Races (27) that Dollar General is scheduled to be the sponsor in 2014:
Daytona, Sprint Unlimited* - 2/15
Daytona 500 - 2/23
Las Vegas - 3/9
Auto Club - 3/23
Martinsville - 3/30
Texas - 4/6
Kansas - 5/10
Dover - 6/1
Pocono - 6/8
Michigan - 6/17
Sonoma - 6/22
Kentucky - 6/28
New Hampshire - 7/13
Indy - 7/27
Pocono - 8/3
Watkins Glen - 8/10
Michigan - 8/17
Bristol - 8/23, 75th Anniversary
Richmond - 9/6
Chicago - 9/14
New Hampshire - 9/21
Kansas - 10/5
Charlotte - 10/11
Homestead - 11/16
Races (11) that Husky Tools/Home Depot is scheduled to be the sponsor in 2014:
Phoenix - 3/2
Bristol - 3/16
Richmond - 4/26
Charlotte, All-Star Race* - 5/17
Daytona - 7/5
Atlanta - 8/31
Dover - 9/28
Talladega - 10/19
one other TBD
Contract Status: Driver: 2015+; Primary Sponsors: Dollar General - 2015+; Home Depot - 2014 and leaves; Manufacturer: 2014+
Kenseth and Hamlin don't regret actions at Charlotte:
Are you disappointed or regret your actions from last weekend?
Kenseth: "None of it -- you never want to get into confrontations, at least I don't. I like to avoid them. I'm definitely not built for fighting and it's not really in my genes -- not something I ever really want to do, but I guess everybody has their breaking point. Last week was bad enough to run bad all night and to be frustrated and then get two tires and get towards the front and Brad (Keselowski) clearly saw me roll outside of him and he hung a right on purpose and ran me right into the wall and ruined my night and possibly took us out of Chase contention. So, I was mad enough about that and then to come down afterwards and have your stuff off and your net down and come and pull those high school stunts playing car wars after the race was just absolutely unacceptable. That definitely put me over the edge. I don't regret my actions. I'm not proud of them or happy about them or any of that, but I don't regret them. I don't know that I would do anything different if the same thing went down again."
Were you expecting a fine from NASCAR?
Kenseth: "I was not. You never know, but I think that in the past if you go in there and first of all it was not a planned action and I didn't go in there with fists flying or anything else like that. I just really wanted to get to him (Brad Keselowski) I guess, I'm not sure what I wanted to do when I got there, but I wasn't really expecting one. It was obvious I didn't really have a plan right?"
Do you regret any of the actions from Saturday night at Charlotte?
Hamlin: "I really didn't do anything. Honestly, I gave him (Brad Keselowski) a brake check down the backstretch, but besides that I didn't do anything. My team guys wouldn't let me do anything -- that was kind of a bummer. The only thing I was trying to do in the garage and even on pit road was just box him in so I could get to him before his team guys got there. I didn't ram into him on pit road or anything like that, if you watch I just kept trying to box him in to where he couldn't go anywhere and I talked to Brad and told him that. I don't regret anything and I really didn't feel like I did anything wrong. Obviously, from the penalties NASCAR didn't feel like I did either."
Did you hit Brad Keselowski in the garage?
Hamlin: "No, I boxed him (Brad Keselowski) in and he was in a position where he knew he was boxed in and he wanted to get out very quickly so that's when he got into our right front and spun the tires."(Toyota Racing)(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)
Special scheme for Kenseth: This weekend at Talladega' Matt Kenseth will have a special Home Depot paint scheme aboard his #20 Toyota in recognition of The Home Depot's 15 years of partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing.(JGR)' see an image of the car on the #20 team paint schemes page)(10-16-2014)
Tempers flare after race UPDATE: After the race, #2-Brad Keselowski and ninth-place finisher #11-Denny Hamlin traded insults on pit road, as NASCAR officials and their crews kept them apart in the wake of a late race incident between their two cars. Keselowski clipped Hamlin's rear bumper on the cool-down lap, then hit Kenseth's Toyota with his Ford on pit road after the race. After sustaining collateral damage on pit road during the melee, #14-Tony Stewart backed into Keselowski's Ford, crumpling the nose of the car. Keselowski insisted it was Kenseth's car and not his #2 Ford that bumped Stewart's Chevy. "I rubbed into the #20 (Kenseth), and I think he gassed up and ran into Tony, and I don't think Tony knew what was going on," Keselowski said. "He's upset, and he has every right to be. His car was tore up. There was a whole lot of other stuff going on. I'm sure when he sees the whole situation, he'll understand."
Kenseth, whose #20 Toyota had been damaged by contact from Keselowski's car on a restart with 63 laps left, jumped Keselowski as he was walking between haulers in the garage, and the drivers scuffled before being separated. "I had my HANS (head and neck restraint) off and my seat belts off and everything," Kenseth said of the hit from Keselowski on pit road. "He clobbered me at 50 (mph). And the access we have around here... the race is over, trying to come back to pit road... If you want to talk about it as a man, do that, but to try and wreck someone on the race track, come down pit road with other cars and people standing around with seat belts off and drive in the side of me-it's inexcusable. There is no excuse for that. He's a champion. He's supposed to know better than that."
Hamlin also had some harsh words for the 2012 champion. "There's a corner there, so you have to back off, and he just plowed into us," Hamlin said. "He's just out of control. He's desperate, obviously, and it's either four or five of us are wrong or he's wrong, because he's pissed off everyone. Just disappointing -- but we're trying to get in this deal. We're sitting in a decent spot, but we've lost six spots or so with the last restart when he ran into us and knocked us up the track. That was unfortunate. Matt (Kenseth) was nearly out of his car and he just plowed into Matt and then ran into Tony (Stewart) and then went in through the garage and cleared out transmissions and did burnouts in the garage."(NASCAR Wire Service)(10-12-2014)
UPDATE #2-Brad Keselowski met with NASCAR after a cooling-off period. #20-Matt Kenseth crew chief Jason Ratcliff went voluntarily to talk to NASCAR, and Kenseth crew member Jesse Sanders was summoned by officials. It's not clear if Keselowski - or Hamlin or Kenseth - will be punished by NASCAR on Tuesday, the day penalties are traditionally issued. NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said the sanctioning body will review the final on-track laps, and everything that occurred on pit road and in the garage. NASCAR in May fined Marcos Ambrose and Casey Mears for fighting in the garage after a race at Richmond. Harvick was fined in 2011 for a pit-road confrontation with Kyle Busch in which NASCAR cited safety concerns of Busch using his car to push Harvick's car away. The next year, Kurt Busch was fined $50,000 for dangerous driving on pit road when he hit Ryan Newman's car during a confrontation. But in the case of Saturday, with so much focus on the new Chase and the attention for the post-race skirmishes, it's not clear if NASCAR will punish those involved or pat them on the back. Harvick said there was no way NASCAR takes any action. "They love it. They were fighting afterwards, that's what it's all about," Harvick said.(Associated Press)(10-13-2014)
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)
Toytota 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)
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)
Stanley, DeWalt join Joe Gibbs Racing: Joe Gibbs Racing announced that it has entered partnership with world-leading tool and security provider STANLEY and professional power tool provider DEWALT beginning in the 2015 season. STANLEY and DEWALT will serve as primary sponsors for drivers Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth, respectively. STANLEY will partner with JGR as the primary sponsor for 12 races on the #19 Toyota driven by Carl Edwards beginning in 2015, while DEWALT will serve as the primary sponsor for six races on the #20 Toyota driven by Matt Kenseth. In addition, STANLEY will have associate branding on the #18 Toyota throughout the 2015 season, as well as on both the #19 and #20 Toyotas when not already serving as the primary sponsor. Other Stanley Black & Decker brands, including Mac Tools, BLACK+DECKER, and more, will continue to be a part of the NASCAR program with JGR.(Joe Gibbs Racing), see images of the cars on the #19 team paint scheme and #20 team paint scheme page.(9-17-2014)
Kenseth to be honored at Chicagoland: In recognition of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory at Chicagoland Speedway in 2013, #20-Matt Kenseth will be honored with a plaque in Champions Park on Friday, Sept. 12, prior to the Lucas Oil 225 Camping World Truck Series race. Kenseth, who made his first appearance in Chicagoland Speedway's Gatorade Victory Lane last September, will unveil his new monument at 4p.m. on the north end of Champions Park. Since the inaugural race in 2001, Chicagoland Speedway has unveiled a monument in Champions Park for each of its Sprint Cup Series race winners, including Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart, Brad Keselowski and others.(Chicagoland Speedway)(9-9-2104)
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)
Matt Kenseth's Race Against Bullying Children's Book Debuts: Today (August 26, 2014) on National Youth Literacy Day, Matt Kenseth debuted Matt Kenseth's Race Against Bullying, his first children's book aimed at educating and empowering children to make good choices if faced with bullying situations. Kenseth, a two-time Daytona 500 Champion and the NASCAR Sprint Cup series driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota Camry, released the book with his wife Katie at Joe Gibbs Racing headquarters. Published by Bendon, Inc., Matt Kenseth's Race Against Bullying is available today for purchase exclusively at more than 11,300 Dollar General stores nationwide and online at www.dollargeneral.com. It is also the first installment of a four-part series of educational children's books that Matt and Katie Kenseth championed. The series is designed for family reading for children ages 4 through 8 to become more self-confident and empowered to make good choices.
"As a parent of three small children, it's natural to worry about the issues they will face while growing up," said Kenseth, the 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. "Both Katie and I believe that openly talking about these issues is the best way to prepare them. This book is designed to help families discuss the effects of bullying with their kids. We believe it's important our kids not only know how to deal with a bully, but also understand that it's not OK to act like one."
"We're excited to partner with Matt to raise awareness and provide solutions to childhood bullying, especially since it reflects our mission of Serving Others," said Rick Dreiling, Dollar General's chairman and CEO. "The project also combines Dollar General's passion for literacy and reading through the Dollar General Literacy Foundation with the strong representation Matt brings to both Dollar General, Joe Gibbs Racing and NASCAR."
According to www.stopbullying.gov, more than 70 percent of students say they have seen bullying in their schools and less than 30 percent of students who are bullied notify an adult. Kenseth, an avid reader, has helped support literacy programs throughout his career and currently serves as an ambassador for the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. Sharing in both Dollar General and Kenseth's commitment to literacy is long-time Kenseth sponsor CITIZEN Watch, who made a $25,000 donation on Kenseth's behalf to the Dollar General Literacy Foundation in honor of the book launch.
"Our new brand statement Better Starts Now is about reaching inside yourself to do things better. With the launch of his new book, Matt has shown us that this motto is part of his character both on and off the track," said Jeffrey Cohen, President of Citizen Watch Company of America. "With statistics showing bullying and harassment becoming an even bigger social problem a book like this is just what is needed to help start the conversation earlier between parents and children. Citizen Watch Company has supported higher education for the past two years as a corporate sponsor of the National Merit Scholarship Foundation and we are proud to expand our educational support with a donation to the Dollar General Literacy Foundation in honor of Matt Kenseth."
Matt Kenseth's Race Against Bullying is a 22-page, 10 x 10-inch, soft-cover book, retailing for $3 at more than 11,300 Dollar General stores nationwide and online at www.dollargeneral.com. Written by Gina Gold, illustrated by Adam Devaney and produced by Judy O Productions, Inc., Matt Kenseth's Race Against Bullying was created by Matt and Katie Kenseth and is published by Bendon, Inc. To learn more about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, please visit www.dgliteracy.org.(JGR)(8-26-2014)
Tom McCrimmon Wins NASCAR Chicane in Bristol: Tom McCrimmon, #20 Joe Gibbs Racing, has won the third NASCAR Chicane of the 2014 Pilot Flying J Truck Driver Challenge. McCrimmon, the 2009 and 2012 NASCAR Champion of the Pilot Flying J Truck Driver Challenge, put his safe driving on display before the weekend's highly anticipated IRWIN Tools Night Race. He tied teammate Jamie Price (#18 Joe Gibbs Racing) for the top spot, but edged price out with a faster time. Ken Pitcher of Tommy Baldwin Racing finished in third place to round out the top-3.
After his victory, an overjoyed McCrimmon exclaimed, "That's all! Everybody wants to win at Bristol. It's exciting when the season starts to wind down and the championship gets closer. Having won this competition two times, I couldn't be more grateful for the benefits and opportunities Pilot Flying J has provided me in the Truck Driver Challenge."
The transport drivers of the Sprint Cup Series are competing for this year's grand prize of $30,000, in addition to a brand new GPS unit. Upon being named to this year's championship, the top-3 transport drivers of the Sprint Cup Series will receive a Rand McNally IntelliRoute TND 720, the official GPS unit of the 2014 Pilot Flying J Truck Driver Challenge. Committed to supporting the professional transport driver, Rand McNally provides this year's Sprint Cup finalists with a GPS unit specially designed to enhance their routes nationwide. The final NASCAR Chicane of the 2014 Pilot Flying J Truck Driver Challenge will take place at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on Monday, September 8 at 12:00pm/et. For more information, please visit pfjtruckchallenge.com.(Pilot Flying J/Victory 500 Marketing)(8-23-2014)
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)
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)
Joe Gibbs Racing extends Kenseth's contact; Dollar General expands sponsorship: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) and Dollar General announce an expanded partnership with a multi-year agreement for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and beyond. In addition, JGR announces the contract extension of driver Matt Kenseth that will keep him behind the wheel of the #20 Dollar General Toyota. Dollar General, based in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, will increase its sponsorship to 30 races with Matt Kenseth and the #20 team, up from 27 in 2014 and 17 in 2013. One of the top contenders within the Sprint Cup Series, Kenseth is currently fourth the 2014 point standings with five top-five, 10 top-10 finishes and one pole award through the first 16 races. In 2013, his first year driving for JGR and Dollar General, Kenseth celebrated seven wins, marking both a Series and career-best season.
"Extending my deal with JGR is exciting and I'm still hoping we can match our win total from last year, but it's really been a special year-and-a-half together," Kenseth added. "Joe and J.D. have been fantastic and show a commitment to providing all of us with the resources needed for a winning organization and I've been blessed with a great team led by Jason (Ratcliff). The support we get from TRD has been tremendous and I'm excited for the future here with the #20 Dollar General team."(Joe Gibbs Racing)(6-28-2014)
Home Depot leaving NASCAR at end of 2014: Home Depot, which has been a primary NASCAR sponsor since 1999 on the #20 car, will leave the sport after its contract with Joe Gibbs Racing ends this season, said sources familiar with Home Depot's plans.(Sports Business Journal), Matt Kenseth drives the #20 Toyota for JGR.(6-23-2014)
Kenseth wins at Madison: On a night when he didn't have the best car in the field, Matt Kenseth benefited from Travis Sauter's bad luck. Kenseth passed Sauter on a restart with nine laps to go and held on for a super-late model victory in the Colony Brands 100 at Madison International Speedway. "That was one of the uglier ones or luckier ones or however you want to put it," said Kenseth, who rolled out fourth on an inverted starting order. "We had a decent car; we hung in there all day and had probably a fourth- or fifth-place car. We were able to hang in there and take advantage when the leaders had problems. It was a fun race and I'm more than a little surprised to be standing here winning." Ross Kenseth finished sixth in the race that drew about 6,000 spectators.(Wisconsin State Journal)(6-18-2014)
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)
NASCAR champ's son moves to Grand Rapids area after joining Jenison team: Ross Kenseth, the son of #20-Matt Kenseth, has taken the year off from his studies at Clemson University, and he moved to the Grand Rapids, MI area after signing to drive for the Jenison-based Boyne Machine Racing team. Car owner Mike Blackmer has hired Kenseth to race his #77 Enterprise Iron & Metal Ford Fusion template-bodied Late Model in big-dollar races as well as select programs at Berlin - the team's home track. Kenseth, 20, will be competing in Saturday night's Super Late Model race at the Berlin half-mile. Kenseth's father won the 2003 Sprint Cup championship and finished runner-up to Jimmie Johnson a year ago. Kenseth's ultimate goal is to someday be battling for championships in the NASCAR ranks, too, and his journey has taken him to West Michigan this season. Blackmer hired Kelly Bires to serve as Kenseth's crew chief.(Michigan Live)(5-17-2014)
Congrats to the Kenseths: Joe Gibbs Racing's driver of the #20 Toyota, Matt Kenseth, and his wife Katie welcomed a new bundle of joy Tuesday evening with the birth of the couple's third daughter. Clara Mae Kenseth was born March 25 at 7:39pm/et weighing in at eight pounds and five ounces. Both mother and daughter are doing well as the family enjoys the latest addition who joins the couple's other daughters Kaylin and Grace, along with their son Ross. Kenseth will be able to spend a few days at home with his brand new baby girl before traveling to nearby Martinsville, Virginia for this weekend's STP 500 Sprint Cup Series event at the Martinsville Speedway.(JGR)(3-26-2014)
Kenseth suggests satellite teams helping Penske: #95-Michael McDowell calls #20-Matt Kenseth's suggestion that McDowell has tested for Team Penske's benefit a matter of "sour grapes." Kenseth raised the issue after qualifying Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway when asked about Penske's success this season. Penske drivers #2-Brad Keselowski and #22-Joey Logano have started no worse than the second row in the last three races and Keselowski swept last week's Nationwide and Sprint Cup races at Las Vegas. Kenseth pointed to McDowell and Leavine Family Racing with helping Keselowski and Logano. "Without opening a can of worms, it's my understanding that they (Team Penske) got to do a lot of testing - I think they've been to all three tracks with their 'satellite teams' - Michael McDowell and cars like that I think in the Penske trailer," Kenseth said.
Leavine Family Racing, a Ford team, purchases chassis and parts from Team Penske. That's a new arrangement. Leavine Family Racing bought its cars from Roush Fenway Racing the past three years. McDowell and Leavine Family Racing have used two of their four allotted tests at Cup tracks at Phoenix and Bristol this season. "What was he really suggesting or saying that somebody had an unfair advantage?'' car owner Bob Leavine said of Kenseth. "They could go out and do what they want to do."
McDowell noted the relationship between Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing for Toyota. "This sport, the way it is, as fast as it is developing, you have to be aligned with a manufacturer that is working with all the teams," McDowell said. "The reality is there might be some sour grapes there because they haven't been able to align themselves with an organization that can help them to do some of those things like RCR, Hendrick and Stewart-Haas and all the other teams have."(Motor Racing Network)3-16-2014)
Kenseth lines up standby drivers if needed: #20-Matt Kenseth's wife, Katie, is due to give birth in about two weeks. It will be the couple's third girl. After racing at Bristol this weekend, NASCAR will run at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. Kenseth said that if has to leave the track, Sam Hornish Jr., would drive his Nationwide car, and Jeff Burton would be available to drive his Cup car. Hornish is set to drive seven Nationwide races that Kyle Busch won't run for Joe Gibbs Racing. Burton is running select Cup races for fellow Toyota team Michael Waltrip Racing. Also, Paul Menard's wife, Jennifer, was due to give birth to the couple's first child earlier this week but had not as of Wednesday afternoon.(Motor Racing Network)(3-13-2014)
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)
Kenseth puts home for sale: #20-Matt Kenseth has listed his 7,259-square-foot Mooresville, North Carolina, mansion for $2,799,000, reports the Realtor. Built in 2006, the custom home sits on a three-quarter-acre lot and is located just 45 minutes away from the Charlotte Motor Speedway. It offers an 'Old World' elegance coupled with modern amenities. The two-story European-style mansion of the 2003 Sprint Cup champion includes five bedrooms, five full and three half bathrooms and a large living room, in addition to a gourmet kitchen. The kitchen boasts custom cabinetry and sophisticated appliances. The kitchen leads to a spacious and an open breakfast area. The lower level of the building features two master suites, a media room with a bar, and an exercise room. According to the property listing, the exteriors of this mansion-estate gives a more relaxed feeling and comes with a large swimming pool, a spa, a wood-burning fireplace, a private pier, and a second-floor terrace that offers an excellent view of Lake Norman. The property comes with two garages - a one-car garage and a three-car garage. It also includes a fenced yard, a ground gas grill, and central heating and cooling systems.(Realty Today)(3-12-2014)
Kenseth wins Budweiser Duel 1: #20-Matt Kenseth won the first Budweiser Duel qualifying race for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway followed by #4-Harvick, #5-Kahne, #9-Ambrose and #88-Earnhardt Jr. Four drivers deep in 2013 owners points or low qualifying speed raced into the Daytona 500: #98-Wise (6th), #26-Whitt(12th), #10-Patrick(14th) and #23-Bowman (15th). #14-Stewart races into the Daytona 500, finishing 11th, which assures a spot for #41-Busch at least via a past champions provisional. Pole winner #3-Dillon faded midway thru the race and finished 19th, but will start on the pole for the Daytona 500. Four drivers who didn't race into the Daytona 500 will make the race via speed or 2013 owners points (provisional spot): #55-Vickers, #22-Logano, #17-Stenhouse Jr and #18-Busch. #30-Kligerman, #36-Sorenson and #87-Nemechek could still make the race depending on the finish of the 2nd Duel. #95-McDowell will not race in the Daytona 500.
UPDATE: #4-Harvick's Chevy didn't pass post-race inspection after exceeding the split on the trackbar. So Harvick is moved to the 24th finishing spot and all the other drivers move up a spot, so #55-Vickers is now in the Daytona 500. Harvick will either have to use a provisional (11th in owners points) or get in on speed 26th fastest, which seems unlikely.
See race results on the Budwesier Duel 1 Race Results (revised) page (pdf)(2-20-2014)
Wiley X Sponsoring 14 NASCAR Drivers: Wiley X, Inc. has announced its team of sponsored NASCAR drivers. Among the Wiley X Pro Racing Team this year are proven champions, racing legends, perennial fan favorites and up-and-coming stars. Among Wiley X's stable of sponsored NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers are #20-Matt Kenseth, #99-Carl Edwards, #4-Kevin Harvick, #22-Joey Logano and #16-Greg Biffle. These drivers have been selected not only for their racing skills, but for their ability to serve as ambassadors for the Wiley X sunglasses brand. Wiley X will also be sponsoring drivers Aric Almirola, Ron Hornaday Jr., Michael McDowell, Joe Nemechek, John Hunter Nemechek, David Ragan, Joey Coulter and Chad Hackenbracht. Fifteen-year-old racing protégé Gray Gaulding, who signed with Wiley X last year, is also an important part of the team. Wiley X is also the official sunglass of Roush Fenway Racing.(NSSN)(2-12-2014)
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)
Dollar General increases sponsorship of Kenseth: Dollar General and Joe Gibbs Racing announced they have expanded their partnership agreement for the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based retailer will increase its sponsorship to 27 races with Matt Kenseth and the #20 team, up from 17 in 2013. As one of the top contenders for the Sprint Cup Series Championship, Kenseth celebrated seven wins in 2013 - more wins than any other driver in the series. Dollar General will again get the opportunity to showcase its brand for the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway where Kenseth is a two-time Daytona 500 winner. Dollar General's increased 27-race partnership for 2014 will also include the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, as well as highlight Sprint Cup Series events at Talladega Superspeedway in May, Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July, the final race before the Chase for the Sprint Cup at Richmond International Speedway, the Chase kick-off race at Chicagoland Speedway and the October event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. With the additional 10 races in which Matt Kenseth will drive the Dollar General #20 Toyota Camry in 2014, the major discount retailer looks to continue its consumer activation by driving sales and customer loyalty.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(12-2-2013)
Johnson, Busch Kenseth getting most TV coverage: According to data compiled by Joyce Julis, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth & Kyle Busch have accounted for 40% of all driver mentions during NASCAR telecasts though the Kansas race this year:
Statistics reflect all live race telecasts and replays of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season through Kansas (Race #30).(Joyce Julius)(10-23-2013)
Kenseth joins fight against Alzheimer's: #20-Matt Kenseth recently directed a $25,000 gift from the Citizen Watch Company (whom Kenseth represents as a brand ambassador) to the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. "Citizen wanted to make a significant donation to a charity of our choice, so we decided to help the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Disease Research Center," Kenseth said. "Our family knows first-hand the terrible effects of Alzheimer's. Hopefully, through donations such as these we can fund research dedicated to furthering our understanding of this disease and working toward a cure."(NASCAR Wire Service)(10-13-2013)
Joe Gibbs Racing Launches Chase Digital Magazine: Joe Gibbs Racing currently holds the first and second position in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship standings, and now fans will have a unique way to follow the team over the next nine weeks with the launch of a new digital magazine. The magazine will be available on both Apple and Android devices including tablets. It will be available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store and accessed through the following direct link: www.joegibbsracing.com/chaseapp. The magazine, which will be updated throughout the Chase and through the conclusion of the season, will feature profiles on each of Joe Gibbs Racing's three teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The digital magazine will be informative for all NASCAR fans and not just those passionate about JGR's three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams. It includes educational pieces that provide in-depth and interactive aspects of the sport including the importance of camber and toe to the performance of a race car. In addition, there is an infographic on each of the race tracks featured in the Chase. Of course there is plenty of information specific to JGR, including photo essays, video profiles of each driver, a feature on driver Darrell Wallace, Jr. and statistical analysis of each driver.(JGR)(9-20-2013)
Joe Gibbs Racing Partners with Pit Crew U: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announces today that it has partnered with Pit Crew U, a division of Performance Instruction & Training, on a pit crew development program designed to keep a flow of talent coming to the organization for years to come. "It certainly is no secret how important pit crews have become in our sport especially with track position playing such a vital role in each race," said J.D. Gibbs, President of JGR. "We've always believed in developing our own talent through our driver program and our Nationwide Series program, which has seen many team members, including crew chiefs, make the step to the Sprint Cup Series. We're excited to partner with Pit Crew U now to make sure we have a consistent flow of over the wall talent coming to JGR in the years to come." Pit Crew U has produced some of the best over-the-wall talent in NASCAR with several of JGR's current Sprint Cup Series pit crew members having come out of their program. JGR will work with Pit Crew U to identify 10 talented athletes to form a development squad for their racing programs with the intent to eventually fill the organization's needs in their Nationwide Series programs and ultimately the Sprint Cup Series.(JGR)(8-15-2013)
Artwork by Garry Hill: "NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge 2004" - Matt Kenseth In The Roush Racing Ford Battles Past A Sliding Ryan Newman For The Lead On His Way To Victory In The NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge Race At Lowe's Motor Speedway May 22, 2004. Garry Hill is pleased to present the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge 2004. The artwork captures the defining moment of the event as Matt Kenseth takes the lead from Ryan Newman. 500 prints and 50 artist's proof prints have been produced each signed and numbered by NASCAR licensed artist Garry Hill. Since 1987 Garry Hill has had the distinct honor and privilege of creating the artwork to commemorate the annual all-star race. More info at garryhill.com
Born in OCTOBER
26 Jimmy Pardue
27 Robin Miller, Dick Trickle, Tommy Baldwin Jr., Butch Hylton, Richard Brickhouse, Michael Lance
28 Joe Ruttman, Deborah Renshaw, Krissie Newman
29 Teresa Earnhardt, Billy Woodruff, Steadman Marlin, Joseph "Papa Joe" Hendrick, Bob Dotter, Roseanne Adamczyk, Nicole Belber, Sandy 'the dog' Adamczyk
30 Linda Rudd, Al Pearce, Tony Bettenhausen Jr.
31 Mike Casto, Kip Childress
Born in NOVEMBER:
1 Jay Adamczyk, Joshua Marco, Doug Ingerson, Eric Vance, Larry Flynt
2 Larry Pearson
3 Derrike Cope, Tony Gibson, Greg Sacks, Bryan Mullett
4 Charley Pressley, Destinee Zastrow
5 Elton Sawyer Jr., Doug George
6 Bryan Reffner, Clay Rogers. Rodney Orr
7 Judy Allison, Gilbert "Pops" Gentle, Andy Houston, Dick May, Matthew Bodine, Lindsay Czarniak
8 Jason Burdett, Ed Berrier, Jim Inglebright, Teri MacDonald, John Bisci, Donny Lia, Ingrid Vandebosch
9 Rick Carelli, Nancy Sterling, Bill Kimm, John Holman, Ed Otto
10 U.S. Marines , Britt Goodrich
11 Mike Hembree, Barry Bodine, Chris Horn, Rob Morgan, Loni Richardson
12 Ryan Buscaglio, Tom Ehret, Wally Dallenbach Sr., Larry Hedrick
13 Drew Blickensderfer, Karen Friddell, Katie Wallace, Tim Kuhn, Jeff Hallowell
15 Gene Haas, H.B. Bailey, Steve Lane
16 Terry Labonte, Bill Amick
17 Brad Bennett
18 Eddie Adamczyk, Gary Bettenhausen, Denny Hamlin, Ray Osian, Mickey Mouse
19 Tommy Morgan, Gary "Turtle" Clem
20 Sam Bass, Lisa Finley, Mike Cluka, Steve Prescott, Andy Belmont, Mark Wilkinson, Darren Jones, Chris Hall
21 Sheri Umscheid, Travis Carter, Terry Elledge, Victor Breininger, Banjo Grimm, Alexis Leras
22 Laurie Weil, Luke Kosner, Jake Elder, Rick Viers, Ryan McGlynn, Jamie Skinner, Scott Moyer
23 Ron Bouchard, Chris Spencer, Conrad Burr, Tony Roper
24 Buddy Parrott, James Ince, Nathan Haseleu
25 Skip Eyler, Joe Gibbs, Mike Joy, Carl Gansert
26 Dale Jarrett, Chip Bolin, Katie Pearson
27 Billy Standridge, Kate Dallenbach, Ricky Carmichael
28 Chase Elliott, Billy Sutphin, Mitch Way, Nelson Stacy
29 Bob Dillner, Zach Brewer
30 Danny Earnhardt, Dave Dion, Dick Hutcherson, Shawna Robinson, Chris Hussey, Andy Kirby, Brittany Glover