "everybody will find out on (the team's) media day what's coming down." With Busch's future secure, JGR has its three drivers under long-term deals. Denny Hamlin re-signed an extension last season, and Matt Kenseth joined the organization this year in a multiyear contract. #78-Kurt Busch, #42-Juan Pablo Montoya and #39-Ryan Newman are the biggest names who aren't signed beyond 2013.(USA Today)(1-12-2013)

  • Study names NASCAR's Social Media Leaders: Joe Gibbs Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, and #48-Jimmie Johnson are among NASCAR's strongest and most engaging users of social media, a new social media study of the NASCAR industry finds. The study - conducted by Tuckahoe Strategies, a strategic communications firm - scored drivers, teams and select NASCAR sponsors and partners on a 20-point scale. Joe Gibbs Racing topped the charts with a Social Media Score of 15 points, Hendrick trailed by one point at 14 points and Johnson scored 13 points.
    Gibbs' online accounts comprise one of the broadest social media strategies for reaching fans of the sport. The team site, www.joegibbsracing.com, is up to date with timely features, and the homepage points to six social media platforms, including a mobile app for iPhone, Blackberry or Droid. The team maintains active social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and FourSquare. Hendrick also has an active and diverse menu of social media platforms including a mobile app. Gibbs' social media score bested Hendrick's by a single point because of its slightly more effective home page promotion of its social media platforms.
    Johnson is the most comprehensive user of social media among drivers. He reaches his audience on a broad array of platforms including: Facebook, 657,062 page likes; Twitter, 348,402 followers; YouTube, 265 subscribers; and Instagram, with an industry-leading 60,618 followers. Johnson's social media reach (the sum of all social media followers across platforms) is 1,066,347. This veritable "media machine" has a following larger than the circulation of the Los Angeles Times, which is the fourth largest newspaper in the country.
    The sport's largest audience holder and content curator across the board is NASCAR. The sanctioning body regained a voice and a direct connection to its fan base this year after repossessing control of its online assets in a January 2012 agreement with Turner Sports Interactive. NASCAR's total social media reach is an astronomical 5,044,070, more than double the daily circulation of the largest U.S. newspaper, The Wall Street Journal. In fact, NASCAR commands the industry's top position in terms of audience on Facebook likes (3,239,504), Twitter followers (841,027) and YouTube subscribers (5,430). The sanctioning body also has 1,420 followers on Pinterest and a staggering 956,689 circles on Google+.(Tuckahoe Strategies)(1-10-2013)

  • Johnson favored to win 2013 title by oddsmakers: A well-known online bookmaker has spoken, and #48-Jimmie Johnson is the 2013 favorite to win the Sprint Cup. In the betting game, it's not even close. Johnson is listed at 4-1 by Bovada . Next comes a three-way tie for No. 2 with defending champ #2-Brad Keselowski, #11-Denny Hamlin and #18-Kyle Busch all at 17-2. Even though Busch failed to make the 2012 Chase, he is viewed as the second-most likely driver to win the 2013 title. Fourth on the list is #5-Kasey Kahne at 9-1, followed by three former champions at 12-1 -- #24-Jeff Gordon, #20-Matt Kenseth and #14-Tony Stewart, the 2011 champ. #99-Carl Edwards, the 2011 runner-up when he tied Stewart for the points total but had fewer wins, gets a decent betting line despite finishing 15th last season and going winless. He's 14-1 along with #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #15-Clint Bowyer and #16-Greg Biffle. #56-Martin Truex Jr. is 16-1, and #29-Kevin Harvick has the longest odds among the 2012 Chase drivers at 20-1, probably because he's a lame-duck driver at Richard Childress Racing. Harvick moves to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014. If you want to pick a real long shot, #39-Ryan Newman is listed at 50-1 along with #42-Juan Pablo Montoya. #1-Jamie McMurray, Montoya's teammate at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, is substantially better at 33-1. If you like #22-Joey Logano's chances in his first year at Penske Racing, you can get him at 40-1.(ESPN)(1-9-2013)

  • 2013 silly season notes for #18-Kyle Busch / Joe Gibs Racing: no major changes in any way with the #18 team. With the new 6th generation car to Busch's liking, Busch could have a big year as he says he loves the new car. Busch only won one Sprint Cup Series race in 2012 and missed the Chase but had six top-five finishes in the last seven races. Dave Rogers returns as the crew chief. M&M's returns to sponsor 30 races, which includes Snickers and Wrigley Gum. No official word on longtime JGR sponsor Interstate Batteries, but they are expected beck for six races as the primary sponsor in 2013. See images of the M&M's regular scheme on my #18 Team Schemes page. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-9-2013)

2012 News

  • Special M&M's schemes [6 races] are scheduled to be run at the following 2012 races:
    Daytona - 2/26, Brown
    Phoenix - 3/4, Brown
    Charlotte - 5/27, Red-White-Blue
    Kentucky - 6/30, Red-White-Blue
    Kansas - 10/21 Halloween
    Martinsville - 10/28 Halloween

  • Interstate Batteries [6 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2012 races:
    Auto Club - 3/25
    Texas - 4/14
    Daytona - 7/7
    New Hampshire - 7/15
    Michigan - 8/19
    Dover - 9/30

  • Doublemint Gum [4 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2012 races:
    Bristol - 3/18
    Darlington - 5/12
    Atlanta - 9/2
    Chicago - 9/16

  • Snickers [2 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2012 races:
    Michigan - 6/17
    Texas - 11/4

  • There are eight current race tracks the Sprint Cup Series runs on that Kyle Busch has not won at a Sprint Cup race:
    Martinsville, Texas, Charlotte, Kansas, Pocono, Michigan, Indianapolis and Homestead.(11-20-2011)

  • More new 2013 car info: The 2013 season will mark the introduction of the 'Gen-6' NASCAR racecar. At the heart of the new car is a desire to see more competitive racing by cars that closely resemble their showroom counterparts. Here are some of the key changes that fans will notice:
    1) Distinct body lines that match street vehicles
    2) The "greenhouse" area is the same on every car
    3) Longer nose and shorter tail to mimic street cars
    4) Carbon fiber hood and decklid
    5) New decals on windshield and roof
    See the full post along with images at joegibbsracing.com.(11-30-2012)

  • Mars to be honored with NASCAR Marketing Achievement Award: Mars, Incorporated will be honored with the 2012 NASCAR Marketing Achievement Award at the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards held at Encore at Wynn Las Vegas on Thursday, November 29. Throughout its 23-year partnership, Mars has directly engaged race fans, customers and associates through an integrated marketing strategy that spanned across multiple activations, including: intellectual property, promotions, public relations, B2B, online, broadcast, event marketing and retail. The partnership represents one of the longest standing within the sport. In a recent study, it was revealed that Mars receives an impressive 4-to-1 return on its investment in NASCAR (measured by Mars tracking data). Additionally, its sponsorships create a fifth season of sales for the brand, which is on par with the size of the company's Christmas selling season.(NASCAR)(11-28-2012)

  • Latest on JGR extension with Busch: Joe Gibbs Racing is hoping to re-sign #18-Kyle Busch before the end of the year. Coach Gibbs said Saturday that his company is working on a long-term deal to secure both the M&M's sponsorship and the driver, whose contract runs through 2013. "We're working really hard on that. We want to do that early so we're not going into the last year," Gibbs said. "M&M's is on board, but their contract is still extended into the future. Hopefully, we get everything clarified in the next two weeks. I'm expecting everything to kind of be in place in the next two weeks. That would be a game plan for us if we could. That would be exciting." Monster Energy is expected to join Busch in the Nationwide Series at JGR. Kyle Busch Motorsports will continue to campaign in trucks and perhaps a NNS entry as well.(FoxSports)(11-19-2012)

  • NASCAR Sponsor Mars, Inc. Thrilled With Partnership: Mars, Inc., the company responsible for manufacturing M&M's, has been a NASCAR sponsor for over 20 years [currently #18-Kyle Busch], which is one of the longest standing partnerships within the sport. It takes a lot of goodwill and success for a brand to stay connected to any one sport for such a vast amount of time. The proof may be found in the raw data, which NASCAR has provided to Forbes.com in an effort to showcase the value of its longtime partner in Mars, Inc. (specifically M&M's). Perhaps the most impressive statistic produced by NASCAR (and measured by Mars, Inc. tracking data) is that Mars, Inc. receives an impressive 4-to-1 return on investment from their sponsorship in NASCAR. Further analysis reveals that M&M's is the 4th most recognized brand in NASCAR with a 72% brand loyalty over competitors and that sponsorships effectively create a 5th season of sales for Mars, Inc., which is on par with the size of Mars North America Christmas selling season.(see full article Forbes)(11-16-2012)

  • Gibbs feels good about re-signing Kyle Busch: The president of Joe Gibbs Racing is optimistic the organization will sign #18-Kyle Busch to an extension. "I feel good that we'll get it all together,'' J.D. Gibbs said before Sunday's race at Phoenix International Raceway in which Busch will start on the pole. "I'm not going to say anything official, but we feel good about it.'' Busch is entering the last year of his contract in 2013. There had been speculation he might go to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014. Sources told ESPN.com's Marty Smith on Friday that SHR has signed Richard Childress Racing's Kevin Harvick for the 2014 season and would go to four cars with Harvick, Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick and Ryan Newman if he re-signs after next season. Gibbs wouldn't confirm whether an extension with Busch would be signed before next season, but remained adamant he wants to get it done sooner rather than later. Busch was not available for comment.(ESPN)(11-12-2012)

  • Busch interested in Ross Kenseth for CWTS ride UPDATE: Kyle Busch would love to offer Ross Kenseth a Camping World Truck Series ride in 2013. While Busch is quite impressed with Kenseth and has raced against the 19-year-old in various series, the biggest stumbling block for inking a deal could be sponsorship. "I'd like to do something with Ross," Busch said. "It's just a problem trying to get funding. There's no backing for some of the drivers that are here right now. The price is obviously cheaper in the truck series. You can start small and grow big. But it's hard to get interest there." Ross Kenseth, the son of 2003 Sprint Cup champion Matt Kenseth, is currently studying engineering at Clemson University, but is earning quite the reputation on short tracks. In July, he won the Redbud 300 at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway. Last month he was victorious in the All American 400 (Fairgrounds Speedway, Nashville) and in the Winchester (Ind.) 400, besting Busch in both events.(Fox Sports)(11-3-2012)
    UPDATE: Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) announced that the team has signed Joey Coulter to compete for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver's championship in 2013. Further details regarding sponsorship and truck number will be announced at a later date.(KBM)(11-7-2012)

  • Busch's crew finds problem with car: The crew of Kyle Busch's #18 M&M's Toyota found a cracked track bar mount on the car before the race and changed the part, preventing what could have been a serious failure at speed. Crews checked the other Joe Gibbs Racing cars and determined that the issue on the #18 was isolated. Busch posted the fastest lap in Friday's final practice session, but he was more concerned with longer runs. "It's nice to have the fastest lap, but it doesn't really mean much," Busch said. "What we're really looking at are lap averages - but it's a good car."(NASCAR Wire Service)(10-13-2012)

  • Gibbs Hauler driver wins challenge: Joe Gibbs Racing driver Tom McCrimmons was announced as the 2012 champion of the Pilot/Flying J Truck Driver Challenge Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It was McCrimmons' second title, having won in 2009. It was also the fifth win in nine years for a JGR driver. McCrimmons pocketed $30,000 for his win in this year's contest. "I told him, 'Hey it's just like [NASCAR] drivers; you've gotta split that with us. It's 50-50,'" Joe Gibbs Racing President JD Gibbs joked. "When the race is over, we all travel home, fly home, ride home. The guys who drive the trucks - your job just begins. So I just want to say thank you on behalf of what you guys do for the sport, the way you guys do it with safety, the way you guys do it with class. It's a big deal." Eric Burgoyne of Champion Tire and Wheel finished second, earning $7,500, and Richard Petty Motorsports driver Bob Decker finished third, picking up $2,500. The 2013 Pilot/Flying J Truck Driver Challenge will celebrate the event's 10-year anniversary and will be supported by special advertisements created with the hauler drivers promoting highway safety.(CMS)(10-13-2012)

  • Busch brothers have win streaks in jeopardy: The Busch brothers, Kurt and Kyle, both have significant streaks in danger of ending this year. From 2002 through 2011, Kurt won at least one race per year in the Sprint Cup Series. So far this year, in the #51 Chevy owned by James Finch, Busch has a best finish of third at Sonoma. He'll race for Finch Sunday at Talladega before starting his tenure at Furniture Row Racing Oct. 13 at Charlotte.
    Kyle's eight-year winning streak in the Nationwide Series likewise is in jeopardy. Driving for his own team for the first time this year, and sharing Nationwide duties with Kurt, Kyle is winless in 17 starts. Kurt has the only Nationwide victory for Kyle Busch Motorsports, having triumphed at Richmond in April.(NASCAR Wire Service)(10-7-2012)

  • Toyota not happy with Kyle Busch's Dover comments: UPDATE: After leading - by far - the most laps in Sunday's AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway, #18Kyle Busch was forced to make a late pit stop under green flag conditions in order to make it to the end of the race. The stop cost him the win and he finished seventh, one lap down. Only six cars, including winner Brad Keselowski, finished on the lead lap. As he crossed the finish line, Busch let loose a short, vulgarity-laced tirade over his team radio directed at Toyota Racing Development, claiming the in-house tuning shop for all Toyota cars had cost him and his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team "another one." On Wednesday, Lee White, TRD president, took issue with Busch's comments. "We're as frustrated as he was that he didn't win that race considering how many laps he led, considering he and Denny (Hamlin) both literally dominated the race. We're as disappointed as he was. However, we've got used to saying 'That's just Kyle, you know' But this is a bit of a special case," White said. "We're extremely disappointed in his negative comments and the tone of the comments after the event. It is under discussion as we move forward. We certainly are very disappointed, having said that, Kyle is an amazing talent in a race car and he takes it very personally when something goes wrong and he loses a race he thinks he should have won. I look forward to take it up with coach (Joe) Gibbs and see if we can't do something to sort it out so that we have a better working relationship in the future. I am confident that we will."(Charlotte Observer)(10-4-2012)
    UPDATE: The following statements are from Kyle Busch, Lee White, Joe Gibbs, and Ed Laukes regarding the conclusion of last Sunday's NSACAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover:
    Kyle Busch, Driver of the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry: "I made some remarks out of frustration on my radio at the end of last weekend's race in Dover that were very misguided. I owe my friends at Toyota and TRD an apology. We have a great partnership with TRD and they built me a motor that helped me lead over 300 laps and nearly lap the field. It's just frustrating that the caution fell where it did and suddenly it became a fuel mileage race and we were set up for maximum horsepower. Obviously, that worked well for most of the day and you can't control when the cautions will fall. I think we have a great partnership with TRD and we will continue to communicate with them on what our team is looking for. I'm looking forward to getting down to Talladega this weekend and focusing on the race."
    Lee White, President and General Manager, TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development): "We understand Kyle's passion for racing -- and winning. At TRD and Toyota, we have that same zeal for racing -- and winning. We were disappointed with Kyle's post-race comments from Dover -- a race that he dominated. Kyle's had a frustrating year with several car and engine mechanical failures which were not his responsibility, and we're working extremely hard on our end to improve our products and processes. We will continue to address these issues, but we're ready to put this behind us and move forward with the remainder of the season, including the Toyota drivers battling for the championship."
    Joe Gibbs, Team Owner, Joe Gibbs Racing: "We have a great relationship with Toyota and obviously they are a major part of everything we do at Joe Gibbs Racing. Toyota is first class in every aspect of their company and they share our passion for winning. It has been a frustrating season for Kyle in many ways when you think about some of the issues we've had with that 18 team this year and obviously some of those frustrations carried over to his finish last week in Dover. We were able to lead over 300 laps, but unfortunately the cautions didn't fall our way and certainly you can understand the frustration of having to give up the lead late in the race. However, Kyle recognizes that his comments and the tone of his comments were misguided. We've been able to work through this issue and I think everyone is ready to get back to the focus being on racing and Talladega."
    Ed Laukes, Vice President of Marketing Communications & Motorsports, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.: "We've had a fabulous relationship with Kyle Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing over the last five years. Kyle is a talented driver who wins races and can compete for championships, and he is a very important part of the Toyota brand. We look forward to a long-term relationship with Kyle and Joe Gibbs Racing for years to come."(Toyota/Gibbs PR)(10-4-2012)

  • Gibbs looking to extend Busch's contract: Next season is expected to produce a top crop of free agents in the Sprint Cup market - but if Joe Gibbs Racing has its way, #18-Kyle Busch's name will never reach the rumor mill. Principals at Gibbs Racing are working diligently to renew Busch's contract before it expires next season. According to sources, Gibbs approached Busch on an extension in the last couple of months and hopes to retain one of NASCAR's top talents. "They typically do (contracts before the expiration date)," Busch said. "They've brought it up to my attention. I just kind of put it off to, 'Let's get through, let's see what happens in the Chase.' Since we missed that, it's kind of like, now they want to re-talk about it. I'm like, let's just wait until the end of the year. There's no sense in causing a distraction."(Fox Sports)(9-30-2012)

  • Joe Gibbs Racing Fall FanFest - October 12: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) Fall FanFest will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at its team headquarters in Huntersville, NC on Friday, Oct. 12. JGR NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers-Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano- will be available to sign autographs. JGR NASCAR Nationwide and development series drivers will also be available for autographs from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. More info on my NASCAR Charities page.(9-27-2012)

  • Joe Gibbs Racing Captures NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win No. 100: Joe Gibbs' hard-to-fathom two-sport career has become statistically symmetrical. Consider... Three Super Bowl championships? Check. Three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships? Check. Triple-digit wins in the NFL? Check. Triple-digit wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series? Well, after two-plus decades in the sport, Gibbs can check that rare milestone off the list too. With #11-Denny Hamlin's dominant win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) reached a rare milestone, becoming only the sixth team in NASCAR Sprint Cup history to reach 100 victories. Joe Gibbs entered the series in 1992 as a one-car team with eventual series champion Dale Jarrett as his driver. Now, JGR exists as a three-car powerhouse that threatens to win another championship this season with Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup contender Hamlin. Its first championship came in 2000 with Bobby Labonte. JGR would follow that up win two more titles, both with Tony Stewart (2002 and 2005). Now, the team adds another accolade to the list - 100 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories. JGR has won with six different drivers, at 23 different tracks. Below is a timeline of Gibbs' notable and milestone victories on its way to 100:
    1 - On Feb. 14, 1993, JGR won its first race - and it was on NASCAR's biggest stage, the Daytona 500. With his father Ned urging him to victory while calling the race from the CBS broadcast booth, Dale Jarrett captured his second and Gibbs' first win. JGR has won at least one race every season since.
    3 - JGR won its first Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, on May 28, 1995 with Bobby Labonte driving.
    22 - JGR won its first Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. On Aug. 5, 2000, during his championship campaign, Bobby Labonte led 21 laps prior to kissing the bricks. JGR would win two more Brickyard events, both with Indiana native Tony Stewart (2005 and 2007).
    23 - The team's next win came in another of NASCAR's crown jewels - the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Labonte picked up the win again, on Sept. 3, 2000.
    50 - JGR reached milestone victory No. 50 on July 1, 2006. Tony Stewart won the Daytona night race, starting second and leading 86 laps.
    72 - On June 28, 2009, in a rain-shortened event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, JGR driver Joey Logano became the youngest winner in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history at the age of 19 years, one month and four days.
    88 - On Nov. 7, 2010, Denny Hamlin won at Texas Motor Speedway for the team's 11th victory of the year, making the 2010 season the most prolific in JGR's history.(NASCAR)(9-24-2012)

  • Kyle Busch will run more Nationwide races after missing Chase: Kyle Busch has added one Nationwide Series race to his 2012 schedule and may add a few more after missing the Chase in NASCAR's premier series. Busch was a late addition to Saturday's Nationwide race at Chicagoland Speedway. He replaced his brother, Kurt Busch, who was scheduled to run most of the final eight races in the Kyle Busch Motorsports #54. Kyle's website lists him as the driver for the rest of the Nationwide schedule with the exception of next weekend at Kentucky. "We're playing it by ear, seeing what Kurt wants to do, what [sponsor] Monster Energy wants to do,'' the 2009 Nationwide Series champion said of the remainder of the season. Busch said "it sucks'' not being in the Chase. He hopes adding more Nationwide races will help his KBM program that has won only one race -- Kurt at Richmond in the spring -- this season.(ESPN)(9-16-2012)

  • NASCAR D-Day 60th Anniversary Show Car Returns to the National D-Day Memorial: The National D-Day Memorial received some very special guests last Friday: three staff members from the Bank of America motorsports team transported the MBNA show car that was created in honor of the 60th Anniversary of D-Day and the MBNA 400 "A SALUTE TO HEROES" race at Dover International Speedway on June 6, 2004. The car came for a visit shortly after that race, but the visit was different ... the car will now reside in Bedford, VA. Bank of America has agreed to donate the car to the Foundation so that it can be displayed at special events at the Memorial, in the community and the greater NASCAR audience. Bearing a distinct military and D-Day theme with the words "We will accept nothing less than full victory," the car also sports the Memorial's logo on both rear quarter panels. This is an accurate replica of the #18 car Bobby Labonte drove for Joe Gibbs Racing during the Dover race.
    Jeffrey R. Fulgham, the Foundation's Vice-President for Finance and Development said "This is a very exciting day for all of us. The Foundation played a significant role in the 60th anniversary race and was instrumental in helping to develop the paint scheme for this car. There are many opportunities to use the car in promoting the Memorial throughout the region. We extend our sincere gratitude to the great team at Bank of America Motorsports for their support and commitment to the Memorial. For more information about the National D-Day Memorial, and its mission and programs, please visit www.dday.org.(8-23-2012)

  • #18 JGR Team Penalized For Rule Infractions: NASCAR announced penalties and fines to the #18 team that competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, as a result of rule infractions at Michigan International Speedway. The #18 Toyota was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-2.3A (improperly attached weight) of the 2012 NASCAR rule book. The infraction occurred during practice on Aug. 18. As a result of the violation, crew chief Dave Rogers has been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Oct. 3. In addition, car chief Wesley Sherrill has been placed on NASCAR probation until Oct. 3.(NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)(8-21-2012)

  • Keselowski hasn't talked to Busch after Watkins Glen: #18-Kyle Busch hasn't spoken to #22-Brad Keselowski since the last-lap incident that knocked Busch out of the lead last Sunday at Watkins Glen International. Kyle Busch hasn't spoken to reporters either, declining to share his views of the collision after the race and after Friday's qualifying session at Michigan International Speedway. Busch had plenty of reason to be disappointed. After taking the white flag in the lead on Sunday, his No. 18 Toyota slipped in oil in the first corner. Busch went wide, to the left of the rumble strips that define the course. Keselowski would like to see any issues he might have with Busch resolved before the Chase starts at Chicagoland on Sept. 16. "I spoke with his crew chief, Dave Rogers, and tried to get a hold of him, but every phone number that I had was bad or something," Keselowski said Friday at Michigan. "Like I said after the race, it was unfortunate, because dumping the leader on the last lap is not something that I want to be known for. It certainly wasn't something that I wanted to see happen. I wasn't something that I intended to happen, but it obviously happened, and I can't make that go away and only hope he understands as a racer that he is that things like that happen, and it's just sometimes part of the breaks."(NASCAR Wire Serivce)(8-19-2012)

  • Kyle Busch wins pole at New Hampshire: #18-Kyle Busch won the pole for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with a speed of 133.417mph for his 1st pole of 2012 and 9th career pole. Busch becomes the 14th different pole sitter in 2012 and qualifies for the 2013 Shootout.
    #5-Kahne will start 2nd followed by #11-Hamlin, #56-Truex, Jr. #15-Bowyer, #39-Newman, #48-Johnson, #24-Gordon, #88-Earnhardt Jr. and #14-Stewart.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #26-Wise, #87-Nemechek, #98-McDowell, #49-Yeley, #30-Stremme, #23-Riggs, #79-Bires and #33-Leicht.
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (1): #19-Bliss.
    See the full qualifying results, starting lineup, pdf links, pole progression, go-or-go homers and more on the New Hampshire Qualifying Page.(7-13-2012)

  • Kenseth wins Slinger Nationals; Kyle Busch second: Matt Kenseth has won a NASCAR championship. He's won two Daytona 500s. And now he's won a record six titles in the 33-year history of the Miller Lite Slinger Nationals. While that's not quite the same, it's not a bad accomplishment, either, for the old-school short-track racer from Cambridge. "It's always fun to win, that's for sure," Kenseth said Sunday in Slinger Speedway's victory lane. "It's always fun when you can beat Kyle. It's hard to beat him." That's Kyle Busch, always a threat in NASCAR and the 2011 Nationals champ. Kenseth beat him on a restart with 24 laps to go - after a caution flag he didn't want - and pulled away by nearly a second at the checkered flag. Busch didn't look happy when he climbed from his car and did not talk to reporters. Ross Kenseth, Matt's son and the pole-sitter, rallied and benefited from attrition to finish third, another second behind. Michael Bilderback and Rich Bickle filled out the top five.(Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)(7-2-2012)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Berlin again: Approximately 6,000 fans turned out to watch Kyle Busch win Tuesday night's ARCA/Super Series Rowdy 251 at Berlin Raceway, marking the third consecutive year that the Las Vegas native has won the race held in his honor. Busch led the race's final 38 laps, driving away from Chase Elliott and Coopersville's Johnny VanDoorn down the stretch. Busch began Tuesday's program by participating in an autograph session with Travis Pastrana that lasted more than an hour. He capped the evening with a cloud of smoke, which he created on the frontstretch after taking the checkered flag.(Michigan Live)(6-20-2012)

  • JGR working on engine issues: Joe Gibbs Racing experienced some highs and lows at Pocono Raceway a week ago with #20-Joey Logano winning the race but teammate #18-Kyle Busch suffering engine failure. On Sunday at Michigan International Speedway, it was all lows. Busch suffered another engine failure. #11-Denny Hamlin was involved in a wreck and then had to escape a fire when his car went up in flames. And Logano also crashed. On the day, Busch was 32nd, Hamlin 34th and Logano 35th. "I keep thinking to myself, I'm looking for something easy (to do) and I'm running out of time," said team owner Joe Gibbs, a retired NFL coach. "This certainly isn't it. It was a tough day for us." For Busch, it was his third engine issue in as many weeks. JGR merged its engine department with Toyota Racing Development after last season. All the engines are built at TRD in California and then shipped to JGR, which handles the final tuning and race weekend management. Busch's problems haven't been the same issue each week, but that can be even more exasperating for the team as it tries to fix multiple issues. Gibbs said the team knew what happened to the engines at Dover and Pocono.(Sporting News)(6-20-2012)

  • Snickers colors for Busch at MIS: Kyle Busch will run the Snickers Peanut Butter Squared scheme this week in the colors in the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway (JGR), see an image of the scheme on the #18 Team Schemes page. The scheme will also run at Texas in November.(6-15-2012)

  • Kyle Busch wins Prelude to the Dream: After knocking on the door to victory lane countless times in his five previous runs in the Prelude To The Dream at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, Kyle Busch finally broke through Wednesday night to score his first win in the all-star dirt Late Model race benefiting Feed The Children. "This is cool," said Busch, who outlasted strong challenges from Kasey Kahne and Clint Bowyer before finishing 2.283 seconds over runner-up Tony Stewart. "This is what it's all about when you go dirt racing. It's a lot of fun." Busch started the 40-lap feature event in second place and dueled with Kahne and Bowyer, who together led the first 24 laps (Kahne 1-12; Bowyer 13-21; Kahne 22-24) before Busch took over the lead on lap 25 when Kahne crashed into Bobby Labonte. Busch then checked out, beating three-time Prelude winner Stewart to nab his first career victory at Eldora. Finishing third was Austin Dillon in just his second Prelude start. Four-time World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion Donny Schatz finished fourth in his dirt Late Model debut. Stewart's NASCAR teammate at Stewart-Haas Racing, Ryan Newman, finished fifth. Aric Almirola, Cruz Pedregon, Dave Blaney, Ty Dillon and Justin Allgaier completed the top-10, all of whom will get a tractor-trailer filled with food from Feed The Children delivered to their hometown or city of choice.(True Speed Communications) see complete results on the Predule to the Dream page.(6-7-2012)

  • Could Kurt Busch join brother Kyle at Joe Gibbs Racing? #51-Kurt Busch is a free agent, and his brother, #18-Kyle, already drives a Cup car for Joe Gibbs Racing. While it might sound like a stretch for JGR to employ two brothers as drivers, it's not out of the question. JGR has room to add a fourth team, and if sponsorship is found, team owner Joe Gibbs wouldn't rule out the possibility. But he also said it has to be the right sponsor. "We love Kurt, mainly because of Kyle and Kyle has got a strong feeling for him," Gibbs said following the unveiling of Toyota's 2013 Sprint Cup car. "Kurt's kind of going through a process with everything he has got going right now. Everybody throws everything out there. We do have a fourth car possibility at some point. But we haven't seen that yet (come to fruition)." The older of the two Busch brothers, Kurt is driving for Phoenix Racing in Cup this year and for his brother's Kyle Busch Motorsports in an 18-race Nationwide schedule. "He could really helps us and lead us in the right direction," Kyle Busch said. "I'd love to have him over here. It would be great for Joe Gibbs Racing and for us to work together and to be able to make better racecars, faster racecars." JGR wouldn't necessarily need a fourth Cup team to add Busch. #20-Joey Logano's contract is up for renewal after this season in a car co-sponsored by The Home Depot and Dollar General. "He's 21 years old," Gibbs said. "He's one of the youngest guys out there. He's stepped up this year to 15th in points. That's been an improvement but he's still not where our other two cars are. That's the goal-get him to where our other two cars are. ... We have a lot invested in Joey. We really like him."(Sporting News)(5-25-2012)

  • RWB M&M's on the #18 at CMS: The special Red, White and Blue M&M'S paint scheme on the #18 Toyota of Kyle Busch will sport for the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway is in support of the limited-edition Red, White and Blue-only bags of M&M'S now in stores. The new patriotic blend is designed to be the perfect snack for fans during the summer holidays of Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. Busch will also carry the patriotic scheme in late June at Kentucky Speedway in lead-up to the Fourth of July to be celebrated the following week (JGR), see images of the scheme on the #18 Team Schemes page.(5-23-2012)

  • JTG & JGR also 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)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Richmond: #18-Kyle Busch won the Capital City 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway for his 1st win of the year, 4th at Richmond and his 24th career win.
    #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr. finished 2nd followed by #14-Stewart, #11-Hamlin, #5-Kahne, #48-Johnson, #15-Bowyer, #55-Mark Martin (the polesitter), #2-Keselowski, and #99-Edwards.
    #99-Edwards domanated much of the race, leading 211 laps, but was black flagged late by NASCAR for jumping a restart.
    There were 5 cautions for 31 yellow flag laps. There were 14 lead changes among 7 drivers.
    The estimated attendence was 88,000, down from 90,000 in the Spring 2011 race.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Richmond Race Results page (pdf) and the official rundown on the Official Race Report. (4-28-2012)

  • JGR close to extension with Toyota: Joe Gibbs Racing plans to sign a long-term extension with Toyota within the next month, ending any speculation it could move to Dodge. "We're working on that," JGR president J.D. Gibbs told ESPN.com on Sunday after Denny Hamlin's victory at Kansas Speedway. "We'll be with Toyota for a long time to come." Dodge has been looking for a team to anchor its 2013 program since Penske Racing announced earlier this year it would leave the manufacturer for Ford next season. JGR, since its contract with Toyota is up after this season and because the organization has the infrastructure to build its own engines, became a natural target. Gibbs said that is not a consideration (ESPN)(4-23-2012)

  • Kyle Busch makes appearance at school: Earlier Wednesday Toyota NASCAR driver Kyle Busch visited Williams Elementary School to speak about NASCAR, his racing career and Toyota Racing's Sponsafier program, as well as participate in a question and answer session with students, as part of the Sponsafier 4 contest grand prize package awarded to David Bulow and his son AJ. The special appearance came at the request of AJ, an avid Kyle Busch supporter, who opted to share part of his grand prize experience-time with his favorite driver-with his fellow Williams Elementary schoolmates.(Toyota)(3-22-2012)

  • Kyle Busch wins a WILD Bud Shootout #18-Kyle Busch won the 2012 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway followed by #14-Stewart, #9-Ambrose, #2-Keselowski, #11-Hamlin, #16-Biffle, #39-Newman, #15-Bowyer, #99-Edwards and #42-Montoya. Busch beat Stewart to the line to win by 0.013 seconds, the closed finish for a Bud Shootout. While the 2-car tandem racing is gone, the big packs are back, with three big wrecks during the race, which ended under a green-white-checked finished, going 82 laps. Pole sitter #56-Truex Jr. was involved in the 2nd wreck and finished 19th.
    The first "big one" occurred in the first 25-lap segment when #34-Ragan and #27-Menard made contact, turning the #27, collecting #55-Waltrip, #5-Kahne, #11-Hamlin, #31-Burton, #17-Kenseth and #42-Montoya. The #27, #34 and #55 were too damaged to continue the race after 9 laps.
    The second "big one" occurred on lap 56 when #9-Ambrose was pushing #20-Logano, the #20 moved up and got turned sideways, collecting Ambrose, #29-Harvick, #17-Kenseth, #88-Earnhardt Jr. and pole sitter #56-Truex Jr. All but Ambrose were too damaged to continue.
    The final "big one" happened when #24-Gordon got into #18-Busch turning Busch, who recovered, but Gordon shot up towards the outside wall and into #51-Busch, collecting #1-McMurray and #48-Johnson, also some damage to #99-Edwards, #22-Allmendinger and #9-Ambrose. Gordon ended up on his side, then he barrel rolled a couple times, with the car ended up on the roof, but Gordon got out of the car and was OK.
    Only 10 of 25 cars finished on the lead lap, only 13 cars finished the race and 12 cars did not finish the race.
    See the full rundown and results link on my 2012 Bud Shootout page.(2-18-2012)

  • 2013 cars to be tested at Homestead: UPDATES: All four 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car models are scheduled to be tested at Homestead-Miami Speedway February 1st...in a test that will apparently be closed. That may be the first time crewmen get to see all four models. Why is NASCAR, and its big marketing operation, taking such seemingly a low-keyed approach? Apparently because the sanctioning body has not yet 'aero-matched' the four models in the wind tunnel. Ford is billing its new model as a Fusion (not Mustang, as once planned), and when the car maker officially unveiled its 2013 street version, it was then free to take the wraps off the NASCAR version - which is decidedly different from the current Sprint Cup model, the still controversial and not greatly liked by many car-of-tomorrow. Chevrolet, for example, still hasn't officially named its model for its 2013 NASCAR Cup racer.(MikeMulhern.net)(1-25-2012)
    UPDATE: #5-Kasey Kahne tweeted that he will be participating in the test. No other drivers have been announced.(2-1-2012)
    UPDATE 2: #18-Kyle Busch (Toyota), #17-Matt Kenseth (Ford), and Sam Hornish, Jr. (Dodge) are also participating.(PRN Garage Pass)(2-1-2012)

  • Several treated for smoke inhalation at Joe Gibbs Racing: Several people were treated for smoke inhalation at Joe Gibbs Racing in Huntersville Tuesday afternoon, officials said. According to Huntersville police, some machinery at the racing compound caught fire. Firefighters were called in to battle the blaze around 2:45 p.m. The fire is under control, fire officials said. Medic officials said units responded to the fire, but had not yet transported anyone. No one has commented on what caused the fire or how much damage was done as a result of the fire. Almost a year ago, a similar fire happened at the facility that caused two people to be treated for smoke inhalation. According to officials, the 2011 fire started in an engine dyno during a test.(WSOC)(1-31-2012)
    UPDATE: A piece of equipment in the machine shop caught fire today at our Joe Gibbs Racing headquarters in Huntersville, NC. The fire department was called and the fire was quickly contained and extinguished. A few of our employees received treatment on site for issues related to smoke inhalation. All employees were able to return to work within the hour to continue preparations for the 2012 NASCAR season.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(1-31-2012)

  • Kyle Busch wins SpeeFest Late Model race: Kyle Busch had to hold off some of the top short track talent in the country to do it, but Sunday afternoon he scored his career third SpeedFest Super Late Model victory at Watermelon Capital Speedway in Cordele, GA. He had to keep a hard charging Bubba Pollard at bay to record the win. Busch previously scored wins in the event in 2009 and 2010, when it was held at Lanier National Speedway in Braselton, Georgia.(Raceweek Illustrated) Also in the top 10: David Ragan finished 3rd, Chase Elliott finished 6th, Ross Kenseth finished 19th.(1-30-2012)

  • Kyle Busch says he's learned from mistakes: Kyle Busch has learned from the mistakes he made last season and ready to make a fresh go of it in 2012. Busch said during Monday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Media Tour he knows he can't continue to display the kinds of emotional actions that led to so much controversy - and trouble - last year. "I've got fans all the time that tell me they don't want to see me change," Busch said. "I've tried to keep that, but ultimately, it's not going to work. If you keep getting in trouble, you're not going to be here very long. I'm trying to change something." Although Joe Gibbs Racing management hasn't officially commented on Busch's limited Nationwide Series schedule this season, which will see time spent in both a Kyle Busch Motorsports entry as well as a JGR ride but no truck series starts, it is speculated sponsor M&M's also had a say in the decision. Busch insists he has support from his race team, sponsors and most importantly his family and friends that have helped him work through the situation and concentrate on moving ahead in his life both professionally and personally.(CBS Sports)(1-24-2012)

  • Busch would have trouble moving team to Cup with team limits: Kyle [Busch] will team with his brother Kurt at KBM this year in the Nationwide Series. "I was feeling pretty good about our ownership chances in Nationwide, that's going to be hard to beat," J.D. Gibbs said about the Busch brothers pairing." Joe Gibbs said he wasn't in the discussions of Kyle racing for his own team. "I will say that I was not in that meeting or we would not be doing this," Gibbs said. "These two (Busch and J.D. Gibbs) got together and somehow we are now racing against him." As for the day when KBM might be elevated to a Sprint Cup operation, Busch sees it down the road because of all the current complications associated with such a move. "That's obviously something I look forward to doing," Busch said. "The Cup side is kind of difficult just due to the constrictions that NASCAR puts on all of us with me driving for Joe Gibbs Racing. Essentially I could have one team, but if JGR ever went to four teams I would have to shut mine down so that makes it tough."(Motor Racing Network)(1-23-2012)

  • Several drivers getting new spotters: In addition to getting adjusted to new personnel on their teams, several drivers will be working with new spotters when testing opens Thursday at Daytona International Speedway. Jeff Dickerson, who has spotted for #24-Jeff Gordon the last couple of years, left to pursue an opportunity in racing that will give him more time with his family. He has not announced where he is going.
    • Eddie D'Hondt, who had won 39 races across all NASCAR series with #18-Kyle Busch, will move to Hendrick Motorsports to work as Gordon's spotter.
    • Tony Hirschman, who was spotter for AJ Allmendinger, will replace D'Hondt as Busch's spotter.
    • Busch isn't the only Joe Gibbs Racing driver to have a new spotter for 2012 as two spotters whose drivers have not announced 2012 rides have found new gigs - Chris Lambert, who was the spotter for Brian Vickers, will replace Curtis Markham as spotter for #11-Denny Hamlin and Rocky Ryan, who was spotter for David Ragan, will replace Joey Civali as spotter for #20-Joey Logano.
    • Chris Osborne, who was spotter for Kurt Busch at Penske Racing, will start the season spotting for Allmendinger while Busch will use his new boss - Phoenix Racing general manager Steve Barkdoll - as his spotter.
    • #15-Clint Bowyer, who has moved from Richard Childress Racing to Michael Waltrip Racing, will go to the test with MWR general manager Ty Norris as his spotter.
    • Kevin Hamlin, who was Bowyer's spotter, will remain at RCR and work with Ty Dillon in the Camping World Truck Series.
    • #43-Aric Almirola will use Tyler Green as his spotter. Green spotted for Almirola at JR Motorsports and will now spot for him at RPM.(Scene Daily)(1-11-2012)

2011 News

  • Special M&M's schemes [5 races] are scheduled to be run at the following 2011 races:
    Richmond - 4/30 Pretzel
    Darlington - 5/7 Pretzel
    Infineon - 6/26 Pretzel
    Talladega - 10/23 Halloween
    Martinsville - 10/30 Halloween

  • Combos [1 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2011 races:
    Phoenix - 2/27

  • Snickers [2 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2011 races:
    Las Vegas - 3/6
    Michigan - 6/19

  • Interstate Batteries [6 + 2 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2011 races:
    Auto Club - 3/27
    Texas - 4/9
    Daytona - 7/2, Special Gold
    New Hampshire - 7/17
    Michigan - 8/21
    Dover - 10/2
    added after Texas incident:
    Phoenix - 11/13
    Homestead - 11/20

  • Doublemint Gum [3 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2011 races:
    Darlington - 5/7
    Bristol - 8/27
    Chicago - 9/18

  • Pedigree [1 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2011 races:
    Martinsville - 4/3

  • No Trucks or Nationwide races for Kyle Busch in 2012? #18-Kyle Busch is unlikely to compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2012, at the request of Joe Gibbs Racing and their Sprint Cup Series sponsor, M&Ms. Kyle Busch Motorsports General Manager Rick Ren confirmed today that there is "a high probability" that Busch will withdraw from the 2012 Truck Series. "That topic is being discussed almost constantly around here right now," he said, adding, "It is not necessarily something that Kyle chose. If he doesn't run Trucks this year, it will be at the request (of JGR). Not by demand, but by request. Things change on an hour-by-hour basis, but if I had to answer you right now, I'd say he will probably not race in the Truck Series next year. There is a possibility of him running no Nationwide races under certain circumstances, as well. There are a lot of things being discussed right now, which makes it pretty tough on me. I've been trying to figure out whether Kyle's going to be available to run our Trucks and Nationwide cars, then determine whether the individual sponsors will stay around without him behind the wheel. I believe Kyle will drive a KBM Nationwide Series Toyota in a certain number of races next year," said Ren. "I can't swear to it, but that's what it look like today."(Sirius Speedway)(12-24-2011)

  • Kurt Busch still expected to drive for Kyle: On Thursday, Phoenix Racing announced it had hired [Kurt Busch] to drive for its #51 Chevy team next season. The #51 entered every Cup race in 2011 with several different drivers. The news release announcing Busch's move said he would drive a "full schedule" with the team. Busch is also expected to join forces with his younger brother, Kyle, and drive for Kyle's Nationwide series team in 2012. One option being considered is for Kurt Busch to run the full Nationwide schedule and compete for the series championship, multiple sources said. Under NASCAR's current system, Busch will only be able to earn driver points in only one series. It remains unclear what effect Thursday's Cup announcement will have on the Nationwide plans. A spokesman for Kyle Busch Motorsports said Friday the team was still finalizing its driver lineup and would not have any official announcements until after Jan. 1. (Charlotte Observer)(12-23-2011)

  • "The Loopies": The Fifth Annual Best-Of Loop Data For 2011 #5: For the fifth consecutive season, NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications combed through the statistics to hand out a number of awards celebrating the best - and worst - Loop Data performances of 2011. The fifth award goes to:
    "Irregular Season" Award: Season-to-Date Loop Data is what it says -- a statistical representation of the entire season. That's why you'll find Kyle Busch -- winner of this Loopie -- at the top of so many Loop Data charts, but at the bottom of the Chase standings. Busch led 10 different Loop Data categories this year: Average Running Position (10.4), Driver Rating (104.1), Fastest Early in a Run (average rank of 5.9), Fastest Late in a Run (average rank of 7.8), Green Flag Speed (average rank of 6.1), Laps in the Top 15 (79.6%), Laps Led (1,455), Mile Leaders (1,777.77), Quality Passes (2,219) and Speed in Traffic (average rank of 9.3). So why the 12th place finish for Busch? The answer: Another subpar Chase. During the 26-race regular season, Busch had a Driver Rating of 108.4. In the nine races he ran in the Chase, his Driver Rating was 91.6.(NASCAR)(12-21-2011)

  • Kyle Busch Led NASCAR Drivers in Securing TV Exposure for Sponsors: #18-Kyle Busch's memorable 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series campaign led to $68 million of television exposure for his sponsors, a figure higher than any other driver managed to generate this past season, and nearly $1.7 million more than Series Champion Tony Stewart. According to research conducted by Joyce Julius & Associates, Inc. - which has monitored every NASCAR race telecast over the last 27 seasons - Busch's sponsors as a group appeared for 27 hours, 23 minutes, 10 seconds (27:23:10) during live and replayed telecasts of the season's 36 points races. When also factoring in verbal mentions (292) of Busch's sponsors, the 12th-place driver amassed more than $68.3 million of in-broadcast exposure value for his backing brands.
    Joyce Julius calculates television exposure value by comparing the in-broadcast visual and verbal exposure to the estimated cost of a national commercial during the telecast and applying Joyce Julius Recognition Grading - which takes into account such factors as size and placement of the image on screen, as well as brand clutter and integration of the brand into the activity. While Busch hung on to lead the driver exposure battle wire-to-wire, Stewart's stellar run during this year's Chase may be more impressive, as the newly crowned champion moved up from 9th to 2nd in cumulative sponsor brand exposure, improving from $30 million at the start of the final 10 races to $66.7 million by season's end. Stewart's dominance during the Chase race broadcasts is further evidenced by the attention paid to him by the TV announcers. Stewart began the Chase 6th in individual driver mentions, but ended the season on top, collecting 57% of his driver mentions for the entire season during the final 10 races. Stewart also amassed the most interview time of any driver, appearing on camera for more than one hour, 20 minutes throughout 2011. Series points runner-up Carl Edwards managed to accrue the most mentions for his sponsors (610), while he was also interviewed most frequently (75 times) of any other driver. Not surprisingly, Stewart was the top exposure-gathering Chevrolet driver, collecting $6.3 for the auto brand. Edwards led the Ford drivers, delivering $8.1 million of in-broadcast exposure, while the attention Busch drew during 2011 race broadcasts led to $11.9 million for Toyota.(Joyce Julius & Associates)(12-6-2011)

  • Kyle Busch uncertain if he will run other series in 2012: Toyota NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, #18-Kyle Busch, in part from a Toyota Racing Transcript:
    Q) Do you know if you will race in the Nationwide or Truck Series in 2012?
    Busch: "No, not yet. We're working through all of the schedules. The schedules hadn't been put together prior to Texas and still haven't been put together yet either."(Toyota Racing)(11-20-2011)

  • Joe Gibbs & Kyle Busch press conference: Toyota Racing Notes & Quotes Phoenix International Raceway - November 11, 2011
    Joe Gibbs, Owner, Joe Gibbs Racing Opening Statement: "First of all, I just want to say that hopefully we're able to convey our feelings this morning in the right way. It's real important to us. I want to say first of all, how proud I am of our sponsors. We think about Mars, Interstate (Batteries), Toyota -- we have great partners. In particular, we want to mention that Mars, one of the premier companies in America, they've been 19 years in racing and great supporters of racing. They've been great partners for us and the four years we've been together, we've developed strong relationships and I think a great partnership. The actions last week don't reflect Mars' values. As a consequence, they've asked Kyle (Busch) not to drive the M&M's car in 2011 -- for the two races this year (Phoenix and Miami) -- Kyle wouldn't drive the M&M's car. We'll come back in 2012 and going forward next year, we're all set and plan to have a long future in racing. The No. 18 will not have the Mars paint scheme for these next two races. We support this decision with the race team. We're also proud of Interstate Batteries, as you all know they've been our founding sponsor -- been with us for 20 years. They will take over the paint scheme on the car for the next two races here. I really appreciate also the way Mars and Interstate have worked together on a partnership for these last four years. It's been a great partnership. I appreciate how they work together. Kyle's penalties are going to be substantial. If you think about it, NASCAR taking him out of the car last week, there was also a fine associated with that, but the biggest thing for everybody on the 18 car was we went from seventh in points in the Chase to 11th. That's a huge deal. I know Kyle and all of us were excited about getting back in the top-five and this will probably take that away from us and we understand that. I am just emphasizing that was a big deal for us. We understood that, but it was a big deal. We also have other actions that are going to be in place. There will be other financial penalties and stuff that we're working through and we'll continue to do that as we go forward through this process. I think for me personally, I just want to make a point that when you're put in a situation like this, you really can make one of two decisions. I think the one would have been devastating and I think really discouraging for everybody associated with Kyle -- everybody around him and for the sport. What I've chosen to do, I want to support Kyle and I feel like this could have a positive impact on Kyle and I'm committed to him as a person. I like him -- we've gone through a lot together. As far as us at Joe Gibbs Racing, we're looking forward to a long relationship. That's pretty much what I'd like to say."(see full transcript at Toyota Racing)(11-11-2011)

  • Joe Gibbs & Kyle Busch press conference: Toyota Racing Notes & Quotes Phoenix International Raceway - November 11, 2011
    Kyle Busch. #18 Interstate Batteries Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Opening Statement: "First of all, obviously this has been quite a trying week for myself and my wife (Samantha Busch) and everybody at M&M's, Joe Gibbs Racing, Kyle Busch Motorsports, Interstate Batteries -- all the above. For me, I'm upmost apologetic to everybody that has been going through this situation and there's no one to blame but myself. I'm here today to basically say that I apologize to everyone involved in this ordeal. Joe (Gibbs, team owner) has been a huge supporter of mine through all of this and I can't say enough about him, all the folks at JGR, all the guys on my M&M's team and we're here to say we want to learn from this. We want to move on. Certainly there's some remorse from my side and to be apologetic to the M&M's brand and all of those folks that put their heart and soul into this NASCAR program for years, and we want to continue that relationship down the road. There's an opportunity for me to become a better person, to grow and learn from this and I'm looking forward to those days. Knowing that, I'm sure I've lost respect with my team, with my sponsors, with my peers, and I understand those consequences. I understand my actions last weekend were uncalled for, were disrespectful and that I'm here to make sure that I can continue on in a positive manner and make it to where everybody believes in me from this week forward. That's about it."(see full transcript at Toyota Racing)(11-11-2011)

  • Gibbs says he never considered firing Kyle Busch but: Joe Gibbs says he never considered firing Kyle Busch over the drivers' road rage incident in the Truck Series race at Texas. But Gibbs says Busch will face more punishment from the race team, including financial penalties. Busch will run Sunday's race at Phoenix International Raceway without primary sponsor M&M's. The company did want to sponsor Busch for the final two races of the season, so Joe Gibbs Racing longtime partner Interstate Batteries will be on the car [#18 Toyota]. Busch was suspended by NASCAR last weekend for intentionally wrecking Ron Hornaday Jr. under caution early in the truck race at Texas. He also was fined $50,000 and placed on probation through the end of the year.(Associated Press)(11-11-2011)

  • Why Interstate Batteries is sponsoring the #18: When Mars pulled out of the last two 2011 races earlier this week, Interstate Batteries decided to step in to support Joe Gibbs Racing - a relationship that has lasted 20 years. Interstate Chairman Norm Miller described the decision this way: "We feel NASCAR took the appropriate action with Kyle, and we think he will become a better person for it. We also understand and honor Mars' reasons for stepping back for these last two weeks of the season. As founding sponsor of Joe Gibbs Racing, we felt it was the right thing to do to support JGR, Kyle and the #18 team during this difficult time."(Interstate Batteries Facebook)(11-11-2011)

  • Kyle Busch out of ride for rest of 2011? UPDATES - Interstate Batteries for final 2 races; M&Ms will return in 2012: on the website, tireball.com is reporting.....the rumors and if they are true, like they appear to be, then Kyle Busch is out of a ride until Daytona and now without sponsorship. Busch was parked this [last] week at Texas due to actions in the Camping World Truck Series when he wrecked fellow competitor Ron Hornaday under caution.(tireball.com).
    AND in Twitter, SceneDaily's Bob Pockrass reports in a few Tweets:
    NASCAR has given Kyle the OK to race. It's in the hands of the sponsor and the team.
    On Kyle Busch: JGR still hasn't confirmed if he'll race Cup at PIR. I lean toward he'll race but wouldn't be surprised either way.
    For those asking about Kyle and PIR, I think more likely he races than not, but JGR has yet to confirm that he will race.
    AND II the weekly race preview for JGR/Kyle Busch has not been released as of yet when it usually comes out on Tuesday.
    UPDATE: The fallout from #18-Kyle Busch's road rage at Texas continued Thursday when one of his sponsors asked for him to be removed from the season-ending Nationwide Series race. Multiple people familiar with Busch's schedule told the AP that Z-Line Designs asked this week that Denny Hamlin replace Busch in next weekend's Nationwide race at Homestead. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because Busch's future was still being discussed Thursday with sponsors and Joe Gibbs Racing. Among the options being considered is Aric Almirola replacing Busch in the final two Sprint Cup Series races of the season, as primary sponsor M&M's decides how it wants to proceed with Busch. Although NASCAR has cleared Busch to race this weekend at Phoenix, JGR officials have been silent on his status in Sunday's Cup race.(more at the Associated Press website)
    UPDATE2: Aric Almirola told ESPN.com on Thursday he has been contacted by Joe Gibbs Racing about possibly replacing Kyle Busch in the final two Sprint Cup races and is awaiting final word from the organization. ESPN's Marty Smith reported on SportsCenter and NASCARNow that Busch, according to sources, will be in the #18 Cup car this weekend at Phoenix and next weekend at Homestead. Multiple sources said the car likely will be sponsored by Interstate Batteries instead of M&Ms, which was scheduled to be on the car. Mars Incorporated, which manufacturers M&Ms, stated its displeasure with Busch over his intentionally wrecking Ron Hornaday in last Friday's Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. But according to sources the sponsor still had reservations about having its name on the Cup car with Busch for the last two races, prompting the call to Almirola. Almirola said JGR president J.D. Gibbs contacted him on Wednesday to see if he would be available. Almirola, who drives a Chevrolet for JR Motorsports in the Nationwide Series, said JRM has given him permission to drive for the Toyota team. "Your guess is as good as mine,'' Almirola told ESPN.com before Nationwide practice at PIR as to what will happen. "I know they're working through a lot of things. I just told them I was available if they needed me.''(ESPN)
    for all the past news, statements, and updates on NASCAR's parking of Busch at Texas, go to Jayski's #18 team news page.(11-10-2011)
    UPDATE 3: Kyle Busch will compete in the final two Sprint Cup races but without primary sponsor M&Ms as the sponsor of his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Sources said Busch will be sponsored by Interstate Batteries in Sunday's race at Phoenix International Raceway and next weekend's finale at Miami-Homestead Speedway. The decision ended several days of speculation that Busch would be parked for the final two races or possibly lose his job with Mars Incorporated, M&M's parent company, displeased with his behavior and threatening to pull out. Officials at Mars Inc. did not immediately respond to emails inquiring about the company's relationship with Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing past this season.(ESPN)(11-10-2011)
    UPDATE 4: Statement from M&Ms: Mars, Incorporated announced that they will be removing Kyle Busch from driving the M&M'S car for the remaining two races of the 2011 NASCAR season as a result of the incident during last Friday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. The car will not run with the M&M'S paint scheme until 2012, at which time Kyle Busch will be the driver with the expectation that no future incident take place.
    "As a proud member of the racing community, Mars and the M&M'S brand strongly support the partnership we have with Joe Gibbs Racing and are committed to NASCAR. Yet, Kyle's recent actions are unacceptable and do not reflect the values of Mars," said Debra A. Sandler, Chief Consumer Officer, Mars Chocolate North America. "While we do not condone Kyle's recent actions, we do believe that he has shown remorse and has expressed a desire to change. We believe our decision will have a positive impact on Kyle and will help him return next season ready to win."
    "We strongly support Mars' decision," said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. "This gives us all time to work together to foster a positive change where Kyle can continue racing in a way we can all be proud of."(Mars, Inc.)(11-10-2011)
    AND: Interstate Batteries, a partner of Joe Gibbs Racing since the team's inception 20 years ago, will be featured on the #18 Toyota Camry driven by Busch for the final two races of the Sprint Cup Series season. A press conference with Joe Gibbs Racing owner Joe Gibbs and driver Kyle Busch will be held in the media center of Phoenix International Raceway on Friday at 9:30 a.m. MST to further address this situation.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(11-10-2011)

  • NASCAR Fines Kyle Busch; Places Him On Probation For Remainder Of Year: NASCAR has fined Kyle Busch $50,000 and placed him on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31 for his actions during the Nov. 4 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. Kyle Busch violated Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) of the 2011 NASCAR Rule Book. NASCAR took immediate action, parking Busch for the remainder of Friday night's event and maintaining the parked position for the NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events scheduled for Saturday and Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway. On Monday, the parking directive was lifted by NASCAR. In issuing Monday's penalty, NASCAR went on to say that "if during the remaining NASCAR events in 2011 there is another action by the competitor that is deemed by NASCAR officials as detrimental to stock car racing or to NASCAR, or is disruptive to the orderly conduct of an event, the competitor will be suspended indefinitely from NASCAR."(NASCAR)(11-7-2011)

  • Kyle Busch apologizes to team; sits on pit box during race: Kyle Busch watched Sunday's race from the team's pit box after NASCAR parked him for the weekend for his incident in Friday night's truck race. Michael McDowell drove the car and finished 33rd. Crew chief Dave Rogers said Kyle addressed the team Sunday morning. He called me last night and said, 'Hey Dave, I'd really like to meet with the team,' '' Rogers said. "Can you have a team meeting this morning?' So we got everyone together and Kyle asked everybody, he looked them in the eye straight-up, man to man, 'This is where I stand, this is what I did, this is how I feel.' He didn't sugar-coat anything, didn't make excuses for anything, but he leveled with the team. That honesty is a strength of this race team. We are honest with each other whether things are going good or bad. He did that today and that made the guys feel good because it's like, 'Okay, that's our teammate.' He's not sugar-coating things. Then, at the end he asked the guys if they would mind if he sat on the pit box with us. That's something that he wanted to do, but he was humble enough to actually ask his pit crew members if that would be okay. Unanimously everyone started screaming 'Yes, we want you there.' So, I think Kyle handled today like a professional. It would have been much easier for him to get on an airplane and fly home and feel sorry for himself and he didn't. He was obviously disappointed, but he stood there and he backed his race team from flag to flag and I appreciate it. I know all the guys appreciate it. I don't know what he could have done better today. He apologized to the guys for not being in the race car. You know, and he apologized at length and let everyone know where he stood. I think everyone was comfortable with that."(Virginian-Pilot)(11-7-2011)

  • Busch parked for Texas Nationwide and Cup races; Busch releases statement: Tempers flared early in Friday night's truck race at Texas Motor Speedway. As they ran three-wide early in Friday's race, Ron Hornaday moved up the track, causing Kyle Busch, running on the outside, to hit the wall. Hornaday also hit it. As they slowly went around the track, Busch ran up on the rear of Hornaday and caused Hornaday to smack the wall head-on in what was hard contact. Hornaday was uninjured. NASCAR called Busch to the hauler to meet with officials after the race. NASCAR met with Kyle Busch for less than five minutes on Friday night after the race. They will meet with Busch before Saturday morning's Cup practice (which is at 8:45am/et) to discuss the incident. Hornaday went to the NASCAR hauler (he wasn't called there by officials) after Kyle left and said: "If NASCAR doesn't (park Busch), I'm hanging around, and I'm going to buy Tommy Baldwin's ride and that guy will never finish another race. That's a promise. He's got to be parked. They did it to Harvick at Martinsville.'' Hornaday was reminded that the Harvick parking was in 2002, which Hornday said: "So, let's have at it? So I can go over and beat his ass and let's have at it? He lives too close to me. We'll see what NASCAR does. If they don't handle it right, I'll be over at his house Monday morning.''(Virginian-Pilot)(11-5-2011)
    UPDATE: NASCAR announced Saturday morning that they have parked Kyle Busch for the remainder of the Texas race weekend. He will not be allowed to participate in the Nationwide or Cup races. He will be replaced in the Cup race by Michael McDowell and by Denny Hamlin in the Nationwide race. Further penalties against Busch could be announced early in the week.(11-5-2011)
    UPDATE 2: Joe Gibbs didn't argue with the severity of the penalty. "I always trust NASCAR," Gibbs said. "I think they do a great job. They manage the series. It's grown because of them and the way they handle it. I have great faith in the decisions they make. We've been a part of this for a long time, and we love it. We love being a part of it, and we love this sport. This was a tough one for us, but as I mentioned, sometimes in life you go through tough things. You don't like it, but we're certainly going to try and work our way through this one and do the right thing and try and handle it the right way." Gibbs now must deal with the fallout from the incident, and that means talks with Cup sponsor Mars and Nationwide sponsor Z-Line Designs, as well as other JGR partners. "I met with Kyle in his motor home this morning," Gibbs said. "It's one of those personal conversations you have when a real tough situation like this comes up. I think, for all of our other partners involved with this-and there's a number of them-we haven't even had a chance to get with everybody yet. So we're still trying to go through that as best we can. We'll be here the whole weekend trying to meet with everybody, trying to work our way through this and trying to handle it the right way."(Sporting News)(11-5-2011)
    AND: Ultimately, Busch may face sanctions more severe than those levied by NASCAR. Addressing the media this morning in Texas, team owner Joe Gibbs accepted blame for his driver's actions, saying, "It definitely rests with me. When you own something... you're responsible. I take full responsibility for it." Gibbs hinted that conversations have taken place with team sponsors about how to proceed, and sources in the NASCAR garage say serious consideration is being given to parking Busch for the remainder of the 2011 Sprint Cup and Nationwide campaign.(Sirius Speedway)(11-5-2011)
    Statement from Toyota: "Toyota understands it is NASCAR's responsibility to enforce their rules for the well-being of the sport. We recognize this is a difficult situation for both Joe Gibbs Racing and Kyle Busch with respect to the incident that occurred at Texas Motor Speedway during Friday (Nov. 4) night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. However, we are confident in the leadership of Joe and J.D. Gibbs, and are certain the team will handle this difficult situation in an appropriate manner. Toyota remains 100 percent committed to its support of Joe Gibbs Racing and its drivers."(Toyota)(11-5-2011)
    Statement from Kyle Busch: I've had a lot of time today to sit and reflect, and try to put my thoughts into words as best I can. I want to sincerely apologize for my actions during Friday night's Truck Series race at Texas. I apologize to my fans, all my sponsors, everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing and Kyle Busch Motorsports. After talking with my team, it's great to have their support and encouragement to assure me that there are better days ahead. Even though this took place while driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports, I am sorry for how difficult this has been for everyone associated with Joe Gibbs Racing's Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series teams. I'd also like to apologize to Ron Hornaday Jr., and everyone associated with the #33 team in the Truck Series. I understand why I was taken out of the car for the rest of the weekend. NASCAR officials had to act, and I accept their punishment and take full responsibility for my actions. As a racecar driver, the hardest thing to do is to sit on the sidelines listening to cars on the track when you know you should be out there competing. For this, I have no one to blame but myself. Through a lot of support from the people around me, I feel like I've made a lot of strides this year, but this was certainly a step backward. Moving forward, I will do everything I possibly can to represent everyone involved in a positive manner. However, I know my long-term actions will have more of a bearing than anything I say right now.(Kyle Busch Motorsports)(11-5-2011)
    Statement from M&Ms: "The recent actions by Kyle Busch are not consistent with the values of M&M'S and we're very disappointed. Like you, we hold those who represent our brand to a higher standard and we have expressed our concerns directly to Joe Gibbs Racing."(M&Ms Facebook page)(11-6-2011)

  • Kyle Busch to field Nationwide Series team in 2012: from a Toyota Motorsports Transcript, #18-Kyle Busch announced he will run a Nationwide Series team in 2012:
    Busch: "On behalf of myself and Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM), it's just a subtle little announcement that KBM is transitioning into the Nationwide Series next year to go race a full-funded team for the championship and I can't announce any further details, besides that it will be a Toyota. Excited about it. It's a great opportunity for myself and for the Kyle Busch Motorsports organization for everybody there that's there now that we have on the line to hire to bring over in order to foresee that program being successful. We're excited. It's a great day for us. Crew chiefs, sponsors, drivers -- all that stuff will be announced at a later time. Wanted to get it out there before Jayski, so we did it. That was good." (so now 'my' mission is to find out the sponsor before announced......)
    Q) Will Kyle Busch Motorsports continue to compete in the Truck Series?
    Busch: "I did say transitioning in. We did run one race earlier this year, through help with NEMCO Motorsports, running Kimi Raikkonen at Charlotte, so we have the equipment started. We will run trucks also. We will keep the 18 truck going for a full season next year. We are just a few races shy being full sponsorship on that deal. Obviously, last week with Dollar General -- announcing those guys coming back to help us with the Truck Series program and, you know, with the driver and all that kinds of stuff, it's all pretty much done. It's just a matter of waiting until the time in which the sponsor is ready to announce all that stuff."
    Q) Is it safe to assume you will drive Nationwide races for KBM and Joe Gibbs Racing next year?
    Busch: "It's kind of the point to really announce later, but it's safe to assume that I will be running in some Nationwide races at Kyle Busch Motorsports. I will also still commit to my current obligations that I have at JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) and run over there too. I'll be split between two Nationwide teams essentially driving some races. What number that's going to be yet, that's to be decided. Certainly we've gone over it with JGR and everything. This is definitely nothing new to those guys. There's certainly the amount of races that I've already been set to run in the Nationwide car for next year with JGR. We'll still continue to plan all that out into these next few weeks or next few months maybe before our announcement."(Toyota Motorsports)(10-21-2011)

  • Dollar General leaves Turner Motorsports; headed to JGR? UPDATE - Official: Turner Motorsports announced Tuesday that Reed Sorenson, who is currently third in the Nationwide Series standings, is out as driver of the #32 Dollar General Chevy. Brian Vickers will assume driving duties from Sorenson beginning this weekend at Kansas Speedway. Turner offered no reason why Sorenson has been sidelined despite the driver currently sitting third in the Nationwide Series points standings. "I'm pretty confused right now," Sorenson said. "I really don't know what's going on right now. I'm trying to figure some stuff out and get through this weekend. It's hard on me, it's hard on the guys that work on this car and where we finish in points. So it's a bad deal." The announcement comes on the same day that Turner Motorsports acknowledged that Dollar General was leaving at the end of the year. Dollar General is expected to be a limited sponsor on one of Joe Gibbs Racing's Sprint Cup cars and as a primary sponsor in the Nationwide Series. Calls to J.D. Gibbs were not returned.(FoxSports)(10-5-2011)
    UPDATE: The sponsorship picture at Joe Gibbs Racing is set to undergo a vast change next season. At a news conference Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Dollar General is expected to announce will greatly increase its involvement in NASCAR, sponsoring both Sprint Cup and Nationwide series teams at JGR in 2012. Among the changes:
    - Dollar General will become the primary sponsor on driver Joey Logano's #20 Toyota in the Cup series for 10 to 12 races in 2012.
    - Dollar General will become the primary sponsor on JGR's #11 Nationwide Series team driven by Brian Scott.
    - The company will also be the primary sponsor for several races for JGR's #18 and #20 Nationwide teams.
    Dollar General will likely also continue its involvement with the Truck series team owned by JGR driver Kyle Busch, sources said. A JGR spokesman declined to comment on Tuesday when asked about the sponsorship changes. The move means Home Depot, which has been a primary sponsor in the Cup series with JGR since 1999, will relinquish roughly a third of the races on the #20 next season.(Charlotte Observer)(10-11-2011)
    UPDATE: Dollar General announced its new sponsorship agreement with Joe Gibbs Racing that includes contenders in both the Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series in 2012. Dollar General also announced plans to continue its Camping World Truck Series sponsorship with Kyle Busch Motorsports in 2012. Dollar General will become the primary sponsor of JGR's #20 Toyota Camry, driven by Joey Logano, for 12 Sprint Cup races. In addition, Dollar General will be the primary sponsor of JGR's #11 Toyota, driven by Brian Scott, for a full season in the Nationwide Series. In 10 Nationwide races, Dollar General will also support an additional JGR car, either #18 driven by Kyle Busch or #20 driven by Logano. In the Camping World Truck Series, Dollar General will return for 10 races with KBM. The #18 truck will be driven by Busch.(Dollar General PR)(10-13-2011)

  • Kyle Busch is most mentioned Cup driver: According to a study by Joyce, Julius & Associates, #18-Kyle Busch was the most mentioned Spring Cup driver during telecasts of the first 20 races of the year. The results:

    Driver # of Interviews Interview Time Mentions
    Busch, Ky. 38 0:52:28 3,829
    Gordon, J. 32 0:42:33 3,052
    Johnson, J. 24 0:23:34 2,605
    Edwards, C. 36 0:37:37 2,450
    Hamlin, D. 27 0:24:27 2,320
    Busch, Ku. 19 0:13:52 2,205
    Stewart, T. 19 0:21:40 2,185
    Kenseth, M. 17 0:12:16 1,939
    Menard, P. 17 0:21:51 1,912
    Earnhardt Jr., D. 17 0:26:51 1,898

    (Joyce Julius & Associates)(9-18-2011)

  • Hero R-W-B scheme for Kyle Busch at RIR: M&M will once again run a special red, white & blue scheme on the #18 M&M's Toyota to be driven by Kyle Busch in the Wonderful Pistachios 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 10th. The paint scheme is reminiscent of the #36 September 11th memorial car driven by Kenny Schrader at Dover following the attacks ten years ago. See an image of the car on the #18 Team Schemes page.(9-7-2011)

  • Kyle Busch's speeding ticket resolved today: UPDATE: The 128-mile-an-hour adventure of NASCAR driver Kyle Busch is expected to come to an end Tuesday afternoon in an Iredell County Courtroom. It began on May 24 in a rural part of Iredell County. Busch, who drives a Toyota on the Sprint Cup Circuit for Joe Gibbs Racing, was driving a high powered, $400,000 Lexus supercar. The bright yellow LFA (Lexus Fuji Apex) was given to Busch to test drive for the manufacturer. Busch and his wife took the car out on narrow, two lane, 45 mile an hour Perth Road in an area near a subdivision, a day care, and a church, and was clocked by an Iredell County deputy going 128 miles an hour. After being stopped, Busch told the deputy that the car was "just a toy." Busch was charged with speeding and careless and reckless driving. Law enforcement authorities and attorneys not involved in the case said that the treatment Busch received was fair that he had not been given any special privileges. In July, Busch was already making plans to make amends for his reckless driving by volunteering in a program that is designed to help teen drivers be safe behind the wheel. The program is called B. R. A. K. E. S., it stands for Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe.(WBTV)(8-23-2011)
    UPDATE: Kyle Busch has pleaded guilty after he was cited for speeding more than 128 miles per hour in a 45 mph zone in Iredell County back in May. Busch pleaded guilty to speeding charges and "no contest" to charges of careless and reckless driving on Tuesday afternoon in an Iredell County Courtroom. He was sentenced to 30 days suspended and was given a one-year unsupervised probation. He was fined $1,000 in the case and the court took his driver's license for 45 days. Busch was given a prayer for judgment on the reckless driving charge.(WBTV)(8-23-2011)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Michigan: #18-Kyle Busch won the Pure Michigan 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway for his 23rd career win and 4th win of 2011. The 23 wins ties him with his brother Kurt and Ricky Rudd for 20th all time ranking of all time wins. Kyle Busch clinces a place in the chase, at least via a wild card spot. The race had one green-white-checkered, increasing the race to 203 laps.
    #48-Johnson finished 2nd [his best finish at Michigan] followed by #2-Keselowski [last three races 1-2-3], #5-Martin, #39-Newman, #24-Gordon, #4-Kahne, #33-Bowyer, #14-Stewart and #17-Kenseth. The pole sitter, #16-Biffle finishing 20th.
    Points leader going in to the race, #18-Busch, won the race and increased his points lead to 10 over #48-Johnson.
    There were 20 lead changes among 10 drivers and 5 cautions for 21 yellow flag laps. The attendance is listed as 81,000, down from 105,000 last year.
    Scheduled Race Re-Air:
    ESPN2, Monday, August 22 at 12:30 am/et;
    SPEED, Wednesday, August 24 at 12:00pm/et
    See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Michigan Race Results/Awards page.
    See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.
    For the owner points standings, see my Owners Points Standings page.(8-21-2011)

  • Gibbs fourth team "a long shot": Joe Gibbs Racing President JD Gibbs said plans for a fourth Sprint Cup team were not necessarily derailed when Carl Edwards opted to remain with Roush Fenway Racing, rather than jump to JGR. "In each of the last three years, we've looked around to see what kind of things pop-up that would allow us to make (a fourth team) work," Gibbs said. "But it all has to come together. You have to have a driver, which is key. You need the right partner to sponsor the team (and) you have to have the right crew. If all that comes together, we're good to go. We can go quickly. But we've also learned that if all that doesn't come together, we're better off waiting, instead of trying to force something to go together. That's where we are right now. We can go quickly if it all lines up, and that's our hope." He admitted that a fourth Sprint Cup Series Toyota in 2012 is "probably a long shot, (since) we're not lined up with the right partners. But I also wouldn't rule it out. We don't have to plan something out six months in advance. We can cut it a little closer and make it work. We're in no hurry. There's no panic and we're not going to force it, but if the opportunity is there, we can take advantage of it quickly."(Sirius Speedway)(8-12-2011)

  • Gibbs to close engine shop? UPDATE: hearing that Joe Gibbs Racing [#11, #18, #20] will lay off half their engine shop staff and get engines supplied, supposedly for free, from TRD - Toyota Racing Development. Hearing it is a three year deal, not sure if it starts soon or with the 2012 season. Employee's not laid off will be reassigned within the company, as there are reports that JGR will expand to a fourth team and are in the hunt for Carl Edwards to drive for them in 2012. Edwards is a free agent and currently drives for Roush Fenway Racing in the #99 Ford. Just last week, Toyota'a Lee White told FoxSports: "No, they're not shutting down their engine shop and no we will not be building their engines," White said. "Of course, hell can freeze over and pigs can fly, but not in this world." Currently, the JGR engines would not even fit in the other Toyota cars with their configuration.(7-15-2011)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota Research and Development announced Thursday that they are combining their engine efforts in 2012. Officials said there is a chance that JGR cars could use engines out of TRD headquarters in Costa Mesa, Calif., before the end of this season, but that the focus is on next year. Economics in part drove the merger. As Lee White, the president of TRG said, "Building for three teams or less is extremely expensive and inefficient." JGR builds all of its engines while the other Toyota teams -- Michael Waltrip Racing and Red Bull Racing -- receive engines from TRD. With JGR looking to expand its Nationwide presence and add a Trucks program, the merger gives the organization more flexibility. With the future of Red Bull Racing in doubt, the addition of JGR also allows TRG to maintain a full workload if Red Bull's organization folds or is moved to another manufacturer with new investors. Gibbs said JGR will maintain its engine shop in Huntersville, N.C., so that it can make any tweaks to the engines it deems necessary and to work on other projects.(ESPN.com) See earlier updates on the #18 team page.(8-11-2011)

  • Kyle Busch to work with B.R.A.K.E.S.: #18-Kyle Busch has a plan to turn negative publicity from being charged with going 128 mph in a 45 mph zone down a rural road in North Carolina into a positive. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver and his foundation have pledged to help 10 schools put more than 300 teens through the B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe) program that NHRA Top Fuel drag racer Doug Herbert began in 2008 after his sons Jon and James were killed in an automobile accident while speeding. Busch also plans to appear in several public service announcements promoting the nonprofit program that teaches teens and their parents safe driving and will incorporate the organization as an associate sponsor on his #18 in the Truck Series. "One of the things I focused on and said back in May was I really wanted to use this situation to generate positives from it and learn from it," Busch told ESPN.com on Wednesday. "Anytime you have situations like this you hope to at least make something positive of it." Busch was charged on May 24 with careless and reckless driving and speeding. He has a hearing set for Aug. 23. If convicted of speeding and reckless driving the 26-year-old driver could have his license automatically suspended for 60 days. He could also be found guilty of a second-class misdemeanor that has a maximum punishment of up to 60 days in jail and suspension of license for up to 12 months.(ESPN)(7-27-2011)

  • Kyle Busch gets two wins over the weekend: Kyle Busch capped a perfect weekend at Oxford Plains Speedway by stamping an exclamation mark on his stay in Maine by winning the prestigious 38th annual TD Bank 250 on Sunday. The victory came less than 24 hours after a win in 150-lap Pro All Stars Series event at the track. Busch started fifth on the 38-car field by virtue of a win in his qualifying heat ran comfortably in the top five throughout most of the event. The 26 year-old NASCAR superstar Busch escaped a race-deciding restart on lap 234 with a hard-charging performance from Nick Sweet to win New England's biggest short track event. Busch's familiarity with his Super Late Model paid off on Saturday night when he won the PASS 150, but the driver who currently sits fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings was unsure of how his Late Model would handle around the 3/8-mile oval in its maiden voyage. Busch pocketed $25,000 for the victory and a total of $31,800 after lap leader bonuses.(Vermont Motorsports Magazine)(7-25-2011)

  • Busch's speeding case postponed: The court appearance for NASCAR driver Kyle Busch set for Wednesday will likely be postponed to a later date. Busch was set to be in administrative traffic court after he was caught going 128 miles an hour in a 45 mile an hour zone in rural Iredell County in late May. Busch was driving a high performance Lexus LFA super car given to him by Toyota, whose cars and trucks he drives in NASCAR. If convicted of speeding and reckless driving, Busch would have his license automatically suspended for 60 days by the department of motor vehicles. A judge also could find him guilty of a second-class misdemeanor, which under North Carolina law has a maximum punishment of up to 60 days in jail and a suspension of a driver's license for up to 12 months.(WBTV)(7-19-2011)
    UPDATE: The court appearance for NASCAR driver Kyle Busch was postponed from Wednesday to Aug. 23. Busch's attorney, Cliff Homesley, requested the continuance, which is standard procedure when a case first comes to court. Busch was scheduled to appear in administrative court Wednesday but the continuance was granted. Homesley indicated Busch would resolve the charges at his Aug. 23 court date.(Stateville Record & Landmark)(7-21-2011)

  • Gibbs to close engine shop? UPDATES: hearing that Joe Gibbs Racing [#11, #18, #20] will lay off half their engine shop staff and get engines supplied, supposedly for free, from TRD - Toyota Racing Development. Hearing it is a three year deal, not sure if it starts soon or with the 2012 season. Employee's not laid off will be reassigned within the company, as there are reports that JGR will expand to a fourth team and are in the hunt for Carl Edwards to drive for them in 2012. Edwards is a free agent and currently drives for Roush Fenway Racing in the #99 Ford. Just last week, Toyota'a Lee White told FoxSports: "No, they're not shutting down their engine shop and no we will not be building their engines," White said. "Of course, hell can freeze over and pigs can fly, but not in this world." Currently, the JGR engines would not even fit in the other Toyota cars with their configuration.(7-15-2011)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing President JD Gibbs told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that he has no plans to shutter the team's engine shop and merge motor-building operations with Toyota Racing Development. "I think a lot of that started when Red Bull Racing announced they were going to cease operation," said Gibbs. "A lot of people started trying to plug things into different spots. There are some things that TRD and Toyota do really well, and there are some things that we do really well. For several years, we've been working on how to bring all those strengths together. (JGR Head Engine Builder) Mark Cronquist has got some real sharp guys... and the question - again - is how do we bring all that together (with Toyota and TRD)? If we can do that, I think there will be some real value. But there is no shutting down our shop, or shutting down theirs. We're going to keep working on combining what they do well with what we do well."
    Gibbs also commented on persistent rumors of negotiations with Roush Fenway Racing driver Carl Edwards, saying, "We get the most attention because we have an open spot. If other (teams) had spots, they'd all be in the rumor mill, too. The reality is that Carl is a gifted, talented driver. But you have to have all the parts; driver, crew chief, team and sponsorship. And that sponsorship piece is difficult to put together. From our standpoint, we are far from having any concrete decisions or directions. We have the availability to add a fourth car. We look at it each year and examine the possibilities. But we haven't been able to make it work." Gibbs said Joey Logano's job is secure, whether or not Edwards joins the JGR camp. "People in general just assume things," he said. "If we do a fourth car, it will be a great addition. For Joey, the key is that we finished last year so strong, but just haven't had that same consistency this year. We've had it the last few weeks, so that's encouraging for us and the whole (#20) team. He's young, but we have to perform. We all know that, and what we saw (out of Logano) last year is what we're starting to see again now. That's encouraging."(Sirius Speedway)(7-15-2011)
    UPDATE 2: While there's talk in the garage that Joe Gibbs Racing might be getting rid of its engine program (and using Toyota's program, which supplies engines for its teams), here's what Joe Gibbs told [Dustin Long] after the race: "No truth to that at all,'' Gibbs said of talk JGR's engine shop was closing after this year. "We're not closing our motor shop at all. What we're doing is moving closer and closer to TRD (Toyota Racing Development) to run one motor. So far we've been running two different packages. Now we've been getting closer and closer as we go and doing more R&D. Now that we'll be fuel injection (in 2012), we'll be closer yet. So that's all it is. We're going to be doing the things that we've been doing well. Mark (Cronquist, who oversees the engine department at JGR) is going to be in charge of horsepower stuff. We'll be working together (with TRD) on our motor package.''(Virginian-Pilot)(7-18-2011)

  • Harvick says he's been warned to not touch Busch: Kevin Harvick says he is racing with handcuffs when competing against rival Kyle Busch, whom he and his owner have feuded with since May. Harvick, who finished second behind Busch in the New England 200 on Saturday, told his Nationwide Series team over his radio that he had to be careful around Busch and then confirmed afterward that NASCAR President Mike Helton had warned him at Michigan in June not to touch Busch on the track. "I was told a few weeks ago that if we touched the 18 car [of Busch], we'd be parked," Harvick said. "I've just got to be really careful. I would have liked to have gotten the track position and slid up and do what I needed to do. But I've just got to be really careful. That's the way NASCAR put it to me." NASCAR spokesman Kristi King said if there was a conversation between Harvick and Helton, it would remain private. Busch said he has received no warning. "It would have been a lot easier to win if you didn't have handcuffs put on you, but that's the way NASCAR said we had to do it," Harvick said.(Scene Daily(7-17-2011)

  • Kyle Busch wins Late Model Race: Erasing his late race demons from a year ago, Kyle Busch muscled past Dave Feiler following a restart with 26 laps to go and drove to his first victory in the Miller Lite Nationals 200-lap super late model main event Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway.(full story at Slinger Super Speedway), quite a weekend for Busch: won the Truck Series race at Kentucky on Thursday, 3rd in the Nationwide race at Kentucky on Friday, won the Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky on Saturday and then won Sunday ay Slinger.(7-11-2011)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Kentucky: #18-Kyle Busch won the inaugrual Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway for his 3rd win of 2011, 22nd career win and taking the points lead. #00-Reutimann finished second followed by #48-Johnson, #39-Newman, #99-Edwards, #17-Kenseth, #2-Keselowski, #6-Ragan, #22-Busch and #24-Gordon.
    The points leader going in to the race, #29-Harvick finished 16th and lost the points lead to #18-Busch, who goes to the points lead by 4 points over Edwards.
    There were 20 lead changes among 12 drivers; 6 cautions for 32 yellow flag laps. The attendance is listed as 107,000 for the first race.
    Scheduled Race Re-Air: SPEED, Wednesday, July 13 at 12:00pm/et
    See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Kentucky Race Results/Awards page.
    See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(7-9-2011)

  • Kyle Busch going for another Trifecta UPDATES: As Kyle Busch is set to compete in all three races this weekend at Kentucky, he will look to repeat his record-breaking weekend sweep at Bristol Motor Speedway last August. Busch won the Camping World 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, the Las Vegas native led 514 of a possible 956 circuits. Before finally completing his historic trifecta at Bristol last August, Busch won two out of the three weekend NASCAR races five times in his career (Phoenix fall of 2007 1st in Truck, 1st in Nationwide, 8th in Sprint Cup; Atlanta 2008 spring of 2008, 1st, 24th, 1st; Auto Club Speedway in February 2009, 1st, 1st, 8th; Bristol in August 2009, 1st, 28th, 1st; and Texas in November of 2009, 1st, 28th, 1st). So far in 2011, Busch almost accomplished a weekend sweep once again by winning the Truck Series and Nationwide races in February at Phoenix before coming up just short of winning Sunday's Sprint cup event, when he settled for a solid second-place finish.(JGR/True Speed Commincations)(7-7-2011)
    UPDATE: Busch won the Truck Series race.(7-8-2011)
    Busch came in 3rd in the Nationwide race.
    Busch won the Sprint Cup Series race.(7-9-2011)

  • The Kyle Busch / Kevin Harvick 'handshake': at separate press conferences, #29-Kevin Harvick and #18-Kyle Busch were asked their thoughts about Kyle Busch walking up to Kevin Harvick after the race at Infineon Raceway and shaking Harvick's hand.
    Q) KYLE BUSCH CAME UP AND SHOOK YOU HAND LAST WEEK AFTER INFINEON, IS THAT ALL OVER WITH AND YOU GUYS ARE GOOD TO GO?
    Harvick: "I wouldn't call it good to go on that. I mean we raced together for a lap and a half. I was as confused about all that as everybody else."(Team Chevy).
    Q) Why did you shake Kevin Harvick's hand after last weekend's race?
    Busch: "I felt like we had a really good race with each other. So, just wanted to let him know that."
    Q) Did you feel like you gave each other room in last weekend's race?
    Busch: "Yes. We gave each other great room and raced each other hard and clean. And, that's all there is to it. You all are reading way too much into things."(Toyota Racing)(7-1-2011)

  • Special scheme for Kyle Busch at Daytona: Interstate All Battery Center stores promise to have "Every Battery for Every Need" with the expertise to solve any battery-related problem. So it's only appropriate that this weekend's new metallic and reflective green-and-gold scheme on the #18 Interstate All Battery Center Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) will be driven by Kyle Busch, a driver who has proven he can win at every type of track. Busch will run the scheme at the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Interstate All Battery Center stores promise to have "Every Battery for Every Need" with the expertise to solve any battery-related problem (JGR)(6-30-2011)

  • JGR teams face penalties for oil pans UPDATE 3 - Penalties announced: The Joe Gibbs Racing teams of #18-Kyle Busch, #11-Denny Hamlin and #20-Joey Logano all face possible penalties after an issue was discovered in inspection Friday morning at Michigan before practice began. John Darby, Cup series director, said that all three Gibbs cars had oil pans that had not been submitted for approval before competition. "We had them pull (those) off and put what we're accustomed to, what has been submitted back on their cars,'' Darby said. All three teams face possible penalties for the infraction. "Chances are great (a penalty) wouldn't involve points,'' Darby said.(Hampton Roads)(6-17-2011)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing had unapproved- and unusually heavy - oil pans seized from its three NASCAR Sprint Cup cars Friday morning at Michigan International Speedway. Officially, the issue was that the oil pans had not been submitted for approval by NASCAR, a standard procedure for the thousands of parts and pieces on race cars. But a bigger issue ultimately might be weight. While a standard NASCAR Sprint Cup oil pan weighs about 4 pounds, the three taken off the Gibbs cars weighed an estimated 20-30 pounds apiece. Competitors contacted by SPEED.com and FOXSports.com said the heavy oil pans would allow the teams to remove weight elsewhere in the car and put it low and on the front of the car, which could provide a handling advantage, perhaps a substantial one. Officials did not penalize JGR at the track but said in a statement, "NASCAR will discuss early next week if there will be any additional penalties assessed to these three teams."(SPEED)(6-18-2011)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR announced today that the #11, No. 18 and No. 20 teams that compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series have been penalized for rules violations discovered during opening day inspection June 17 at Michigan International Speedway. All three of the Joe Gibbs Racing cars were found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in an event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the NASCAR rule book, or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the event); and 20-5.5.4A (oil pan, failure to submit component) of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book. As a result, the three crew chiefs - Mike Ford (#11 car), Dave Rogers (#18 car) and Greg Zipadelli (#20 car) have been fined $50,000 each and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. In addition, all three car chiefs - Chris Gillin (#11 car), Wesley Sherrill (#18 car) and Jason Shapiro (#20 car) along with Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Jimmy Makar have been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.(NASCAR)(6-21-2011)
    UPDATE 3 - Statement from JGR: "We received NASCAR's ruling today with regard to penalties for having oil pans on our cars that had not been submitted for approval prior to going through inspection on Friday. Although the parts were not illegal, we did not follow the proper submission for approval process. We will not appeal NASCAR's ruling."(JGR)(6-22-2011)

  • Roush supportive of Childress: Jack Roush drew a few laughs after his team's NASCAR Nationwide victory, when he was asked his view of the fine handed down to fellow owner Richard Childress. Childress was fined $150,000 earlier this month for an altercation with Kyle Busch at Kansas Speedway. Childress was upset that Busch bumped into Joey Coulter on the cool-down lap after a race. "It was pretty high," Roush said about the fine. "I guess that pretty much puts the nail in the coffin of, 'Have at it, guys.' Maybe that was a boy and a man. I am not sure. Maybe that is different than the boys having at it. Kyle has been pretty rough on my cars over a period of time and for Richard to stand up for himself was OK," Roush said.(Associated Press)(6-19-2011)

  • Kyle Busch is the Most-Mentioned in Sponsor Exposure: Even before his most recent dustup, #18-Kyle Busch had been the center of attention during this year's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series broadcasts. Interviewed longer and mentioned more frequently than any other driver on the circuit during the first 12 event telecasts of 2011, Busch parlayed the spotlight into $28.4 million of exposure value for his sponsors-some $6.5 million more than the next most sponsor-potent driver, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    According to research conducted by Joyce Julius & Associates, Inc. -- which has monitored every NASCAR race telecast over the last 27 seasons -- Busch's sponsors, with logos appearing on his car, uniform and pit crew, etc., were monitored for eight hours, 30 minutes, 39 seconds (8:30:39) during live and replayed coverage of NASCAR's Daytona 500 through last month's Coca-Cola 600. Additionally, Busch and the FOX TV crew verbally mentioned his sponsors on 95 occasions.
    Earnhardt Jr.'s cumulative exposure value ranked him second among all drivers with $21.8 million, based on 5.5 hours of on-screen time for his sponsors and 18 brand mentions. The popular driver was third in interview durations (0:13:07), but interestingly, Earnhardt Jr. sat just seventh in total driver mentions (1,140).
    Meanwhile, Trevor Bayne, despite starting only eight of the first 12 points races this year, rode the wave of his Daytona 500 win to earn $12.3 million of exposure value for his sponsors, the seventh-most among the drivers. Bayne placed 20th in terms of cumulative sponsor on-camera time and 22nd in driver mentions. (for charts and more, go to Joyce Julius & Associates)(6-15-2011)

  • #18 fails inspection UPDATE 3 Penalties announced: The #18 M&M's Toyota of Kyle Busch failed post race inspection at Pocono with a height issue on the left-front end. The car will be taken to NASCAR's R&D center, any penalties normally announced Tuesday.
    UPDATE: Kyle Busch's third place finishing car in Sunday's 5-Hour Energy 500 at Pocono raceway failed post race inspection. Busch's Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was found to be too low after NASCAR officials inspected it three times following Sunday's race. Busch's left front was too low and NASCAR will take the car back to its R&D Center in Concord, N.C. While he will be allowed to keep his third place finish a fine and points penalty will more than likely be assessed. "it's the last thing I expected - I have as many questions as you," said crew chief Dave Rogers.(CBS Sports)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR officials said the front left was too low on the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Crew chief Dave Rogers said the car was 1/16th of an inch outside the tolerances already allowed by the governing body. Because the car passed pre-race inspection Rogers speculated the violation was the result of a broken part. Because NASCAR doesn't typically differentiate whether the violation was intentional or unintentional, Busch faces a potential fine, points deduction or both. He currently is fifth in points, 25 behind leader Carl Edwards who lost his big lead after an engine failure left him 37th at the 2.5-mile track. Rogers said it was a "huge surprise'' when NASCAR informed him the car failed and would be taken to the Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C., for further evaluation. "It's disappointing," Rogers said. "I can't tell you a whole lot right now. We sit on bump stops in these race cars. Your springs often don't damage. We were struggling all weekend and we went back to what we raced last spring when we finished second. We put the same package in -- same front shocks, same front springs. We went through tech just fine last year, but obviously everything has a year on it and everything is mileaged out. I don't have any excuses for you. It's the last thing I expected after the race." Rogers said there was a lot of damage on the left front fender, apparently from bottoming out on the rough Pocono surface. He said Busch also got into the fence on the right side. "There is plenty of body damage, but nothing that I could look at and say,'Hey, NASCAR, here's a problem,'" Rogers said. "I would just be trying to make excuses if I tried to justify it."(ESPN.com)(6-12-2011)
    UPDATE 3 #18 Team penalties announced: NASCAR has penalized the #18 team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as a result of rule infractions discovered during post-race inspection Sunday at Pocono Raceway.
    The #18 Toyota was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR officials that race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-12.8.1B (body height requirements - car failed to meet the minimum front car heights) of the 2011 NASCAR rule book.
    As a result, crew chief Dave Rogers has been fined $25,000, while owner Joe Gibbs and driver Kyle Busch have been penalized with the loss of six championship owner and six championship driver points, respectively.(NASCAR)
    STATEMENT FROM JGR: "We brought the #18 car back to our race shop and have identified the problem which caused us to measure low during the post-race inspection process in Pocono yesterday afternoon. We have made NASCAR aware of our findings and we accept the penalty they have issued today."(JGR)(6-13-2011)

  • Harvick vs. Busch resurfaces: #29-Kevin Harvick made it clear Sunday at Pocono Raceway that his feud with #18-Kyle Busch isn't over. The Richard Childress Racing driver forced Busch down the track early in the Sprint Cup race when the two were fighting for position in the last event of their four-race probation, handed down by NASCAR after their pit road incident at Darlington. It was a continuation of the feud between the drivers, as well as the one with Harvick's team owner, Richard Childress, who put Busch in a headlock and punched him in the Truck Series garage after last weekend's truck race at Kansas. The incident came after Busch made contact with RCR driver Joey Coulter on the cool-down lap. "He knows he's got one coming," Harvick said after finishing fifth at Pocono on Sunday, two spots behind Busch. "I just wanted him to think about it." NASCAR warned the two drivers to just race, and the battle seemed to settle down after that. "It seemed like he was trying to make it awfully difficult on me," Busch said. "There were a couple of times I had to back off and wait (before passing)." Busch said what Harvick did simply showed his character. "It's not my fight," Busch said. "He's trying to turn it into one."(ESPN.com)(6-13-2011)

  • Kyle Busch discusses incident with Childress: Toyota Racing, #18-Kyle Busch, spoke to the media at Pocono, some notes and quotes:
    Do you feel you have a respect issue in the garage and do you need respect in the garage to be successful?
    "Can't answer the first part for you -- you would have to ask everybody else. As far as needing respect in the garage area -- certainly. It makes your day a little bit easier. Makes your job a little bit easier. I've been able to have good conversations and talk to people outside the race car or at driver intros or stuff like that. Whether it's the case that they're not being true to my face -- I don't know, I can't read that. I'm not in people's minds. If you're mad at me, you'll have to tell me."
    Do you understand why Richard Childress was mad last week?
    "Me giving a congratulatory bump to Joey Coulter is what tipped him (Richard Childress) over the edge there. I don't recall anytime -- face-to-face conversation where Richard did tell me that, 'If you touch another one of my cars I'm going to come find you.' I don't know if it was ever said in the media, but it was never relayed to me."
    Have you received any secret fines in the last seven days?
    "No."
    How should NASCAR handle penalties if someone is threatening a lawsuit?
    "I don't know. That's not to my discretion to be honest with you. It's further to NASCAR to depose. That's a great question for the, but for myself, I need an instance of what you're explaining. Besides all the information you've just given me and the question you've asked, I can't really comment further."
    Did you know how much damage there was on Joey Coulter's truck at Kansas?
    "No, I didn't feel like I hit him all that hard. I just thought I rubbed him a little bit. Typically when you rub a guy, you don't see much damage from it. The trucks are so different too. I forgot about how the left-front fender on a truck -- the nose is so much wider than the tire is so it kind of sticks out a little further so maybe there was more damage than I thought I would have caused. That's entirely my fault -- I'm the one that instigated it there or initiated it. As far as him having to fly out body hangers and all that stuff -- if it's something they didn't feel that they could hammer and dolly out, sorry it came to that."
    Did the media interpret malicious intent toward Joey Coulter?
    "There can be an easy way to interpret things sometimes and it seems like maybe I might be on the wrong end of interpretation a lot of those times. There was no malicious intent to be involved in hurting or damaging a RCR (Richard Childress Racing) vehicle."
    Was anything said to you by Richard Childress prior to last week's incident?
    "No. We were in that NASCAR hauler from Darlington after the race and he (Richard Childress) never said a word in there."
    How are M&M's handling the recent situations?
    "M&M's is handling things the best that they can handle it and going through things day by day. There's a lot of support there. We just had a NASCAR day at Hackettstown, New Jersey yesterday and people were awesome. They had a lot of great questions about racing, about the sponsorship, about the partnership that we have and how things have really been working well for them over the past few seasons and how we can continue to grow the brand. They're doing everything they can in their power to make sure that we continue to carry on the presence of M&M's in NASCAR and with Kyle Busch."
    (Toyota Racing)(6-10-2011)

  • Childress discusses penalty, incident with Busch: Richard Childress, Owner of Richard Childress Racing, met with members of the media at Pocono Raceway. The transcript:
    RICHARD CHILDRESS: "Here is the deal. I am going to make one statement on this deal. I appreciate everyone's patience during the last week when I couldn't talk to everyone. The main thing is I take all the responsibility for my actions last week. I am very passionate about this sport. I am passionate about my race teams, our fans and I let my emotions get...come in front of my passion. But that is behind us. I guess the next thing is the fine that was levied against me, I'm going to pay it personal. I agree that NASCAR should have done something with me. I don't agree that they didn't handle the situation that happened on the cool-down lap. With that said, we had a lot of fans to send in donations last week toward our fine, I am going to pay it personally. All that money that has been sent in, that is still coming in, we're going to take and donate to the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma. At least in every bad situation, something good will come out of it. Hopefully Kyle (Busch) and myself will both end up learning something from this. Thank you all very much. Talk to you later. That's it.(Team Chevy)(6-10-2011)

  • Kyle Busch says Childress' fine is 'end of it': #18-Kyle Busch says that the $150,000 fine NASCAR levied against Richard Childress is the end of the matter for him. Childress was fined on Monday for assaulting Busch after a NASCAR Trucks race at Kansas Speedway, the latest incident between the driver and Childress' race teams. Busch was in Ohio on Wednesday to participate in Tony Stewart's annual charity race. "NASCAR decided to make the decisions that they felt were necessary," Busch said before the race at Eldora Speedway. "It's pretty much the end of it. It's not my fight."(Associated Press)(6-9-2011)

  • Jimmy Spencer says Childress was wrong: from a Jimmy Spencer article on SPEED - But take it from someone who has been there - Childress crossed the line in punching Busch. No one should ever hit or physically confront another individual. Arguing, hurling insults or yelling at someone is okay, but you shouldn't touch them. I picked the wrong way to handle my problem with another Busch brother, Kurt, years ago, and I still regret it. I think Kurt learned something from me punching him but I learned more, and if I had the chance to do it over again, I wouldn't have hit him. I've been in several brawls in my time and nobody ever wins. Childress got off too easy. NASCAR should have come down on him harder than a $150,000 fine. They should have suspended him for three races - that would get his attention. He took responsibility for what he did but never apologized because he's really not sorry. I speak from experience when I say that situations like last weekend's affect the younger generation a lot, especially the kids watching our sport. My biggest problem with what Childress did stems from the fact that he is representing major corporations with thousands of employees. Yet he let his temper get the best of him and he assaulted someone. That gave the sport the biggest black eye it has had in years. Fans and folks inside the sport may think it's funny, but these companies probably aren't happy about having a car owner representing them who assaulted someone.
    And believe it or not, I think that Busch's sponsors can be proud of the way he handled himself. We're usually criticizing Busch's behavior, but I admire him for not fighting back and also for staying in the car at Darlington when Kevin Harvick came up to his car on pit road. Busch is the most exciting driver in our sport right now. Yes, he ruffles feathers, but so did the late, great Dale Earnhardt. But Earnhardt didn't outright attack other drivers. I admire Kyle for respecting Childress enough, although he got punched, to not punch back. It takes a strong person not to retaliate.
    I still don't really see what Childress was so upset about. Busch wasn't out of line in bumping Coulter's truck on the cool-down lap. Rewind a few laps to when they were putting on a hell of a race for fifth place and Coulter slid up in front of Busch. If Busch hadn't lifted and let him go, both of them would have wrecked. Coulter was the one at fault there, so Busch bumped him after the race to teach him a lesson. That's just part of racing and how you teach younger drivers who are coming along. Sure, Busch did a little damage to Coulter's quarter panel, but he also did the same to his own truck.(in part from SPEED)(6-9-2011)

  • Altercation between Childress and Kyle Busch after CWTS Race: UPDATE: fine and probation for Childress: From the SPEED Center Facebook page, "multiple witnesses tell SPEED there was a physical confrontation between Richard Childress and Kyle Busch after today's NASCAR Truck Series race..RCR driver Joey Coulter and Kyle battled for position..Kyle hit Coulter's truck on the cool-down lap..multiple sources say Childress took matters into his own hands".(6-4-2011)
    UPDATE: Richard Childress had an altercation with Kyle Busch in the Camping World Truck Series garage area after the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250, sources confirmed Saturday night. NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp confirmed that NASCAR was looking into the rumors of an altercation following the Camping World Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway. The altercation happened in the garage area about 30 minutes after the conclusion of the race, according to the sources, who indicated that Childress initiated the altercation. Childress likely was upset that late in the race, Richard Childress Racing driver Joey Coulter and Busch had a tight battle for fifth with contact on the final lap. Busch tapped Coulter on the cool-down lap following the race.(Scene Daily)(6-4-2011)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR officials are investigating a physical altercation involving team owner Richard Childress and driver Kyle Busch in the garage area following Saturday's Truck series race at Kansas Speedway. According to a member of a Truck team who asked not to be identified, Childress took off his jewelry before approaching Busch in the garage area and struck him with his fist. The two were separated; traded insults and then Childress grabbed Busch in a headlock and struck him again before the incident was broken up. The crew member said Childress initiated the incident. Officials with Busch's team and Richard Childress Racing declined to comment on the incident.(Charlotte Observer)(6-5-2011
    UPDATE 3: NASCAR officials met with Richard Childress and Kyle Busch Sunday morning at Kansas Speedway. Later NASCAR president Mike Helton met with the media and said that, in NASCAR's view, Kyle Busch did not do anything during or after race to violate his probation. NASCAR considered ejecting Childress from the track but decided to allow him to stay because his teams needed a race-day leader. However, Childress will have restrcitions on where he can go during the race and it not likely to be allowed on pit road. In addition, further penalties to Childress will be announced by Tuesday. Following is NASCAR's complete statement: "NASCAR has reviewed the incident involving Richard Childress and Kyle Busch after the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race Saturday at Kansas Speedway. We have met with all parties involved and have determined what happened yesterday is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by NASCAR. Richard Childress's actions were not appropriate and fell far short of the standard we expect of owners in this sport. We have met with Childress this morning and made our position very clear to him. Further, we expect he will make it clear to all in his organization to ensure this situation does not escalate any further. We will announce our actions regarding this incident Monday. Kyle Busch remains on probation with NASCAR and we continue to watch his actions carefully. However, we have determined that Kyle's involvement in this incident does not violate his probation and no further action is required."(6-5-2011)
    UPDATE 4: NASCAR has fined owner Richard Childress $150,000 and placed him on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31 for violating Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing - involved in an altercation in the garage area) of the 2011 NASCAR rule book. The violation occurred following the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race June 4 at Kansas Speedway. The probation includes all NASCAR-sanctioned events.
    STATEMENT FROM NASCAR: "The penalty we have announced today for Richard Childress reflects NASCAR's response to the incident at Kansas Speedway on Saturday. We feel this action is appropriate and are confident all parties involved understand our position on this matter and will move forward appropriately."(NASCAR)
    Statement from Childress: "First of all, I'm responsible for my actions, plain and simple. As you know, I am a very principled person and have a passion for what we do at Richard Childress Racing. I believe passionately in defending my race teams and my sponsor partners. In this instance, I let that passion and my emotions get the best of me. I accept the penalty NASCAR announced today and, as a company, we will now focus on this week's races at Pocono Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway."(RCR)(6-6-2011)

  • Kyle Busch talks to media about speeding ticket: #18-Kyle Busch spoke to the media in the Charlotte Motor Speedway media center, a few tidbits from the Q&A about the recent speeding ticket Busch got for going 128mph:
    Q) What is your reaction to the speeding ticket?
    Busch: "I'm certainly sorry for my actions and for my lack of judgment. This is something that I can take and learn from and hopefully move forward and not let happen again."
    Q) How do you look back on the speeding incident?
    Busch: "I'm certainly sorry that it happened and my actions led me to speed. It was a lack of judgment and all I can do is apologize to the public, my friends, my fans, my sponsors and everybody, look at this experience as a learning experience, and to move forward."
    Q) Is it difficult to have a learning experience in the public eye?
    Busch: "It's certainly challenging sometimes with things you have to think about and of course actions that you may cause yourself. Thankfully, I've got some good people around me that can help me through these experiences and help me learn from them. Take the good from it and take the bad from it and just be able to apply that for later on down the road."
    Q) Can you make a case for yourself?
    Busch: "I'm sorry I'm not the jurisdiction to make a case. I leave that to the court systems and everything else like that. This matter will be handled through that as best as we can handle it and as best as the authorities decide to handle it. I have the utmost respect for the authorities across the United States of America that try to keep all of us safe every day. Of course, being Memorial Day weekend with all the men and women serving our country to keep us safe as well too. It's not in my place to decide what does or does not happen."
    Q) Has Joe Gibbs Racing given you any penalties?
    Busch: "We have certainly discussed some things. We're working through the process of that now and looking at what might be done later on down the road."
    Q) Have you personally spoken with your team owner, your sponsors and your neighbors about the speeding incident?
    Busch: "I have certainly had discussions with Mr. Coach Gibbs (team owner) as well as Joe Gibbs Racing and my sponsors as well too. It's just a matter of showing your utmost respect for them and what they do for you. That they believe in you to do what you can in order to represent them well and obviously I had a lack in judgment and just made a mistake. I'm sorry for making that mistake, but as far as any of the people that have made comments or anything like that, I don't have a relationship with any of those people. Unfortunately, I don't go door-to-door knocking on the door and commenting to them. All I can do is say my piece here and let it be."
    Q) How much have you thought about the potential of what could have happened on Tuesday?
    Busch: "There's if, ands or buts to a lot of different things in life. Fortunately, there was no one hurt, but that doesn't make any kind of excuse for what happened and for my lack in judgment and for what I did. Like I said, there's a lot of processes to be thought about here. There's some learning experiences to be taken from this and the best I can do is just try to move along past it for this weekend and take my course of action during the week in what might lie ahead."
    Q) What did you mean when you said the Lexus was, 'just a toy?'
    Busch: "Well it was a car that was on loan to me from Lexus and it wasn't that it was a toy, it's a high performance vehicle and that shouldn't be taken lightly. Should be driven with caution. Obviously, I didn't have caution and I had a lack in judgment and there's probably a reason why on TV commercials and such they always show at the bottom, professional driver, closed course. Mine was not that. Again, I apologize sincerely to all those affected and that all I can do is try to make sure it doesn't happen again and that I make sure that lack of judgment doesn't overcome me."(Toyota Racing Transcript)(5-26-2011)

  • Did Kyle Busch get special treatment? The WBTV web sites and Facebook have been blowing up with angry comments from viewers who say NASCAR driver Kyle Busch got special treatment when he was caught speeding 128 miles an hour in a 45 zone on Perth Road Tuesday afternoon. According to the Iredell County Sheriff's Office, Busch was driving his new 2012 yellow Lexus LFA supercar when he was clocked doing nearly three times the posted speed limit. Busch was issued a citation for careless and reckless driving and speeding, deputies told WBTV. That made many WBTV viewers very angry.
    So was Kyle Busch given special treatment? A North Carolina police chief and traffic attorney contacted by WBTV said it appeared to them that Busch was treated properly and that the issuing of the citation was the appropriate action on the part of Iredell County Sgt. Chris Stone. "The attitude of the person...unless they get unruly, question the ancestry of the officer involved, I wouldn't think they would take them to jail, put them under a bond, have the vehicle towed and impounded, all of which could happen, but it's been a long time since I've seen it," said attorney Cecil Whitley.
    A police chief told WBTV that officers have discretion in such cases, and that most of the time for speeding an reckless driving, a citation would be issued. The driver would only be arrested if there were other circumstances, such as additional charges for eluding arrest, alcohol, involvement in an accident, or if the officer determined that the driver would be unlikely to show up for court. He said in this case, Kyle Busch would not be considered a flight risk. As far as the penalty is concerned, if Busch were to be convicted on the charges he now faces, he would lose his North Carolina driver's license for one year. That would not impact his ability to drive a race car since NASCAR requires each driver to have a NASCAR license, not a driver's license.(WBTV)(5-26-2011)

  • Kyle Busch cited for speeding UPDATE2: NASCAR driver Kyle Busch was cited for careless and reckless driving after deputies said they clocked him doing nearly three times the posted speed limit Tuesday afternoon. Iredell County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Chris Stone, a member of the Aggressive Criminal Enforcement (ACE) team, stopped a yellow Lexus sports car after he clocked it doing 128 mph in a 45 mph zone on Perth Road near Judas Road, between Troutman and Mooresville, NC. Busch, driver of the #18 M&Ms/Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, was cited for careless and reckless driving and speeding, said Lt. Troy Miller, who supervises the ACE team for the sheriff's office.()(5-24-2011)
    STATEMENT: The following is a statement from Kyle Busch: "Today I received a traffic citation in Iredell County. I was test driving a new sports car and I got carried away. I went beyond the speed I should have been going on a public road. I apologize to the public, my fans, sponsors, and race teams for my lack of judgment. I take responsibility for my actions and I can assure you that something like this will never happen again. I thank the Iredell County Sheriff's Department and all law enforcement for the hard work they do every day to protect the public and to enforce the laws in a fair and equitable manner."(KBM)(5-25-2011)
    UPDATE: Busch was driving a yellow Lexus LFA sports car, and his wife, Samantha, was a passenger. A spokesman for JGR said the organization was aware of the incident and was looking into it. According to the N.C. Department of Motor Vehicles website, Busch could lose his driver's license for at least 60 days with a conviction. That would not affect his NASCAR career, however. Competitors in NASCAR need a license from the organization but not a state driver's license to compete. NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said the speeding ticket does not violate the probation Busch received from the sanctioning body for a pit road altercation at Darlington, S.C., this month. "This is a matter that Kyle will have to handle with the authorities in Iredell County," Tharp said. "Based on what we know right now, this would not impact his status as a NASCAR driver."(Charlotte Observer and a poll at WSOC)(5-25-2011)

  • #18 Over-the-Wall Team Voted First Quarter Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew: The pit crew of the #18 M&M's Toyota for Kyle Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing has earned first-quarter honors in the 2011 Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award competition, taking home the $5,000 quarterly prize. The Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award, which is determined by a vote of each team's crew chief, is given quarterly to the top-performing pit crew in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The four quarterly winners are eligible for the year-end Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award presented during Champion's Week in Las Vegas - and the $100,000 grand prize. "I think that our M&M's/Interstate Batteries team is the best week in and week out on pit road. It's great to see them get the credit they deserve," said Kyle Busch. "I say it every week - those guys win me a lot of races and get me a lot of good finishes. A big thanks to Mechanix Wear for honoring all of their hard work." So far, Busch and the #18 team have two wins, five top-fives and six top-10s. As Busch continues to perform well on the track, Dave Rogers, crew chief on the #18 Toyota, continues to maintain that same level of performance by keeping the pit crew at the top of its game. Members of the #18 M&M's pit crew include: Nick Odell (Front Tire Changer), Brad Donaghy (Front Tire Carrier), Jake Seminara (Rear Tire Changer), Kenny Barber (Rear Tire Carrier), Jeff Fender (Jackman), and Dan Bajek (Fueler). The team's pit crew coach is Dave Rogers.(Mechanix Wear/VMG)(5-18-2011)

  • Kyle Busch discusses Darlington incident: #18-Kyle Busch met with members of the media at Dover International Speedway and discussed the incident and penalties from last week at Darlington, the transcript in part:
    Q) Where was your team following the incident at Darlington?
    Busch: "To be honest with you, I don't know if they were aware of the antics. I had already unplugged my radio, so I don't know what was going on over the radio, but we were pitted down in pit stall three or four or something like that last week. I do know that it was an awfully long way to haul, if you ask me. As I did turn in to the garage area after what happened down on the end of pit road, I did see some guys coming from that way. They were behind the pit wall, they weren't out on pit road. When I turned into the garage area, some of them were turning in with me and following the car. When I got back to the truck, there were about four or five at the truck. They were where they were supposed to be, I will say that."
    Q) Do you think hitting Kevin Harvick in the quarter panel during the race meant you were 'throwing the gloves down?'
    Busch: "Apparently he's watching too much hockey. That's what you do in your own time during the week I guess. To me, I did have a left rear tire flat and I wasn't sure that if I turned too hard to the right to stay off of him or to get away from him that the car would actually spin out the wrong way -- my car would. Believe that for what it's worth. I believe there's some in car cameras you can see and I did have to come to pit road during that caution period to change left side tires because they were flat."
    Q) Why do you and Kevin Harvick not get along?
    Busch: "As far as us getting along, I'm not sure that we ever really did. I think he (Kevin Harvick) tried and that's why at Homestead I kind of talked about the two faces of Kevin Harvick. I still believe that's out there. He'll talk to you to your face like your best friends, but then behind closed doors or him at home or whatever, he has the utmost disrespectful thoughts or whatever else. That's all -- I don't care. I'm going on with my own business."
    Q) Is there anything you want to clarify about your actions last week?
    Busch:"No, I don't feel like I'm lying about anything because there's video cameras and what is it, 85 video cameras around the race track that will pretty much simplify or backup anything that you're saying. Not lying about anything. The only thing I will say I guess is that I'm sorry I came off of turn two on the flat trying to give Kevin (Harvick) room and maybe I slid a little too far and I got into him first. Maybe that's what initiated everything. I apologize about that. It wasn't my intentions to get into him and then have everything go down the way it went down. I was just trying to race the final five laps as hard as I could, as clean as I could to get the best finish we could. We shouldn't have been back in that situation anyways, but we did have pit road -- a loose wheel and problems on pit road that we had to rebound from and come back from."
    Q) Do you like Kevin Harvick?
    Busch: "I don't know. I've never gotten along with the guy. I don't know that he (Kevin Harvick) really ever got along with my brother either. I think there's something beyond from his past growing's up maybe and racing with Kurt (Busch) that I don't know and I was just kind of thrown in that I was never really liked. I don't know."
    Q) Do you feel like you have a clear understanding of the NASCAR rules?
    Busch: "I do. I understand it perfectly actually. It's the 'boys have at it,' that happens out on the race track and it seems like they allow us to police ourselves pretty simply out there. When matters get taken into the drivers hands or anything else onto pit road, where innocent bystanders can be injured or something , NASCAR is going to step in and they're going to intervene and they're going to set penalties the way that they feel need to be levied. To me, it's not a gray area, it's pretty simple, it's black and white. I'm not focused in all that really or what penalties should be during what circumstances because I'm a racer and I know that going out there on the race track and trying to win is the utmost thing. If you do that, then you certainly shouldn't be getting in any brawls or anything like that."
    Q) Do you agree that NASCAR probation does not change the way you race between the flags?
    Busch: "I think the focus of probation is between the two of us -- it's between the situation. If I was out there on the race track -- say racing for fourth or fifth-place or something like that, and I got loose and I got into Jimmie Johnson or somebody like that and I spun them out and wrecked them. That has no consequences to the probation. If I'm out there racing hard and trying to pass Kevin (Harvick) for instance or something, and I feel like he's blocking me and I spin him out and wreck him. There's going to be consequences to that. That's how I see it. And, of course, to anything happening off the race track or something like that. That's also what it relates to. But as far as on the race track goes, good, clean, hard competition -- somebody making a mistake, something like that, it doesn't mean anything."(Toyota Racing)(5-13-2011)

  • Kevin Harvick discusses Darlington incident: #29-Kevin Harvick met with members of the media at Dover International Speedway and discussed the incident with #18-Kyle Busch and penalties from last week at Darlington, the transcript in part:
    Q) KYLE CALLED YOUR RACING UNCALLED FOR AND UNEXCEPTABLE, IS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU THOUGHT YOU DID LAST WEEK THAT FITS THAT DEFINITION AND HOW DO YOU RACE HIM GOING FORWARD?
    "Well I think when you look - after I got the I hooked you after I got a flat tire comment yesterday, the incident started off of turn two. We came off of turn two, I was driving straight behind the car in front of me. We can talk about being three feet off the wall or whatever, but I was directly behind the car in front of me coming up off the corner and at the time I didn't even know it was the #18. The car hit me in the door and as soon as he hit me in the door I drove it to the left, we got to the other end, I let it go and ran into the back of him and ran him up the race track, took the position back. At that moment we got three wide and there wasn't really a lot of room and things happened and he hooked me on the straightaway. Look the wrecking doesn't bother me but the only thing that bothers me is the right-rear quarter panel because in my mind I know what that means. I don't mind getting wrecked back. If you think it's a payback for Homestead that's fine. Those parts don't bother me, I understand how it all works but when you throw them off its time to handle it."
    AS FAR AS YOU TWO GETTING ALONG, WHAT WOULD BE THE IDEAL SCENARIO?
    "That probably won't ever happen."
    HOW DO YOU RACE KYLE BUSCH GOING FORWARD AND DOES THIS ALSO IMPACT HOW YOU RACE EVERYBODY ELSE.
    "It definitely affects how you race for the next four weeks. We got the ultimatum yesterday of the explanation of how probation worked and how NASCAR expected us to race on the race track was put to us very clear yesterday. I think the way that the next four weeks go was basically dictated to us yesterday in the NASCAR trailer."
    Q) A LOT WAS TALKED ABOUT THAT THE PENALTIES WERE SUPPOSEDLY FOR WHAT TRANSPIRED AFTER THE RACE, BUT IS THAT REALLY FAIR ON THE DRIVERS PART BECAUSE AREN'T THE THINGS THAT LEAD UP TO WHAT TAKE PLACE AFTER THE RACE A DIRECT RESULT OF WHAT HAPPENS IN THE RACE. CAN YOU JUST TALK ABOUT HOW DIFFICULT IT IS?
    "For me I didn't use my car as a ram or dry to make a point with running into somebody on the race track or knocking them out of the way after the race, I didn't do any of that stuff after the race. I wanted to handle it so that the guys didn't have to do more work than they already did. The bottom line is I know there are changes this week with the officials and how they are going to approach things after the race, but I mean there was a split screen on TV, there were no NASCAR officials in sight and they got what they wanted and in the end you suffer the penalty for what it's supposed to be on pit road but has carried over to the race track now when it was stressed to me in the hauler after the race and when I received my penalty on Tuesday it was stressed to me it was for the pit road. So it just doesn't make sense to me. But it is what it is. It's not like I can do anything about it. I'm not complaining about it, I just want to understand it. I don't understand it. I'm not going to lose sleep over it. I'm going to move forward and it's done and over with. I don't want to be the nice guy that has to understand why the penalties are ramping up like they used to be."
    Q) CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE MEETING YOU HAD YESTERDAY AND TONY STEWART MADE A COMMENT THAT MAYBE THEY SHOULD OUTLINE THE RULES MORE SPECIFICALLY ABOUT HOW MUCH YOU GUYS CAN HAVE AT IT?
    "Well I mean the meeting was just basically NASCAR explaining how probation works and how we need to stay away from everybody basically and each other. So that was basically the jest of the meeting. I think as far as you talk about the Tony Stewart comment, I think for me it's definitely to the point where it's a little bit confusing with how it all works. I think when you look at the boys have it theme, it's obviously changing as we go through the process. I think when you go back and you look at the very first major incident that you saw on the race track, I guess it would be Carl (Edwards) and (Brad) Keselowski in Atlanta and you saw the car go upside down. Carl was parked for hooking him in the right rear quarter panel and then it happened again and you see a lot of people coming out of the pits and retaliating and sometimes it's a one-lap penalty and sometimes you are parked for the race and sometimes you look at the Keselowski and Hamlin thing at Homestead so there's a lot of different things happening. I understand that it's evolving but from a drivers standpoint you don't really 100 percent understand how it works. Last week they stressed a lot to me that the penalties were for pit road violations after the race and the jeopardy that it put everybody in after the race and I understand that part. Yesterday it was all about being on probation and on the race track. So just a little bit confused about that. Nobody really had any clarification as to what we were supposed to do and not supposed to do other than we are on probation for four weeks and now it's a penalty on the race track. I don't really know if it was a penalty for the race track because we saw the same right-rear hook and obviously there was a lot that led up to that lap. I felt that Kyle (Busch) got into my door. I ran him down on the back straightaway. I got into him in (turn) three and we got three wide. Yesterday Kyle's explanation was he had a flat tire and hooked me on the straightaway. It's kind of one lie after the other and you see everything that happened after the race and for me the way that I was brought up and taught to race, when you hook somebody in the right-rear quarter panel that's the equivalent of throwing your gloves off in hockey. That's the point where everybody has reached the boiling point and basically the only answer I get out of Kyle is I'm a race car driver not a fighter but if you drive like that you're gonna have to learn how to take care of yourself. It's just a lot that went through the mind and for me it's done and over with and we'll move on. Just a lot of questions I think more than answers were a part of this week."
    Q) HOW SPECIFIC DO YOU WANT IT TO BE?
    "Well, there just has to be consistency. I can race either way. We can flip each other over. I don't mind wrecking. I don't mind getting wrecked. I don't mind eye for an eye. I don't mind any of that but just tell me what the rules are. Explain to me what the penalty is if you are going to hook somebody in the middle of the straightaway, if you are going to spin them out, if you are going to retaliate, what is the penalty? Tell me what the penalty is. A consistent answer."
    WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT WANTING TO UNDERSTAND, DO YOU FEEL LIKE NASCAR NEEDS TO GO MORE BLACK AND WHITE LIKE IN OTHER SPORTS?
    "It can't be for a certain circumstance and how you wake up in the morning as to how you think it needs to be treated. There has to be some guidelines on where it all is. You here the upper brass talk about wanting to do things more like the NFL or this or that, but you have to be consistent in order to do that."
    CAN YOU GIVE US THE READER'S DIGEST VERSION OF HOW PROBATION WORKS? ALSO CAN YOU ADDRESS THE FACT THAT WHY THE #29 TEAM CAME OUT TO DEFEND YOU THE 18 TEAM WAS NO WHERE IN SIGHT TO BACK UP THEIR DRIVER?
    "Obviously I've got a bunch of guys that are just a great bunch of guys. We all get along. We all have the same approach to how we like to see things, what we think is fair and what we think is not fair. There isn't a guy on that team that wouldn't lay under a bus for the next guy. That really happened last year as we went through the year. It's something that you just don't find very often and this is a bunch of guys that I consider friends and I think they consider themselves all friends. Them running up pit road is not a surprise to me. I think they would back me whether I was right or wrong, they are going to back me up and I will do the same for them. That's the great part about our team. The No. 18 team not backing him up, I mean when you don't have a backbone how do you back someone up?"
    DOVER, CHARLOTTE, KANSAS, THE NEXT THREE RACES ARE ALL THREE RACES THAT ARE IN THE CHASE, YOU'RE NOT LOCKED IN BUT YOUR PROBABLY AS COMFORTABLE OR MORE COMFORTABLE THAN ANYONE ELSE WITH THE WINS AND YOUR STANDING IN THE POINTS, HOW DO YOU APPROACH THESE THREE RACES?
    "I think it's a combination of a lot of things. I think over the past few weeks we've been able to try things that we wouldn't have tried in the past. We struck out at Richmond on what we tried. I think Darlington was a huge success for us as far as the way the race track performance was and hopefully that bleeds over into Charlotte. This week is a little bit different than some of the race tracks because of the type of race track that you are racing on. These are important weeks. Dover is in the Chase, Charlotte is in the Chase, just to kind of zero in on what exactly you need when it comes time toward the end of the year. So we're shooting for better set-ups and more wins. That's basically where we are at right now points wise."
    NASCAR YESTERDAY SEEMED TO SAY THAT IF ONE PERSON REALLY PRESSES THE ISSUE THAT'S ITS MORE COMPLICATED THAN BEING ABLE TO LINE UP A MENU OF PENALTIES AND THAT IS ONE PERSON REALLY PUSHES IT, IT WOULD KIND OF BE DETRIMENTALTO THE SPORT TO HAVE EVERYTHING LAID OUT IN FRONT OF YOU, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?
    "I have a lot of experience of this in the past so I'll reference the past, as things ramp up and you get in trouble the first time it's best to just not get in trouble again because you're gonna be the poster child to either change this process to make it more clear and see the fines ramp back up or you're going to be the guy that shows it's not really going to change. I just don't think for us it's not going to be the smartest thing in the world to be that next guy. I don't know if you are referring to, are you referring to me or the #42 and #39, I don't know which one you are referring to but there are just a lot of different elements to the whole thing that are happening right now that are confusing to the drivers."(Team Chevy)(5-13-2011)

  • NASCAR revises procedure for pit road officials: NASCAR will change how it dispatches its officials after a race in response to the pit road incident between #29-Kevin Harvick and #18-Kyle Busch on Saturday night at Darlington. The change is to make sure all cars are clear of pit road before series officials are released to head toward their post-race duties. The move is intended to help NASCAR better control pit road. At Darlington, Harvick stopped his car near pit entrance and blocked Busch after the race. The cars sat for several seconds before Harvick exited his car and reached in to hit Busch as he sat in his car. Busch ran into the back of Harvick's car as he drove off, sending Harvick's car into an inside pit wall. At the time of the incident only a couple of Harvick's crew members were in the vicinity of the cars. NASCAR's officials were positioned further down pit road where the top five finishers (and any random cars) stop, or in Victory Lane to monitor the winning car or throughout the garage. Video replays showed that after Busch hit Harvick's car, several of Harvick's crew members were en route to the scene along with three NASCAR officials.(Virginian Pilot)(5-13-2011)

  • Harvick & Busch meet with NASCAR at Dover: #29-Kevin Harvick and #18-Kyle Busch were called to the NASCAR hauler before Thursday's Truck Series practice at Dover International Speedway, their second meeting with the governing body since Saturday's post-race pit road confrontation at Darlington. The meeting came two days after each driver was fined $25,000 and placed on four-race probation for the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series. Neither was eager to discuss details of the second meeting, which included NASCAR president Mike Helton and vice president of competition Robin Pemberton, or the fine before heading onto the track for the first of two practices. "I've got better things to do," Busch said. "NASCAR has to police their series as best as they feel they need to. I'm all for it. I think it was fine." Harvick smiled and repeatedly said he would answer all questions during Friday's media availability.(ESPN)(5-13-2011)

  • Harvick -Busch fined, probation: per a Kevin Harvick tweet: "4 weeks probation and $25,000 fine....I understand because of the car on pit road.." And from ESPN.com: Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch were placed on four weeks' probation and fined $25,000 Tuesday for their pit road confrontation following Saturday night's Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway. Harvick tweeted about his penalty and officials from Kevin Harvick Inc. confirmed the punishment Tuesday.
    AND NASCAR has penalized NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick as a result of rules infractions committed at last weekend's event at Darlington Raceway. Busch, driver of the #18 car, and Harvick, driver of the #29 car, have each been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation for the next four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points events until June 15 for violating Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing - involved in an altercation on pit road after the conclusion of the race). "These penalties are a result of what occurred on pit road after the race was over," said Kerry Tharp, senior director for communications, competition. "They are about maintaining a safe environment on pit road."(NASCAR)(5-10-2011)

  • NASCAR will look into driver altercations: NASCAR will address altercations that occurred between Ryan Newman and Juan Pablo Montoya in the sanctioning body's hauler and the dustup on and off the track between Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch. "We'll look at both of those," Kerry Tharp, NASCAR's senior director of communications, said Sunday morning. Montoya requested a meeting with NASCAR after his feud with Newman was reignited at Richmond International Raceway last weekend. Newman and officials from Stewart Haas Racing elected to meet with NASCAR immediately after the Richmond race. When the drivers gathered in the hauler on Friday morning, a punch was thrown by Newman, according to sources. Harvick vs. Busch came to a crescendo last November at Homestead Miami Speedway when the driver of the #29 complained that Busch was racing him too hard and Harvick then dumped Busch's #18 Toyota, which erupted into flames. The rivalry was rekindled Saturday night at Darlington Raceway on the second-to-last restart on Lap 363 as the drivers jockeyed for position among the top 10 on the lead lap. After the race, Harvick chased Busch onto the entrance of pit road, where the #29 crew waited to defend their driver. Harvick climbed from the car and approached Busch's vehicle. Harvick attempted to throw a haymaker, but Busch hit the gas and plowed the #29 into the wall. Both drivers were called to the NASCAR hauler after the incident. The last time a NASCAR driver intentionally hit another car on pit road was Steven Wallace at Memphis Motorsports Park in October 2009. Wallace was fined $5,000 and placed on probation.(Fox Sports)(5-9-2011)

  • Busch brothers 5th best in brotherly wins: With #18-Kyle Busch's win at Richmond, he now has 21 Sprint Cup wins and his bother #22-Kurt Busch has 22 for a total of 43 for brothers. The record for two or more brothers wins combined [both have had to win] is 94 by Bobby Allison [84] and Donnie Allison [10]. The Busch's are tied for 5th with Terry [22] and Bobby [21] Labonte. The top-10 Brother wins list:
    94 - Allison: Bobby (84), Donnie (10)
    88 - Waltrip: Darrell (84), Michael (4)* [both Daytona 500 Champs]
    62 - Flock: Tim (39), Fonty (19) Bob (4)
    49 - Thomas: Herb (48), Donald (1)
    43 - Labonte: Terry (22), Bobby (21)* [both Series Champs]
    43 - Busch: Kurt (22)*, Kyle (21)*
    26 - Burton: Jeff (21)*, Ward (5)
    22 - Parsons: Benny (21), Phil (1)
    19 - Bodine: Geoff (18), Brett (1)
    [Petty Note, Richard won 200, Maurice won 0, only count if both bothers have won]
    * still active.(5-2-2011)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Richmond: #18-Kyle Busch won the Crown Royal Presents the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway for his 2nd win of 2011 and 21st win of his career.
    #11-Hamlin finished second followed by #4-Kahne, #6-Ragan, #99-Edwards, #33-Bowyer, #43-Allmendinger, #48-Johnson, #14-Stewart and #83-Vickers. Pole sitter #42-Montoya was involved in two incidents with #39-Newman and finished 29th, 5 laps down. There was no confrontation after the race. Montoya hopped on a waiting golf cart and headed out of the track, while Newman walked to the NASCAR hauler to complain about Montoya's driving. #36-Blaney finished 13th and moves into the top-35 of owners points and a guaranteed spot at Darlington.
    There were 14 lead changes among 10 drivers; 8 cautions for 60 yellow flag laps. The attendance is listed as 90,000 down a bit from 93,00 last year.
    Scheduled Race Re-Air: SPEED, Wednesday, May 4 at 12:00pm/et See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Richmond Race Results/Awards page.(4-30-2011)

  • 1st Quarter Driver of the Year named: #18-Kyle Busch won races in all three of NASCAR's top divisions tallying the most first-place votes in the 1st quarter Driver of the Year 2011 balloting by leading broadcasters and journalists in the United States. The driver of the #18 Toyota Camry in the Sprint Cup series, #18 Z-Line Designs Toyota in the Nationwide Series for Joe Gibbs Racing and is the owner/driver of the #18 Dollar General Toyota Tundra in the Camping World Truck series credited his teams for his early 2011 success. "It's been a great start to the season in all three series' and that's because of the great people we have at JGR and KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports)," said Busch. "This award is testament to all of those guys. Each of my teams have done a great job bringing me good cars to the racetrack each week and if we haven't won, we've been in contention more times than not. In particular, Dave Rogers and all the guys on the M&M's Toyota team and everyone at JGR are working very hard and we hope to have a shot at bringing home a Sprint Cup championship at the end of the year." Busch, 25, won the Bristol Motor Speedway Sprint Cup race, four Nationwide races and one Camping World Truck race in the first quarter voting.
    Barry Schmoyer, President of the Driver of the Year Foundation, said "calling Kyle Busch versatile would be an understatement. He certainly proved that he is a triple-threat to win on any given weekend. And he's only 25-years-old. I wouldn't be surprised if, some year soon, I will be handing him the Driver of the Year trophy."
    In the voting Busch took nine first-place ballots and totaled 121 points according to the Driver of the Year points system. NASCAR drivers swept the virtual podium with Carl Edwards garnering six first-place votes and 89 points and Kevin Harvick also earning six first-place votes and 84 points. A total of 14 drivers scored points in the first quarter voting. In its' 45th year, the Driver of the Year title is unique. A panel of 21 leading journalists from across the U.S. determines the winner. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4,3,2,1 basis. Busch will receive a trophy and a Tissot wristwatch to be presented at Infineon Raceway on the SaveMart 350 weekend.(Driver of the Year Foundation)(4-25-2011)

  • Kimi Raikkonen to run Truck races for Kyle Busch: Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) announced that they have signed former Formula 1 champion Kimi Raikkonen to drive a limited schedule in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series during the 2011 season. Raikkonen is scheduled to make his NASCAR debut as a teammate to owner Kyle Busch in the N.C. Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 20.
    Raikkonen comes to NASCAR with a resume that includes the 2007 Formula 1 World Drivers' Championship. Over his nine year career in Formula 1, the Finnish driver registered 18 wins and 62 podium finishes. The 31-year old is currently competing for a World Rally Car Championship for his own team, ICE 1 Racing.
    "We are honored that Kimi Raikkonen, a former Formula 1 World Drivers' Champion and proven winner, has chosen to start his career in NASCAR with Kyle Busch Motorsports," said Busch. "Adding one of the most talented drivers in the world is a continuation of building a team of proven winners and champions at KBM. I look forward to assisting in Kimi's transition to NASCAR as both an owner and teammate."
    "I am really excited to have the opportunity to start my venture into NASCAR with Kyle Busch Motorsports," said Raikkonen. "Kyle is one of the best in NASCAR, and being able to draw on his knowledge will be a valuable asset as I make my transition to a new form of racing. He has put together an experienced team that builds fast race trucks. I look forward to being a part of a team that has proven to be a winner on and off the race track."
    "We are extremely excited to have Kimi Raikkonen begin his transition to NASCAR behind the wheel of Kyle Busch Motorsports' Toyota Tundra's," said KBM General Manager Rick Ren. "As NASCAR looks to expand their fan base and generate further interest in certain demographics, having a former Formula 1 Champion with worldwide appeal is a huge deal not just for KBM but for the sport as a whole." Details of sponsorship and a schedule of races that Raikkonen will compete in will be released at a later date.(KBM)(4-2-2011)

  • JGR pinpoints some engine issues: #18-Kyle Busch says Joe Gibbs Racing has determined that problems with two of its engines last weekend at Auto Club Speedway in California were valve-related. #20-Joey Logano's team switched his the morning of Sunday's race when valve leakage was discovered. Logano's team didn't think the engine would last for 400 miles. #11-Denny Hamlin's engine failed 105 laps into the race due to an unrelated value train issue, leaving last year's Chase runner-up with a 39th-place finish that dropped him to 21st in points. Busch said Friday that identifying the problem is a huge step in the right direction for JGR, which has had engine issues in all five races this season. "Is there concern? Of course," Jimmy Makar, JGR's senior vice president of race operations, said earlier this week. "We've had a lot more issues than we'd like to see, this early in the season especially. Probably the bigger issue is for the most part they are non-related. That makes things harder to figure out. If you had the same thing happening over and over again you could focus on it." Makar said only Hamlin's failure on Sunday showed signs of a potential bad part. He said the batch that the part came from would be quarantined for this weekend's race at Martinsville to see if any issues arise.(Associated Press)(4-2-2011)

  • Gibbs working to identify cause of engine problems: Joe Gibbs Racing officials are scrambling to uncover the cause of an unusually high number of engine issues during the first five races of the Sprint Cup season. JGR had two issues this past weekend at Auto Club Speedway in California. The engine in #20-Joey Logano's Toyota had to be replaced on Saturday when valve leakage was discovered following the final practice. #11-Denny Hamlin's engine failed 105 laps into the race due to an unrelated value train issue. In all, JGR has had three engine failures in races and three more engines replaced prior to a race because problems arose. Last season, the organization had only two DNFs due to engine failure between Hamlin, Logano and #18-Kyle Busch. "Is there concern? Of course," said Jimmy Makar, JGR's senior vice president of race operations. "We've had a lot more issues than we'd like to see, this early in the season especially. Probably the bigger issue is for the most part they are non-related. That makes things harder to figure out. If you had the same thing happening over and over again you could focus on it." Makar said only Hamlin's failure on Sunday showed signs of a potential bad part. More alarming, Makar said there were very few changes made to the engines during the offseason. He said the organization purposely left things the way they were, with minor adjustments to improve fuel mileage that may have cost Hamlin the championship last season, before experimenting with new ideas.(ESPN.com)(3-29-2011)

  • Three drivers dominate the short tracks: With his win Sunday at Bristol, #18-Kyle Busch remained a part of an exclusive group. Busch, #48-Jimmie Johnson and #11-Denny Hamlin are the only drivers to have won the last 15 Sprint Cup races at Bristol, Martinsville and Richmond, the circuit's lone short tracks. The last driver other then those three to win on a short track was #99-Carl Edwards in 2008.(Sports Illustrated)(3-22-2011)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Bristol: #18-Kyle Busch won the Jeff Byrd 500 presented at Food City Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway for his 1st win of 2010, 20th win of his career and 5th stright at Bristol [2 Cup, 2 NNS & 1 Truck race]. Busch has now won at least one race a season for seven straight seasons.
    #99-Edwards [the pole sitter] finished second followed by #48-Johnson, #17-Kenseth, #27-Menard, #29-Harvick, #22-Busch, #16-Biffle, #4-Kahne and #39-Newman. Points leader going in to the race, #14-Stewart finished 19th.
    There were 17 lead changes among 8 drivers; 10 cautions for 57 yellow flag laps and the attendance is listed as 120,000 down from last years 138,000.
    Scheduled Race Re-Air on SPEED, Wednesday, March 23 at 12:00pm/et.
    See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Bristol Race Results/Awards page.
    See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(3-20-2011)

  • Mars continues partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing: Mars, Incorporated announced that it is continuing its partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) through a new multi-year deal. The deal will extend the winning partnership that has brought the #18 Toyota to victory lane 14 times since 2008. The centerpiece of the partnership will continue to be the popular M&M'S brand as the primary paint scheme on JGR's #18 Toyota. "From connecting with NASCAR fans to engaging our retail partners, our partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing has proved to be tremendously successful," explained Debra A. Sandler, Chief Consumer Officer at Mars Chocolate North America. "We're thrilled to extend this partnership and look forward to celebrating more wins both on and off the track."
    "Mars and its iconic brands are a big part of the Joe Gibbs Racing family and we're excited to continue what has become a winning relationship," added Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. "We are blessed through our relationship with Mars and the privilege to continue our partnership for years to come. Their brands have been a big part of our sport for a long time and we're honored to carry them on the No. 18. Everyone at JGR is committed to ensuring they experience the type of success on and off the track deserving of such an outstanding company." "Our partnership has worked so well because everyone at Mars welcomed us from the very beginning and it's grown from there." said Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Toyota for JGR. "This is great news for everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing and our fans, but also shows how dedicated Mars is to our sport. We've really enjoyed our trips to victory lane with all of the Mars brands and we are committed to doing our part to continue a winning partnership and friendship." The multi-year partnership will continue the current level [approx 30 races] of Mars sponsorship of the #18 Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the sport's top series.
    About Mars, Incorporated: In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen and established Mars' first roots as a confectionery company. In the 1920s, Forrest E. Mars, Sr. joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY bar. In 1932, Forrest, Sr. moved to the United Kingdom with a dream of building a business based on the philosophy of a "mutuality of benefits" for all stakeholders - this vision serves as the foundation of the Mars, Incorporated we are today. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $30 billion and six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks and Symbioscience. More than 65,000 Associates worldwide are putting our Mars Principles in action every day to make a difference for people and the planet through our performance.
    Mars brands include: Chocolate - M&M'S®, SNICKERS®, DOVE®, GALAXY®, MARS®, MILKY WAY® and TWIX®; Petcare - PEDIGREE®, WHISKAS®, SHEBA®, CESAR® and ROYAL CANIN®; Wrigley - ORBIT®, EXTRA®, STARBURST®, DOUBLEMINT® and SKITTLES®; Food - UNCLE BEN'S®, DOLMIO®, EBLY®, MASTERFOODS® and SEEDS OF CHANGE®; Drinks - ALTERRA COFFEE ROASTERS", THE BRIGHT TEA CO.", KLIX® and FLAVIA®; Symbioscience -SERAMIS®, CIRKU" and COCOAVIA".(Joe Gibbs Racing)(3-17-2011)

  • Edwards, Busch talk about Phoenix accident: #99-Carl Edwards said Friday he's over his anger toward #18-Kyle Busch for the accident that wrecked Edwards' car at Phoenix. Edwards started from the pole last week and believed he had a car capable of winning the race until early contact from Busch wrecked his Ford. Edwards fell to a 28th-place finish, while Busch went on to finish second. The two talked about the incident in Las Vegas, Edwards said. "I give him a lot of credit for coming over and talking to me and I think we will be fine," Edwards said, adding that Busch claimed he tried several times to call Edwards during the week, but had an old number. Busch has apologized repeatedly for causing the accident.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(3-5-2011)

  • Kyle Busch's wedding on Style Network: When news broke about the engagement of Kyle Busch and model Samantha Sarcinella, anticipation quickly arose about their upcoming nuptials. Now, fans will get the inside track on the planning and execution of this loving couple's glamorous wedding. From Samantha's search for the perfect dress, to the hilarious bachelor and bachelorette parties, to the over-the-top New Year's Eve ceremony and the reception attended by America's racing elite, cameras document each dramatic moment leading up to the grand finish in the special, "Fast and Fabulous: A NASCAR Wedding," premiering Saturday, March 5 at 8pm ET/PT on The Style Network.(Style Network)(2-28-2011)

  • Forbes names most valuable NASCAR teams & highest paid drivers: The weak economy has pummeled NASCAR over the past three years, with sponsorships, merchandise sales, race winnings and subsidies from automakers falling. Fans have tuned out, sending TV ratings down 24% since 2006 and leaving more than 40,000 empty seats at some races last year. One of its longest-tenured teams, Richard Petty Motorsports, was scrambling for cash on a week-to-week basis so it could race on weekends last fall. Is NASCAR headed for a full-blown meltdown? Hardly. Yes, the value of the top 10 teams slid 5% in 2010, on average, to $136 million by [Forbes] count, as prize money dropped and sponsors dialed back their commitment, but a rebound in 2011 for the sport is a strong possibility. NASCAR's strongest and most valuable team remains Hendrick Motorsports. With a valuation of $350 million on revenues of $177 million in 2010, Hendrick is worth 56% more than the next-highest-grossing team, Roush Fenway Racing, which [Forbes] value at $224 million on revenues of $140 million last year. Hendrick earned a NASCAR-high $18 million in operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) in 2010. Richard Childress Racing was third on the list, followed by Joe Gibbs Racing and Penske Racing. Rounding out the top 10: Stewart-Haas, Michael Waltrip Racing, Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, and Red Bull Racing.
    AND: Despite his lack of success in recent years on the track, Dale Earnhardt Jr. remains NASCAR's highest-paid driver, earning $29 million in 2010 thanks to merchandise sales that are the best in the sport and reportedly account for one-third of all NASCAR licensed merchandise sales. Other income streams include a 10-figure annual salary from Hendrick and a 50% share of his $4.9 million in winnings and bonuses in 2010 from Sprint Cup races. Earnhardt also has a bevy of personal endorsements, including Chevrolet, Nationwide and Wrangler. Hendrick teammate Jeff Gordon follows Earnhardt in the NASCAR money standings with earnings of $25 million last year. It is a clean sweep for Hendrick at the top with five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, the third-highest-paid driver at $24 million. The rest of the top 10: Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, and Matt Kenseth.(Forbes)(2-24-2011)

  • Special Interstate Batteries scheme for Busch: Interstate Batteries, scheduled to sponsor #18-Kyle Busch for six races in 2011, will run a special scheme at Daytona in the Coke Zero 400 in July. See an image of the scheme on the #18 Team Schemes page.(2-2-2011)

  • Kyle Busch, Hamlin return as Gillette Young Guns: Gillette announced the launch of its expanded Gillette Young Guns program by unveiling the 2011 roster of six rising stars in their respective sports: Matt Ryan and Ray Rice from football, Evan Longoria and Carlos Gonzalez from baseball and Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch from auto racing. Gillette Young Guns is a sports marketing platform connecting Gillette's full line of grooming products with avid sports fans in North America. The program highlights up-and-coming stars and gives fans an in-depth look into the keys to their success both on and off the field. The Gillette Young Guns will appear in print and broadcast advertising, consumer promotions, point-of-sale materials, online and public relations activities.(Gillette PR)(1-3-2011)

  • Congrats - Kyle Busch gets married: #18-Kyle Busch exchanged vows with his beautiful fiancee, 24-year old Samantha Sarcinella, on Friday Dec. 31 in Chicago. The service was attended by 300 of their close family and friends, including many in the NASCAR community. The wedding reception followed at the Chicago Cultural Center, as the newly named Mr. and Mrs. Busch and guests celebrated their marriage while also using the opportunity to ring in the New Year together. The couple will take a two-week honeymoon before returning home to North Carolina. They have requested fans follow them both on their respective Twitter accounts for special news about the wedding. Twitter.com/KyleBusch and Twitter.com/SamanthaBusch.(KyleBusch.com)(1-2-2011)

2010 News

  • Special M&M's schemes [6 races] are scheduled to be run at the following 2010 races:
    All-Star Race - 5/22, Pretzel
    Charlotte - 5/30, Pretzel
    Pocono - 6/6, Pretzel
    Michigan - 6/13, Pretzel
    Martinsville - 10/24, Halloween
    Talladega - 10/31, Halloween

  • Interstate Batteries [6 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2010 races:
    California - 2/21
    Texas - 4/18
    New Hampshire - 6/27
    Daytona - 7/3
    Michigan - 8/15
    Dover - 9/26

  • Snickers [3 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2010 races:
    Martinsville - 3/28
    Dover - 5/16
    Chicago - 7/10

  • Pedigree [3 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2010 races:
    Talladega - 4/25
    Infineon - 6/20
    Atlanta - 9/5

  • Doublemint Gum [2 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2010 races:
    Darlington - 5/8
    Bristol - 8/21

  • Kyle Busch the dirtiest competitor in NASCAR history?: the website Complex Media listed the 50 dirtiest athletes in sports history. And two NASCAR drivers are on the list. #18-Kyle Busch ranked 38th (ahead of Mike Tyson who was 40th) and highest among NASCAR competitors. The website noted Busch's recent episode where he flipped off an official during a race, the guitar-smashing episode after winning the Nashville Nationwide race and other things. One other competitor from NASCAR made the list. #99-Carl Edwards was #48. He earned the ranking for wrecking Brad Keselowski at Atlanta in the spring. With no other NASCAR drivers listed, that would make Edwards the second dirtiest competitor in NASCAR history, according to this list.(Virginian Pilot)(12-16-2010)

  • Havick, Busch Homestead incident comments: from Toyota NSCS Homestead Post-Race Notes & Quotes:
    Q) What happened to take you out of the race?
    #18-Kyle Busch "I don't know. (Kevin) Harvick pulled a slide job on me earlier in the day and I crossed over and passed him clean, but apparently it wasn't in the time of day in order to do that. I don't know. My guys work way too hard to be in this position and fight hard all day long to be put with a wrecked race car at the end of the year. We wanted to come out here and finish strong. We felt like we had a top-four or top-five car. It just means so much to me -- to those guys -- that we come out of here with a good run like we were having. It's very unfortunate. It's just a guy that doesn't have his head on straight apparently today. I thought everything was good. I talked to him in the pre-race in the driver's meeting and all of that, but he's such a two-faced guy it just doesn't matter."(Toyota)
    #29-Kevin Harvick from a Team Chevy transcript in part

    THE INCIDENT WITH KYLE BUSCH, GIVE US YOUR THOUGHTS ON THAT:
    Harvick: "Kyle raced me like a clown all day and cut me off and ran up in front of me. The last time I just didn't lift."(Team Chevy Racing News)(11-22-2010)

  • Gibbs has spoken to Busch: Joe Gibbs told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that he has spoken with Kyle Busch about the profanity laced tirade at Texas Motor Speedway that resulted in Busch being fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation for the remainder of 2010. "(Kyle) gets so uptight that every now and then, he makes mistakes," said Gibbs. "We've got to do everything we can here - inside Joe Gibbs Racing - to make sure that doesn't happen. That's what we're totally focused on. We've got a plan laid out, and Kyle has agreed to do the things he needs to do... to ensure that we don't put ourselves in that position again. We think he's a huge talent; a smart, bright guy that we enjoy being around. His whole life is Sam (his fiancée)... and racing. There are no issues with him running around drinking or anything. He doesn't care about any of that. He's totally focused, and all he wants to do is race cars. (Unfortunately) he gets so wound up at the race track that it's hard for him to handle some of the things he needs to handle. We love his competitive nature, but he just needs to learn to handle things better." Gibbs declined to speak specifically on what discussions have been had, or what guidelines have been put in place regarding Busch's future behavior. He stressed, however, that all parties agree that incidents like his recent outburst at Texas Motor Speedway cannot continue to occur. "(It) was not good for us at Joe Gibbs Racing, and it certainly wasn't good for our sponsor," he said. "We feel like there was a plan that we had to put out there, to assure that this doesn't happen again. We're going to keep that in-house, but it's something that we think is smart, and Kyle does too. He realizes where he is, and that's a great part of this. We just have to make sure it doesn't happen again."(Sirius Speedway)(11-17-2010)

  • NASCAR Penalizes Kyle Busch For Actions at TMS: NASCAR has fined Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, $25,000 and placed him on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31 for his actions during last Sunday's race at Texas Motor Speedway. Kyle Busch violated Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing - inappropriate gesture and verbal abuse to NASCAR Officials) of the 2010 NASCAR Rule Book (NASCAR)
    . AND The following is a statement from Kyle Busch: "I accept NASCAR's penalty and realize what I did during Sunday's race at Texas was inappropriate. Even in my relatively short time here in NASCAR, it's pretty obvious to everyone that I wear my emotions on my sleeve. Sometimes that passion has allowed me to find that little something extra I needed to win, and other times it's made me cross the line. Sunday at Texas was one of those days. I lost my cool, plain and simple. It's not acceptable, and I know that. I apologize to NASCAR, its fans, all the partners who support Joe Gibbs Racing, and all the people who work so hard to give me a racecar that's capable of winning races every week. All of those people deserve better from me, and I owe it to them to keep my emotions in check."(TSC/JGR)(11-9-2010)

  • Combos returns on the #18 in 2011: A longtime sponsor of NASCAR, Combo's Brand partners with Joe Gibbs Racing's #18 Toyota and Kyle Busch. In February 2011, a new black and orange paint scheme will hit the track at Phoenix. See an image of the scheme on my 2011 #18 Team Schemes page.(11-6-2010)

  • Halloween scheme for Kyle Busch: #18-Kyle Busch will run an oranage M&M's scheme at Martinsville and Talladega in October. See images of the scheme on my #18 Team Schemes page.(10-14-2010)

  • Kyle Busch sets testing record at Gresham: Kyle Busch posted a new NASCAR track record in testing at Gresham Motorsports Park Wednesday wheeling his #18 Toyota Tundra NASCAR Camping World Truck Series entry to a lap of 16.992 seconds. The blazing lap marked the first time a full-size NASCAR vehicle turned a sub 17-second lap on the GMP half-mile oval. Jamie McMurray holds the GMP NASCAR Sprint Cup testing record with a lap of 17.361 seconds while Martin Truex, Jr. has been the fastest NASCAR Nationwide car at GMP to date with a 17.295-second lap. Finally, Brendan Gaughan has been the fastest in testing the new Nationwide COT car with a time of 17.598 seconds.(Gresham Motorsports Park)(10-7-2010)

  • NASCAR to talk to Reutimann & Busch; no penalties: NASCAR officials plan to talk to #18-Kyle Busch and #00-David Reutimann about Sunday's incident at Kansas Speedway before this weekend's Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway. Cup series director John Darby said no penalties will be levied, that NASCAR just wants both drivers to understand there are 41 cars on the track that may be impacted by their decisions.(ESPN)(10-6-2010)

  • Waltrip responds to the Reutimann-Busch incident at Kansas: As Kyle Busch entered turn two on lap 53 at Kansas, the front of his #18 Toyota made contact with the rear of the #00 Toyota of David Reutimann. The touch sent Reutimann spinning into the SAFER Barrier on the outside of turn two. Busch continued on and was still in the top-10 on lap 156 when he had another encounter with Reutimann. As the duo exited turn two with Busch on the high side and Reutimann's car on the low side, Reutimann's car moved up and slammed into the left side of Busch's machine, causing severe damage to the rear of the M&M's Toyota. Reutimann's car spun and was much more damaged and spent time in the garage, finishing 35th, 11 laps down. Some quotes:
    Michael Waltrip quote:"There are 43 drivers on the race track each Sunday and there is no delineation between Chase participants and non-Chase participants when it comes to respect. Everyone at Michael Waltrip Racing is working hard to deliver great results to our owners, employees and sponsors. All organizations have a lot at stake each week as we are all measured by our performance and finishing position. When David Reutimann's chance to compete for a win at Kansas was taken away, it set off a series of events that have been well documented. I stand behind David because his record of sportsmanship is flawless. It is the duty of MWR's drivers to deliver for Toyota and our other partners, and I expect them to be treated fairly while doing so."(MWR)
    Reutimann quote: "I don't care if you're in the Chase or not, you need to think about who you're running over when you're running over them. I don't care who you are. If you're in the Chase, you have as much responsibility to drive with respect as I do to everybody else. If you guys want me to feel bad about what happened today, I feel bad, yeah, that our car got wrecked and it ruined our day. That's what I feel bad about. He just rolled over me. I'm on the bottom of the race track and he had the whole top of the race track to go to, and he run over me. I got wrecked."(MWR)
    Busch quote: "It's just really unfortunate," Busch said. "These guys work their butts off to put ourselves in the Chase and to have the opportunity to try to go after a championship and to have it end up like it did today is disappointing. The guy (Reutimann) was loose. He said it on the radio. He slid up off the bottom and I got into him unintentionally and just spun him out. My fault 100%, but then the retaliation to a guy that's in the Chase that's racing for something... he'll be here next year. He could've wrecked me in any of the first 26 races next year. That would've been fine. It's just hard to swallow something like a day like today where we had a solid top-five car going (M&M's Racing)(10-4-2010)

  • Gordon, Stewart, Busch Visit ESPN Campus; Stewart Wins 5-lap Race: NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch visited the ESPN campus in Bristol, Ct., today and appeared on various ESPN programs and platforms in advance of Sunday's first race of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. During their day at ESPN, the three drivers competed against each other with radio-controlled race cars on an oval track set up outside of some buildings on the ESPN campus. They raced for five laps, with Stewart taking the win. Gordon finished second and Busch was third after rolling his car trying to catch Stewart on the last lap. Highlights were shown on NASCAR Now, ESPN2's daily NASCAR news and information program.

  • Kyle Busch Featured in New All-Access ESPN2 Series: A new and highly innovative five-part television series featuring #18-Kyle Busch will air on ESPN2 the week of Sept. 13-17 to help kick off ESPN's live coverage of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship.
    Riding Shotgun: Kyle Busch, produced for ESPN by the Emmy Award-winning NASCAR Media Group, will take viewers on a week-long, all-access journey into the life of the driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing #18 M&Ms Toyota. Cameras will follow Busch starting with this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway and will continue throughout the week leading into the start of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sept. 19.
    The half-hour program, which will require a less than 24-hour turnaround time for production, will debut in prime time on Monday, Sept. 13, at 8:00pm/et on ESPN2, following the Monday roundtable edition of ESPN2's daily NASCAR news and information program NASCAR Now. The rest of the week, Riding Shotgun: Kyle Busch will air following NASCAR Now at 5:30pm/et on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, and at 6:00pm/et on Thursday.
    In addition to tagging along for meetings at the shop, an open test date, life in the motorhome and preparation for a double duty weekend, viewers also will follow Busch on his trip to ESPN's campus in Bristol, Ct., on Thursday, Sept. 16, where he will join fellow NASCAR drivers Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart in appearing on multiple ESPN platforms such as SportsCenter, First Take, NASCAR Now, ESPNEWS, ESPN Radio and others. "I'm excited to give the fans a peek into everything that I have going on over the next couple of weeks," said Busch, one of the drivers who will be competing in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. "Everyone knows how much racing I do, but there are a lot of other commitments that go along with it that fans will get to see. It's busy for sure."(ESPN)(9-11-2010)

  • Four straight wins for Kyle Busch, going for record: The fourth consecutive NASCAR win at Chicagoland was the second time this season Busch has accomplished the feat, matching his sweep of the Nationwide and Sprint Cup races at Dover in May, followed by Truck Series and Nationwide wins at Charlotte. It put Busch alongside Billy Wade (1964), David Pearson (1966 and 1968), Cale Yarborough (1976), Darrell Waltrip (1981) and Mark Martin (1993) as four-time winners in consecutive NASCAR events.
    With Busch entered in all three NASCAR National events this weekend [Trucks at Kentucky and Nationwide & Sprint Cup at Atlanta], Busch could find himself having leapfrogged past another handful of legendary NASCAR competitors on the all-time winning streak list. Should Busch emerge victorious at Kentucky, he'll join Fred Lorenzen (1964), Richard Petty (1971), Bobby Allison (1971) and Pearson (1973) with five wins in a row. Saturday's Nationwide race could then put Busch alongside Harry Gant (1991) with a six-race winning streak. And Sunday's Emory Healthcare 500 would then be Busch's opportunity to make it seven wins in a row and join Mark Martin (1993) with the second-longest streak in history. Petty's 10-race streak of Sprint Cup wins in 1967 is the longest.(JGR)(9-2-2010)

  • Kyle Busch has tough night in TORC race: Kyle Busch endured a disappointing off-road racing debut in the Traxxas TORC Series Presented by AMSOIL PRO 2WD class on Wednesday night at Route 66 Raceway in Illinois. Busch made a quick exit from the race, falling out on the second lap with a broken rear suspension. Even though Busch didn't get the result he wanted, he still enjoyed the experience. "It's fun," said the driver who swept NASCAR's three national series races last week at Bristol Motor Speedway. "I enjoy going out there and going out to the sand dunes and messing around and jumping some stuff out there. "Anytime you can put a big heavy vehicle up in the air like that, it's always cool. For myself, running the Traxxas TORC Series PRO 2s, it's fun." While Busch may have gotten most of the attention, it was Ricky Johnson who earned the trophy, taking the victory at the end of the night. Johnson received another gift when PRO 2 points leader Rob MacCachren broke down at the white flag and finished seventh, his first non-podium finish of the year.(SPEED)(8-26-2010)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Bristol: #18-Kyle Busch won the IRWIN Tools Night Race Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway for his 3rd win of 2010, 3rd at Bristol and 19th of his career. Busch won all three national series races at Bristol this weekend, winning the Camping World Truck Series, Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series races, the first time ever a driver has done so. #00-Reutimann finished second followed by #1-McMurray, #33-Bowyer, #9-Kahne, #39-Newman, #42-Montoya, #16-Biffle, #2-Busch and #17-Kenseth. Bowyer's 4th place finish and #5-Martin finishing 23rd now has Bowyer in 12th place by 100 points over #1-McMurray, who moved to 13th, Martin dropped to 14th. Many of the points leaders had problem with #11-Hamlin having a drive shaft problem and finishing 34; #48-Johnson wrecking midway and finishing 35th; #14-Stewart getting hit and spinning early, finishing 27th. #29-Harvick's points lead dropped a bit to 279 over #24-Jeff Gordon. Only Gordon [along with Harvick] clinches a spot in The Chase after the race in Bristol.
    There were 15 lead changes among 9 drivers and 7 cautions for only 39 yellow flag laps. The attendance was reported at 155,000 down from last years sold out 160,000.
    See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Bristol Race Results/Awards page.
    See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(8-21-2010)

  • Fireworks in driver intros: Prerace driver introductions typically are a routine, humdrum affair. Not Saturday night at Bristol Motor Spedway. Fresh from Friday's Nationwide Series victory, in which he dumped Brad Keselowski to take the lead on Lap 219 of 250, Kyle Busch was greeted with boos as he walked down the gangway toward a waiting pickup truck.
    "Aw, you're so loving," was Busch's sarcastic response to the crowd. Moments later, Keselowski strode down the gangway. "I'm Brad Keselowski, driver of the #12 Penske Dodge," he announced. "Kyle Busch is an ass."
    AJ Allmendinger subsequently told the crowd, "I just hope I'm ahead of Brad and Kyle when this stuff goes down tonight."(Sporting News)(8-21-2010)

  • No punishment for Kyle or Brad: NASCAR officials plan no punishment for Kyle Busch or Brad Keselowski over an issue between the drivers late in Friday night's Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Busch admittedly "dumped" Keselowski after Keselowski got into the back of Busch's car with 31 laps remaining. Vice president of competition Robin Pemberton called it "good, hard racing" and said no action would be taken against either driver. He added they would keep an eye on the two in case further incidents develop. Keselowski already is on probation for an incident involving him and Carl Edwards in the Sprint Cup race at Atlanta earlier this season.(ESPN)(8-21-2010)

  • Kyle Busch to Make Off Road Debut: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch is scheduled to make his Pro 2WD off-road racing debut in the Traxxas TORC Series Presented by AMSOIL Aug. 24-25 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. The 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion will face drivers such as seven-time AMA champion Ricky Johnson; off-road star Rob MacCachren; and motocross legend Jeremy McGrath, who is being inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America that same week. Many drivers have raced in off-road prior to their careers in NASCAR, Brendan Gaughan and Jimmie Johnson to name a few. Busch has previous dirt racing experience, driving a dirt late model in the annual "Prelude to the Dream" race founded by NASCAR champion Tony Stewart. The event, held the same week as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series' and IZOD IndyCar Series' events at the speedway, puts the The Traxxas TORC Series and its drivers right in front of a whole new group of enthusiastic motorsports fans.(TORC PR)(8-15-2010)

  • Joe Gibbs Racing Launches New App For Mobile Devices: Joe Gibbs Racing announces that it has launched Joe Gibbs Racing iCrew, a new application for mobile devices that will allow fans to follow all news related to the team's NASCAR and Motocross operations. The new app allows JGR fans to follow all the latest news, information and special features with ease from wherever they might be. JGR fans will now have the ability to receive instant notifications on qualifying and race results, as well as breaking news, special events, and contests. In addition, content includes exclusive JGR and JGRMX photographs, videos, and features. The app also allows fan interaction syncing comments through Twitter and Facebook accounts. Joe Gibbs Racing iCrew is available for free in the Android Market and the App Store.(JGR PR)(8-12-2010)

  • Kyle Busch's Crew wins Tissot Pit Road Award at Watkins Glen: Kyle Busch's pit crew won the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup road race at Watkins Glen International. It was the second Tissot win of the season for the #18 crew, which moved into a tie for third place in the season standings. Jeff Gordon's #24 crew continues to lead the Tissot competition with four wins while Jamie McMurray's #1 crew is second at three wins. Busch's #18 M&M's Toyota Camry spent the least amount of time on pit road during the 90-lap race in central New York - 84.438 seconds. Coming in second was Carl Edwards' #99 Aflac Ford (84.821) and third was Kurt Busch's #2 Miller Lite Dodge (85.358). The quick work by the #18 crew helped Busch post an eighth-place finish. The No. 18 over-the-wall crew consists of: Nick Odell (front-tire changer), Brad Donaghy (front-tire carrier), Jake Seminara (rear-tire changer), Kenny Barber (rear-tire carrier), Jeff Fender (jackman), Tom Lampe (gasman), Jason Hinson (catch can). The team's pit crew coach is Mike Lepp and the crew chief is Dave Rogers. The winning pit crew in each Sprint Cup race will earn $5,000 and a Tissot V8 Quartz Chronograph watch. The team with the most Tissot Pit Road Precision Award wins at the completion of the 36-race schedule will receive a $105,000 bonus plus Tissot watches for the over-the-wall crew members and driver (Tissot). See standings and past news on my 2010 Pit Crew News page.(8-11-2010)

  • MAF Honors NASCAR Teams' Response to Haiti Quake: In the aftermath of the catastrophic Jan. 12, 7.0 earthquake that destroyed the capital of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, two renowned NASCAR auto racing teams shuttled relief workers and supplies into Haiti and transported evacuees, rotating workers and quake victims to the United States. This week at their respective shops in North Carolina, MAF (Missionary Aviation Fellowship) President John Boyd presented Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing with special service awards for their work in Haiti.
    In the crucial days following one of the world's greatest disasters, the teams generously provided aircraft from their fleets. The Hendrick and Gibbs crews worked with MFI (Missionary Flights International) and MAF to shuttle planes between Fort Pierce, Fla., and Port-au-Prince, Haiti, enabling the rotation of high-impact volunteer medical teams and humanitarian workers. The planes also evacuated adopted orphans to their American homes. In addition, the aviation crews offered care, personal concern and warm fellowship to the MAF missionary pilots and ground workers as they toiled amid heat, chaos, suffering and death.
    "With these awards, we at MAF want to express our sincere gratitude to Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing for their support of the MAF team in Haiti," Boyd said. "We honor two fine motorsports teams for their selfless actions, and for the special blessing they were to us during a very trying time." Boyd also invited the two teams' aviation staffs to participate in one of the MAF advanced mountain training workshops at the ministry's headquarters in Nampa, Idaho.
    MAF has served the missionary community and the people of Haiti since 1986. Eight MAF missionary families and seven Haitian staff members provide air service with three bush aircraft that fly to 16 remote airstrips from Port-au-Prince. Within the first three months of its disaster relief efforts, MAF had partnered with dozens of relief agencies, including the United Nations. In addition to having coordinated the flights of 3,500 international passengers and 1.5 million pounds of cargo between Florida and Port-au-Prince, MAF logged 1,037 flights within Haiti, transported 1,801 relief workers, missionaries, patients and medical staff in and out of inland towns and villages urgently needing help, and delivered 315,498 pounds of urgent relief and medical cargo. MAF continues its disaster response work in Haiti, having now shifted from the crisis-relief phase to a rebuilding stage that is expected to last several years.(MAF PR)(7-29-2010)

  • New spotter for Jeff Gordon: #24-Jeff Gordon will have a new spotter starting this weekend at Pocono Raceway, a move the team believes will help the four-time NASCAR champion snap the longest losing streak of his career. Hendrick Motorsports hired Jeff Dickerson Wednesday, moving quickly to grab the spotter after he unexpectedly parted ways last week with #18-Kyle Busch. Dickerson had been with Busch since his early days at HMS, and the driver often credited Dickerson for guiding him on the track to several victories. Crew chief Steve Letarte said after listening to tapes of Dickerson, he believed the spotter could be the key to helping Gordon close out races. Gordon is winless since Texas in April 2009, a span of 49 races. Dickerson replaces Shannon McGlamery, who began spotting for Gordon at the start of the 2007 season. McGlamery still will be a mechanic at Hendrick Motorsports, building the cars for Gordon and teammate Jimmie Johnson. "Shannon is a very good spotter, but I think Jeff Dickerson is one of the best," Letarte said. "The spotter is the third musketeer on the radio, and when he became available, I listened to a lot of tapes, I did a lot of research, and although the timing was short, I recognized his style will help us build upon our continued communication improvements."(ESPN/AP)(7-28-2010)

  • Kyle Busch gets new spotter: #18-Kyle Busch has changed spotters, with Jeff Dickerson no longer serving as his eyes in the sky. Eddie D'Hondt is spotting for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver this weekend on an interim basis. Dickerson had been Busch's spotter since early in his first Cup season in 2005 at Hendrick Motorsports and they had won 18 Cup races together. Dickerson eventually became Busch's agent and business manager but that job was transferred to another member of the Motorsports Management International staff prior to the 2010 season. "Jeff was going to leave at the end of the year and go do something else anyway, so we figured we might as well get it going now and build something with a spotter for next year and hopefully before the Chase starts," Busch said after finishing second in the Camping World Truck Series race Friday night at O'Reilly Raceway Park.(Scene Daily)(7-25-2010)

  • Kahne to Drive for Kyle Busch Motorsports at Pocono: Kasey Kahne, who is undefeated in two career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts, will pilot the #18 Toyota of Scranton (Pa.) Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) in the inaugural Pocono Mountains 125 Truck Series event July 31 at Pocono Raceway. Kahne, who drives the #9 Budweiser Ford full-time for Richard Petty Motorsports in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, won Truck Series races in November 2004 at Darlington Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway. "It's a big deal for us to have someone like Kasey in the #18 Toyota Tundra," said KBM driver-owner Kyle Busch. "His Truck Series record is about as good as it can get, given that he's never lost a race. He's obviously got a good record at Pocono in the Sprint Cup Series as well, so we know he'll give us a great chance to go to victory lane." The Pocono Mountains 125 is the first-ever Truck Series event at Pocono Raceway, which is located 38 miles south of Toyota of Scranton. Busch is hoping to win as an owner and a driver all in the same day, for while Kahne will drive the #18 Toyota of Scranton Toyota Tundra for KBM at Pocono, Busch will pilot the #18 Z-Line Designs Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway in Newton.(KBM)(7-16-2010)

  • JGR and NASA: Joe Gibbs Racing [#11-Hamlin, #18-Busch & #20-Logano] recently used the 3-mile runway NASA utilizes for its space shuttle program to run its car up and down to gather information about aerodynamics. The team basically driver Matt DiBenedetto, a development driver at JGR, run the car to 205 mph on the landing strip, coast to about 150 mph and then run it back up to 205 mph, doing this three times before turning around and coming back and doing the same thing. Such straight-line testing is common in NASCAR. Teams go to various places to do this but going to NASA's runaway is unique.(Virginian Pilot)(7-15-2010)

  • Rusty apologizes for remark: Rusty Wallace apologizes for comment at Kyle Busch during Nationwide race ESPN broadcaster Rusty Wallace apologized Monday for an expletive he directed toward Kyle Busch during Friday night's Nationwide broadcast from Chicagoland Speedway. The comment could be heard after Busch finished his Victory Lane interview. Said Wallace in a statement from ESPN: "At the end of Friday night's telecast, I made an unfortunate remark regarding Kyle Busch. There's no excuse and I certainly know better. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to everyone including Kyle for my mistake." Wallace made the comment after Busch referenced the fans who booed him after he won the race. Wallace then can be heard uttering a one-word comment. An ESPN spokesman said the network would not suspend Wallace for the comment and stated: "ESPN has spoken to Rusty and he understands his remark was uncalled for.''(Virginian Pilot)(7-13-2010)

  • Gibbs and family selected as 2nd quarter Spirit Award Winner: Members of the National Motorsports Press Association selected J.D. Gibbs and his family as the second quarter winner of the NMPA Speedway Motorsports Spirit Award. The award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Each year, quarterly winners are selected, and an overall winner is determined by a vote of the National Motorsports Press Association membership.
    Gibbs and his family were selected for hosting Taylor's Finish Line Festival in May. The festival was held to celebrate the end cancer treatments for Gibbs' 5-year-old son, Taylor. Proceeds benefited the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Western, N.C., and the Levine Children's Hospital of Charlotte. More than $600,000 was raised at the event, attended by more than 5,000 people.
    Also receiving votes were: Drs. Joseph and Rose Mattioli for contributions to support trauma care at Lehigh Valley Health Network; employees of Richard Childress Racing and Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines for delivering and distributing cleaning supplies to Nashville, Tenn., residents affected by the flooding there; Tony Stewart for his annual Prelude to the Dream charity dirt late model race; and Kyle Petty for his annual charity motorcycle ride across the country. Bobby Hutchens, competition director at Stewart-Haas Racing, won the award in the first quarter.(JGR)(7-8-2010)

  • Interstate returns to sponsor the #18: The familiar green Interstate Batteries paint scheme returns to the #18 Toyota of Kyle Busch for the next two Sprint Cup events as the Dallasbased company's livery will adorn the car this weekend at New Hampshire and for next weekend's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway (JGR), see images of the scheme on my #18 Team Schemes page.(6-25-2010)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Berlin: Kyle Busch was out of clean clothes by the time he hopped on his plane Wednesday night in Grand Rapids and headed to California. However, Busch did have a shiny new trophy to take with him, along with $20,000 after winning the Rowdy's Revenge 251 at Berlin Raceway. Busch held off a pair of second-generation racing teenagers, Chase Elliott and Ross Kenseth, for his first victory at the Berlin half-mile. Busch took the lead for good on lap 150, then survived a caution-filled finish in which the yellow waved four times during the final 18 laps. The race originally was scheduled for Tuesday, but action was rained out. Busch returned for the CRA Super Series sanctioned race in his #51 template body Late Model. Elliott, 14, started eighth and dominated the first half of the race in his first Berlin appearance. Elliott, the son of 1988 Cup champion Bill Elliott, was out in front on lap 125 when the mandatory caution dropped. That gave drivers an opportunity to take their cars to the pits for their crews to work on while the 50-lap Modified feature was run. A.J. Allmendinger won the Modified main, passing Mike Brooks with 20 laps to go and holding off Brian Bergakker for the win.(Michigan Live)(6-17-2010)

  • Interstate Batteries Extends Relationship with Joe Gibbs Racing: Interstate Batteries announced that it has reached an agreement on a long-term extension of its sponsorship package with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), which paves the way for one of NASCAR's longest-standing partnerships to surpass the 20-year milestone. Interstate Batteries first established its sponsorship of JGR prior to the 1992 season, enabling the start-up team to open up its doors for competition in time for that year's season-opening Daytona 500. The sponsorship will continue to include six races as primary sponsor of the #18 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Camry driven by Kyle Busch, as well as one NASCAR Nationwide Series event each season. In addition to the seven total primary sponsorships, Interstate will continue to have promotional rights with all of JGR's drivers, specifically, Busch's teammates, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano, under their Team Interstate platform. "We have been blessed by our relationship with Norm Miller and Interstate Batteries," said Joe Gibbs, owner of the team that bears his name. "They took a chance on us 19 years ago as our founding sponsor, and the partnership has been outstanding ever since. They are a great example of the type of relationships we seek to build with our partners, and we're thrilled to have them continue with us." Interstate Batteries is currently in the 19th season of its partnership with JGR, and the company has joined the family-owned team in victory lane at 12 different racetracks in the last 18 seasons, including such prestigious venues as Daytona International Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway.(TSC/JGR)(6-3-2010)

  • Kyle Busch to set new record at Pocono: #18-Kyle Busch will make his 200th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start on Sunday in the Gillette Fusion ProGlide 500 presented by Target at Pocono Raceway. In doing so, at 25 years, one month and four days, Busch will become the youngest driver in series history to reach start No. 200. The previous youngest was Brian Vickers, at 25 years, 11 months and three days (Dover International Speedway, Sept. 27, 2009).(NASCAR)(6-2-2010)

  • Kyle Busch says he and Hamlin have moved on UPDATE maybe not? #18-Kyle Busch says he is not taking back radio chatter in which he threatened to kill JGR teammate #11-Denny Hamlin after some hard driving in the All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Busch insisted Thursday that he and Hamlin have moved on from last week's incident. Hamlin was leading late in the race when he blocked Busch's run. The defensive driving caused Busch to hit the wall, and he later got a flat tire that led to a race-ending wreck. Busch was so angry afterward, he warned his team he was going to kill Hamlin. Busch went directly to Hamlin's hauler after his accident, and team owner Joe Gibbs mediated a post-race meeting with his drivers. Busch says his threat was out of anger, but not literal, and he's moved past the incident.(Associated Press)(5-27-2010)
    Hamlin comments: Denny Hamlin didn't just throw Kyle Busch under the bus Thursday, he ran over him with it. "For me, I'm over the Denny Hamlin issue," Busch said Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he made his first public comments on the issue. "It's done, we're moving forward and we look forward to the rest of the year and the [Coca-Cola] 600 this weekend." Hamlin, however, was considerably more blunt when discussing his feelings towards his teammate. "I definitely wouldn't change anything that I would do and nobody in my position would," said Hamlin. "I challenge anyone to be in that position and to change the way that I drove. The thing is that he [Busch] was never there, there was never a hole for his car to fit in, so he has a gas pedal and a brake just like I do. He could choose to check up and pass me in the next corner or put his car in the fence like what happened." And from there, he was off and running. Asked if he'd work with Busch, Hamlin indicated his displeasure with his hot-tempered teammate. "I'm not going to put too much effort in it, to be honest with you," Hamlin said. "Kyle brings this stuff up himself and he gets mad at the media for asking him questions about his blow-ups and stuff, but he does it to himself. I don't want to be part of it. Any drama that he wants to create or anything is on him. Anything he says on the radio is on him. [That's] all I'm going to say and I'm going to be done with it. Each year I think Kyle's going to grow out of it and he just doesn't. Until he puts it all together, that's when he'll become a champion. Right now he just doesn't have himself all together." And then, for good measure, this little bon mot: "I didn't say that I was going to take over this team or be the leader of this team, but somebody's got to be the leader-it ain't going to be Kyle."(Ford Racing)(5-30-2010)

  • Hamlin talks about incident with Kyle Busch: Joe Gibbs Racing teammates #11-Denny Hamlin and #18-Kyle Busch were battling for the lead late in the Sprint All-Star Race, Hamlin used defensive driving to protect his lead, Busch didn't have room on the outside and slammed into the all, pushing in his right front fender that would later cut down a tire and end the night for Busch [and #9-Kahne], Busch was so angry he threatened to kill Hamlin over his team radio and camped out in the #11 hauler, waiting for Hamlin....so
    . Denny Hamlin, #11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, answers questions in this Toyota PR/quotes
    What happened between yourself and Kyle Busch on the race track? "First he (Kyle Busch) got a big run off the corner and I was clear getting into the corner. Basically I just throttled up extremely early and really it was a bad corner. He was going to go by me. He kind of went to the bottom and then went up high it looked like. Of course, I'm looking out my front windshield and he says I'm clear so I'm going to use all the race track I can. The problem is that Kyle had a run to the outside and with me moving up and getting real tight, it then took some air away from the front of his car and he slid up into the wall. It's tough for me. We talked about it and basically Kyle was just frustrated, he felt like he had a really good car. Me, I just came from the back with no practice and got back to the front where we needed to be and I felt like if I gave up the lead right there then I was going to give up the win. I don't think Kyle would do anything different if he was in my situation. It's just when you're the leader, my feeling is that you've got the whole race track. If a guy is to the outside then that's when you need to hold your line."
    What was the conversation between yourself, Kyle Busch, Joe and J.D. Gibbs? "It's a good conversation to have. Me and Tony (Stewart) has had this same conversation and it was under a little different circumstance, but this is a good problem to have for our team. For two guys to be wanting to go for the win like they are, that's all we can ask for. Myself, I'm so confident that one of the two of us are going to win that 600 next weekend, it was a good meeting. Kyle (Busch) was fiery at the beginning, but calmed right down at the end. I think it's just kind of his personality and me, I'm a little more reserved and kind of quiet about it. I think it's just two teammates that happen to be teammates going for a race win right there."
    What are your thoughts on Kyle Busch's comments about you on the team radio? "That's Kyle in the moment and he's said worse things about me for sure at other times. I told him my job as the leader is to do everything I can to win that race. This race in specific is a much different beast than what a points race is and I think he understands that. From my standpoint, we're going to drive each other different, no doubt about it. We've seen it in years past, guys suck each other around, guys running each other up the race track, but I felt like if Kyle had position on the outside, then I definitely should have given him the lane. I just basically took the air off and like he said, he was just dumb and didn't check up. It's just one of those things. The air is so important that if you've got the lead then it's extremely hard for anyone to get around you and we just flat over-adjusted our race car and we got it way off right there. I felt like if we couldn't get the win, then I probably should have just moved over and let him go because it looked like he had a race winning car. That is the only thing I fault myself is not understanding my race car that time."
    How will you and Kyle Busch move forward from this? "We don't need to let it affect these team guys. They work with each other inside the race shop and the important thing for me is that everyone gets along. Right now, everything is going good between the 11 and the 18 (Kyle Busch) on the race track, we're both battling for race wins each and every week. This is like the fifth of sixth time that we've been beside each other with less than 10 (laps) to go and this is not going to be the last time. What's good is that we have an understanding of how we race each other. One thing that we do realize too is this individual race here is a different beast so the racing of each other is always going to be a little different."(Toyota)(5-23-2010)

  • Kyle Busch to run a M&M's Pretzel scheme UPDATE: Kyle Busch is scheduled to run a #18 M&M Pretzel Special the All Star Challenge and Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May. See am image of the scheme on my #18 Team Schemes page...mmmm, m&m's AND pretzels.
    At the 2009 NACS show, Mars Snackfood US unveiled its M&M's Pretzel Chocolate Candies, which combine sweet and salty in every bite-size piece. M&M's Pretzel Chocolate Candies are kosher certified and feature a crunchy, salted pretzel center covered in M&M's brand milk chocolate and coated in a colorful candy shell. The product will be available in May 2010.(4-17-2010)
    UPDATE: The new salty and sweet Pretzel M&M's Chocolate Candies blue colors will adorn Busch's #18 Toyota for the next four events, including Saturday night's Sprint All-Star race, and the SPrint Cup Series races at Charlotte, Pocono and Michigan. The scheme is to help promote the launch of the newest sweet creation from Mars Chocolate North America.(True Speed Communication), see an image of the scheme on my #18 Team Schemes page.(5-20-2010)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Dover: #18-Kyle Busch won the Autism Speaks 400 presented by Hershey's Milk & Milkshakes Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway for his 2nd win of 2010. 2nd Dover win and 18th win of his career. Busch also won the Nationwide race Saturday and finished 16th in the Camping World Truck Series race [after leading the most laps], all at Dover. Busch led 494 of 900 laps at Dover. #31-Burton finished 2nd, followed by #17-Kenseth, #11-Hamlin, #00-Reutimann, #16-Biffle, #29-Harvick, #99-Edwards, #14-Stewart and #20-Logano. Pole sitter #56-Truex Jr. finished 12th. #48-Johnson finished 16th down a lap after getting caught speeding exiting pit road and had to do a pass thru penalty. #9-Kahne, who started 2nd finsihed 20th, down 2 laps after having shifter problems. #88-Earnhardt Jr. had another tough day and finshed 30th, down 10 laps. Harvick still leads the points with 1768. down to 69 over Kyle Busch, who moved up to 2nd with his win and Johnson's miscue.
    There were 20 lead changes among 8 drivers and only 5 cautions for 24 yellow flag laps. The attendence was reported at 88,000, down from 100,000 last year and 133,000 in 2008.
    See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Dover Race Results/Awards page
    See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(5-16-2010)

  • Kyle Busch wins 5 races...in one day: It was Kyle Busch's best day in racing -- five wins from six starts in the #18 M&M's machine. Well, make that the M&M's electric go-kart at Craig's Cruisers indoor kart track Tuesday in the Grand Rapids suburb of Wyoming. Busch took on race fans, sponsors and media members in a series of eight-lap sprints at Craig's during a visit to promote the upcoming Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Michigan International Speedway on June 13 in Brooklyn, MI. The kart racing was as tough as any at Bristol, Martinsville or Richmond, where Busch, who is third in Cup points, won May 1. Starting from the back, Busch drove his way through wrecks, spinning karts and yellow flags. "I haven't won more than one race in a day," Busch said later, laughing. "It was neat to help MIS sell tickets to the June race and run against the fans. It was a good day at the wheel. There's nothing like coming from the back to win one." Busch and MIS president Roger Curtis banged bumpers most of the day, with Curtis appearing to have Busch's measure in the first eight-lapper before hitting the barrier -- or the brakes -- within sight of the checkered flag. "Don't know what happened to Roger's kart," Busch said. "I think he stalled it on the final turn." About 500 people -- locals and some from as far away as Ohio and Ontario -- turned out to watch and/or compete against Busch, including four friends from Dexter who drive and crew on a super late model team at tracks such as Berlin Raceway in Marne and Toledo Speedway.(Detroit Free Press)(5-12-2010)

  • Doublemint makes debut on #18: This weekend's race will mark the first time Doublemint Gum has served as primary sponsor for #18-Kyle Busch, as the chewing gum brand's mint paint scheme will adorn Busch's #18 Toyota at Darlington and again at Bristol Motor Speedway in August.(JGR/True Speed Communications), see images of the scheme on my #18 team paint schemes page.(5-6-2010)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Richmond: #18-Kyle Busch led the most laps [226] and made a late race pass of #24-Gordon on a restart and won the Crown Royal Presents The Heath Calhoun 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway for his 1st race of 2010, his first win in 21 races and 17th of his career. It was the first Sprint Cup Series win for crew chief Dave Rogers. Busch is the first pole sitter to win a race in 2010. #24-Gordon hel on to 2nd, followed by #29-Harvick, #31-Burton, #99-Edwards, #42-Montoya, #56-Truex Jr., #39-Newman, #47-Ambrose and #48-Johnson. Harvick takes the points lead by 10 points over Johnson. There were 13 lead changes among 8 drivers and 6 cautions for 37 yellow flag laps.
    See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Richmond Race Results/Awards page
    See drivers points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(5-1-2010)

  • Conractors say Kyle Busch owes them: A subcontractor who helped build NASCAR driver Kyle Busch's new multi-million-dollar headquarters has filed a lien against the project, and four others also say they're owed money. Collectively, the contractors say they are owed hundreds of thousands of dollars by the building's owner and general contractor. As small business owners, they said, they can't afford to go for months without being paid. Paul Davis of Creative Carpets LLC said he filed a mechanic's lien against the general contractor Friday. Davis said he is owed $60,000 for installing roughly 18,000 square feet of carpet and flooring. "As a business, I can't function," he said, adding his suppliers won't give him more materials until he pays them. "I'm spending more of my time chasing my money than making it. And in this economy, I can't do that." Davis said he filed the lien because he'd grown worried that he might not get paid the full amount he is owed. He said Busch's attorney told him "one group was going to walk away unhappy." The building is owned by L.B. Builders Construction Group, which also is overseeing construction. It is being built for KB Investments, a Kyle Busch-related entity. The subcontractors said they've been told by L.B. Builders that they haven't been paid because Kyle Busch owes nearly $3 million. On Friday, a blue tarp was taped over a sign outside the building that says KBM. Attorneys representing Busch and L.B. Builders confirmed a "construction dispute" over the building's cost, and said the groups are working to resolve it. A meeting to discuss the issue is set for mid-May, they said.(See full story at the Charlotte Observer)(5-1-2010)

  • Kyle Busch going for Nationwide record: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Z-Line Designs/Conn's Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Nationwide Series, has won four consecutive NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Texas Motor Speedway, and the "Drive for Five" will take place during Saturday's O'Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. In the four victories, Busch led a combined 657 of 800 laps available to him, meaning he has been at the point for 82% of the Nationwide Series circuits conducted at Texas since 2008. Only two other drivers - Jack Ingram and Dale Earnhardt - have won five consecutive Nationwide Series races at one track. Ingram, the 1982 and 1985 Nationwide Series champion, won at South Boston Speedway in July 1985 and then won four more races at the .357-mile oval in southern Virginia in April, May, June and July of 1986. Earnhardt won the February Nationwide Series event at Daytona every year from 1990 to 1994.(JGR)(4-17-2010)

  • Gibbs could not commit to fourth Cup team: Joe Gibbs wouldn't get into the reasons, but he said Friday night that it just wasn't feasible for JGR to currently commit to a fourth Sprint Cup team when he was asked about Kasey Kahne signing with Hendrick Motorsports. Gibbs thinks that Kahne knows where he's racing in 2011 even though Hendrick announced Wednesday that his plans for 2011 are uncertain before he takes over the #5 car in 2012. "I am going to have to say he's not in limbo," Gibbs said prior to being inducted into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame. "I would say there's been a decision made of what's going to happen there." The decision doesn't include JGR, which had made a strong run at Kahne but couldn't get the package done before Kahne made the decision to sign with Hendrick. "It's extremely hard to put together something where you're trying to put together right sponsor, right driver," Gibbs said. "That's part of life in what you do here. You try to craft things as best you can for your race team. We've probably been the most cautious of adding a fourth team among the big teams."(SceneDaily)(4-19-2010)

  • Kyle Busch not happy with Boris: #18-Kyle Busch walked away from a banged-up car shaking his head, clearly miffed about a scrape in the final practice for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Busch tangled with #26-Boris Said coming onto the back straightaway and was forced to park his Toyota after getting in 37 practice laps. While the damage around the right rear tire was mainly cosmetic, that didn't improve Busch's mood. "You've got guys who don't belong out there," he said. "He's off the pace at every track we've been to. But he keeps getting in on owner points." Said drives for Latitude 43 Motorsports, a new venture started by a Vermont businessman who bought the #26 team from Roush Fenway Racing, inheriting its points from a year ago. Since that team finished 22nd in the Cup standings, Said is guaranteed entry into the first five races of 2010. "I'm out there minding my own business, running my car at the bottom of the track," Busch said. "He's at the top, then all of a sudden he wants to run in the middle on the straightaway. Usually if you're running at the top, you stay up there." Said, who's gotten into the last three races based on his owner points, managed only two laps in his final tuneup for the race. He was next-to-last on the speed chart, beating out rookie Kevin Conway.(Associated Press/ESPN)(3-7-2010)

  • Busch wins at Speedfest: Kyle Busch is making Lanier National Speedway his home away from home. The NASCAR Sprint Cup star won for the second straight year at Speedfest on Sunday, running away with the checkered flag in the Super Late Model Division. In other races, Greg Simpson won the Pro Late Model Division, while Brad Springer won the Modified race, which had been pushed from its originally scheduled spot on Saturday. The cold, wet weather, which forced race officials to postpone all of Saturday's events, made for a busy day at the track Sunday.(Gainsville Times)(2-1-2010)

  • Seven Cup drivers on America's 100 Most Powerful Athletes list: What is power? In athletics it is usually thought of as bulging muscles and dominating performance. But in sports today, power has a different meaning, as well: the earning potential of athletes, owners, agents, communities, and brands, ranging from breakfast cereal to beer. To determine who the 100 most powerful athletes are on and off the field, Bloomberg BusinessWeek teamed with CSE, an integrated sports and entertainment company that connects brands with fans, and Bloomberg BusinessWeek columnist Rick Horrow, to create the 2010 version of the Power 100. Unlike previous Power 100s, this year's ranking would focus only on the athletes-not the owners, the agents, the commissioners, or the coaches. On-field metrics included athletes who scored the best on the field (or the rink, the greens, or the court) over a two-year period. The more popular the sport, the more weight those achievements garnered.
    Drivers on the list: Jimmie Johnson, 21st; Jeff Gordon, 28th; Mark Martin, 41st; Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 45th; Tony Stewart, 48th; Carl Edwards, 67th; and Kyle Busch, 70th. Danica Patrick also made the list at 88th.(Business Week)(1-28-2010)

  • KBM Opens Chassis Shop: Kyle Busch Motorsports announces the opening of a full service Chassis shop in Mooresville, NC. The chassis operation at KBM is located in close proximity to the heart of NASCAR and can provide chassis related services to NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams. More info at KyleBusch.com.(1-22-2010)

  • JGR signs Kyle Busch to extension: Joe Gibbs Racing announced it has signed driver #18-Kyle Busch to a "multi-year" contract that will keep Busch with the team for the next several seasons. "It's something we've been working on for a while," said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. "We probably could've announced this earlier. We were just getting some of the details ironed out and finalized. Watching him grow off the track as well as on the track has been exciting for us. We look forward to many years together racing up front." Busch said there "wasn't much convincing needed" to come back to the team after the 2010 season, when his first contract was set to expire. The team wouldn't say how many years the contract is, though Gibbs said they could announce that in the future.(CMS Media Tour Notes), Details were not revealed. JGR president J.D. Gibbs said only that it was for less than seven years.(1-19-2010)

  • TV Special to go behind the scenes at JGR: Beginning Jan. 24, NASCAR fans will be given unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to one of the sport's most successful teams as it prepares for the season-opening Daytona 500. SPEED and IMG Sports Media are working together on a series of four one-hour specials featuring Joe Gibbs Racing and giving fans a unique perspective of what it takes to be ready to perform in The Daytona 500. JGR's Countdown to the Daytona 500 will take viewers to previously restricted areas, including wind tunnel testing, the engine department and team plane.(SPEEDtv)(1-12-2010)

2009 News

  • Special M&M's schemes [2 races] are scheduled to be run at the following races:
    Charlotte [10/17] Susan G. Komen/Breast Cancer
    Martinsville [10/25] Halloween

  • Snickers [2 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2009 races:
    Bristol [3/22]
    Indianapolis [7/26]

  • Pedigree [3 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2009 races:
    Talladega [4/26]
    Atlanta [9-6]
    Phoenix [11/15]

  • Combos [1 race] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2009 races:
    Richmond [5/2]

  • Transformers 2 [1 race] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2009 races:
    Infineon Raceway [6/21]

  • Interstate Batteries [6 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2009 races:
    California [2/22]
    Texas [4/5]
    New Hampshire [6/28]
    Daytona [7/4]
    Michigan [8/16]
    Dover [9/20]

  • Gibbs working on contact extension for Busch UPDATE: J.D. Gibbs say he's close to re-signing #18-Kyle Busch and hopes to have the contract completed before the 2010 season.(FoxSports)(11-24-2009)
    UPDATE: a high-ranking source has confirmed Kyle Busch is off the market. The source would not confirm when the extension was signed, but has knowledge of one that ties him to both Gibbs and M&M's through 2011. Sources at Joe Gibbs Racing could not be reached for comment by press time, but it appears that they have addressed the top priority on their Christmas wish list by stabilizing Busch's contract and by rebuilding the #18 Toyota this offseason. Busch can now focus on establishing a positive relationship with crew chief Dave Rogers and launching himself back into Chase contention -- although a one-year extension isn't exactly the type of deal that screams long-term association.(Sports Illustrated)(12-24-2009)

  • Rusty Wallace forms alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing: Officials of Rusty Wallace Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing announced the formation of a technical alliance between the two teams, under which JGR will provide RWR with technical support for the development of NASCAR Nationwide Series Toyota Camry race cars. In the last two Nationwide Series seasons, RWR has fielded a pair of Chevy Impalas and in 2009 was the only team with multiple drivers among the top-ten in the year-end driver standings. For the 2010 season, the team will campaign factory-backed Toyota Camrys, with engines provided by Triad Racing Development. Stated RWR team owner, Rusty Wallace, "We're excited about working with J.D. (Gibbs) and his guys; they've built a very solid Nationwide Series program over the past several seasons. Between all of the support that we're receiving from Toyota and this new partnership, I feel that 2010 will be a strong year for our team." Regarding the partnership, JGR President J.D. Gibbs noted, "We're looking forward to working with Rusty and his team at RWR. We're excited to have them join the Toyota camp next year in the Nationwide Series and we look forward to providing assistance to their program as well."(RWR PR)(12-14-2009)

  • Kyle Busch Motorsports announces two full-time teams; possibly a third: Kyle Busch Motorsports announced that as of right now they will run two full-time teams in the Camping World Truck Series in 2010. Kyle Busch will drive the #18 Miccosukee Toyota with Brian Ickler picking up the ride in the stand-alone events. Tayler Malsam will drive the #56 Toyota full-time with sponsorship from Talking Rain and ActivWater. KBM is trying to pull enough sponsorship together to bring Champion Johnny Benson into the mix and make it a three-truck operation. Until the new shop is finished being built, the two-truck team will be based out of the former Xpress Motorsports shop located in Mooresville, NC.(SPEEDtv.com) [It was reported earlier this week that talks are underway with Exide Batteries and at least one other sponsor about backing Benson -- see the December Archive Page.] (12-11-2009)

  • Kyle Busch Wins 42nd Annual Snowball Derby: Kyle Busch has won the 42nd Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida. Busch started third in the 300-lap race and took the lead late from 2005 Snowball Derby winner Eddie Mercer to collect the $22,500 winner's check. Mercer held on to finish second with NASCAR Nationwide Series regular Steven Wallace placing third. Two-time Snowball Derby winner Bobby Gill came from last place at the start to place fourth at the finish. John Bolen overcame an early wreck to finish fifth. This is the fourth major Super Late Model event that Busch has won this season. He also won Speedfest at Lanier Speedway (GA), the Redbud 300 at Anderson Speedway (IN) and the Winchester 400 at Winchester Speedway (IN) in his free time from his NASCAR obligations. This event concludes the racing season at Five Flags Speedway for 2009. The track will open its 2010 season with the TBARA Winged Sprint Cars on March 19th. For more information on the 43rd Annual Snowball Derby, contact Five Flags Speedway by calling (850) 944-8400 and be sure to visit www.snowballderby.com and www.fiveflagsspeedway.com.(51 Sports)(12-6-2009)

  • Addington moving on UPDATE 4: during the Ford 400 Sprint Cup Series qualifying at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Andy Petree of ESPN2 reported that Steve Addington, former crew chief for #18-Kyle Busch at Joe Gibbs Racing, informed JGR he would leave and is moving on. No word what team or job he is going to.(11-20-2009)
    UPDATE: Bob Dillner reported on the SPEED Report that Addington is talking to Penske Racing about being #2-Kurt Busch's crew chief in 2010, supposedly the hold up is that Addington wants a 3-year contract.(11-24-2009)
    UPDATE 2: former #18-Kyle Busch crew chief Steve Addington supposedly cleaned out his office and said his goodbyes on Monday after six seasons with Joe Gibbs Racing. Addington has been rumored to be a candidate at Penske Racing for #2-Kurt Busch and Richard Petty Motorsports for #19-Elliott Sadler.(FoxSports)(12-2-2009)
    UPDATE 3: [Penske Racing president Tim] Cindric said the organization hoped to decide on a new crew chief for Kurt Busch within the next two weeks. He confirmed that Steve Addington, former crew chief for Busch's younger brother, Kyle, is among the final "two or three" candidates. Penske is mulling at least two internal candidates.(Sports Illustrated)(12-3-2009)
    UPDATE 4: Addington had been offered the head post for Elliott Sadler's #19 team at Richard Petty Motorsports, but sources say that he turned it down.(FoxSports)(12-4-2009)

  • Kyle Busch, other drivers running Snowball Derby: Race fans might have thought the 2009 racing season ended on Nov. 22 when NASCAR's three major series competed at Homestead-Miami Speedway. But they were wrong. Racing purists know the racing season is never complete until a champion is crowned in the Snowball Derby, the country's most prestigious short-track race that occurs each December at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola. The 42nd Snowball Derby is slated for Sunday, Dec. 6 and will culminate four days of exciting racing action at Northwest Florida's half-mile gem. Several NASCAR stars, including 2009 Nationwide Series champion Kyle Busch, will compete against the country's best Super Late Model drivers, all of whom are seeking to affix their name to the coveted Tom Dawson Memorial Trophy. Hoping to earn a spot in this year's elite 38-car field will be former Snowball Derby champion Steve Wallace and David Stremme, who race on the Nationwide Series. James Buescher and Brian Scott from the Camping World Trucks Series also hope to make the big show. Two other potential future stars with famous last names will try to qualify for the Derby - Chase Elliott, son of former Cup champion Bill Elliott, and Ross Kenseth, son of another former Cup champ, Matt Kenseth. The green flag waves at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, in the 42nd annual Snowball Derby.(Gulf Breeze News)(12-3-2009)

  • Kyle Busch may run full Nationwide season in 2010? #18-Kyle Busch hasn't announced he'll defend his Nationwide Series championship next year, but Busch indicated over lunch earlier this week in Miami Beach there might be a scenario under which he would try for a second title. As it stands now, Busch intends to run all the Nationwide races that are companion events to Sprint Cup events in 2010. His schedule also may include a few stand-alone Nationwide events during off-weeks for Cup. "I think 24 to 27 (races) is what we're planning," Busch said. "The races haven't been quite all worked out yet." Whatever the final number, Busch has to run the bulk of the Nationwide schedule in his #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota to keep sponsors interested in the program. "We're going to do a combination next year where Kyle's going to run, (and) we're going to split that car up some," JGR president J.D. Gibbs said. "We love being on the Nationwide side, because it allows you to bring in young guys. Whether its crew guys, pit crews, drivers-we've got (driver) Matt DiBenedetto next year for sure and one other young guy, and it gives them an opportunity." Busch also admitted that how well he starts the season may factor into whether he lobbies Gibbs to run the full Nationwide schedule. Eleven of the first 12 Nationwide races are companion events. The fifth race of the season, at Nashville, is scheduled for April 3, an open week for the Cup series. Asked whether there might be circumstances under which he would defend his title, Busch nodded. Gibbs shook his head emphatically, indicating, "No."
    "I'll talk him into it," Busch said.(Sporting News)(11-28-2009)

  • One final triple for 2009 by Kyle Busch: With #18-Kyle Busch participating in Friday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series race, as well as Sunday's Sprint Cup event at Homestead, Busch will make his 84th 85th and 86th overall starts in 2009 across NASCAR's top three series. By merely starting Saturday's Nationwide Series race, Busch will clinch the series championship, his first in NASCAR.(JGR)(11-20-2009)

  • M&M'S Most Colorful Fan of NASCAR at Homestead: Cynthia Peace, grand prize winner of the M&M'S Seeks the Most Colorful Fan of NASCAR Contest, will receive a VIP experience at Homestead-Miami Speedway that includes meeting Kyle Busch and viewing all three season-ending races in style. An avid NASCAR fan for more than a decade, Peace attended her first race at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill., in 1999. She has completed the Richard Petty Driving Experience, her favorite track is Bristol Motor Speedway, her favorite driver is Kyle Petty, and she is excited to share her VIP experience at Homestead with family from California, Oklahoma and Texas. Peace and her husband Bobby are parents of 16-year-old daughter Kelsey and live in Havana, Ill. Peace will also become the first fan recognized in the new NASCAR Hall of Fame.(JGR)(11-20-2009)

  • Busch's truck team "not looking good," maybe back to Ballew in 2010? During a testing session for the upcoming Snowball Derby [Dec. 2-6] at Five Flags Speedway located in Pensacola, Florida, had a chance to ask Kyle Busch how things were progressing with the truck team he's been trying to put together.
    Q: You and your truck team --- how are things progressing on that?
    A: It's going nowhere fast. I've got no shop to put my stuff in, my builders can't build a building in three years, got no hauler, no trucks no equipment....so, it's pretty late in the year. Obviously we're already to Homestead; we only have two months before Daytona so it's a short amount of time to put a lot together. I don't think it's going to happen. So if Billy's [Ballew] got an open seat for me over at Ballew, I'd be happy to take it again and hopefully we can get Miccosukee to return. They've been a great partner for us, as well as Toyota.
    Q: So it looks like you are going back to Billy Ballew next year?
    A: Yeah right now. I'd love to run some truck races. He's got Aric Almirola over there...he's done a great job for them...if he wants to run one deal. If he wants to stay two, I'd take it.
    Q: It's been reported that you were talking to Johnny Benson about the new team?
    A: We talked to Johnny Benson; we had some conversations with the Con-way people. Unfortunately for us, fortunately for Jack [Roush], they decided to go the Nationwide route. So that deal feel through...there's nothing else that JB's dragged up. He's got championship driver points, where he can make any race he wants too, but for me, I've got no equipment. All I have is my late model stuff here and these things don't translate anything close to what a truck is. None of the suspension parts are the same; nothing. So I'd have to start over, buy all new.
    Q: Rumor has it that you are buying Brian Scott's trucks?
    A: We've been in discussions with Brian Scott. Nothing has come close to being finalized...the price is way too high. Of course they want to get their money's worth from what they bought, so, for whatever the economy is, for whatever the price of the Truck Series is, I feel it's a bit expensive. You know if I wanted to do it right, I would be sure that I would have the right stuff and the right people built up before I got to Homestead.
    Q: You said the new shop's not done yet?
    A: Not even close. It started out being 62,000 sq ft and we've added on a couple of different areas for toys and stuff like that because I'm putting my late models in there. We're also going to start building our own late model chassis'. I was going to put my play toys in there - I've got sand cars and four-wheelers some Corvettes some Toyota Tundra's. I've got some nice stuff that I want to keep indoors and that's what I'm building it for and every time we take a step forward it's like we take three or four steps back ... the process is not going good. I started this project back in '07 and I'm still nowhere close. It's frustrating. It's been an ongoing process for three years. The building looks great, it's awesome from the outside.... love to be inside of it...we're working as hard and as fast as we can.
    Q: So it's not looking good for the truck team?
    A: It's not looking good. I'd love to do it and I wish I could do it, but it's not looking good.
    (Nancy/Jayski.com)(11-16-2009)

  • Three drivers attempting triple duty at Phoenix: Two drivers will be aiming to make history this weekend by becoming the first to win in all three NASCAR national series at Phoenix International Raceway - Kyle Busch [#18 Cup, #18 NNS, #51 CWTS] and Kevin Harvick [#29 Cup, #33 NNS, #4 CWTS]. And Kevin Conway is attempting to make all three races [#70 Cup, #26 NNS and #71 CWTS]. Busch came close to scoring the feat last weekend at Texas when he won both the NASCAR Camping World Truck and NASCAR Nationwide Series races, but fell just short when he ran out of gas a few laps short of the checkered flag in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race, relegating him to a 11th-place finish. Both Busch and Harvick have won at Phoenix in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Conway will be attempting to make his Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series debuts. Conway is guaranteed a spot in the NNS race, the Cup and Trucks race, he needs to qualifying by speed to make the races.(11-11-2009)
    UPDATE: Texas was the third time Busch had won the Trucks and Nationwide races in a weekend and gone on to go for the triple in the Cup series. What makes it more amazing is that he's the only driver to have won those first two races and even had an opportunity for the triple. Stranger still, was this was his worst finish when going for it. Here are Busch's Cup results after winning the Truck and Nationwide races in the same weekend:
    Year -- Track -- Finish
    2009 -- Texas -- 11th
    2009 -- California -- third
    2007 -- Phoenix -- eighth
    Terry Labonte is the only other driver to get a top-5 in all three series in a weekend, at Richmond in 1995.(ESPN)(11-12-2009)

  • Kyle Busch going for triple at Texas: Kyle Busch attempts to become the first driver in NASCAR history to win all three national series races - Sprint Cup [#18 M&M's Toyota], Nationwide [#18 Toyota] and Camping World Truck Series [#51 Toyota] - in the same weekend when he competes in the Dickies 500, O'Reilly Challenge and WinStar World Casino 350k, respectively, at Texas Motor Speedway. In Sprint Cup competition, Busch has three top-six finishes and 207 laps led in his last four TMS starts, including a best of third in the 2008 Samsung 500. In Nationwide action, he has been a dominant force and will arrive having won three consecutive races. In the truck series, he still is seeking his first win, but has finished runner-up in three of his last four visits, the most recent being in this event last year. Busch nearly pulled off the triple earlier this season at California's Auto Club Speedway, winning Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series races in the same day and finishing second the following day in the Sprint Cup Series race. Busch has 59th career wins among NASCAR's top three divisions. Busch has won in all three of NASCAR's top divisions at six tracks: Auto Club Speedway, Phoenix, Bristol, Dover, Chicago and New Hampshire. Of the 30 tracks to host NASCAR's top three divisions in 2009, Busch has competed at each circuit at least once and has won at 22 of them. The eight venues where Busch has raced but not scored a victory are Martinsville, Pocono, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Homestead, Iowa, Milwaukee, Memphis (now closed) and Montreal.(many different PR's)(11-4-2009)
    RESULTS: Busch started the #51-Toyota 12th in the Camping World Truck Series race Friday night at Texas and won the race
    Busch started the #18-Toyota 6th in the Nationwide Series race Saturday afternoon at Texas and finished ?
    Busch starts 5th in the #18 M&M's Toyota at Texas on Sunday and finished ?.(11-7-2009)

  • Steve Addington looking at options: Steve Addington said he was "surprised" by the change that will put replace him as Kyle Busch's crew chief and plans to explore all options inside and outside of Joe Gibbs Racing. On Tuesday, JGR announced that Dave Rogers, who has worked in JGR's Nationwide Series program will take over as crew chief of the #18 following Sunday's race at Tallaadega Superspeedway. Is it possible that Addington will leave JGR for another Sprint Cup Series team? "That would be ironic," Addington said Friday morning at Talladega. "Yes, I'm going to look at everything." One of those options could be the #2 Penske Racing car of Kurt Busch, which is losing Pat Tryson to Michael Waltrip Racing after this season. #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. also could be in the market for a new crew chief, but Addington said he has yet to be contacted by anyone high up at Hendrick Motorsports.(ESPN.com)(10-30-2009)

  • New crew chief for Kyle Busch? UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing is looking at several things to improve the performance of #18-Kyle Busch's team in 2010, including the possibility of replacing crew chief Steve Addington. "There's not a lot we can say on it," team president J.D. Gibbs said before Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway. "We just want to evaluate on what makes us the best, how do we capitalize on the resources we have, personnel, technology? How do we utilize that? You look at everything. It's frustrating because we know ... we've had some good runs. We just should be better than that week in and week out." Busch failed to make the Chase for the first time since his rookie season in 2005. He has only one win over the last 21 races and nine finishes of 20th or worse after winning three of the first 10 races. He has only 11 top 10s on the season after registering 21 a year ago and 20 in 2007. "Rarely do you go from running OK to now all of a sudden you're out of the box," said Gibbs, reminding no decision has been made on Addington's future. "Tony [Stewart] when he missed the Chase [in 2006], he was coming on strong consistently at the end of the season." Asked if the performance of Busch and Addington over the final four races would determine whether they stay together, Gibbs said, "It probably has more to it than the next four weeks."(ESPN)(10-25-2009)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing announces that Dave Rogers will be assuming the duties as crew chief for the Sprint Cup Series #18 Toyota starting with the November 8 race at Texas Motor Speedway. Steve Addington, who has served as crew chief for the #18 team the previous five seasons will be reassigned to a position within JGR following this weekend's race at Talladega Superspeedway. Rogers is currently in his fourth season as crew chief on the #20 NASCAR Nationwide Series entry for JGR. He led the team to JGR's first Nationwide Series Owner's Championship in 2008 amassing nine victories, six poles, 16 top-five finishes and 26 top-10 finishes despite utilizing four different drivers over the course of the season. The team has captured another five wins thus far this season under Rogers' leadership. He first joined JGR in 1998 and spent six seasons from 1999 to 2004 working under Greg Zipadelli with the #20 team, including the team's 2002 Championship season.(JGR PR)(10-27-2009)

  • Gibbs has no plans to return to Redskins: Hall of Fame former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said Sunday he has no plans to return to the struggling team. Gibbs laughed when asked at Martinsville Speedway about rumors and Internet reports that he could return to the team as an adviser or even general manager. "That's what it is. Talk," the owner of three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams said. "Right here's where I'm GMing."(Associated Press)(10-25-2009)

  • New crew chief for Kyle Busch? Joe Gibbs Racing is looking at several things to improve the performance of #18-Kyle Busch's team in 2010, including the possibility of replacing crew chief Steve Addington. "There's not a lot we can say on it," team president J.D. Gibbs said before Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway. "We just want to evaluate on what makes us the best, how do we capitalize on the resources we have, personnel, technology? How do we utilize that? You look at everything. It's frustrating because we know ... we've had some good runs. We just should be better than that week in and week out." Busch failed to make the Chase for the first time since his rookie season in 2005. He has only one win over the last 21 races and nine finishes of 20th or worse after winning three of the first 10 races. He has only 11 top 10s on the season after registering 21 a year ago and 20 in 2007. "Rarely do you go from running OK to now all of a sudden you're out of the box," said Gibbs, reminding no decision has been made on Addington's future. "Tony [Stewart] when he missed the Chase [in 2006], he was coming on strong consistently at the end of the season." Asked if the performance of Busch and Addington over the final four races would determine whether they stay together, Gibbs said, "It probably has more to it than the next four weeks."(ESPN)(10-25-2009)

  • US F1 eager to let Kyle Busch take the wheel in 2011: US F1 sporting director Peter Windsor is so enamored with Kyle Busch, he keeps very informed on what the Sprint Cup driver is doing "on a daily basis almost." Windsor would like to eliminate "almost" in 2011. "If he wanted to drive for us in 2011, we'd certainly be keen on that," Windsor says. "I think there'll be a lot of speculation about that as time goes on. If I was Kyle, I'd be saying to myself, yeah, those guys all talk the talk, let's see what they do, let's see what the car's like. Let's see what the race shop is like. Fair enough. We're going to do a good job. I know when Kyle gets to see it, I'm pretty sure it'll get his pulse rate going." Busch already has shown some interest. Windsor says he met with the driver's business team after being approached about the team. Though he hasn't met Busch yet, Windsor is convinced the 58-time winner in NASCAR (16 victories in Cup, 28 in Nationwide, 14 in Camping World Trucks) has the talent to complete the difficult switch from stock cars to open wheel. "I've watched him a lot and have massive respect for him," Windsor says. "I know people who know him very well. I believe Kyle can win a world championship in Formula One. I think he's got exactly the right talent, the right approach. I'd love to see him in a Formula One car. If he wants to jump in our car next year for doing some demonstrations here in the States, he's very welcome to do that." Busch's contract with Joe Gibbs Racing won't expire until after next season, and there've been no indications he is planning to leave. But Busch, 24, did express interest in F1 when asked shortly after US F1's launch in February. "It's definitely something I wouldn't shoot down," the Las Vegas native said. "If I could win a championship (in NASCAR) in the next two or three years then I wouldn't mind going doing (F1) for a few years and coming back. I think I'd still be young enough that if I could win a championship by 25, go run Formula 1 for a few years and be back (in NASCAR) by 28." Windsor wants to make US F1 a destination for young American upstarts such as Busch by employing only American drivers. But when the team makes its March debut in Bahrain, Windsor says its two drivers probably will be foreign born.(USA Today)(10-22-2009)

  • Halloween scheme for the #18: Kyle Busch's #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota will sport a special paint scheme on his #18 M&M's Toyota this weekend at Martinsville Speedway showcasing M&M's Halloween Fun Packs since Halloween night is just around the corner. Of the 30 tracks that will host NASCAR's top three divisions in 2009, Busch has competed at 28 of them at least once and won at 22 of them. This weekend, he'll compete at two of the six venues where he has not been victorious. In addition to Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Martinsville, Busch will fly to Memphis Motorsports Park to compete in Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series race.(JGR), see images of the scheme on my #18 Team Schemes page(10-21-2009)

  • Drivers to appear on Raw: #18-Kyle Busch and #20-Joey Logano are scheduled to serve as special guest hosts of WWE's Raw in Buffalo, N.Y., this Monday night [10/26]. The show airs on the USA Network at 9:00pm/et.(WWE)(10-26-2009)

  • Hamlin subbing for Busch in Truck race: Denny Hamlin will take to the track in the #51 Miccosukee Resort/Graceway Pharmaceuticals Toyota Tundra at Martinsville Speedway Saturday, October 24, 2009 in the running of the Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Kyle "Rowdy" Busch, who has typically piloted the Billy Ballew Motorsports entry at companion races, will be at Memphis Motorsports Park with the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Busch leads the Nationwide Series Driver Points Championship. Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Denny Hamlin will step-in for Busch and pilot the Billy Ballew Motorsports NASCAR Camping World truck at Martinsville, Virginia track for the first time since the spring 2008 event. In his last appearance for Ballew in 2008, Hamlin led 64 laps but was caught-up in an on track incident causing rear end damage relegating him to a 21st-place finish. Hamlin has three career Camping World Truck Series starts at Martinsville, posting a best finish of eighth-place in 2006.(Billy Ballew Motorsports)(10-19-2009)

  • Kyle Busch Wins Winchester 400: Kyle Busch had chances to win the Winchester 400 on a couple of occasions before, finishing second in 2008, and running for the lead with only a few laps to go a few years ago only to have a wheel come off. The 2009 Winchester 400 trophy went home with him as he raced out to the lead and stayed there. Chris Gabehart took the early lead and ran out to a strong lead before Busch started to reel him in and took the lead on the 61st lap. From there Busch only gave up the lead once under green. Gabehart was a strong challenger until hitting debris and damaging a spindle. Jeff Fultz took the lead from Busch under green but his day ended when his transmission went out with 288 laps to go.(RCA)

  • Busch says pneumonia forced him out last week: #18-Kyle Busch said it was pneumonia that forced him to give way to a backup driver in last weekend's Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series races at California. But said he's strong enough that he won't need relief in either this weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "I'm still having side affects, still being on the medicine still throws your head for a little loop until you get out there for a few laps,'' Busch said after qualifying for Friday night's Nationwide race. "You just have to get reoriented and have a clean focus on it all. I never had to do it before in my life. It was pretty hard to do. It's something you don't ever want to have to do, but when you get in the car and get hot and your fever starts to rise and you get dizzy, it's just not safe being out there. I never got to that point of being dizzy, but I knew if I stayed in, I would.''(ESPN.com)(10-17-2009)

  • Busch still sick; replaced by Gilliland during race: #18-Kyle Busch is still sick today, apparently from the flu. Denny Hamlin will standy by in case he needs to step out of the car during the Nationwide race this afternoon. David Gilliland will stand by on Sunday for the Cup race.(10-10-2009)
    UPDATE: Busch will reportedly get out of the car at the first pit stop during the Nationwide race and let Hamlin take over.(10-10-2009)
    UPDATE 2: Hamlin relieved Busch during the first Nationwide race caution on lap 37. Busch said he was getting too hot in the car and wanted to try to get rid of his fever before Sunday's Cup race.(10-10-2009)
    UPDATE 3: SPEED reported on RaceDay that Kyle Busch is still not feeling well this morning.(10-11-2009)
    UPDATE 3: Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch is feeling worse Sunday morning and is not expected to drive the entire Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway in California, team president J.D. Gibbs said Sunday morning. David Gilliland will be his replacement. Gilliland is driving for TRG Motorsports but he is not expected to drive the complete race.(SceneDaily)(10-11-2009)
    UPDATE: 4: David Gilliland parked the #71 on lap 11 and went to the #18 pits. Kyle Busch came down pit road on lap 61, during the first caution, and was relived by Gilliland.(10-11-2009)

  • Mars releases 2010 Paint Schemes for #18; adds Doublemint: Mars, Incorporated announced its 2010 NASCAR paint scheme schedule for the #18 Toyota piloted by Kyle Busch in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, which includes the addition of Wrigley's Doublemint gum as another primary sponsor. Mars is also expanding its relationship with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) and COMBOS, shifting gears to sponsor Kyle Busch and the #18 Toyota in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with three paint schemes, replacing the single paint scheme in the 2009 Sprint Cup Series. Mars brands will serve as the primary sponsor of JGR's #18 Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for 30 points races in 2010, including 23 M&M'S races, three Pedigree races, two Snickers races and the two inaugural races for Wrigley's Doublemint gum. M&M'S will also be the primary sponsor of the #18 during the Bud Shootout and Sprint All-Star Race.(Mars PR), see images of the cars on the 2010 #18 Team Schemes page. Interstate Batteries will return and sponsor the car for six (6) races: Auto Club Speedway in February, Texas in April, New Hampshire in June, Daytona in July, Michigan in August and Dover in September (same races as 2009).(9-24-2009)

  • #18 car too low in post race inspection: UPDATE 2: #18-Kyle Busch, who missed making the Chase by just eight points, finished 5th in the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. But the left front of the #18 M&M's Toyota was too low in post-race inspection, and he could be penalized by NASCAR this week, usually announced on Tuesday afternoons.(ESPN/Associated Press)(9-20-2009)
    UPDATE: NASCAR has issued penalties to the #18 team that competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as a result of a rule infraction found last Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The #18 car was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-I (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-12.8 1B (the height of the car at the left front fender did not meet the required specification; too low in post-race inspection) of the 2009 NASCAR rule book. Crew chief Steve Addington has been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Driver Kyle Busch and car owner Joe Gibbs have been penalized 25 championship driver and 25 championship owner points, respectively.(NASCAR PR)(9-22-2009)
    UPDATE 2: A statement from Joe Gibbs Racing: "The situation was caused when the left front spring became dislodged. This resulted in the left front corner of the car to be lower and resulted in a change to the car's handling which had to be compensated for during the race. Consequently, the car measured low during post-race inspection. We accept NASCAR's ruling on the issue today."(JGR PR)(9-23-2009)

  • Kyle Busch has triple 'won' at six tracks: New Hampshire became the sixth track at which #18-Kyle Busch has won a Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck series race, and to appreciate that accomplishment consider this: Only 20 drivers in history have won even one race in each of NASCAR's three national series. Busch won the Truck Series race Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.(Concord Monitor), for the list of drivers who have won in all three series, see my All Time Wins page.(9-21-2009)

  • JGR hopes to re-sign Busch soon; no 4th team in 2010: Joe Gibbs Racing president J.D. Gibbs said "there's no timetable" on re-signing #18-Kyle Busch, but as far as he's concerned, "the sooner the better." Busch's contract expires after next year [2010]. Gibbs added the organization will not race four full-time cars in 2010. When it came to potential sponsorships, Gibbs said there was nothing JGR "felt was appropriate" to properly run a four-car operation. With the way driver contracts fall, 2011 will have a better pool of candidates, namely #9-Kasey Kahne and #29-Kevin Harvick. Gibbs admits that Kahne "is awesome" but indicated a package deal with Budweiser, given the family's religious convictions, "would be hard."(FoxSports)(9-13-2009)

  • Joe Gibbs Racing wins 75th Sprint Cup Series race: With the victory by #11-Denny Hamlin on his hometrack of Richmond International Raceway, Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) has now totaled 75 victories in NASCAR's elite racing series. Joe Gibbs Racing, founded by Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach Joe Gibbs in 1992, claimed its first victory on NASCAR's biggest stage when Dale Jarrett captured the checkered flag at the 1993 Daytona 500. Since then JGR has gone on to win 74 races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (previously Winston Cup Series). "We're proud to have earned our 75th victory today," said JGR President J.D. Gibbs. "We have been blessed with dedicated and talented employees as well as outstanding partners and sponsors. When you look back at our 75 victories you realize how fortunate we have been to have such talented drivers and crew chiefs, but the reality is it takes a lot of people working together to be successful in this sport," added Gibbs. "A big part of the credit belongs to the guys in the shop working long hours preparing our cars for the track and our crews that travel each week to put it all together. JGR's 75 wins have also helped the multi-car race team capture three NASCAR Cup Series Championships (2000, 2002, and 2005). The team record for wins in a season is 10, which has been done twice, both in 2008 (Kyle Busch 8, Denny Hamlin 1, and Tony Stewart 1) and in 2000 (Stewart 6, Bobby Labonte 4). JGR has seven victories thus far in 2009. In addition to the Cup Series, JGR has now captured 37 NASCAR Nationwide Series victories earning its first Owner's Championship in that series in 2008.
    The list of JGR's Cup victories by driver:
    Tony Stewart (#20).................. 33 Bobby Labonte (#18)............... 21 Kyle Busch (#18).................... 12 Denny Hamlin (#11).................. 6 Dale Jarrett (#18)...................... 2 Joey Logano (#20).................... 1 Total JGR NASCAR Cup Wins.. 75.(JGR)(9-13-2009)

  • Kyle Busch donates Guitars: #18-Kyle Busch and the Kyle Busch Foundation has donated $30,000 to the National Alliance for Public Education toward the purchase of 150 guitars to be donated to several Nashville schools, apparently as atonement for smashing a classic Gibson guitar in an embarrassing "rock star-style celebration" after a June Nationwide Series victory. But Busch refuses to put his mouth where his money is. He declines to apologize for the guitar-smashing incident that drew widespread criticism and added to his image as the brat-boy of racing. Nashville music producer Mike Curb who co-owns the Baker Curb Racing team, helped facilitate the Busch donation.(Racin' Today)(9-3-2009)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Bristol: #18-Kyle Busch won the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway for his 4th win of 2009, 16th of his career, and was the first driver to sweep both Bristol Sprint Cup races since his brother Kurt did it in 2003. #5-Martin finished 2nd after giving Busch a run for the win followed by #47-Ambrose [best ever oval track result], #16-Biffle, #11-Hamlin, #39-Newman, #2-Busch, #48-Johnson, #88-Earnhardt Jr. and #17-Kenseth. #48-Johnson was leading late in the race but had a lug nut problem and had to make a 2nd pit stop but was able to recover with an 8th. Points leader #14-Stewart finished 33rd after having all kinds of problem with the radio and some sort of electrical issues, dropping his points lead to 220 points over now 2nd place, #48-Johnson. Busch is now 39 points out of the Chase and the 12th spot with two races to go before the chase, #17-Kenseth is now 12th even thou he finished 10th. There were 11 cautions for 76 caution laps, an 10 minute red flag for a late wreck on lap 492 and there were only 12 lead changes among 5 drivers.
    The Sprint Cup Series takes off a week before racing at Atlanta on Septmber 6h - Labor Day weekend.
    Scheduled Bristol Race Re-Airs: ESPN2: Sunday, August 23 at 3:00am/et; ESPN Classic: Sunday, August 23 at 1:00pm/et; SPEED, Wednesday, August 26 at 12:00pm/et.
    For race results, awards and more, see my Bristol Race Results Page.
    For drivers and owners points standings, see the Drivers Points Standings page.(8-22-2009)

  • Driver wins before age 25: With #18-Kyle Busch winning his 16th career Sprint Cup race, he is now holds the recrod for the most wins under the age of 25 with 16 wins. Busch has 22 more points races to add to that toal before he turns 25 May 2, 2010. The list of dirvers under the age of 25 who have won races:
    1. Kyle Busch, 16
    2. Jeff Gordon, 15
    3. Kurt Busch, 7
    (tie) Richard Petty, 7
    5. Junior Johnson, 5
    Tied with one each: Joey Logano, Bob Burdick. Bobby Hillin Jr.; Parnelli Jones; John Kieper; Terry Labonte, Ryan Newman, Bill Rexford; Fireball Roberts; Donald Thomas; Brian Vickers.(8-23-2009)

  • Vickers: Busch out of strikes: #83-Brian Vickers says #18-Kyle Busch is "out of strikes" when it comes to how they race each other. On Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway, Vickers was expecting to discuss Sunday's win at Michigan and his new contract with Red Bull Racing. Instead, he was peppered with questions about an argument with Busch following the Nationwide Race. Vickers says "I'm just done," with Busch, and "he's out of rope." The two were once teammates at Hendrick Motorsports, but have since joined new teams. They argued at the end of last Saturday's event when they raced each other so hard that Brad Keselowski was able to scoot past on the final lap to steal the Nationwide win.(Associated Press)(8-21-2009)

  • Congrats to Joe Gibbs Racing's Jeff Price and wife Lisa on the birth of their son Preston Garrett Price, August 7th , 7 lb, 15 oz, 18 1/2 inches long.(8-7-2009)

  • No full time Nationwide Series for Kyle Busch in 2010: Kyle Busch joined members of the media on Tuesday night, Aug. 4, 2009 for dinner in Dover. During an interivew he was asked about Nationwide plans for next season. "The plan was last year when we were winning all the Nationwide races and running really well. The plan was initially to go full season and then I felt like our Cup stuff sort of stalled. We cut it back. I didn't go to Milwaukee. I didn't go to Nashville, and I didn't go to a couple others...We thought about it and how our cars are really good and Joe and J.D. (Gibbs) said man wouldn't it be cool to have a Nationwide championship solely JGR owner and driver points, and so I said I want to do it. I want to win a Nationwide championship. Anybody would so our cars have been strong enough and that's why we have done it. We won six races this year. It's been good and maybe it's taken a little bit away from the Cup effort. I don't think it has but were already talking about next year and cutting it back and getting our Cup efforts back up to where they need to be. Hopefully we can get it down to about 22 or 24 Nationwide Series races, just companion stuff not flying all over the place."(Dover Speedway PR)(8-5-2009)

  • Mars Real Chocolate Relief Act: The Mars Real Chocolate Relief Act logo will appear on Kyle Busch's #18 M&M's Toyota for Sunday's Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway. Mars Chocolate, made with real 100% cocoa butter, is giving away free chocolate each Friday throughout the summer. Fans can visit realchocolate.com to get their free Mars chocolate.(M&M's Racing), see images of the logo on my #18 Team Schemes page.(7-31-2009)

  • Kyle Busch - Track Facts: Of the 30 race tracks that will host NASCAR's top three divisions in 2009, Busch has competed at 28 of them at least once, and with his win at Gateway two weeks ago, he has now won at 22 of them. The two tracks where he has not competed in the top-three series are Iowa Speedway in Newton (where he will compete this weekend in the Nationwide Series) and Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, where he will race next month in the Nationwide Series. The six venues where Busch has raced but not scored a victory are Martinsville, Pocono, Indianapolis, Homestead-Miami, The Milwaukee Mile and Memphis Motorsports Park. Busch notched his best Sprint Cup finish at Pocono in June 2005 when he finished fourth in his second start at the 2.5-mile triangle.(M&M's Racing)(7-30-2009)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Anderson Speedway: Racing in his fourth race in four days, Kyle Busch started sixth in the CRA Super Series event and worked his way through traffic to take the lead on the 50th lap of the Redbud 300, his first ever race at Anderson Speedway (IN), then held it until the half way break. After the restart Eddie Hoffman inherited the lead as he only took 2 tires. Busch restarted in fifth and retook the lead on lap 190 and stayed to win going away. Rick Turner prevailed in the fierce fight for second, with Aaron Pierce third, Johnny VanDoorn fourth and Chuck Barnes, Jr. fifth.(craracing.net)(7-30-2009)

  • Ganassi to Gibbs? UPDATE denied: The latest rumor is that Chip Ganassi somehow will merge his Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing team [Chevy's w/#1-Truex Jr. (leaves end of 2009) and #42-Montoya] with Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota's w/#18-Busch, #11-Hamlin, #20-Logano], possibly eliminating another owner.(SPEEDtv/Jimmy Spencer)(7-23-2009)

  • UPDATE: Don't believe the latest that has Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates partnering with Joe Gibbs Racing, making Juan Pablo Montoya JGR's fourth driver with Target as the sponsor. Not that there hasn't been some conversation looking at that as a possible marriage. There are conversations between almost every organization about almost everything these days. But this one hasn't been talked about enough to warrant it as a substantial rumor. It likely never will be. Ganassi is under the umbrella of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with its partnership with DEI, and he's happy with that relationship. "We have an affiliation now," he said Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "We have an affiliation with Earnhardt with EGR [and] with Childress [Richard Childress Racing]. I'm very happy with that. Knock on wood. We've had no issues. The idea of what we put together at the end of the season last year, it's been mission accomplished."(ESPN Insider)(7-25-2009)

  • Snickers colors returns for Busch: Kyle Busch's #18 Toyota will sport a special "Bar Hunger" Snickers paint scheme in the Allstate 400 at The Brickyard. Busch will also make a stop at Gleaner's Food Bank in Indianapolis to help raise awareness for Feeding America. The Snickers brand is teaming up with Feeding America to "Bar Hunger" - a campaign to help the one in eight Americans struggling with hunger. As part of "Bar Hunger," Snickers will donate the equivalent of at least 3 million meals to Feeding America in 2009. The brand will educate and inspire Americans to help through special branding and educational verbiage on its Snickers packaging, dedicated national advertising, its Facebook page located at www.facebook.com/snickers, as well as a series of events throughout the year. Snickers brand also introduced a new language this spring called "Snacklish," which uses its iconic logo and brand essence to communicate the right thing, in the right time and place, to the right people. The Snacklish language will continue to reach the American public through a unique advertising campaign called "Snickers Speak." Busch and his team are hoping that the Snickers colors adorning the #18 Toyota this weekend bring as much good luck as it did in its first start in 2009, and in 2008 as well. Busch drove his #18 Snickers Toyota to victory at Atlanta in March 2008. In the most recent start for Snickers, Busch brought home a win at Bristol Motor Speedway this past March.(Snickers Racing/JGR) See the Snickers scheme on my #18 Team Scheme page.(7-23-2009)

  • Busch says Stewart dumped him at Daytona: All is not forgiven in the eyes of #18-Kyle Busch. Busch said he felt he was "dumped" by #14-Tony Stewart Saturday night at Daytona when the two cars collided as the drivers headed to the finish line of the Coke Zero 400. Busch didn't directly criticize Stewart at first, but found a way to make his point when asked what NASCAR should do about last-lap crashes at Daytona and Talladega. "NASCAR can take steps to look at it," Busch said. "If the second-place driver dumps the leader, then black flag his ass. He doesn't get the win. If he's up along side the leader and dumps him, give the third-place car the victory." Busch then was asked if he considered the bump with Stewart "a dump." "Yes, it would be considered a dump," he said.(ESPN.com)(7-9-2009)

  • Busch takes IV after Grand-Am race: Kyle Busch has received intravenous fluids following a 70-minute driving stint in the Grand-Am race at Daytona International Speedway. Busch was co-driving with fellow NASCAR driver Scott Speed in the Saturday afternoon race in a car owned by Chip Ganassi. He drove the first stint and headed directly to the care center after turning the car over to Speed. Busch received an IV there as a precautionary measure, then headed back to his motorhome to rest before Saturday night's 400-mile Sprint Cup Series race. He's the defending race winner of NASCAR's Coke Zero 400. He and Speed finished 10th in the Grand-Am race.(Associated Press)(7-4-2009)

  • Kyle Busch apologizes for causing at NHMS: #18-Kyle Busch finished 7th in the rain shortened Lenox Industrial Tools 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on Suday. Busch's Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, rookie #20-Joey Logano, won the race by gambling on fuel as the rain approached. Busch survived 11 cautions for 47 laps in the rain-shortened event, including a multi-car accident on a lap 174 restart that began when #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., spun his tires and Busch, #42-Juan Pablo Montoya and 31-Martin Truex Jr., made contact at the end of the frontstretch. "I have to apologize to all those guys," Busch said. "We got bottled up there in turn one - especially Martin and Jeff Burton and those guys. I meant nothing of that. The 88 (Earnhardt) spun his tires on the restart, I went to choose a lane, went to the middle, and the 42 (Montoya) and I got together a little bit. That pinched me with the 1 (Truex, Jr.) and I spun the 1 out and it was just mayhem from there. I hate it for all those guys because I know they've got 'Chase' contentions too. We were just battling for every spot out there today. Restarts are hectic, man. Everybody is fighting for every inch that's out there because it's so hard to pass with these cars. If you can get it done right now, then you can kind of single-file out for a while and then you don't have to worry about much. The sooner you can get everything done - the quicker, the better, the more you're by yourself."(JGR)(6-29-2009)

  • 4th Gibbs team? Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs is still open to the idea of four Sprint Cup teams if the sponsorship can be found for 2010 by the end of the summer. "We can still plug in a fourth team," Gibbs said Sunday at Infineon Raceway. "The problem is from an economy standpoint. You can probably get a few [sponsors] to mix and match, but we don't have a full fourth ready to go from a sponsor standpoint. We're in no hurry. If we have to wait a year, that's fine. You have got to have the right driver, the right core group and the right sponsor. But if that happened, we could do it pretty quick. I wouldn't cross it off for next year but at the same time we're not going to force it." When asked if that fourth car could be Indy Racing League star Danica Patrick, Gibbs laughed. JGR uses IMG to help it find sponsors and Danica is represented by IMG. "I don't know what she wants to do," Gibbs said. "Does she want to still run what she's running and dip her toe in the water, does she want to do the whole thing? ... I think it would be great for the sport wherever she goes. I don't think she would want to be part of a [new] fourth team [here]." In addition to a fourth team, JGR also could become a vendor for other teams. JGR did not have a successful affiliate/vendor program with Hall of Fame Racing from 2006-2008, and Gibbs said if JGR did it in the future, it would be a closer relationship. Gibbs said the team management would have to decide whether such an arrangement would be simply for profit or help the organization run better. He also thinks that adding a fourth team would be more of a priority.(SceneDaily)(6-22-2009)

  • Kyle Busch & Scott Speed to drive for Ganassi in Rolex event at Daytona: Chip Ganassi Racing will field a second entry for Sprint Cup Series drivers Kyle Busch and Scott Speed in the Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway on July 4. The race will take the green flag at 2 p.m. ET, and will be televised live on SPEED in advance of that evening's Sprint Cup race. The duo will make their Grand-Am Rolex Series debut piloting the #02 Lexus Riley alongside defending Grand-Am series champions Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas in the #01 Lexus Riley.(Chip Ganassi Racing PR)(6-15-2009)

  • Dale Jr. respondes about Busch's dig: from a Team Chevy Driver Press conference transcript with #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.:
    ARE YOU SURPRISED ABOUT KYLE BUSCH'S COMMENTS EARLIER TODAY ABOUT YOUR CREW CHIEF SITUATION?: "Not really, that doesn't really surprise me what Kyle (Busch) says. He's always had a chip on his shoulder for me. I expect anytime he gets an opportunity to throw a jab in there he's going to do it. That's just his personality. We're working toward trying to figure out how we can make our deal work and that has nothing to do with Kyle (Busch). We'll see how this weekend goes and then move forward next week."(Chevy Racing)(5-30-2009)

  • Sour Grapes? Kyle Busch takes dig at Dale Jr.: #18-Kyle Busch said it point-blank: "It's never Junior; it's always the crew chief." Busch fired that opening volley of driver reaction Friday morning to Hendrick Motorsports' dismissal of Tony Eury Jr. as #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s crew chief on Thursday. Asked about Eury's replacement, Lance McGrew, with whom Busch worked in the Nationwide Series at Hendrick in 2004, Busch expressed pity for McGrew. "He's got his hands full, I guess, having to deal with what's going on," Busch said. "And if Junior doesn't run well, then he [McGrew] is going to be the 'problem' again." Still, Busch said he understood the move to bolster the driver who replaced him at Hendrick last season, both because of Earnhardt's star power and Busch's salary issues. "You've got to make the most popular driver in the sport competitive, so you gotta do what you gotta do, I guess," Busch said.(ESPN)(5-29-2009)

  • Kyle Busch first visiting Cup driver to win at Iowa: Kyle Busch accomplished on Sunday what previous visiting NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers could not do - win the NASCAR Camping World Series East-West combination race at Iowa Speedway. While Kevin Harvick had to settle for second place in 2007 and Kasey Kahne came away as the runner-up in 2008, Busch took the first-place trophy in the Long John Silver's 200. Busch, fresh from competing in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte Saturday night, made the most of a Sunday morning practice session at Iowa to fine tune the set up of his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. He went on to capture the Coors Light Pole Award and dominate the race - leading 168 of the 200 laps. With Sunday's victory, Busch locked up a secure starting spot in the postseason NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown. While Busch was heading to victory, defending race winner Brian Ickler and David Mayhew waged a fierce door-to-door battle in the closing laps. Ickler prevailed to take second place, with Mayhew finishing a close third. Jeffrey Earnhardt passed Paulie Harraka in the closing laps to grab fourth.(NASCAR Local)(5-18-2009)

  • Transformers scheme for Kyle Busch UPDATE: Kyle Busch is scheduled to drive the #18 M&M Transformers 2 Special paint scheme at the Infineon Raceway on June 21, 2009.(1-22-2009)
    UPDATE: Kyle Busch's #18 M&M'S car in the Sprint Cup Series will sport a special "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen"-themed paint scheme during the June 21, 2009, race at Infineon Raceway, where Busch took the checkered flag last year. The special paint scheme features movie title decals on the hood, trunk and TV panel and the M&M'S® Brand "Red," "Green" and "Yellow" characters modified into "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" characters.(BusinessWire), see an image of the scheme on my #18 Team Schemes page.(5-12-2009)

  • Busch, Ard visit at Darlington: #18-Kyle Busch got to visit with a fellow Nationwide Series record holder Saturday at Darlington Raceway. And Jo Ard finally got to tell the NASCAR star how much he's meant to her husband of 48 years, former Natiowide driver Sam Ard. "Thank you so much," Jo said, hugging Busch when the Ards met him by his motorhome before the Southern 500. After Busch tied Ard's 1983 series mark with 10 victories in a season last November, the 24-year-old Sprint Cup driver donated $100,000 to help the struggling Ard and his family. The 69-year-old Ard has Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. He sat quietly in his wheelchair for most of the 15-minute visit. "Hospital bills were eating us up. You can't believe how much he's helped us," said Jo, standing alongside her husbands' wheelchair. She said the family was able to make their bathroom handicap accessible for Sam. Busch, who had only met Ard briefly, was pleased to share some a few more moments with a pioneer of NASCAR's second-tier series. "He's been great for the sport, done a lot for the sport winning races and championships and stuff," Busch said. "It was nice to meet him and talk him a little bit. Of course, he's not so talkative, but that's to be understood." Other racers have stepped forward to help Ard, who did not race after suffering severe head trauma in a 1984 accident at North Carolina Speedway. Kevin Harvick donated a 2007 Chevrolet van to Ard's family last fall after Jo's car died earlier in 2008. Then the NASCAR Foundation and Motor Racing Outreach teamed for an online auction to benefit the Sam Ard Fund. Busch invited the Ards to the Southern 500 drivers' meeting where he received applause from the NASCAR racers.(Associated Press)(5-10-2009)

  • Busch wants 200 wins: With his Nationwide Series win at Richmond thrown into the tally, #18-Kyle Busch has 50 wins across NASCAR's top three divisions including the Cup and Truck series. When he was reeling off victories at a record pace last season, Busch said that 200 in his career was his goal. But even he knows despite flying high now that might be a lofty expectation. "It could if I can keep this pace up," he smiled. "But I know the older I get I'll start slowing down some way. You know, hopefully I can achieve that goal. It would be sure nice to get that. I know it's not 200 Cup victories like Richard Petty has. It will still be a phenomenal mark for me. I don't know how long I'll be in the Truck Series or Nationwide Series, but hopefully for as long as [owner] Joe [Gibbs] will let me in the Truck Series, and as long as there's a Nationwide car at Joe Gibbs that we can run, I'll be there running races and fulfilling some duties and deals there."(CBS Sports)(5-4-2009)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Richmond: #18-Kyle Busch won the Crown Royal Presents The Russ Friedman 400 at Richmond International Raceway for his 3rd win of 2009 and the 15th of his career. With the win on his 24th birthday, he is the youngest driver ever to reach 15 Cup wins. He also won the Nationwide Series race Friday night, making it is his second weekend sweep (he did it last year in Chicago). #14-Tony Stewart finished second, followed by #31-Burton, #39-Newman, #5-Martin, #77-Hornish, #26-McMurray, #24-Gordon, #07-Mears, and #42-Montoya. #88-Earnhard Jr. finished 27th. #48-Johnson battled brake problems all night and finished 36th. There were 15 cautions (which ties the record at Richmond) for 79 laps and 21 lead changes among 8 leaders.
    For race results, awards and more on the Richmond Race Results Page.
    For drivers and owners points standings, see the Drivers/Owners Points Standings.(5-2-2009)

  • Combos colors for the #18 at RIR: The Combos colors will adorn the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Kyle Busch this weekend ay Richmond for the first and only time in 2009. The orange Combo's scheme turned out to be good luck in its only appearance for Busch in 2008, where he won the June event at Dover. Combos is giving guys the chance to upgrade their favorite manly hangouts with the Combos "Ultimate Man Zone Sweepstakes." The Combo's Man Zone will be on hand in the fan midway this weekend at Richmond.(JGR PR), see an image of the scheme on my #18 Team Schemes page.(5-1-2009)

  • Kyle Busch wins Hamlin charity event: Denny Hamlin spent much of last night chasing after Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch at Southside Speedway. Busch, assuming the lead on Lap 11 when pole-sitter Chris Dodson suffered mechanical failure, led the final 165 laps to win this charity event for the second year in a row. And while Hamlin couldn't pull ahead of Busch, his foundation may have finished ahead of expectations during his Short Track Showdown, which benefits the Denny Hamlin Foundation. "It was a great night, and we doubled what we did last year," Hamlin said. "It shows what great fans there are here." Hamlin may have exceeded his goal of raising $100,000 -- twice as much as the foundation earned in the inaugural showdown last year. The foundation received 100 percent of the gate receipts. Hamlin highlighted an all-star charity event that included JGR Sprint Cup rookie Joey Logano, two-time Cup champion Tony Stewart and 1983 Cup champion Bobby Allison, who served as grand marshal. (Richmond Times Dispatch)(5-1-2009)

  • Pedigree colors make 2009 debut for Busch: Pedigree will make its first of three appearances as primary sponsor of Kyle Busch's #18 Toyota at Talladega this weekend. The other events at which the Mars Pedigree brand will adorn the #18 this season will be at Atlanta Motor Speedway in September and Phoenix International Raceway in November. The first Pedigree paint scheme of 2009 kicks off the company's "NASCAR's Luckiest Dog" contest in which the winner of which will have his or her dog pictured on Busch's #18 Toyota at the Checker Auto Parts 500k at Phoenix in November.(M&M's Racing PR)(4-23-2009)

  • $10 Million, Just for Motor Oil: The most advanced piece of technology in a NASCAR vehicle these days isn't its engine, its suspension or anything made of carbon fiber. It's the motor oil. Joe Gibbs Racing has spent about $1 million a year over the past decade to perfect its motor oil. As a result, its engines have squeezed out an extra 10 horsepower, a roughly 2% increase that can be a serious advantage in NASCAR races.With NASCAR increasingly cracking down on the use of technology in the sport to cut costs, motor oil is one of the last places teams can innovate without restraint. Companies like Shell, Quaker State and Mobil also make special oils packed with synthetic lubricants, new polymers and experimental molecules for the teams they sponsor. All this has spawned a culture of secrecy. Shell was so worried about protecting its motor-oil formula that it recently refused to allow used race oil to be sold as a souvenir to NASCAR fans. The concern, a spokesman said, is that someone could "reverse engineer" the used oil to see what its properties are. Joe Gibbs Racing, one of NASCAR's richest and most-successful teams, won't say which company assembles its synthetic oil and will only identify the scientists who work on its formula as "William the chemist," who's in charge of formulating the oil, and "Douglas," who used to work for NASA and is in charge of analyzing the team's worn engine parts under a microscope. "I don't want other teams trying to find out who these guys are," says Lake Speed Jr., who runs the team's oil program.(Wall Street Journal)(4-13-2009)

  • #18 team to honor Labonte UPDATE & IMAGE: Kyle Busch's #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota will feature a special paint scheme for the Samsung 500 in honor of Corpus Christi, TX native Bobby Labonte, who will be inducted into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame on Wednesday. Labonte was behind the wheel of the #18 Interstate Batteries car for 10 years with team owner Joe Gibbs, which includes his 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup championship and 21 Sprint Cup career victories. Busch took over the #18 Toyota in 2008, which is sponsored by Interstate Batteries this weekend. The special paint scheme will be on display between 6-7 p.m. at the Speedway Club, with a photo opportunity with Busch, Labonte, CEO of Interstate Batteries Norm Miller and Speedway Motorsports, Inc. Chairman/CEO Bruton Smith at 6:30pm. #96-Bobby Labonte and SMI Chairman Bruton Smith, who brought NASCAR back to Texas with the construction of Texas Motor Speedway, will be inducted into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame on Wednesday, April 1 in The Speedway Club's Grand Ballroom at Texas Motor Speedway. Labonte and Smith will be available for media interviews between 6-7 p.m. and the dinner ceremony will begin at 7:30pm. Proceeds of the event will benefit Happy Hill Farm, an academy and home for at-risk children.(TMS PR)(4-1-2009)
    UPDATE and IMAGE: Kyle Busch will attempt to deliver something that has been high on the wish list for Interstate Batteries in their home state - a win at the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) in Fort Worth, located approximately 30 miles from Interstate's company headquarters in Dallas. Busch will look for that elusive Sprint Cup victory at TMS in Sunday's Samsung 500 Sprint Cup race. To add to the nostalgia of the coming weekend for Busch and the #18 team, their Toyota will sport the retro green and bright-red paint scheme that is similar to the one used on Labonte's car during his 2000 championship season. The scheme coincides with Labonte's induction into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame on Wednesday evening, a ceremony that Busch and Miller will attend. Busch will also sport a logo in honor of Labonte's induction on the rear decklid of his Interstate Batteries Toyota. While Interstate has gone to victory lane at 12 different racetracks in the last 17 years, including prestigious venues such as Daytona International Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Lowe's Motor Speedway, Interstate and its distributors and dealers desperately want to add Texas to that list.(True Commincations/JGR PR), see an image of the scheme amd tribute on the #18 Team Schemes page.(4-1-2009)

  • Allmendinger and Speed on USF1's short list, Busch not: Sources tell AutoRacingSport.com that NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers AJ Allmendinger and Scott Speed are 'definitely' on the short list of the newly formed USF1 Formula 1 team that's set to begin competition in 2010 while IndyCar star Danica Patrick and NASCAR Sprint Cup sensation 'Kyle Busch are not. Ken and Peter (Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor-USF1 team Principals) are really looking for open wheel experience, and Scott and AJ (Speed and Allmendinger) fit that bill quite well, with AJ being a winner in Champ Car and Scott having F1 experience.' our source informs us.(AutoRacingSport.com)(3-28-2009)

  • Trial continues for Johnson's agent:#48-Jimmie Johnson says it's business as usual with his agent, Alan Miller, even as Miller stands trial as a co-defendant with Helio Castroneves on federal tax evasion charges. "I've been in touch with Alan and asked him how things are going," Johnson said here Friday while the Castroneves trial continued in Miami. "He's given me some overviews that he feels very good about how things are going, and [he's] just waiting for everything to come together. His general impression has been positive about how things are going." #18-Kyle Busch dropped Miller as his agent in 2007, saying Miller's shopping him to other teams contributed to his being squeezed out at Hendrick Motorsports to make room for Dale Earnhardt Jr. But, "I like Alan Miller as a person," Busch said Friday. "He was a great guy to meet. His kid was always fun. His wife was great. So it's unfortunate he's in a little bit of a bind now." Busch added, though, that "I am fortunate that I changed representation [he's now with agent Jeff Dickerson of Motorsports Management Inc.]. It had nothing to do with Alan as a person. It was just his business ethic that I wasn't quite up on."(ESPN.com)(3-28-2009)

  • Odd race in DC with Kyle Busch UPDATE: The Smell My Face Beltway Race 2! Elliot of the Elliot In The Morning radio show in Washington DC announced a new EITM promotion, introducing The Smell My Face Beltway Race 2 with Flounder and #18-Kyle Busch. Flounder beat out Hélio Castroneves in the same race 3 years ago. This Thursday morning {March 26th], Flounder defends his title when he takes on NASCAR's Kyle Busch in a lap around the DC beltway. The first man back to the station wins the coveted Smell My Face Beltway Race trophy.(EITMfans)(3-25-2009)
    UPDATE: Flounder was victorious over Kyle Busch in The Smell My Face Beltway Race 2, giving him his second win in the race...more info, links and images at EITMfans.(3-26-2009)

  • Joe Gibbs Racing teams up with IMG: Joe Gibbs Racing is finalizing a broad-based relationship with IMG that will give the NASCAR team access to the agency's full range of sponsorship sales, measurement and activation capabilities. The agreement between JGR and IMG will not preclude the race team from working with other agencies and their clients, said JGR President J.D. Gibbs. It simply gives Gibbs Racing the ability to tap into IMG's resources, most notably the agency's return-on-investment tools. "You reach a point over the years that you either need to increase what you have in-house and make yourself a lot larger or you need to tap into someone else," said Gibbs, whose father, Joe founded the race team in 1992. JGR's front office includes five employees under Dean Noble, the team's vice president of business, and four under Dave Alpern, the vice president of marketing. Noble and Alpern will be JGR's day-to-day contacts with IMG. IMG will take a team approach that includes Tom Knox, who runs the motorsports-heavy Charlotte office, newly hired Mark Dyer and Jim Tucker, who previously has sold for NASCAR, the NFL and Gillett Evernham Motorsports. It's uncertain if IMG will eventually embed a salesperson in the Charlotte-based Gibbs Racing headquarters, as it did with the NHRA and typically does with its college clients. There is not an ownership stake for IMG, and IMG Sports and Entertainment President George Pyne has said ownership is not in IMG's plans. Neither side revealed details of the arrangement, but typically they involve a retainer fee and a percentage of sales. "This adds a lot of value to JGR," said Gibbs, who credited a lengthy relationship with Pyne for driving the deal. Pyne formerly was the chief operating officer at NASCAR, where he worked for 11 years. Gibbs said the decision wasn't driven by the current economic climate, but rather a need for JGR to better assist its sponsors. The more information the team can present to its sponsors, the smoother those renewal discussions typically go, he said.(Sports Business Journal)(3-23-2009)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Bristol: #18-Kyle Busch won the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, for his 2nd win of 2009, 14th of his career and the first time Busch has won twice at a track in Sprint Cup, he had won his 13 races at different track. The race ran three extra laps on a Green-White-Checkered after a late caution, Busch led 378 of 503 laps. #11-Hamlin finished 2nd, followed by #48-Johnson, #24-Gordon, #9-Kahne, #5-Martin (the pole sitter), #39-Newman, #31-Burton, #42-Montoya and #47-Ambrose. The top-35 in owners points didn't change much, no drivers / teams fell out. There were 9 cautions for 58 laps and 7 drivers led a lap with 13 lead changes. The race is scheduled to re-air on SPEED, Thursday, March 26th at 12:00pm/et.
    For race results, awards and more on the Bristol Race Results Page
    For drivers and owners points standings, see the Drivers/Owners Points Standings.(3-22-2009)

  • Snickers scheme returns for Kyle Busch: Kyle Busch and the Snickers team are hoping that the Snickers colors adorning the #18 Toyota for the first time in 2009 bring as much good luck as they did in 2008. Busch drove his #18 Snickers Toyota to victory at Atlanta in March 2008, beginning an incredible string of eight wins in the season's first 22 races. The Food City 500 will be the first of two Snickers paint schemes for the #18 Toyota in 2009, with the second race coming in July's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. While the Food City 500 will mark its first start of 2009, chassis #193 shined brightly for the #18 team in 2008. Busch never started farther back than 11th or finished worse than 13th with this car last season. And in its inaugural start, Busch drove it to victory in at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March 2008. Snickers Brand recently introduced a new language, called "Snacklish," that uses its iconic logo and brand essence to communicate the right thing, in the right time and place, to the right people. Beginning this month, the Snacklish language will attempt to reach the American public through a unique advertising campaign called "Snickers Speak." Ads currently running feature visual dramatizations of euphemisms, including legendary music icon Master P inviting viewers to "Get Some Bling With Master P-Nut," and basketball legend Patrick Ewing explaining how to "Get Dunked on by Patrick Chewing."(JGR/True Speed Communications PR), see an image of the car on the #18 Team Schemes page.(3-20-2009)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Las Vegas: #18-Kyle Busch won the Shelby 427 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for his 1st win of 2009 and 13th career win. Busch officially won from the pole, but started in the back before the green flag due to an engine change, but record books will show his starting position as 1st. Busch is the youngest driver to wein at Las Vegas, 23 years, 9 months, 29 days. #33-Bowyer finished 2nd followed by #31-Burton, #00-Reutimann [best career finish], #96-Labonte [first top 5 since Martinsville in Oct 2006], #24-Gordon [with a tire torn left front fender], #16-Biffle, #83-Vickers, #26-McMurray and #88-Earnhardt Jr. #17-Kenseth, who won the first two race to start the season, did not win a third in a row, blew an engine early finshed 43rd. #99-Edwards was 4th with 2 laps to go and lost the engine [the third Roush engine] and finished 17th. There were 16 lead changes among 12 drivers and 14 record caution flags for 66 record laps.
    See race results, awards, laps led, cautions, attendence and more on my Las Vegas Race Results page.
    See drivers and owners points standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Las Vegas page.(3-1-2009)

  • Kyle Busch - Best Man: Kyle Busch, the hometown boy, was a hero to a happy couple when he volunteered for an unusual extra assignment Friday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. NASCAR fans Damon and Heather Landry were getting married on one side of Victory Lane as Busch walked into the other side after winning the pole for the Shelby 427. Someone involved in the wedding told Busch that the couple didn't have a best man. "I'll be the best man," Busch said. Damon and Heather were thrilled. Busch, wearing his fire suit and cap, stood next to Damon during the ceremony, delaying the pole award presentation. Busch removed his hat and bowed, with his hands folded in front of him, when the chaplain started a prayer. When the ceremony ended, Busch saw that the newlyweds didn't have a wedding cake. So Busch gave the couple several bags of M&Ms (his sponsor) to nibble on during the celebration.(ESPN)(3-1-2009)

  • F1 possible in the future for Kyle Busch: #18-Kyle Busch said the timing isn't right for him to race in Formula One for the new F1 team based in Charlotte. Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor are partnering to form the team, which hopes to begin racing to start the 2010 season. Busch's name has been mentioned as a candidate to drive one of the cars for the new operation. "I have not been talked to yet, but I do toss the idea around," Busch said. "It's something I'd love to give a shot one day. It's not something I would shoot down, but I don't think it's the right time in my career to do something like that." Busch, who turns 24 on May 2, wants to win a Sprint Cup title before taking a shot at F1. He won eight Cup races last season and started the Chase in first-place before finishing 10th overall. "I want to get it done here first," Busch said. "If I could win a championship in the next two or three years, I wouldn't mind going over there and running Formula One a couple of years, then come back. I'd only be 28 or so. It was never on my radar screen as a kid, but racers want to race different things. I also wouldn't mind trying Indy car and running in the Indy 500."(ESPN)(2-28-2009)

  • Some NASCAR drivers linked with new US F1 team UPDATE: With the new prospective American team USF1 set to be announced officially on Tuesday [Live press conference on SPEED 12noon/et], attention is already turning to the possible occupants of the Charlotte-built race cockpits in 2010. Indycar star Danica Patrick has already played down her reported link with the outfit, but other notable American names have also been mentioned in various quarters of the racing world. #44-AJ Allmendinger's has been another name associated with USF1, but he said he is concentrating on his NASCAR foray even though he views a formula one opportunity as "intriguing". The motor sport writer for the Toronto Star claims #18-Kyle Busch should be "a shoo-in" for a USF1 seat, while the 26-year-old veteran of 28 grands prix #82-Scott Speed has also been linked with Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor's project, as have Conor Daly and Marco Andretti. Windsor is quoted by Britain's The Independent newspaper as clarifying that no decisions about details including engines and drivers have been made. "We have yet to speak to any drivers, but we are looking at every American with the right credentials, and Danica is definitely on the list," he said.( motorauthority.com)(2-24-2009)
    UPDATE: Kyle Busch's agent said the young NASCAR star would "certainly leave the door open" to try Formula One "at some point" after Busch's name was mentioned during a press conference announcing a new American-based F1 team. Officials with the USF1 team, which will be based out of Charlotte, said it would be interested in having Busch drive its car. Busch is under contract at Joe Gibbs Racing through the end of next season [2010]. "Obviously, it's very flattering for him to be mentioned for a Formula One ride, especially an American-based team," said Jeff Dickerson, Busch's agent. "Thanks to Toyota, he was excited at the prospect of getting to test a Formula One car this past offseason. While it didn't work out then, he would certainly leave the door open to try it out at some point. At the same time, he's currently focused on winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series championships for Joe Gibbs Racing." IndyCar Series drivers Danica Patrick and Marco Andretti were also among the drivers mentioned as possibilities by the USF1 team.(SceneDaily)(2-25-2009)

  • Kyle Busch could make history with Cup win: UPDATE: On Saturday, Kyle Busch became the first driver to win twice in the same day on two of NASCAR's top-three. He held the previous best same-day performance with a first in the Nationwide and second in the Sprint Cup Series races held at Daytona on July 7, 2007. This is just the third time a driver has won both a Camping World Truck Series and a Nationwide Series race in the same weekend (Greg Biffle at Phoenix in October 2001 and Kyle Busch at Phoenix in November 2007). There have been 31 NASCAR Sprint Cup-NASCAR Nationwide weekend sweeps. No driver has ever won all three races in the same weekend.(NASCAR Statistics)(2-22-2009)
    UPDATE: Busch finished the Auto Club 500 in third, so no driver has yet won all 3 races in a weekend.(2-23-2009)

  • Kyle Busch joins Gillette Young Guns: With the NASCAR season ready to roll, Gillette announced that Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Toyota will be the newest member to its star-studded Gillette Young Guns lineup, which includes Clint Bowyer, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne and Ryan Newman [Kyle replaces his brother Kurt]. During the off-season, Busch was welcomed to the Gillette Young Guns team when he participated in a two-day ad shoot to support the launch of the gaming-inspired Gillette Fusion Power Gamer, which features Fusion's 5-bladed shaving surface for unsurpassed comfort and a sleek new look. The spot, titled "Jumbotron," was created by BBDO NY, features all six Gillette Young Guns. Airing for the first time during the FOX telecast of the Daytona 500, "Jumbotron" follows the Gillette Young Guns as they attempt to sneak into the race track and play video games from atop a motorcoach.(Gillette Young Guns PR)(2-7-2009)

  • Kyle Busch wins at SpeedFest 2009: Under partially sunny skies, SpeedFest 2009, took place Sunday at Lanier National Speedway in Braselton, Georgia. Fans in the stands were treated to a 100-lap Georgia Asphalt Series (GAS) Pro Late Model event, followed by a 200-lap Champion Racing Association (CRA) Super Late Model event. While multiple drivers ran both races, it was Greg Simpson (PLM) and Kyle Busch (SLM) taking home the top honors. The Super Late Model 200-lap event saw a first half dominated by Casey Roderick. The Georgia racer tried to make his way back to the front after a four-car inversion at the midway break, but a mechanical failure forced him to the pits. Kyle Busch worked his way around then leader Shane Sieg after racing resumed during the second half, and held off Jason Hogan, Johanna Long, Scott Hantz and Michael Pope for the victory.(speed51.com)(1-26-2009)

  • Joe Gibbs flips opponent in match race: It may have been just for fun, but NASCAR team owner [#11,#18,#20] and Hall-of-Fame coach Joe Gibbs made good on his promise to refuse to lose in Friday night's Arena Racing match race at the Hampton Coliseum. Gibbs started second in the one-on-one 10-lap race against friend and longtime team sponsor Norm Miller, chairman of Interstate Batteries. Gibbs fell back slightly at first, then caught Miller and bumped him a few times to the delight of the crowd of an estimated 4,000 fans -- many wearing Washington Redskins gear. With about 2 laps remaining, Gibbs cut low in Turn 3 and smacked the left fender of Miller's car. Miller flipped. Gibbs drove by and crossed the finish line first. Miller was unhurt and jovial after the race. The Arena Racing half-scale stock cars compete on a 1/10-mile aluminum track, reaching speeds of up to 50 mph. The founder of Arena Racing USA is Richmonder Ricky Dennis, a former stock car racer and son of Bill Dennis, who was a NASCAR standout. Bill Dennis was 1970 Cup series Rookie of the Year.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(1-24-2009)

  • Gibbs to race sponsor: Arena Racing USA announced that Washington Redskins Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs will be appearing at the January 23rd Arena Racing event at the Hampton Coliseum. During his appearance, he will be racing Interstate Batteries Chairman, Norm Miller. They will be competing in two identical ArenaCars for bragging rights between them and possibly the first race of its kind with a top Sprint Cup Owner against his Sponsor.(Arena Racing) Joe Gibbs owns Joe Gibbs Racing and Norm Miller's company, Interstate Batteries sponsor's one of Gibb's driver, #18-Kyle Busch in six 2009 races.(1-16-2009)

  • Marc Davis to attempt some early NNS races, Cup later: Here they come already: the Davises. Driver Marc, 18, and his father, Harry, are doing it the old-fashioned way. They're fielding a family-owned, barely sponsored, one-car team, fighting the odds and the big money. Marc and Harry Davis hope to open some sponsorship wallets with a part-time, family-owned venture in 2009. Marc Davis will try to qualify for six Nationwide races in a row, beginning just after Daytona, this winter. He'll run two Toyotas his father has acquired. Then later this year they plan to enter a handful of Cup races. They're still friends with Joe Gibbs Racing, where Marc has been a developmental driver and maintains a relationship, and with Randy Moss Motorsports and Roush Racing -- all of whom tried to find major sponsorships to run Marc regularly in Nationwide or Trucks this season, but failed. But no more waiting. The Davises will do it themselves.(ESPN.com)(1-9-2009)

2008 News

    Special M&M's schemes [5 races] are scheduled to be run at the following races:
    Darlington [5/10] Indiana Jones
    Pocono [6/8] Most Colorful Fan in NASCAR
    Indianapolis [7/27] Red, White & Blue
    Charlotte [10/11] Susan G. Komen/Breast Cancer
    Atlanta [10/26] Halloween

    Snickers [2 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following races:
    Atlanta [3/9]
    Phoenix [4/12]

    Pedigree [3 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following races:
    Richmond [5/3]
    Bristol [8/23] - didn't run there
    Talladega [10/5]
    Phoenix [11/9]

    Combos [1 race] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following races:
    Dover [6/1]

    Interstate Batteries [6 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following races:
    California [2/24]
    Texas [4/6]
    New Hampshire [6/29]
    Daytona [7/5]
    Michigan [8/17]
    Dover [9/21]

  • M&M's re-ups with the #18 & NASCAR: Mars North America announced that it will extend its contract as official NASCAR partner, giving tens of millions of NASCAR fans even more to cheer about at track and in store. The multi-year sponsorship commitment allows multiple Mars brands to connect with racing fans and includes four designations:
    · Official Chocolate of NASCAR (M&M'S Brand)
    · Official Chocolate Bar of NASCAR (Snickers Brand)
    · Official Cheese-Filled Snack of NASCAR (Combos Brand)
    · Official Pet Food of NASCAR (Pedigree Brand)
    The multi-year partnership aligns Mars with its existing contracts with Joe Gibbs Racing, continuing a relationship that began in 2008. For 2009, Mars will continue to develop programs that build relationships directly with NASCAR fans, including continuing two of its popular programs that let fans share their passion for NASCAR to the world. Brand highlights include:
    · Now in its second year, M&M'S "The Most Colorful Fan of NASCAR Contest" will launch at the Daytona 500 and run for 24 weeks.
    · For dog lovers, the Pedigree brand will launch a new contest, Pedigree Brand presents the Luckiest Dog of NASCAR, beginning in late April when the first of three cars sponsored by the Pedigree brand races at Talladega Superspeedway. · Mars' Combos Brand will also leverage its NASCAR sponsorship with the new "Man Zone" on-pack promotion, visiting ten race tracks during the first half of the 2009 Sprint Cup Series season.
    · Snickers Brand will promote its sponsorship at retail stores nationwide.
    For more information about Mars' relationship with NASCAR, visit www.mms.com/us/racing.(PR)(12-27-2008)

  • Interstate Batteries returns for 2009: #18-Kyle Busch and Interstate Batteries are back for another season in the Sprint Cup Series. Busch is scheduled to run the scheme six times in 2009: California [Feb], Texas [Apr], NHMS [June], Daytona [July], Mischigan [Aug] and Dover [Sept]. See an image on my #18 Team Schemes page.(12-22-2008)

  • Kyle Busch named to 4th qtr Pocono Spirit Award: #18-Kyle Busch's generosity to a former driver prompted voters to name him the fourth-quarter recipient of the National Motorsports Press Association Pocono Spirit Award. Busch was recognized for donating $100,000 to Sam Ard and his family after tying Ard's single-season victory mark with his 10th win of the NASCAR Nationwide Series season, a win that came at Texas Motor Speedway. Ard, a two-time series champion, suffers from both Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, creating massive medical bills. "Sam Ard is one of the pioneers of this [series], and to be tied with at 10 wins is something that's pretty spectacular and really, really special to me,'' Busch said after the win. "I'm going to try to help him out and see what I can do. It's not much, but it's something that can try to help.'' The NMPA Pocono Spirit Award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Each year, quarterly winners are selected, and an overall winner is selected by a vote of the NMPA membership. The 2008 overall winner will be announced during the NMPA's annual convention and awards ceremony in January 2009. Also receiving votes were Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon and NASCAR. Sprint Cup driver Juan Pablo Montoya was the first-quarter winner. Longtime NASCAR photographer T. Taylor Warren was the second-quarter winner, and team owner Richard Childress claimed the third-quarter honor.(SceneDaily)(12-16-2008)

  • Most Colorful Fan of NASCAR named: In a sport filled with "colorful" fans, Deborah Gannon of Canton, Ga., claimed the title of the most colorful of them. Prior to the start of the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M'S Toyota, helped crown Gannon as the winner of "The Most Colorful Fan of NASCAR" contest. Created by M&M'S Racing, "The Most Colorful Fan of NASCAR" contest celebrates, recognizes and rewards all of the enthusiastic NASCAR fans throughout the country, regardless who they pull for at the track. From June 8-Oct. 11, 2008, NASCAR fans nationwide showcased their unmatched love for the sport by uploading their most colorful photos to NASCAR.COM. In the end, Gannon's photo stood out from the tens of thousands of entries. "I think the people that follow NASCAR are the best fans in the world, so this truly is a great honor," Gannon said. "Of course, the opportunity to see the season finale in Miami, as well as meet Kyle and coach [Joe] Gibbs ran a close second. It's an experience I will cherish forever." Gannon and four other finalists won the opportunity to travel to Homestead to watch the finale and find out who the contest winner was. As the grand prize winner, Gannon also will receive a designer watch, as well as a Richard Petty Driving Experience for her and a guest.(NASCAR.com)(11-22-2008)

  • Kyle Busch expected to run full 2009 NNS season: UPDATE: Kyle Busch likely will run for the Nationwide Series title next year, Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs said Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Missing five races during the 2008 season, Busch finished sixth in the standings, 671 points behind champion Clint Bowyer. Busch won 10 races. Gibbs said the team is close on sponsorship for the full season and if it can get it, then Busch would run the entire schedule - one that includes five weekends where the Nationwide and Sprint Cup series run in different cities. Most of the sponsorship for Busch will come from Z-Line Design, JGR Nationwide Series general manager Steve DeSouza said. Gibbs said the second JGR Nationwide car will feature mostly Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin. Logano's sponsorship is expected to come from GameStop for about 24 races, with Hamlin running the rest with a sponsor to be announced, DeSouza said.(Scene Daily)(11-15-2008) UPDATE: Kyle Busch is "99 percent" certain to run the full 35-race Nationwide schedule next year, Joe Gibbs Racing's vice president of Nationwide Series operations Steve de Souza said on Friday. Dave Rogers, the crew chief for JGR's owners' championship-winning #20 Toyota, said that he'd work another combination season, with Gibbs' Sprint Cup drivers Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano doing most of the races. He said Busch would run a full schedule in the #18 Camry with crew chief Jason Ratcliff.(NASCAR.com)(11-23-2008)

  • Kyle Busch to test F-1 car UPDATE 2: Kyle Busch will test a Formula One car with Toyota later this year in Japan. As teams get ready for Saturday's Sprint All-Star Challenge, Busch said Formula One is something that appeals to him, but not on the near horizon. "I'm planning on retiring at 30 and going Formula One racing," the 23-year-old Busch said at Lowe's Motor Speedway. He also reveled his plan to drive an F1 car for the first time at the end of this year when he goes to Japan to do NASCAR exhibition runs for Toyota. "We're working on a test session right now at the end of November, or the beginning of December, sometime going to Japan and doing a little exhibition, to see what it's like," he said. "We'll take a Cup car over there too and just run around there at either Twin-Ring or somewhere like that to show them what the Cup cars are like and try to get into a Formula One car too. We'll see how well I test first, we'll see if my neck can stand the g-forces of braking and everything. I wouldn't mind. If I can do it and if I'm good at it then I'll give it a shot and try it." However, Busch admitted however that the actual racing part of F1 appeals the least to him. "It seems as though the racing isn't all that great," he said. "They get stuck in line, the aero takes over everything and Toyota is not necessarily one of those companies at the moment that's like Ferrari or McLaren, or like Renault was a couple of years ago. I don't think it's only a driver that you put in the seat that's going to make it go, you know. You need a little bit more of a car."(CupScene)(5-16-2008)
    UPDATE - Hamlin heading to Japan: from a Joe Gibbs Racing PR: You'll be heading to Japan and Fuji Speedway for Toyota Motorsports Day during the off season - Are you looking forward to that trip?: Denny Hamlin - "I really am looking forward to it. Usually, when the end of the season rolls around I like nothing more than to go home, turn off my phone and do as little as possible but this is a once-in-a -lifetime opportunity. This is a huge event for Toyota, where they will showcase their Cup and F1 teams for all of their fans - it's a cool thing to be a part of and I'll get a chance to visit some new places and meet some new people."(JGR PR), Kyle Busch was supposed to go, but he has another commitment and has to attend the NASCAR Nationwide Banquet. Hamlin will not be driving a F-1 car but a Stock Car.(11-14-2008)
    UPDATE 2: Because he's required to be in Orlando next weekend for the Nationwide Series banquet, Kyle Busch won't get to test a Formula One car in Japan. Busch had been looking forward to a Toyota exhibition in which he was going to drive a Sprint Cup car and then an F1 car. NASCAR is requiring him to attend the banquet because he finished in the top 10 in points, and Busch isn't happy about it. "I have to go to the Nationwide banquet and accept my sixth-place awards instead," Busch said. "NASCAR took me away from the Formula One car."(Tampa Tribune)(11-16-2008)

  • Busch to give 100K to Ard UPDATE: 23-year-old Kyle Busch dedicated his latest [Nationwide Series] win to South Carolinian Sam Ard, a two-time Nationwide -then called the Busch Series -- champion suffering from Alzheimer's disease and in tough straits financially. "Sam Ard was one of the pioneers of the sport and this really means a lot to me," Busch said after his now-traditional victory bows to the crowd. "I got to thinking about it and I decided I'm going give him $100,000 to try to help him out."(Associated Press/ESPN)(11-2-2008)
    UPDATE: Sam Ard was unsettled late Saturday night, unable to sleep as he peppered his wife about things he couldn't remember. Were his parents still alive when he married Jo nearly 50 years ago? Were they doing a good job raising their children? "He asked me `What if I go back racing?' " Jo Ard said Monday. "I said `If you go back racing, I'm going to hand you divorce papers. Nobody is going to let you go racing.' " Ard's racing days are indeed long over. He's 69 years old and suffering from both Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. He's not permitted to drive anywhere anymore, and no one is exactly sure how much Ard understands about the latest push to help his crumbling finances and mounting medical bills. Kevin Harvick, a champion of Ard's plight, donated a 2007 Chevrolet van last month to Ard's family that solved the transportation woes that plagued the couple since Jo's car died five months ago. Then the NASCAR Foundation and Motor Racing Outreach teamed for an online auction to benefit the Sam Ard Fund. The largest gesture, though, came Saturday afternoon when Kyle Busch committed $100,000 to Ard moments after winning the Nationwide Series race. The win at Texas Motor Speedway tied Ard's mark of 10 series victories in a season. Ard didn't have a particularly long NASCAR career, but his three seasons netted him two championships in the second-tier series now sponsored by Nationwide. He never got rich from racing, and collected roughly 25% of the $378,765 he made in winnings before suffering severe head trauma in a 1984 accident. Unable to secure a consistent income after the accident, the Ards blew through their children's college funds to cover everyday expenses. Unlike every other major professional league, NASCAR does not provide a pension to its participants [as they are consdiered independent contractors not NASCAR employees] and has not been on the hook for Ard or any other former driver facing financial difficulties. The NASCAR community has occasionally stepped in to help, and a 2006 plea to their peers by Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. led to a significant donation to Ard's care fund. That gesture and Ard's fight were the centerpiece of a 2007 Associated Press examination of NASCAR's indifference toward financially supporting its veterans. When Busch pledged his assistance, Jo Ard said the 23-year-old racer had no idea the magnitude of his gesture. She said she'll use a chunk of the money to make their bathroom handicap accessible so Ard can use it alone. "Kyle doesn't know what he's done. He really, truly does not know what he's done to take the load and the pressure off of me," Jo Ard told The AP by telephone Monday. "We can do the bathroom. I can maybe get someone to come to the house and help me if I need them, because we're here day in and day out because Sammy can't be left alone. He falls. He can't drive. He'll tell you he feels fine, but every day is different."(see full AP story at ESPN.com)(11-4-2008)

  • NASCAR takes rear-end housing of #18: NASCAR officials opted to take the rear-end housing of the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup car driven by Kyle Busch to electronically check the measurements following Sunday's Pep Boys 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said. Tharp said that NASCAR does not anticipate there will be a problem with the car, but wanted to check it more closely at the Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C.(SceneDaily)(10-27-2008)
    UPDATE: A NASCAR spokesman says sanctioning body officials have found that the rear housing taken from the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driven by Kyle Busch following the Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway was within the rules. NASCAR took the rear housing to its research and development center in Concord, N.C., to be measured electronically and found it to be in compliance with the rules, according to the spokesman, so the team will not face any penalties.(Scene Daily)(10-30-2008)

  • Kyle Busch says what? joke? Last week on the Big D & Bubba Show show, #18-Kyle Busch talked a little NASCAR, discussing everything from the hatred of fans to a certain little physical altercation between Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards. Kyle had some interesting thoughts on that fight, saying that Harvick is "one of the biggest hotheads" in Sprint Cup, and Edwards is "probably on more juice than Barry Bonds." Jayski note: after listening to the interview on Monday, it sounded like Busch was joking and Big D & Bubba asked him briefly about it, Busch laughed and said "I said probably" and it was never brought up after that or later in the interview. I had not planned to post anything as it seemed to all be taken out of contest, but folks are asking about it, so see/hear more at the links on bigdandbubba.com.(10-23-2008)

  • Halloween colors for Kyle Busch at AMS: Kyle Busch's #18 M&M's Toyota will feature a special Halloween M&M's paint scheme in the Pep Boys 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in celebration of Halloween on Friday, Oct. 31, and to promote the M&M's Halloween Millions contest. Busch will participate in the NASCAR Foundation Track Walk Sunday morning in Atlanta and walk alongside the children of the Carrie Steele-Pitts Home orphanage located in Atlanta, a charity supported by the Kyle Busch Foundation (KBF). The children will stick around and cheer Busch on during the Pep Boys Auto 500, compliments of the NASCAR Foundation and Busch.(Elevation Group PR), see my #18 Team Schemes page for an image of the scheme.(10-23-2008)

  • Stremme beats Busch at Winschester: David Stremme won the 37th Annual Winchester 400 Sunday in Winchester, IN beating Kyle Busch.(CRA Racing)(10-13-2008)

  • Pink M&M's scheme for Busch at LMS: While M&M's will be on board as the primary sponsor this weekend in the Bank of America 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Kyle Busch's #18 Toyota will feature a pink paint scheme to help raise awareness for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation during Breast Cancer Awareness month.(JGR PR), see image of the scheme on my #18 Team Schemes page.(10-9-2008)

  • No answers for Busch's engine woes at Kansas: Jimmy Makar, senior vice president for Joe Gibbs Racing, says the team is unsure what caused #18-Kyle Busch's engine woes during last weekend. Busch reported that he was losing power but then things improved. Still, he finished 28th, his best finish in the first three races of the Chase. "I wish I could tell you,'' Makar said of what was wrong. "We've looked at the fuel system. We've run everything across the dyno. We've run it across the lab in the shop. We've actually taken everything and gone to Kentucky and tested with it [Thursday]. I haven't found anything. I think it was fuel related, but we can't find anything that says this is it. Whatever caused it is ... it came and went and we haven't been able to locate the problem. That's your worst nightmare, when you can't find a reason for your problem.''(Roanoke Times)(10-4-2008)

  • Mars Acquires Wrigley: In a move that ends more than a century of family control, shareholders of Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. approved the company's $23 billion sale to Mars Inc., which now becomes the world's largest candy maker. The deal, which bumps Britain's Cadbury PLC from the top candy-making slot, will offer gums such as Juicy Fruit and Big Red, M&Ms, Snickers and Skittles under the same corporate banner. Under Mars' ownership, the firm will be able to grow in new directions, Bill Wrigley Jr. said. Wrigley's is slated to take over control of Mars' non-chocolate candy, such as Starburst and Skittles.(csnews.com), no word on how or if it will effect the sponsorship of the #18 M&M's Toyota of Kyle Busch or the #42 Big Red/Juicy Fruit Dodge of Juan Pablo Montoya.(10-2-2008)

  • Last 2008 race for Interstate Batteries: The Camping World 400 at Dover International Speedway is the sixth and final 2008 event during which Dallas-based Interstate Batteries will serve as the primary sponsor of the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota that Kyle Busch will drive.(JGR PR), see images of the scheme on my #18 Team Schemes page.(9-18-2008)

  • Kyle Busch testing at Milwaukee: In preparation for the first race in the Chase at Loudon, NH this weekend, Sprint Cup Series point leader Kyle Busch is testing his #18 M&M's Toyota today, Monday, September 8 at The Milwaukee Mile. Grandstands are open today, free to public until 5:00 p.m. Enter Grandstand Gate 8, near center grandstand.(Milwaukee Mile PR)(9-8-2008)

  • Kyle Busch Tops Tony Schumacher In Battle of Top Guns at zMAX Dragway: Kyle Busch and Tony Schumacher, the top drivers this season from NASCAR and the NHRA, dueled Tuesday at zMAX Dragway @ Concord to promote the upcoming playoff events at Lowe's Motor Speedway. In the coming weeks, the legendary motorsports complex will become the world's first to host both the NHRA Countdown to One with the Sept. 11-14 NHRA Nationals and the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup with the Bank of America 500 on Oct. 11. Racing identically prepared Toyota Camry pace cars, Busch and Schumacher matched up for a best two-out-of-three on the concrete quarter-mile dragway. The only advice that the five-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Schumacher gave his opponent was, "Don't wait to leave on green." Apparently, that advice was more than enough, as "Rowdy" Busch beat "The Sarge" Schumacher off the line and onto victory to go up 1-0. Schumacher, ready for revenge, was a little too anxious at the start of the second race, red-lighting to give Busch the win by default. But a last minute amendment to the rules by Lowe's Motor Speedway President and General Manager Marcus Smith, gave the competitors one more race, winner take all. Busch used a .102-second reaction time to again beat Schumacher off the line and onto victory with the best pass of the day, a 14.544 elapsed time and top speed of 97.33 mph. Afterward, Busch celebrated by honking the horn and feigning a bow out the side of the car window. Despite the loss, Schumacher was all smiles, joking that after only three races, "I already don't like him."(LMS PR)(9-4-2008)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Milwaukee: Kyle Busch notched his name to the prestigious list of winners at the legendary Milwaukee Mile by driving to his first career victory at the facility Sunday afternoon in the "Wisconsin All Star 100 with Matt Kenseth" super late model race that co-headlined the Governor's Cup Weekend. Busch fielded his own super late model to race against Kenseth and the touring stars of the ASA Midwest Tour. Kenseth returned to his home state to defend his victory earned last August in a 50-lap super late model event. Fresh off his second place finish in the Sprint Cup Series race in Bristol, Tenn. the night before, Busch arrived at The Mile early Sunday morning ready to race. He set the pace in practice, beat Kenseth for quick time in the 39-car field and started 11th with the series-mandated inversion.(more at the Milwaukee Mile site)(8-26-2008)

  • Kyle Busch could be penalized: NASCAR officials will discuss on Monday if #18-Kyle Busch will be penalized for instigating an incident with winner #99-Carl Edwards on the cool-down lap of Saturday night's Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Busch, upset over contact from Edwards when he lost the lead with 30 laps remaining, rammed the right side of his car into the #99 as they came back towards the start/finish line after Edwards took the checkered flag for the sixth time this season. Edwards retaliated by spinning Busch out. NASCAR officials immediately summoned Busch to the hauler. Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition, said the situation will be further evaluated. There is precedence for a penalty. Tony Stewart was fined $10,000 and placed on probation for five months after ramming Jeff Gordon's car on pit road in retaliation for a last-lap incident in the 2001 Bristol race. Edwards was not summoned by NASCAR, but he was stopped near the NASCAR hauler by Joe Gibbs Racing president J.D. Gibbs to talk about the exchange with his driver. "He just explained to me that you reap what you sow, which I believe," Edwards said. "I explained to him that's why that happened that way. That's it. I have a lot of respect for him and the organization. They do a really good job and I really look up to them, so that's that." Busch did not talk to reporters following the meeting with NASCAR president Mike Helton, Pemberton and series director John Darby. JGR owner Joe Gibbs, also in the meeting with NASCAR, said only that "NASCAR is smart at what they do. They handle everything the right way."(ESPN.com)(8-24-2008)

  • JGR names Director of Corporate Communications: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) has named Chris Helein as its director of corporate communications, effective immediately. Helein spent the past two seasons in the NFL as vice president of public relations for the Washington Redskins, where in his second stint with the organization, he worked closely with former head coach and three-time Super Bowl winner Joe Gibbs. In his new position, Helein will lead all aspects of JGR's public relations efforts, which will include serving as the primary media liaison for JGR and working closely with each team's sponsor representatives. For the remainder of the 2008 racing season, Helein will work alongside Mike Arning and True Speed Communication, the firm that has handled JGR's corporate communications since 2003. Arning will continue his role as the at-track liaison for JGR and the #20 Home Depot team in the Sprint Cup Series through the season finale Nov. 16 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.(JGR PR)(8-23-2008)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Watkins Glen: #18-Kyle Busch won the Centurion Boats at The Glen at Watkins Glen International for his 8th win of 2008 and 12th of his career. #20-Stewart finished 2nd followed by #21-Ambrose [his best career finish in 3 races, after winning his first Nationwide race on Saturday], #42-Montoya, #1-Truex Jr., #29-Harvick, #48-Johnson, #11-Hamlin, #99-Edwards and #2-Busch. #88-Earnhardt Jr. finished 22nd after leading 33 laps, was leading when caution came out before he could pit and fell back. There was a 45 minute red flag for a big wreck involving 9 drivers/cars with 8 laps to go. There were 8 lead changes among 5 drivers and 4 cautions for 9 laps.
    For race results, awards and more, see my Watkins Glen Race Results Awards Page.(8-10-2008)
    Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Watkins Glen page.(8-10-2008)


  • Busch clinches top spot in Chase...if: #18-Kyle Busch's eight victories have clinched the Chase's "top seeding" because of the 80 bonus points those wins provide. Of course, to be top seed, he must first make the Chase - a virtual certainty if there ever was one. This weekend, Busch can become the first driver to clinch a Chase berth, by finishing 10th or better on Sunday at Michigan.(NASCAR)(8-12-2008)

  • Record books beware: #18-Kyle Busch, who won his eighth race of the season last Sunday at Watkins Glen, already became the first driver in NASCAR national series history to win three road course races in a single season. With six more wins, he'll also break the modern era record for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins of 13 (Richard Petty in 1975 and Jeff Gordon in 1998). Busch became the 18th driver with eight or more win in the first 22 races of a season - 13 of the previous 17 went on to win the series championship.(NASCAR)(8-12-2008)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Watkins Glen: #18-Kyle Busch won the Centurion Boats at The Glen at Watkins Glen International for his 8th win of 2008 and 12th of his career. #20-Stewart finished 2nd followed by #21-Ambrose [his best career finish in 3 races, after winning his first Nationwide race on Saturday], #42-Montoya, #1-Truex Jr., #29-Harvick, #48-Johnson, #11-Hamlin, #99-Edwards and #2-Busch. #88-Earnhardt Jr. finished 22nd after leading 33 laps, was leading when caution came out before he could pit and fell back. There was a 45 minute red flag for a big wreck involving 9 drivers/cars with 8 laps to go. There were 8 lead changes among 5 drivers and 4 cautions for 9 laps.
    For race results, awards and more, see my Watkins Glen Race Results Awards Page.(8-10-2008)

  • Kyle Busch wins second quarter driver of the year award: #18-Kyle Busch just keeps winning. The 23-year-old Sprint Cup star has won second-quarter voting for 2008 Driver of the Year, repeating his victory in the first-quarter balloting. Busch won a total of four races in NASCAR's top two series-three in Cup and one in Nationwide-during the quarter that ran from May 3 to June 29. He continues to lead the Cup point standings. In the second-quarter voting, Busch totaled 103 points as he took seven of 14 first-place votes and was listed on every ballot, with only one vote below second place. He handily beat Indianapolis 500 winner Scott Dixon, whose two IndyCar Series victories earned him five first-place votes and a total of 85 points. World of Outlaws star Donny Schatz, who drives for Tony Stewart Racing, had one first-place vote and was third in the voting with 48 points. The late Scott Kalitta, the Funny Car driver who died in a crash on June 21, got the other first-place vote.(Associated Press)(7-23-2008)

  • Busch, Kenseth come up short in ASA race at Iowa: All weekend long Tim Schendel was fast around the 7/8-mile Iowa Speedway as he was able to back up those fast times in practice and qualifying by taking the ASA Midwest Tour Rasmussen Group Twin 75's. Schendel took the checkered flag while Jonathan Eilen would hold off Matt Kenseth and Donny Reuvers for second. Kenseth, who was making his first visit Iowa Speedway, was pleased with his third place finish. Kyle Busch flew through the field after starting 11th and took over the top spot on lap 8. Busch would then dominate by pulling away from the rest of the field to the halfway break. At the start of the second half, Busch would lead the first four laps until he fell off the pace and retired with mechanical problems.(ASA Midwest Tour)(7-21-2008)

  • Kyle Busch testing Late Models this week: Kyle Busch will be shaking down his super late model stock car at The Milwaukee Mile on Wednesday, July 16. This short track car is what he'll be driving at The Mile on Sunday, August 24 in the "Wisconsin All-Star 100 With Matt Kenseth" race, one of four stock car races on The Mile's Governor's Cup weekend August 22-24. Grandstands on Wednesday will be open, free to public, enter Grandstand Gate 8. More details about Governor's Cup weekend at www.milwaukeemile.com.(Milwaukee Mile PR)(7-15-2008)
    AND: Kyle Busch plans to run a test session Thursday at the Iowa Speedway. Busch is running in Sunday's ASA late model series race in Newton. Fellow NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth also plans to run on Sunday. He is scheduled to test this weekend prior to the race. The Iowa Speedway plans to open the public viewing area for Busch's practice run.(KCCI.com)(7-15-2008)

  • Gibbs wants to keep team in the family: Joe Gibbs says he's not about to join the trend of offering ownership in his race team in order to retain drivers. Tony Stewart received 50% ownership in making the jump from Joe Gibbs Racing to Stewart Haas Racing. Drivers Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards (who re-signed with Roush Fenway Racing) and Ryan Newman (entertaining offers for 2009) say they've received offers that include a share of team ownership. But JGR is a family operation, and Gibbs, the family patriarch, says he plans to keep it that way. "We have eight grandchildren," Gibbs said. "I'm not worried about (sons) J.D. or Coy. But (the business) is going to be for the grandkids if I have anything to say about it."(USA Today)(7-14-2008)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Chicago: #18-Kyle Busch won the Lifelock 400 at Chicagoland Speedway for his 7th win of 2008 and the 11th of his career. He took the lead from #48-Jimmie Johnson coming to the white flag after a restart with 2 to go. #48-Johnson got loose coming to the checkerd flag but held on for second place. The rest of the top-10 were #29-Harvick, #16-Biffle, #20-Stewart, #83-Vickers, #17-Kenseth, #6-Ragan, #1-Truex, Jr. and #12-Newman. There were 9 cautions for 34 laps and their were 16 lead changes among 10 drivers.
    For race results, awards and more, see my Chicago Race Results Awards Page.
    Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Chicago page.(7-12-2008)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Daytona: #18-Kyle Busch won the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway for his 6th win of 2008 and the 10th of his career. The race ended with a green-white-checkered finish with #24-Gordon getting spun by #99-Edwards on the restart, no caution was thrown as Gordon was out of the way and was able to get going THEN just after the white flag was waved, there was a big wreck behind the leaders and the yellow came out with the video showing #18-Busch ahead of #99-Edwards. The rest of the top-10 were #17-Kenseth, #2-Busch, #6-Ragan, #7-Gordon, #9-Kahne, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #07-Bowyer and #8-Martin. NOTE: the results are under review and could change a bit. There were 11 cautions for 33 laps and their were 21 lead changes among 10 drivers.
    For race results, awards and more, see my Daytona Race Results Awards Page.
    Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Daytona page.(7-5-2008)

  • Gibbs to 4 teams in 2009? maybe: Will Joe and J. D. Gibbs have four Cup teams in 2009? It's looking good. "I wouldn't rule it out....but we're in no hurry," J. D. Gibbs says. "If everything lines up well, great. But if you don't have all the parts there, don't do it. "We've done this before. We've got the key guys already. So we'll sit down with Mark Cronquist (the team engine man) and Jimmy Makar (the team manager) and the guys and talk it over. And if the time is right, we'll do it. The driver is key, obviously. The crew, we'd be in good shape. The infrastructure is all there. But we won't do it until everyone signs off on it. Joey Logano? What I've seen is the guys who are really talented, they don't need much time. He's been on a track since he was six. And, like we've seen with Tony (Stewart) and Kyle (Busch) and Denny (Hamlin), those guys 'pop' right away. Joey fits that mold. Some guys do get better after a while. But usually if you don't come out of the box strong, it's hard to say 'he's going to get better down the road.'"
    And how about Juan Pablo Montoya? Is he a candidate for a Gibbs' ride? "We think the world of Juan...though I wouldn't ask Kyle that question this week," Gibbs said, laughing about the Busch-Montoya run-in at Loudon Sunday. "I don't know Juan's situation.... "But to the best of my understanding he's there (at Chip Ganassi's). So we're not going to look at that. We're actually talking more about 2010 (when Stewart's contract is up)."(Winston Salem Journal)(7-4-2008)

  • Montoya and Kyle Busch tangle: While trying to wreck #18-Kyle Busch on Sunday, #42-Juan Pablo Montoya managed to wreck himself in the process near the end of the Lenox Industrial Tools 301. And he did it during a caution. After a caution flag flew with 21 laps to go, Montoya ran into the right-rear fender of Busch's car. It caused Busch to spin and hit Montoya's car as Montoya was driving by. "We always give each other lots of room," Montoya said of Busch. "But he went wide like I wasn't there. Then I got beside him and he started banging me like he was trying to wreck me. I looked at him like, 'What are you doing?' " Montoya had no problem admitting he deliberately ran into Busch's car. "Yeah. I did what he did to me," Montoya said. "I don't appreciate people who race me like that. There's a fine line and he crossed it." Apparently, NASCAR officials felt the same was about Montoya's retaliation move. He was assessed a two-lap penalty for rough driving outside of race procedure. It dropped Montoya to 32nd in the finishing order. Busch finished 25th, but still leads the Cup standings by 64 points over #31-Jeff Burton. So what caused the altercation with Montoya? "I have no idea," Busch said. "I got a run on him earlier. I didn't turn down into him. He ran me up the race track. The caution came out and he thought he had to beat me. I touched his door and he spun me out. I don't know what his beef is."(ESPN.com)(6-30-2008)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Infineon: #18-Kyle Busch won the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway for his 5th win of 2008 and the 9th of his career. He came from the 30th spot at the start and led 78 of the 110 laps. #38-Gilliland finished 2nd [his career best finish], followed by #24-Gordon, #07-Bowyer, #5-Mears, #42-Montoya, #12-Newman, #17-Kenseth, #99-Edwards, and #20-Stewart. There were 6 cautions for 14 laps and their were 6 lead changes among 6 drivers.
    For race results, awards and more, see my Infineon Race Results Awards Page.
    Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Infineon page. (6-22-2008)

  • Busch gives up full time Nationwide run: #18-Kyle Busch said on TNT's pre-race show he won't race a Nationwide car next weekend in Milwaukee. The Cup series is in Sonoma, Calif., and getting back and forth is taxing on drivers. Busch also mentioned he won't compete in the Nationwide event at Memphis, which is the same October weekend the Cup series is in Atlanta. Busch said he's cutting back his schedule slightly because he's too far back to win the Nationwide title, so there's no need to make such trips.(Roanoke Times)(6-16-2008)

  • Logano could run some Sprint Cup races late this season: Joey Logano, who in only his third Nationwide Series start won on Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway, likely will compete in a few Sprint Cup races for Joe Gibbs Racing before the end of the season. "We would like to get him in some Cup stuff towards the end of the year," team owner Joe Gibbs said before Sunday's Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. "We want to make sure it's the good stuff and the right way." Gibbs said it was too late in the year to start a fourth Cup team for Logano to run fulltime next season. Asked if Logano might replace Tony Stewart should the two-time Cup champion leave for another team [rumored teams include Haas CNC, #5 Hendrick, 4th RCR team], Gibbs said, "I don't think we've gone in that direction yet. We're still trying to work things out." Stewart is being pursued by several teams, including at least one [Haas CNC Racing] that is offering ownership. Gibbs and his son, team president J.D. Gibbs, have been emphatic that they won't part with Stewart before his contract expires after 2009. They remain optimistic that he will re-sign with JGR and end his career there.(ESPN.com)(6-15-2008)

  • Kyle Busch's Triple Race Weekend:
    Truck Series [started 17th/last, finished 2nd] at Texas, J.R. Norris practiced & qualified the #51 Miccosukee Resorts/NOS Energy Toyota in the 17th spot, Busch had to fall to the rear of the field before the race, and was able to finish 2nd to Ron Hornaday. See more on my Truck Series site.
    Nationwide Series at Nashville Superspeedway: [started 5th, finished 20th] Willie Allen practiced the #32 Dollar General Toyota of Braun Racing 21st fastest in Happy Hour on Friday. Busch was able to get to Nashville in time to qualify the #32 car in the 5th starting position. Busch finished 20th at Nationwide. More info on my Nationwide Series site.
    Sprint Cup: [started 10th/last, finished 43rd] Busch qualified the #18 M&M's Toyota 10th for the Pocono Raceway at Pocono Raceway. During the 1st practice Saturday, Busch wrecked and will go to a backup car, so he will have to fall to the rear of the field on Sunday. Busch wrecked early in the race, the crew giot him back out, but he could not make up any positions, spun again and finally parked the car, finishing 43rd/last.(6-8-2008)

  • Kyle Busch trying to be first to do the triple: #18-Kyle Busch, who leads the Sprint Cup Series standings, will run that series' events at Pocono Raceway, the Pocono 500 on Sunday afternoon in addition Busch also plans on being at Texas Motor Speedway for Friday night's Craftsman Truck Series race, the Sam's Town 400. Then, on Saturday night, he'll be in the Nationwide Series at Nashville Superspeedway for the Federated Auto Parts 300 presented by Dollar General. This is unprecedented to say the least. No driver has ever attempted to run in all three NASCAR national series on one weekend at three different tracks. Due to the intense travel challenges, Busch will take part in only one qualifying session this weekend - at Pocono, in the #18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. At Nashville, Busch will be in the #32 Toyota for Braun Racing. Tennessee native Will Allen will sub for Busch during practice and qualifying. At Texas, Busch will be in the #51 Toyota for Billy Ballew Motorsports, but qualifying and practice in the truck will be handled by J.R. Norris.(NASCAR PR)(6-3-2008)

  • Busch almost loses helmet: #18-Kyle Busch almost had to go to a backup helmet this weekend. His helmet was stolen from the garage Friday night, but track security officers caught the culprit. "Somebody snuck in the garage with the cleanup crew and stole it," Busch said. "Somebody saw it happen, I guess, and they told security guards outside. They were checking everybody that was leaving and they found him and brought the helmet back." Did the helmet have any special significance to Busch? "It didn't matter," he said. "It's not a lucky helmet." But Busch now has two victories with that helmet, including Atlanta. "On second thought, it might be a lucky helmet," team owner Joe Gibbs said.(ESPN.com)(6-2-2008)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Dover: #18-Kyle Busch won the Best Buy 400 benefiting Student Clubs for Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway for his 4th win of 2008 and 8th of his career. #99-Edwards finished 2nd, followed by #16-Biffle, #17-Kenseth, #24-Gordon, #1-Truex Jr., #48-Johnson, #31-Burton, #22-Blaney and #26-McMurray. There was one big wreck, early in the race which knocked six curretn Chase drivers out of the race or way back in the running order. A few involved included #88-Earnhardt Jr who finished 35th, #29-Harvick 38th, #20-Stewart 41st and #11-Hamlin 43rd. There were only 5 cautions for 26 yellow flag laps and 9 drivers lead a lap for 15 lead changes.
    For races results, awrds and more, see my Dover Race Results Awards Page.(6-1-2008)

  • M&M's searching for NASCAR's most colorful fan: M&M's will launch an 18-week NASCAR promotion next month that will include prizes from two other sponsors in the sport, The Home Depot and Tissot, as well as trips to Miami for the season-ending Sprint Cup event in November. The promotion, designed to identify the "Most Colorful Fan in NASCAR," will debut June 8 on NASCAR.com with support that will include print advertising and other online buys at Yahoo! and Jayski.com. But the promotion's home for 18 weeks will be NASCAR.com, where fans will enter the sweepstakes by submitting photos of themselves in their most colorful fan gear. M&M's is a product of Mars, the primary sponsor of Kyle Busch's #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, and Busch will vote along with visitors to the site for the most colorful fans. Five finalists will win trips for two to the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Each finalist also will win a $100 gift certificate to The Home Depot, another sponsor at Gibbs with driver Tony Stewart. The ultimate winner will receive a Tissot limited-edition watch. Busch will drive in the June 8 Sprint Cup event at Pocono with a special "Most Colorful Fan in NASCAR" paint scheme to help build awareness for the promotion.(SportsBusiness Journal/Sporting News)(5-20-2008)

  • Gibbs tested own engines in All-Star race: Joe Gibbs Racing used its engines in the all-star race as opposed to the engines it receives from Toyota Racing Development. The team plans to go back to TRD motors for the Coca-Cola 600. Since the all-star race is a non-points race, it provides teams a chance to test equipment without fear that a failure will hurt them in the points.(Roanoke Times), #20-Stewart had to change engines before the race, #11-Hamlin and #18-Busch both lost engines during the All-Star race, all three had rocker-arm problms.(5-19-2008)

  • Kyle vs. Kurt after 125 races...Kurt leads: Even though 23-year-old #18-Kyle Busch is definitely the hottest driver on the circuit right now, but the truth is that big brother #2-Kurt Busch had won more races at the same point in his career. Saturday night's Darlington race was the 125th career Cup race for Kyle. Here's the way the Busch Brothers' statistics compare at the same point in their careers:
    Kurt Busch completed the 125th race of his Cup career on 5/15/04 at Richmond
    Kyle Busch completed the 125th race of his Cup career on 5/10/08 at Darlington
    After 125 races Kurt Busch had 9 wins, 25 top-5s, 45 top-10s, 20 DNFs and 2 poles
    After 125 races Kyle Busch had 7 wins, 37 top-5s, 59 top-10s, 16 DNFs and 3 poles
    (Tom Roberts PR)(5-14-2008)

  • Busch flips the bird? been asked about something posted in an AP article: Kyle Busch is NASCAR's most hated driver. And he loves it. Viciously booed during pre-race introductions, Busch soaked up the venom by encouraging Saturday night's crowd at Darlington Raceway to keep it coming. And when he heard a member of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s crew jeer him as he passed by on the parade lap, Busch smugly flipped him the bird.(Associated Press/ESPN.com), folks have been asking if NASCAR will fine Busch. I watched the bedinning of the race and pre-race ceramonies and didn't see this make it on TV and have not heard if anyone from NASCAR saw the 'act', so I doubt there will be any penalties regarding this.(5-13-2008)

  • Busch Wins at Darlington: #18-Kyle Busch won the Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway for his 3rd win of 2008 and his 7th career win. He dominated the later stages of the race and led 169 laps on the night. #99-Carl Edwards was second, with the rest of the top-10 being #24-Jeff Gordon, #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #6-David Ragan, #17-Matt Kenseth, #11-Denny Hamlin, #28-Travis Kvapil, #22-Dave Blaney, and #10-Jeff Burton (who continues his streak of finishing every lap this season). Pole sitter #16-Greg Biffle broke a transmission midway through the race and finished 43rd. There were 8 cautions for 31 laps and 15 leaders with 35 lead changes.
    Darlington Race Results Awards Page.(5-10-2008)

  • #18 team wins 1st Qtr Most Valuable Pit Crew Award: The #18 M&M's Team for Joe Gibbs Racing recorded one win and has been in the top five of the 2008 Sprint Cup Series championship point standings through the first eight races of the season. As a result of their outstanding work on the track and in the pits the team has been named the first quarter finalist for the 2008 Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award. The Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award is given quarterly throughout the Sprint Cup season. At the end of each quarter, the winning pit crew is determined by a vote of each team's crew chief. The four quarterly winners are eligible for the year-end Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award and a check for $100,000 awarded at the 2008 National Motorsports Press Association Myers Brothers Media Luncheon in New York City. 2008 #18 M&M's Pit Crew: Michael Lepp, Pit Crew Coach; Jeff Fender, Jackman; Nick O'Dell, Front-Tire Changer; Brad Donaghy, Front-Tire Carrier; Jack Seminara, Rear-Tire Changer; Kenny Barber, Rear-Tire Carrier; Tom Lempe, Gas man; Jason Hinson, Catch Can; Steve Addington, Crew Chief.(Mechanix Wear)(5-8-2008)

  • Kyle Busch named 1st Quarter Driver of the Year: #18-Kyle Busch crushed the competition on the track and in the ballots as he won 1st quarter Driver of the Year 2008. Busch won a total seven races in NASCAR's top-three series, Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Craftsman Truck Series. Although he leads in the Cup standings with a second place this past weekend in Richmond, voting only considered results through the previous event at Talladega Speedway. In the voting Busch took 14 first-place ballots, and none lower than a third place totaling 142 points. Cup rival Roush/Fenway driver Carl Edwards' three wins earned him one first-place vote and a total of 72 points. Danica Patrick, who drives for Andretti Green Racing, whose record-setting first win in top level IndyCar Series for a woman, garnered two first place votes and totaled 51 points in third place. Ashley Force, daughter of the 1996 Driver of the Year beat her famous father, John Force last week in Atlanta in NHRA's funny car division was fourth in the voting with 49 points. A total of 17 drivers scored points in the first quarter voting, including fifth place Jason Meyers, in the World of Outlaws who won three of the first six races. In related news, ESPN's award winning writer and broadcast journalist Terry Blount has been added to the panel.(DOTY PR)(5-6-2008)

  • Indiana Jones Scheme for Kyle Busch: Kyle Busch's #18 M&M'S Toyota Camry will sport a special Indiana Jones-themed paint scheme, and Busch will wear a matching fire suit during the Dodge Challenger 500 Sprint Cup race in Darlington, South Carolina, on May 10. The special paint scheme features: Movie title decals on the hood, trunk and TV panel; An image of Indiana Jones with his iconic hat and whip on the left rear panel; and The M&M'S Brand Red, Green and Yellow characters sporting various Indiana Jones-themed outfits. The M&M'S Brand Racing team also plans to feature fun Indiana Jones-themed activities for fans attending the Darlington race, giving them a literal taste of the adventure.(PWR New Media), see an image of the scheme on my #18 Team Schemes page.(5-5-2008)

  • Red, White & Blue M&M's at Indy: #18-Kyle Busch is scheduled to run a special Red, White, and Blue Summer Fun M&M's car in the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2008. See the image on my #18 Team Schemes page.(5-2-2008)

  • The Wrigley Company Agrees to Merger with Mars: The Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company announced that it had reached an agreement to merge with Mars, Incorporated, one of the world's leading confectionery and consumer goods companies. As a result of this transaction, Wrigley will become a private company and part of one of the world's premier family-owned companies. The combined organization will have a product portfolio containing some of the world's most recognizable and well-loved confectionery brands -- including Orbit, Extra, Doublemint, M&M's, Snickers and Mars -- as well as leading food, beverage and pet care brands, totaling over $27 billion in global sales. Mars, Incorporated, will acquire 100% of Wrigley's outstanding shares and all of its outstanding options will be cashed out. The Wrigley Company will operate as a separate, stand-alone subsidiary, keeping its headquarters in Chicago and continuing its civic and philanthropic involvement, both locally and in its communities around the world. Additionally, Bill Wrigley, Jr. will continue serving as the Company's Executive Chairman. The proposed transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including stockholder approval and certain governmental regulatory clearances. Both parties are committed to working to close the transaction as soon as possible, with the merger expected to be completed within six to twelve months.(MSN Money Central), NO WORD how or if this merger will effect M&M's sponsorship of the #18 Toyota of Kyle Busch and the #42 Dodge of Juan Pablo Montoya.(4-29-2008)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Talladega: #18-Kyle Busch won the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway, for his 2nd win of 2008 and 6th of his career. The race ended under caution when there was a semi-big wreck on the last lap [once the white flag is thrown, NASCAR does not do a Green-White-Checker]. It is the 8th time since the 'Lucky Dog' rule went into effect at Dover in Sept 2003 that a driver who has received the Lucky Dog/Lap Back pass has gone on to win the Cup race. Busch now has seven NASCAR victories this season: two in Sprint Cup, three Nationwide and two in the Craftsman Truck Series. Finishing 2nd was #42-Montoya [his best oval finish] followed by #11-Hamlin, #6-Ragan, #83-Vickers, #28-Kvapil, #5-Mears, #12-Newman, #07-Bowyer and #88-Earnhardt Jr. #7-Robby Gordon finished 11th. #20-Stewart wrecked late and ended up 38th, #99-Edwards lost a tire and smacked the wall, finishing 40th. There were 8 caution flags for 23 laps and there were 52 lead changes among 20 drivers.
    See race results and awards on my Talladega Race Results page.(4-27-2008)

  • Joe Gibbs Racing Test at Rockingham: The Joe Gibbs Racing test team spent all day on Wednesday April 16th at the Rockingham Speedway gathering information for all of their Sprint Cup Series race teams. The Joe Gibbs Racing Test team used JGR developmental driver Joey Logano throughout the comprehensive test day.(Rockingham Speedway PR)(4-16-2008)

  • Interstate back on the #18: The green and black colors of Interstate Batteries will be back on the #18 Toyota of Kyle Busch at Texas this week.(JGR PR), see images of the car on my #18 Team Schemes page.(4-2-2008)

  • Fuel Cell Problems at JGR? #11-Denny Hamlin says a potential flaw in the design of the fuel cells at Joe Gibbs Racing may have contributed to Sunday's loss at Bristol Motor Speedway. Hamlin was leading on the green-white-checkered restart, but his car stalled because not enough fuel reached the engine. That allowed #31-Jeff Burton to blow past Hamlin for his first win at the half-mile track and set up a 1-2-3 finish for Richard Childress Racing. Hamlin, who got his car going after gas swashed into the engine in the corners of the track, finished sixth. It wasn't the first time this has happened. "Anytime we get low on fuel, especially with a banked race track like Bristol, all of our fuel drains in the cell to where we don't get any in the engine," Hamlin said Tuesday. "Once we do take off all we're using is fuel in the lines. There's a bubble in there and the car stalls." Hamlin said team owner Joe Gibbs met with engineers all day Monday looking for answers. He said officials are also looking into why the gearbox in his car failed the previous week at Atlanta and the one in teammate Kyle Busch's car failed with him in the lead at Bristol. "He blew the top seal out of his," Hamlin said. "Mine blew the bottom seal. As far as knowing exactly what's causing it, I don't know yet. Between steering boxes and fuel, it's aging me pretty bad." Hamlin said there are several ways to design a fuel cell. One is so that it always works well with low fuel; another is where under green-flag conditions a car can "suck out the gas to where there's only one drop left."(ESPN.com)(3-19-2008)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Atlanta, Toyota's first win: #18-Kyle Busch won the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway for his 1st win of 2008, 5th career win and first ever for Toyota in Sprint Cup [40th race]. It is the first time a foreign manufacturer has won a Cup race since Al Keller won in a Jaguar on June 13, 1954 in Linden Airport [NJ]. Busch also won the Truck Series race at Atlanta on Friday and leads the Cup and Truck Series points standings. Busch is now the youngest driver to win a Cup race at Atlanta [Jeff Gordon had been the youngest at 23 years, 7 months, 8 days old], Busch is 22 years old, 10 months and 8 days old [approx]. #20-Stewart was 2nd [and not happy with the tires at all] followed by #88-Earnhardt Jr., #16-Biffle, #24-Gordon, #07-Bowyer, #29-Harvick, #17-Kenseth, #83-Vickers and #31-Burton. Last weeks winner, #99-Edwards was leading the race late when his engine gave out on lap 275 and he finished 42nd. There were 8 cautions for 35 laps and there were 26 lead changes among 9 drivers.
    Race Results on my Atlanta Race Results/Awards Page
    For drivers/owners points, see my Jayski's Drivers/Owners Points Page.(3-9-2008)

  • ASA creates new short track national championship; JGR test part of prize: The American Speed Association (ASA) is breaking new ground once again, by unveiling plans for an innovative Short Track National Championship. The new plan allows competitors in any ASA Member Track's premier division to compete against each other, regardless of geographical location. ASA will create East and West divisions, with an ASA Short Track Divisional Champion crowned in each. The one driver who accumulates the most points will be named the ASA Short Track National Champion. With the title comes a cash reward, and the ultimate dream - a test session with Joe Gibbs Racing.(ASA-Racing.com)(2-29-2008)

  • Kyle Busch having quite a 2008 start: #18-Kyle Busch had quite a weekend ... again. Busch logged top 5 finishes in the Truck, Nationwide and Cup races in California. Busch pulled of the same feat at Daytona a week ago, making him the first driver to do so since Mark Martin in 1996. Terry Labonte did it in 1995. Busch is also the first driver to ever lead the Cup and Truck standings at the same time.(ESPN.com)(2-26-2008)

  • Kyle Busch doing well in all three series: #18-Kyle Busch (fourth) is the second driver to be in the top 10 in points in all three of NASCAR's national series at the same time (Mike Wallace, 2003). Busch finished second in both the Craftsman Truck Series and Nationwide Series races.(NASCAR Statistics)(2-18-2008)

  • Kyle Busch to run at Iowa: Iowa Speedway announced that #18-Kyle Busch will compete in the July 20 ASA Midwest Tour Super Late Model race. "I enjoy going back to my roots to help promote Late Model events," Busch said in the release. "It gives me a chance to give something back to racing fans. The ASA super late model race in Iowa will likely be very competitive and, of course, I'd like to win it."(Des Moines Register)(2-8-2008) .

  • Kyle Busch stays to run at Lakeland: #18-Kyle Busch will spend an additional day at USA Speedway in Lakeland, Fla. after Saturday's SpeedFest was delayed until 1:00pm/et on Sunday by rain. Then he will head to Las Vegas to test his Sprint Cup cars.(Speed51.com)(1-27-2008)

  • Gibbs retires as coach of the Redskins: Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing [#11,#18, #20] resigned as coach and team president of the Washington Redskins on Tuesday. The Redskins said in a statement that Gibbs will remain part of the Redskins family and serve as a special adviser to owner Dan Snyder.(ESPN.com)(1-8-2008)

2007 News

  • Kyle Busch tests at New Smyrna ; Hopes to Run Rolex 24 with Stewart: Kyle Busch took a break from testing at New Smyrna Speedway with his new team, the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing entry, to talk sportscar racing. The 22-year-old driver hopes to run the Rolex 24 At Daytona and battle his older brother Kurt. Kurt announced his 24 entry with another team earlier this week. "We're working on some stuff," Kyle Busch said. "I've got a couple of leads, actually one with a sort of Toyota team." Chip Ganassi Racing, to be exact, uses the Lexus engine in its Daytona Prototypes. Busch hopes to share a Ganassi DP car with Tony Stewart. Lexus is a brand owned by Toyota. Busch tested a Chevrolet stock car at NSS on Tuesday and Wednesday, but will arrive for Daytona International Speedway's stock car program in a Toyota Camry. (Daytona Beach News-Journal)(12-6-2007)

  • Kyle Busch and Steve Wallace Disqualified at Snowball Derby; Grill Wins: Steven Wallace and Kyle Busch's cars were both disqualified in post-qualifier tech after initially making it into the field. Kyle Busch wasn't too happy. He was tossed from the event due to a height infraction. Both Busch and Steven Wallace were very irate in the pit area and told Speed51.com that they are displeased with Ricky Brooks (head tech inspector) and his philosophies. Steven Wallace was found to be light when crossing the scales after tech. They let the team roll off the scales and roll back on. During that time he was caught trying to put sockets in his pockets.(Speed51.com)(12-2-2007)
    UPDATE: A statement from Steve Wallace: "I just want to make it clear that although our car supposedly missed one of the inspection criteria in Pensacola, it was in no way done in an attempt to get around the rules. From day one, I have had a deep respect for the sport and its integrity. As far as I'm concerned, that respect carries over to any team for which I drive, as was the case with Richie Wauters Racing in this weekend's race. We definitely had the car to beat in Pensacola, but for one reason or another, the officials were really hard on both of our teams all week long. We got disqualified because they claimed that we missed one of the inspection criteria by a razor thin margin; a margin small enough that it could have been due to almost anything.(Rusty Wallace Inc PR)(12-3-2007)
    AND: Augie Grill has been around the Snowball Derby since the first time he was carried into Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL as a one-month-old son of Derby car owner Frankie Grill in 1976. He had been to victory lane in the Snowball Derby two times with family-owned cars, but both times as a crew member on Wayne Anderson and Butch Lindley's efforts. But in the 40th Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags on Sunday, December 2nd, it was finally time for the now-31-year-old Dolomite, Alabama native to make it to victory lane as a driver of the 300-lap race. Grill took the lead for the final time on lap 267 from defending Snowball Derby Champion Clay Rogers and checked out from the field late in the race, even despite front bumper cover damage suffered early in the going, to take the laurels as the 30th different winner of the prestigious short track event.(Speed51.com PR)(12-3-2007)

  • JGR 2007 Flag Football Champs: Joe Gibbs Racing successfully defended its 2006 championship in Bob Hubner's Totally Racin' Flag Football League presented by Race City Resumes & Marketing. It wasn't easy for JGR as the team had some tough competition to repeat what it did last season. This year's format was a single elimination tournament, and JGR first had to get by last year's main rival, the team fielded by Lowe's Motor Speedway, to advance. And JGR beat LMS by only one point to reach round two. The Gibbs team then beat Team Red Bull to advance to the championship game against Roush-Fenway Racing. JGR and Roush-Fenway tied during their regular season game so the Gibbs players knew Roush would put up a good fight. The title game was in fact tied 13-13 at halftime. Then, with one minute left, Roush-Fenway scored a touchdown but missed the extra point to edge ahead 25-19. Gibbs Racing then got the ball with 53 seconds left, needing to get down the field and score a touchdown and extra point for the win. JGR got the touchdown as quarterback JD Gibbs passed to his center, Ross Port, in a surprise play with only 3 seconds left, bringing a 25-25 tie. For the extra point, JD Gibbs tossed the ball to Dave Alpern at the goal line, and Alpern caught the pass and reached over the goal line to give Joe Gibbs Racing another championship, 26-25. For League info visit racecityresumes.com/football.(11-15-2007)

  • Pilot Truck Driver Challenge Champion Named: On Saturday, Peter Jellen was awarded his own championship at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Jellen was announced as this year's winner of the Pilot Truck Driver Challenge and the recipient of $50,000. The driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries transporter, Jellen said the $50,000 would become the college scholarship fund for his 20-month-old daughter, Jennifer. Second-place and a $15,000 check went to Bennie Stevens of Haas CNC Racing's Yellow Transportation transporter. Joe Wernert, driver of Roush Fenway Racing's Office Depot transporter placed third and collected $10,000. The competition focuses on safe and responsible truck driving. It includes driving tests, safety quizzes and equipment inspections.(AMS PR)(10-28-2007)

  • Yeley to test at Atlanta in the #96: on Monday and Tuesday next week, J.J. Yeley will work toward getting 2008 off to a good start by testing the #96 DLP HDTV Chevrolet for Hall of Fame Racing (HoFR) at Atlanta. Yeley will drive for HoFR beginning in 2008 and will test for the team during NASCAR's two-day open test at Atlanta with the Car of Tomorrow (CoT). Teley tested the #96 recently at Kentucky Speedway.(JGR PR), Kyle Busch will test the #18 car for JGR, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will test for Hendrick Motorsports, could see other drivers in their 2008 rides in the Atlanta COT test.(10-25-2007)

  • Earnhardt Jr. & Busch will test with new teams at Atlanta: Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Busch will be allowed to test with their new teams at a car of tomorrow test at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Oct. 29-30. A Hendrick Motorsports spokesman confirmed Saturday that plans have been finalized to allow Earnhardt Jr. to drive one of that team's Chevys in the test following next weekend's Cup race at the Atlanta track.(Thats Racin)(10-21-2007)

  • M&M's to sponsor #18 car and Kyle Busch in 2008: Mars U.S. announced a three-year partnership with M&M'S Brand Chocolate Candies as the sponsor of the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) team and driver Kyle Busch in the Sprint Cup Series beginning in 2008. "I can't wait to climb behind the wheel of the M&M'S car next season," Busch said. "M&M'S Racing has been a fan favorite for years in the sport and it's an honor to drive for one of the most recognized brands in the world. My focus is to win, and I know that everyone at Mars shares that vision as well. I want to thank the associates at Mars U.S. for this opportunity and look forward to a winning relationship." During the 2008 season, Mars U.S. brands will serve as the primary sponsor of JGR's #18 Sprint Cup Series team for a total of 30 point races. Mars will feature the popular M&M'S Brand colors beginning with the 50th running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 17. Snickers and Pedigree also will serve as primary brand sponsors for several races. Additionally, Combos, Twix, Skittles, Starburst and Milkey Way brands will provide support as associate sponsors. Interstate Batteries will serve as a primary sponsor of the #18 Sprint Cup team for six point races. The 2008 season will mark the 15th year for Mars U.S. as a primary sponsor in NASCAR's premier racing division. The famous candy maker joined the series in 1990, running its first three seasons under the Snickers Brand moniker. After serving as an associate sponsor for four seasons, the company returned with the Skittles Brand colors in 1997 before transitioning to M&M'S Brand Chocolate Candies in 1999.(Joe Gibbs Racing site)(10-3-2007)

  • JC Penney looking? UPDATE: hearing JC Penney, deptartment store chain, are considering sponsoring a Nextel Cup team in 2008 and some teams have even presented mockup cars, but no word which team may get that sponsorship or when anything would be announced.(9-29-2007)
    UPDATE: hearing it could with Joe Gibbs Racing in some form.(10-2-2007)

  • M&M's looks to be heading to Gibbs #18 in 2008 UPDATE 2: Mars U.S. was finalizing a deal Thursday to use its M&M's brand to sponsor Kyle Busch when he moves to Joe Gibbs Racing next season. M&M's would replace Interstate Batteries, which has sponsored Gibbs' flagship #18 since its 1992 inception. J.D. Gibbs, president of the race team, didn't respond to a request for comment. But two people familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press that Mars was working on a deal to sponsor Busch that will be officially announced next month at M&M's World in New York City. They requested anonymity because the deal was not yet complete. Interstate is expected to stay involved with JGR in a smaller role. JGR is also ending its 16-year association with General Motors at the end of this season and will field Toyotas beginning next year. It will make the move with three lucrative sponsors as Mars moves its M&M's brand away from Robert Yates Racing and rookie David Gilliland. It's unclear what the company will do with its Snickers sponsorship on Yates' second car, but the move to JGR is troublesome to the Yates [currently #38 and #88] organization. The struggling team has been trying to restructure all season, and longtime owner Robert Yates said earlier this month that he plans to retire at the end of the season. He's handing over the company to his son, Doug, who plans to call it Yates Racing and field cars for Gilliland and Travis Kvapil.(in part from the Associated Press)(9-21-2007)
    UPDATE: David Gilliland knows he'll likely need a new sponsor following this season since M&M's has emerged as a candidate to sponsor Kyle Busch's #18 Joe Gibbs Racing entry in 2008. Gilliland, the Robert Yates Racing driver who has driven with M&M's sponsorship since he entered the Nextel Cup Series in August of last year, said he's aware that M&M's is likely headed elsewhere in 2008. "I read it on the Internet," he said Friday at Dover International Speedway, site of this weekend's Dodge Dealers 400. "My understanding was we had a contract that went through next year, so I don't know what happened with that. Hopefully we'll find another sponsor who wants to be here and support us next year." M&M's has made a decision and will announce its future sponsorship plans on Oct. 3, spokeswoman Rhonda King said Friday.(SceneDaily.com)(9-21-2007)
    UPDATE 2: on ESPN2's NASCAR Now, Angelique S. Chengelis said the announcement of M&M's sponsorship to the #18 Joe Gibbs racing team and Kyle Busch in 2008, will be announced Wednesday morning [Oct 3rd] in New York City.(9-28-2007)

  • Yeley doing the triple at Kansas: In addition to competing in the Nextel Cup and Busch Series events this weekend at Kansas, #18-J.J. Yeley will also jump back into a Silver Crown car and shoot for his third straight USAC Silver Crown win Saturday afternoon.(JGR PR)(9-27-2007)

  • Drivers May Test with New Teams at Atlanta: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and J.J. Yeley both know they'll be with new teams next year, and both know where they're headed, but they can't escape their contracts until season's end. There's a possibility they could get a chance to at least test with their future teams in a few weeks, when there's an open trial at Atlanta, though a series of dominos would have to fall if that's to happen. Yeley hopes to test the #96 car that Tony Raines currently rides, which would allow his eventual replacement, Kyle Busch, to steer the Interstate Batteries Chevy, but in order for that to take place Earnhardt would have to be allowed to take Busch's seat in a Hendrick Motorsports machine. Whether that'll happen, however, remains in question. Dale Earnhardt, Inc. president Teresa Earnhardt has already said Regan Smith will test with Junior's current team at Atlanta, but hasn't yet released her stepson to test with Hendrick, so the whole equation may break down and leave the lame ducks with their soon-to-be defunct teams. "The biggest domino is if Teresa will let Dale Jr. go drive for Hendrick," Yeley said. "If that'll happen, I think you're going to see next year's lineup four months in advance, but that comes down to Teresa." (Concord Monitor)(9-16-2007)

  • Gibbs to Toyota - Official UPDATE 4: been told that the Joe Gibbs Racing / Toyota announcement will be made at the JGR Headquarters the week before the Richmond race.(8-30-2007)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing is expected to announce next week it will join Toyota Motorsports beginning next season, sources told ESPN.com. A news conference has been scheduled for Wednesday morning at JGR headquarters. Expected to be in attendance are team drivers Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin. A GM official reached Thursday in Detroit said the manufacturer would not comment. Toyota Motorsports officials were equally mum.(ESPN.com)(8-31-2007)
    UPDATE 2: Kyle Busch confirmed that he has been told that Joe Gibbs Racing will race Toyotas next season. Busch said he is comfortable with the switch, which is expected to be announced next week by the team. Mark Cronquist, the team's head engine builder, is expected to spearhead the work on the engine. (SceneDaily.com)(8-31-2007)
    UPDATE 3: SPEED will interrupt regular programming on Sept. 5 at 11am/et to present a live NASCAR press conference. It is expected to be an announcement from Joe Gibbs Racing regarding the 2008 season.(9-5-2007)
    UPDATE 4: the press conference started just after 11:00am/et with JGR's J.D. Gibbs and Jimmy Makar; drivers Tont Stewart and Denny Hamlin; crew chiefs Steve Addington, Mike Ford and Greg Zipadelli; JGR's engine builder Mark Conquist; and Toyota officials Jim Aust and Lee White. Gibbs announced the team is switching from Chevy/GM to Toyota in 2008. Stewart says he is excited about the move and working on extending his contract. His USAC and WoO teams will stay Chevy and nothing will change there. Hamlin says he is working on his contract and is excited about the move.(9-5-2007)
    PR: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) will campaign Toyota Camrys in the Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Grand National Series [and also will switch to Toyota in the Busch Series] beginning in 2008. "We look forward to partnering with Toyota in NASCAR in 2008. Toyota will be hands-on with us as we become an integral part of their long-term development in NASCAR," said J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR. We have 420-plus families that are our number one priority, and taking care of them for the future is very important to us. Our people have made us as successful as we are today, and it's those same people who will ensure our success in the future. When our teams win, those families win. We're thrilled for everyone at JGR who will benefit from this."
    "This decision was made by all of the key leadership at JGR," said Jimmy Makar, senior vice president of racing operations for JGR. "It was a decision made by the people in our competition department, who live by the one question whenever a decision is made regarding Joe Gibbs Racing: 'Will this make us more competitive on the race track?' The consensus answer was yes."(see full PR at the Joe Gibbs Racing site)(9-5-2007)

  • Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., and Joe Gibbs Racing announced today that the three-time championship-winning race team will campaign Toyota Camrys for drivers Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch in the 2008 Sprint Cup Series. Joe Gibbs Racing's NASCAR Grand National Series program will also utilize Toyota Camrys next season. Joe Gibbs Racing will be joining Bill Davis Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing and Team Red Bull as the teams that will be racing the 'Most Popular Car in America' when the 2008 season kicks- off next February at Daytona International Speedway. Assembled at Toyota's Georgetown, Kentucky plant, more than six million Camry models have been sold in the United States since its debut 23 years ago.(see full PR at the Toyota Motorsports site)(9-5-2007)

  • GM Statement of JGR moving to Toyota: Statement from Brent Dewar; General Motors North America Vice President of Vehicle Sales, Service and Parts Regarding Joe Gibbs Racing's decision to sign with another manufacturer: "General Motors has been associated with Joe Gibbs Racing for 16 years working together winning races and championships. While we understand the business nature of racing, we are disappointed in J.D.'s decision and announcement today. With our long-standing relationship and record of winning with them, we hoped they would remain with Chevrolet. We will continue to support our JGR drivers in this year's Chase for the Championship. We wish JGR well as they go forward, and Chevrolet will compete against them on the track next year to defend its title as the winningest name in racing."(GM Racing PR)(9-5-2007)

  • Hall of Fame Racing to name 2008 driver today....Yeley UPDATE: Hall of Fame Racing hold a Driver Announcement for #96 Nextel Cup Series Team on Tuesday afternoon at their shop in Huntersville, NC. This press conference is CLOSED to the public.(PR)
    AND hearing that J.J. Yeley will be named the driver.(9-4-2007)
    UPDATE: Hall of Fame Racing has signed J.J. Yeley to drive for the #96 team in the Sprint Cup Series beginning in 2008. Yeley's debut in the #96 DLP HDTV car [rumored to be Toyota in 2008, now a Chevy] will come in February's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. His entry into the prestigious event came via his first career pole at Michigan International Speedway this past June. "In 23 years of being involved in professional sports, I have worked with many great athletes," said Jeff Moorad, owner of Hall of Fame Racing. "J.J Yeley's determination to succeed reminds me of many of the championship athletes that I have been around in my career. He is hungry and determined to win races and championships and to do it with class. We look forward to J.J. being an integral part of Hall of Fame Racing and to winning with him going forward." Yeley comes to Hall of Fame Racing from Joe Gibbs Racing, the team for which he drove full-time in the Nextel Cup Series beginning in 2006. Yeley will take over for Tony Raines, current driver of the #96 DLP HDTV Chevy, following the conclusion of the 2007 season. "After meeting with Jeff Moorad and Tom Garfinkel it was easy to see why both of them have been so successful with the Arizona Diamondbacks and their other past ventures," said Yeley, whose contract with Hall of Fame Racing runs through the 2010 season. "Both of them are very determined to be successful. They know you can't just come in and throw money at the team and expect to win races. The benefit of this team is that there's already a great history and foundation in place with equipment from Joe Gibbs Racing, which is equal to the best equipment in the sport. All those things added up to make me feel that Hall of Fame Racing and DLP will be the best fit for me."
    "When you leave an organization like Joe Gibbs Racing, one of the top teams in NASCAR, you want to try to make the right step to be more successful," said Yeley, who finished a career-best second in May at the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "I've never had to make a decision this difficult in my life, but I'm confident that Hall of Fame Racing will be competitive week-in and week out and build the future team around me as their driver. The affiliation with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the great people in Phoenix was just an added bonus that makes it the perfect fit for me."
    "We are very much looking forward to J.J. representing DLP and our retail partners," said Dave Duncan, sponsorship marketing manager for DLP Products and Texas Instruments. "We've had a relationship with J.J. the past two seasons as an associate sponsor on the #18 car and look forward to working with him in the future."
    Yeley replaces Tony Raines, who has driven for Hall of Fame Racing the past two seasons and will drive the final 11 races in 2007. "I very much enjoyed working with everyone at Hall of Fame Racing and DLP," Raines said. "I can't thank them enough for everything they did for me and both companies are class organizations. We had some success, especially in the Car of Tomorrow (COT) races and I look forward to running the final 11 races, including the five COT races. We're going to do our best to finish out strong before we go our separate ways. I wish them the best of luck in 2008 and beyond."(True Speed Communication/Hall of Fame Racing PR)(9-4-2007)

  • Yeley Nearing Decision on Team: J.J. Yeley said Friday he should have a decision within two weeks about which team he will drive for next season. Yeley has spoken with Robert Yates about the opening in the #88 Ford. He also has talked to Richard Childress about the possibility of running a fourth car for RCR next season. Yeley also may be in the running to replace Scott Riggs in the #10 Dodge for Gillett Evernham Motorsports. What happens with that car depends on what Valvoline officials want. Valvoline is the co-owner of the #10 Dodge and has a major input in who drives the car.(ESPN.com)(9-3-2007)

  • Kyle Busch Doesn't Expect Move to Toyota to Cause Problems with Hendrick: Kyle Busch says he doesn't expect the imminent change of Joe Gibbs Racing from Chevy to Toyota for next season to make things any more awkward for him as he finishes out the year at Hendrick Motorsports. It's been awkward since June when it was announced Dale Earnhardt Jr. would replace him in the seat. "We're still doing our job, we're still trying to make this Chase and make this championship happen," Busch said Friday. "It's a little bit of a difficult situation to go through, but in the end, you just know that it's business and you have to work together to make sure it doesn't happen.(SceneDaily.com)(9-2-2007)

  • Joe Gibbs Racing Forms Motocross and Supercross Team: Since debuting in the 1992 Daytona 500, Joe Gibbs Racing has won over 100 races in NASCAR and the NHRA. In 2008, the veteran racing organization will continue to add to its rich history, but in addition to winning races on four wheels, they'll also attempt to do it using only two. Joe Gibbs Racing Motocross (JGRMX) is the latest venture of the 16-year-old race team founded by Joe Gibbs. Gibbs' youngest son, Coy, will head up the operation, along with motocross industry veteran David Evans. The two have already secured the services of riders Josh Hansen and Josh Summey, as JGRMX will campaign both riders in the World Supercross GP and American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Supercross Series, and also the AMA National Motocross Championship. (Joe Gibbs Racing PR)(9-2-2007)

  • Yeley to the #88? UPDATE: Ricky Rudd's announcement this past weekend that he will depart from Robert Yates Racing at the end of the 2007 season has opened the door for JJ Yeley to take over the #88 Ford in 2008. JJ Yeley was recently released from the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevy to make room for Kyle Busch in 2008. A team source at the newly formed Yates/ Newman Haas Racing [actually Yates/Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing] confirms that 'all signs point' to Yeley as their choice to take over the #88 Ford.(Cup Scene Daily)(8-20-2007)
    UPDATE: #18-J.J. Yeley, Nextel Cup's latest free agent, has said he is in conversation with four teams, which he would not disclose, but Robert Yates Racing [Yates/Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing] president Doug Yates is happy to report his team is extremely interested in hiring Yeley. RYR will have a vacancy now that veteran Ricky Rudd has announced he is retiring from full-time Cup racing after this season. #38-David Gilliland also drives for RYR. "We're very interested in J.J.," Yates said Wednesday. "He'd be good for our company. He's very marketable, and he's a pretty good driver. We're talking to him. We are definitely interested." Yates said there is no timetable to get a deal done. He said he is convinced that with the right team chemistry, Yeley can succeed. Yeley currently is 20th in points, while his JGR teammates, Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin, are firmly in the Chase. "How can you say a guy two years into the sport is not making the cut?" Yates said. "He needs to be with a team that believes in him."(ESPN.com)(8-30-2007)

  • No Gibbs to Toyota announcement planned at Calif: Don't expect a Toyota announcement that Joe Gibbs Racing has joined the manufacturer's stable next week when the Nextel Cup Series heads to the backyard of Toyota's base in California. Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs said no announcement is planned for the Aug. 31-Sept. 2 race weekend at California Speedway and his team is still mulling whether to extend its contract with Chevrolet. "Nope - nothing there," Gibbs said Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway when asked if an announcement could come next week. "Nothing new ... We're not under huge pressure [to decide]." Gibbs wouldn't comment more on the situation, which has been the biggest question surrounding his organization now that Kyle Busch has opted to join the team next season.(SceneDaily.com)(8-26-2007)

  • Interstate Batteries to continue sponsoring #18: Interstate Batteries Chairman Norm Miller says that his company will remain the primary sponsor on the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet next season. He is, however, open to other companies appearing on the hood from time to time. Kyle Busch was announced Tuesday as the driver of the Nextel Cup car for 2008. "We're on the contract for '08, and we are also open to develop some type of partnership," Miller said Tuesday. "We're hoping to get the best we can out of it all and come up with a good partner, but if push comes to shove we'd be delighted to ride with Kyle here the whole season. We're hoping we can work all that out." Miller said the company would consider sharing the primary sponsor spot on the car for anything from six to 15 races next season. Interstate Batteries has sponsored Joe Gibbs Racing since the team's inception in 1992.(SceneDaily.com)(8-15-2007)

  • Gibbs Racing signs Kyle Busch UPDATE 3: Kyle Busch will be formally introduced as the new driver at Joe Gibbs Racing on Tuesday morning at the team's Huntersville, NC shop. "Before I say anything I want to have a done deal," team president J.D. Gibbs before Sunday's Nextel Cup race at Watkins Glen International. "I feel good about it. Right now we feel good about it and the direction we're going." Gibbs said Interstate Batteries will remain at least a partial sponsor of the #18, but didn't rule out another sponsor coming in. He reminded the company gave up half of its races a few years ago. "Like we have in the past, they may choose to give up some races, move stuff around," Gibbs said. "They're the ones that have been there and started the deal."(ESPN.com), no word if the press conference will be televised.(8-12-2007)
    UPDATE: SPEED will be covering Tuesday's LIVE press conference from Joe Gibbs Racing at 11:00am/et. At that time, JGR is expected to make an announcement on the #18 Nextel Cup Series entry.(SPEED PR)(8-13/14-2007)
    UPDATE 2 - OFFICIAL: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) has signed 22-year-old Kyle Busch to drive for the #18 team in Nextel Cup beginning in 2008. "We're extremely pleased to have Kyle Busch as a part of the family here at Joe Gibbs Racing," said J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR. "Kyle is extremely talented, as his track record has proven, and he had a lot of teams to choose from in determining who would give him the best chance to win. Obviously, we're glad he chose JGR, and he'll have all the tools and resources he needs to win races and contend for championships." Busch comes to JGR a proven winner in each of NASCAR's national touring series, with four Craftsman Truck Series victories, eight Busch Series wins and four Nextel Cup triumphs. "After talking with a lot of different teams and visiting their shops, Joe Gibbs Racing is where I want to be," said Busch, whose contract with JGR runs through the 2010 season. "The Nextel Cup Series is filled with good teams and good people, but the moment I saw the shop and began talking with Joe and J.D. Gibbs, there was a level of comfort that made me feel like this is where I belong. I want to win races and championships, and Joe Gibbs Racing's three-car/one-team philosophy gives me the best opportunity to do that." Busch will take over for J.J. Yeley, current driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet, following the conclusion of the 2007 season. He'll begin pre-season testing as a teammate to two-time Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart and 2006 Nextel Cup rookie of the year Denny Hamlin. The 2008 season will mark Busch's fourth full season in Nextel Cup. He currently competes for Hendrick Motorsports, where he ran a six-race schedule in 2004 before joining the series full-time in 2005. "While excited about my new opportunity with Joe Gibbs Racing, I remain committed to finishing this year strong and running for the championship," Busch said.(JGR PR)
    UPDATE 3 - Toyota? During the Q&A portion of the Joe Gibbs Racing news conference announcing Kyle Busch's signing with the organization, Busch and J.D. Gibbs talked about the possibility of the team switching from Chevrolet to Toyota next year.
    Kyle Busch: "I took it into consideration, but as I looked at it, you know, I thought about it. And I'm like, 'Well, you know, Joe Gibbs Racing, they've done pretty well at what they've done so far.' And I feel like they'll make the right decision... Do I feel like Toyota struggled a little bit this year? Sure, they have. But do I feel like Joe Gibbs and everybody here can try to turn that around? Certainly. And if they're looking in that direction, you know, more power to them, but I'm going to let the man over here answer all of those tough questions."
    J.D. Gibbs: "Yeah, really for us, we haven't had much change in really the past several weeks. We had some great conversations with GM here. Obviously, we've had a great partnership with them over the past 16 years, and we've been great partners as well. I think going forward, we're just going to sit down really... I want... We're going through a process to have all of our technical guys figure out where we need to be. I think GM just got a verbal agreement from Hendrick, the first team to kind of re-sign for next year. So we're kind of in the same phase as I think lot of those teams are. I think in the next several weeks, we're going to really have to figure out where our future is and our direction."(FoxSports)(8-14-2007)

  • Drivers to the #8 team? on ESPN's NASCAR Now on Sunday, it was reported that David Reutimann's name [#00 Waltrip racing Toyota] has popped up as a driver who could end up at DEI and in the #8 Chevy, but that he cannot talk to other teams until Oct when his contract with MWR is up. Other drivers DEI are interested in include J.J. Yeley who will leave the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing ride at the end of the season, #01-Regan Smith, currently part time at DEI and without a ride, could stay. Plus, the team could switch Mark Martin and Aric Almirola from the #01 Army Chevy to the #8 next season.(8-12-2007)

  • Yeley says he will leave JGR at end of season: While Kyle Busch would not confirm reports that he has a deal to drive for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2008, it became clearer that is the case when J.J. Yeley acknowledged he is out of the #18 car Busch is expected to drive. Yeley said he's leaving JGR but wouldn't go as far as to say Busch would be his replacement. Yeley acknowledged having talked to officials at DEI, RCR, Robert Yates Racing and the Wood Brothers, but wouldn't elaborate on how serious they are. RCR owner Richard Childress said Yeley is a serious prospect to be his fourth driver. "J.J.'s a good racer," he said. "He'd do a good job." Ganassi Racing, Hall of Fame Racing and Evernham Motorsports also could be in the mix. Yeley hopes wherever he lands the owner will give him more support than he got at JGR this season. "We never made huge changes to see if there was something out there that was going to help the program,'' he said. Yeley asked team president J.D. Gibbs a month ago if he was considering changes to bring the #18 up to par with the teams of Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin. "[He said] there were not going to be any changes,'' Yeley said. There could be plenty of changes for that team next season, from the switch to Busch to possibly a change in manufacturer and primary sponsor. "I think they're going to do everything that's in their best interest that they feel is right, and you know if they feel Chevrolet is their manufacturer of choice then more power to them,'' Busch said. "If they feel like Ford, Toyota or Dodge is their best interest, then more power to them. You know, they've got their own engine program, they've got a lot of great resources. I think they're still in that decision-making process. They're looking at all of the cars, laying them out. Just as I was to pick a team, they're doing it for a manufacturer.''(ESPN.com)(8-11-2007)

  • Yeley to the #21 Ford? UPDATE denied: Kyle Busch has finally decided where he will race next season, agreeing to a deal to drive the #18 Interstate Batteries machine for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2008 and beyond. Busch will replace J.J. Yeley, who will move to Wood Brothers/JTG Racing next season to steer the #21 Ford.(8-6-2007)
    UPDATE: Yeley's agent, Kyle Chapman, said there is currently no signed deal between his client and Wood Brothers/JTG Racing, and that Yeley is in discussion with a number of teams about possible rides for next season. But sources with knowledge of the situation say Yeley will indeed be out of the #18 next season, and behind the wheel of the #21 Ford.(Motorsports Soapbox)(8-7-2007)

  • Kyle Busch to Drive for Joe Gibbs Racing? UPDATE: Kyle Busch has finally decided where he will race next season, agreeing to a deal to drive the #18 Interstate Batteries machine for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2008 and beyond. Busch will replace J.J. Yeley. Busch made his decision after recently narrowing the field to three teams; Gibbs, Dale Earnhardt, Inc., and Evernham Motorsports. An official announcement is expected within the next 2-3 weeks.(Motorsports Soapbox)(8-6-2007)
    UPDATE: Kyle Busch chose to drive for Joe Gibbs Racing next season and began informing other teams Monday of his decision. A source close to Busch told The Associated Press that the driver had selected Gibbs after a seven-week search that began when Hendrick Motorsports released the 22-year-old driver to make room for Dale Earnhardt Jr. next season. The source requested anonymity because the deal was not finalized. "Kyle has made his decision and is in the process of informing the teams of his preference," said Jeff Dickerson, who represents Busch through Motorsports Management International. "As there are many details that still need to be worked out, Kyle will not be making that decision public at this time." Two car owners who had actively pursued Busch told the AP that the driver informed them Monday he had not selected their teams. They requested anonymity because they didn't reveal Busch's selection.(Associated Press)(8-6-2007)

  • More on Gibbs to Toyota..done deal? HOF to RCR engines? UPDATE 3 denied: hearing the decision has been made and that Joe Gibbs Racing [#11, #18, #20] will switch from Chevrolet to Toyota in 2008 and the announcement should come in early September.(8-6-2007)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing still hasn't announced whether it will switch to Toyotas next year, but the buzz is that it will. Some clues? Tony Stewart's souvenir trailers were selling merchandise at 50% off regular price last week at the Brickyard, Stewart's home track and a place where the Hoosier native is wildly popular. Also, a source at Richard Childress Racing said it has been approached by Hall of Fame Racing, a satellite Gibbs team, about buying engines from the newly merged RCR-Dale Earnhardt Inc., engine operation in 2008. Presumably, HOF is hedging its bets, if it ends up not being part of a Gibbs move to Toyota.(Ford Racing)(8-6-2007)
    UPDATE 2: JGR will jump from Chevrolet to the Toyota camp beginning in 2008, joining Michael Waltrip Racing, Bill Davis Racing and Team Red Bull on the list of teams running Toyota Camrys. Neither Busch nor JGR have made any official comment on the move, but Gibbs officials have already informed Hall of Fame Racing that they will not continue to provide the team with engines next season, prompting Hall Of Fame to contact Richard Childress Racing about a similar engine-supply deal for 2008.(Motorsports Soapbox)(8-6-2007)
    UPDATE 3: Hall of Fame Racing officials have not been told by Joe Gibbs Racing that JGR will not provide the HOF with engines next season, nor have HOF officials contacted RCR.(8-6-2007)

  • Chevy hopes to keep teams: Chevrolet officials remain hopeful that Joe Gibbs Racing and Hendrick Motorsports will remain a part of the General Motors program in 2008. GM is in the process of renewing all of its deals, with JGR and HMS being the crown jewels of their program. Toyota has been linked with JGR in several news reports despite comments from team president J.D. Gibbs that re-signing with GM is his top priority. Rick Hendrick, the owner of HMS, also has ties to Toyota through his dealership business. Ed Peper, the general manager of Chevrolet Racing, said during a Thursday press conference at Indianapolis Motor Speedway that he is very confident in negotiations to re-sign all teams currently under the Chevrolet banner. Terry Dolan, the marketing director for Chevrolet Racing, would not comment on specific organizations. "I am confident we will have strong teams continuing to represent Chevrolet, not only because we've got a pretty good track record of performance but because we've been dedicated to this sport for a long time," he said of the company that has won 15 of 19 Nextel Cup races this season with 12 of the wins coming from JGR and HMS. "We have some of the tools and assets they need to succeed in their business."(ESPN.com)(7-28-2007)

  • Kyle Busch to JGR? UPDATE 2: Larry McReynolds is hearing that the Kyle Busch deal at Joe Gibbs Racing is very close. Now, we don't have an answer on whether they're looking to put him in the #18 car, replacing J.J. Yeley, or if they are looking at Busch for a fourth team.(FoxSports)(7-26-2007)
    AND captainthunderracing.com is hearing that Kyle Busch is very close to finalizing a deal that will make him the fourth driver in the Joe Gibbs Racing stable. Sources said Busch has crossed Richard Childress Racing and Dale Earnhardt, Inc. off his list of potential teams for 2008 and beyond. Speculation also had Busch going to DEI to replace Dale Earnhardt Jr., but it appears as though the DEI/Ginn Racing merger has taken up most of the executives time at DEI and Busch never felt any warmth from the organization. An announcement is expected sometime over the next week to week and a half, most likely after the big Brickyard 400 weekend. Sources said only the details of the contract remained to be worked out, but that both parties had agreed in principle to a five year deal.(captainthunderracing.com)(7-27-2007)
    UPDATE: Kyle Busch says he still hasn't decided which team he wants to sign with for 2008 and says it may be another two weeks before he makes the call. However, it's looking more and more as if it may be Dale Earnhardt Inc. But according to NASCAR sources Budweiser may not be Busch's sponsor.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-28-2007)
    UPDATE 2: It was reported on ESPN2's NASCAR Now that Busch's agent, Jeff Dickerson, said the rumors are not true and that Busch has not narrowed down his selection of teams, has offers on the table and something should be known about Busch's future within two weeks or so.(ESPN's NASCAR Now)(7-28-2007)

  • Yeley's Fate for 2008 Still Undetermined: [Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D.] Gibbs said the team wouldn't add a fourth car "until it made sense". Though Gibbs said it was his hope the inconsistent J.J. Yeley would perform well enough to return to the #18 program next season, he "wouldn't say definitely," that would be the case.(St. Peterburg Times)(7-19-2007)

  • Yeley Wins USAC Race at Chicago: J.J. Yeley scored the win in Friday's USG Fiberock 100 at Chicagoland Speedway. On Friday the 13th, it was his 13th career pole and 13th career feature win in USAC's Silver Crown Series. The Nextel Cup Series regular, driving for A.J. Foyt, dominated the Weld Racing Silver Crown Series event. Yeley's win came in his second start of the season, coming after the being sidelined with trouble while leading at Darlington back in May.(Chicagoland Speedway PR)(7-14-2007)

  • Gibbs Would like to stay with Chevy: Joe Gibbs Racing's first choice is to re-sign with General Motors, not jump ship for Toyota. "We want to work this out [with GM]," team president J.D. Gibbs said before Sunday's race at New Hampshire. "I can't say a whole lot more than that. We've got a great relationship with GM. We've been partners with them for 16 years, ever since we became an organization." Gibbs said he's had several meetings with GM officials, the most recent last week. He brushed off a report that the organization had a "done deal" with Toyota. Gibbs reminded that none of the Chevy teams have re-upped with GM, but that he hopes the situation will become clearer soon so the organization can start preparing for 2008.(ESPN.com)(7-2-2007)

  • More on Gibbs to Toyota...done deal? Extending Stewart to 2011? UPDATE Toyota denied; Stewart possibly: Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota are "a done deal" for 2008, according to several sources, though team executives said otherwise. Apparently one hangup in the talks between the long-time Chevy operation (which features #20-Tony Stewart) and Toyota is a clause in Gibbs' current GM [Chevy] contract which bars the team from negotiating with any other manufacturer until the contract is up. So sources said Gibbs has had to go through an agent in the talks. Gibbs has a major negotiating session scheduled with General Motors in the next two weeks, which should provide the 'yea,' or 'nay' on that side of the issue. One of the big reasons for Toyota's intense interest in Gibbs Racing is Gibbs' engine program, headed by Mark Cronquist, one of the best in the business. Gibbs is also renegotiating his contract with Stewart to extend it another two years. The contract runs through the end of 2009; the new package would run through the end of 2011.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-23-2007)
    UPDATE: J.D. Gibbs would like to sign #20-Tony Stewart to an extension that will keep the two-time Nextel Cup champion at Joe Gibbs Racing at least through 2011. Stewart's contract at JGR runs through 2009. But with a talented stable of young talent in the developmental pool and Stewart joking about retirement several times this season, the president of JGR would like to find out just what his marquee driver wants. "Hey, we want Tony to be here for a long time,'' Gibbs said before Sunday's race at Infineon Raceway. "If he said at the end of '09 I'm done, officially done, hey, we understand that. Let's go get a plan. The reality is, I think he wants to go [on]. How long does he want to go? I want all of those guys on the same page.'' Gibbs denied reports that he has a deal to leave General Motors for Toyota. "I've got to be honest,'' he said. "That's just not true. That's speculation. We're sitting down with the GM guys [in a few weeks]. We've had conversations with them. I don't think any GM team has signed a deal yet. That was kind of frustrating.'' JGR has been with GM for 16 seasons between Pontiac and Chevrolet. While Gibbs plans to discuss a new deal, he never ruled out talking to Toyota. Gibbs also didn't rule out talking to driver Kyle Busch, who became a free agent when it was announced Dale Earnhardt Jr. would replace him at Hendrick Motorsports next season.(ESPN.com)(6-25-2007)

  • Yeley's fate with JGR? #18-J.J. Yeley's fate is still up in the air with Joe Gibbs Racing after a star-crossed run at Michigan last week that saw him qualify on the pole but sink like a stone once the green flag fell en route to a 28th-place finish.(Ford Racing)(6-24-2007)

  • Gibbs evaluating manufacturer alignment: Having lost the Dale Earnhardt Jr. sweepstakes, Joe Gibbs Racing [#s 11, 18, 20] President J.D. Gibbs says his team is focused on its current lineup of drivers. Gibbs says it's too early to talk about any interest in Kyle Busch nor whether his team will switch to Toyota next season. JGR has been with General Motors for 16 years. "We wanted to wait and see what happened with the Junior deal," Gibbs said Sunday prior to the Citizens Bank 400 at Michigan. "And then we're going to sit down and evaluate. We've been a partner with them for 16 years. We're going to look at it and evaluate and make sure we're on the same page. "Obviously, is Toyota out there as a possibility? I think they have probably talked to a number of different groups... We just want to make sure, as the sport changes, how do we stay where we need to be at JGR to stay ahead of the curve? And a big part is manufacturer."(SceneDaily.com)(6-18-2007)

  • Chevy unveils paint schemes to commemorate 50 Years of the '57 Chevy: One of the most recognizable cars in American motoring history reaches a notable milestone this year, a milestone which NASCAR, Chevy and Motorsports Authentics proudly celebrate. The 1957 Chevrolet, a car which turns 50 years old this year, will be commemorated at August 19's 3M Performance 400 Nextel Cup race at Michigan International Speedway by at least 11 Team Chevy drivers. Unveiled by Jimmie Johnson at MIS today, a Monte Carlo SS race car featuring decals with cues from the iconic 1957 design is similar to the ones Johnson and other Team Chevy drivers will race during the August event. On August 18, '57 Chevys along with many other historic vehicles will hit the streets during Metro Detroit's Woodward Dream Cruise. That same weekend, Team Chevy Nextel Cup Series drivers #4-Ward Burton, #8-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #14-Sterling Marlin, #01-Mark Martin, #15-Paul Menard, #96-Tony Raines, #1-Martin Truex, Jr., #78-Kenny Wallace and #18-J.J. Yeley will take to the track at MIS with their cars wearing special '57 Chevy paint schemes. To commemorate this special event, Motorsports Authentics will replicate their cars with die-cast models and offer apparel and novelty items related to the event.(GM Racing PR), see an image of the #48 Scheme on my #48 Team Schemes page.(6-16-2007)

  • Latest Dale Jr. to 'news' MORE: Depending on who one believes in the Nextel Cup garage, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is headed either to Ginn Racing with sponsorship from Budweiser or Joe Gibbs Racing with backing from credit card giant Visa. Either way, expect an announcement next month. "We're trying not to comment too much on how things are going or what's going on until we can really have something to say, but I can tell you that things are positive," Earnhardt said after qualifying on Friday. "I've just been overwhelmed with the personalities that I've met, with the owners and the individuals working at each company. There are certainly a lot of great people out there with good morals and good values and with great attitudes about the sport and about what they want to accomplish. It makes me feel good about where the sport's going to be in the next 5-10 years with some of these individuals I've met."(SPEEDtv.com)
    UPDATE: on FoxSports NASCAR pre-race from Dover, Jeff Hammond said sources tell him that Dale Earnhardt Jr, would sign with Joe Gibbs Racing and have sponsorship from VISA, with the announcement coming within the next 10-14 days.(6-3-2007)

  • Toyota: Gibbs? Penske merge with Waltrip? UPDATE: Toyota, sources said, has approached the Gibbs team with a proposal to leave Chevrolet, which would give it #20-Tony Stewart, #11-Denny Hamlin and #18-J.J. Yeley. Gibbs' management doesn't appear to be that interested, but the offer hasn't been rejected, according to team sources. Penske [#2, #12], who has been with just about every manufacturer in racing over the years and who is one of the world's biggest Toyota dealers, could be making the move to Toyota for next year. According to sources close to the situation, Penske could be looking at a merger with Michael Waltrip's struggling Toyota operation. And there is speculation that Robert and Doug Yates [#38, #88] may be willing to listen to Toyota offers, even though they have long-standing ties with Ford.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-31-2007)

    UPDATE: Several sources tell SI.com that Toyota is going hard after Joe Gibbs Racing and that Gibbs is very interested. Officially, the Gibbs team denies any contact with Toyota: "It's news to us," team spokesman Mike Arning said. Toyota, as a matter of policy, does not comment on contract negotiations. The potential deal is a delicate subject for Gibbs and Toyota. Gibbs' contract with Chevrolet, which runs out at the end of the year, stipulates this is a non-negotiating period with other manufacturers. Is contact to determine interest negotiating? You'd have to read the fine print and then get a clarification from an arbitrator to determine that. But sources say there definitely has been communication between Toyota and Gibbs.(Sports Illustrated)(6-2-2007)

  • Newman to Gibbs? doubtful; Yeley controls his future: #12-Ryan Newman's name has surfaced prominently in early Silly Season rumors, most notably in connection with a possible move to Joe Gibbs Racing. But Penske Racing officials have said Newman is under contract through the end of the 2008 season, and the driver said Saturday that neither he nor the team are distracted by the Silly Season rumors. "A lot of names are in the hat right now," said Newman, who will make his 200th NASCAR Nextel Cup start on Sunday. "I guess it's a good thing being in the hat, being considered. At least someone thinks you have talent, but I'm happy where I'm at and I'm happy doing what I'm doing. We'll just play it like that. It doesn't distract me. I don't think it distracts the team. It's all about confidence whether it's confidence qualifying the race car and putting it on the edge or having confidence in me. That doesn't change." At Joe Gibbs Racing, #18-J.J. Yeley was told last week by J.D. Gibbs that he controls his own destiny, team officials said. Yeley, who is in the final year of his contract as driver of the #18 JGR Chevrolet, needs to improve his results if he wants to keep that ride next season, according to a JGR spokesman. But if he does that, he'll be back.(SPEEDtv.com)(5-27-2007)

  • Junior Can't Bring Budweiser to Gibbs Team: If Dale Earnhardt Jr. ends up at Joe Gibbs Racing, team officials are adamant it won't be with sponsor Budweiser. Bobby Ginn, however, has no problem with a beer sponsorship and is still hotly pursuing NASCAR's most coveted free agent. And Richard Childress? He had nothing to say on the subject Saturday at Lowe's Motor Speedway. With Hendrick Motorsports apparently out of the Earnhardt sweepstakes - Hendrick has four drivers under contract and claims he isn't looking to drop any of them - three other Chevrolet teams have emerged as the front-runners to sign NASCAR's most popular driver. JGR could be the leading candidate, but owner Joe Gibbs insisted Saturday night he won't accept a beer sponsorship at his family business. Earnhardt is closely associated with Budweiser, his longtime sponsor, and the company can leave Dale Earnhardt Inc. with him at the end of the season. "For me personally, and my background and everything that has happened to me, it wouldn't fit me," Gibbs said. "It doesn't mean it's not fine for everybody else." Gibbs officials also said they won't be expanding to four teams in 2008. That means they'd have to dump a driver to sign Earnhardt, and #18-J.J. Yeley could be on the hot seat. Ginn, meanwhile, has room for Earnhardt and has planned to expand to four teams since taking over majority ownership of the team known as MB2 Motorsports last season. Ginn said Saturday he's had "exploratory conversations" with Kelley Earnhardt Elledge, but has yet to speak to Earnhardt himself. He said he never would have taken it this far if he didn't think his organization was a perfect fit. Childress, who said Friday he had yet to speak to the Earnhardts, wouldn't give an update Saturday on any discussions. With three cars under the RCR roof, he said he'll be at four in 2008 with or without Earnhardt behind the wheel.(Associated Press)(5-27-2007)

  • Black scheme for Yeley at Nextel Open: #18-J.J. Yeley will participate in only his second Nextel Open. He is hoping to make his first All-Star Challenge by virtue of either finishing in the top two positions in the Open or by winning the Nextel Fan Vote. Yeley will be sporting a black paint scheme for All-Star weekend while still keeping the lightning bolt scheme introduced at the beginning of the 2007 season. The #18 will return to its familiar green theme for the May 27 Coca-Cola 600 and beyond.(JGR/True Speed PR), see an image on the #18 Team Schemes page(5-17-2007)

  • Gibbs: Dale Jr. yes; Budweiser...probably not: J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing [#11,#18,#20], answered questions from members of the media at Darlington Raceway on Saturday afternoon:
    ON HIS REACTION TO DALE EARNHARDT, JR.'S ANNOUNCEMENT: "Really from our standpoint we're kind of watching stuff unfold as you guys were. I thought they did a great job on their press conference. I know that was hard for him. I think for us really we're just really focused on what we're doing now, our three cars. Would everyone want a chance to talk to Dale Jr.? Sure. Who wouldn't want a chance to talk to Dale Jr.? Right now it sounds like he and Kelley, whatever decision they come up with will be a good one. They just want a little time to think about it. When the time is right we'd love to sit down and talk to him and see what their plans are but right now we're just focusing on what we're doing."
    WOULD YOU HAVE BUDWEISER AS A SPONSOR? "For us it would be hard. It'd be hard. They've been a great partner of the sport and do a lot for us but personally that would be a hard deal for us to do."
    WOULD IT BE DEAL BREAKER HARD? "I'll just leave it at that right now. I'm not sure if that would fit for us. Even though we really appreciate what they're doing and they're a great group, it'd be hard for us to do."
    WILL TONY STEWART AND DENNY HAMLIN'S CLOSE FRIENDSHIP WITH DALE EARNHARDT JR. PLAY INTO THAT AT ALL?
    "You know I really don't know. Just from what I heard him say that might but for the most part he just wants to go and run well. I think he'll have a ton of opportunities and when the time is right, hey if the opportunity is there we'd love to sit down and talk to him but right now I think he's just focused on his deal and just we're focused on our deal."
    SO YOU DON'T PLAN ON PROACTIVELY SEEKING HIM OUT AND TALKING ABOUT IT?
    "I feel like right now he's got enough stuff going on and we'll just let stuff roll where it is. The best thing we can do in any situation is if we run the best we can week in and week out, no matter what happens down the road, I think that's our best plan. There's nothing really interesting. all I have to say is that I'm kind of watching it unfold like you guys are. Sounds like if he and Kelley, they're on the same page they'll make a good decision. I think they'll have a ton of opportunities. If the time is right, we could talk to them about that but right now, I think we're just going to focus on what we're focusing on and let that fall where it may."(in part from a GM Racing PR)(5-13-2007)

  • Fire-Dex Teams Up with Yeley as assoc sponsor: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced a partnership with Fire-Dex, LLC of Medina, Ohio, who will join the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevy driven by J.J. Yeley as an associate sponsor for the entire 2007 Nextel Cup Series schedule. Fire-Dex, a leading manufacturer of protective firefighting clothing and emergency response apparel, will be featured on the "B-post" of Yeley's car, which is the area between the side windows. The company is entering its second year of involvement with a Nextel Cup team. In addition to the B-post decal, the Fire-Dex shield will appear on Yeley's driver uniform, the #18 team transporter and the #18 team pit box. Fire-Dex will also use Yeley's #18 Chevy at its booth during two major fire industry trade shows, including the FDIC (Fire Department Instructors Conference) in mid-April and the IAFC (International Association of Fire Chiefs) conference in late August. For more information on Fire-Dex, log onto www.firedex.com.(True Speed Communication/JGR PR)(2-11-2007)

  • Starter partners with JGR: Starter, a leader in developing licensed and innovative team apparel and footwear, formally announced a partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing [#11, #18, #20] to develop footwear and apparel solutions for the NASCAR team's crews and drivers. The partnership is designed to provide a "Living Laboratory" for Starter to apply its experience working with world-class athletes in other sports to the needs of the drivers and crews of Joe Gibbs Racing's teams in the Nextel Cup Series and Busch Series. Starter and its parent company Nike Inc. already provide 70% of the footwear worn by NASCAR crews, but this partnership signals a deepening of the company's commitment to the sport. Starter is partnering with Motorsports Authentics, the leading consumer apparel provider in NASCAR, to build a line of merchandise for trackside sales and other distribution channels, providing consumers with the closest experience possible to being part of the team. Starter, which grew to prominence in the 1980s with its line of Starter athletic jackets, is aggressively building its presence in NASCAR by delivering performance apparel and footwear products valued for all consumers. Among the first products to be introduced in 2007 is an authentic race-day jacket to be worn by #'s 20, 18 and 11 Nextel Cup teams. All products will meet a mandate of expressive, authentic, cool, reliable, crafted and durable performance, while utilizing the latest fabric and technology advancements over the past few years.(JGR PR)(1-29-2007)

  • Gibbs struggling with grandson's leukemia diagnosis: A 2-year-old grandson of Washington Redskins head coach [and Nextel Cup team owner] Joe Gibbs has been diagnosed with leukemia and is currently undergoing chemotherapy, a development that has been "devastating" to the Hall of Fame coach. According to Gibbs' personal Web site [joegibbsonline.com], Zachary Taylor Gibbs -- the son of NASCAR [team] executive J.D. Gibbs -- was ruled to have leukemia two weeks ago. Zachary Taylor has already undergone surgery. "We got the news on Taylor, and it was really devastating to our whole family," Gibbs said on his Web site. "So I've kind of been going through a process here the last two weeks, and I'm probably like a lot of you, this is much more important than winning football games. And winning football games is important. That's the third most important thing in my life. God's first, family and loved ones second and then my occupation third. "So as we struggle with this news with Taylor, we did get a good report this week, and he's had a number of surgeries that he's been through, he's in chemo now, and so we sure appreciate your prayers," Gibbs said. The coach is about to enter the fourth year of a five-year contract, a deal he has vowed to complete, assuming his health holds up. He turned 66 last season and often talked about spending offseason time with his "grandbabies." J.D. Gibbs, his oldest son, serves as president of Joe Gibbs Racing in North Carolina, and Gibbs' other son, Coy, is an offensive quality control coach for the Redskins. Between them, they have six sons and one daughter. On his Web site, Joe Gibbs said that Zachary Taylor's leukemia "kind of threw us all for a loop" and added it "way overshadows anything like our occupation and me winning football games."(ESPN.com)(1-24-2007)

  • Almirola to run some Busch races and possibly some Cup: Aric Almirola estimates he will run 20 Busch Series races and possibly a few Nextel Cup events in 2007. Almirola, testing the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevy during Busch Series practice at Daytona International Speedway, said Friday his 20 races will be split between the #18 and #20 JGR entries. Almirola, who added he is working on a truck deal for four or five races. Almirola has tested the "car of tomorrow" three or four times for JGR and that might lead to him running a few Cup events. He also might do other NASCAR test sessions. He said the Cup races will possibly be determined by sponsors and where they would want him to run. Almirola said the fourth team would be primarily used as a research and development team.(SceneDaily.com)(1-20-2007)

2006 News

  • JGR are NASCAR Football Champs: NASCAR Flag Football: Joe Gibbs Racing are the 2006 Champions of Bob Hubner's Totally Racin' Flag Football League presented by Race City Resumes.com. JGR led by quarterback J.D. Gibbs went 10-0 competing against 5 other NASCAR Teams for the title. Evernham Motorsports Hendrick Motorsports, Lowe's Motor Speedway, Roush Racing and Team Red Bull.(Race City Resumes)(12-6-2006)

  • Almirola could make Cup debut in 2007: Joe Gibbs Racing president J.D. Gibbs said Tampa product Aric Almirola is likely to make his Nextel Cup debut next season as part of a plan to enter him in up to 20 Busch Series races and test a research and development car for the team's three current Cup programs. NASCAR holds seven open test sessions for all Cup teams and a driver must try to qualify for a race after attending the first two. They must then try to qualify for a race for every subsequent test. "For our future, it's our best option to concentrate on Busch stuff with him," Gibbs said. "It's only five races (less than) a full truck season so he'll probably benefit more from working with our guys." Almirola will race in both JGR's #18 and #20 Busch Chevrolet entry, Gibbs said.(St Petersburg Times)(11-20-2006)

  • Sponsorship changes at the #18? The #18 Chevy of J.J. Yeley could see its sponsorship split among three companies - including Interstate Batteries - each of whom would be the primary sponsor for 12 races and an associate for the remaining 24.(Speed Channel)(8-5-2006)

  • Carmichael offer from Gibbs? UPDATE: As Ricky Carmichael soldiers on through his last full season on the AMA Motocross circuit, pieces are starting to fall in place as to what exactly his plans are for 2007 and beyond. Besides rumors circulating of Carmichael signing a three-year deal to drive in the ARCA Series for the Joe Gibbs race team starting in 2007, Carmichael is starting to leave hints as to which outdoor nationals he plans on racing next year.(racerxill.com)(7-20-2006)
    UPDATE: If Motocross racer Ricky Carmichael wants to give NASCAR a try, Joe Gibbs Racing will find a seat for him. J.D. Gibbs said Sunday the team has had preliminary discussions with Carmichael, who many consider the greatest motocross racer of all time. "We're just talking to him, like a "Hey, if it ever comes up and you are interested in doing something, let's brainstorm,' " Gibbs said. Carmichael is expected to make the 2007 season his final one in Motocross, and Gibbs said he didn't think it would take him long to adjust to stock-cars if Carmichael wanted to give them a try.(FoxSports/AP)(7-24-2006)

  • Yeley to Drive VESIcare Scheme at Chicago: To bring attention to the condition of overactive bladder (OAB), Astellas Pharma US, Inc. (Astellas) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) are working together with driver J.J. Yeley, who will be driving #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevy at Chicagoland Speedway. The sponsorship is part of an ongoing promotional campaign to help raise awareness about OAB and VESIcare tablets, a treatment for OAB marketed by Astellas and GSK. The campaign goal for VESIcare is to help make sufferers aware that their condition may be treatable and to encourage a dialogue between patients and health care professionals. The logo for VESIcare will be displayed on the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevy driven by Yeley. For complete prescribing information for VESIcare, go to www.vesicare.com.(True Speed Communication/JGR PR)(7-3-2006)

  • Gibbs teams up with Arena Racing: Arena Racing USA, which has been sanctioning indoor stock car races in Virginia since 2003 at the Hampton Coliseum and the Norfolk Scope, has partnered with Joe Gibbs Racing to expand arena racing to Charlotte, and eventually, cities across America. Arena Racing USA features half-scale stock cars capable of 100 mph, but are confined to a 1/10th mile banked, indoor race track. The track is portable and fits inside the confines of a hockey rink. Arena Racing USA's Charlotte home will be the Cricket Arena on Independence Blvd [NC 74]. Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing and head coach of the NFL's Washington Redskins, and Norm Miller, chairman of Interstate Batteries, are backing Arena Racing USA's Charlotte effort, along with Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin and J.J. Yeley.(more info at Joe Gibbs Racing site/True Speed Communications PR)(6-13-2006)

  • Special Paint for Yeley at Dover; The #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevy of J.J. Yeley will be carrying a special paint scheme this weekend, featuring Imitrex (sumatriptan succinate), a prescription medicine for the treatment of migraine headaches. Sunday's race will be the fourth of 11 events this season in which GlaxoSmithKline will be the primary sponsor of Yeley's Chevy.(JGR PR)(6-2-2006)

  • Husqvarna on the #18 at Pocono: The #18 Chevy of J.J. Yeley will be carrying special colors this weekend, featuring a blue and white Husqvarna paint scheme. Sunday's race will be the second of three events this season in which Yeley will be sponsored by Husqvarna, the Official Lawn and Garden Equipment of NASCAR. The company's final race of the year will be the Aug. 20 GFS Marketplace 400 at Michigan International Speedway.(Joe Gibbs Racing), see images of the car on my #18 Team Schemes page.(6-9-2006)

  • Yeley to Drive Boniva Scheme at Darlington: Mother's Day is a time for everyone to salute their mom with gifts and good wishes. But perhaps the best gift a mother can receive is to ensure she has helpful information on how to achieve and maintain good health, including bone health. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Roche are presenting this message to moms all across America this weekend with a special delivery from NASCAR driver J.J. Yeley and the Joe Gibbs Racing team. A unique paint scheme will be displayed on the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevy, which will be driven by Yeley during the Dodge Charger 500 Nextel Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway on Saturday, May 13th. The sponsorship aims to help raise awareness about postmenopausal osteoporosis and once-monthly BonivaR (ibandronate sodium) tablets. It encourages women to take steps to protect themselves against fractures. Information about postmenopausal osteoporosis and Boniva can be found at www.boniva.com.(Camp & Associates/Joe Gibbs Racing)(5-9-2006)

  • Yeley to run ACT scheme at Talladega: GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will display a unique paint scheme on the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet to be driven by rookie J.J. Yeley during the April 30 Aaron's 499 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. The sponsorship aims to help raise awareness about the need for improved asthma control and motivate patients with asthma to take the Asthma Control TestT (ACT), and share the results with their doctor. The ACT consists of five simple questions that help patients understand how their asthma affects them. GlaxoSmithKline also will bring its AsthmaControl.com mobile exhibit to the Talladega Superspeedway on April 30 to allow race fans with asthma to take the ACT, learn their asthma scores on site and receive racing souvenirs.(Joe Gibbs Racing PR)(4-27-2006)
    IMAGE: see an image of the car on my #18 Team Schemes page.(4-29-2006)

  • Toyota and...Jarrett? UPDATE 3 Allmendinger? Gibbs?: The new NASCAR Nextel Cup Toyota operation that is being backed by Red Bull "has opened the checkbook," according to one top Ford man, who points to Red Bull's hiring of John Propst, a top Ford Motor Company vehicle dynamics specialist, and the hiring of a top Dodge engineer from the Ray Evernham camp for its new stock-car racing team. General Motors executives are anxiously watching their own key engineers for any similar defections. Elsewhere on the Toyota-NASCAR front, Toyota has made a bid to sign a two-year contract with Dale Jarrett, the tour's 1999 champion and a three-time Daytona 500 winner. Jarrett's contract with car owner Robert Yates is up at the end of this season. While it has been unclear for several months if Yates and Jarrett could come to new terms, Ford officials said Yates is offering Jarrett a contract similar to the Toyota deal.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-8-2006)
    UPDATE - Red Bull Drivers? When Red Bull Racing debuts their two Toyota teams at Daytona in February of 2007, rumor has it the organization is looking to pair a rookie with a veteran, taking an approached used by Evernham Motorsports with Dodge. Veterans on the Red Bull list are said to be Kevin Harvick and Dale Jarrett. No word on a rookie, but it could easily be an accomplished veteran from another of the Motorsports arenas.(CircleTrackPlus)(4-9-2006)
    UPDATE 2 Allmendinger? Murmurs in Champ Car circles say Red Bull, which carries a personal services contract with AJ Allmendinger, might like to see the young American in Nextel Cup, where it hopes to strike big in 2007 in partnership with Toyota. With so much money and fame up for grabs in NASCAR, it has become a challenge to keep promising open-wheel drivers away from the France family circus. It could prove difficult for Owner Carl Russo and Champ Car to hold onto Allmendinger, especially if he starts winning.(Autoweek)(4-9-2006)
    UPDATE 3 Gibbs? There is still no word on which drivers Toyota might back, but Toyota may be making a run at car owner Joe Gibbs, with hopes of persuading the veteran Chevy man, and his three-man team of #20-Tony Stewart, #11-Denny Hamlin and #18-J. J. Yeley, to jump to the Camry brigade, according to sources. Chevy's Kevin Harvick continues to be a focal point of Toyota speculation. However, there is word that Harvick may be under consideration by Ford's Jack Roush for a driving job next season, though Harvick insists "I've not talked with Jack Roush, and I don't know Geoff Smith (Roush's contract attorney)." Smith was not here to discuss the situation, and Roush demurred: "I hear Toyota goes with Kevin Harvick, and there's not a Toyota in my future. What I do know, is Toyota just hired (engineer) John Propst from Ford, and that gives Toyota access to everything all the Ford teams have known about the engineering of the cars, and that's a cheeky move by Toyota, and it's certainly a coup for Toyota. The thing that is more distressing is Toyota is in position to make their own tires, with its relationship with Bridgestone....And I've heard Toyota has acquired 100 acres of land in Charlotte to put together a test track."(Winston Salem Journal)(4-10-2006)

  • Yeley to Drive AsthmaControl.com at Bristol: GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will display a unique paint scheme on the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevy driven by rookie J.J. Yeley during the March 26 Food City 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. The sponsorship aims to help raise awareness about the need for improved asthma control, and to motivate patients with asthma to take the Asthma Control Test (ACT) and share the results with their doctors. The ACT consists of five simple questions that help patients understand how their asthma affects them. It can be found at www.asthmacontrol.com. GlaxoSmithKline will also bring its AsthmaControl.com mobile exhibit to Bristol Motor Speedway on March 26 to allow race fans with asthma to take the ACT, learn their asthma scores on-site and receive racing souvenirs. For company information, visit GSK on the World Wide Web at www.gsk.com.(JGR/Camp & Assoc)(3-21-2006)

  • Special scheme for Yeley at Atlanta: The Interstate Batteries Chevy will be sporting new colors for the first time this season in Atlanta. Husqvarna will be featured as the primary sponsor of J.J. Yeley's #18 Joe Gibbs Racing #18 Chevy.(Joe Gibbs Racing), see an image on my #18 Team Schemes page. The scheme is scheduled to run at two more not yet announced races.(3-17-2006)

  • Husqvarna to sponsor Joe Gibbs Racing teams: Husqvarna, a global manufacturer of forest, lawn and garden power equipment for all applications, has reached a sponsorship agreement with Joe Gibbs Racing for the 2006 season. The multi-car sponsorship further solidifies Husqvarna's commitment to racing: The company already serves as the Forest, Lawn & Garden Equipment of NASCAR, and it features a NASCAR branded chainsaw in its product catalog. The contract includes primary sponsorship of Gibbs' number #18 Chevy for three NASCAR Nextel Cup races. The blue, orange and white car will feature the Husqvarna logo on the hood, quarter panels and back sections. Husqvarna will also be listed on the car's decklid as well as the transporter and pit box throughout the 2006 season, and the uniform of driver J.J. Yeley will include the Husqvarna name. Husqvarna's agreement extends into the Joe Gibbs Racing Busch Series team as well. Husqvarna will be the primary sponsor of the number #19 Chevy for four races. Aric Almirola takes the wheel for three of those races. Husqvarna will utilize the Joe Gibbs Racing facility in Huntersville, NC throughout 2006 for dealer events, and will invite select dealers to Washington Redskins football games and pre-season training camp sessions, which are included as part of the sponsorship agreement.(husqvarna.com)(2-28-2006)

  • Timken teams up with JGR: The Timken Company announced that it has entered into an agreement with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) to become an official technical partner of the NASCAR racing organization. The partnership, which provides product development and technical engineering support, will be leveraged across JGR's multiple team operations in the Nextel Cup Series, Busch Series and Truck Series. For the last two years, Timken has worked collaboratively with the JGR engineering team to develop and test technologies that improve the car's powertrain performance, delivering longer life, improved fuel economy and higher horsepower availability. Products like specialty steels from the company's Latrobe, Pa., operations and Timken RacePac, an integrated hub and bearing assembly specially designed for NASCAR teams, demonstrate an ongoing commitment to safety, reliability and high performance for the motorsports industry.(Timken PR)(2-8-2006)

2005 News

  • A Yeley Story: Now you know the rest of the story. It was announced last at Phoenix that Chris Yeley will take over the #18 Interstate Batteries Chevy next season. Chris Yeley? Yes, that's J.J. Yeley's given first name. J.J. stands for Jimmy Jack, a combination of his uncle's name Jimmy and his father's name Jack. Yeley says "The two of them went in when I was born and took turns being with my mom. It was a lengthy labor unfortunately so they took the initials of the two. I actually got "Chris" as my given name about a week later. I like J.J., it's a good racing name."(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(11-15-2005)

  • #18 Team wins Checkers Double Drive-Thru Challenge: The #18 Interstate Batteries/Madagascar Team with driver Bobby Labonte won the Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge at the on November 13th at the Phoenix International Raceway with a pit-road-service time of 272.609 seconds. As the Official Burger and Drive-Thru Restaurant of NASCAR, Checkers/Rally's recognizes the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series team with the best pit road performance each week with a $10,000 prize. At the end of the season, Checkers/Rally's will award the $100,000 grand prize to the team that garners the most Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge wins throughout the race season. Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge takes place at all 36 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point races. To win, teams must finish on the lead lap while spending the least amount of time in pit lane. For details on the Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge, visit checkers.com/nascar.(MARC PR)(10-21-2005)

  • Yeley to the #18 UPDATE It's OFFICIAL: been told that Joe Gibbs Racing's Busch Driver, J.J. Yeley will be named the driver of the #18 Chevy at a press conference in Phoenix.(11-9-2005)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing announced today that JJ Yeley will drive the #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet in 2006. He will continue to run in the Busch Series in 2006 with JGR; the amount of races in the Busch Series will be between 22 to the full season. Attending today's press conference was JD Gibbs (President), Jimmy Makar (President of Racing Operations) and JJ Yeley (Driver).
    JD GIBBS: "We're excited. We obviously had a great relationship with Bobby Labonte for many years. We like doing things for a long, long time. That worked out. Obviously Bobby made his announcement for, as well as I could imagine, with a hard situation. For us to have JJ sitting here ready to go was obviously a big reason why we were able to make that decision with Bobby. JJ can go forward and win races and challenge for championships. We're excited about that. Jimmy is the technical one and he's been to a lot more testing than I have."
    JIMMY MAKAR: "Yeah, I'll tell you, we're really excited about JJ. We've got a lot going on at JGR right now and from a technical standpoint, it's been a pleasure to work with JJ and see him and his ability to work with the car and understand the car and converse with the crew chiefs and the guys that work on the car. I think that's a big plus for him-to be able to understand that and to be able to converse with his crew chief and let's everybody know what the car needs. His driving talents are excellent and those abilities are something that's going to make him stand out for others as well. We're really excited to move forward and long relationship with him. Like JD said, win some races and challenge for a championship."
    JJ YELEY: "I'm very excited to get the opportunity to drive the #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet out there. I've got some big shoes to fill out there with Bobby Labonte, past champion and a guy that's won 20 races. I'm just very proud to be a part of JGR. JD and Mr. Makar have given me an opportunity and obviously the equipment is there, Tony leading the points and Denny Hamlin doing very well here lately. So, I'm just very excited for the opportunity they've given me and proud that they have the confidence in me. I want to thank a lot of people-Vigaro and Home Depot have been with me in the Busch Series to get me to this point. My parents have obviously sacrificed a lot to get me to this point. There's a lot of people that have helped me get to this point and hopefully I can go out there for them and make them very proud."(More at the Joe Gibbs Racing site)(11-12-2005)

  • Bobby Labonte to the #43? UPDATE 3 It's Official: Bobby Labonte to the #43 Petty Enterprises ride Jeff Green would vacate [for the #0 Chevy].(Sporting News)(10-17-2005)
    UPDATE 1 Announedment Sched: Petty Enterprises is scheduled to make an announcement on Friday, Nov. 11th at Phoenix International Raceway..........Bobby Labonte driver?(11-10-2005)
    UPDATE 2: On Friday, November 10th at Phoenix International Raceway, Petty Enterprises will announce that Nextel Cup champion, Bobby Labonte, will drive the #43 Cheerios / Betty Crocker Dodge in 2006. Labonte won the NEXTEL Cup championship in 2000 driving for Joe Gibbs Racing, has 21 career NEXTEL Cup victories and claimed the NASCAR Busch Series Championship in 1991. Labonte started racing quarter midgets at the age of five in his hometown of Corpus Christi, TX. His brother is NASCAR champion Terry Labonte.(11-10-2005)
    OFFICIAL: Bobby Labonte, 2000 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series champion, will drive the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge beginning with the 2006 season, it was announced this morning by Robbie Loomis, Executive Vice President of Operations, Petty Enterprises. Labonte, 41, joins Petty Enterprises from Joe Gibbs Racing where he won 21 Cup races and the 2000 NASCAR Nextel Cup Championship during his 10-year stretch with the team. He will be a teammate to Kyle Petty, and will also work first-hand with Loomis, who is rejoining the organization after a successful championship-winning stint at Hendrick Motorsports.
    "Winning in our sport is a learned process," said Loomis. "The heritage of Petty Enterprises, coupled with a talented, successful driver like Bobby Labonte, will lead to some great things. There's a lot of work to be done, but we have some tremendous tools here and we're excited about the future."
    "We're bringing some serious firepower to the #43 Cheerios Dodge next year and I am excited about having Bobby Labonte as a teammate," Kyle Petty said. "Bobby knows how to win races and how to win championships, as does Robbie Loomis."
    "I'm really pleased to be part of Petty Enterprises," Labonte said. "When I first came into this sport, my heroes were Terry Labonte and Richard Petty. To have the opportunity to drive Richard Petty's #43 car is something I could not have imagined growing up. The #43 knows its way to victory lane, and we'll get it back there. I am looking forward to working with Robbie, Kyle, The King and the entire Petty team. And, I'm excited about working with households names like Cheerios and Betty Crocker, along with the entire General Mills team. I had a great run at Joe Gibbs Racing, and have the utmost respect for that organization and appreciate all they did for me. I am fortunate to be going to another high quality organization in Petty Enterprises," Labonte said.
    "Just like Cheerios and Betty Crocker, Bobby Labonte is committed to winning, to family and to community," added General Mills Vice President Laurie Greeno. "We at General Mills are thrilled to have Bobby join the #43 team."(Williams Company)(11-11-2005)

  • Labonte to run Madagascar scheme at Phoenix: #18-Bobby Labonte will run the Interstate Batteries/Madagascar scheme on the #18 Chevy at Phoenix International Raceway's Cup race on Sunday.(Joe Gibbs Racing), Labonte was to drive this scheme the Coca-Cola 600 in May right after the movie premiered, but when the #11 FedEx car failed to make the race, FedEx moved to the #18 and the Madagascar scheme then ran in the June Pocono race. The movie is now being released on DVD, hence the promotional scheme, see an image of the scheme on my #18 Team Schemes page.(11-9-2005)

  • Yeley to the #18: been told that Joe Gibbs Racing's Busch Driver, J.J. Yeley will be named the driver of the #18 Chevy at a press conference in Phoenix.(11-9-2005)

  • Bobby Labonte to the #43? UPDATE 3 Labonte parts ways with JGR: Bobby Labonte to the #43 Petty Enterprises ride Jeff Green would vacate [for the #0 Chevy].(Sporting News)(10-17-2005)
    UPDATE: Speed Channel's Bob Dillner reported on Saturday's Speed News that he is hearing Bobby Labonte will go to Petty Enterprises and drive the famed #43 Dodge....while I WAS hearing he would go to Ganassi Racing in the #42, it seems that deal broke down and ALSO hearing Labonte could end up in the #22 Caterpillar Dodge....looks like the Dodge part is a lock.(11-6-2005)
    UPDATE 2 - Yeley to the #18? #18-Bobby Labonte has refused for several months to talk about his future plans, and he has become increasingly testy when pressed on the issue. Labonte is being actively wooed by both Bill Davis and Kyle Petty for 2006, and Joe Gibbs, Labonte's current car owner, has been told that Labonte won't be back, according to sources. Gibbs has tentatively set a press conference for next week at Phoenix to announce J. J. Yeley as Labonte's replacement, regardless of which direction Labonte takes.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-7-2005)
    UPDATE 3: Bobby Labonte and Joe Gibbs Racing will conclude an 11-year relationship at the end of the 2005 NEXTEL Cup Series season, Labonte and officials from JGR announced Nov. 7. Labonte's future plans, as well as a replacement driver for the #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet, will be announced at a later date. "I regret to say that this is the final year that I will be at Joe Gibbs Racing," Labonte said. "One of the things that made this decision so difficult was thinking of all the fans that have supported me at JGR throughout the past 11 years. This relationship has lasted a long time, and I hate that it has to end. Joe Gibbs and his family gave me the opportunity of a lifetime, and I want to thank them, and all the employees at JGR, for 11 years of hard work. I will always cherish the times at JGR, and the only thing that I regret is that we didn't win more races and or championships. I wish everyone at JGR continued success in the future and I want to thank J.D. (Gibbs, president of JGR) for giving me the chance to be released from my contract early and letting me pursue other opportunities."(Joe Gibbs Racing)(11-7-2005)

  • Interstate Batteries Rewards Local Dealer: When Bobby Labonte competes at the Dickies 500 NEXTEL Cup Series event Nov. 6 at Texas Motor Speedway, the hood of his #18 Interstate Batteries Chevy will look a little bit different than most fans are used to seeing. Following a nationwide contest that Interstate conducted earlier this year, the car will carry the name of Main Street Getty, an Interstate Batteries dealer located in Tewksbury, Mass., a city of about 28,000 people, located about 20 miles north of Boston. In addition, IBS of Massachusetts, the Interstate Batteries distributorship that services Main Street Getty, will also adorn part of Labonte's hood. Both were winners of Interstate's '500 Miles of Fame II' promotion, a program designed to increase its dealers' focus on batteries and give them and Interstate's distributors a chance to be seen by millions of consumers both in person and on television in a location normally reserved for multi-million dollar corporate names. Winners not only receive an all-expense paid trip to the race, but will also get the opportunity to meet Labonte prior to the event. Interstate is one of the longest-running major sponsors in NEXTEL Cup racing having been associated with Joe Gibbs Racing since 1991.(Camp and Associates/JGR)(11-1-2005)
    IMAGE: see image of the hood on my #18 Team Schemes page.(11-2-2005)

  • Labonte to the #42? UPDATE 4: Hearing Bobby Labonte, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Chevy, is the top candidate to replace Jamie McMurray in the #42 Texaco-Havoline Dodge at Chip Ganassi Racing, which would allow #97-Kurt Busch to drive the #2 in 2006 and McMurray to head to Roush Racing and drive the #97. Both McMurray and Busch signed deals to go to those teams in 2007 and both are trying to get out of their contract to run with their new teams in 2006.(10-21-2005)
    UPDATE: Bobby Labonte could hold the key to the Jack Roush-Chip Ganassi-Roger Penske driver-swapping puzzle that has bedeviled the NASCAR garage area since July. Labonte's name has been circulating for months in the NASCAR rumor mill, though he has insisted several times he's not particularly interested in leaving Gibbs, his boss for more than a decade. However several car owners have said they are actively pursuing him, if he is available. Labonte's contract with Gibbs isn't up, but that would apparently not be a stumbling block if the two do decide to split.
    The scenario under debate: Labonte moving to Ganassi, who would in turn free Jamie McMurray to join Roush as a replacement for Kurt Busch next season and then as a replacement for Mark Martin in 2007. In turn, Roush could then release Busch to join Roger Penske as a replacement for Rusty Wallace, who is retiring at the end of this season. Kyle Petty, meanwhile, said if Labonte is looking, Petty Enterprises wants to talk to him: "Oh, gosh, yes, if Bobby were available, his name would be in our hat." Petty is in the market for a driver to take over Jeff Green's ride in the team's 43 car.(Winston Salem Journal)
    AND Queried about his plans for where he'll drive in 2006, Bobby Labonte declined to offer any specifics. "It's not in my best interest to tell you, so I'm not going to tell you," said the 2000 NASCAR Cup champion. Labonte did confirm that he has two years left on his contract with Joe Gibbs, but he's been rumored to be on his way out, possibly to drive for either Petty Enterprises or Chip Ganassi.(Speed Channel)(10-24-2005)
    UPDATE 2: Native Texan Bobby Labonte laughed off a rumor that he is being considered for the driver's job with Hall of Fame Racing, the start-up Cup team co-owned by former Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach. Labonte, the 2000 Cup champion, has driven for Joe Gibbs Racing since 1995. Interestingly, Hall of Fame Racing's 2006 Chevrolets will be supplied by Gibbs, making the team a satellite operation of Joe Gibbs Racing. Labonte declined to divulge the duration of his current contract with Gibbs. "That's my business, not yours," Labonte said. "As far as I know, I'm driving their car."(Fort Worth Star Telegram), no mention of the #42 rumor........(10-26-2005)
    UPDATE 3: hearing that Bobby Labonte has signed with Ganassi Racing for next season. Supposedly they are only waiting for the lawyers to finish up with the paperwork. There was no mention as to whether or not Interstate Batteries would be going with him.(11-1-2005)
    UPDATE 4: Perhaps the final piece to the puzzle is Ganassi securing a new driver for McMurray. Bobby Labonte has been in the rumor mill however Labonte, who is attending the 2005 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, told PRN's Garagepass "I figure if you don't run good you might as well start some stuff. Until something happens there's nothing to say about it because there's only two people that hold the key to the situation and a lot of people can talk about it but they don't know what they're talking about."(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)...clear as mud?(11-1-2005)

  • Dominos Should Fall this week - Busch-McMurray released? UPDATE 2 McMurray release DENIED:: This will be the crucial week for a decision, Roush Racing president Geoff Smith says, in the long-running driver-swap negotiations involving Jack Roush's Kurt Busch, Chip Ganassi's Jamie McMurray, and Roger Penske. If it does happen, McMurray would join Roush [#97], and Busch would join Penske [#2]. "In order for it to work, there has to be a driver for Chip," Smith said. "Ten days ago it wasn't working for Chip, but now it can work, so I presume he's got somebody." That could be Ricky Rudd, who isn't saying what his 2006 plans are, but who is reportedly very close to a decision simply to retire at the end of the season. Or it could be Bobby Labonte. Or Labonte could be headed to Bill Davis, according to sources. If Labonte leaves Chevrolet's Joe Gibbs to join the soon-to-be-Toyota Davis team as Michael Waltrip's teammate, that would be a major pick up by Toyota, expected to join the Nextel Cup tour for the 2007 season. If Davis doesn't get Labonte, he will likely get Dave Blaney, according to sources. Blaney once drove for Davis. Penske officials, saying that Rudd isn't one of their options, agree that this is the week that will tell the tale, and they agree with Smith that the complicated deal will in fact be completed.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-31-2005)
    UPDATE: ESPN's Mike Massaro is reporting that Roush Racing has released 2004 Nextel Cup Champ #97 Kurt Busch from his 2006 contract obligations, allowing Busch to go to the #2 Miller Lite Dodge that Rusty Wallace will be retiring from at the end of 2005. ALSO Massaro is reporting that Jamie McMurray has been released from his 2006 Ganassi Racing contract to drive the #42 Texaco Dodge, allowing him to go to Roush Racing, taking over for Busch in the #97/#28 car or whatever number they will use with Crown Royal as the primary sponsor. So......who goes to the #42 Texaco Havoline Dodge? I am still hearing it'll be Bobby Labonte, and other reports have Ricky Rudd taking the #42 ride over.(10-31-2005)
    UPDATE 2: Jamie McMurray has not been released from his 2006 contract commitments at this time.(Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates PR)(11-1-2005)

  • More on Labonte looking: #18-Bobby Labonte apparently is on the short list of "proven winners" NASCAR legend Richard Petty plans to consider as driver of the famed #43 beginning in 2006. Labonte, the 2000 Nextel Cup champion, has a contract with Joe Gibbs Racing that runs through 2008. But a source said Friday that Labonte had informed some crewmen two weeks ago that he would not be returning to the #18 Chevrolet in 2006. The team's primary sponsor is Interstate Batteries. A team spokesman said Labonte has been "noncommittal" about his plans for next season. The source added that though Labonte respects Gibbs and his organization, he wants a change of scenery.(Fort Worth Star Telegram), still hearing Labonte to the #42 Texaco Dodge.(10-29-2005)

  • Special Scheme for Labonte at Atlanta: GlaxoSmithKline will display a unique message paint scheme on the #18 Chevrolet that Bobby Labonte will drive at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The sponsorship is to help raise awareness of the Asthma Control Test (ACT) and to motivate asthma patients to assess their level of control and encourage them to talk with their doctor about their asthma symptoms.(Joe Gibbs Racing), the ACT scheme was run at Calfornia in Sept., see an image of teh scheme on the #18 Team Schemes page.(10-26-2005)

  • Addington Wins Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race Award at Martinsville: #18-Bobby Labonte may have received two speeding tickets in this week's Subway 500, but they never slowed him down. With help from crew chief Steve Addington, Labonte overcame his pit road infractions to land a top-five finish, his best since the Coca-Cola 600. For leading his driver from the back to the front, Addington was voted the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race. "We had a really good car today," said Addington after the race. "Bobby (Labonte) knows how important track position is here (Martinsville) and was trying to get as much as he could on pit road. It ended up costing us twice. Fortunately our car was strong enough to get it back. We had the longest green flag run of the day after one of our penalties and that was a huge help. Our car was great on long runs and that allowed us to make up a lot of distance. If we didn't have to start in the back, we probably could have been battling the leader." The panel of voters, including Mike Mulhern of the Winston-Salem Journal, a Wypall Wipers representative and Robbie Reiser, split their votes on the crew chief of the race. Mulhern cast his vote for Pat Tryson, who overcame a brake problem on the #6 Ford. The Wypall representative and Reiser both voted for Addington.
    Doug Richert leads the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year standings with five wins. Alan Gustafson and Greg Zipadelli are tied for second-place with three wins. Bob Osborne, Jimmy Fennig, Robbie Reiser, Chad Knaus, Steve Addington and Robbie Loomis are tied for third-place with two wins. Tommy Baldwin, Scott Miller, Fatback McSwain, Steve Hmiel, Greg Erwin, Slugger Labbe, Pat Tryson and Pete Rondeau are tied for fourth place, each with one win. At the end of the season, the crew chief with the most weekly wins will receive $20,000. Fans can also vote for their choice at wypall.com.(SMC 500)(10-24-2005)

  • Green to the #0? Labonte to the #43? #18? Mike Bliss is the latest driver to learn he's out after the season finale at Homestead. Jeff Green appears to be the top candidate for Bliss' #0 Haas CNC ride. If he gets it, the dominoes really would start to fall. The most curious possible replacement? Bobby Labonte for the Petty Enterprises ride Green would vacate. Labonte, who drives the #18 for Joe Gibbs Racing, has been less than thrilled lately, and his name was mentioned earlier as a candidate for the Penske Racing #2 and Richard Childress Racing #29. Gibbs is auditioning Busch drivers Denny Hamlin and J.J. Yeley for the #11 Chevrolet. Hamlin finished eighth in Saturday night's crashfest at Charlotte, so give him the nod. But should Labonte leave, it would open the door for both drivers to move up to Cup in 2006.(Sporting News)(10-17-2005)

  • Labonte track to have a promo day [trying again:: NCQMA (Bobby Labonte's race track) is having a promotional day at the track this Sunday Oct. 16th [it was rained out on the 8th]. Info at ncqma.com(10-13-2005)(

  • Harvick rumors won't die....to #11? UPDATE: #29-Kevin Harvick and car owner Richard Childress have said they intend to team again next season, the last year of their current contract, but that hasn't stopped speculation that car owner Joe Gibbs has been looking at Harvick for a full-time ride with his #11 FedEx-sponsored team.(Winston Salem Journal)
    BUT been told that there was a 'trade' discussed not too long ago, Harvick to Gibbs and Bobby Labonte to RCR, but it all fell thru and was never really serious.(9-26-2005)
    MORE: hearing talk was pretty strong that the Harvick-Labonte trade was moving along until the night of the Bristol race, and Gibbs decided he didn't want Harvick. Think both drivers are still looking to go to other rides but Harvick's comments at Bristol ended the Gibbs possibilities. So don't expect Harvick to go to the #11 car.(9-27-205)

  • NASCAR Race Points scheme: #18-Bobby Labonte will run a MBNA NASCAR RacePoints scheme at the Dover International Speedway, for Sunday's MBNA Race Points 400. MBNA has added the Red Cross logo to the trunk deck. Labonte will be wearing a white fire suit with the American Red Cross logo on the front and 1-800-help-now on the back. The #11 FedEx Chevy of Joe Gibbs Racing will also carry the Red cross logo on the trunk. Fed Ex and MBNA are teaming up to take credit card and cash donations at the track on Saturday and Sunday to help with the Hurricane relief., see an image of the car and suit on my #18 Team Schemes page.(9-20-2005)

  • WIX Filters Extends Joe Gibbs Racing Sponsorship: WIX Filters has announced that it will extend its associate sponsorship of Joe Gibbs Racing through 2007, taking the mutually beneficial relationship into its 15th year of NASCAR competition. The Joe Gibbs Racing associate sponsorship is the cornerstone of WIX Filters' involvement in NASCAR - more teams use WIX Filters than any other filter, making WIX the #1 filter in NASCAR - and the filter manufacturer leverages its relationship with JGR in marketing communications efforts. Joe Gibbs Racing's NEXTEL Cup #18 car, driven by Bobby Labonte, and its #20 car, driven by Tony Stewart, offer powerful visuals and voices in WIX Filters advertising; WIX uses its track-side research in its public relations efforts; and customers benefit from at-track events, racing-related promotions and the assurance that thanks to teams like Joe Gibbs Racing, the filter they are buying has succeeded on the toughest testing ground around. In addition, Labonte and Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs will make personal appearances on behalf of WIX Filters - a benefit that WIX shares with its customers, giving them a chance to bring a taste of NASCAR to their own events. WIX has been a partner with Joe Gibbs Racing since 1993, just two years after Gibbs launched the race shop, and have continued a strong partnership ever since. Since 1939, WIX Filters has been an innovator in filtration products. WIX also has the WIX Filters Lap Leader Award, which recognizes the drivers leading the most laps in each race. For more info on WIX Filters' go to wixfilters.com.(PR)(9-13-2005)

  • GlaxoSmithKline and Labonte Fight Asthma with ACT at California: GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will display a unique message paint scheme at California Speedway during the Nextel Cup Sony HD 500 race on September 4. The sponsorship is to help raise awareness of the Asthma Control Test (ACT) and to motivate asthma patients to assess their level of control and encourage them to talk with their doctor about their asthma symptoms. GlaxoSmithKline will also bring an AsthmaControl mobile exhibit to the California Speedway on Sunday, September 4th to allow asthma patients to take ACT on site and to learn more about their asthma.(JGR), see image of the scheme on my #18 Team Schemes page.(8-30-2005)

  • No Decision on 2006 #11 driver; No FedX to #18: Joe Gibbs Racing Team Manager Jimmy Makar said no decision has been made yet on a driver for the team's #11 FedEx-sponsored Chevrolet for next season. Makar said the team's Busch drivers, Denny Hamlin and J.J. Yeley, will each get seat time in the Cup car before the end of the year and are both in contention for the ride "if they show promise." Makar also said the team definitely will run three cars in 2006, adding there was no truth to the rumors that FedEx could move to Bobby Labonte's #18.(Speed Channel)(8-29-2005)

  • Gibbs lands Logano despite Roush interest: For years, it seemed like a lock that teenage driving phenom Joey Logano would wind up at Roush Racing because of the interest that Mark Martin, Roush's veteran driver, has shown in the youngster, who sometimes competes against Martin's son Matt. But Logano, a 15-year-old, recent signed a driver development contract with Joe Gibbs Racing. Tom Logano, who handled the negotiations for his son, said he had hoped to work a deal with Roush, but he and team officials couldn't work out a contract so he called Gibbs. Four business days later, he said, the paperwork was signed, and his son will race under Gibbs' banner. "It looks like I tried to shop Joey, but the chemistry at Roush just wasn't there," he said. Roush's team has been reluctant to hire drivers under legal age since Kyle Busch reneged on an agreement to race for the team and moved to Hendrick Motorsports after he turned 18.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(8-19-2005)

  • LeBron James Paint Scheme on #18 at Bristol: Coca-Cola will test LeBron James' crossover appeal when the company puts the Cleveland Cavaliers guard on Bobby Labonte's hood next Saturday night. A comic book character resembling the 20-year-old NBA marketing icon will be plastered on the hood of the No. 18 car for the Sharpie 500 at the Bristol Motor Speedway to promote POWERade's new James-inspired flavor, SourMelon. Coca-Cola officials say that recent data shows that 74% of all NBA fans are also NASCAR watchers. Coca-Cola will be flying in James to see his first live NASCAR race. "I really like the look of the race car," James said in a statement. "But I'm thinking we need to add some new rims." Coca-Cola will hand out commemorative comic books, with James and Labonte as characters, to fans at the track. The flavor, which is scheduled to hit shelves in 32-ounce bottles on Oct. 1, is the second in the line called FLAVA23. Sourberry, which matched the colors of his Cleveland Cavaliers jersey, hit supermarket and convenience store shelves last September. James helped chose the flavor, which is colored an emerald green, the color of his jersey at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School. Coca-Cola signed James two years ago to a six-year deal worth $2 million annually. Per the contract, James endorses both the POWERade and Sprite brands. Sources with knowledge of the contract told ESPN.com that James receives a bonus if POWERade's market share grows. La Kier would not confirm details of the contract. For every four Gatorade bottles sold in the United States, one POWERade bottle is sold, but the Coca-Cola sports drink brand is doing extremely well. La Kier said that total volume sold has increased 23 percent year-to-date. POWERade is an official sponsor of NASCAR, but in recent years has battled for placement with Gatorade, which owns victory lane at some tracks and has individual deals with drivers.(ESPN.com)(8-17-2005)

  • More Labonte rumors...to Evernham? Fed-Ex to the #18, Interstate Batteries? what might happen next at [Joe] Gibbs' [Racing] is uncertain. While #18-Bobby Labonte insists he has no plans to leave Gibbs, that has not quieted the NASCAR garage, with the talk continuing, focused on the possibility car owner Ray Evernham would like to hire Labonte for his new third team [#10 Valvoline] next season. Gibbs may be moving his FedEx sponsorship from his new third team, with #11-Jason Leffler, to the team for which Labonte currently drives, which has been sponsored for years by Interstate Batteries, according to sources close to the team. And there could be more to the change, though it's not at all clear just what [Jimmy Spencer reported this last week on NASCAR This Morning]. And it's not clear just how Gibbs' Interstate Batteries sponsorship might be aligned next season. Interstate boss Norm Miller is a close friend of Gibbs and is the man whose sponsorship helped launch Gibbs in NASCAR more than a decade ago. But over the years, the Texas battery maker has watched bigger and bigger companies join NASCAR as sponsors.(Winston Salem Journal)
    AND rumors have Michael Waltrip possibly being aligned with Interstate Batteries somehow in 2006.(7-25-2005)

  • Claification of Labonte/Gibbs Racing rumors: See all the rumors below. Some updates to claify some of those rumors:
    1. Joe Gibbs Racing is not planning a sports car team for 2006 and while Bobby Labonte enjoys the Rolex races, he is still a full-time Cup driver and is signed with JGR through 2008.
    2. Interstate Batteries will be back on the #18 Chevy in 2006, as they have been since 1992, one of the longest running primary sponsors/team relationships in NASCAR.
    3. And, as pointed out through various articles and in Bobby Labonte's comments. The rumors are untrue and that's about all that can be said.(JGR team spokesman)(7-19-2005)

  • Gibbs to four teams? Not looking at Sorenson: Joe Gibbs Racing [#11, #18, #20] is contemplating an expansion to a four-car effort next season, according to team sources. However, J. D. Gibbs, who runs the team for his NFL coaching father, insists the company isn't looking at hiring Busch hotshot Reed Sorensen, despite reports.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-18-2005)

  • Gibbs to kill the #11 team? Jimmy Spencer stated on Speed Channel's NASCAR This Morning that he expects Joe Gibbs Racing #11 Fed-Ex team to go away, Gibbs teams to go back to a 2 car team with Fed-Ex going to the #18 Bobby Labonte team as it is not well funded with Interstate Batteries.(Speed Channel's NASCAR This Morning)(7-17-2005)

  • Labonte not back with Gibbs? UPDATE 3: CBS Sportsline story reports: Although a former series champion, Bobby Labonte might not be back in the #18 in 2006. Stay tuned.(CBS Sportsline), however back in 2003, Labonte signed an extension with Joe Gibbs Racing thru the 2008 season.(7-14-2005)
    UPDATE: Bobby Labonte and team manager Jimmy Makar were noncommittal about reports that Labonte may be leaving car owner Joe Gibbs at the end of the season after 11 years, including the 2000 championship run. Labonte, according to other team owners, has been checking out the marketplace, and he is being mentioned for three possible rides: with Roger Penske, replacing retiring Rusty Wallace; with Ray Evernham, as a teammate with Kasey Kahne and Jeremy Mayfield; and with Nelson Bowers [MB2 Motorsports], if Scott Riggs leaves.(Winston Salem Journal)
    MORE Car owner Joe Gibbs is interested in hiring Busch series hotshot Reed Sorensen for a Nextel Cup ride next season, according to sources close to the situation. While Tony Stewart is Gibbs' hot driver at the moment, teammates #18-Bobby Labonte and #11-Jason Leffler have had disappointing results. Makar, while enjoying Stewart's dominating performances these last few weeks, has been struggling to right the staggering other two teams in the Gibbs stable. The Leffler team, new this season, has struggled to get its sea legs, despite new crew chief Mike Ford taking over two months ago. The Labonte team, on the other hand, has struggled since losing crew chief Michael McSwain last summer; those close to Labonte say that the relationship with Gibbs may have "grown stale."(Winston Salem Journal)(7-16-2005)
    UPDATE 2: #18-Bobby Labonte said Saturday that it bothers him when people put his name in the rumor mill without even asking him whether anything's going on. So, Bobby, is there anything going on? "The real deal is there is no real deal," Labonte said at New Hampshire International Speedway, where he'll start 10th in Sunday's New England 300. "I have got a contract and I am driving the snot out of our car." Labonte's name first appeared in the NASCAR rumor mill during the Nextel Cup weekend at Infineon Raceway, with Labonte supposedly looking to leave the #18 Chevrolets despite having a contract with Joe Gibbs Racing that goes through 2008. The rumors surfaced again this week as discussion about who'll go where in 2006 picks up speed in the Cup garage. "Anytime you're not running good and there are things changing, people include you (in rumors)," Labonte said. "In some people's situations, sometimes they do help. But you don't know how bad it screws up a race team when people write something with no facts at all. You don't realize how bad it can screw up an organization when you're all trying real hard to make things work."(ThatsRacin.com/David Poole)(7-17-2005)
    UPDATE 3: Even though Bobby Labonte has a contract with Joe Gibbs Racing through the 2008 Nextel Cup season, CBS Sportsline reports Labonte might not be back in the #18 car he's driven since the beginning of the 1995 season and in which he won the 2000 Cup Championship. What didn't get reported by CBS is a persistent rumor that Labonte, tired of the Nextel Cup grind but enamored with his Rolex Series Daytona Prototype ride, will swap to that series with Gibbs in 2006.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(7-17-2005)

  • #18 Scheme for Chicago: Boniva (ibandronate sodium), a new medicine for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis, will serve as primary sponsor for Bobby Labonte on the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevy at Chicagoland. The primary car for the USG Sheetrock 400 is Chassis No. 91, which has never been raced before. The car was involved in an accident in May during practice for the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge.(Joe Gibbs Racing PR/Site)(7-7-2005)

  • Hard to beileve....OOPS and CORRECTION #20-Tony Stewart's victory gave owner Joe Gibbs a new distinction. It was the first time Gibbs-owned cars had ever won two races in a row. Stewart followed up his victory at Infineon Raceway with his first official victory in a restrictor-plate race. "First time in 14 years," said Gibbs. "It's hard to do. And it's been a hard, tough year for us. This is a big deal for Joe Gibbs Racing as a whole."(Gaston Gazette), Gibbs also owns the #18-Bobby Labonte and #11-Jason Leffler teams.(7-5-2005)
    CORRECTION: Stewart's back-to-back triumphs at Sonoma and Daytona marked the fourth time in his seven-year Nextel Cup career that he has logged back-to-back wins. In 1999, Stewart's second career Nextel Cup win at Phoenix in November was followed one week later by his win at Homestead. And twice in 2000 Stewart scored back-to-back wins - in June at Dover and Michigan and again in late September and early October with wins at Dover and Martinsville.(True Speed Communication)(7-5-2005)

  • Bank of America buys MBNA: Bank of America Corp. will buy MBNA Corp. in a stock and cash deal valued at $35 billion, combining the third- and fifth-largest credit-card companies in the country into what could be the largest.(Charlotte Business Journal), no word how this will effect the MBNA sponsorship of Joe Gibbs Racing or the MBNA Halfway Leader program.(6-30-2005)

  • Daytona USA to sponsor Labontes: DAYTONA USA, the Official Attraction of NASCAR, will sponsor the #44 Doran Racing Pontiac Doran driven by NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champions Bobby and Terry Labonte in the June 30 Brumos Porsche 250 Rolex Sports Car Series race at Daytona International Speedway. In the Rolex 24 At Daytona earlier this year, Bobby Labonte, the 2000 NEXTEL Cup Series champion, and Terry, the 1984 and 1996 NEXTEL Cup champion, co-drove the #44 Daytona Prototype with Jan Magnussen and Bryan Herta to a ninth-place overall finish. The Brumos Porsche 250, which features the Daytona Prototypes as well as GT class machines, will kick off the Pepsi 400 Weekend on Thursday, June 30 with a new starting time of 7:15pm/et.(DIS)(6-25-2005)

  • Gibbs FanFest returns: The annual Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) Fall FanFest returns in 2005, where from 9:00am to 2:00pm/et on Fri., Oct. 14, JGR's drivers from the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Weekly Racing Series will be available for autographs at the team's recently renovated race shop in Huntersville, North Carolina.(JGR Site), see more on my Racing Charities page.(6-25-2005)

  • FedEx, Interstate Batteries Team Up for Coca-Cola 600: Due to Joe Gibbs Racing's #11 race car failing to qualify for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Charlotte, officials from Joe Gibbs Racing, FedEx and Interstate Batteries agreed that FedEx would become the primary sponsor of the #18 Chevrolet for the Coca-Cola 600, replacing Interstate Batteries. Bobby Labonte will remain as the driver of the #18. Crew chief Steve Addington and the entire #18 crew will also retain their normal duties. The #18 Chevrolet was to have run a Madagascar paint scheme in the Coca-Cola 600. However, DreamWorks and Action Performance Co. have graciously agreed to postpone the Madagascar promotion until the June 12 Pocono 500 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. "We can't thank Interstate Batteries and FedEx enough for enabling us to deal with this setback in the most positive manner possible," said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. "We stress teamwork throughout Joe Gibbs Racing. To have Interstate Batteries, who has been with us since day one, and FedEx, our newest sponsor, and Bobby Labonte and the #18 crew work through this bit of adversity so seamlessly speaks volumes about the quality of our sponsors and the character of our team."(Joe Gibbs Racing site)(5-27-2005)
    IMAGE: see an image of the car on my #18 Team Schemes page, thanks to Cup Scene Online for the image.(5-28-2005)

  • Gibbs undergoes heart procedure...last month - back to work and fine: Joe Gibbs Racing owner [#11,#18,#20] Joe Gibbs was hospitalized for a heart procedure to open a clogged artery last month, The Washington Post reports. Gibbs, who is 64 and who coaches the Washington Redskins football team, said doctors placed a small, spring-like wire tube known as a stent in the artery at a Washington hospital in mid-April. Gibbs said he remained overnight but returned to work the next day and was back to his regular workout routine, which includes a 45-minute run, within several days. "I understand the public interest, but it has no effect on my work, or my tenure with the Redskins," he said. "I considered it a private matter."(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(5-12-2005)
  • Bobby Labonte To Drive Boniva Car at Richmond: GlaxoSmithKline, Roche, and Joe Gibbs Racing, plan to help raise awareness of Boniva(ibandronate sodium), a new medicine for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Boniva will be the primary sponsor for the #18 Chevrolet driven by Bobby Labonte at the Chevy American Revolution 400 May 14 at Richmond International Raceway. In addition to the Richmond race, which is during Osteoporosis Awareness Month, Labonte will drive a Boniva-sponsored car at a second race later this summer. The sponsorship comes in the wake of the Surgeon General'sReport elevating osteoporosis to a major public health threat on par with smoking and obesity.(Camp and Associates/Joe Gibbs Racing)(5-6-2005)

  • Labonte to make some Demo laps at Talladega: Labonte will drive demonstration laps in the #44 Doran Labonte Racing DORAN JE4 Pontiac Grand American Rolex Series car prior to NEXTEL Cup drivers' introductions Sunday morning at Talladega. Labonte, along with brother, Terry, IRL IndyCar Series standout Brian Herta and road-racing star Jan Magnussen finished ninth with the car in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in February. Bobby Labonte will drive the car in three more Rolex events in 2005: the Brumos Porsche 250 June 29-30 at Daytona International Speedway, the 400-kilometer event July 29-31 at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., and the Watkins Glen 200 Aug. 11-12 at Watkins Glen International. Events at Daytona and Watkins Glen are in conjunction with NEXTEL Cup Series events, while the Birmingham event is during the off-week between the Pennsylvania 500 and the Brickyard 400.(JGR)(4-27-2005)

  • Joe Gibbs Racing Drivers Make History on Saturday: With three Joe Gibbs Racing drivers winning their three respective races, April 9 marked yet another milestone in Joe Gibbs Racing's ongoing 14-year history. Bobby Labonte, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, won the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series undercard race at Martinsville Speedway. Following Labonte's Saturday triumph were Joe Gibbs Racing's diversity drivers Chris Bristol and Aric Almirola. The two Late Model drivers competing in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series won their respective races at Hickory Motor Speedway and Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, VA. Bristol, in his #92 MBNA Chevrolet with associate sponsorship from Rockwell Automation and Cintas, started fifth in Hickory's 50-lap Late Model race and ended the race in first, becoming the first African-American driver to win in Hickory's 55-year history. The win also placed the 27-year-old Bristol in a three-way tie for first in the track's championship point standings.
    Almirola, in his #92 Home Depot Chevrolet with associate sponsorship from Rockwell Automation and Cintas, started sixth in the Motor Mile's 150-lap Late Model feature and finished first. It was the 20-year-old's first win of the 2005 season and his second top-three finish at Motor Mile. The Hispanic driver from Tampa, Fla., finished third in the March 19 Doughton Racing Products 300. Both cars are carrying the number 92 in tribute to the late Reggie White, co-founder of Joe Gibbs Racing's diversity program. The #92 is the number White wore throughout his football career, playing at the University of Tennessee before becoming a Hall of Fame defensive end in the National Football League. Also of note on Saturday was the seventh-place finish of 23-year-old Woody Howard in Saturday night's USAR Hooter's Pro Cup race at South Boston Speedway. Howard, Joe Gibbs Racing's recently signed development driver, started his first career Hooter's Pro Cup race in his Dean Motorsports entry from the outside pole before finishing a solid seventh in the 250-lap race. (True Speed Communication/Joe Gibbs Racing)(4-11-2005)

  • Labonte Golf Tourney Raises over $130k: The Bobby Labonte Celebrity Golf Classic presented by ConAgra Foods raised more than $130,000 for the Bobby Labonte Foundation, officials from the foundation announced April 10. The Bobby Labonte Foundation supports numerous charities and non-profit organizations, including the Victory Junction Gang Camp and the North Carolina Quarter-Midget Association. The event took place over two days at the prestigious Ballantyne Resort in Charlotte, N.C., with dinner and auction on April 4 followed by golf on April 5. In addition to Labonte, NASCAR drivers Terry Labonte, Tony Stewart, Jason Leffler and Johnny Benson participated, as did J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing, Steve Addington, Labonte's crew chief and Greg Zipadelli, Stewart's crew chief. Jim Cantore from The Weather Channel, Marty Roe, lead-singer for Diamond Rio and Larry Ziegler from the PGA Champions Tour also participated.(Camp and Associates)(4-10-2005)

  • Bobby Labonte wins at Martinsville: #47-Bobby Labonte won the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway, becoming the 12th driver to win at least one race in the three National Series [Cup, Busch, Trucks]. Not only has Labonte won a race in all three series but he did it at the same track: Labonte has won a Cup, Busch and Truck Series at Martinsville [which has to be rare since the Busch Series hasn't raced at Martinsville since 1994].(4-9-2005)
    AND - Labonte Truck Stuff: Labonte became the 50th different driver to win the truck series and, he and brother, Terry, became the first set of brothers to win in the series. Terry Labonte won at Richmond in Sept. 1995. The Labonte brothers have a combined eight starts in the Craftsman Truck Series (Bobby with five and Terry with three, all in 1995) and have two victories and six top-three victories.(JGR PR)(4-9-2005)

  • Bobby Labonte to run Alabama Grand Am race: #18-Bobby Labonte has added the July 29-31 [an off Cup weekend - the last one of the season] Grand American Rolex Series race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., to his 2005 Grand American Rolex Series race schedule. Barring unforeseen circumstances it will be Labonte's third race start -- two in a span of just one month -- of the four now-scheduled 2005 races in the #44 Pontiac-powered Doran JE4 Daytona Prototype. He will also have raced the car the previous month in the Paul Revere 250 at Daytona International Speedway with brother Terry Labonte during the Pepsi 400 Nextel Cup race weekend. An Aug. 12 Rolex Series race, part of NASCAR's Aug. 14 Sirius at the Glen weekend, also is on the brotherly duo's Rolex Series' schedule. Terry Labonte, with whom Bobby will pair for the other two remaining scheduled Rolex Series races, is expected to be with son Justin Labonte for a Busch Series race scheduled for the same weekend. Also, word has it that Bobby Labonte will take a demonstration spin in the #44 Pontiac-Doran in pre-race ceremonies at the May 1 Aaron's 499 at Talladega Motor Speedway. However, his tight, pre-race schedule must first be massaged to allow him to undertake it.(Motorsport.com)(4-6-2005)

  • Woman killed at JGR Construction site UPDATE: A woman was killed Wednesday afternoon while helping finish construction on an addition to a race team's facility. Authorities were called about 2:30pm/et about an injury at Joe Gibbs Racing on Reese Boulevard in the Huntersville Business Park, about 15 miles north of uptown Charlotte. The woman, whose identity was being withheld until authorities notify her family, died on the scene. Although officials with the company and the police released few details, preliminary reports suggested a joist had struck the woman, said Juan Santos, a N.C. Department of Labor spokesman. The woman worked for the general contractor at the site, not the race company, according to a statement released by Joe Gibbs Racing. Officials with Precision Walls Inc. declined to comment as they left the site, while officials from Shelco Inc., the general contractor, could not be reached. Huntersville police and state officials are still investigating the incident.(Charlotte Observer)(3-31-2005)
    UPDATE: Huntersville police on Monday released the identity of the woman killed last week while helping finish construction on an addition to a race team's facility. Asia Mena Diez, 42, of Charlotte died Wednesday afternoon when the platform lift she was in slammed her into the rafters in a Joe Gibbs Racing building in the Huntersville Business Park, Lt. Ken Richardson said.She worked for Queen Drywall, a subcontractor under general contractor Shelco Inc., he said. There were no signs of foul play, Richardson said. It appeared she had hit a button on the lift, he said.(Charlotte Observer)(4-6-2005)

  • JGR's Diversity Program Ready for 2nd Season: After scoring three wins, three poles, 15 top-five finishes and 34 top-10 finishes in its first season of NASCAR Weekly Racing Series competition in 2004, Joe Gibbs Racing's (JGR) diversity program hit the ground running in 2005 as second-year drivers Aric Almirola and Chris Bristol finished third in their respective early-season races. Almirola drove his #92 Home Depot Chevrolet to a strong third-place finish in the March 19 Doughton Racing Products 300 Late Model stock car race at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va. Bristol equaled his teammate's mark a week later, piloting his #92 MBNA Chevrolet to third in the March 26 NASCAR Weekly Racing Series season-opener at Hickory Motor Speedway. In 2005, Almirola moves from being a regular Late Model driver at Ace Speedway to campaign his Home Depot Chevrolet at big Late Model races throughout the Southeast. Bristol, meanwhile, moves to the .363-mile Hickory oval to compete regularly in that track's Late Model program. Both cars will carry the number 92 in tribute to White, the number he wore throughout his football career.(Joe Gibbs Racing/True Speed Communication)(4-1-2005)

  • Bobby Labonte to run Truck at Atlanta: Even though Bobby Labonte has more wins than any other full-time driver at Atlanta Motor Speedway, he'll be a rookie on Friday, March 18. That's when Bobby Labonte will compete for the first time at Atlanta in a NASCAR Craftsman Truck race. It will be his fourth career truck race and third in the #47 Chevy All-Stars Silverado, which he will try to drive to victory in the World Financial Group 200. Labonte will be pulling double duty that weekend, also driving his usual #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet in the March 20 Golden Corral 500 NEXTEL Cup race. But Labonte was focused entirely on his Chevy truck on Tuesday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, when he was preparing for his Craftsman Truck Series debut at the fast track. His first few laps didn't set any speed records, but Labonte said he was just getting warmed up when he turned a lap around the 1.54-mile speedway in 31.19 seconds (177.749 mph). Great seats are still available for all three days of racing action. Weekend ticket packages start at just $65 and are limited in quanity. For more information call Ticketmaster, or the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211, or visit www.AtlantaMotorSpeedway.com.(AMS PR)(3-2-2005)

  • Special Schemes for Gibbs #18 and #20: DreamWorks Animation, Joe Gibbs Racing, Interstate Batteries, The Home Depot and Action Performance Companies Inc. announced details about their latest NASCAR racing special centered around the upcoming animated feature film, Madagascar. The film follows the story of four "wild" animals who are treated to a pampered existence in the zoo until they accidentally are shipped to the island of Madagascar. The four principle characters - Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe and Gloria the hippopotamus - provide the basis for paint schemes that will decorate the #18 Interstate Batteries and #20 The Home Depot Chevrolet race cars owned by Joe Gibbs Racing. DreamWorks Animation's Madagascar opens nationwide in theaters on May 27, 2005. Tony Stewart will drive the #20 The Home Depot/Madagascar Chevrolet during the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge on May 21. Bobby Labonte, Stewart's teammate at Joe Gibbs Racing, will pilot the #18 Interstate Batteries/Madagascar Chevrolet during NASCAR's longest race, the Coca-Cola 600, on May 29, 2005. Both races will take place at the NASCAR track near Charlotte, N.C.
    The cross-promotion marks the second time that DreamWorks Animation has teamed with Joe Gibbs Racing in as many race seasons. Last year, the organizations teamed to showcase a pair of Shrek 2-themed stock cars that also saw action during the all-star and Memorial Day weekend races. Action Performance Companies, the leader in licensed motorsports merchandise, designed the Madagascar machines, including a limited edition program car. Action also will create die-cast replica versions of both the #18 and #20 Madagascar-edition race cars. In addition to the specialty paint scheme, each collectible comes in its own unique Madagascar-themed packaging. The collectibles will be available through Action's standard distribution channels.
    DreamWorks Animation's Madagascar is a computer-animated comedy starring four civilized animals - a lion, a zebra, a giraffe and a hippo - who have lived their entire lives in blissful captivity, growing up as best friends at the Central Park Zoo...until the day they are put on a boat to Africa and suddenly find themselves washed ashore onto the exotic island of Madagascar. Now, these native New Yorkers must learn to survive in this strange land and discover the true meaning of the phrase, "it's a jungle out there."(Action Performance PR), see images on my #18 Team Schemes page and #20 Team Schemes page.(2-26-2006)

  • Coca-Cola Racing Family New Anime Ad to Debut During Daytona 500: In the first-ever NASCAR-themed Anime ad, Coca-Cola Racing Family members Tony Stewart, Kyle Petty, Bobby Labonte and Kevin Harvick are seen as animated superheroes engaging in adventurous activities such as scuba diving with sea monsters and flying fighter planes before they return to the track for a Coke and a bit of racing. Breaking during the broadcast of the Daytona 500 on February 20 -- a growing showcase for new advertising -- the 60-second ad, entitled "Fantastic Four," is the only animated spot in the new Coca-Cola "Make It Real" campaign. It will also run in more than 10,000 movie theaters across the country and a 30-second version of the spot will be featured on NASCAR broadcasts throughout the season. The spot concludes with one word -- 'Adrenaline' -- followed by the campaign tagline, 'Make It Real.' The word 'adrenaline' underscores the drivers' energetic attitude both on and off the track. Created by Berlin Cameron / Red Cell, the new 'Make it Real' campaign also includes print and outdoor executions. Additional ads are planned for later in 2005.(Coca-Cola PR)(2-15-2005)

  • Labonte's to run Watkins Glen road race: Kevin Doran, president of Doran Racing, and Bobby Labonte announced yesterday that they will join forces and plan to field a car in three Grand American Rolex Series races in 2005, including the race at The Glen during the SIRIUS Satellite Radio at The Glen August 11-14. This weekend's Rolex 24 at Daytona International Raceway will be Doran Labonte's first event. They will also participate in the Paul Revere 250 at Daytona June 29-30 and will run a third time at Watkins Glen International on Friday during the Grand American Rolex Series race on August 12. The two races will be held in conjunction with NASCAR NEXTEL Cup events. Bobby Labonte drives the Interstate Batteries Chevy for Joe Gibbs Racing in NASCAR. His older brother, Terry Labonte, a two-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion, is doing a limited NASCAR schedule in 2005 and 2006 with Hendrick Motorsports in the Kelloggs Chevy. The Labonte brothers along with endurance sports car superstar Jan Magnussen, will comprise the driver roster for the two races this summer. The Rolex Series Daytona Prototype will be registered as a Doran Labonte Racing entry. It is a bright red DORAN JE4 powered by a Pontiac engine, and carries #44. Doran Racing also fields the gold Crown Royal Special Reserve DORAN JE4 Lexus #77 of Didier Theys, Matteo Bobbi and Fabrizio Gollin. All of the Grand American Rolex Series races will be televised on Speed. For more information, please see www.doranracing.com and www.bobbylabonte.com. For tickets and additional information, including pricing, please contact the Watkins Glen ticket office at 866-461-RACE, log on to the official Watkins Glen website at www.TheGlen.com(Watkins Glen PR)(2-5-2005)

  • Labonte's buy a sports car for the Rolex 24 at Daytona...UPDATE: hearing that Bobby and Terry Labonte bought themselves a Doran JE4 Daytona Prototype and will be running in the Feb. 5-6 Rolex 24 At Daytona and will additionally run two other races in the Rolex Series: the Thursday-night June 30 Paul Revere 250 at Daytona and at the Friday Aug. 12 Watkins Glen Cup race weekend. I'm hearing they MIGHT also run July 31 at Birmingham's Barber Motor Sports Park, which is a free date between Cup's Pocono and Brickyard dates. Their Pontiac-powered Doran JE4, built by Doran Designs, will be maintained by the car's constructor, Kevin Doran, through another company, Doran Racing. The Brothers Labonte have actually tried to get a Rolex 24 team together for the last two or three years. So it's something they've wanted to do but, for one of any of the myriad reasons that racing deals can fall apart, just weren't able to get an effort off the ground until this year.(12-17-2004)
    UPDATE: Past Nextel Cup champions Bobby and Terry Labonte will be teaming with IRL IndyCar Series' star Bryan Herta of Andretti-Green Racing and former Formula One driver Jan Magnussen for the Feb. 5-6 Rolex 24 At Daytona. The four will be one of two team cars fielded by Doran Racing. "Bobby tested the car at Homestead the second week of December,' team owner Kevin Doran said of the 2000 Nextel Cup champ. "He put in a couple of 10-12 laps stints and he was completely comfortable with the car by the second stint.' While the upcoming Rolex 24-Hour will be Bobby Labonte's first such race, older brother Terry ran in five 24-hour races at Daytona in the early to mid-1980's. Indeed, the two time Cup champion Terry Labonte scored his first Cup championship in the same year in which he had earlier scored a GTO-class victory and a sixth-place overall finish in the classic twice-around-the clock race. Interestingly, in that Rolex 24 victory, Labonte teamed with his Cup car owner of that year, Billy Hagan. Gene Felton rounded out the driving team. Doran's second car will be driven by Italians Fabrizio Gollin, Matteo Bobbi and Doran Racing veteran Didier Theys. As a car owner, Doran won the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona in 1998 and 2002 and Theys went on to win the Grand American Sports Racing Prototype championship in 2002.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(1-1-2005)

2004 News

  • Gibbs announces own oil: on Dec 9th at the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show, Joe Gibbs Performance announced the introduction of Joe Gibbs Performance Brand Racing Oil, the same synthetic racing oil used by Joe Gibbs Racing and two time Champion engine builder Mark Cronquist. "Joe Gibbs Performance Racing Oil delivers un-compromised power, protection and performance for our race cars at every level of competition," said J.D. Gibbs, President of Joe Gibbs Racing. "Over the past five years we have invested substantial resources in developing our own racing oil and now racers at every level can use the oil we use in all our race engines." Used in every Joe Gibbs Racing engine since 1999, Joe Gibbs Performance Racing Oil puts five years of R&D and championship proven performance in the hands of professional engine builders and local racers throughout the United States. "We looked for a product that could provide the wear protection we needed without sacrificing horsepower," said Mark Cronquist. "We were not pleased with the performance of the racing oils that were on the market, so we contracted a world leader in lubrication technology to custom blend synthetic oils to meet our extreme needs. We designed Joe Gibbs Performance Racing Oil to control valve train wear in our flat tappet Nextel Cup engines. Before we developed Joe Gibbs Performance Racing Oil, we were seeing wear in the valve train that kept us from being as aggressive as we wanted to be. Joe Gibbs Performance Racing Oil solved our valve train wear problems, and we've seen significant horsepower and torque gains when we've tested Joe Gibbs Performance Racing Oil against other race oils." Now, engine builders and racers across the United States can now use the same racing oil that Cronquist himself relies on to power Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart's NASCAR Nextel Cup race cars. Joe Gibbs Performance Racing Oil will be available for shipment in mid December and can be purchased direct from Joe Gibbs Racing or through CV Products. For more information or to place an order, visit www.joegibbsracingoil.com. Orders can also be placed by calling 866-611-1820 or contact CV Products.(JGR PR)(12-17-2004)

  • New Crew Chief for Bobby Labonte: Steve Addington has been named Bobby Labonte's crew chief on the #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet for the 2005 season. Addington comes to the #18 Interstate Batteries car after one year as crew chief for the No. 20 Rockwell Automation Busch Series car for JGR, which was driven by Mike Bliss in the 2004 season and finished fifth in the final Busch point standings. "Steve brings a great deal of racing knowledge and leadership to the Interstate Batteries team," said J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR. "He did a great job with the #20 Rockwell Automation car in the Busch Series last year, and we look forward to a lot of success with him in 2005." During the 2004 season, Addington helped Bliss to his first career Busch Series victory Oct. 15 at Charlotte and 14 top-10 finishes. Prior to working with JGR, Addington was crew chief for Jason Keller in the Busch Series, first at KEL Racing from 1990-96 and then at ppc Racing from 1999-2003.
    Addington, 40, from Spartanburg, S.C., becomes only the fourth crew chief in the illustrious 13-year history of the #18 Interstate Batteries team. Jimmy Makar served as crew chief for Dale Jarrett (1993-94) and then Labonte (1995-2002) until being promoted to senior vice president of racing operations for JGR. Michael "Fatback" McSwain served as crew chief for the 2003 season and 18 races of the 2004 season when Brandon Thomas took over as interim crew chief for the final 18 races of the season. Thomas will continue with JGR in the engineering department. Labonte, the 2000 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Champion, has 21 career victories and finished 12th in points in 2004. The 2005 season will be his 11th season with JGR and his 13th full-season of NEXTEL Cup competition. "Steve brings a lot of experience to the #18 Interstate Batteries team," Labonte said. "He had a good year with the #20 Rockwell Automation Busch team last year, and I think he'll be able to helps us get back to Victory Lane and into the championship hunt."(JGR PR)(12-1-2004)

  • An Evening with Bobby Labonte: Former Cup champion Bobby Labonte will be honorary chairman and the featured guest for an American Lung Association benefit on Dec. 8. "An Evening with Bobby Labonte" is scheduled at the Speedway Club ballroom at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. Sponsorship opportunities remain available and tickets and keepsake prints are limited. More info on my Racing Charities page.(11-28-2004)

  • Bobby Labonte's car to be at D-Day memorial: The National D-Day Memorial will host NASCAR star Bobby Labonte's #18 D-Day show car on Friday and Saturday [Oct 29, 30]. The car's appearance comes following a D-Day-themed NASCAR race in Delaware in June during the Normandy invasion's 60th anniversary. The car will be on display from 3 to 6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Regular admission fees to the memorial will apply. Miniature replicas of the car will be on sale, with a portion of sales benefiting the memorial. A drawing will be held for a replica signed by Labonte.(Lynchbug NewsAdvance), see images of the car on my #18 Team Paint Scheme page.(10-26-2004)

  • Bobby Labonte to run first Truck race since 1996: Bobby Labonte, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Chevy, will attempt to start his second career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event, almost eight years to the day of his first. Labonte started 24th and finished 34th in the #77 Rotary Lift Chevrolet on Oct. 26, 1996 in the GM Goodwrench 300 at Phoenix International Raceway. Labonte completed only 31 of the 186 laps after a valve problem ended his day.(JGR PR)(10-19-2004)

  • Personnel Chnages at JGR? Pink slips were handed out to several crew members at Joe Gibbs Racing last week, leading some to wonder where the manpower to run three [#11,#18,#20] teams in 2005 will come from.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(10-18-2004)

  • MBNA Primary Sponsor of #18 at Dover: MBNA is the primary sponsor of the #18 Chevrolet for Dover. The company, which is based in Wilmington, Del., has sponsored races at Dover since 1995 and is a long-time sponsor of Joe Gibbs Racing.(Joe Gibbs Racing PR)(9-22-204)

  • Benson Beats Labonte and wins at Berlin: Johnny Benson Jr. outran the field in Wednesday night's The Chet Late Model Invitational, a 125-lap feature race at the Berlin Raceway in Marne. Benson held off the T.A. Gentry cars of Joe Bush and Lee Anderson, just as he did in June when his NASCAR buddy, Michael Waltrip, made the trek up to Marne. Bobby Labonte finished 14th after qualifying 26th in the No. 1 Late Model he borrowed from former track champion Randy Sweet of Kalamazoo. It was Labonte's first Berlin appearance, and he was never in the hunt for the $5,000 first-place cash prize. Labonte arrived on the Berlin Fairgrounds around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, and fans were already waiting to meet the 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup champion. Labonte, who is ninth in Nextel Cup points, signed autographs and posed for pictures throughout the afternoon and early evening while acclimating himself to the car and race track. He said he hadn't raced a Late Model since 1989. Wednesday's program drew 6,277 spectators, and he signed the usual items, from caps, T-shirts, diecast cars and photos. He headed to his souvenir hauler outside the track after the race and continued to sign. Labonte's race was nearly cut short when he was tapped from behind on lap 97. Labonte bobbled, drifted up and pushed Billy Shannon of Kalamazoo around and hard into the frontstretch wall. Shannon was transported to the hospital to treat his injured arm, while Labonte was able to continue.(Michigan Live)(8-19-2004)

  • Makar, Busy Guy: Jimmy Makar is just back from a few weeks of missionary work in South America, and he may now wish to return, given the headaches on his desk as general manager at Joe Gibbs Racing. Talk about being in the eye of the storm. Look at it this way - the boss is about to embark on a return to the NFL, and attempt to revive those glory years with the Washington Redskins. But it's been 10 years since Gibbs last played that game, which he quit then for health reasons. The never-ending Tony Stewart saga is playing out more chapters, and Stewart found himself dodging debris-throwing fans after winning in Chicago the last time out. Two days after that Makar and J.D. Gibbs, Joe's son and Makar's immediate boss, found themselves faced with a major shakeup on Bobby Labonte's team, dealing out crew chief Michael "Fatback" McSwain and plugging in Brandon Thomas, the new crew chief. On top of all that, Makar and J.D. Gibbs are under the gun to put together a third Nextel Cup for FedEx, a $24 billion company, certain to want its money's worth and not willing to wait out a long-term investment. "Want my shoes?" Makar asked with a laugh.(see full story at the Winston Salem Journal)(7-25-2004)

  • New #18 Crew Chief: Brandon Thomas, a member of the Joe Gibbs Racing engineering department, will serve as interim crew for Bobby Labonte's #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet in the NASCAR NEXTEL Series, team officials announced July 15. Thomas takes over for Michael McSwain, who was released from his duties as crew chief July 14 after severing as crew chief for the 2003 season and 18 races in the 2004 season. Team officials have not set a timetable for when a permanent crew chief will be hired. Thomas, 30, from Kingsport, Tenn., spent the 2003 season as the engineer for Labonte and served as crew chief for Mike Bliss' JGR-prepared No. 80 Slim Jim/Act II Chevrolet July 11 in the Tropicana 400 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Bliss was the top-qualifying JGR car at Chicago, starting seventh and finishing 31st after an accident on Lap 205. Thomas began his JGR career in December 2001 in the shock department, before leaving in June 2002 to serve as John Andretti's crew chief at Petty Enterprises for the remainder of the 2002 season. After his stint at Petty, Thomas returned to JGR for the 2003 season as Labonte's engineer. During the 2004 season he has served as the head of Superspeeedway research and development for JGR. Prior to coming to JGR in 2001, Thomas served as engineer for Rusty Wallace at Penske Racing South from Aug. 1999-Nov. 2001. During that time, Wallace scored six wins and finished seventh in points in 2000 and 2001. From 1998-July 1999, Thomas was the assistant race engineer for Dan Gurney's All-American Racers and driver Alex Barron in CART. Thomas earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech University in 1997. Jimmy Makar, senior vice president of racing, will assist Thomas and the team until a permanent crew chief is announced. Makar served as crew chief on the #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet from 1992-2002, winning the 1993 Daytona 500 with Dale Jarrett and the 2000 NEXTEL Cup Championship with Labonte.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(7-15-2004)

  • Crew Chief Change coming at the 18? Denied...UPDATE 3 Yep: Insiders say that a crew chief change on the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Chevy of Bobby Labonte is imminent. Current crew chief, Michael "Fatback" McSwain was involved in an altercation with a crew member at Pocono. Rumor mill has Jimmy Makar returning as crew chief.(Motorsport.com)(7-11-2004)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing has informed me that this is NOT true, no changes planned.(7-13-2004)
    UPDATE 2: been getting this memo sent to me all day......Joe Gibbs Racing has decided in their Chase for the Championship with Bobby Labonte and the Interstate Batteries race team to make a crew chief change effective immediately. Michael "Fatback" McSwain is officially released from his position, and a new crew chief will be announced in the next few days. While McSwain has been a successful crew chief, Joe Gibbs Racing is looking for an individual who will better fit the Interstate team's style and personnel. As soon as the new crew chief has been selected, we will communicate that to you. Supposedly it will be announced tomorrow [Wed]
    AND Been told by sources, this is true.(7-13-2004)
    UPDATE 3: Gibbs Racing released Michael McSwain from his duties as crew chief of the #18 Interstate Batteries Chevy in the NASCAR NEXTEL Series, team officials announced July 14. McSwain joined Joe Gibbs Racing in December 2002 and served as Bobby Labontes crew chief for the 2003 season and the first 18 races of the 2004 season. "Over the past two years, Michael McSwain has worked extremely hard for Joe Gibbs Racing," J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR, said. "This was a difficult decision, but it was time to go in a different direction. We appreciate all that he has done for the team and wish him the best of luck in the future." McSwain, 37, scored victories with Labonte in 2003 at Atlanta (spring) and the season-finale at Homestead-Miami, en route to an eighth-place finish in the point standings. "Joe Gibbs Racing and I had a successful relationship," McSwain said. "I wish them the best the remainder of the year and in the future." An interim crew chief will be named in the near future. Jimmy Makar, senior vice president of racing, will assist the team as the interim crew chief while team officials search for McSwains replacement. Makar served as crew chief on the #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet from 1992-2002, winning the 1993 Daytona 500 with Dale Jarrett and the 2000 NEXTEL Cup Championship with Labonte. "We hope to make the decision on a permanent crew chief in the near future, but we are going to take our time to find the best person for the job," Gibbs said. "Michael did a great job when he came in and took over for Jimmy Makar after the 2002 season," Labonte said. "We won a couple of races in 2003 and won some poles. He works hard, and I wish him success down the road." Joe Gibbs Racing is one of the premier organizations in NASCAR, fielding two NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams for drivers Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart, and two NASCAR Busch Series teams for drivers Mike Bliss and J.J. Yeley.(Joe Gibbs Racing PR/Site)
    McSWAIN Surprised: McSwain plans to take a week off to further evaluate his options and determine why he was let go. He says he simply doesn't know. "It's no different than anybody else -- we've had good weeks and bad weeks, but it was a big surprise, I'll give you that," he said. "It really was. I can't say we didn't do good together, because we did. We had some success together. Sometimes, though, things work out and sometimes they don't. It was as big a shock to me as it was the rest of the world. If we were 25th in points I probably wouldn't be so disappointed. But being in the position we were in (sixth), it's disappointing."(see full story and quotes at NASCAR.com)(7-14-2004)

  • Fatback Interview: Michael "Fatback" McSwain, former crew chief for Bobby Labonte's #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet, has agreed to an exclusive interview with radio show NASCAR Performance Live to discuss his departure from Joe Gibbs Racing. The radio show will air from 7:00-8:00pm/et on XM Satellite Radio (Channel 144) as well as on some MRN (Motor Racing Network) radio affiliate stations across the country. The show also airs on WFMX-FM (105.7) in Charlotte, at a delayed time from 8:00 - 9:00pm/et. McSwain, who is expected to grant no other interviews in the near future, will be interviewed by Steve Post, MRN's Pit Road Reporter and the show's regular host, along with in-studio guests Doug Richert, Crew Chief for Greg Biffle and Tony Eury Jr., a member of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s team. The interview will provide more insight for fans on McSwain's sudden, mid-season, dismissal.(NASCAR PR)(7-14-2004)

  • Different look for Bobby Labonte at Daytona: Wellbutrin XL, a medicine indicated for the treatment of major depressive disorder in patients 18 years and older, will serve as the primary sponsor for the #18 Chevrolet that Bobby Labonte drives this weekend at Daytona. Wellbutrin XL served as primary sponsor March 28 at Bristol and April 25 at Talladega and will serve as the main sponsor at Chicagoland (July 11), Michigan (Aug. 22), California (Sept. 5), Richmond (Sept. 11) and Atlanta (Oct. 31). The car is blue and yellow, not purple as it was ay Bristol and Talladega.(JGR Site)(7-2-2004)

  • WIX working JGR on a cabin air filtration system: WIX Filters Inc., is working with Joe Gibbs Racing to develop a cabin air filtration system that can remove everything from carbon monoxide to dust, rubber and noxious fumes from the air breathed by drivers. "A few teams have tried to come up with their own (air filtration) system, but the deal for us was the safety of our drivers," said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing, which employs top drivers #18-Bobby Labonte and #20-Tony Stewart. "We want our drivers to be alert and feeling good throughout the race." While the WIX system is a complicated piece of engineering, its operation in a race car is relatively simple. Air enters through an intake in the passenger side window and passes through a hose into the filtration system. The air is scrubbed to remove most of the carbon monoxide, and then passed through another air filter that removes soot, debris and fumes. The cleaned air is cooled and sent into the driver's helmet. NASCAR has been trying to find a way to filter the air drivers breathe during races - which can last five hours with cars approaching speeds of 200 mph - for the last 18 months, since veteran driver Rick Mast announced he would retire at 45. Mast, who made 364 starts at NASCAR's top level, said years of exposure to toxic fumes in his car gave him acute and chronic carbon monoxide poisoning, a feeling he described as "the worst hangover in your life. You wake up feeling nauseated and you want to throw up and you can't," he said at the time. "Your head is pounding all the time and you just feel awful." When Stewart began complaining of similar symptoms, Joe Gibbs Racing approached WIX about a filtration system that could be installed in their race cars. "Tony is particularly sensitive to carbon monoxide fumes," Bruce Johnston, brand manager for WIX Filters, said in an interview at the company's headquarters in Gastonia. "They wanted to see if we could provide them something to make it easier for him to run at tracks like Martinsville and Bristol." J.D. Gibbs became a believer after blood tests on Stewart and Labonte following races showed the drivers had been exposed to potentially dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. "In racing, you are always looking for small advantages," he said. "We think this is a big advantage for our drivers. And both of our guys told me it was a good move." Greg Rhyne, a WIX product designer, said improved aerodynamics in NASCAR cars have exacerbated the carbon monoxide problem in recent years. "These cars are so aerodynamic that almost no air flows into them," he said. "Essentially, the drivers are breathing the same air for 500 miles." Carbon monoxide's effects on the human body are cumulative, building up each time a driver is exposed to it. Some drivers have undergone oxygen treatments after races to decrease the effects of breathing the fumes. NASCAR's research and development center has developed a device, called a catalyst, that reduces carbon monoxide in cars and is encouraging teams to design filtration systems around it. The WIX filter uses NACAR's catalyst, as does a system developed by Penske Racing South and NASA. The Penske system uses two filters - one containing carbon and the other the catalyst developed by NASCAR - to convert carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. In May, during a Nextel Cup race in Richmond, #12-Ryan Newman and #77-Brendan Gaughan tried the Penske system in their cars. Johnston said WIX will offer its system to all racing teams that want to use the technology. After Stewart used the system in his car for the first time at Martinsville last year, he emerged from his car saying: "I could have run 500 more (laps)."(AP/Fox Carolina)(7-1-2004)

  • Chris Bristol claims first win for Reggie White/Joe Gibbs Racing: Chris Bristol qualified second and led every lap to claim his first win at Caraway Speedway in his MBNA - Rockwell Automation sponsored Chevrolet. It is the first win for the Reggie White/Joe Gibbs Racing diversity program.(JGR PR)(6-6-2004)

  • Special D-Day scheme and diecast deal: MBNA is the primary sponsor of the #18 Chevy for Dover, and Labontes car is painted in a style reminiscent of World War II military equipment. A 1:24 scale die-cast replica of Labonte's MBNA D-Day car is available and a portion of the royalties from sales of the die-cast will be donated to the D-Day Memorial Foundation and to the Armed Forces Family Scholarship and Assistance Fund (AFFSAF), administered by the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation (MCLEF).(JGR PR), check out the die-cast at www.full-victory.com.(6-4-2004)

  • #18 Wins Pit-Crew Challenge: The #18 Interstate Batteries Racing Team won the POWERade Pit-Crew Challenge in front of Coca-Cola Stage on Speed Street May 28 in Charlotte, N.C. The eight-man crew changed four tires and simulated a refill of Sunoco gasoline in 15.93 seconds to defeat #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s team in the final round. The team, which performs pit stops for the Joe Gibbs Racing #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet driven by Bobby Labonte in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, collected a check for $15,000. "It's a great accomplishment for them," said crew chief, Michael "Fatback" McSwain. "They've had some ups and downs this year, but they've worked really hard. I think by winning the competition, they're seeing that hard work pay off. I'm proud of them. Hopefully, this will give us some great momentum for not only the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, but for the remainder of the year." Members of the Interstate Batteries Racing team over-the-wall crew are: Mark "Hollywood" Armstrong (front-tire changer), Barry Cook (rear-tire changer), Alan Copley (rear-tire carrier), Jason Lee (jackman), Tom Lampe (gasman), Tom McCrimmon (catch can), Todd Meredith (front tire carrier), Adam von Olhausen (windshield). Paul Alepa is the team's trainer and pit-stop coordinator.(JGR PR)(5-30-2004)

  • Fed-Ex to Gibbs? UPDATE or DEI? Federal Express, which once was in the running to be the title sponsor of NASCAR's top series before Nextel came on board, has been in talks with both Joe Gibbs Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc. Word in the garage: Fed Ex will end up on a third Cup car for the 2005 season at JGR with J.J. Yeley, a Busch rookie this season, behind the wheel. But Gibbs says it's too early to commit. "Right now, we're in the process of moving through things, and we can't announce anything because the deal isn't done," Gibbs says. "We've been in conversations for a long time but right now it's just a work in progress."(FoxSports/Sporting News)(5-24-2004)
    UPDATE: On the sponsorship front, Federal Express is being wooed again by both DEI and Joe Gibbs.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-29-2004)

  • Interstate Batteries to Re-up with Gibbs and the #18: Interstate Batteries will announce today a three-year extension with Joe Gibbs Racing and the No. 18 Bobby Labonte Chevrolet.(The State)(5-14-2004)

  • Bobby Labonte to run Busch race at MIS; Bliss to run 2 Cup races: Bobby Labonte and his long-time sponsor ConAgra Foods, Inc. announced that Labonte will return to the Busch Series for the Cabela's 250 Race on August 21, 2004 at Michigan International Speedway. He will be driving the bright red #19 Banquet Chevrolet featuring the Banquet brand and logo. This car was unveiled at the 2004 Food Market Institute Show (FMI) at McCormick Place in Chicago. This extended partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) highlights ConAgra Foods' growing involvement in the sport of NASCAR. Having recognized the power of NASCAR to reach families nationwide almost a decade ago, the company was an early supporter of Labonte's racing team. Under this new agreement, Labonte will appear in advertising and promotions as well as provide personal appearances and publicity for Banquet and ConAgra Foods. The Cabela's 250 Race marks Bobby's return to the Busch Series [JAYSKI NOTE: Actually Labonte ran the Texas Busch race in the #29 ESGR/Army Nat'l Guard-Reserve RCR Chevy and finished 11th]. "I'm excited to run the #19 Banquet Chevrolet in the Busch series later this summer," said Labonte. "My goal is to take Banquet and ConAgra Foods to the winner's circle at the Cabela's 250." ConAgra Foods will continue to maximize its association with NASCAR in 2004 with a series of sponsorships and promotions. Banquet's title sponsorship of the Banquet 400 Nextel Cup Series race at Kansas Motor Speedway in October continues for the second year, and the partnership with JGR will offer several ConAgra Foods brands in the snack and grocery categories the opportunity to appear on the #80 car driven by Mike Bliss during two Nextel Cup Series races. Bliss will race the #80 Slim Jim Chevrolet at the Tropicana 400 in Chicago this July and he will run the #80 Hunts Chevrolet at the Chevy Monte Carlo 400 at Richmond International Raceway in September [NOTE: Gibbs would get to use the car #80 over the #80 Hover Motorsports team and driver Andy Hillenburg as that team is listed as #280 in Owners Points]. This summer Banquet will be rolling out a retail promotion called "0 to Dinner with Banquet," which gives fans the opportunity to collect five proofs of purchase from frozen and grocery products and receive a die cast #19 Banquet Chevrolet. For more information, please visit us at www.conagrafoods.com.(Ketchum PR)(5-3-2004)

  • Bobby Labonte to run Busch race at MIS; Bliss to run 2 Cup races: Bobby Labonte and his long-time sponsor ConAgra Foods, Inc. announced that Labonte will return to the Busch Series for the Cabela's 250 Race on August 21, 2004 at Michigan International Speedway. He will be driving the bright red #19 Banquet Chevrolet featuring the Banquet brand and logo. This car was unveiled at the 2004 Food Market Institute Show (FMI) at McCormick Place in Chicago. This extended partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) highlights ConAgra Foods' growing involvement in the sport of NASCAR. Having recognized the power of NASCAR to reach families nationwide almost a decade ago, the company was an early supporter of Labonte's racing team. Under this new agreement, Labonte will appear in advertising and promotions as well as provide personal appearances and publicity for Banquet and ConAgra Foods. The Cabela's 250 Race marks Bobby's return to the Busch Series [JAYSKI NOTE: Actually Labonte ran the Texas Busch race in the #29 ESGR/Army Nat'l Guard-Reserve RCR Chevy and finished 11th]. "I'm excited to run the #19 Banquet Chevrolet in the Busch series later this summer," said Labonte. "My goal is to take Banquet and ConAgra Foods to the winner's circle at the Cabela's 250." ConAgra Foods will continue to maximize its association with NASCAR in 2004 with a series of sponsorships and promotions. Banquet's title sponsorship of the Banquet 400 Nextel Cup Series race at Kansas Motor Speedway in October continues for the second year, and the partnership with JGR will offer several ConAgra Foods brands in the snack and grocery categories the opportunity to appear on the #80 car driven by Mike Bliss during two Nextel Cup Series races. Bliss will race the #80 Slim Jim Chevrolet at the Tropicana 400 in Chicago this July and he will run the #80 Hunts Chevrolet at the Chevy Monte Carlo 400 at Richmond International Raceway in September [NOTE: Gibbs would get to use the car #80 over the #80 Hover Motorsports team and driver Andy Hillenburg as that team is listed as #280 in Owners Points]. This summer Banquet will be rolling out a retail promotion called "0 to Dinner with Banquet," which gives fans the opportunity to collect five proofs of purchase from frozen and grocery products and receive a die cast #19 Banquet Chevrolet. For more information, please visit us at www.conagrafoods.com.(Ketchum PR)(5-3-2004)

  • Labonte Track close to completion: The North Carolina Quarter-Midget Association Speedway, which #18 driver Bobby Labonte initiated with members of the NCQMA, is nearing completion. A webcam located at www.ncqma.com provides a live look at the construction taking place in Rowan County, NC.(Joe Gibbs Racing PR)(4-30-2004)

  • Jessica Lynch Booksigning - Labonte in line: Roughly 200 people came to Barnes & Noble to meet Army veteran and former prisoner of war Jessica Lynch and get signed copies of "I Am a Soldier, Too: The Jessica Lynch Story," written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Rick Bragg. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the book Tuesday will be used to buy books for Brenner Children's Hospital in Winston-Salem. Before the event, Lynch met in the children's section of the bookstore with a group of kids from the More at Four prekindergarten program at the Clara Cox Children's Center operated by Developmental Day Care.....Others waiting in the book-signing line that snaked through stacks of books -- including NASCAR driver Bobby Labonte -- were equally anxious to meet Lynch.(News and Record)(4-15-2004)

  • #18 Rotating Sponsors: Hearing Interstate Batteries will 'share' primary sponsorship of the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevy driven by Bobby Labonte. Glaxo [Wellbutrin at Bristol] will be the sponsor at eight races: Bristol [last week], Talladega (Apr), Daytona, Chicago, Michigan (Aug), California (Sept), Richmond (Sept) and Atlanta. MBNA will be the primary sponsor at both Dover races. Interstate Batteries will be an associat sponsor for the 10 races. Interstate will retain full sponsorship for most of the Chase for the Champoinship playoff, which covers the last 10 races of the season.(4-1-2004)
    PLUS Shrek II will be on the car at Lowe's Motor Speedway race in May.(4-2-2004)

  • Labonte back to the Busch Series in 2005: Bobby Labonte says he and Joe Gibbs Racing are talking about running around 10 Busch Series races in 2005. Labonte says if they can land the right sponsor they'll "dabble in that a little bit."(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show), Labonte is running the Busch race at Texas this weekend in the #29 RCR Chevy - the PR in part Bobby Labonte will slide behind the wheel of Richard Childress Racing's (RCR) NASCAR Busch Series entry sponsored by the Employer Support for the Guard and Reserves (ESGR) this week at Texas Motor Speedway in the first of a five-race program with an all-star lineup of drivers. The program's driver lineup, announced in February at Daytona International Speedway, also includes Tony Stewart (California), Ricky Craven (Chicago), and RCR drivers Kerry Earnhardt (Dover-Sept) and Kevin Harvick (Homestead). ESGR is a Department of Defense agency whose mission is to gain and maintain employer support from all public and private employers for the men and women who serve in the National Guard and Reserve. ESGR operates through a network of more than 2,000 volunteers throughout 55 committees located in each state, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Europe. Labonte will drive the #29 ESGR Chevry with a paint scheme honoring the Army Reserve and Army National Guard. RCR's #2 ACDelco Chevrolet, driven by Ron Hornaday, is carrying This week's paint scheme will honor the Army Reserve and Army National Guard. the ESGR logo on the rear deck lid for the entire 2004 NASCAR Busch Series season. For more information about ESGR Employer Outreach Programs and ESGR volunteer opportunities, please call 800-336-4590 of visit our website at www.esgr.com.(RCR PR), see my 2004 Busch Series Paint Scheme page for images of the cars(4-1-2004)

  • Gibbs Late Models Team to run Sat: the Joe Gibbs Racing Late Model teams are racing now. The #18 MBNA team with Chris Bristol will be in their third race this Saturday at Caraway Speedway [Asheboro, NC] and Aric Almirola will be making his debut in the #20 Home Depot Chevy at Ace Speedway [Altamahaw, NC] on Friday night. This is the Joe Gibbs Racing - Reggie White Racing diversity program teams.(4-1-2004)

  • Bobby Labonte, Michael McSwain, J.D. Gibbs To Visit "Racing For Life" Mobile Health Unit: Bobby Labonte, the 2000 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Champion, his crew chief, Michael "Fatback" McSwain and J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing will visit the GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), "Racing For Life" Mobile Health Unit outside of Bristol Motor Speedway at 10:00am Friday, March 26. Wellbutrin XLT (bupropion HCl extended-release tablets), a medicine indicated for the treatment of major depressive disorder in patients 18 years and older produced by GSK, will serve as the primary sponsor for Labonte's #18 Chevrolet at Bristol and seven other races in 2004. In addition to their sponsorship, GSK officials announced in February at Daytona that they would be offering free health screenings to fans across the nation at 23 races in 2004. The unique "Racing for Life" mobile health unit expands into a patient education and health-screening center, and provides screenings and information on such health topics as hypertension, type II diabetes, osteoporosis, asthma, men's health, smoking cessation, migraine, and depression. Labonte, McSwain and Gibbs will each be screened in the unit as part of the "Green-flag Ceremony," which helps kick off Wellbutrin XLT's primary sponsorship at Bristol.(Joe Gibbs Racing PR)(3-25-2004)

  • Seven Cup Drivers to run Special Chevy Trucks: The Chevrolet Silverado All-Stars, pairing NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers with superstar musical celebrities in the Truck Series. Michael Waltrip will be the first of seven different drivers to pilot the #47 Chevy All-Stars Silverado in individual races during the 2004 NCTS season. His musical partner, Sheryl Crow, will be featured in the special paint scheme for the first All-Stars race - the Charlotte Tailgate 200 at Lowe's Motor Speedway on May 21. Following the program debut at Lowe's Motor Speedway with Michael Waltrip, the following Chevy drivers with their specific musical partners will pilot the #47 Chevy All-Stars Silverado: Robby Gordon, Bristol (August 25); Tony Stewart, Richmond (September 9); Ricky Craven, New Hampshire (September 18); Bobby Labonte, Martinsville (October 23); Driver To Be Announced, Phoenix (November 5); and Ward Burton, Darlington (November 12). Serving as primary sponsor of the #47 Chevy All-Stars Silverado is Acxiom, a worldwide data services company. This Silverado entry will be campaigned by Morgan-Dollar Motorsports, with whom Acxiom has been partnered since 1998 in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.(GM PR)(3-13-2004)

  • Special D-Day Scheme for Labonte at Dover: hearing that #18-Bobby Labonte wil run a D-Day scheme as this year marks the 60th Anniversary of D-Day, Labonte and Dover race sponsor MBNA will re-paint the Joe Gibbs NEXTEL Cup #18 with a vintage war plane design. The car will carry the decals and the insignias of this war-time in America. June 6 Dover.(3-5-2004)

  • BEN-LA? [not BEN-LO] Bobby Labonte and actor Ben Affleck met and raced in a Daytona 500 simulator at Daytona USA on Feb. 14, one day before Labonte will compete in the Daytona 500. Affleck will serve as grand marshal for the Daytona 500 and has starred in movies such as Good Will Hunting, Daredevil and Armageddon [Jayski could watch Arenageddon over and over]. "He was a nice guy," Labonte said. "I actually watched Daredevil the other night, so it was cool to meet him." Affleck raced using the simulator representing Jeff Gordon's car, while Labonte used his #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet. "I wrecked him early in the race when I was trying to draft him," Labonte said. "We talked afterward, and I explained to him about the 'bump draft.' We talked a lot about racing, and he really knows the sport." Labonte will start 13th in the Daytona 500, driving the No. 18 "The Passion of the Christ" Interstate Chevrolet.(Camp and Associates PR)(2-15-2004)

  • Gibbs OK: Redskins coach [and owner of the #18, #20 and #80 Cup teams, and #18 and #20 Busch teams] Joe Gibbs, 63, was taken to the emergency room at Flagler Hospital in St. Augustine, Fla., for a diabetic reaction due to an insulin imbalance during his visit with Jags quarterback Mark Brunell. Gibbs, who was treated and released that night, returned to work Tuesday. Gibbs started to feel poorly on his Monday afternoon flight from Washington and was given some M&Ms on the plane to boost his sugar level. When Brunell met Gibbs at the airport in St. Augustine, Gibbs asked the quarterback to drive him to a hospital. Gibbs, diagnosed several years ago, revealed his diabetes during his introductory press conference when he returned to the Redskins last month. "He had an imbalance in his insulin, they gave him the required dosage to correct the imbalance and he went on his way," Redskins spokesman Karl Swanson told the Washington Post. "They didn't keep him there. They gave him what he needed and he left."(ESPN)(2-10-2004)

  • Gibson Movie on #18 Hood: Norm Miller, chairman of Dallas-based Interstate Batteries, replaced his own company's hood-sized logo with an ad for "The Passion" on NASCAR driver Bobby Labonte's #18 Chevrolet. The car will carry the ad during the Daytona 500 race Feb. 15. Miller said he feels "privileged" to offer the giveaway publicity. Miller is yet another volunteer in an effort to turn "The Passion" into a success of biblical proportions. Many think a successful opening will encourage more Christian-themed movies - and win more souls. "We need this film to have the biggest opening on record," said the Web site catholicexchange.com.(Atlanta Journal Constitution)(2-5-2004)

  • Guard and Reserve Busch Grand National cars schemes: The Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) is a government-funded program that enlists the support of America's corporations to procure employment of American military service men and women. The ESGR will sponsor 5 Busch races, with Richard Childress in an attempt to create awareness and to promote the 5 Freedom Award recipients selected in 2003. Here are 3 of the drivers that are available for preorder. All cars will be #29, so far three drivers:
    Tony Stewart Coast Guard scheme to be run at Homestead in November
    Bobby Labonte Army scheme to be run at Texas in April
    Jimmie Johnson Marines scheme to be run at California in May.(1-20-2004)

  • Gibbs/Reggie White Diversity Update: North Carolina A&T graduate Chris Bristol is expected to be one of two minority drivers selected to drive a Late Model for a team owned by NASCAR owner and NFL coach Joe Gibbs and former NFL player Reggie White. The announcement is expected to take place later this month. Gibbs and White announced last year plans to create their own driver diversity program. Steve de Souza, vice president of Busch operations and special pr