#20 Team News Archive

(NOTE: some older links may not work)

2017 News

    Races (15) that DeWalt is scheduled to be the sponsor in 2017: Daytona - 2/26 Atlanta - 3/5 Bristol - 4/23 Charlotte, All-Star race - 5/20, Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project Pocono - 6/11 Sonoma - 6/25 Daytona - 7/1 New Hampshire - 7/16 Michigan - 8/13 Bristol - 8/19 Chicago - 9/17 Dover - 10/1 Talladega - 10/15 Kansas - 10/22 Martinsville - 10/29 Homestead - 11/19 Races that Circle K was the sponsor in 2017: Richmond - 4/30 Talladega - 5/7 Kansas - 5/13 Charlotte - 5/28 Kentucky - 7/8 Darlington - 9/3, throwback Phoenix - 11/12 Races that ToyotaCare was the sponsor in 2017: Texas - 4/9 Dover - 6/4 Pocono - 7/30 Watkins Glen - 8/6 Richmond - 9/9, Hurricane Harvey Relief Races that Tide Pods was the sponsor in 2017: Phoenix - 3/19 Martinsville - 4/2 Indianapolis - 7/23 Charlotte - 10/8 Races that PEAK was the sponsor in 2017: Las Vegas - 3/12, BlueDEF Auto Club - 3/26, PEAK Antifreeze Races that XFINITY was the sponsor in 2017: Texas - 11/5 Races that Freightliner was the sponsor in 2017: Michigan - 6/18 Races that SiriusXM was the sponsor in 2017: New Hampshire - 9/24 Races that Interstate Batteries was the sponsor in 2017: Daytona, Clash - 2/18 JGR announces Chris Gayle as Crew Chief for Erik Jones and the #20 team Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced Chris Gayle will assume the role of crew chief for the #20 Toyota Camry team in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with driver Erik Jones starting with the 2018 season. "I'm very excited to work with Erik again in 2018 and continue to build on our rookie season of 2017," said Gayle. "I think the lessons we learned together this year will be invaluable to us next season. I'm also very excited to be coming back to JGR and work with all the great people and familiar faces in that organization." Chris Gayle returns to JGR following a one-year tenure at Furniture Row Racing where he led Jones in his Rookie Season campaign.(Joe Gibbs Racing)[Read More Here](11-15-2017) DEWALT Supports Hurricane Recovery with Habitat for Humanity Hurricane Irma caused unprecedented damage to the state of Florida, including the Keys. Tony and Rima both work for Sugarloaf School on Big Pine Key and lost their house and possessions due to the storm. Volunteers from DEWALT will work alongside this family to repair and rebuild their home. Helping to improve a decent place to live will ensure they can get back to providing education to their community (Joe Gibbs Racing), Matt Kenseth will run a #20-DeWalt / Matt Kenseth tribute car at Homestead-Miami Speedway, a throwback to the car he raced in his rookie Cup Series season [Read More Here](11-14-2017) Jason Ratcliff to serve as crew chief for Christopher Bell: Crew chief Jason Ratcliff will oversee Christopher Bell's run for rookie of the year in the NASCAR Xfinity Series next season sources told Motorsport.com. An official announcement of the move is expected this week.[More](11-14-2017) Matt Kenseth shuffles Championship 4 field with dramatic Phoenix win: The middle-aged man without a ride for 2018 drove a dagger through the heart of the youngster expected to shine in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for years to come.[More](11-12-2017) Matt Kenseth wins the Can-Am 500(k) Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix Raceway for his 1st win of 2017, 2nd win at Phoenix and 39th career win. #24-Elliott finished 2nd followed by #78-Truex, Jr. #77-Jones, #4-Harvick, #1-McMurray, #18-Busch, #17-Stenhouse, Jr., #42-Almriola, and #88-Earnhardt, Jr. #24-Elliott took the lead with 28 laps left in the race and looked like he could hold on to win and clinch a spot in the Championship race, but the tires went away and he was passed by Kenseth with 9 laps left. The four drivers that will compete for the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship next week at Homestead are #78-Martin Truex, Jr., #18-Kyle Busch, #4-Kevin Harvick, and #2-Keselowski. #11-Hamlin, #21-Blaney, #24-Elliott, and #24-Johnson were eliminated from the playoffs. Their points have been reset to 5000 each. They will not receive stage points at Homestead. The highest finishing driver will clinch the championship. #48-Johnson cut at tire at the end of stage 2 and hit the wall. He finished 39th. With 37 laps to go, #11-Hamlin had a tire go down following contact with #24-Elliott. He finished 35th. Hamlin had finished 2nd in the first stage, won the second stage and had gotten into position to make the Championship race before the accident. Stage 1 was won by #42-Larson, but he lost an engine during stage 2 and finished 40th. Stage 2 was won by #11-Hamlin, finished 35th. There were 9 lead changes among 5 drivers and 7 cautions for 41 yellow flag laps. There was a short red flag for track cleanup with 58 laps remaining after a broken brake rotor off #37-Buescher's car flew into the SAFER barrier and caught it on fire. The average speed of the race was: 105.534mph. See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more at (all pdfs): Unofficial Race Results Cumulative Report Penalty Report Unofficial Drivers Points Standings Unofficial Owners Points Standings Official Race & Points Reports Standings Kenseth to step away from Cup next season: After 18 consecutive seasons in Cup, Matt Kenseth said he is taking a break from NASCAR's premier series after the 2017 season. In his first expansive comments about the future since the announcement four months ago that he was losing his ride at Joe Gibbs Racing, Kenseth said Saturday during the taping of a NASCAR on NBC podcast episode (which will be posted early next week) that he will put a two-decade career on hiatus, possibly for good.[More](11-4-2017) Kenseth talks about Kansas accident, penalty: Matt Kenseth was parked by NASCAR after the team had too many men over the fall after an accident.[More](10-22-2017) Kenseth talks ambulance drivers, 2018 plans; no to #10 ride Joe Gibbs Racing driver Matt Kenseth was made available to the media during NASCAR's Playoff Media Day, some for questions answered: Q) Has NASCAR taken ownership of the issues from Saturday night? KENSETH: "Which ones? Just the ambulance one? Oh, yeah, I don't know." Q) Have you talked to them about it? KENSETH: "No." Q) Have you seen an ambulance driver get lost or confused in a race before? KENSETH: "Yeah. I think it was actually the spring Richmond race. I was driving around the infield for about five minutes with him. He was lost and couldn't find the care center. So thankfully I wasn't bleeding to death. Then the other one I think is after California or something like that. He drove so recklessly, it threw me right off the bench and I almost hit my head in the ambulance. So, yeah, there's been a couple instances this year actually." Q) Have you made any progress on your plans for next year? KENSETH: "I'm really worried about the next 10 weeks. I mean, the next 10 weeks will probably have enough problems to worry about without, you know, worrying about anything three or four months from now. So, no, I don't really have anything for you there." Q) Should we consider you a candidate to replace Danica? KENSETH: "No, nope. It's not me. I can tell you that, it's not me."(Toyota PR)[Read Full Transcript Here](9-13-2017) Kenseth comments on Richmond incident that put him out of race: "Well we were all just kind of coming to pit road and I saw an ambulance sitting there and so I looked left of the ambulance at the same time (Jason) Hedlesky (spotter) yelled at everyone to stop there was an ambulance just sitting there. It was an accordion effect and I just couldn't get stopped."[More](9-9-2017) Matt Kenseth takes step toward playoff with Richmond pole run: In need of a playoff spot next week and a place to drive next year, Matt Kenseth stormed to the pole position for Saturday night's Federated Auto parts 400 at Richmond Raceway. Kenseth covered the .75-mile distance in 22.055 seconds (122.421 mph) in the final round of Friday's knockout qualifying session to edge Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin (122.277 mph) for the top starting spot by .026 seconds.[More](9-8-2017) Red Cross featured on Kenseth's #20 at Richmond: The Toyota Mothers of Invention (MOI) program recognizes women who actively contribute through innovation, entrepreneurship and invention. Select MOIs with ties to disaster response and relief have sprung into action, finding ways to solve steep challenges resulting from the disaster situation in south Texas and Louisiana. [More](9-7-2017) Furniture Row president: 'Really good drivers' interested in #77 ride The continued impressive performance of Erik Jones has done more than help solidify Furniture Row Racing as a potential powerhouse in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. It also has elevated interest in the #77 Toyota for 2018. "There have been some really good drivers that are looking around and that have inquired about the car because I think it is obvious the performance of the car is something any driver would like to be in right now," Joe Garone, president of Furniture Row Racing, told NASCAR.com. "It hasn't shocked me; it's a compliment to the team some of the drivers that have talked to us." The potential for an open seat exists because Jones, 21, is headed to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2018 to take over the #20 Toyota currently driven by veteran Matt Kenseth. Garone didn't name names, but it's likely both Kenseth and Kasey Kahne are among those who have expressed interest in the ride since neither will be back with their respective teams next season. While Kenseth is being replaced by Jones, Kahne is being released with one year remaining on his contract with Hendrick Motorsports as that organization puts William Byron in its #5 Chevrolet in '18. "It's 100 percent relying on sponsorship," Garone said on whether the organization will field the #77 next year. "We certainly never got into this to run just one year. A set of circumstances presented itself that we're having to deal with. It's late in the year and we've known for a little bit that we were possibly going to be facing having to find another sponsor."(NASCAR.com)[Read More Here](8-28-2017) Kenseth comments on 2018: Matt Kenseth says he has nothing new to report on a ride for next season. Speaking to the media Friday morning at Bristol he said, Do you have any announcement to make regarding the 2018 season? "I'll let you know when I know something. I'll be honest with you, I'm just, I'm not worried about it even really one percent anymore to be honest with you. I'm just not concerned about it. It's not - I'm really concerned about 2017 and that's the truth."(8-18-2017) Kenseth doesn't expect to drive #88 next season: He tells SiriusXM Radio that he has nothing lined up for next year and is not concerned at this point.[More](7-18-2017) #20 crew chief Ratcliff will not return to that role in 2018 Crew chief Jason Ratcliff will be following driver Matt Kenseth on the way out of the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing's Toyota in 2018. Ratcliff confirmed to NBC Sports after Kenseth's fourth place finish Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway that he won't be returning atop the pit box next season when Erik Jones replaces Kenseth. Ratcliff said he isn't sure if he will stay at Joe Gibbs Racing ("We'll see," he said with a smile), but he expects all of the car's team members are secure at the organization.(NBC Sports)[Read More Here](7-17-2017) Erik Jones to drive #20 Toyota in 2018 Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced that driver Erik Jones will drive the #20 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Camry for the organization beginning in 2018. Matt Kenseth, who currently pilots the #20 Toyota Camry for JGR, will not return to the organization following the 2017 season. Currently competing full time in the NASCAR Cup Series for Furniture Row Racing, Jones sits 14th in the point standings and leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Standings.(Joe Gibbs Racing) The Following Statement is Attributed to Barney Visser, Owner of Furniture Row Racing "Regarding today's announcement that Erik Jones will drive in the NASCAR Cup Series for Joe Gibbs Racing starting in 2018, Furniture Row Racing's commitment to Jones and the #77 team remains the same for the remainder of the season. Our goal is for Jones to qualify for the playoffs, make a run for the championship and capture Rookie of the Year honors. We are working on our team plans for 2018 but don't have anything concrete to report at this time except that Martin Truex Jr. will continue to drive the #78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota." (Furniture Row Racing)[Read More Here](7-11-2017) Matt Kenseth doesn't expect to race for Joe Gibbs next season: Matt Kenseth, the 2003 NASCAR Cup Series champion who has 38 career Cup race victories, doesn't expect to return to Joe Gibbs Racing next season. "I do not think I will have the option to race for JGR next year, unfortunately," Kenseth said prior to practice at Kentucky Speedway. [More](7-7-2017) Silly Season heating up: Brad Keselowski left himself very little wiggle room when asked if he is a candidate to replace Dale Earnhardt Jr. next season. "Roger has given me a lot, and I have no reason to not want to stay with him," Keselowski replied when The Associated Press asked him if Earnhardt's retirement at the end of the season and his open seat at Hendrick Motorsports is holding up a new deal. As NASCAR hits the long, slow stretch of summer, its "silly season" is certainly heating up and Earnhardt's seat in the #88 Chevrolet the biggest prize of free agency.[More](6-19-2017) DeWALT supports Wounded Warrior Project with NASCAR fundraising initiative: DeWALT, along with Joe Gibbs Racing and #20 DeWALT Toyota driver, Matt Kenseth, will honor injured veterans at the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race this weekend. In support of Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), DeWALT has partnered with Lowe's retail locations in North Carolina to implement a powerful in-store promotion. Throughout April and May, 10% of the proceeds generated from the sale of all DeWALT products will be donated to WWP. To further the impact, Stanley Black & Decker (parent company of DeWALT) will match all funds raised, doubling the donation amount to 20% of all proceeds. [More](5-17-2017) Truex Jr. and Kenseth host Dover vs. Pocono Rivalry Day Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series stars Martin Truex Jr. and Matt Kenseth took off their racing suits and put on their softball jerseys on Wednesday, May 3 during the annual Dover vs. Pocono Rivalry Day event in Allentown, Pa. Played at the home of Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, Truex and Kenseth participated in a variety of activities, including softball, kickball, dizzy-bat tee-ball, water balloon tossing and more. In the end, the final event, a go-kart race along the warning track, provided the game's final margin as Kenseth, representing Team Pocono, edged Team Dover's Truex at home plate. Team Dover leads the annual series with Team Pocono three games to two, with one event rained out. Track officials and area media members made up the majority of players the two teams. After Truex and Kenseth threw out the ceremonial first pitches for the IronPigs' game against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, the drivers took questions on a variety of NASCAR topics, from stage racing to racing against a younger generation of drivers.(PR)[More](5-7-2017) Final-round surge puts Matt Kenseth on Richmond pole: Matt Kenseth won't have to come from the middle of nowhere, as he did last Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway, where he started 22nd, charged toward the front in the closing laps and finished fourth. Quite the contrary. In Sunday's Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway, Kenseth will lead the field to the green flag in the ninth Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race of the season after winning the pole during Friday's knockout qualifying session.More](4-28-2017) Kenseth hopes to race full-time in 2018 So how would #20-Matt Kenseth handle retirement? "I probably just wouldn't show up at Daytona and just everybody say was Matt racing this week? Or I'd send out like a four-word tweet. I don't know if I'd announce it all." In other words, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver hasn't considered the proposition? "Not really." How many more years does the 2003 champion plan to race? "Fifteen to 20," he said with typical deadpan. "If Tom Brady can play football at 40 and still win Super Bowls, I think 45 is pretty young to try to win races." Still, it's notable that neither Kenseth nor team owner Joe Gibbs definitively said he would be in the #20 in 2018. Gibbs said the Circle K deal is multiyear, so does that mean Kenseth will be with the team in 2018? "I mean, I hope so," Kenseth said. "That's always my hope. The details of the sponsorship I mostly don't know. That would have to come from Coach or somebody there. I don't know any real details except the races they're on the car this year."(NBC Sports)[More](4-20-2017) Circle K to sponsor Kenseth for six races Joe Gibbs Racing is scheduled to host a press conference at 2:00pm/et on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in uptown Charlotte, N.C. that is scheduled to include team owner, Joe Gibbs, and the driver of the #20 Toyota Camry, Matt Kenseth.(JGR) UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing welcomes Circle K to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with the company's first primary sponsorship in the sport aboard the #20 Toyota Camry with Matt Kenseth. Circle K is one of the largest fuel and convenience retailers in the US and has stores located in 41 states throughout the country. Circle K has had branding on cars within NASCAR through vendor programs over the years. This is the first time the company has served as a primary sponsor within the sport. Circle K is pleased to serve as the primary sponsor for Kenseth and the #20 Toyota Camry for six races in 2017. The company will also have associate branding on the #20 Toyota in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series whenever they are not already serving as the primary sponsor.(JGR)[More](4-19-2017) NASCAR will examine wall Kenseth hit at Auto Club Speedway: A NASCAR executive said series officials will work with Auto Club Speedway officials to see if there is a way to alter the angle of the inside wall Matt Kenseth hit in Sunday's Cup race. Kenseth hit a portion of the wall that was angled toward the track. Safety equipment was stationed behind that wall.[More](3-27-2017) Tide PODS scheme for Kenseth at Phoenix Tide will return to the track for the first time in 2017 with Joe Gibbs Racing for the Camping World 500 at Phoenix. Reigniting a legacy that spanned across three decades, this is the first of a three-race primary sponsorship deal announced in February that will power Matt Kenseth's "Tide PODS Ride" this season. Careful thought went into the design creation of the 2017 #20 Tide PODS Toyota Camry, which is sure to turn heads on the track. This year's design pulls through cues from Tide's unforgettable orange and yellow colors with the iconic "Tide target" on the hood honoring the brand's 20-year racing history. Moving from front to back, the car is a visual representation of how Tide has evolved through the years introducing the revolutionary and powerful Tide PODS.(JGR)(3-18-2017) Old World Industries and Joe Gibbs Racing Announce Multi-Year Partnership Old World Industries (OWI) and Joe Gibbs Racing announced a multi-year deal for the automotive aftermarket company and Official Partner of NASCAR to sponsor drivers Matt Kenseth and Daniel Suárez in various NASCAR national series races. Old World Industries' key brands, including PEAK and BlueDEF, will serve as primary sponsor of Kenseth's #20 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Toyota Camry at the March 12th race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, followed by the March 26th race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana. It will also be featured as a season-long associate sponsor of his No. 20 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Toyota Camry. In addition, the company will serve as primary sponsor on Suárez's #18 NASCAR XFINITY Series Toyota Camry in Talladega and as an associate in the remainder of his XFINITY Series races.[More](3-7-2017) Interstate Batteries to sponsor Kenseth in Clash: Interstate Batteries will kick off its 26th season with Joe Gibbs Racing as part of Saturday night's Advanced Auto Parts Clash at Daytona International Speedway. It will be the first time in 12 years that the brand will be part of the event that serves as the unofficial season opener to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. And the company is doing it in a big way, serving as the primary sponsor of the #20 JGR Toyota Camry entry and driver Matt Kenseth. Interstate Batteries has been a sponsor on the #18 JGR Toyota with driver Kyle Busch for select Cup Series races during the last nine NASCAR seasons but has not made a start in the annual Clash at Daytona since 2005. Prior to that, the brand had appeared on the #18 JGR entry with 2000 Cup Series champ Bobby Labonte, who made 10 straight starts in the Clash from 1994 to 2005 as the driver of the Interstate Batteries car. While Interstate Batteries is making its return to the Clash this weekend, Kenseth is aiming to improve upon an already impressive resume at the "World Center of Racing." The winner of the 2015 edition of the Clash, Kenseth will make his 11th start in the non-points event Saturday night when he jumps behind the wheel of the No. 20 Interstate Batteries Toyota. When the 2003 Cup Series Champ scored the victory in the Clash two years ago, he did so in fairly convincing fashion, leading 21 of the 75 laps run after starting 16th. In addition to the win, Kenseth's stats in the Clash feature three top-five finishes and six top-10s with 53 laps led and an average finish of 9.5. And while he only has one win in the Clash, Kenseth is no stranger to victory lane at Daytona. He is a two-time winner of the iconic Daytona 500, winning the 2009 and 2012 editions of the Great American Race. In 34 career starts during points-paying races at the superspeedway, the Wisconsin-native has led at least one lap in 19 different races for a total of 362 laps led. In addition to the two Daytona 500 wins, Kenseth's record at Daytona includes six top-fives and 14 top-10 finishes. The 2017 season is Kenseth's 18th as a full-time driver in NASCAR's elite series. Like Interstate Batteries, he's been here for years and his goals are the same - to score wins and be in the hunt for a Cup Series championship when the season ends in November. That effort begins in earnest this weekend at Daytona. (JGR)(2-14-2017) Spotter changes in 2017: Monday evening Fox Sports' Alan Cavana tweeted a list of known spotter changes in the Cup series this season: #20-Matt Kenseth - Jason Hedlesky #41-Kurt Busch - Tony Raines #77-Erik Jones - Rick Carelli #34-Landon Cassill - Freddie Kraft AND: As previously announced, Kenseth's former spotter, Chris Osborne, will work with #19-Daniel Suarez.(2-1-2017) Spotter changes at JGR UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing rookie #19-Daniel Suarez will have a familiar voice in his ear during Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races this year. Chris Osborne, who spotted for Suarez during his 2016 Xfinity championship season, will now spot for Suarez in Cup. Osborne had been the Cup spotter for #20-Matt Kenseth, who will now use Jason Hedlesky, the former spotter for the recently retired Carl Edwards.(ESPN.com)(1-18-2017) UPDATE: The surprising "retirement" of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Carl Edwards created more than just a driver opening for the Joe Gibbs Racing #19 team. It also resulted in the shuffling of spotters Chris "Crazy" Osborne and Jason Hedlesky. When JGR officials named Suarez to take over Edwards' spot, team officials thought it best to allow the XFINITY Series champion to continue working with Osborne for his rookie effort. That opened the door to pair Kenseth with Hedlesky. "With Carl's unexpected departure and putting Daniel in there, you know 'Crazy' has worked with Daniel the whole time through the XFINITY Series, the Truck Series," Kenseth said Tuesday during the first day of this year's NASCAR Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway. "He and 'Crazy' had that really good relationship and with Carl not being there and Jason being over (at the #19) I think everybody over there just decided to make the swap for the good of the company. Jason has always done a great job," Kenseth said. "There's always some pause, I guess, because you kind of learn each other, and that takes a little bit (of time) to do that. But I think it will be fine."(NASCAR.com)(1-25-2017) Kenseth shocked by Edwards' decision not to race: The fallout of Carl Edwards' sudden retirement from NASCAR racing continues. During his session during Tuesday's NASCAR Media Tour in Charlotte, Matt Kenseth discussed his now-former teammate. And yet, Kenseth still can't believe there'll be a different driver in the #19 Toyota in 2017. "I was as surprised as anyone else," Kenseth said. "I knew it was bad news when - this is my fifth year here (with Joe Gibbs Racing), right? - and it was the first time we ever had a conference call with all the drivers and crew chiefs on a Sunday night, after all the football games." Kenseth said he's spoken to Edwards several time since the latter's retirement announcement, but is still as baffled today as ever. "I was very, very surprised," Kenseth said. "But the more I think about it, I wasn't shocked ... but I definitely didn't see it coming." The 2017 season, Kenseth's 20th season on the NASCAR Cup circuit, could be a very pivotal year for Kenseth. First, he turns 45 on March 10. Second, he's in the final year of his current contract with JGR (pending any extension in the future).(NBC Sports)(1-24-2017)
2016 News

  • Races (26+2) that Dollar General is scheduled to be the sponsor in 2016:
    Daytona, Sprint Unlimited* - 2/13
    Daytona 500 - 2/21
    Atlanta - 2/28
    Phoenix - 3/13
    Martinsville - 4/3
    Texas - 4/9
    Bristol - 4/17
    Richmond - 4/24
    Talladega, 5/1
    Kansas - 5/7
    Dover - 5/15
    Charlotte, All-Star Race* - 5/21
    Pocono - 6/5
    Michigan - 6/14
    Sonoma - 6/26
    Kentucky - 7/9
    New Hampshire - 7/17
    Indy - 7/24
    Pocono - 7/31
    Watkins Glen - 8/7
    Bristol - 8/20
    Michigan - 8/28
    Darlington, 9/4, Tide throwback
    Richmond - 9/10
    New Hampshire - 9/25
    Charlotte - 10/8
    Martinsville - 10/30
    Phoenix - 11/13
    *non-point races

  • Races (10) that DeWalt is scheduled to be the sponsor in 2016:
    Las Vegas - 3/6
    Auto Club - 3/20
    Charlotte, 5/29
    Daytona - 7/2, Flexvolt
    Chicago - 9/18 (added)
    Dover - 10/2 (added)
    Kansas - 10/16 (added)
    Talladega - 10/23, FlexVolt
    Texas - 11/6
    Homestead - 11/20 (added)

  • Kenseth's race win and championship hopes evaporate in late accident: In one moment, #20-Matt Kenseth was leading Sunday's Can-Am 500 at Phoenix and seemed destined to race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship next Sunday at Homestead. A moment later, he was wrecked and out of the Chase. Kenseth led the field to green on the first attempt at overtime, with polesitter #88-Alex Bowman to his inside. #18-Kyle Busch made a move to the inside of Bowman from the third position, and Bowman blocked. As Busch shoved Bowman's Chevy forward toward the first corner, Kenseth turned down, thinking his Toyota had a clear lane. But contact between the cars sent Kenseth spinning out of the Championship 4. "The 88 (Bowman) was laying way, way back for that restart, more than a car width, so I got going early on purpose and I looked at him at the start/finish line, and I thought we were doing OK. And I looked back, and it looked like he had a little run on me, maybe not and shortly thereafter (spotter) Chris (Osborne) cleared me. So with the glare, I started looking to the corner to approach the corner and I got turned out of the way. He hollered 'Inside' at the same time I got turned towards the fence, so I really don't know what happened. I was just going off the information I had to try to get the best corner I could and lead more laps."(NASCAR Wire Service)(11-14-2016)

  • Kenseth's tire changer back on the job: Front tire changer John Royer has been a mainstay on the #20 crew for years. Earlier in the year John suffered a broken thumb and ligament damage in his changing hand. He was out from Darlington thru Charlotte and made his return two weekends ago in Kansas. Back up David Mayo had been changing on the #20 and did a good job anchoring the fronts.(Pit Talks)(10-28-2016)

  • 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)

  • Kenseth & Johnson to race Hincapie Gran Fondo cycle race: More than 2,300 cyclists will take to the backroads of Greenville County on Saturday when the fifth annual Gran Fondo Hincapie gets underway [in Greenville, SC]. The riders come from at least 18 different countries and 39 U.S. states, and they include at least two NASCAR drivers, according to ride founder Rich Hincapie. Jimmy Johnson and Matt Kenseth are avid cyclists, according to Hincapie. The NASCAR riders face a special challenge beyond the climbs in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains: they also have to get to Talladega in time for qualifying. In addition to flying the drivers in and out of Greenville County, Hincapie said organizers also have created a "NASCAR extraction plan" to help the drivers get to Talladega on time. If the NASCAR drivers don't hit a certain spot along the bike route by a certain time, they will be driven back, according to Hincapie. Also pedaling in the Gran Fondo will be members of the U.S. and Olympic cycling teams, according to organizers. Organizers said the best time to catch up with the NASCAR celebs would be at 7 a.m. during the VIP breakfast at Hincapie-owned Hotel Domestique, 10 Road of Vines, in Travelers Rest. The best place to watch the race once it is underway is from Chinquapin Road where it meets Highway 11. The ride includes three routes: The 80-mile Gran, the 50-mile Medio and the 15-mile Piccolo. The Gran route includes 8,100 feet of climbing. A portion of the proceeds from the race will benefit Greenville County's Meals on Wheels.(WYFF)(10-22-2016)

  • Kenseth to the rear: #20-Matt Kenseth will fall to the rear of the field of the Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The team made an unapproved parts change (adjustments) and had to go through the inspection process multiple times. Kenseth had qualified 17th.(10-9-2016)

  • Logano says not calling Kenseth may have cost him the Cup title in 2015: Declining to pick up the phone and call #20-Matt Kenseth last year may have cost #22-Joey Logano a championship, he now believes. Logano was infamously wrecked on purpose by Kenseth while leading at Martinsville Speedway in 2015, which robbed him of not only a good finish but the chance at a bye into the four-driver championship race. Kenseth was benched by NASCAR for two races. Kenseth was still angry with Logano for an incident two weeks earlier at Kansas Speedway, where Logano made contact with Kenseth while the two raced for a win. Logano took the checkered flag; Kenseth ultimately was eliminated from the Chase for the Sprint Cup after the next race. At the time, Logano just let the incident lie. He was unapologetic and never reached out to Kenseth to discuss it. "I thought at the time, 'What am I going to do, call him? He could be more mad at me. I could make this worse,' " Logano said. "Looking back at it though, it never hurts to call, it never hurts to communicate. Over-communicating is a good thing; at least you know where you're at."(USA Today)(10-5-2016)

  • Matt Kenseth going for 3rd straight win at New Hampshire: #20-Matt Kenseth was the winner of the last 2 New Hampshire races and now he'll try to do something that nobody has ever done, win 3 straight at the track. In fact, Kenseth's never won 3 straight at any track. Only 3 different drivers have won 3 straight at a track over the last 10 seasons, with #48-Jimmie Johnson doing it twice.
    Won 3 Straight Races at a Track - Last 10 NSCS Seasons
    2014-15 - #48-Jimmie Johnson - Texas
    2013-15 - #4-Kevin Harvick - Phoenix (4 straight)
    2009-10 - #11-Denny Hamlin - Martinsville
    2007-08 - #48-Jimmie Johnson - Phoenix
    Kenseth only has 2 wins this year, he had 5 last season, including 4 entering the Chase, but he certainly drives for the right manufacturer. Toyotas have won 14 of the 27 Sprint Cup races this season, with all 14 wins coming from Joe Gibbs Racing-powered cars (either Gibbs or Furniture Row Racing, a JGR satellite team).(ESPN Stats & Info)(9-25-2016)

  • Kenseth has new tire changer: #20-Matt Kenseth will have a new member on his pit crew for the next several weeks as longtime front tire changer John Royer is out with an injury. Royer injured his hand last week in practice and was replaced by veteran changer David Mayo at Darlington. Moving forward, Mayo seems to be the logical choice to continue changing -- and he's on the team's roster for Richmond, according to a Joe Gibbs Racing pre-race advance. Mayo spent time at Team Penske and Hendrick Motorsports before coming to JGR. His previous full-time role was with the #88 team of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Royer is expected to return to the team sometime during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, according to the team.(PitTalks)(9-10-2016)

  • How Kenseth helped John Krasinski land role of 'Jim' on 'The Office': It's nearly impossible to think an actor besides John Krasinski playing the role of 'Jim Halpert' on the American version of "The Office," but it may not have happened without the help of Matt Kenseth. Back in 2002 -- a full three years before the NBC premiere of inarguably the greatest comedy series of all time, in my opinion, at least -- a fresh-faced Krasinski appeared in a commercial with Kenseth that caught the eye of future "Office" executive producer, Greg Daniels. The back-and-forth dialogue between last fall's grand marshal at Texas Motor Speedway and Kenseth (more back than forth, knowing the stoic Joe Gibbs Racing driver) and wild antics by the now-36-year-old led to an audition and before long, "Jim" was born.(see full article at NASCAR.com)(8-28-2016)

  • 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)

  • Tide returns to NASCAR, sponsoring Kenseth in Southern 500: Tide and Joe Gibbs Racing announced they will bring back one of the most iconic brands in the history of NASCAR for the Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on Sunday, September 4. Tide's unforgettable orange and yellow paint scheme has been reborn as a more powerful Tide PODS Toyota Camry, and will be driven by Joe Gibbs Racing driver Matt Kenseth. This potent combination of the new Tide PODS entry and Kenseth will pay homage to the rich history of Tide while exemplifying the strength and evolution of the brand.
    For 20 years, an entire generation of racing fans cheered for the iconic "Tide Ride." Driven by some of the sport's legendary figures, including Darrell Waltrip, Ricky Rudd and Ricky Craven, the car amassed 20 total wins from 1987 to 2006. Each driver contributed a fabled chapter to the Tide Ride story-Waltrip's famous victory lane dance following his Daytona 500 win in 1989; Rudd gutting out a win at the 1997 Brickyard 400; and Craven capturing the closest win in the sport's history (.002 seconds) at Darlington in 2003.
    "With Tide celebrating its 70th anniversary as a brand, there's no better time to return to our roots in NASCAR for the Southern 500, and introduce a new generation of fans to the powerful new Tide PODS car," said Amy Krehbiel, Brand Manager for Tide. "Matt Kenseth's track record has proven him to be the type of commanding talent that we're proud to align with the Tide PODS brand."
    As the newest driver to compete for Tide, Matt Kenseth brings nearly 20 years of experience in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, including 38 wins and the 2003 series championship. "Tide has such a rich history in this sport," said Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Toyota Camry. "I can't think of a better race to make their return to NASCAR than for the Southern 500. I'm looking forward to being a part of the second annual throwback weekend, and am proud to represent such an iconic brand. There have been many great moments associated with Tide and its former talented drivers; I'm honored to continue the legacy with Tide PODS at Darlington."
    Tide will also serve as an associate sponsor on the remaining three Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas of #11-Denny Hamlin, #18-Kyle Busch and #19-Carl Edwards for the Labor Day weekend event. Additionally, the #18, #19 and #20 entries will carry Tide as an associate for the following two events at Chicago and Richmond. Both Tide and Joe Gibbs Racing are also celebrating substantial company anniversaries this year, further strengthening the significance of the partnership and return of the iconic brand to NASCAR for these select events.
    "This is a thrill for us," said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. "Not only is this a throwback paint scheme that we know the fans will be excited for, but it is with a sponsor that has a tremendous history in our sport. This is our 25th Anniversary season at Joe Gibbs Racing and I know it is the 70th Anniversary of Tide. They really are a historic brand in our country and their new partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing for Darlington is a real honor."(Joe Gibbs Racing), see images of the scheme on the #20 Team Schemes page (8-16-2016)

  • Kenseth to make 600th Cup start: With the drop of the green flag on Sunday, #20-Matt Kenseth will make his 600th career Sprint Cup Series start in Sunday's Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen. Kenseth is the 25th driver to achieve the 600 start milestone in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (JGR), see full all-time list on the All-Time / Consecutive Starts page.(8-5-2016)

  • Kenseth and Johnson Clinch Chase spots: #20-Matt Kenseth and #48-Jimmie Johnson clinched a spot in the top 30 in driver standings at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday. The magic number was 271, as a driver needed to be 271 points ahead of 31st-place following the race. After Kenseth's 2nd place finish, he is 308 points ahead of 31st, while Johnson's 3rd place finish puts him 315 points ahead. #2-Brad Keselowski, #18-Kyle Busch and #19-Carl Edwards had already clinched a spot.(7-25-2016)

  • Kenseth wins Slinger Nationals: Matt Kenseth had won the Slinger Nationals six times before Tuesday night. He apologized for winning his seventh. Faced with a late restart he really, really didn't want, the champion driver from Cambridge knocked his NASCAR teammate Erik Jones out of way in a two-lap shootout and went on to the checkered flag and a subdued victory celebration. "I got going OK, and I was tight on that last restart and I lost the lead to Erik there," Kenseth said. "He had me beat on the last restart. I just didn't want to lose it on the last one. My move wasn't a very good one. It was definitely uncalled for. I hit him way too hard. I didn't want to make any contact to start with, but I felt like he moved me three or four times before that. I felt like that was probably going to be the etiquette. It was definitely way too extreme, way too hard. I was just trying to move him up off the bottom a little bit and overshot it a bit." Despite a wild ride through Turn 2 after the white flag, the 20-year-old Jones hung on for second in his debut at the challenging, high-banked quarter-mile. He climbed out sweaty and irritated. "We raced into 1 and 2, I moved him up...and after that...we just about got dumped in 1 and 2 - I don't know what that's all about - the next time by," Jones said. "That's not really short-track racing in my book. We were the best cars here, with Matt, and I thought we were a little better, but it got away at the end." The two talked on the victory podium and seemed to come away OK, at least. Behind them, local driver Travis Dassow took third place and came away happier than the first- and second-place finishers together.(Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)(7-20-2016)

  • Kenseth fails post-race inspection: ESPN.com's Bob Pockrass reports, "Tech is done. Kenseth's car failed laser tech postrace. Stewart passed postrace." Failing laser tech has been a 15-point penalty this year.(7-17-2016)

  • Matt Kenseth wins at New Hampshire: #20-Matt Kenseth won the New Hampshire 301 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for his 2nd win of the season, 3rd win at New Hampshire, and 38th career win. He led 38 of the 301 laps.
    #14-Stewart finished 2nd followed by #22-Logano, #4-Harvick, #16-Biffle, #1-McMurray, #31-Newman, #18-Kyle Busch, #11-Hamlin and #17-Stenhouse, Jr.
    Polesitter #48-Johnson led just 1 lap and finished 12th.
    Alex Bowman, subbing for #88-Earnhardt, Jr. ran in the top 15 most of the day, but cut a tire down with less than 30 laps to go and finished 26th.
    There were 13 lead changes among 6 drivers and 7 cautions for 36 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 107.416 mph.
    Scheduled Race Re-Air: Monday, July 18 at 2:30pm/et on NBCSN
    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)

  • 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)

  • DEWALT Announces Expanded Partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing UPDATE: DEWALT Tools announced an expanded partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR). DEWALT has added four races to their 2016 primary sponsorship aboard the #20 Toyota Camry driven by Matt Kenseth for the upcoming races at Chicago, Dover, Kansas, and Homestead. DEWALT also announces that it will provide primary sponsorship for a total of six races in the NASCAR XFINITY Series for 2016 with drivers Erik Jones and Daniel Suarez. Beginning with the 2017 season, DEWALT will take over the primary sponsorship for the majority (15) of races on the #20 Toyota Camry in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series. Along with the expanded schedule of primary paint schemes, DEWALT also has associate branding on the #20 Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series whenever they are not already serving as the primary sponsor. This partnership comes at a perfect time as DEWALT recently launched their breakthrough DEWALT FLEXVOLT system, which includes a radical new battery technology that will transform the power tools space. The proprietary battery technology platform provides users with multiple voltage outputs from a single DEWALT battery pack - 20V MAX, 60V MAX, and 120V MAX when two 60V MAX batteries are combined - thus giving users the power of corded with the freedom of cordless. Learn more about the DEWALT FLEXVOLT system and DEWALT's continual breakthrough innovation at DEWALT.com. DEWALT will have primary sponsorship with two cars this weekend at Daytona International Speedway to promote this launch. A special DEWALT FLEXVOLT paint scheme will appear on the #20 Toyota of Matt Kenseth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as well as the #20 Toyota of Erik Jones in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.
    "We're thrilled to continue to work with Joe Gibbs Racing as NASCAR and DEWALT share a lot of commonalities," said Scott Bannell, Vice President for Corporate Brand Marketing, Stanley Black & Decker. "Our DEWALT FLEXVOLT launch ties perfectly to the power and freedom exemplified by racing." DEWALT will utilize NASCAR and JGR as one of the primary platforms to advocate the DEWALT FLEXVOLT message. "This is a multifaceted program." said Tony Merritt, Director of Motorsports, Stanley Black & Decker. "This is more than on-track visibility; it is a pillar of our end-user engagement strategy including trackside demos to get the products in the consumer's hands, unique content for our digital platforms, and VIP hospitality to host our customers. Our end-user advocates are passionate about motorsports and we will leverage this partnership to interact with them digitally as well as in person at the races."
    "This an exciting day for us at Joe Gibbs Racing and for NASCAR," said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. "We are honored to be a part of what is really a historic announcement with the product launch of the DEWALT FLEXVOLT" system and put in place an agreement that will continue our partnership for years to come."
    "I think it's great that we will be able to see the DEWALT Toyota on track this year for additional races in both the Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series, as well as knowing that DEWALT will be on our #20 Camry for the majority of our 2017 races as well," said Matt Kenseth, "I've been so fortunate to be able to reunite with DEWALT these past two seasons, and knowing that we'll be together for even longer, is really fantastic news for all of us at JGR."(JGR PR), see images of the scheme on the #20 Team Schemes page.(6-30-2016)
    UPDATES: Joe Gibbs Racing held a press conference with Matt Kenseth and Joe Gibbs at Daytona International Speedway, some of the Q&A's from the transcript:
    Q) What are you announcing today?
    JOE GIBBS, team owner: "I just wanted to say a big thanks to everybody for being here and everybody watching. This is a big day for us. As you know, in our sport one of the most important things we have is our partners and we're thrilled today is a happy day for us to be announcing that one of the most successful companies in America, DEWALT, will be our major sponsor - our primary sponsor - for 2017 on our 20 car, so we're thrilled to announce that. Also as you know, with Stanley Black and Decker they are also on our 19 car for 12 races, so it's a huge deal for us. Like I said, one of the most successful companies in the world and to have them be a part of our sport and a part of our race teams is a thrill for us. The DEWALT FLEXVOLT is going to be a major focus for us. I was looking at this - Pat (Gibbs, wife) might get a little upset that she's heading home with that. She might be a little afraid of what I'm going to do with this. This thing is powerful and we're here to kick off the FLEXVOLT program. This is going to change the way pro contractors go to work because they're going to have the freedom to go cordless and have the power to do that, so it's a huge deal for us. We mentioned the fact that Erik (Jones) and Daniel (Suarez) are here, so for the rest of this year there will be six FLEXVOLT races in the XFINITY program with Erik and there'll be one with Daniel and then there's going to be six Cup races - actually seven Cup races - with Matt (Kenseth), counting this weekend. So we're thrilled to announce that. It's a real thrill for us to have partners like this. We've got to know everybody inside the company. It's a thrill for us and we're excited about being here and so I think we've got some other things to kind of share with you."
    Q) Has Joe Gibbs Racing signed an extension with Matt Kenseth and how many races will DEWALT have on his car?
    GIBBS: "DEWALT will have 15 races next year and be the primary on that car. We don't talk about our contracts and stuff for drivers, but I will say this - our plan is Matt's (Kenseth) going to retire here, so that's what we'd say."
    Q) Are you close to filling sponsorship for all of Matt Kenseth's races in 2017?
    GIBBS: "We feel pretty confident right now. We've got some great things in the works. Nothing that we can announce right now, but we feel good about where we are with that car and this is a big step right here and so we feel confident that that car will be fully funded for next year."
    MATT KENSETH, #20 DEWALT FLEXVOLT Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
    Q) What are your thoughts on the expanded partnership with DEWALT? Kenseth: "For me, it's a dream come true really for DEWALT to come back. A couple years ago, I made my first Cup start with DEWALT and I hope to make my last Cup start with DEWALT - not today of course, but hopefully someday a few years down the road. They've been more than a great sponsor for me - they've been like family. I've made a lot of friends over there. They obviously make the best power tools in the world. I've always been proud to represent them, so really happy they signed on, took on a bigger role and I'm looking forward to getting the DEWALT colors back to victory lane."(Toyota Racing)(6-30-2016)

  • Fox Bestows 'The Byrnsie Awards' to spotter Chris Osborne: FOX NASCAR presented Chris Osborne, Matt Kenseth's spotter, with the second-annual "The Byrnsie Award" during Sunday's NASCAR RACEDAY telecast from Sonoma Raceway on FS1. Osborne, a veteran in the NASCAR garage, was sidelined the first part of the 2016 season after sustaining serious injuries in an accident with a drunk driver during the holidays. In honor of late FOX NASCAR broadcaster Steve Byrnes, whose nickname was 'Byrnsie,' the award was established in 2015 to celebrate an individual in the NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES who embodies principles Byrnes demonstrated daily in his personal and professional life -- preparation, teamwork and family within the garage area. Osbourne was voted the recipient by Byrnes' colleagues on the FOX NASCAR broadcast team, of which he was a member since the first race broadcast in February 2001. Byrnes passed away in April 2015 following a courageous battle with cancer. Bryson Byrnes, Steve's son, introduced the award on-camera from the NASCAR RACE HUB studios in Charlotte, N.C., while FOX NASCAR play-by-play announcer Mike Joy presented the trophy to Osborne on the spotters' stand at Sonoma Raceway.
    "The winner of this year's FOX Byrnsie Award is spotter Chris Osborne, who like my dad, displaced tremendous amounts of strength, courage and determination this year in the garage," Bryson said on NASCAR RACEDAY. "Congratulations to Chris. I know that my dad would be very proud." Osborne, affectionately known as "Crazy" in the NASCAR community, suffered severe right leg and foot injuries. His wife, Melissa, sustained major pelvis, hip, shoulder, arm and elbow injuries, while Osborne's son, Austin, sustained a concussion, cracked sternum, partially collapsed lung and broken nose. The NASCAR community rallied around Osborne, one of its most beloved spotters, in the weeks following the accident and throughout the ensuing recovery process. Osborne returned to the spotters' stand at Martinsville Speedway in late March. "It's a privilege to be the recipient of the second Byrnsie Award," Osborne told Joy. "I know Byrnes' love for everything that he had done in this sport ... the determination he had to do his job, and first and foremost, how much he cared for and loved his family, and he put that number one. I feel like our family has been through a lot, and I've tried to do the same. It's a great honor that the FOX group has voted me the second recipient of The Byrnsie Award. I certainly do appreciate it."(FoxSports PR)(6-27-2016)

  • Kenseth loses pit stall selection after car fails inspection: The #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Matt Kenseth received its fourth inspection warning of the year Saturday at Sonoma. Per the NASCAR rulebook, as a result the team will lose its pit-stall selection for the Sunday's Save Mart/Toyota 350 and will get whatever pit stall is left after the other 39 teams chose their respective spots. Kenseth's car got the warning for a pre-qualifying inspection issue, NASCAR officials said. During time trials at Sonoma, Kenseth qualified 23rd (FoxSports), the team was left with pit stall 6. To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on Jayski.com's Pit Stall Selection chart.(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)

  • Dollar General Leaving as Primary Sponsor JGR's #20 after 2016: Dollar General will end its primary sponsorship of Joe Gibbs Racing's #20 Sprint Cup Series entry after this year and is not planning to align with a new team next year. The company, which has been with JGR since the 2012 season, currently has a 30-race deal -- one of the largest in the sport -- with the #20 Toyota driven by Matt Kenseth. It also has some track assets in NASCAR. Dollar General in a statement noted it has enjoyed a "great partnership" with JGR, but said, "Our strategy to reallocate our future marketing assets into new programs is strictly a business decision to align our priorities to better serve our customers in this rapidly changing retail environment." For JGR, Dollar General's departure will leave a big void to fill. Though the team is almost, if not entirely, sold out of inventory for the foreseeable future for its other three Sprint Cup cars, landing 30-race deals with a single company is an increasingly tough task in the sport. JGR is expected to announce a deal or deals to fill the void that will be left by Dollar General in the next month or so. Other primary sponsors of the #20 include Stanley Black & Decker and Dewalt, and it is possible that either they or sponsors of JGR's other cars could step up to help fill the hole.(Sports Business Daily)(5-23-2016)

  • 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)

  • Matt Kenseth wins at Dover: #20-Matt Kenseth won the AAA 400 Drive for Autism Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway for his 1st win of the season, 3rd win at Dover and 37th career win. Kenseth lead 48 of the 400 laps.
    #42-Larson finished 2nd (which ties his career-best finish) followed by #24-Elliott (his career best), #5-Kahne, #41-Busch, #2-Keselowski, #11-Hamlin, #21-Blaney, #78-Truex, Jr., and #10-Bayne.
    Pole sitter #4-Harvick dominated early in the race, leading 117 laps on the day, but finished 15th.
    There was an 11 minute red flag for track cleanup with 46 laps to go. On a restart, #48-Johnson was leading but the car stuck in gear, causing #78-Truex, Jr to run into the back of him. The rest of the field, coming up to speed, piled into one another blocking the track. 18 cars were involved.
    There were 19 lead changes among 10 drivers and 12 cautions for 65 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 109.348mph.
    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)
    Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and
    Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf)

  • Osborne wins NMPA Spirit Award: Chris Osborne, spotter for Matt Kenseth and Daniel Suarez, has been named the recipient of the National Motorsports Press Association's Pocono Spirit Award for the first quarter. The award is given quarterly and recognizes character and achievement in the face of adversity, as well as sportsmanship and contribution to motorsports. Osborne and his family were injured in a Dec. 17 automobile accident when the vehicle Osborne was driving was struck head-on. Police cited the driver of the other car with driving while impaired, along with careless and reckless driving and having an open container in his vehicle. Osborne missed the first five races, making his return at Martinsville Speedway. Osborne received about 80 percent of the votes cast by NMPA members. NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson also received votes.(NBC Sports)(5-11-2016)

  • Kenseth and Logano talk after Talladega: #20-Matt Kenseth said he and #22-Joey Logano talked this week and buried their differences about last week's race at Talladega Superspeedway. Asked Friday if he could share anything from his conversation with Logano, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver said, "Nah, if we wanted that we would have made it a conference call." The pair has issues stretching back to two incidents last season, and Kenseth had blamed Logano for pushing him below the yellow line at Talladega on Sunday and ultimately into a position to become involved in a crash that sent Kenseth's car airborne and toward an infield catchfence and retaining wall.(USA Today)(5-7-2016)

  • Arrest warrent issued for driver that injured Kenseth's spotter and family: An arrest warrant has been issued for Michael Dale Kellison after he failed to appear in court Tuesday in Randolph County, North Carolina, for charges related to his Dec. 17 crash with Chris Osborne, spotter for Matt Kenseth and Daniel Suarez, near Sophia, North Carolina. N.C. Highway Patrol cited Kellison with driving while impaired, careless and reckless driving, and having an open container in his vehicle after his car crossed the center line and slammed into Osborne's car, injuring Osborne, his wife and son. Kellison's car was traveling an estimated 60 mph in a 45 mph zone. Kellison's license had included a restriction that he not drive with any alcohol in his system because of a DWI conviction in 2008. He previously failed to show for a court appearance in January and an arrest warrant was issued then.(NBC Sports)(5-4-2016)

  • NASCAR will examine Talladega accidents; Dale Jr's steering wheel: NASCAR is looking into what led cars to get airborne Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway and will investigate what caused Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s steering wheel to detach after his second wreck, a NASCAR executive told "The Morning Drive" on Monday. "Some really intense racing all throughout the day, and some things we didn't like with cars getting up in the air and we're already fast at work at the R&D Center, looking at all the video we have," Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. "We'll reach out to the teams to see what we can do to immediately take some action to work towards correcting that." Chris Buescher's car tumbled down the backstretch after being hit by another car, and Matt Kenseth's car was sent airborne after contact turned his car sideways and the air picked his vehicle up. Neither driver was injured in the separate incidents. "You never want to see that," O'Donnell told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio about those incidents. "So you immediately work on is everybody safe, did the safety equipment do it's job and what we can learn from that. The immediate steps are to review all the media shots that we have of those incidents, work with the race teams and then look at what may or may not be different from when we've been not only at Talladega but any other race track.
    "That will be all of our process in sitting down and reviewing that," O'Donnell told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. That also will include looking at what happened to Earnhardt's steering wheel. Earnhardt's teammate, Jimmie Johnson, had a steering wheel come off at Phoenix, leading to his crash in qualifying there. O'Donnell was asked if Earnhardt's issue was isolated or something more.
    "Even if it is an isolated incident, we'll look at it," O'Donnell said. "It could be something that could cause issues down the road if it was a trend. We'll talk to (Earnhardt) and his team and make sure hopefully that was just what you said initially an isolated incident and go from there, but if there is anything we can take from that, we will certainly communicate that to all the teams. It's not something you want to see, especially potentially at speed."(NBC Sports)(5-2-2016)

  • Kenseth not happy with Logano again: The feud between #20-Matt Kenseth and #22-Joey Logano simmered again Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. Fox Sports caught an exchange between the rival drivers outside the track's care center after both were involved in a late accident during the GEICO 500. Kenseth seemed to initiate the interaction after exiting the track hospital and pausing to get the attention of Logano, who was leaning against a barrier waiting for an interview to begin. Logano smiled and shook his head as the brief conversation ended with some finger-pointing by Kenseth, who had blamed Logano for forcing him off the track and putting him in position to be involved in a 12-car wreck that started with contact between Danica Patrick and Michael McDowell. Kenseth's car went airborne in the crash. "The first thing that happened is (Logano) ran me off the racetrack, and that got us way behind," he said. "I thought we were done with that, but maybe we aren't." Told it seemed Kenseth was upset, Logano responded, "OK. He can get in line with the rest of them."(NBC Sports)(5-2-2016)

  • Kenseth says he has no plans to retire in near future: Although #20-Matt Kenseth hasn't won this season and has just one top-10 finish, he's exhibited as much speed as his teammates. His 164 laps led is third among the JGR drivers. Kenseth just doesn't have the results to show for it. So why are pundits and fans questioning Kenseth's future in the sport? "This is turning into a huge retirement topic right now for some odd reason--I'm not sure why and I'm getting a little bit of a complex about it," Kenseth said sarcastically. With Jeff Gordon, 44, stepping out of the seat last year - and Kenseth turning the same age last month, comparisons are inevitable. The recent retirements of Peyton Manning, who will be an honorary race official and guest of Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Sunday, and Kobe Bryant certainly have fueled the topic. But perhaps the greatest reason the rumor won't die is the long list of development drivers JGR has waiting in the wings - particularly Saturday's Xfinity Series winner Erik Jones and points leader Daniel Suarez. Kenseth's not going anywhere But Kenseth's boss, Joe Gibbs, insists emphatically his senior driver's future is secure. "Kenseth's future is - we love him," Gibbs says with a laugh. "I can tell you that right now. We love Matt Kenseth. He's a big part of our program. We don't need to announce anything. He's solid." Kenseth said retirement was the farthest thing from his mind. "I feel incredibly good, I'm driving I think arguably the best team in the sport, love the guys I'm working with and we're still really competitive," Kenseth said. "Our sport is just so different. I think you see a lot of people not go out on their own terms because they keep trying to do it for too long because they can still get a job and they can still maybe get in stuff that's maybe not as good, but somebody is still going to hire them."(in part from Motorsport)(4-17-2016)

  • Kenseth surprises Steve Byrnes' family: The wife and son of the late Steve Byrnes showed up at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Tuesday expecting to take a photo with Matt Kenseth. The one-year anniversary of Kenseth's win at Bristol Motor Speedway - the "Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes and Stand Up To Cancer" - was approaching, so they didn't have reason to suspect an ulterior motive. But Karen Byrnes and her seventh-grader son Bryson were surprised with a pair of gifts upon their arrival. Kenseth presented them with a replica sword given to the winner of the Bristol race along with a framed picture of the #20 team in victory lane holding up signs in support of Steve, a beloved FOX Sports announcer who died two days after the event.
    Bryson, a well-spoken young man who seemed comfortable addressing reporters Tuesday, has dreams of becoming a college football announcer if his own football career doesn't work out (last season he played both center and defensive end on his middle school team). He said all the outpouring of support for his father has been "overwhelming and kind of magical to see."
    Karen Byrnes said the last year has been "bittersweet." She and Bryson have been supported in many ways by the NASCAR community, but they've also lived through many firsts - the first Father's Day without Steve, the first Christmas, the first Easter. And this month, they'll mark Steve's birthday (April 14) and the anniversary of his death (April 21).
    "Those are challenging times," she said. "But we've tried to be purposeful in also living, too. (We're) moving forward and experiencing life because I think we do a disservice to him by not going out and living life."(USA Today)(4-6-2016)

  • 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 Feneway 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)

  • Kenseth's spotter finally well enough to return to the track: Chris Osborne will celebrate Easter weekend and feel blessed. He will spend it with his wife, Melissa, and son, Austin, and they will consider themselves fortunate despite the hell they have experienced the last three months. Five days after Easter, Osborne plans to embark on an emotional trek to a racetrack. He will return to the job he loves as Matt Kenseth's spotter and will enjoy every breath he takes of the cool mountain air at Martinsville Speedway. The Osborne family had their lives forever changed at 10:04 p.m. Dec. 17 when, less than 10 minutes from the Osborne home in Sophia, North Carolina, a driver who would later be charged with driving under the influence lost control of his car while going 60 mph and smashed into Osborne's vehicle, crushing the entire front of the car. That driver, with prior DUIs in 2006 and 2007, has a date in court Monday. Osborne suffered a shattered right leg that needed 25 screws to hold the rod and plates together. His wife, Melissa, in the back seat, was catapulted over her son Austin in the front passenger seat and suffered a broken hip, pelvis and right elbow -- all needed reconstructive surgery -- in addition to nine broken ribs and a broken shoulder. Austin suffered a partially collapsed lung, a bruised sternum, a concussion, a broken nose, a bruised shoulder and lost a couple of teeth. All were wearing seat belts.
    Osborne has spent more than two decades in the NASCAR garage (he also used to drive the hauler), and now it's time for him to get back to work. He will wear an air cast on his right leg, which allows him to wear sneakers. He will spot for both Daniel Suarez in trucks and Kenseth at Martinsville. He will have a walker or a cane for as long as he needs -- getting to the spotter stand he expects will be the toughest part. His doctor approved his putting 100 percent weight on his leg March 12, but he doesn't expect the leg will ever be the same as it was prior to the accident. Osborne notes that one of the screws has broken inside his leg, but because it hasn't caused a problem, it remains among the 25 inside of him. While obeying his doctor's orders and confident that if he can't do the job, he will tell the team he needs more time, Osborne hasn't had it easy watching races from home and listening to the in-car radio.(ESPN.com)(3-26-2016)

  • Penalty takes Kenseth out of contention: #20-Matt Kenseth scored his second disappointing finish in a row after a miscommunication cost him two laps and led to a 19th-place finish Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Kenseth led 47 of the first 115 laps Sunday before pitting under green when trouble struck. NASCAR penalized him for improper fueling. Kenseth's crew chief, Jason Ratcliff, argued the call. As that happened, NASCAR give Kenseth the black flag, but Kenseth did not respond to it. NASCAR stopped scoring Kenseth for a lap until he came into the pits for his pass-through penalty. He also lost a lap while going down pit road and was two laps down once he was back up to speed.(NBC Sports)(2-29-2016)

  • Markham spotting for Kenseth: Former NASCAR driver, and current Joe Gibbs Racing employee, Curtis Markham will serve as #20-Matt Kenseth's spotter this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Kenseth's usual spotter, Chris Osborne, continues to recover from an automobile accident in December.(2-24-2016)

  • Kenseth felt he had to make a move: If he had to do it over again, #20-Matt Kenseth might have stayed in line in front of #78-Martin Truex Jr., rather than moving up the track to try to block Joe Gibbs Racing teammate #11-Denny Hamlin. But Kenseth had to make a split-second decision, and he moved into the outside lane in the final corner of Sunday's Daytona 500. But Hamlin dived to the inside, and Kenseth nearly wrecked before regaining control of his car. Hamlin went on to win the race, and Kenseth, who had led for most of the final lap rolled home in 14th. "There's a million things you could do differently, but I did what I thought I should do at the time to try to win," Kenseth said. "We finished terrible, but that was the move I thought I had to make to try to preserve the win. He (Hamlin) had such a big run, he was going to go right around me in my opinion anyway, and Turn 4 was treacherous on the bottom. I didn't think we were in a good spot to try to win it with his run, so I was trying to get in front of him. Unfortunately, his run happened pretty late in the straightway and he had the whole width of the corner to make a move, and he was able to cross back over and get under me."(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-22-2016)

  • Kenseth's spotter not healed enough to be at Daytona UPDATE: #20-Matt Kenseth will be without spotter Chris "Crazy" Osborne for next weekend's Sprint Unlimited and likely the Daytona 500. Osborne told NBC Sports that he continues to recover from injuries suffered in a Dec. 17 auto accident and will not spot for Kenseth in the Feb. 13 Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway. Osborne's next doctor's visit is Feb. 16. The doctor will determine then if Osborne will be able to spot for Kenseth in the Daytona 500. "My gut feeling is I won't make Daytona," said Osborne, entering his fourth season spotting for Kenseth. "I want to be there as bad as anyone. It kind of knocked the wind out of my sails when they said I absolutely would not be going to the Unlimited." Osborne, who also spots for Daniel Suarez in the Xfinity Series, is hopeful to be back spotting next month when NASCAR makes its West Coast swing. The team has not announced who will fill in for Osborne until he returns. Osborne was injured while driving home with his wife Melissa and son Austin. A car, traveling an estimated 60 mph in a 45 mph zone, according to the police report, approached from the opposite direction. The car went off the road and then cut across the median, slamming into Osborne's car.(NBC Sports)(2-6-2016)
    UPDATE: The story was updated Saturday: "The team stated Saturday that Lorin Ranier, a long-time spotter who was most recently with Jamie McMurray, will spot for Kenseth in the Sprint Unlimited."(2-7-2016)

  • 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)

  • Kenseth-Logano put feud behind them: #22-Joey Logano and #20-Matt Kenseth aren't likely to be dining together soon, but the discomfort produced by their late-season on-track troubles last year seems to have eased. Logano knocked Kenseth's car out of the way as he raced to a win Oct. 18 at Kansas Speedway. Kenseth retaliated two weeks later at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia, sending Logano's car into the wall and keeping from an almost-certain victory. NASCAR suspended Kenseth for two races because of the crash. NASCAR called the two drivers into a meeting the weekend of the season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    Logano said Wednesday he hopes the situation has reached a conclusion. "We had a discussion at Homestead with NASCAR. I got everything off my chest that I needed to say, and hopefully Matt did, as well. As a driver, you keep your goals in mind. My goal as a race car driver is to win every race I'm in. That's what I keep as priority #1. Each person has their own way of handling it. Every situation requires something different. I'm sure this over time will kind of go away and we'll be able to focus on the season."
    On Tuesday, Kenseth also expressed a desire to leave the 2015 incidents behind. "NASCAR got us together at Homestead, and we spoke briefly in Las Vegas (during post-season appearances)," Kenseth said. "Honestly, I've never had a problem with Joey before that. We've always raced good together. The best case probably is for everybody to put it behind us and move on."(USA Today)(1-21-2016)

  • Matt Kenseth's spotter and family injured in auto wreck UPDATE: Chris Osborne, the spotter for Matt Kenseth's #20 Joe Gibbs Racing team, was involved in a serious automobile accident last weekend. Osborne took to Twitter to express his thanks to all fans, friends and fellow NASCAR competitors who have wished him and his family well. Both Osborne and his wife suffered very serious injuries that will require lengthy recoveries. Osborne's son, Austin, also suffered injuries in the accident but was treated at a hospital and released. He posted a picture of the family car after the accident on Instagram, along with some details about it from his perspective. Including: "I was in the passenger seat and escaped with just a broken nose, missing tooth, a concussion, and some liver damage but I will be fine. Mom was in the backseat behind me. She broke the back of my seat and flew over me and ended up between the dash and windshield, suffering a broken pelvis on 2 places, destroyed her elbow, a broken hip, and a broken shoulder along with some other severe damages. She has been taken off her ventilator and was able to get out of ICU, so she is recovering."(FoxSports)(12-24-2015)
    UPDDATE: Chris Osborne says he hopes to be well enough to make the trek to Daytona International Speedway next month when the NASCAR racing season officially gets underway, but to do so his body must first win a race with the clock. Osborne, spotter for Joe Gibbs Racing driver Matt Kenseth in the Sprint Cup Series -- as well as fellow JGR driver Daniel Suarez in the Truck and XFINITY Series -- sustained severe injuries to his right leg and foot when he and his family were hit head-on by another driver on Dec. 17. "Family and our health come first, that goes without question," he said. "But I think and talk about work every day with different people. And I'll be honest with you -- it's going to be a tight timeframe. When I can bear weight on my leg. If I can only do 25 percent of it at a time, 25 percent for a week or so and then 50 percent for a week, if that's the case then looking at the calendar ... I don't know if I'll make Daytona. But I'm working so hard and ... that's my goal. Until the plane leaves and I'm either on it or not, that's my goal."(NASCAR.com)(1-10-2016)

  • 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)

2015 News

  • Races (30+2) that Dollar General is scheduled to be the sponsor in 2015:
    Daytona, Sprint Unlimited* - 2/14
    Daytona 500 - 2/22
    Atlanta - 3/1
    Phoenix - 3/15
    Martinsville - 3/29
    Texas - 4/11
    Bristol - 4/19
    Richmond - 4/25
    Talladega, 5/3
    Kansas - 5/9
    Charlotte, All-Star Race* - 5/16
    Dover - 5/31
    Pocono - 6/7
    Michigan - 6/16
    Sonoma - 6/28
    Kentucky - 7/11
    New Hampshire - 7/19
    Indy - 7/26
    Pocono - 8/2
    Watkins Glen - 8/9
    Michigan - 8/16
    Bristol - 8/22
    Darlington, 9/6
    Richmond - 9/12
    Chicago - 9/20
    New Hampshire - 9/27
    Dover - 10/4
    Charlotte - 10/10
    Kansas - 10/18
    Martinsville - 11/1
    Phoenix - 11/15, Erik Jones in for suspended Kenseth
    Homestead - 11/22 *non-point races

  • Races (6) that DeWalt is scheduled to be the sponsor in 2015:
    Las Vegas - 3/8
    Auto Club - 3/22
    Charlotte, 5/24
    Daytona - 7/5, Made in USA
    Talladega - 10/25
    Texas - 11/8, Erik Jones in for suspended Kenseth

  • Matt Kenseth's spotter and family injured in auto wreck: Chris Osborne, the spotter for Matt Kenseth's #20 Joe Gibbs Racing team, was involved in a serious automobile accident last weekend. Osborne took to Twitter to express his thanks to all fans, friends and fellow NASCAR competitors who have wished him and his family well. Both Osborne and his wife suffered very serious injuries that will require lengthy recoveries. Osborne's son, Austin, also suffered injuries in the accident but was treated at a hospital and released. He posted a picture of the family car after the accident on Instagram, along with some details about it from his perspective. Including: "I was in the passenger seat and escaped with just a broken nose, missing tooth, a concussion, and some liver damage but I will be fine. Mom was in the backseat behind me. She broke the back of my seat and flew over me and ended up between the dash and windshield, suffering a broken pelvis on 2 places, destroyed her elbow, a broken hip, and a broken shoulder along with some other severe damages. She has been taken off her ventilator and was able to get out of ICU, so she is recovering."(FoxSports)(12-24-2015)

  • 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)

  • Kenseth and Logano meet before practice at Homestead: #20-Matt Kenseth met with #22-Joey Logano and NASCAR officials before practice Friday morning at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Kenseth, in his first race weekend back from a two-race suspension, met face-to-face with the driver he has feuded with over the past few weeks. "We had a little discussion before practice with NASCAR and met with them a little bit," Kenseth said. "Everything will be fine there. I wish none of it would have happened obviously. There's probably certain things we'll never totally agree on, but I think long term it probably will be fine, and I think we will work it all out."(ESPN)(11-20-2015)

  • Joe Gibbs also met with Brian France; talked to Penske: Joe Gibbs said NASCAR chairman Brian France came to the race shop on Monday to meet with both suspended driver Matt Kenseth and then the team owner. The meetings were separate and done in advance of Kenseth's return to the track this weekend. Kenseth was suspended two races for intentionally wrecking Joey Logano in retaliation. The payback ultimately cost Logano a spot in Sunday's finale. "We had good meetings, I think we're all in a good place right now," Gibbs said. "I think Matt is, too. I appreciated getting the chance to meet with Brian and I think Matt did, too." Gibbs also said he and Roger Penske had a pair of phone conversations as the feud between Kenseth and Logano brewed. He said Penske called him after Logano spun Kenseth at Kansas, and Gibbs called Penske after Kenseth wrecked Logano at Martinsville. "I think we really get along with each other," Gibbs said. "The things we kind of talk about it are between us."(Associated Press)(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)

  • NASCAR asks to meet with Matt Kenseth UPDATE: NASCAR has asked to meet with Joe Gibbs Racing driver #20-Matt Kenseth on Monday in advance of the driver's return to the track this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Kenseth was suspended for the past two races following his role in an on-track incident with #22-Joey Logano at Martinsville Speedway. "NASCAR has asked the driver of the 20 to meet with Chairman and CEO Brian France," NASCAR Vice President David Higdon said. France and NASCAR handed down the suspension, which was upheld on appeals, following Kenseth's wreck of race leader Joey Logano in the Eliminator Round opener. The two had previous on-track run-ins, and Kenseth -- nearly 10 laps down at the time -- drove Logano into the wall with less than 50 laps remaining. Logano was eliminated from the postseason following Sunday's race at Phoenix International Raceway. Kenseth had been eliminated the week before Martinsville. In addition to his suspension, Kenseth is on probation for the rest of 2015.(NASCAR.com)
    UPDATE: NASCAR Chairman & CEO Brian France and Joe Gibbs Racing driver Matt Kenseth met Monday in Charlotte, North Carolina, in advance of the driver's return to the track following a two-race suspension. France was "pleased" with the dialogue, according to a tweet from NASCAR Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer Brett Jewkes. Kenseth tweeted later Monday afternoon, noting that he's "glad to have all this behind (him)."(NASCAR.com)(11-16-2015)

  • 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)

  • Kenseth: no regrets over wrecking Logano: Pushed to his limit after three races worth of slights, #20-Matt Kenseth firmly believed he had no choice but to retaliate against #22-Joey Logano. His deliberate wrecking of Logano drew a two-race suspension from NASCAR, and Kenseth said Friday he would have handled the payback differently had he known he'd draw such an unprecedented penalty. But in a telephone interview with The Associated Press, Kenseth said he would do it again. "I really stand by my actions," he said. "I feel like there's a breaking point. It wasn't just about being mad, it was about getting this fixed. It was time to make it stop." Logano spun Kenseth while racing for a win at Kansas that Kenseth needed to continue his championship chances. Kenseth retaliated two races later by wrecking Logano as Logano raced for a win at Martinsville Speedway that would have landed him a berth in the championship field. Kenseth had returned to the track down nine laps after a wreck with Logano teammate #2-Brad Keselowski. "You have to have respect in the garage area. If you are going to go out and try to race for wins and race for championships, you can't be a doormat or next year you are going to get knocked out again," Kenseth said. "Drivers are going to be like, 'Well, he ain't going to do nothing. We'll just knock him out of the race and then jack with him as much as possible and make sure he's not going to make it through because he's not going to retaliate.' "At some point, in my opinion, you have to retaliate." His mood upbeat and his deadpan humor intact in a 30-minute interview from North Carolina, Kenseth accepted responsibility for wrecking Logano but insisted he feels no remorse that it potentially ruined Logano's title chances. Kenseth will return for next weekend's season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and admitted the first four days after the suspension were "were really hard on me" and he struggled to watch Erik Jones drive his race car. He watched Sunday's race at Texas on television, and is eager to get back to his Joe Gibbs Racing team for the finale. When he makes his return, he vowed to be more aggressive on the track than he's ever been.(see full article at the Associated Press)(11-14-2015)

  • Jones back in the #20 car: This weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, Erik Jones will be running triple-duty as he competes in the Camping World Truck Series, XFINITY Series, and Sprint Cup Series events. Jones earned his first career NASCAR series victory at Phoenix with his truck series win in November of 2013 (JGR). In two NASCAR XFINITY Series starts at Phoenix, Jones has finished fifth and sixth. Jones will race the #20 Dollar General Toyota, subbing for suspended Matt Kenseth. Kenseth is scheduled to return to the car at Homestead, after missing the Texas and Phoenix races.(11-11-2015)

  • 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)

  • Penalty Announcement: Kenseth suspended 2 races; Patrick fined UPDATES Penalty upheld: Matt Kenseth , the driver of the #20 car, has been penalized for an infraction that occurred during the Nov. 1 race at Martinsville Speedway. This is a Behavioral Penalty (Sections 12.1, 12.8). Kenseth has been suspended from NASCAR through the completion of the next two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship events and placed on NASCAR probation for a six-month period following issuance of the penalty notice.
    "Based upon our extensive review, we have concluded that the #20 car driver, who is no longer in the Chase, intentionally wrecked the #22 car driver, a Chase-eligible competitor who was leading the race at the time,"said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. "The #20 car was nine laps down, and eliminated the #22 car's opportunity to continue to compete in the race.
    "Additionally, we factored aspects of safety into our decision, and also the fact that the new Chase elimination format puts a premium on each and every race. These actions have no place in NASCAR."
    Danica Patrick, the driver of the #10 car, has been penalized for an infraction that also took place during the Nov. 1 race at Martinsville Speedway. This is a Behavioral Penalty (Sections 12.1, 12.8). Patrick has been fined $50,000, assessed with the loss of 25 series championship driver points and placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31.(NASCAR)(11-3-2015)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing announces today that driver Matt Kenseth will appeal the penalty issued by NASCAR. The appeal will challenge the severity of the penalty which is believed to be inconsistent with previous penalties for similar on-track incidents. There will be no further comments from JGR personnel during he appear process.(JGR)
    UPDATE 2: JGR's appeal will be expedited, meaning Kenseth's case will be heard by a three-person panel this week before Sunday's race at Texas Motor Speedway. If he loses, he can make a plea to Final Appeals Officer Bryan Moss. While Kenseth appeals the suspension, it can be deferred at NASCAR's discretion. Depending on the timing of the appeal hearings, that means Kenseth could be driving his #20 Toyota in practice or qualifying at Texas this weekend in advance of Sunday's race. The appeal likely would be settled before then, however.(NBC Sports)
    AND: Kenseth currently has 571 consecutive Sprint Cup starts, second only to Jeff Gordon's 794. He has run every race since the beginning of the 2000 season.
    UPDATE 3: The National Motorsports Appeals Panel has scheduled Kenseth's expedited appeal of his NASCAR penalty for 9:00am/et Thursday in Concord, NC.(11-3-2015)
    UPDATE 4: The National Motorsports Appeals Panel heard and considered the appeal of a Behavioral Penalty issued on Nov. 3 to Matt Kenseth (driver) relative to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series vehicle #20 at Martinsville Speedway. The penalty concerns the following sections in the 2015 NASCAR Rule Book: Sections 12.1 and 12.8. The original penalty assessed included suspension from NASCAR until the completion of the next two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events and placed on NASCAR probation for six months following the issuance of the Penalty Notice. Upon hearing the testimony, the decisions of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel are:
    1. The Appellant violated the rules set forth in the Penalty notice;
    2. The Panel affirms and upholds the original Penalty levied by NASCAR.
    The panel consisted of the following three individuals: Mr. Ken Clapp, Mr. Bill Mullis, Mr. Dale Pinilis.
    The Appellant has chosen to appeal the decision of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel to the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer in accordance with Section 15 of the NASCAR Rule Book. The appeal will begin at 1:00pm/et.(11-5-2015)
    UPDATE 5: Today the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer, Mr. Bryan Moss, heard and considered the appeal of a Behavioral Penalty issued on Nov. 3, 2015 to Matt Kenseth (driver) relative to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series vehicle #20 at Martinsville Speedway. The penalty concerns the following sections in the 2015 NASCAR Rule Book: Sections 12.1 and 12.8. The original penalty assessed included suspension from NASCAR until the completion of the next two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events and placed on NASCAR probation for six months following the issuance of the Penalty Notice. Upon hearing this afternoon's testimony, the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer made the following decisions:
    1. The Appellant violated the Rules set forth in the Penalty Notice;
    2. The Penalty is amended to: "Suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Events. Placed on NASCAR probation through December 31, 2015."
    The decision of the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer is final and binding on all parties.(NASCAR)
    AND: "It didn't turn out like we wanted," Kenseth said after the final decision was announced. "I'm obviously more than a little disappointed on the decision and the penalties to start with. I'm the first driver in the 65-year history of NASCAR to get suspended for an incident that happened in a Sprint Cup Series race. I feel like I was unfairly made the example instead of knowing where the line is and what the penalties are. I'm extremely disappointed, but we'll get through this and go to Homestead.
    "I'm not going to change who I am, not going to change what I stand for, I'm not going to change how I race. I've been in this business for a long time, I feel like I've had a pretty good career to this point and I feel like I'm going to continue to have the respect on the racetrack I feel like I deserve. I'm looking forward to going to Homestead, hopefully going there and getting a win before the year is out."(USA Today)(11-5-2015)

  • France discusses differing penalties for Kenseth, Patrick: NASCAR Chairman & CEO Brian France appeared on the SiriusXM Radio Speedway show on Wednesday and addressed the two-race suspension handed out to #20-Matt Kenseth for his role in the wreck that knocked himself and Joey Logano out of Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway. Also penalized coming out of Martinsville was #10-Danica Patrick for aggressive driving on #38-David Gilliland. Patrick received a $50,000 fine and the loss of 25 driver points. When asked about the difference between Kenseth's aggressive driving and Danica's, France noted the stakes that were on the line.
    "Going back to Richmond, we made it very clear that anybody in the industry, any driver or participant who intentionally tries to alter the outcome of events or championships, that that crosses a different line than a racing problem between two drivers," France said.
    When asked about whether NASCAR drivers should be allowed to self-police the sport, France clarified the sanctioning body's position. "What Robin (Pemberton) was saying a few years ago was hey look, boys have it, do your normal thing, and if we over-officiate, we'll draw back on that and let the normal racing action of NASCAR happen," France said. "And that's what he meant, and that's what we tried to do."
    "... when there are lines that are crossed, like we believe there were in Martinsville, then NASCAR will step in and deal with that. And it's as simple as that."(NASCAR)(11-5-2015)

  • Logano comments on Kenseth's penalty: #22-Joey Logano said NASCAR made the right decision to suspend #20-Matt Kenseth two races for wrecking him at Martinsville Speedway because series officials "needed to regain control of our sport." "Obviously, they put their foot down," Logano told [NBC's Tony] DiZinno. "I feel like it's a good thing. They needed to regain control of our sport. I feel like it's a good direction and the right thing to do."
    Logano also reaffirmed that his contact with Kenseth at Kansas was different from what happened at Martinsville. At Kansas, they were racing for the lead in the final laps. At Martinsville, Kenseth was 10 laps down and Logano led with 45 laps left. "If I look at Kansas, it's a racing thing," Logano told NASCAR Talk. "If I look at the way we were racing each other, he threw some blocks, I understand that. The third one, I was on the inside, I didn't back out. There's really not much for me to say to him after that. That was kind of what happened. And he knows what happened. He's a smart enough race car driver to know what happened. Whatever happened at Martinsville was, apparently to NASCAR, unacceptable."
    Both Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. said this week that they believe Logano didn't help himself with comments he made after the Kansas race, saying that further ignited the situation with Kenseth and played a role in Kenseth's desire for retaliation. Logano said he had not heard what Gordon or Earnhardt said, but defended himself. "I think this is a test of your character and a test of your faith," Logano said. "You need to stay true to your character in these types of situations and the type of person you are. It's an amazing opportunity is the way I look at it. We have an opportunity right now to win a championship. "Our minds are focused on doing that. We can be the great team we know we are. This isn't going to shut us down. We're way stronger than that. I'm excited to get to Texas. I'm excited to get back on the track and give it our best shot."(NBC Sports)(11-4-2015)

  • Martinsville penalties to be announced later today: NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France indicated a harsh penalty could be in store for Matt Kenseth when officials release their decision later Tuesday. France, appearing on Sirius/XM Radio, said Kenseth went too far in intentionally wrecking Joey Logano at Martinsville Speedway as payback for an incident at Kansas Speedway last month. "We don't want that to happen again," France said. "We don't want any of our events to be altered in a way they shouldn't be. What we want to prevent happening is drivers or any participant in NASCAR to take matters into their own hands and begin to control the outcome of races beyond hard racing. When that happens, that's a very serious thing for us. And we'll be dealing with that."
    Asked specifically about a possible suspension for Kenseth, France said all options were on the table and indicated some penalty could also be issued to Danica Patrick after she intentionally crashed into David Gilliland.
    France said Martinsville was much different than the racing incident between Logano and Kenseth at Kansas, which he had termed "quintessential NASCAR." "That was an entirely different situation," he said. "What we're not going to do is take the style of NASCAR and parlay that into something where one driver believes the way to pay back somebody for something that happened is take matters into their own hands. Obviously, we won't be accepting that.The way to pay drivers back is to race them hard. That's NASCAR. But what happened on Sunday is not quite the way we'd like things to turn out."(USA Today)(11-5-2015)

  • Contact between Kenseth and Logano at Martinsville; NASCAR will consider penalties for Kenseth: Two weeks after #20-Matt Kenseth was taken out by #22-Joey Logano, Kenseth returned the favor, wrecking him when Logano was leading the Sprint Cup Series race with 47 laps remaining Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. Kenseth, who himself was vying for the lead a handful of laps earlier, was involved in a wreck that he felt was triggered by Logano's Penske Racing teammate #2-Brad Keselowski. But Sunday's wreck appeared to be in response to an incident two weeks earlier, when Logano turned Kenseth for the win with five laps remaining at Kansas Speedway, a move that eventually kept Kenseth from advancing to the third round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
    "What happened at Kansas was a completely different deal," Logano said. "We were racing for the win, and he blocks you a few times, and we raced hard, and he blocked me and spun out. That's what happened there. Here, he was a complete coward. ... It's a chicken-you-know-what move to completely take out the leader when your race is over. ... He'll have his."
    Although Kenseth's car was heavily damaged, NASCAR told his team not to repair it and that he couldn't return to the race.
    "I had two chances to win in the last three weeks and got wrecked out of both of them going for the lead, one from him and one from Brad," Kenseth said. "That's disappointing." Kenseth didn't directly answer whether he turned Logano intentionally. "The right front was dragging down there and probably should've went to the garage area and went into the corner there and, man, couldn't get it to turn and collected him," Kenseth said. "I know it's got to be disappointing for him, you know? It's a tough sport. Some days you're the bat, and some days you're the ball. I was the ball a few weeks ago, and I was the ball again today, so that part is never fun."
    Kenseth and team owner Joe Gibbs met with NASCAR officials after the race. They both declined to comment after the meeting.
    Keselowski said he lost control of his car after getting hit from behind.
    NASCAR executive vice president Steve O'Donnell said after the race that he was disappointed in Kenseth's actions and that NASCAR will make any decisions of additional discipline by Tuesday. He wouldn't rule out a suspension. "There's still a lot to digest from what happened tonight," O'Donnell said. "We'll do that and have some additional conversations. ... What was disappointing today was in the incident, [it was] a driver not competing for a win [and] was in fact many laps down when that happened. In our minds, that's a little bit different than two drivers really going after it coming out of Turn 4 for a win."(ESPN.com)(11-1-2015)

  • Kenseth still not happy with Logano: After late contact from #22-Joey Logano knocked #20-Matt Kenseth out of the lead at Kansas, causing him to finish 14th, Kenseth said Logano had wrecked him on purpose. He as asked about the incident again on Friday at Talladega:
    Have you talked to Joey Logano?
    Kenseth: "No. Um, no. Yeah, I haven't heard from him (Joey Logano)."
    Is there anything you would do differently last week in Kansas?
    Kenseth: "Well, I wouldn't have done anything differently because I didn't do anything wrong. I did everything I was supposed to do. I tried to get away. He (Joey Logano) drove the car in the wall himself twice. I don't know how you can possibly either, 'A,' block someone or put somebody in the wall when they're not up alongside you - it's pretty talented if you can do that when somebody's four feet behind you, so, no, I did everything I could to win the race. That's the way I'd race to win any race is to race hard as you can and do whatever you can, be clean about it and go as fast as I could go and that's all I was doing. I got hit from behind. I couldn't do anything about that. I couldn't change that."
    Would you feel better if Joey Logano said he wrecked you intentionally to win?
    Kenseth: "Yeah, some day he might mature a little bit, but, first of all, he should have stopped running his mouth, 'A,' and, number two, he's lying when he said he didn't do it on purpose because he lifted your tires off the ground offset to the left and he's too good a race car driver to do that by accident."
    (Toyota Racing)(10-24-2015)

  • Kenseth, Logano comment on contact at Kansas:
    What happened between yourself and Joey Logano in the closing laps?
    Kenseth: "It's hard to drive a car with the rear tires off the ground. I was moving around the best I could, Joey (Logano) was a lot tighter, a lot faster on the short run, but we were so much better on the long run. I could still kind of get up to the top and get a run and get around him. We caught those two lapped cars, 'Crazy' (spotter) told me I was clear and I was, I pulled up in front of him and he just lifted my tires off the ground and he wrecked us."
    What will you talk to Joey Logano about after the incident?
    Kenseth: "I won't talk to Joey (Logano), I don't have anything to talk to him about really. You make decisions every day, you make decisions every minute behind the wheel. To me strategically, that doesn't seem like such a great decision for him, but it's the one he made and that's how he wanted to win. I'm one of the only guys that I think hasn't been into yet with Joey and I've always raced him with a ton of respect, I've actually been one of his biggest fans - I'm certainly not anymore, but I always was. It's a shame, I'm glad the cars not wrecked, we'll just go onto Talladega and race them there."(Toyota Racing)
    Take us through what happened with Matt and the laps before:
    Logano: "It was just hard racing. He raced me really hard. I raced him the same way he raced me. It was a lot of fun out there racing for a win like that. The cars were very fast, equally paired and I couldn't be more proud of what this Shell/Pennzoil team is doing right now. We're such a fast race car, such a great team. We've showed it two weeks in a row now and this is a lot of fun. We've just got to ride this wave and we've got to get to Homestead still."
    You got to im and then fell back, and then caught back up. What happened at that point?
    Logano: "He came up and started taking my air away, as he should, and I had to kind of adjust what I was doing and try to find a fast way back to him. I was able to get those runs back to him and get back to him."(Ford Racing)(10-19-2015)

  • 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)

  • Kenseth wins at New Hampshire: #20-Matt Kenseth won the Sylvania 300 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for his 5th win of the season, 2nd win at New Hampshire and 36th career win. Kenseth led 27 of the 300 laps.
    #11-Hamlin finished 2nd followed by #22-Logano, #16-Biffle. #19-Edwards, #48-Johnson, #24-Gordon, #78-Truex Jr., #5-Kahne and #31-Newman.
    With his 5th win of 2015, Kenseth now has the most wins of any driver in 2015.
    #4-Harvick led 216 laps and dominated the race until running out of fuel, finishing 21st, putting Harvick 21 points out of moving to the Contender round after Dover.
    #18-Busch, who came in to the race 4th in Chase standings, had a tire go down and hit the wall on lap 159. The crew made repairs and Busch was able to make up a few spots and finish 37th. Busch is now 13th in the Chase standings, a point out of the top 12 and advancing.
    There was one red flag on lap 204 for a little over 6 minutes when #10-Patrick made contact with #31-Newman, the #10 spun and hit the wall then got collected by #55-Ragan, knocking both out of the race and leaving foam on the track.
    There were 16 lead changes among 7 drivers. There were 9 cautions for 41 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 106.480mph.
    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).(9-27-2015)

  • Kenseth wins at Richmond: #20-Matt Kenseth won the Federated Auto Parts 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway for his 4th win of the season, 2nd win at Richmond and 35th career win. Kenseth led 352 of the 400 laps.
    #18-Busch finished 2nd followed by #22-Logano, #43-Almirola, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #11-Hamlin, #24-Gordon, #2-Keselowski, #48-Johnson and #15-Bowyer.
    With his 4th win of 2015, Kenseth ties Johnson and Kyle Busch for most wins, will each start the Chase with 2012 points.
    #4-Harvick led the points for the regular season with 978 points, 30 more tahn #22-Logano.
    #1-McMurray clinched a spot in the Chase just by starting. Four other drivers got in the Chase via points: #31-Newman, #24-Gordon, #15-Bowyer and #27-Menard. McMurray and Menard make the Chase for the first time. #43-Almirola make a great effort to make the Chase and finished 4th but fell 17 points short of Menard.
    One odd incident happened on lap 290 when #95-McDowell hit the safety truck, tearing much of the rear of the car off. It was the end of the race for McDowell, who escaped injury as did the safety workers.
    There were 13 lead changes among 4 drivers. There were 6 cautions for 47 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 100.353mph.
    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).

  • 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)

  • Kenseth has engine issues at Bristol, finishes 42nd: #20-Matt Kenseth while running in the top-10 at Bristol Motor Speedway when his engine lost a valve, comments from Kenseth:
    Q) What happened to the engine?
    Kenseth: "It broke in the middle of the straightaway - it had that hop and that noise that it makes when you know you dropped a valve. Unfortunate, but man these guys at TRD (Toyota Racing Development) have been doing such an awesome job, we've had so much power and everything has been really reliable here the last year and a half. Things like this happen every once in a while. It's a short night. Felt like we were really competitive - we were one or two adjustments away from where we needed to be, but I thought our Dollar General Camry had good speed. Wish I was out there mixing it up."
    Is there anything the team can fix to get you back on the race track?
    Kenseth: "It's terminal, dropped a valve or something. It was smoking out the pipes so you know there was a hold in the piston somewhere so we're done for the night unfortunately."
    Q) What happened to take you out of the race early?
    Kenseth: "Things just happen. We broke something in the engine - dropped a valve I think. The TRD (Toyota Racing Development) stuff has been awesome, making great power, been really reliable and things like this just happen sometimes. Overall we had a great car. Wish I was still out there. I thought we were an adjustment away from being able to run with the boys upfront so unfortunate I got cut short."
    Q) What exactly broke to end your race early?
    Kenseth: "Something in the valve train, we dropped a valve or something it felt like and sounded like. Things like that happen. Our stuff has been pretty reliable the last year and a half and we've been making a lot of power. Things like that happen and we'll go back and get it fixed up. The encouraging part is that our cars are really fast and I thought we were an adjustment away from having what we really needed to run with everybody. Wish we were still out there."
    Q) Was there any warning?
    Kenseth: "They never warn you, it would be cool if they would send you a text or something. Just the middle of the straightaway it made that pop where you knew that was it."(Toyota Racing)(8-22-2015)

  • Kenseth wins at Michigan: #20-Matt Kenseth won the Pure Michigan 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway for his 3rd win of the season, 3rd win at Michigan and 34th career win. He dominated most of the race, leading 146 of the 200 laps and winning by 1.7 seconds.
    #4-Harvick finished 2nd followed by #78-Truex, Jr., #3-Dillon (his career best finish), #11-Hamlin, #19-Edwards, #22-Logano, #31-Newman, #2-Keselowski, and #88-Earnhardt, Jr.
    #18-Busch finished 11th and moved up to 29th in the points standings. He is now 23 points ahead of 31st and remains Chase-eligible.
    #4-Harvick continues to be the points leader, now 48 points over #22-Logano.
    There were 16 lead changes among 8 drivers. There were 8 cautions for 31 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 143.455mph.
    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).(8-16-2015)

  • 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)

  • Matt Kenseth wins at Pocono: #20-Matt Kenseth won the Windows 10 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway for his 2nd win of the season, 1st win at Pocono and 33rd career win.
    #2-Keselowski finished 2nd followed by #24-Gordon, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #16-Biffle, #48-Johnson, #47-Allmendinger, #15-Bowyer, #14-Stewart and #19-Edwards.
    #22-Logano led 97 laps and looked like he would cruise to the win but ran out of fuel with two laps to go. Logano was able to get to pit road and refueled, finishing 20th on the lead lap.
    #18-Busch led 19 laps and was leading on the white flag lap when his car ran out of fuel, stopping just past the entrance of pit road, finishing 21st, down a lap.
    Busch is 32nd in drivers points, only 13 points out of 30th (to get in the Chase).
    On lap 4 #5-Kahne spun off turn 3 and hit the inside pit road wall hard. The race was red flagged for 14:33 so track workers could make repairs to the wall.
    #4-Harvick, the points leader, had an engine blow on lap 20 and finished 42nd. Harvick's points lead is now 46 points over #22-Logano.
    There were 18 lead changes among 13 drivers. There were 8 cautions for 32 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 132.159mph.
    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).

  • Special DeWalt scheme for Kenseth at Daytona: DeWalt, a leading manufacturer of industrial power tools, hand tools, and accessories, announces the expansion of its initiative to make products in the USA. With this expansion, an additional 60 corded and cordless power tools are being made domestically with global materials. The expansion brings the total number of DEWALT plants in the USA to seven, where they will produce approximately 14 million products each year. The #20 Toyota of Matt Kenseth will feature a special paint scheme this weekend at Daytona celebrating the initiative.(JGR), see an image of the car on the #20 Team Schemes page.(7-1-2015)

  • Matt, Ross Kenseth eager for memorable Father's Day weekend: On Father's Day weekend in the Kenseth family - everyone wins. Son Ross Kenseth intends to give his father something only an aspiring racing prodigy can deliver, and father Matt Kenseth prepares to hand over the wheels of the #20 Dollar General Toyota in an epic father-son moment. The duo hopes to celebrate in a big way as Ross makes his NASCAR XFINITY Series debut Saturday at Chicagoland Speedway. Coming fresh off his first career ARCA win last Friday in Michigan - in only his third ARCA start - the 22-year-old is eager to hit the track in Saturday night's Owens Corning AttiCat 300 with his dad standing by on the pit box. "Having my dad there that weekend will be a big help for me," Ross said. "I've been looking forward to getting to this weekend now ever since we announced it at Bristol. The closer it gets, the more real it feels and the more excited I get to go there this weekend." With the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series off for the second weekend of the season, Ross will drive the #20 Dollar General Toyota - the same paint scheme his father uses in Sprint Cup.(NASCAR Wire Service)(6-19-2015)

  • Ross Kenseth wins Michigan ARCA race: Ross Kenseth has earned his first victory on the ARCA Racing Series, beating Frank Kimmel by 2.1 seconds at Michigan International Speedway on Friday. Kenseth is the son of NASCAR Sprint Cup star Matt Kenseth. Ross Kenseth, 22, was making his third career ARCA start. Ross Kenseth was making his first ARCA start of 2015. He drove the #52 Chevrolet for Ken Schrader Racing. "This is the best I've ran at a big track," he said. "I felt like right out of the bat we were real fast."(Associated Press), Kenseth will make his NASCAR XFINITY debut next weekend at Chicago.(6-13-2015)

  • Edwards upset with NASCAR drivers not slowing for spin: As #19-Carl Edwards spun on the final lap Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR didn't throw the caution, and maybe the only person he knows who lifted off the throttle was his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate #20-Matt Kenseth. While Kenseth said he was "dumbfounded" there was no caution, Edwards was more upset at his competitors following the Geico 500, which #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. won for his sixth career victory at Talladega. The decision to throw the caution on the last lap has been a judgment call for NASCAR, which wants races to finish under green but, as it did in the Daytona 500, it will throw the caution on the final lap if it feels the need to dispatch emergency vehicles immediately. "Because there was a wreck at the end of the Daytona 500, I slowed down, and it cost us a bunch of positions," Edwards said. "I guess some people would say, 'Well, hell, your job is to stay on the throttle and go race,' but, man, we're all out here and we're all human beings. You've got a guy wrecking, you can't just lay into his door. That's pretty dangerous." No one actually hit Edwards in the door, but he obviously felt the potential was there for him to suffer a serious injury. He said he believes #51-Justin Allgaier went by him at 160 or 180 mph. "We make every effort to try to finish under green flag conditions," NASCAR Sprint Cup Series director Richard Buck said in a statement. "We believe the circumstances that occurred allowed us to do that today." Some drivers will keep the throttle to the floor until told there is a caution and also won't lift in the hopes that a spinning car in front of them will spin away before they make contact.
    "Generally, if someone is spinning in front of you, you slow down a little bit, so if you do hit him, you don't break their legs or hurt them," said Edwards, who saw a potential top-10 finish turn into a 32nd-place day. "I don't want to rant too much about it, but I was frustrated with that." Kenseth, who lost some spots and finished 25th, also left frustrated. "I had to lift so I didn't send Carl to the hospital," Kenseth said. "I'm just dumbfounded that NASCAR didn't throw a caution. We were driving past wrecked cars for half a lap at 180 mph. It was a crazy ending."(ESPN)(5-4-2015)

  • Kenseth wins at Bristol: #20-Matt Kenseth won the Food City 500 In Support Of Steve Byrnes And Stand Up To Cancer Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway for his 1st win of the season, 4th win at Bristol Motor Speedway and his 32nd career win. The race ended with one green-white-checkered attempt.
    #48-Johnson finished second, the rest of the top 10: #24-Gordon, #17-Stenhouse, Jr., #31-Newman, #14-Stewart, #42-Larson, #51-Allgaier, #10-Patrick, and #3-Dillon.
    After starting an hour late, there were 3 red flags during the race - all for rain. The first was on lap 23 and lastest 3 hours and 58 minutes, the second was 13 minutes long on lap 273 and the final one was just before the green-white-checker restart.
    Harvick, Logano, and Truex, Jr all came into the race with top-10 finishes in every race this season, but all three rain into trouble during the race. Harvick finished 39th, Logano 40th, and Truex, Jr 29th.
    #11-Denny Hamlin started suffering neck spasms early in the race and was replaced by Erik Jones when the race restarted after the first red flag. Jones finished 26th.
    Harvick continues to hold the Chase points lead. He and Johnson each have 2 wins on the season but Harvick has 314 points to Johnson's 258.
    There were 21 lead changes among 6 drivers. There were 11 cautions for 117 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 74.997mph.
    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).(4-19-2015)

  • Kenseth not considering retirement: #20-Matt Kenseth is just a year younger than #24-Jeff Gordon, who has already said he'll retire at the end of this season. The 43-year-old former champion won't use Gordon's exit as a reason to consider his own future in NASCAR. He's got no plans to get out of the race car anytime soon and hopes his pole-winning run at Bristol Motor Speedway will lead to the end of a 51-race winless streak. Asked if Gordon's decision has led him to ponder retirement, Kenseth said he hasn't given the subject any thought. "I feel as good as I did 10 years ago, and I'd like to say that I do as good or better job behind the wheel than I did then," said Kenseth, who starts first Sunday. "Jeff got to that point where he knew that it was time to go do something else, and it doesn't seem like he has any doubts about that. The fortunate few who can keep jobs and keep running, and don't just fade out because they can't get a competitive job anymore, can decide when that happens. I hope I'm fortunate enough to be one of those guys."(Associated Press)(4-19-2015)

  • 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)

  • Kenseth discusses not being able to qualify at AMS: #20-Matt Kenseth did not participate in Round 1 Qualifying session due to the inspection mess at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Kenseth was among the 13 drivers who did not get a chance to post qualifying times Friday after their cars didn't get through inspection in time to make a qualifying attempt, a few comments by Kenseth
    What caused the issues with tech inspection?
    Kenseth: "Yeah, I don't know. Obviously, they weren't organized enough to get everybody through tech it appears, so I don't know. We've got all the people up there to watch qualifying and they don't really get top watch everybody qualify, so it's kind of confusing and disappointing for sure."
    Are you upset to start in the rear of the field?
    Kenseth: "It's better than not starting. I feel bad for whoever didn't get through there and didn't make the race. I'm glad they're still on last year's points instead of this year's points or probably we wouldn't have made the race either, so I'm not really sure what the issue was, but when I walked up 10 minutes before qualifying was scheduled to start and it was only 14 cars on pit road, so I have a hard time believing it was the teams."
    Do you know why this happened?
    Kenseth: "I don't really know. I'm not educated enough on that to give you a good answer. I think you'd have to ask Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief) or somebody there. I don't really know. I don't typically go with the car through inspections, so I don't know."(Toyota Racing)(2-28-2015)

  • Kenseth wins the Sprint Unlimited: #20-Matt Kenseth won the Sprint Unlimited Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway, his first win in the event. #78-Truex Jr. led 29 laps (the most) and finished 2nd, followed by #19-Edwards, #13-Mears, #42-Larson, #22-Logano, #24-Gordon, #18-Busch, #88-Earnhardt Jr. and #10-Patrick. Only 12 of 25 cars were still running at the end of the race as there were four wrecks causing 17 caution laps and two red flags. There were 14 lead changes among 9 drivers. Pole winner #27-Meard was involved in a big wreck and finished 21st.
    See race results, segments 1 results, race re-air dates/times, links and info on the Sprint Unlimited page.(2-14-2015)

  • Schedule for Kenseth's DeWalt sponsored races announced: After a five-season hiatus, DEWALT will return as a primary sponsor for Matt Kenseth's #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota on March 8 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, for the first of their six-race primary sponsorship in 2015. Announced in Sept. of 2014, Stanley Black & Decker will partner with Joe Gibbs Racing to sponsor both the #19 entry of Carl Edwards and Kenseth's #20 Camry beginning in 2015. While Stanley Black & Decker will grace the #19, the DEWALT brand returns to Kenseth, where the two partnered for many successes over their 11-year history together from 1999 to 2009 (at Roush Fenway Racing). DEWALT will be featured aboard the #20 Camry for a total of six races this season at tracks where Kenseth has earned a career total of 13 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories; recording multiple wins on five of the six tracks on this schedule: Las Vegas, Auto Club, Charlotte in May, Daytona in July, Talladega in October and Texas in November.(MattKenseth.com), see images of the scheme on the #20 Team Schemes page.(1-31-2015)

2014 News

  • Races (27+1) 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
    Talladega, 5/4
    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
    Martinsville - 10/26
    Texas - 11/2

    Phoenix - 11/9
    Homestead - 11/16/P>
  • Races (9+1) that Husky Tools/Home Depot is scheduled to be the sponsor in 2014:
    Phoenix - 3/2
    Bristol - 3/16
    Darlington, 4/12
    Richmond - 4/26
    Charlotte, All-Star Race* - 5/17
    Charlotte, 5/25
    Daytona - 7/5
    Atlanta - 8/31
    Dover - 9/28
    Talladega - 10/19

  • Kenseth, Johnson appear in new Gatorade ad: In 2015, Gatorade is celebrating its 50th anniversary and kicked off the celebration on Christmas Day with the debut of its new "50" television commercial. The ad celebrates five decades of fueling champions through a montage of 50 iconic sports moments ingrained in the brand and includes athletes like Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Cam Newton among many others. Each moment corresponds with a number relevant to Gatorade.(Charlotte Observer)(12-27-2014)

  • 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)

  • Dollar General to honor the military community: On Veteran's Day weekend at Phoenix, Dollar General will recognize and honor the military community by recognizing the Paychecks for Patriots program with a special decal on the c-post of Matt Kenseth's #20 Dollar General Camry, as well as offering all current and veteran military service members and their family an 11% off discount on Veterans Day. Paychecks for Patriots is an innovative partnership between state government and employers to address veteran and National Guard unemployment challenges. This successful program was created by Dollar General in partnership with state employment agencies to create a pathway toward economic opportunity for veterans and their families both online and through hiring fairs.(JGR)(11-7-2014)

  • Kenseth on Harvick wreck: 'I couldn't feel any worse': #20-Matt Kenseth and #4-Kevin Harvick met Friday morning at Texas Motor Speedway for their first conversation since a mistake by Kenseth left Harvick on the brink of title elimination. Though he can't do anything to fix it, Kenseth hopes his error somehow would be rectified partly if Harvick's title hopes are resuscitated. "I don't think it's something I'll ever feel better about," Kenseth said. "The only way I'll probably feel a little better about it or whatever is if he makes it to Homestead, because if he doesn't win a championship, at least it wasn't because of my stupid mistake. But until then, I don't know how much better I'll feel about it." Before his chat with Harvick in a Nationwide Series garage stall, Kenseth spoke with the news media about triggering a crash by Harvick at Martinsville Speedway. A 33rd dropped Harvick to last among the eight Chase for the Sprint Cup drivers in the points standings, and the Stewart-Haas Racing driver virtually needs a victory in Sunday's AAA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway or the next week at Phoenix International Raceway to advance to the Nov. 16 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. "First of all you hate making mistakes," Kenseth said. "You really hate to take somebody else out in your mistakes. Being the new format and being Kevin is one of the favorites. Him and I have got along really good in the last five or six years, but the last eight or nine years, we've raced each other well. I honestly couldn't feel any worse about it. Only way maybe you feel worse is if you wrecked a teammate. You hate stuff like that to happen, and then in this format, to take him out of that race with as much as I like and respect Kevin and (crew chief) Rodney (Childers)." Neither Harvick nor Kenseth were available after their Texas meeting, which seemed civil. Harvick has declined interview requests this weekend at Texas. He vowed retribution against Kenseth at Martinsville, saying "he won't win this championship. If we don't, he won't."(USA Today)(11-1-2014)

  • Harvick not happy with Kenseth after Martinsville wreck: #4-Kevin Harvick put #20-Matt Kenseth on notice at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday. Harvick told reporters following the Goody's 500, "He will not win this championship. I can promise you that." On Lap 228, Kenseth bounced off the back of Denny Hamlin, slowed and wheel-hopped, then clipped Harvick and sent the No. 4 Chevy spinning into the wall in Turn 2. Tony Stewart was also collected in the melee but recovered and finished fourth. Harvick was forced to retire to the garage for repairs and didn't return until 40 laps later. He restarted in 40th, 41 laps off of the pace. Harvick, who started 33rd moved up into the top 10 on Lap 113. When Harvick returned to the track, he brake-checked Kenseth "four or five times" according to the driver of the #20, who added, "he's trying to knock my radiator out."
    "I don't blame (Harvick) for feeling that way, honestly," Kenseth said. "It was a mistake - he was an innocent bystander and was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I totally understand how he feels and I totally understand why he would say that. I totally get it. He knows it was a mistake, too, but that doesn't really help him. I don't really blame him. He got taken out of the race for being in the wrong place at the wrong time."
    Harvick finished 33rd. Although he tried to take the situation in stride, he was clearly frustrated. "The good thing about this format is you have two more weeks and two race tracks that we can win on," Harvick said. "Everybody was so worried about us starting in the back and we wrecked at the front. Unfortunate."(Motorsport)(10-27-2014)

  • 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)

  • Joe Gibbs Racing Fall FanFest Scheduled for Friday, October 10: Joe Gibbs Racing Fall FanFest will be held this Friday, October 10, 2014 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)

  • 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)

2013 News

  • Races (19+1*) that Husky Tools/Home Depot is scheduled to be the sponsor in 2013:
    Phoenix - 3/3
    Bristol - 3/17
    Martinsville - 4/7
    Kansas - 4/21
    Talladega, 5/5
    Darlington, 5/11
    Charlotte, All-Star Race* - 5/18
    Charlotte, 5/26
    Pocono - 6/9
    Michigan - 6/16
    Sonoma - 6/23
    Daytona - 7/6
    Pocono - 8/3
    Watkins Glen - 8/11
    Atlanta - 9/1
    Richmond - 9/7
    New Hampshire - 9/22, 500th start
    Dover - 9/29, Home Depot "Lets Do This"
    Talladega - 10/20
    Texas - 11/3

  • Races (17+1) that Dollar General is scheduled to be the sponsor in 2013:
    Daytona, Sprint Unlimited* - 2/16
    Daytona 500 - 2/24
    Las Vegas - 3/10
    Auto Club - 3/24
    Texas - 4/13
    Richmond - 4/27
    Dover - 6/2
    Kentucky - 6/29
    New Hampshire - 7/14
    Indy - 7/28
    Michigan - 8/18
    Bristol - 8/24
    Chicago - 9/15
    Kansas - 10/6
    Charlotte - 10/12
    Martinsville - 10/27
    Phoenix - 11/10
    Homestead - 11/17

  • 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:
    Driver..........Interviews...Interview Time.......Mentions
    #20-Logano, J.......19.........0:20:50...............2,510
    #88-Earnhardt, Jr...23.........0:21:40...............2,352
    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 crashes in Texas testing: #20-Matt Kenseth had his testing at Texas Motor Speedway cut short when he crashed his car because of an issue with his front right tire. Two days after losing his NASCAR Sprint Cup points lead with a 20th-place finish at Talladega, Kenseth had the session-ending crash Tuesday during a week-delayed Texas test that includes the top eight drivers in the points standings. "Well, it was up and down. It ended down," Kenseth said. "We just had a tire problem and crashed, so we're done for the test. ... When you run nine laps and one blows apart for no reason, that's always a cause for concern for sure." Kenseth said the car he crashed in turn one wasn't the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota he plans to race at the high-banked, 1.5-mile Texas track on Nov. 3, which comes after Sunday's race at Martinsville. "No, she's at home safe ready to get to the track," Kenseth said. There are 16 drivers from five teams taking part in a three-day test at Texas that goes through Wednesday. There were 11 hours of testing scheduled Tuesday, with another full day Wednesday.(Associated Press)(10-22-2013)

  • 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)

  • Kenseth Pursues Chase History In Dover: Matt Kenseth quietly is in pursuit of Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup history. Okay - maybe not so quietly. Winning the opening two races of the 2013 Chase qualifies as making some noise; a lot of noise. A victory in Sunday's AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway will give Kenseth title to the Chase's first opening "triple." Others have tried and failed: Greg Biffle in 2008 and Tony Stewart in 2011. Biffle's streak ended in Kansas, where he finished third. Stewart, despite finishing 25th at Dover, went on to win his third championship. Kenseth twice has won at the "Monster Mile," most recently in the spring of 2011. He's led four of the past five races and logged eight top-five finishes from 2008 through spring of 2012.
    That was then - with Roush Fenway Racing, in whose Fords Kenseth won the 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion - and this is now. Kenseth's first trip to Dover in the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was a tease. He qualified fourth and led 29 laps before being relegated to a 40th-place finish by engine failure. Kenseth's New Hampshire victory was his seventh of the season extending a record campaign. His previous best season was 2002 in which Kenseth won five times. JGR teammate Denny Hamlin is the most recent NASCAR Sprint Cup driver to win eight times in a season (2010). To reach that number Kenseth will have to keep the pressure on JGR partner Kyle Busch, who just as easily could be the driver on the long end of a two-race Chase winning streak. Busch chased Kenseth to the checkered flag at Chicagoland and again in New Hampshire and stands second in the standings, 14 points off the lead.
    Busch obviously has the fire power to end his teammate's streak - especially at Dover, where he likewise has won twice, finished fourth in June and led 302 laps of last September's AAA 400. Right now, second place is just fine with Busch, who has more than made up for failing to qualify for last year's Chase with his best-ever postseason start. "I've said it for years, if I could finish second in every single Chase race, I'd take it and win a championship - than to win just one Chase race," he said. "It's all about the prize at the end, and I think this team is really focused on that."(NASCAR)(9-28-2013)

  • Orange colors for Kenseth at Dover: #17-Matt Kenseth will run the orange colors or Home Depot at Dover, promoting the saying "Lets Do This". See images of the scheme on the #20 Team Schemes page.(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)

  • Kenseth wins New Hampshire: #20-Matt Kenseth won the Sylvania 300 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for his 2nd win in a row, 7th of 2013, and 31st career win. He becomes only the second driver (with Richard Petty) to win in his 500th series start. He also becomes the third driver to win the opening two races of the Chase (Biffle did it in 2008 and Stewart in 2011).
    #18-Busch finished 2nd (as he did last week in Chicago) followed by #16-Biffle, #48-Johnson, #1-McMurray, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #55-Vickers, #31-Burton, #99-Edwards, and #56-Truex, Jr.
    Pole sitter #39-Newman led the first 2 laps of the race, but finished 16th.
    The worst finishing Chase driver was #5-Kahne who had an accident late and finished 37th.
    There were 19 lead changes among 11 drivers and 7 cautions for 37 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 107.573mph. NASCAR no longer announces the track attendance.
    See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial New Hampshire Race Results page (pdf) and check out the New Hampshire Penalty Report (pdf).
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the New Hampshire Official Race & Points Report (pdf)(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)

  • Milestone starts this weekend: #14-Mark Martin, #20-Matt Kenseth and #38-David Gilliland will all hit milestones this weekend - 875th NSCS start for Martin, 500th NSCS start for Kenseth and 250th start for Gilliland. Martin, who is subbing for Tony Stewart, is fifth on the all-time series starts list behind only Richard Petty (1,185), Ricky Rudd (906), Terry Labonte (885) and Dave Marcis (883).(NASCAR)
    AND Current points leader, Matt Kenseth, is set to earn a career milestone this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway when he looks to make his 500th Sprint Cup Series start in Sunday's Sylvania 300. Kenseth made his debut in the series in 1998, and has spent 14 full seasons at NASCAR's top level. Kenseth will be driving a special 500th start paint scheme aboard his #20 Home Depot Husky Toyota for this weekend's race events in Loudon, and will be looking to earn his seventh win of the season in this milestone start.(Joe Gibbs Racing), see an image of the car on the #20 team paint schemes page.(9-19-2013)

  • Kenseth wins Chicago: #20-Matt Kesenth won the GEICO 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway for his 6th win of 2013 and 30th career win.
    #18-Busch finished 2nd followed by #29-Harvick, #78-Busch, #48-Johnson, #24-Gordon, #2-Keselowski, #17-Stenhouse, Jr., #15-Bowyer, and #39-Newman.
    The start of the race was delayed about 90 minutes because of rain. Rain then started again on lap 109, causing a red flag of 5 hours 10 minutes before the race resumed.
    Pole sitter #22-Logano lost an engine cylinder just past halfway. He fell out of the race shortly after and finished 37th.
    Chase driver #88-Earnhardt, Jr. also lost an engine and finished 35th.
    There were 25 lead changes among 16 drivers and 9 cautions for 46 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 125.855mph. NASCAR no longer announces the track attendance.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Chicago Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Chicago Penalty Report (pdf).(9-15-2013)

  • 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)

  • Ross Kenseth to make ARCA debut: Ross Kenseth, the 20-year-old son of 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion #20-Matt Kenseth, will attempt to make his first ARCA Racing Series start on Sunday, Aug. 25, at Madison International Speedway. Driving the #52 Blain's Farm & Fleet Chevrolet for Ken Schrader Racing, Ross Kenseth's ARCA debut will occur just 100 miles from his hometown of Little Chute, Wis., and only 20 miles from Cambridge, Wis., the home of his famous father.(RossKenseth.com)(8-13-2013)

  • Kyle Busch calls Newman 'idiot': #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)

  • 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)

  • Kenseth wins Kentucky: #20-Matt Kenseth won the Quaker State 400 rain delayed Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway for his 4th win of 2013, 1st ever win at Kentucky and 28th career win. On the last pit stop during caution, the #20 team only took fuel, came out with the lead and won the race. #48-Johnson led the most laps with 182 of 267 laps
    #1-McMurray finished 2nd followed by #15-Bowyer, #22-Logano, #18-Busch, #78-Busch, #56-Truex Jr, #24-Gordon, #48-Johnson and #29-Harvick.
    The race was pushed back from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon due to rain.
    On lap 47, #78-Busch tried to pass #2-Keselowski on the apron, when he came back on the track, he drifted hard into the #2, who spun and came back up into the track and got hit by #16-Biffle, #93-Kvapil and #7-Blaney. Others involved #27-Menard and #33-Cassill.
    Pole sitter, #88-Earnhardt Jr. led 11 laps, but around lap 37, he hit the remains of a blown tire from #11-Hamlin which did some damage to the nose & grill on the car. The team made numerous repairs and he finished 12th.
    On lap 148, #11-Hamlin had a tire go down and smacked the wall, really hurts his Chase chances. Hamlin was taken to the infield care center at the track to get checked out. Hamlin said he is ok, banged his knee, bell rung, didn't feel good when he wnet to the care center, felt much better afterwards. Back feels fine.
    On lap 247 on the resatrt #48-Johnson was 2nd, came off turn 1 and came down on #22-Lagaon, they didn't touch, but the #48 spun and caused a caution, falling to the rear. Johnson rallied to finish 9th.
    There were 11 lead changes among 6 drivers and 10 cautions for 42 yellow flag laps and a short red flag to clean up the track after a wreck.
    The average speed was 131.948mph. NASCAR no longer announces the track attendance.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Kentucky Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Kentucky Penalty Report (pdf).
    For Official Results & Points, see the Official Kentucky Race and Points Report.(6-30/7-1-2013)

  • 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)

  • Denis McGlynn explains JGR appeal: Denis McGlynn had a simple explanation why an appeals panel sided with Joe Gibbs Racing and eased penalties levied against the organization by NASCAR: The harsh punishment simply did not fit the small infraction. McGlynn, CEO of Dover International Speedway, was part of a three-person National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel that significantly reduced NASCAR's punishment of JGR for having an illegal part in #20-Matt Kenseth's race-winning engine at Kansas. "The penalty was so severe for what was, in our opinion, a minor infraction," McGlynn said Thursday. McGlynn said the panel entered the appeal "thinking with more flexibility" because penalties against Penske Racing had been reduced a week earlier by chief appellate officer John Middlebrook.
    "Yes, the engine was out spec very, very marginally," McGlynn said. "There were three independent affidavits or personal testimony from engine builders who testified that infraction gave no advantage to the team. In fact, the other push rods were all overweight." In retrospect, McGlynn said the panel should not have allowed the win to count toward Chase eligibility because the engine had an illegal part. McGlynn said he reached out that day to NASCAR President Mike Helton and apologized if he made his day more difficult. "He said we did," McGlynn said, chuckling. "But it's just one of those things. We're on that panel for a purpose."(Associated Press/ESPN)(5-31-2013)

  • Kenseth voted 1st Qtr Driver of the Year award: NASCAR's Matt Kenseth crushed the opposition to win the first quarter Driver of the Year Award 2013. The 2003 Sprint Cup Champion scored twice the points of his nearest rivals in a vote by an elite panel of American broadcasters and journalists. In racing terms Kenseth rolled off the hauler quickly in his first season with Joe Gibbs Racing. In the first quarter ending May 12th he scored three wins (Las Vegas, Kansas and Darlington), two poles and led 781 laps. The usually droll Wisconsin native was moved and a little surprised when he heard the news. "It's always an honor whenever you're selected for any kind of award from the media or the fans," Kenseth said. "I never even thought of receiving this award, so it's pretty cool to have been selected for this. In the voting Kenseth, who drives the No. 20 Dollar General/Home Depot Husky Toyota Camry, had ten first-place ballots and totaled 110 points according to the Driver of the Year points system. Canada's James Hinchcliffe, who drives the Go Daddy Dallara-Chevrolet for Andretti Autosport in the IndyCar series, had one first-place vote and tallied 55 points. Kyle Busch, one of Kenseth's teammates, a threat to win on any NASCAR track finished third with two first-place votes and 50 points. Takuma Sato, the first Japanese driver to win an IndyCar race, also had one first-place vote. A total of 15 drivers scored points in the first quarter voting. In its' 47th year, the Driver of the Year title is unique. The panel of 18 leading journalists and broadcasters from across the U.S. determines the winner. Four panelists did not vote this time. 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)(5-23-2013)

  • Kenseth wins at Darlington: #20-Matt Kenseth won the Bojangles' Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway for his 3rd win of 2013, 1st win at Darlington and 27th career win. He took the lead from #18-Busch with 13 laps to go and pulled away to win by more than 3 seconds. Kenseth was running with Wally Brown acting as his crew chief while Jason Ratcliff served his one race suspension.
    #11-Hamlin, in his first full race back since being injured at Auto Club Speedway, finished 2nd followed by #24-Gordon (his 300th career top-5 finish), #48-Johnson, #29-Harvick, #18-Busch (who dominated much of the race, leading 265 laps, before fading late), #99-Edwards, #42-Montoya, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., and #39-Newman.
    Pole sitter #78-Busch struggled with an ill-handling car and finished 14th.
    A long stretch of green flag laps put as few at 10 cars on the lead lap at one point, before late cautions allowed 17 drivers to finish on the lead lap.
    There were 9 lead changes among 4 drivers and 5 cautions for 25 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 141.383mph. NASCAR no longer announces the track attendance.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Darlington Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Darlington Penalty Report (pdf)
    And see the Official Darlington Race and Points Report.

  • Wally Brown to serve as Kenseth's crew chief: Two former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew chiefs and an engineer will begin interim roles atop the pit box this weekend as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Darlington Raceway. Kevin Buskirk and Steve Reis have been named to fill the crew chief roles for Penske Racing's two Cup teams beginning with this week's Bojangles' Southern 500. For Joe Gibbs Racing, former Cup crew chief Wally Brown will be calling the shots for the #20 team and driver Matt Kenseth.(NASCAR.com)(5-10-2013)

  • Gibbs' penalties reduced by appeals panel UPDATE: According to reports from media at the NASCAR Research & Development Center, the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel has modified the penalties accessed to Matt Kenseth's #20 team:
    Kenseth's points penalty has been reduced from 50 to 12;
    Joe Gibb's owner points penalty has been reduced from 50 to 12;
    Gibb's suspension was eliminiated;
    The marnufacturer's point penalty to Toyota has been increased from 5 to 7 points;
    Kenseth's win at Kansas will now count for the Chase;
    Crew Chief Jason Ratcliff's suspension has been reduced from 6 races to 1. His fine remains at $200,000.
    The appeal panel consisted of Mark Arute (Stafford Motor Speedway), Denis McGlynn (Dover Raceway) and Jack Housby (former team owner).(5-8-2013)
    UPDATE: The National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel today heard and considered the appeal of the#20 Joe Gibbs Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team. The penalties concern Sections 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing; 12-4J: Any determination by NASCAR Officials that race equipment used in the event does not conform to the NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the NASCAR rule book, or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the event; and 20-5.5.3E: Only solid magnetic steel connecting rods with a minimum weight of 525.0 grams will be permitted. Connecting rod failed to meet minimum connecting rod weight. The penalties stemmed from a post-race engine inspection April 23 at the NASCAR Research and Development Center. The Appellants appealed all penalties. The Appellants also requested and were granted a deferral of the suspensions until such time as the hearing could be convened. Upon hearing the testimony, it was a unanimous decision by the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel to amend the original penalties assessed by NASCAR. The amendments are as follows:
    • Crew chief Jason Ratcliff: The $200,000 fine remains intact; NASCAR suspension now covers one championship points event. In addition, he will be placed on NASCAR probation until the completion of the next three championship points events following his reinstatement;
    • Car owner Joe Gibbs: Loss of championship owner points has been reduced to 12. All other components of his penalty were rescinded;
    • Driver Matt Kenseth; Loss of championship driver points has been reduced to 12. All other components of his penalty were rescinded;
    • Manufacturer: The loss of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series manufacturer championship points has been increased to seven.(NASCAR)(5-8-2013)

  • Kenseth penalty appeal to be heard May 8: On Wednesday, May 8 at 9:00am/et at the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C., the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel will hear the Joe Gibbs Racing appeal of penalties assessed to the #20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team. On April 23 following the Kansas Speedway race weekend, this team was penalized for infractions discovered during post-race engine inspection at the R&D Center.(NASCAR)(4-29-2013)

  • NASCAR and Gibbs talk about #20 team penalties: NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton discussed NASCAR's penalties to the #20 team Friday afternoon:
    PEMBERTON: As everyone knows there are a few things that are understood in the garage area that are big. When you talk about engines, you talk about tires, and you talk about fuel. That's a common thread that's been understood, and it's stood the test of time for the last 65 years. Don't mess with those areas, and the penalties are severe. But when you look in the case of an engine, the only time we really get a chance to look internally at an engine is post-race. Some of our most severe penalties over time have surrounded engine infractions.
    Q. Why was the team penalized rather than the manufacturer?
    PEMBERTON: That's tough too. Because when you look at, in their particular situation, we probably don't know all the details, but we do know they come from an outside vendor for the most part, and I don't know how you would go -- it's very difficult to go to an outside vendor and penalize them whether it's springs or shocks or parts that are bought and bolted on race cars. That's why in today's world we all know and relate to the fact that it stops at the crew chief and stops at the owner and stops at the organization that is here to compete.
    PEMBERTON: It's a part that didn't meet spec. It's not a gray area. There are numbers in the books. If you look at numbers in the books and what's going on in the garage area and across our national series those numbers for a connecting rod have been in the book since around the time we went to a single-engine rule, which is probably 12 years ago. So you take that and the amount of engines and engine components in the garage area, and then every given weekend it's done right the vast majority of the time.(NASCAR)
    AND #20 team owner Joe Gibbs also addressed the media Friday at Richmond:
    Joe Gibbs: I want to say that we value our NASCAR partnership very much. We've been together, working together for 22 years and we value our relationship with them. Certainly, we do not want to be on the wrong side of any rules. That's our goal. I wanted to emphasize that. I want to make a point [that] we have a great partner in TRD (Toyota Racing Development). Over the six years we've been together at different times -- this is a big deal, a lot of things come up -- NASCAR's a big deal for us and a big deal for TRD. It's what we live. Through the process over these six years at different times we've stood behind them as we go through something -- in support and be there with them. At different times, they have been behind us. That's what good partners do. We think we have a great partnership with them and we're going to stand together and work our way through this and again try to handle it the right way. We believe that we are going to be together for a long time. I think everyone at this point has probably heard that in tearing down our motor after last week's win, one of the connecting rods was found to be light. That goes against the rules and we understand that. We know that there's going to be a penalty for that. What we're going to appeal is the severity of the penalties. In looking at that motor and where all the connecting rods were placed and the weight of all the connecting rods, when you have motor experts look at it basically what they would say is there is no advantage to having that one light rod in that motor. That's one thing that is very important to me is the intent here was not to get an unfair advantage in any way. That's very important to me. The other point that I would like to make is since we started out this year there has been 10 TRD motors torn down -- eight of them have been Joe Gibbs Racing motors. Nothing with those other motors has found to be wrong in those motors in anyway. Those motors were found to be legal there. I think basically that's what our appeal is going to be. We want to go forward and go through that process and what we'll be appealing will be the severe nature of the penalties."(Toyota Motorsports)(4-27-2013)

  • Kenseth calls penalties unfair: #20-Matt Kenseth talked to the media Thursday morning at Richmond:
    What was your reaction to the penalties NASCAR announced yesterday? Do you think they were severe?
    "I think the penalties are grossly unfair. I think it's borderline shameful. There's no argument the part was wrong. They weighed it and it was wrong. However, there is an argument that there certainly was no performance advantage. If you can find any unbiased, reputable, knowledgeable engine-builder and if they saw the facts, what all the rods weighed. The average weight of all the rods was well above the minimum -- 2.5 (grams) above the minimum at least. There was one in there that was way heavy. There was no performance advantage, there was no intent, it was a mistake. JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) had no control over it. Certainly to crush Joe Gibbs like that -- to say they can't win an owner's championship with the 20 this year is just, I can't wrap my arms around that, it just blows me away. And the same with Jason Ratcliff (crew chief). I don't feel bad for myself at all, but for Jason and Joe, I just couldn't feel any worse. There's no more reputable, honest hard-working guys with good reputations more so than those two -- I feel really bad for them."
    Do you expect a positive response from the appeals process?
    "I don't know. I've never been through it so I honestly don't know. That's the hope, that's why it's setup. You've seen some examples of both. I don't know. That's what the hope is, that's why it's setup. We'll just go through that and see what happens and see whatever the final verdict is -- we'll have to live with that and move on."(Toyota Racing PR)(4-25-2013)

  • TRD Statment on #20 penalties: TRD Statement: "During NASCAR's routine post-race tear down of Matt Kenseth's race-winning car and engine from Kansas Speedway, one of our engine connecting rods weighed in approximately three grams under the legal minimum weight of 525 grams. None of the other seven connecting rods were found to be under the minimum weight. We take full responsibility for this issue with the engine used by the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) team this past Sunday in Kansas -- JGR is not involved in the process of selecting parts or assembling the Cup Series engines. It was a simple oversight on TRD's part and there was no intent to deceive, or to gain any type of competitive advantage. Toyota is a company that was built on integrity, and that remains one of the guiding principles of the company. The goal of TRD has always been -- and will continue to be -- to build high-performance engines that are reliable, durable and powerful, and within the guidelines established by NASCAR."(TRD)(4-24-2013)

  • Kenseth's engine fails post race inspection UPDATE - penalties; team will appeal: The engine in #20-Matt Kenseth's race-winning car from Kansas failed inspection at NASCAR's Research and Development Center. NASCAR officials were discussing Wednesday what penalties to levy against Kenseth and Joe Gibbs Racing, multiple people familiar with the inspection told the AP on the condition of anonymity because no decision has been made. The engine failed because one of the connecting rods not meeting the minimum weight requirement. Kenseth drove the #20 Toyota to his second win of the season Sunday in Kansas. It is standard procedure for the race winning engine to go back to Concord for a thorough inspection. The JGR engines are supplied by Toyota Racing Development out of Costa Mesa, Calif., but NASCAR would hold the team responsible for any infractions.(Associated Press)(4-24-2013)
    UPDATE: Penalties have been handed down to the #20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team as a result of rule violations discovered in the post-race engine inspection April 23 at the NASCAR Research and Development Center. The #20 car was found to have violated 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 20-5.5.3 (E) (Only magnetic steel connecting rods with a minimum weight of 525.0 grams will be permitted; connecting rod failed to meet the minimum connecting rod weight) of the 2013 rule book. As a result of this violation, NASCAR has assessed the following penalties:
    • Crew chief Jason Ratcliff has been fined $200,000 and suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points events (a period of time that also includes the non-points NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race) and placed on probation until Dec. 31.
    • Car owner Joe Gibbs has lost 50 championship car owner points; the first place finish from April 21 at Kansas Speedway will not earn bonus points toward the accumulated aggregate car owner points total after the completion of the first 26 events of the current season and will not be credited towards the eligibility for a car owner Wild Card position; has had the owner's license for the #20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car suspended until the completion of the next six championship points events, therefore being ineligible to receive championship car owner points during that period of time.
    • Driver Matt Kenseth has lost 50 championship driver points; the Coors Light Pole award from April 19 at Kansas Speedway will not be allowed for eligibility into the 2014 Sprint Unlimited; the first place finish from April 21 at Kansas Speedway will not earn bonus points toward the accumulated aggregate driver points total after the completion of the first 26 events of the current season and will not be credited towards the eligibility for a driver Wild Card position.
    • The loss of five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Manufacturer Championship points.
    UPDATE 2: Joe Gibbs Racing Statement: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) is aware of the penalty issued by NASCAR today regarding the engine in our #20 car used in last week's Sprint Cup Series race in Kansas. It is our understanding that one of the eight connecting rods on the engine was ruled too light. We are working with our partners at TRD on this issue. In the meantime we will plan to appeal the penalty.(JGR)(4-24-2013)

  • Kenseth wins at Kansas: #20-Matt Kenseth won the STP 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway for his 2nd win of 2013, 2nd win at Kansas and 26th career win. Kenseth also led the most laps with 163. Kenseth won from the pole, making Kansas the third Sprint Cup Series race in a row the winner started on the pole, the first time since 1985 that has happened.
    #5-Kahne finished 2nd, followed by #48-Johnson, #56-Truex Jr., #15-Bowyer, #2-Keselowski [was a lap down and lost some sheet metal on the rear of the car], #1-McMurray, #43-Almirola, #55-Martin and #27-Menard. #18-Busch, who started 5th in a backup car, spun twice, the 2nd time hitting the wall and hitting #22-Logano and finished 38th, Busch was going for his 5th top-five in a row.
    There were 13 lead changes among 8 drivers and 8 cautions for 40 yellow flag laps. The average speed was 133.611mph.
    Starting this season, NASCAR doesn't release the track attendance.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Kansas Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Kansas Penalty Report (pdf)
    And see the Official Race and Points on the Kansas Official Race and Points Report page (pdf)

  • Kenseth to sub for Hamlin at Short Track Showdown: #11-Denny Hamlin has a substitute driver for his April 25 Short Track Showdown charity race at Richmond: his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate #20-Matt Kenseth. Kenseth will drive a Late Model in Hamlin's place for the annual event that pits NASCAR drivers against some top local short-track talent. "Obviously, it kills me to not be able to race in the Short Track Showdown," Hamlin said. "I grew up racing these cars against some of the best in the area, and it's always fun to come back and do it again, but my injury won't allow that this year."(USA Today), for more info, see Jayski's NASCAR Charities page.(4-11-2013)

  • 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)

  • Kenseth wins at Las Vegas: #20-Matt Kenseth won the Kobalt Tools 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for his 1st win of 2013, 1st win with Job Gibbs Racing, 3rd win at Las Vegas and 25th career win. #5-Kahnefinished second followed by #2-Keselowski, #18-Busch, #99-Edwards, #48-Johnson, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #56-Truex, Jr., #29-Harvick, and #27-Menard.
    Kenseth did not take any tires on his final pitstop to grab the lead and held Kahne off the rest of the race.
    There were 22 lead changes among 8 drivers and 5 cautions for 25 yellow flag laps. The average speed was 146.287mph. Starting this season, NASCAR doesn't release the track attendance.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Las Vegas Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Phoenix Penalty Resport (pdf).

  • Only TWO Birthday winners EVER - Now THREE: Cale Yarborough and Kyle Busch are the only NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers to ever win a points paying race on their birthday. Yarborough, birthday March 27, in 1977 at North Wilkesboro Speedway and a second time in 1983 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    Kyle Busch won at Richmond on May 2, 2009, to become only the 2nd driver EVER to win on their birthday, and only the third time ever.
    why do I bring this up? #20-Matt Kenseth's birthday is Sunday, March 10th and in his 13 Sprint Cup Series starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, he has never raced at the 1.5-mile track on his birthday BUT has won two races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and was fastest in one of Thursday's practices. Kenseth's two wins came under the old track configuration in 2007. Kenseth won in 2003 and 2004.(3-9-2013)
    UPDATE: Kenseth won the Kobalt Tools 400 Sunday on his 41st birthday and became the third driver to win on his birthday.(3-10-2013)

  • New look for the #20 at Phoenix: Sunday's 312-lap Subway Fresh Fit 500 will mark the premiere of the #20 Home Depot Husky Tools Toyota. Featuring the Husky brand's red and black colors, the #20 Toyota Camry will debut its new paint scheme on the track this weekend with veteran driver Matt Kenseth behind the wheel. With over 80 years of experience building the toughest hand tools, air compressors, air tools and tool storage products, Husky has what it takes to provide solutions you can count on. No one knows that better than The Home Depot, which is the only place you can find the complete selection of Husky. If there's ever a problem with your hand tool, you can be sure that they'll replace it. No hassle. No charge.(JGR), see image of the scheme on the #20 Team Schemes page.(2-27-2013)

  • Matt Kenseth "auditioned" spotters before picking his new one: Spotter Chris Osborne didn't know at the time that he was part of a two-month audition process conducted by driver Matt Kenseth and crew chief Jason Ratcliff. But the man who goes by the handle @crazy_spotter on Twitter passed the meticulous test admirably and now is installed as spotter for Kenseth and his new #20 Toyota team at Joe Gibbs Racing. One area of concern to the 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, after he announced plans to leave Roush Fenway Racing and join the Gibbs organization, was finding a spotter to replace Mike Calinoff, who opted to remain with Roush Fenway. Calinoff and Kenseth had a rhythm and repartee that would be difficult to duplicate. That's why Kenseth and Ratcliff listened to hours of audio before making their choice. "I did a lot of research last year -- Jason and I did -- before we really interviewed or offered a job to a spotter," Kenseth told the NASCAR Wire Service on Friday at Daytona International Speedway. "I listened to a lot of different audio... I was so sick of listening to spotters and drivers and crew chiefs talking back and forth. "I just listened to a lot of audio from different races that we recorded, so I could listen to different spotters and their style, without them knowing that you're listening to them." More than anything else, Kenseth was looking for a spotter who fit his laid-back style. He found that in Osborne, who was spotter for the #22 car at Penske Racing.(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-23-2013)

  • 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)

  • 2013 silly season notes for #20-Matt Kenseth / Joe Gibs Racing: 2003 Champ Matt Kenseth comes over from Roush Fenway Racing to take over the #20 Toyota formerly driven by Joey Logano. Kenseth will be paired with crew chief Jason Ratcliff who became the crew cheif of the #20 team in 2012. Dollar General will step up to sponsor the #20 for 17 races and the familiar Home Depot colors will be replaced by the reddish colors of Home Depot's tool division, Husky, for 20 races. Kenseth will also have a new spotter after a decade with RFR's Mike Calinoff. It'll also be tough not putting a #17 in front of Kenseth's name any longer. See images of the Husky and Dollar General schemes on my #20 Team Schemes page. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-11-2013)

  • 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)

2012 News

  • Races (12) that Dollar General is scheduled to be the sponsor in 2012:
    Las Vegas - 3/11
    Auto Club - 3/25
    Texas - 4/7
    Talladega - 5/6
    Charlotte - 5/27
    Kentucky - 6/30
    Daytona - 7/7
    Indianapolis - 7/29
    Bristol - 8/25
    Chicago - 9/16
    Kansas - 10/21
    Phoenix - 11/11

  • Home Depot's Husky to be primary sponsor on the #20 in 2013: The Home Depot announces it will utilize the home improvement store's proprietary tool brand, Husky, as the primary sponsor for the Joe Gibbs Racing #20 Toyota in each of its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races during the 2013 season. Through this partnership The Home Depot looks to reward its customers through Husky Days of Giving, a Facebook contest offering the chance to win great Husky products daily as well as a grand prize to be awarded at the end of the promotion. Fans can enter once daily between now and December 24 for their chance to win. Husky will be the primary sponsor on JGR's #20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry in 20 races during the 2013 season and will remain the associate sponsor when Dollar General serves as the car's primary sponsor (Joe Gibbs Racing), for more info on the contest, see Jayski's NASACR Contest page, see an image of the car on my #20 Team Schemes page.(12-11-2012)

  • Hamlin Lobbied for Kenseth: #11-Denny Hamlin believes Matt Kenseth will be a perfect fit for Joe Gibbs Racing, and he made his feelings known when Kenseth started discussions with the organization. JGR announced in early September that Kenseth would drive the #20 Toyota for the organization next year. Roughly two months earlier, Roush Fenway Racing had reveled Kenseth would be leaving after 13 seasons of full-time Sprint Cup racing for that organization. "I was one that definitely pushed for Matt to come over to Gibbs, and I just think that he's really going to mesh well with me and Kyle (Busch)," Hamlin said. "I know that Kyle does a lot of short-track racing with Matt's son (Ross Kenseth), and I know that me and Matt have very similar driving styles on the race track. I look forward to that communication and just hearing about how he did things versus how we do things, and, really, that's what makes teams stronger. When Kyle came over in 2008, it was that drive that kind of pushed me to that next level --having someone come over and push you to be better. I think it's going to be no different with Matt."(NASCAR Wire Service)(12-2-2012)

  • Logano set for his final race with JGR: This weekend, Joey Logano will climb aboard the #20 Home Depot/Red Beacon Toyota for the final time. When the green flag falls on Sunday, Logano will begin his final race in the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing ride after four years full-time behind the wheel of the famed car. At season's end, Logano will be moving on to Penske Racing while former Sprint Cup Series Champion and two-time Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth will take of the seat of the #20 for 2013. Once again this weekend, the familiar orange Home Depot colors will be replaced with a new red #20 on the track. Redbeacon will join The Home Depot as primary sponsors of the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota and driver Logano at Homeastead.(JGR)(11-17-2012)

  • Dollar General expanding sponsoring of Joe Gibbs Racing UPDATE Vickers full ride: As many companies are trending away from full-season sponsorships in the Sprint Cup Series, Dollar General is moving toward a 36-race commitment. CEO Rick Dreiling said the discount retailer will increase its spending on NASCAR for the sixth consecutive year, backing Joe Gibbs Racing's #20 Toyota driven by Matt Kenseth for 17 races starting with next year's Daytona 500. That's up from 12 races this season. "Our goal is to grow into a full-time Cup ride," Dreiling told USA Today Sports. "But it's a little soon to commit if that's going to be next year or two to four years from now. That's all down the road." Dollar General also will sponsor a full-time car fielded by JGR for Brian Vickers in the Nationwide Series next season. Dreiling, who wouldn't disclose figures but called the deal part of an "orderly, methodical growth," said stock-car racing is the company's only national sports sponsorship because of internal marketing research that indicates its customers are 30 times more likely to be NASCAR fans than average consumers. Team owner Joe Gibbs said Home Depot, which has been sponsoring the No. 20 since 1999 but scaled back to 24 races this season, will pick up the other 19 races for Kenseth in 2013. JGR still is seeking more primary sponsorship in Sprint Cup to expand to a fourth car, but it will grow on the Nationwide Series in 2013. Vickers will drive one of three full-time cars next season on the second-tier circuit for JGR, which fielded two full-time Camrys this year.(USA Today)(11-6-2012)
    UPDATE - Brian Vickers to run full NNS season with JGR: Joe Gibbs Racing announced that it has signed a new expanded partnership agreement with Dollar General for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The new agreement means Matt Kenseth, the 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, will drive Dollar General's familiar yellow and black #20 car in 17 Sprint Cup Races next season beginning with the Daytona 500 in February. In addition, Dollar General will return to the NASCAR Nationwide Series and will compete with a full championship season sponsorship with Brian Vickers at the wheel. Vickers will return to the Nationwide Series on a fulltime basis in 2013, 10 years after he won three Nationwide races and became the youngest driver to win the Series Championship at the age of 20.(JGR)(11-6-2012)

  • Logano turning red for three races: This weekend, the familiar orange Home Depot colors will be replaced with a new red #20 on the track. Redbeacon will join The Home Depot as primary sponsors of the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota and driver Joey Logano this weekend at Martinsville, as well as the remaining races at Texas and Homestead. Redbeacon, a fully owned subsidiary of The Home Depot, is a free online and mobile resource for consumers seeking reliable home-service professionals. By simply requesting a service such as a maid, plumber, electrician, painter and more at redbeacon.com or through Redbeacon's iPhone and Android apps, consumers receive competitive price quotes from qualified local pros in their area.(JGR), see an image of the car on the #20 team paint schemes page.(10-24-2012)

  • Dollar General colors return to the #20: The black and yellow colors of Dollar General return to the side of the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing this weekend in Kansas Speedway, the next to last race with the DG colors on the car this season. It's been a successful year with Dollar General as a sponsor with Joe Gibbs Racing and Logano. The 22-year-old has captured four wins in the NASCAR Nationwide Series flying the black and yellow DG colors. On the Cup side, Logano has grabbed one top-five and four top-10 finishes while driving the #20 Dollar General Toyota. Dollar General will race with Logano in Kansas this weekend and then will make their final appearance of the season in the next to last race of the year, coming in just a few weeks at Phoenix International Raceway.(JGR), see an image of the car on the #20 team paint schemes page.(10-18-2012)

  • 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)

  • No plans to for Logano to move to the #22 before 2013: in part from a Penske Racing Media Teleconference featuring Joey Logano and Tim Cindric, one of the questions was about the possibility of Joey Logano moving to the #22 Penske Racing Dodge before the 2012 season ends, if Logano fails to make the Chase:
    Q.) J.D. Gibbs said yesterday that he didn't think there would be (a chance) that Joey would get in the 22 car at all this year. I'm curious if Joey didn't make the Chase whether you would try to make that happen?
    TIM CINDRIC: It's not something we've really even considered. I think I'd probably have to agree with J.D. It would be a pretty complicated situation. I think all of our sights are set on starting 2013 fresh in Daytona. Obviously we're making the move to Ford, so we have a lot of things that are going to be different in terms of 2013. We have a consistent group in Paul Wolfe and Brad. We can keep the consistency. Hopefully we're talking about a championship at that point in time, as well.(Penske Racing Media Conference)(9-6-2012)

  • It's Official - Joe Logano signs with Penske Racing: Penske Racing announced that Joey Logano will join the team in 2013. He will drive the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Logano, 22, a two-time Sprint Cup Series winner who is currently competing in his fourth full season, will begin a multi-year agreement with Penske Racing. "I am very excited to join Penske Racing and begin the next phase of my career," said Logano. "I am looking forward to the opportunity as it will be an honor to drive for Roger Penske and race for wins and championships. I am also proud to represent Shell-Pennzoil as they are a respected global brand that does a great job of activating in the sport on and off the track."
    "Joey Logano is a very talented driver who has already achieved a lot of success at a young age," said Tim Cindric, President of Penske Racing. "Joey is a great fit for our organization and we look forward to building on his success as he takes his place behind the wheel of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford."
    "We welcome Joey Logano to the Shell-Pennzoil team, and we know he will do a great job representing our brands and Penske Racing in 2013 and beyond," said Lisa Davis, president, Shell Lubricants Americas. "Joey is clearly a special talent on the race track, and we look forward to working with him off the track as well."
    Logano will join Brad Keselowski, a three-time race winner and championship contender in 2012, and the #2 Miller Lite Ford team to form a potent combination for Penske Racing in the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.(Penske Racing)(9-4-2012)

  • It's Official - Matt Kenseth signs with Joe Gibbs Racing: Joe Gibbs Racing announced that 2003 NASCAR Cup Series Champion and two-time Daytona 500 winner, Matt Kenseth, has signed with the team to drive the #20 Toyota Camry with sponsorship from Dollar General and The Home Depot starting in 2013. "We are thrilled to be able to officially announce Matt will join Joe Gibbs Racing starting at the conclusion of this season," said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. "Everyone knows what he has accomplished in our sport as a champion and a consistent winner. He is well respected in the garage and his experience and knowledge will be extremely beneficial to our entire organization, especially Denny and Kyle." Kenseth is currently third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings with a win, nine top-five and 14 top-ten finishes thus far this season. Over the course of his career he has won a total of 22 Cup races while earning 122 top-five and 223 top-ten finishes.
    "I'm excited to announce what the next chapter in my career will be," said Kenseth. "I remain totally committed to this season and working with my current team toward a championship and having this settled will only help my focus. JGR is an impressive organization with tremendous leadership and strong support from sponsors like Dollar General and The Home Depot. I'm very fortunate to have the opportunity to move from one great situation into another starting in 2013."(JGR), Gibbs also said during the press conference that Jason Ratcliff would remain as the crew chief for the #20 team.(9-4-2012)

  • JGR to announce Kenseth as driver next week? UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing plans to announce next Tuesday [Sept. 4th] that Matt Kenseth will be its newest driver beginning in 2013. The 2003 Sprint Cup champion will take over the #20 team driven by Joey Logano with Home Depot as his primary sponsor. JGR president J.D. Gibbs said on Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway he still held out hope of re-signing Logano and adding a fourth team if sponsorship can be found. Logano is not expected to be a part of Tuesday's press conference. Logano also is a candidate for the #22 Cup team at Penske Racing. He recently said he was not interesting in a part-time Cup ride and full-time Nationwide Series ride that was one of his options at JGR. "He was OK with that until another opportunity came up," Gibbs said of Logano.(ESPN)(8-29-2012)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing will hold a press conference to announce Matt Kenseth as the driver of the #20 Toyota on Tuesday afternoon, September 4, 2012.(9-4-2012)

  • Logano sits out practices, will race Sunday: #20-Joey Logano had to sit both Cup practice sessions Saturday because of an illness. Michael McDowell, who failed to qualify for the AdvoCare 500, was still in Atlanta and agreed to take over behind the wheel for Logano to put a few miles on the #20 car. "I got some kind of stomach virus or food poisoning," Logano tweeted. "I'm hoping to be good enough to practice later." Logano added a hashtag with the phrase "nofun." Logano expects to be behind the wheel in the race, no matter what. He needs another win to possibly claim one of the two wild-card spots in the Chase for the championship.(Associated Press)(9-2-2012)

  • Penske says Logao a candidate for the #22 ride: The owner of Penske Racing acknowledged on Saturday that Joey Logano is a candidate to drive the #22 in 2013. Roger Penske also didn't rule out expanding from two to three cars and including Sam Hornish Jr., who has been in the #22 since AJ Allmendinger was suspended and ultimately released for violating NASCAR's substance-abuse policy, in the mix for next season. Penske said he hoped to have a decision by the Sept. 16 Chase opener at Chicagoland. Sources close to the situation said Logano, who is in the final year of his contract with Joe Gibbs Racing, is the front-runner for the #22. Logano told ESPN.com recently he has two offers for 2013, and that one was from JGR. The issue at JGR is finding a full-time sponsor. "He's obviously a candidate, but there's other good people, too, that people haven't talked about," Penske said before the Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway. "We have a couple of rabbits." Penske would not expand on other potential candidates. Penske didn't rule out that Alliance Truck Parts, which sponsors Hornish's Nationwide car, could move up to Cup in 2013.(ESPN)(8-25-2012)

  • Gibbs says Logano's future still up in the air: #20-Joey Logano, 22, has been with JGR since he was 16. The organization has a lot invested in him and Logano has a lot invested in the organization. There are loyalty issues on both sides. But without a guarantee of sponsorship to drive a full season in 2013 and beyond, with primary sponsor Home Depot likely going to Matt Kenseth next year, the opportunity to latch on with Shell Pennzoil or another sponsor at Penske would be too good to pass up. Here's what we know: Logano has two offers on the table, including one from Gibbs. The JGR offer depends on sponsorship, and team owner Joe Gibbs said on ESPN on Wednesday that "everything is up in the air'' with Logano. Without directly addressing Kenseth, Gibbs said he hoped to be able to announce something in two weeks, which coincidentally would have the Cup series in Atlanta, the headquarters for Home Depot. Logano said last week he should have clarity in a few days to two weeks, with the two weeks now in the equation since a few days have passed. He also was noncommittal on whether he preferred to stay at JGR.(ESPN)(8-16-2012)

  • Penske hopes to name #22 2013 driver by Chicago: Roger Penske hopes to name a driver for his #22 NASCAR Sprint Cup entry [will be Ford] for the 2013 season before the Chase for the Sprint Cup begins at Chicago on Sept. 16. "I've got five or six people that have contacted us," Penske said prior to the Finger Lakes 355 at The Glen on Sunday. "We're going to see how Sam (Hornish Jr.) does. We have a certain amount of loyalty to him. We're trying to assess where we're at." Penske says he's pleased with Hornish's progress in the #22 Dodge. Hornish replaced AJ Allmendinger on July 7 after Allmendinger tested positive for amphetamine. Hornish has posted two top-20 finishes in the Cup car. His best result was 16th at Indianapolis. Several free agents have been mentioned as candidates for the ride, including Joey Logano and Ryan Newman, who drove for Penske prior to joining Stewart-Haas Racing in 2009. As far Logano, who has been mentioned as a top candidate for the seat, Penske mentioned that the 22-year-old remains under contract to Joe Gibbs Racing.(FoxSports)(8-12-2012)

  • Logano says he has two offers: #20-Joey Logano is mulling offers for two full-time Sprint Cup rides next year, including one to remain at Joe Gibbs Racing, and expects to make a decision soon. "I've got a couple of offers," the 22-year-old driver said on Wednesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he was promoting fall events. "I'm just trying to decipher what's the best for me. What's going to give me the most trophies and win the most races out of? I could be fairly close (to a decision). I could be a few weeks out. It all depends on the next couple of days, actually." Logano would not discuss the name of the other organization that has made an offer. The #22 at Penske Racing has been mentioned as a possibility since AJ Allmendinger was released following his suspension for failing a drug test. Penske Racing also might be considering adding a third team next year as it moves to Ford. Sam Hornish Jr. has been named Allmendinger's replacement for the foreseeable future. "There's only so many good teams out there," Logano said when asked directly about Penske Racing. He said he is not considering a part-time Cup ride. The Cup offer at Gibbs is dependent on finding sponsorship.(in part from ESPN)(8-9-2012)

  • Kenseth can't talk about 2013 deal yet but: Matt Kenseth will drive for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2013, but according to multiple sources, the Sprint Cup points leader can't talk about it until mid- to late-August at the earliest due to a stipulation in his current contract with Roush Fenway Racing. Roush announced last month that the 2003 Sprint Cup champion was leaving after the 2012 season and would be replaced by reigning Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Kenseth confirmed at the time he has a deal for 2013, but declined to discuss details. RFR officials declined to comment on any portion of Kenseth's contract. Joe Gibbs Racing president J.D. Gibbs declined on Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to comment on Kenseth's situation. But Gibbs said the goal was to have four teams in 2013, and that every effort was being made to re-sign Joey Logano, whose contract expires after this season, if sponsorship can be found. "We want him to retire at JGR," Gibbs said. "We're trying to figure out how to make all of that work." Sources said Kenseth would take over the Home Depot and likely Dollar General sponsors currently on Logano's #20 Toyota. They left open the possibility of Kenseth running the #20 or another number. Sources said JGR has looked at several options for Logano, from running a full-time Nationwide schedule and part-time Cup schedule to running a full-time Cup schedule with a part-time or full-time Nationwide slate. "We've talked a number of different potentials, but obviously we'd like him to be in Cup full-time," Gibbs said. Logano also has been shopping for other options in 2013. The #22 car at Penske Racing could become one spot with driver AJ Allmendinger indefinitely suspended for violating NASCAR's drug policy. Kenseth isn't talking to anybody, at least not about his future after Roush. "No," he recently said when asked if he could shed light on his 2013 plans. "I hoped to do it a couple of weeks ago. I don' t know when it's gonna happen. You guys will know the same time I do, I guess."(ESPN)(7-30-2012)

  • Dollar General and partners on the #20 at Indy: Dollar General vendor partners Ragu, Delsym, Huggies, STP, Colgate, Slim Jim, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Today and Always, Glad and Gildan will be featured on Joe Gibbs Racing's #No. 20 Toyota Camry this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (JGR), see images of the car on the #20 Team Schemes page.(7-26-2012)

  • Logano's quotes on future: from a Toyota Notes & Quotes Transcript:
    Q) Do you feel more pressure to make the Chase or from the uncertainty of your future?
    Logano: "I think you feel pressure from both ends. You want to be able to focus 100 percent on what you're doing -- right now, trying to make the Chase. During the week, we're trying to figure out what my future is going to be and I'm trying to prepare myself for the weekend and then when we get here, I put all that stuff in the back of my mind and then focus 100 percent on what I have going on this weekend in trying to win a race. I say it all the time -- winning races will make all the other stuff come along a lot quicker. We're getting there slowly but surely."
    Q) Do you feel like you control your destiny more to make the Chase or determine your future? Logano: "I don't know. Obviously, racing itself on one side of it out there on the race track, you can only control so much of your destiny out there, but you can control it quite a bit. If you can control it on the racing side, you can control it on the other side too. As long as I keep doing what we've been doing on the race track with all the top-10s we've got and top-fives and with that win -- being near that Chase spot makes you want it a little bit more. We have to keep working on that."
    Q) Have you made contact with Penske Racing for next season?
    Logano: "Obviously, right now we look at all our options out there in trying to do whatever we can do to have the best opportunity for my future. That's talking to as many people as we can and seeing what's available."(Toyota Notes & Quotes)(7-13-2012)

  • Kenseth remains mum on team switch: For nearly two weeks, #17-Matt Kenseth has been hounded by one question. And moments after guiding his Harley-Davidson into Bristol Motor Speedway Tuesday afternoon, the NASCAR Sprint Cup points leader heard it again. Now that his profitable 14-year partnership with car owner Jack Roush is over, just what team will Kenseth drive for next season? Once again, Kenseth deftly danced around the answer. "We've been together forever with Roush," Kenseth said. "Three or four years ago we made a commitment to race together through 2012. That never got extended through 2013, so we will just race as hard as we can until the end of this season." The hottest rumor involves Kenseth landing at Joe Gibbs Racing. Meanwhile, defending Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will replace Kenseth in the familiar #17 Ford next season. Kenseth was in Bristol Tuesday as part of the NASCAR Winner's Circle program to promote the IRWIN Tools Night Race at BMS on Aug. 25. Along with NASCAR television personality Kyle Petty, Kenseth rode his motorcycle from Smokies Park in Sevierville to BMS with members of Rolling Thunder, a group made up mostly of military veterans. Rolling Thunder's purpose is to bring awareness to those military members who were prisoners of war or are missing in action. The 40-year-old Kenseth refused to offer any hints as to his future place of employment. He added that he hasn't discussed the issue with fellow competitors. "I really haven't talked to anyone about it, except for the parties involved," Kenseth said. "After Roush put the release out that I wasn't going to be back in 2013 and I got through last weekend, it was almost a relief in a way because the last two or three months have been somewhat stressful. I wasn't sure what I was going to do and what was going to happen. With all that being out there now, I can just concentrate on the season." #24-Jeff Gordon, who has been affiliated with Hendrick Motorsports since 1993, is the only NASCAR Sprint Cup driver who has a longer partnership than Kenseth and Roush.(Bristol Herald Courier)
    BUT am hearing the Kenseth will be in the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota with Home Depot and Dollar Genreal as the primary co-sponsors. Current driver Joey Logano could end up in a 4th JGR Toyota or could head elsewhere, such as the #22 Penske Racing Ford if A.J. Allmendinger doesn't return to that ride in 2013.(7-11-2012)

  • Logano says no change in his status: UPDATE: #20-Joey Logano didn't know anything more about his 2013 plans Friday than he did Tuesday morning before Roush Fenway Racing announced that Matt Kenseth was leaving its organization. Kenseth is expected to join Joe Gibbs Racing, either in a fourth car or as a replacement for Logano, who does not have a contract for next year. "I've heard nothing new," Logano said following qualifying at Kentucky Speedway. "We're still up in the air on a lot of things." Team president J.D. Gibbs said Wednesday that he would like Logano to remain at JGR long term but the sides don't have a deal done for 2013. Gibbs declined to discuss whether Kenseth was joining the organization. "We want (Logano) to be here forever," Gibbs said Wednesday. "That's kind of what we're working on. Until you have stuff laid out (and can say), 'Here's the plan,' it's not really worth talking about."(Sporting News)(6-30-2012)
    UPDATE: Amid news of a contract extension for Denny Hamlin and speculation swirling around Matt Kenseth's possible arrival at Joe Gibbs Racing next year, team owner Joe Gibbs said Saturday at Kentucky Speedway that his top priority was re-signing Joey Logano. "We're working real hard right now on extending him and his relationship with us," Gibbs said Friday after the drivers' meeting for Saturday night's Quaker State 400. "We've had a great relationship -- signed him when he was 15. We've got a lot invested in Joey. I think right now he's stepping up, and we want him to be with us." Asked whether sponsor Home Depot would continue to be part of the equation, Gibbs told the NASCAR Wire Service, "I think part of what we've got going on with us right now -- there's a lot going on. So the things I talked about . . . Joey, we want to get that done. Everything else is kind of up in the air for us right now."(NASCAR Wire Service)(7-1-2012)

  • Kenseth leaving Roush: UPDATES: #17-Matt Kenseth declined to discuss his future with Roush Fenway Racing before Sunday's race at Sonoma, where there was rampant speculation he's been talking to other race teams. Kenseth acts as his own agent, and has been with Roush his entire career. But his #17 Ford has limited sponsorship, and team owner Jack Roush has been paying out of his own pocket to ensure Kenseth runs a full season. "You know I don't talk about my contract," Kenseth said. "I'd like to have something to tell you, but I don't have anything to talk about right now. Until I have something to announce, I don't talk about it."
    Everybody else was talking, though, and Kenseth's name this weekend was linked to both Joe Gibbs Racing, a Toyota team, and Penske Racing, which is moving from Dodge to Ford in 2013. Kenseth is a longtime Ford driver. JGR team president J.D. Gibbs declined to discuss any possible negotiations with Kenseth. JGR not only has room for expansion to a fourth car, but Joey Logano's status as driver of the #20 is currently unresolved. Logano is in the final year of his contract. "I'm not allowed to talk," he said.
    Roger Penske was not at Sunday's race, but senior vice president of Penske Corp., Bud Denker said the team is not talking to Kenseth and is content with AJ Allmendinger in the #22. "Our expectations are that AJ will be in the car and Todd (Gordon) will be the crew chief next year," Denker said. "So we are not talking to Matt, that's confirmed." The Penske move to Ford has led to talk the organization could be a potential home for Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. or 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne, who are both in long-term contracts with Roush but are stymied because of sponsorship woes.(ESPN/Associated Press)(6-24-2012)
    UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing announced that 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will compete for the team full-time in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition beginning in 2013, while Matt Kenseth and Roush Fenway will part ways at the conclusion of the 2012 season. "Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has more than proved his abilities on the race track," said team co-owner Jack Roush. "We feel that he is not only a key piece of our team's future, but a key piece of the future of the sport. Roush Fenway is an organization with a wonderful past and present, as well as an extremely promising future, and I can't think of a better candidate than Ricky to usher in the next era of success for the team. Of course, I'd like to thank Matt Kenseth for his many years of loyal service," added Roush. "Matt has been an integral part of this organization for well over a decade, and we are extremely appreciative of his accomplishments and contributions to the team, and will always consider him a part of the Roush Fenway family."(Roush Fenway Racing)(6-26-2012)
    UPDATE 2: Statement from Ford's Jamie Allison, "All of us at Ford are certainly disappointed to hear that Matt will be leaving, and he will be certainly missed by us and the Ford Racing fans. We are thankful for Matt's winning efforts and championship-caliber success with the Roush and Ford racing programs these past 16 years, both on and off the track. We will focus on this year and look forward to more success on the track in his #17 Ford Fusion this season."(Ford Racing)(6-27-2012)
    UPDATE 3: Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark said Roush Fenway's likely 2013 scenario would be for the organization to have three Cup teams with #99-Carl Edwards, #16-Greg Biffle and Stenhouse while Trevor Bayne, who currently runs a part-time Cup schedule for Wood Brothers Racing and select Nationwide races for Roush Fenway, would replace Stenhouse in the team's full-time Nationwide car. Whether current Kenseth crew chief Jimmy Fennig will be Stenhouse's crew chief is still to be determined, Newmark said.(Sporting News)(6-27-2012)
    UPDATE 4: Matt Kenseth has a Sprint Cup ride in place for 2013 and beyond, the NASCAR point leader from Cambridge told the Journal Sentinel on Wednesday in his first print media interview since announcing he would leave Roush Fenway Racing at the end of the season. When that deal is announced is undetermined, Kenseth said. The decision to leave was made in a meeting last week with team owner Jack Roush, Kenseth said. "There's a lot of stuff through the season that's probably led us to this point," Kenseth said. "There isn't really a smoking gun, there really isn't an inside story about a firing or an argument or really any of that. At the end of the day, I had an opportunity to go try something else. The timing all worked out. I think everything happens for a reason. Things just kind of lined up to maybe try something else in 2013 and beyond that I'm kind of excited about.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(6-27-2012)

  • 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)

  • JGR wants to keep Joey Logano: Joe Gibbs doesn't have any plans to let #20-Joey Logano go after this season. Gibbs said before Sunday's rain-delayed Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway that he planned to re-sign the 22-year-old driver, whose contract with Joe Gibbs Racing expires after this season. "Obviously, we've been together for a long time," Gibbs said. "We've got a lot invested. He's our guy and we plan on going forward ... right now in the 20 car."(ESPN)(6-18-2012)

  • Logano's future still up in the air despite win: #20-Joey Logano delivered many answers in muscling past #55-Mark Martin to win Sunday's Pocono 400. But there was one significant question that is unanswered as the Sprint Cup Series heads to Michigan International Speedway. Where will Logano be driving next season? "I haven't been informed on where I stand for next year yet, so it's all up in the air," he said. "Obviously winning a race means a lot, and it helps that out a ton. For sure right now my future is not set with anybody. To get this win means a lot. It's at a perfect time."
    Though he is enjoying his best year in NASCAR's premier series, it might not be guaranteed that Logano returns to Joe Gibbs Racing for a fifth season. Pocono was the second victory in a career that has fallen far short of lofty expectations that accompanied his 2009 debut as the youngest driver in Daytona 500 history. Since he saw Logano race against his son in go-karts a decade ago, Martin had been predicting greatness for Logano and named him as the best candidate to replace him at Roush Fenway Racing- when Logano was 15. It hasn't turned out that way in Cup. Logano finished 20th in points as a rookie and became the youngest winner in Cup history (at 19) at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in a fluky rain-shortened finish. (Logano was leading because he had crashed and was able to stay purposely off-sequence on pit stops).
    Though J.D. Gibbs recently downplayed interest in Kurt Busch, there are other winning drivers who could be available in 2013, such as Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr. In a phone interview Monday night, Gibbs told USA TODAY Sports that JGR hoped to settle the future of its #20 Toyota "sooner than later, but at the same time, you can't force things. "We're kind of going through it now," Gibbs said. "(The victory) really helps him, us just in general. (Sponsors) Home Depot and Dollar General get a feel for it. So hopefully we'll be able to get something put to bed here pretty quick. He's been so close before, it's just a long time coming. So hopefully that was a great foundation for our future. When you have those sponsors, you have to perform. Not just on the track, but off the track. Joey is great off the track, and now it's neat to see the on-the-track piece pick up, too."(USA Today)(6-13-2012)

  • Logano wins at Pocono: #20-Joey Logano won the Pocono 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway for his 1st win of the year and his 2nd career win.
    #55-Martin finished 2nd followed by #14-Stewart, #48-Johnson, #11-Hamlin, #15-Bowyer, #17-Kenseth, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #27-Menard, and #1-McMurray
    There were 7 cautions for 35 yellow flag laps. The race speed average was 131.004mph. There were 21 lead changes among 10 drivers.
    See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Pocono Race Results page (pdf).(6-10-2012)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • Logano also seeing sports psychologist: Since last season, JGR driver #20-Joey Logano has been seeing sports psychologist Bob Rotella, who also began working with Hamlin last year. "I was against it at first, thinking, 'I don't need a shrink,'" Logano said. "But it's not about that, it's confidence. It's not that you're screwed up in the head. It's not like you're a weirdo. I think it's good for anybody. I have a whole new outlook. I'd recommend it to anybody."(USA Today)(1-24-2012)

  • 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.
    • Todd 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

  • New Crew Chief for Logano: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced that Jason Ratcliff has been named crew chief for its #20 Sprint Cup Series team, replacing Greg Zipadelli who is leaving the organization to pursue an opportunity with Stewart-Haas Racing [Competition Director]. "We appreciate everything Greg has done for us here at Joe Gibbs Racing. He has been a big part of our success, but we felt the timing was right to make this transition for our race team which allows Greg the opportunity to pursue a director of competition position with Tony (Stewart)," said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. "We also felt that the timing was right to bring Jason (Ratcliff) to our Cup operation. He is a proven leader with a tremendous track record in our Nationwide program and we think he and Joey will work well together."
    Ratcliff spent the previous seven years as crew chief for JGR's #18 Nationwide Series team. No team has been better over the past three seasons as the team won two consecutive NASCAR Nationwide Series Owner's Championships in 2009 and 2010. They narrowly missed out on a third consecutive title this past season finishing just a few points off the pace in second. Over the past three seasons JGR's #18 Nationwide Series team has won an incredible 30 races, with 68 top-five, and 85 top-ten finishes. In addition, they have led an astonishing 6,124 laps over that time.
    "I'm excited about the opportunity to join our Cup operation and work with Joey and everyone on the 20 team," said Ratcliff. "There is a great history with this program and we have two of the best sponsors in the sport with The Home Depot and Dollar General. I've had the opportunity to work with Joey a few times now on the Nationwide side so there is a familiarity there, but I'm looking forward to getting started fulltime and working alongside Dave (Rogers) and Darian (Grubb)."
    Zipadelli has been the crew chief for JGR's No. 20 program since the team was formed in 1999. Over the 13-year span he has won 33 total races and two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships with driver Tony Stewart (2002 and 2005). He was also on top of the pit box for Joey Logano's first career victory in 2009 which made him the youngest driver ever to win on the Cup level. Zipadelli is leaving JGR to pursue an opportunity with Stewart-Haas Racing.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(12-16-2011)

  • Zippy back with Stewart? UPDATE 3: hearing that Greg Zipadelli, currently the crew chief for #20-Joe Logano, could be headed to Stewart-Haas Racing in the future. Greg Zipadelli would take over as the crew chief for #14-Tony Stewart, who he won two Sprint Cup titles with [2002, 2005]. Current #14 crew chief, Darian Grubb, would move into Bobby Hutchens old position of director of competition [NOTE: Grubb didn't and left the team and is now at JGR as #11-Hamlin's crew chief]. Hutchens and Stewart-Haas recently parted ways. Hutchins was Stewart-Haas Racing's Director of Competition and Stewart said they are looking for a replacement. Matt Borland was promoted to vice president of competition and is serving as Stewart-Haas Racing's interim director of competition. Stewart said recently that "once that position is filled, the director of competition will report to Matt."(6-21-2011)
    See past denials and news on my #20 Team News page.
    UPDATE 3 - Zipadelli Named Competition Director for Stewart-Haas Racing: Greg Zipadelli, winner of two championships and 34 victories as a crew chief in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been named competition director at Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). He will work with Vice President of Competition Matt Borland and oversee the #14 and #39 teams, while also building the #10 team for which Danica Patrick will run a 10-race Sprint Cup schedule with in 2012. Zipadelli comes to SHR from Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) where he served as crew chief for the #20 team since 1999. It's where the 44-year-old from Berlin, Conn., began a 10-year tenure with Tony Stewart, the co-owner of SHR along with Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation. From 1999 through 2008, Zipadelli was Stewart's crew chief, with the duo winning Sprint Cup titles in 2002 and 2005 while claiming 33 victories and 10 poles. When Stewart left JGR following the 2008 season to form SHR, Zipadelli stayed and spent three years as the crew chief for Joey Logano, where he helped deliver Logano's first career Sprint Cup victory on June 28, 2009 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. "We're very proud to have Greg Zipadelli join Stewart-Haas Racing," said Stewart, the three-time and reigning Sprint Cup champion. "Greg and I have a long and successful history together. I know him and he knows me, and we both know what it takes to build race teams. We took our time in searching for a competition director because it's an important role with a lot of responsibility. Greg knows all that goes into the job, understands the importance of teamwork and communication across all levels of the organization, and is ultimately someone I have a great deal of trust in."
    The addition of Zipadelli to the SHR family is a reunion on two fronts - Stewart, of course, but also with Steve Addington, who spent 2004-2008 at JGR and is now Stewart's crew chief at SHR with the #14 team. (Tony Gibson serves as crew chief for the #39 team and driver Ryan Newman.)
    "Joe Gibbs always says that you win with people, and Tony Stewart is a winner," Zipadelli said. "We won a lot together at Joe Gibbs Racing, and it was a sad day when he left. But Tony had an unbelievable opportunity with Stewart-Haas Racing, and he's obviously made the most of it. To become a part of what he's already built, but to do it in a new role with a new set of responsibilities, was a challenge I wanted. I really appreciate Joe and J.D. Gibbs for all that that they've given me over the years and for allowing me to seize this opportunity."
    Zipadelli's career began humbly. His first job in racing was working on a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour car owned by his uncle at age seven, and by age 14, he was preparing racecars for his family-owned Sherwood Racing Team. By the time he was 20, Zipadelli was a championship-winning crew chief, leading Modified Tour driver Mike McLaughlin to the series title on the heels of five wins and 15 top-five finishes. When McLaughlin moved up to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East with prominent New England car owner Mike Greci, Zipadelli followed and the tandem recorded five wins between 1990 and 1993.
    McLaughlin departed Greci's operation at the end of the 1993 season, but Zipadelli stayed with the team and worked with a handful of drivers in 1994 and 1995. Zipadelli's perseverance paid off in 1996 when driver Mike Stefanik joined the team. While no wins were recorded that year, eight top-five and nine top-10 finishes made way for a championship season in 1997. Stefanik marched to the series title that year riding a wave of consistency with two wins, 14 top-five and 16 top-10 finishes, giving Zipadelli his second NASCAR touring series championship in less than a decade.
    With two championship rings before age 30, Zipadelli headed south in January 1998 to join Roush Fenway Racing's Sprint Cup operation as the chassis specialist for the No. 99 team of then driver Jeff Burton. As Burton won two races, earned 18 top-five and 23 top-10 finishes and finished fifth in points, Zipadelli's talent was noticed. In late 1998 when team owner Joe Gibbs began laying the groundwork for a second team with Stewart behind the wheel, he tabbed Zipadelli to be the No. 20 team's crew chief. Now, after 13 highly successful years at JGR, Zipadelli's career ascension continues with his new role as competition director at SHR.(Stewart-Haas Racing)(12-16-2011)

  • Keselowski, Logano Visit Guantanamo Bay On NASCAR/USO Tour: #2-Brad Keselowski and #20-Joey Logano, brought holiday cheer, smiles and good times to troops and their families on the NASCAR-USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba during their NASCAR-USO visit Dec. 12-14. The tour of Guantanamo Bay was part of an ongoing partnership between NASCAR and the USO to strengthen a connection between the military and motorsports in an effort to help boost the morale of U.S. troops and their families stationed around the world. The partnership also included NASCAR and the USO hosting a group of wounded warriors at the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony in Las Vegas. During the visit, Keselowski and Logano visited hundreds of sailors and coast guardsmen and their families. The pair also dined with troops, visited the U.S. Navy Hospital, signed autographs and patrolled the waters with service members. This was the first USO tour for Keselowski and Logano, who are avid supporters of the military community. Both have visited Walter Reed Army Medical Center, now known as Walter Reed National Medical Center, and spent quality time with wounded warriors.
    "This was a once in a lifetime experience and I am so glad to be a part of it," said Keselowski. "I hope to go back on another USO Tour. After meeting the men and women in Guantanamo Bay, I cannot imagine the sacrifices and experiences they have to go through during their time there. It was an amazing experience and I am so grateful that I was invited to go."
    "It was awesome to learn more about Guantanamo Bay and what the mission is down there and how it works," said Logano. "It was great to meet and talk to the troops, and it was one heck of an experience. We get to see a lot of troops at the race track, but to see them in action and doing their jobs...I am so impressed and have such a high amount of respect for each and every one of them and what they do."
    "NASCAR is honored to work with the USO and be a part of bringing this tour to our men and women in Guantanamo Bay," said NASCAR President Mike Helton. "We hope this tour has lifted the spirits of troops and their families; we are honored to have the opportunity to show our support and show how much our troops mean to NASCAR and its millions of fans around the world."
    "NASCAR and its drivers bring excitement to the track week after week and we are honored to have two of NASCAR's biggest names join us on a USO tour," said USO President Sloan Gibson. "I can't think of a better, more suitable place for this tour to bring a touch of home than to NASCAR fans stationed in Guantanamo Bay."(NASCAR), see quotes on the #2 Team News page.(12-15-2011)

  • Logano & Brad Keselowski to Visit Troops & Families at Guantanamo Bay: #20-Joey Logano and #2-Brad Keselowski, are scheduled to be part of a NASCAR-USO/Armed Forces Entertainment tour to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Dec. 12-14. As part of the NASCAR-USO trip, Logano and Keselowski will share stories of life on the track, sign autographs, pose for photos and spread holiday cheer to hundreds of troops and military families. Logano and Keselowski have participated in charitable races benefiting America's Armed Forces and are avid supporters of the military community. Both drivers have also visited Walter Reed Army Medical Center, now known as Walter Reed National Medical Center, and spent quality time with wounded warriors. This tour of Guantanamo Bay is part of an ongoing partnership between NASCAR and the USO to strengthen a connection to the military and help boost the morale of U.S. troops and their families stationed around the world.
    Joey Logano: "I jump at every chance I get to show my appreciation to our nation's Armed Forces and I look forward to my upcoming USO trip to Guantanamo Bay. Our service men and women and their families are doing an amazing job."
    Brad Keselowski: "Traveling with the USO and getting the chance to spend time with our troops is something I wish everyone could do. To see what they do day-in and day-out and hear their stories is an opportunity of a lifetime and something I will never forget."(NASCAR)(12-10-2011)

  • Zipadelli unable to get release from Gibbs? Darian Grubb's future with the Stewart-Haas, if any is unknown, although the Competition Director position remains unfilled. Greg Zipadelli [crew chief for #20-Joey Logano], according to several sources has been the frontrunner for that job but has been unable to secure a release from his Joe Gibbs Racing contract. Signed through 2012, those sources say the former crew chief for Stewart and current head wrench for Joey Logano has met with strong internal opposition from J.D. Gibbs to secure his release.(Frontstretch)(11-28-2011)

  • Interstate Batteries on the #20 at Martinsville: Joey Logano was less than a year old when Interstate Batteries Chairman Norm Miller and Joe Gibbs Racing kicked off what has grown to become one of the longest-running and most successful partnerships in all of NASCAR back in 1991. As Interstate and JGR celebrate their 20th anniversary together in 2011, perhaps it's only fitting that the familiar green, white and black paint scheme first made famous by legendary driving greats Dale Jarrett and Bobby Labonte on JGR's #18 racecars finally adorns JGR's #20 racing machine for the first time in Sprint Cup Series competition before season's end. While Logano's JGR teammate Kyle Busch and his #18 Toyota Camry have carried the flag for Interstate during the last four Sprint Cup Series seasons, it'll be Logano's turn to represent the longtime JGR sponsor for the first time during Sunday's TUMS Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway behind the wheel of the #20 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry.(TrueSpeed Communications)(10-27-2011)

  • "Man vs. Food Nation" NASCAR episode: The "Man vs. Food Nation" episode filmed at Sticky Lips in Rochester will air on October 19 at 9 pm/et. The show, hosted by Adam Richman, is aired on the Travel Channel. It features Richman across the country, visiting local restaurants and then taking on a challenge at one of the restaurants. The October 19 show will be a NASCAR episode. Richman will coach #20-Joey Logano through a food competition of his own following the big race at Watkins Glen International. Logano will take on the "Atomic Bomb Challenge" at Sticky Lips which includes a three-pound bacon double cheeseburger loaded with pulled pork and meaty hot sauce over an additional pound of fries.(WHEC-TV)(10-19-2011)

  • JGR expects Zipadelli to stay: J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing, says his organization has had "conversations" about the future role of Greg Zipadelli but that a change in his role as crew chief for driver Joey Logano "has not come up." "We've had those conversations. But I think right now, the 20 car needs to run well. That makes it a lot easier across the board." Gibbs said he expects the Logano-Zipadelli combination to remain intact. "We don't have a crystal ball, but that's kind of what our agreement is," Gibbs said.(Scene Daily)(10-15-2011)

  • 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)

  • 5-Hour Energy to the #33? Home Depot to the #99? Clint Bowyer would like nothing more than to extend his contract with Richard Childress Racing but despite both the driver and owner publicly admitting their desire to remain together, nothing has been announced. The reported hold-up is around finding necessary sponsorship for the RCR #33 entry, which will lose General Mills at the end of this season. Current Steven Wallace Nationwide Series sponsor 5-Hour Energy continues to be in the mix as a potential replacement but right now there is no agreement.
    AND: Aflac is expected back in a limited role but the Michigan garage area was rampant with rumors Home Depot, who reportedly coveted having Edwards as its spokesperson had me made the move to Joe Gibbs Racing, might find its way to the #99 car. The home improvement giant has been a staple of the JGR sponsor stable for years, dating back to its two Sprint Cup championships with Tony Stewart. However since Joey Logano took over the ride from the departed Stewart, the struggling performance level for the young driver has forced Home Depot management to watch arch rival Lowes grab the spotlight for five years running with Jimmie Johnson's title runs.(CBS Sports)(8-25-2011)

  • Bowyer talking to other teams: #33-Clint Bowyer is seriously considering offers from one or more Sprint Cup teams to leave Richard Childress Racing -- his home since making his series debut in 2005 -- following the 2011 season. Bowyer talked openly of his desire to remain at RCR earlier this season, but negotiations have dragged and, according to multiple sources, deteriorated. "They are at loggerheads right now," a source said. Discussions between Bowyer and team owner Richard Childress have been complicated by the lack of a primary sponsor for the #33 Chevrolet. For the past three seasons General Mills brands Cheerios and Hamburger Helper have been that sponsor. Childress had expressed confidence that General Mills would return a month ago, but it's now believed the company is looking at other options. With #99-Carl Edwards off the market, Bowyer is the top free agent available. In addition to Childress, Richard Petty Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing are said to be interested in hiring Bowyer.
    Petty has been pursuing Bowyer for several months in an attempt to expand to a three-car operation. Chief operating officer Robbie Loomis has been diligently working to put together a package for Bowyer that includes a Ford-backed deal similar to the Wood Brothers. Petty buys chassis from Roush Fenway and leases engines from Roush-Yates and the equipment may be attractive to Bowyer.
    Waltrip also would like to expand to three cars and may have some support from Toyota to acquire Bowyer.
    David Ragan seemed safe at Roush Fenway after his win at Daytona in July. It put him in the Chase, but he's since fallen out. Ragan, 23rd in points, needs a second victory to make the Chase. He's under contract to Roush Fenway for next season, but the team could move him to Petty and sign Bowyer.
    Gibbs president J.D. Gibbs has said that a fourth car for next season was a "long shot." Its earlier attempt to sign Edwards was financially backed by Toyota. The manufacturer would have to spend less money to land Bowyer, but it certainly could outbid the other offers.
    Childress should not be counted out. He has shown the ability to be resourceful in retaining drivers and finding sponsors. Negotiations between Bowyer and Childress are at a critical stage and the atmosphere isn't healthy. The overall situation regarding Bowyer's next contract is said to be "sensitive." Bowyer probably would like to make a decision as soon as possible to remove the uncertainty and distraction that comes with it. He'd much rather focus on making the Chase than worry about whom he'll be driving for next year.(Sports Illustrated)(8-19-2011)

  • 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)

  • Logano in Man v. Food Nation Challenge: Giving a whole new meaning to "pulling double duty," Joey Logano will recover from 220.5 grueling miles of road course racing at Watkins Glen International on Sunday by taking a food challenge on Monday in New York for an upcoming episode of Travel Channel's Man v. Food Nation. Logano is looking forward to meeting host Adam Richman and partaking in the food challenge. Richman, who has crisscrossed the country taking on various food challenges the last three years, will serve as the Grand Marshal for Sunday's Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen and will be cheering Logano on throughout Monday's shoot. Logano will learn details of the challenge shortly before the shoot on Monday and his fans can see the NASCAR edition of Man v. Food Nation on Oct. 19 at 9 p.m. ET on Travel Channel.(NASCAR PR)(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)

  • NAPA to JGR? denied: Several sources have mentioned Joey Logano moving to a fourth JGR car sponsored by NAPA, the current sponsor on the #56 Toyota. When asked about NAPA's future relationship with Michael Waltrip Racing, a team principal said the contract runs through 2012 and NAPA is committed to that agreement.(FoxSports)(7-31-2011)

  • Gibbs courting Edwards? UPDATES Ford steps in to help offer to Edwards: am hearing that Carl Edwards, currently the driver of the #99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, is being courted by Joe Gibbs Racing to take over the #20 Home Depot Toyota ride. Where would that leave current #20 driver, Joey Logano, to the long rumored 4th Joe Gibbs car, no word on who would be the sponsor, if it happens.(6-17-2011)
    UPDATES see past updates and notes on the Edwards news and rumors on the #99 Team News and Links page.
    Another UPDATE: #99-Carl Edwards is staying focused on winning a championship despite widespread speculation that he is leaving Roush Fenway Racing for Joe Gibbs Racing after this season. Edwards would not comment Friday on whether he has made a decision, but he was adamant that it will not hurt his chances of winning the title regardless. "I feel like no matter what happens we have a great thing going," said Edwards, who has a seven-point lead over five-time defending champion Jimmie Johnson heading into Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "Jack Roush and Ford and Aflac, that is our mission right now -- to win the championship. That is all of our goals. Whatever happens, happens. But I believe that is reasonable to believe that could happen no matter what." Speculation that Edwards was headed for JGR to drive the #20 Home Depot car currently driven by Joey Logano, with Aflac following him to JGR, intensified two weeks ago at New Hampshire. Logano and crew chief Greg Zipadelli told ESPN.com that they have been given no indication that their status for next season will change. Logano said the rumors haven't been a distraction for him and his team. "If anything it is making my team work harder," Logano said. "It's making us come together more as a team. It's good. The last few weeks it's paid off. The last four weeks we have scored more points than anybody. All I've heard is rumors. No one has told me anything." Edwards would not give a timetable for making an announcement, although sources say it has to be soon so plans for next season can get under way. When asked if he had made a decision, Edwards said, "I'd just rather not say. We're working hard on the contract stuff. I've heard a lot of different ideas out there. The story remains the same -- I'm going to make a decision that is the best one I can make. I'm going to do that outside the media. Right now I have a signed contract, and that is the contract I signed in 2008 to race for Jack in '09, '10 and '11. So that is my mission. That's what I'm going to honor."(ESPN). .(7-29-2011)
    More on Edwards - Ford steps in: Ford Racing has gone to what officials call unprecedented measures to help Roush Fenway Racing keep #99-Carl Edwards from going to the Toyota team of Joe Gibbs Racing. "We've helped out with an offer we have never done before for another driver,'' said Kevin Kennedy, the director of Ford Racing communication, before Saturday's qualifying for the Brickyard 400. "It was important enough for us that we were trying to make it unprecedented.'' Kennedy would not give specifics into what Ford has offered other than to say top executives in the organization have been closely involved with RFR in negotiations. "If he's around, it's something that will help him in terms of continuing to promote Ford products,'' Kennedy said of Edwards, who has become the face of Ford Racing. "We've been in racing for 110 years and I don't think we've ever done this before.'' Steve Newmark, the president of RFR, acknowledged that Ford has gone above and beyond to help keep Edwards in the fold. Newmark added that the total package offered to this year's top free agent shows just how important officials believe he is to the future of the organization and manufacturer. "I hope everybody understands Roush Fenway is very intent on signing Carl,'' Newmark said. "We understand he is trying to make a decision that is best for his future.'' Edwards declined on Friday to say whether he has made a decision amidst speculation he is headed for JGR to drive the #20 currently occupied by Joey Logano with Home Depot and Aflac as his sponsors. Newmark and Kennedy said Edwards has told them no decision has been made. Newmark added that no ultimatum or deadline for a decision will be made even though RFR wants it done sooner rather than later to prepare for next year. Sources said Edwards could earn more than $40 million over three years. Newmark said money hasn't been a major factor in RFR's negotiations. Should Edwards leave, Newmark said the replacement likely would come from in house with developmental drivers Trevor Bayne or Ricky Stenhouse Jr. He said no driver outside the organization has been contacted.(ESPN)(7-30-2011)
    DONE DEAL? Edwards says the only contract he's signed was his last one with Jack Roush three years ago. Whether there's a current contract or not, the latest scuttlebutt has Edwards driving the #20 Home Depot Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2012 for a staggering amount of money -- $8 million as a base, plus a $10 million signing bonus.(FoxSports)(7-31-2011)

  • Congrats: to John and Sara Royer, on the birth of their son, Mason William Royer. Mason was born at 12:22am/et on 7/28/2011 weighing in at 6lbs 12oz and was 19 3/4 inches long. John works at Joe Gibbs Racing changing tires for #20-Joey Logano #20 and Sara is an NASCAR Official.(7-30-2011)

  • Gibbs courting Edwards? UPDATES: am hearing that Carl Edwards, currently the driver of the #99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, is being courted by Joe Gibbs Racing to take over the #20 Home Depot Toyota ride. Where would that leave current #20 driver, Joey Logano, to the long rumored 4th Joe Gibbs car, no word on who would be the sponsor, if it happens.(6-17-2011)
    UPDATE: Ford and Roush Fenway Racing are feeling a sense of urgency to re-sign Carl Edwards. For the last month, Edwards has been rumored to be headed to Joe Gibbs Racing. Earlier this season, JGR president J.D. Gibbs acknowledged that the organization would be interested in talking to Edwards if sponsorship could be acquired for a fourth team. Roush Fenway Racing president Steve Newman called the Edwards' negotiation "a slow and steady process." Both Roush and Ford have worked diligently to entice Edwards to remain in the blue-oval camp but are starting to feel the pressure from Toyota. "We have constant conversations with Carl," Newmark said. "I still remain cautiously optimistic that we'll get something done, but as we've talked about before, the process that we're going through, we want to make sure that we have everything in order going forward and Carl's main focus is on making sure he's going to a place where he can win championships. Newmark understands that Edwards is shopping the market and "has no issue with him engaging in discussions." Now the challenge for Roush comes in offering the most competitive package for Edwards and his future. At the same time, Newmark has the challenge of locking up Roush sponsors Aflac, UPS and Crown Royal. Newmark locked down both 3M and Greg Biffle for a multi-year deal in April. Newmark is not actively seeking a replacement for Edwards -- yet. With Trevor Bayne and Ricky Stenhouse in the pipeline, there's really no need to.(Fox Sports)(6-19-2011)
    UPDATE 2: #99-Carl Edwards on Friday again declined comment on his contract status, as he has throughout the year. Edwards is in the final year of his contract with Roush Fenway Racing, and the team is also negotiating contract extensions with all of its primary sponsors except 3M, which has signed a multi-year deal to remain with the team and Greg Biffle. "As far as my contract status, it is the same as the beginning of the year," Edwards said Friday morning at Infineon Raceway. "We are working hard on it and we do all that stuff behind closed doors. We are making progress and hopefully we will be able to tell you guys what my plan is soon." Asked about the oft-repeated rumors that he would go to Joe Gibbs Racing next year to replace Joey Logano, Edwards added, "I have heard rumors about all different teams for the last two years. The thing I am going to do is keep working on it and working on it privately. I think that is the best way for me."(SPEED)(6-25-2011)
    UPDATE 3: Speculation about #99-Carl Edwards raged through in the NASCAR garage throughout the weekend, with unconfirmed reports that the stock car racing star - now back atop the Sprint Cup standings after Sunday's New Hampshire 301 - could definitely be heading to the Joe Gibbs Toyota operation next season and leaving Jack Roush's Ford operation. No one would say much at all on the record about the Edwards situation. However, it appears something is changing, or has changed. Just what, if anything, isn't clear. And yet still there was little more than more silence Sunday. No one involved was leaping into deny or confirm anything. Part of the speculation involves sponsorship possibilities. Edwards is considered one of the sport's most attractive drivers from a sponsor's viewpoint. And it is believed that part of the driving factor in the Edwards-Gibbs possibility could be Home Depot, the home improvement giant which has 'lost' five straight NASCAR championships to arch-rival Lowe's and #48-Jimmie Johnson.(MikeMulhern.net)(7-18-2011)
    UPDATE 4: Interviewed on ESPN's NASCAR Now on Monday, Edwards said he has not made a decision on where to drive next year and he continues to want to keep contract negotiations private.(7-18-2011)

  • 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)

  • Zippy back with Stewart? DENIED UPDATE 2: hearing that Greg Zipadelli, currently the crew chief for #20-Joe Logano, could be headed to Stewart-Haas Racing in the future. Greg Zipadelli would take over as the crew chief for #14-Tony Stewart, who he won two Sprint Cup titles with [2002, 2005]. Current #14 crew chief, Darian Grubb, would move into Bobby Hutchens old position of director of competition. Hutchens and Stewart-Haas recently parted ways. Hutchins was Stewart-Haas Racing's Director of Competition and Stewart said they are looking for a replacement. Matt Borland was promoted to vice president of competition and is serving as Stewart-Haas Racing's interim director of competition. Stewart said recently that "once that position is filled, the director of competition will report to Matt."(6-21-2011)
    UPDATE: There was a published report this week that Greg Zipadelli, Stewart's long-time crew chief at Joe Gibbs Racing, might move to Stewart-Haas and Stewart's crew chief, Darian Grubb, would become the team's director of competition. "I laughed when I saw that," Stewart said. "It's not the first time I've read something that's not true."(Sports Illustrated)(6-22-2011)
    UPDATE 2: A rough start to a season that began with high expectations has Greg Zipadelli admittedly unhappy right now. But the crew chief downplayed speculation that he's so upset with how Joey Logano has been running he's considering reuniting with Tony Stewart. Zipadelli won 33 races and two titles with Stewart, but stayed at Joe Gibbs Racing when the driver left to own a team. Now that Stewart is seeking a director of competition -- he fired Bobby Hutchens earlier this month -- there's been talk that Zipadelli could move to Stewart-Haas Racing in some capacity. But Zipadelli said he's got two years left on his contract with JGR, and no immediate plans to leave the organization. "I love Tony, he's as close to me as my brother," Zipadelli said. "But that doesn't mean anything. I love the organization I work for, they've been very positive and very supportive for over 13 years. I learned a long time ago to never say never in this sport about anything." Stewart, while not speaking specifically about Zipadelli, said SHR isn't close to hiring a new competition director. "We haven't got anywhere yet. We are still looking at our options," he said. "It would be nice to have a person in that position. We definitely want to get that role filled. At the same time, we want to make sure just like we did when we hired Bobby, we want to make sure we're hiring the right person. So we'll take our time on it."(Associated Press)(6-29-2011)

  • 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)

  • Logano helps out folks in Joplin MO: from the JGR Facebook: #20-Joey Logano and the The Home Depot Foundation crew visited Joplin, MO today to help rebuild the house of a family in need after the terrible tornado destroyed much of the city. It was an incredible experience. The attached picture is a semi truck that was wrapped around a tree by the twister. Click "Like" to remind people to keep Joplin in their prayers and consider donations. More pics & story there soon!(6-15-2011)

  • Drivers complete tire test at Kentucky: #16-Greg Biffle, #29-Kevin Harvick, #2-Brad Keselowski, #38-Travis Kvapil, #20-Joey Logano, #5-Mark Martin and #00-David Reutimann became acquainted with the race conditions at Kentucky Speedway Wednesday during a Goodyear tire test held just 36 days before the 107,000-seat venue makes its Sprint Cup Series debut with the July 9 "Quaker State 400." Biffle was pleased with his #16 3M Ford's setup off the hauler and the performance of the Goodyear tire compound. "We brought notes from Chicago, Kansas and basic mile-and-a-half racetracks, then, from what we did here before. We looked at all of that and picked out of a basket as to where to start. We hit it on the nailhead right out of the garage. We haven't made a lot of changes and we're running the same speed as all the guys. The track is taking rubber perfect. It's turning color and you can see the groove coming in. When we're through, you'll be able to stand in the grandstands and see the distinct black line around the racetrack where the cars are running," Biffle said. Joe Gibbs Racing's Logano, the only driver to reel off three consecutive NNS pole awards and 300-mile race victories at the track, also gave the tire compound solid reviews. "Goodyear brought one tire here, basically reassuring themselves that this is the tire they want. They've never had tire issues here before with the Nationwide Series, so I don't see this one being a problem. The tire isn't putting too much rubber down and I feel like it has decent grip."(Kentucky Speedway PR)(6-2-2011)

  • Home Depot team carrying decal for Joplin, MO store: The Home Depot Team will begin carrying a special decal this weekend on the C-Post of the #20 Toyota Camry honoring store #3023 that was not only destroyed by the tornado that devastated Joplin, Mo., but lost one of its associates. The decal which states, "In Our Hearts Store 3023 Joplin Mo" will be present on the car for the next four race weekends as well as the team's firesuits and hats. The Home Depot has committed to rebuild the store on its current location, has donated over $1 million in disaster relief for the area and its internal charity The Homer Fund is providing grants to associates who were affected by the storm.(Elevation Group PR)(6-1-2011)

  • Crew chief swap at Gibbs? UPDATE 2 - DENIED: supposedly a crew chief swap has been discussed and is imminent between the #11 and #20 Joe Gibbs Racing teams. The swap would send #11-Denny Hamlin's crew chief Mike Ford to #20-Joey Logano with Logano's crew chief Greg Zippadelli to the #11 garage.
    2011 has been a dismal year for Hamlin having scored just one top-10 finish through the first eight-races of the season. Logano is 66-points out of a playoff spot in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup. Expect to see the change within the next few weeks if not sooner.(Captain Thunder)(4-27-2011)
    UPDATE: JGR spokesman says that reports of crew chief shuffle for Hamlin and Logano are false.(Bob Pockrass/SceneDaily Twitter)(4-28-2011)
    UPDATE 2: Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin said rumors of a potential Joe Gibbs Racing crew-chief swap for them are not true. Both drivers, speaking Thursday before the Denny Hamlin Foundation Short-Track Showdown at Richmond International Raceway, virtually laughed when asked about the rumors. Hamlin said he talked to team owner Joe Gibbs about the rumors Wednesday. Hamlin has worked with crew chief Mike Ford for his entire Sprint Cup Series career, which started with a handful of races in 2005. "It was news to me," Hamlin said. "The Coach [Gibbs] called me as soon as he saw it and I was like, 'Maybe I should be part of this decision.' "And he was like, 'There is no decision.' Mike is my guy. He will always be my guy." A JGR spokesman also denied that any swap was planned.(SceneDaily)(4-29-2011)

  • Drivers to star in A&E's "The Glades": On April 11-12, Homestead-Miami Speedway hosted Arts & Entertainment Television Network for filming of its police-drama "The Glades" and the episode will air later this summer. A cast and crew of more than 250 turned Homestead-Miami Speedway into an outdoor TV studio for a taping of "The Glades" second season. Homestead-Miami Speedway played itself as the host of NASCAR's series-crowning finales during Ford Championship Weekend featuring Carl Edwards, Tony Stewart, Brian Vickers and Joey Logano. The garage area and the 1.5 mile Homestead-Miami Speedway functioned as a movie set for this summer's "Moonlighting" episode. A&E Network summarizes its TV hit this way: "THE GLADES" is a one-hour drama featuring actor Matt Passmore who plays "Jim Longworth," a sly Chicago cop who relocates to a slower-paced small town in Florida where the sun shines, the golf is plentiful, and the crime less ubiquitous, so he thinks. In this episode, when Longworth investigates a NASCAR-related murder, he goes head to head with NASCAR's top drivers, and takes a few laps around the track.(HMS)(4-14-2011)

  • 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)

  • 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)

2010 News

  • Gamestop scheme for Logano? UPDATEs Images: hearing that #20-Joe Logano could run a Game Stop scheme in a future Sprint Cup Series race, possible Martinsville in October. Game Stop is a sponsor for Logano in the Nationwide Series.(9-7-2010)
    UPDATE: GameStop announced today it will partner with Joe Gibbs Racing to sponsor the #20 Toyota Camry for the Oct. 24 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Martinsville Speedway. The Tums Fast Relief 500 will be the first foray into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the Grapevine, Texas-based video game retailer. GameStop has sponsored Logano in the NASCAR Nationwide Series since the 20-year-old made his much-anticipated debut in the series in 2008 and has been Logano's primary sponsor for each of his seven-career Nationwide Series victories, including the most recent at Kentucky Speedway in June. "It's awesome to see GameStop make their Sprint Cup sponsorship debut riding along with me at a track like Martinsville," said Logano, who finished a season-best second-place in the Sprint Cup Series event at Martinsville earlier this year. "GameStop has been a great company to work with, and they've been with me since I came into the big leagues of NASCAR in 2008. I'm excited to have the chance to improve on our finish from earlier this year and get GameStop into Victory Lane in the Cup Series."
    GameStop has taken a unique approach to their Nationwide Series sponsorship with Joe Gibbs Racing, Since 2008, the #20 GameStop Toyota has featured more than 35 different paint schemes promoting a number of popular video games, gaming systems and gaming accessories. The paint scheme for the Martinsville Speedway car will be unveiled at the track on race weekend. "Our GameStop car always turns heads when it gets unloaded at the track. Whatever paint scheme they come up with for Martinsville will be really cool looking," added Logano. "One of the best things about having GameStop as a sponsor is the uniqueness they bring to the sport. Their stuff draws fans into the sport. I mean, who doesn't like video games and race cars? So this will be a special weekend for all of the GameStop employees and fans out there. I'm looking forward to it." The GameStop sponsorship is a one-race deal for Martinsville only. Home Depot, Logano's primary sponsor in the Sprint Cup Series, will return to sponsor the car for the remainder of the 2010 season.(GameStop Racing)(9-12-2010)
    UPDATE 2: The #20 GameStop Toyota will feature the look of the PowerUp Rewards program this weekend in Martinsville. The PowerUp Rewards program rewards the most passionate of GameStop gamers by offering savings on purchases while also providing members-only specials, discounts and news emailed directly to users. GameStop District 211 in Columbus, OH, will be the featured on the c-post of the #20 GameStop Toyota this weekend in Martinsville. District 211 has been instrumental in the nation-wide rollout of PowerUp Rewards.
    IMAGEs: see images of the scheme on my #20 Team Schemes Page.(10-20-2010)

  • Home Depot & NMPA team up again: The Home Depot and the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) will once again team up in 2010 to present the Home Depot NMPA Humanitarian Award. This is the fourth year the award is being presented and the winner of the award will be announced during the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brother Awards luncheon in Las Vegas. The award recognizes an individual in the NASCAR community that has displayed a dedication to helping others and improving communities through their service and giving. The winner will receive a $100,000 cash donation made by The Home Depot to the recipient's charity of choice and a specially-designed crystal award. Two finalists will each receive $25,000 cash donations to their designated non-profit organizations.(JGR)(9-7-2010)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • Logano's father warned: The father of Sprint Cup driver Joey Logano will not have his NASCAR credential pulled for the second time in a year after being called to the hauler for his behavior following Sunday's race at Pocono Raceway. But Tom Logano was told strongly by NASCAR officials that he crossed the line when he allegedly shoved a television broadcaster out of the way -- an allegation he disputes -- while his 20-year-old son tried to get to Sprint Cup Series points leader Kevin Harvick on pit road. "You can't deny the fact of a passionate parent," series director John Darby said after the race. "You have to appreciate it, but there has to be line in the sand as to how far that passion can go." The younger Logano was angry that Harvick spun him racing for a top 5 finish with less than two laps left in regulation. He parked his car next to Harvick's on pit road after the race and attempted to get to the Richard Childress Racing driver. "All of our competitors are licensed to compete," Darby said. "They're given permission in sorts to not only to be the athletes but to display the emotions of competition during, after, before or whatever. And that's all fine. Parents aren't really licensed or quite frankly have the permission to step in and get involved in this thing. Mr. Logano, he did what he could to restrain himself. I guess at the last he wound up interfering with one of our television broadcasters and that's not the right thing to do."
    During the heated affair, according to Darby, Tom Logano pushed a television broadcaster. But Logano said that wasn't what happened. "What happened with what Darby said, and what they talked to me about, was after Joey was done and he was walking away," Logano said Monday. "His business manager wasn't with him, so I just wanted to walk with Joey. I brushed past one of the newscasters. I didn't grab him. I didn't shove him. I just wanted to get to Joey. I didn't know if it was a radio guy or TV guy or what. And he said they didn't appreciate it. I didn't grab him or push him. They had it on video. It wasn't a big deal."
    The elder Logano had his annual NASCAR credential pulled in October for a gesture made at Greg Biffle following his son's victory in the Nationwide race at California. It was more an inconvenience than punishment, because he was allowed to stand in line and get a paper credential for subsequent events.
    On Monday, Tom Logano said when the incident began, he initially was trying to clear the way for his son to confront Harvick. "I pushed one of the Gibbs guys away to let Joey go handle his own problems," he said. "I wasn't going after Harvick."(ESPN.com)(6-8-2010)

  • Logano vs. Harvick, some notes: #29-Kevin Harvick and #20-Joey Logano got together on the track a few laps from the finish, Logano came down entering turn 3 and Harvick didn't follow but held his ground, the #29 right front touched the #20-left rear, sending the #20 in a long slide, just missing the outside wall. Harvick finished 4th and Logano was able to hold on and finished 13th. On pit road, Logano drove up to where Harvick's car was parked, a crew member tried to hold Logano back while his father grabbed Logano and encouraged him to confront Harvick. Logano could not get near Harvick as the #29 crew members blocked the way. Logano said a few things and was ushered away. Moments later he was interviewed by TNT and said "It's disappointing to be honest with you, we had a top-five run going with the Home Depot Toyota. I was pretty pumped up about it. Racing the 29 (Kevin Harvick) and he let me go in the middle of the straightaway and then decided to dump me in the next turn. I don't know what his problem is with me but it's probably not his fault. His wife wears the fire suit in the family and tells him what to do. It's probably not his fault." What will it take to cool this feud down? "I don't know. I'm going to go to the NASCAR hauler and I guess they are going to tell me what I'm supposed to do. We will just have to see." What did Coach Gibbs and J.D. Gibbs say to you? "They just said to calm down, you know we finished 13th. We rallied back from 30th in two laps so at least we got something out of it. Not a top-five like we should have finished, but it is what it is. I don't know what I ever did to (piss) him off, but he is apparently stupid." -more- (Toyota NSCS Pocono Post-Race Notes)
    Harvick's comment "We had a great day, today. I just got into turn three and we just wound up getting together (with the 20). It was just two cars going for the same space at one time. I just need to thank everybody on my Shell-Pennzoil Chevy, they did a great job today and we had a solid car. I kind of got stuck back there in the middle of the pack with the pit strategy but, all-in-all, our car was good all day and worked out for a top five."(RCR)
    AND Harvick called the incident "a 20-year-old move" and added, "he just races without giving people any respect and not much room. So, we just wound up getting together. It's unfortunate, but that's the way it goes."(FoxSports)
    Harvick responded on Twitter, "After his TV comment I don't know if he wants to fight me or [DeLana]. My money's on her!"
    AND Harvick's crew chief Gil Martin claimed Logano sped toward Harvick's pit box and nearly slammed into several crew members before coming to a stop.(Associated Press) Logano went to speak to Sprint Cup series officials after the race and left without further comment. Harvick was not called to the hauler.(6-7-2010)

  • Captains of Gold-Medal Winning USA Paralympic Sled Hockey Team to be Joey Logano's Guests During All-Star Weekend: Being in the spotlight and treated like a star is nothing new for Joey Logano. When you are the defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year and a public figure, it comes with the territory. So Joey Logano hopes that he'll be able to give that "star" experience to another group of people; a group he feels much more deserving of the honor than himself. Logano will host three members of the gold-medal winning 2010 USA Paralympic Sled Hockey team during the NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 22nd. The team members - Steve Cash (Goaltender), Taylor Lipsett (Forward) and Jimmy Connelly (Defenseman) - will be guests of Joey for the entire weekend and will hang out with the team and Joey during one of the highlight nights of the Sprint Cup season. The three team members will also be Joey's special guests at the Joey Logano Fan day on Sunday, May 23rd, at the Extreme Ice Center in Indian Trail, NC.
    Logano has a special place in his heart for the Paralympic Sled Hockey team. Logano teamed up with the Extreme Ice Center back in late 2009 to start on a project to design, develop, build and donate new sleds for the US Paralympic team in hopes of helping the team come one step closer to achieving their goals and winning gold at the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. The team used the new sleds in March during the Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, BC, Canada and won the gold medal, winning all five of their games and outscoring opponents 19-0. The U.S. team defeated South Korea, Czech Republic, Japan (twice) and Norway en route to the gold.
    "These guys are just inspiring," said Logano, who has a guaranteed starting spot in the All-Star event following his win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last season. "I really wish we could have the whole team here, but to just have some of the guys represented is a great honor for me. They put their heart and soul into the game of hockey and it showed when they won the gold medal. I figured bringing them down to experience the All-Star weekend would be a cool experience for them. And it's a great way to just say thanks to a group of guys who don't get the attention that the regular Olympians do, but who are far more inspiring. I can't wait to show them around and let them see what it is like on the racing side of things. From what I've heard, the guys are real excited to come experience it all and it will be my pleasure to have them as my guests for the weekend."
    Cash, one of three team captains, led the charge for the gold in Vancouver. The goalie made 33 saves and didn't allow a single goal during the US team's march to first place. A St. Louis, MO-native, Cash was diagnosed with osterosarcoma (bone cancer) of the right knee in October 1992 and underwent amputation surgery at the age of three. Cash was named the 2009 United States Olympic Committee Paralympic SportsMan of the Year.
    Lipsett, another team captain who hails from Mesquite, Texas, scored five goals and two assists during the Winter Games as a Forward. Lipsett, who suffers from a genetic bone disorder called osteogenesis imperfecta (sometimes known as "brittle bone disease"), works for Bank of America's Private Wealth Management Division and would like to specialize in wealth management for athletes.
    Connelly is a Defenseman who resides in Galloway, N.J. Connelly was born with spina bifida, a birth defect caused by the incomplete formation of vertebrae. He is currently attending The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and is pursuing a degree in criminal justice.
    "We've watched and followed these guys ever since they got their new sleds and they have done nothing but impress us with their tenacity," said Mike Mulhall, General Manager of the Indian Trail, NC-based Extreme Ice Center, who spearheaded the project from the start. "These guys put a lot of time and effort into doing what they do and representing the United States. So, hopefully bringing them into town and letting them experience a little NASCAR flavor will be something that will stick with them. And, it will be the Ice Center and the Logano's way of just saying thanks."(2 Dudes Designs)(5-18-2010)

  • 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)

  • Logano wins Toyota All-Star Showdown:Joey Logano got his second NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown trophy and Sergio Pena nearly made a historic debut on the national stage. Logano, 19, held off the 16-year-old Pena and two-time race winner Matt Kobyluck for the victory in the 225-lap race Saturday before a sold-out crowd at the Toyota Speedway at Irwindale. It was Pena's first career race in NASCAR's top developmental series and it came in the non-points, postseason event, which has earned the moniker the "Daytona 500 of short-track racing." Logano made his mark by winning as a 17-year-old rookie in the 2007 edition; Pena, who only has one year of Late Model racing on his resume, nearly out-did that. Logano wound up leading a race-high 171 laps. Pena led the other 54 and they swapped the lead five times. Following Logano, Pena and Kobyluck across the line was Matt DiBenedetto and Andrew Myers. Eric Holmes, David Mayhew, Eddie MacDonald, Paulie Harraka and Steve Park rounded out the top 10. Reigning NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Champion Jason Bowles finished 11th while K&N Pro Series East 2009 titlist Ryan Truex was relegated to 26th after a late-race accident.(NASCAR)(1-31-2010)

  • 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)

  • Logano Wins At Bobsled Challenge: The Fifth Annual Lucas Oil Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge presented by Whelen Engineering concluded on Sunday with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Joey Logano a winner. Logano defeated Melanie Troxel from the NHRA in Sunday's Race 2 finals, which pitted the fastest NASCAR representative against the fastest from the NHRA. Logano's run of 49.81 seconds edged the 50.08 of Troxel, who was the champion of Race 1 earlier in the day. "I'm happy with my time, and it makes it a ton of fun to finally get a win," Logano said. "This is a blast." A three-year participant in the Bodine Bobsled Challenge, Sunday's Race 2 overall win was the first in a bobsled for Logano. Logano recorded the second-fastest time, just behind NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Todd Bodine, during the first round of competition against his fellow NASCAR competitors, and advanced to the semifinals in the head-to-head portion of the racing with a win against part-time driver and ESPN NASCAR analyst Boris Said. Logano then defeated Bodine in the semifinals to earn a match-up with Troxel. Troxel made it to the finals of Race 2 by recording the fastest time among her NHRA competitors in the first round, then defeated Morgan Lucas in the semifinals. Earlier in the day the event's 10 participants competed in Race 1, which determined an overall winner based on the combined time of two runs. Troxel took top honors with a composite time of 1:39.33 to just edge fellow NHRA representative Jeg Coughlin Jr. at 1:39.40. Said was third overall, and fastest among the NASCAR drivers at 1:39.69. Bodine was fourth at 1:39.82. Said recorded the fastest single run of any competitor on Sunday, a trip of 49.21 seconds during the first round of Race 1. The Bodine Bobsled Challenge was held on Mount Van Hovenburg in rural Lake Placid, site of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, and the 2009 World Bobsled Championships. The event is geared to create awareness and greater funding for the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, Inc., which provides made-in-America bobsleds for the United States men's and women's national teams. Action from the Bobsled Challenge is scheduled to air on SPEED on Jan. 24 and Jan. 31 (NASCAR), more info and TV Times on my Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge page.(1-11-2010)

2009 News

  • Looks like Farm Bureau Insurance sponsorship is done: in a recent newsletter from Farm Bureau Insurance, it was posted: As the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup season comes to a close, so does Farm Bureau Insurance's sponsorship relationship with Joe Gibbs Racing. We want to thank Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano and David Gilliland, and all of our loyal fans and customers for your support. Sponsoring a JGR car in six races: Darlington, Atlanta (2nd), Charlotte (2nd), Martinsville (2nd), Texas (2nd) and Homestead. Once again, all of us at Farm Bureau Insurance would like to thank our fans. It was great seeing you at the track, and it has been a truly rewarding experience working with the professional and dedicated team at Joe Gibbs Racing in both the 2008 and 2009 sponsorships of the NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Sprint Cup series. This will be the last corespondence from Farm Bureau Insurance Racing.(farmbureauinsuranceracing.com)(12-10-2009)

  • 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)

  • Final Rookie News and Notes: #20-Joey Logano is the 2009 Raybestos Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Logano captured top rookie honors 26 times in 36 races and officially claimed the honor by 33 points (270-237) over #82-Scott Speed. He finished the season with one win, three top-five and seven top-10 finishes and placed 20th in the final series championship standings. Logano scored his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory in at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The victory came in his 20th career start. At 19 years of age, Logano is the youngest driver to win Raybestos Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The year-end payout for 2009 Raybestos Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is $75,000, the same amount Darrell Waltrip earned from R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company for his 1982 Cup series championship. Logano will earn a grand total of $114,500 from Raybestos brand Brakes for his efforts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this season. Logano is the third driver from Joe Gibbs Racing to win Raybestos Rookie of the Year, joining Tony Stewart (1999) and Denny Hamlin (2006).(Raybestos/Camp & Associates) and see rookie history, standings on my 2009 Rookies page and race by race notes on my 2009 Rookies race-by-race page.(11-27-2009)

  • Logano named 2009 Rookie of the Year: #20-Joey Logano scored a 24th-place finish and was the top rookie in Sunday's Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He claimed Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors 26 times in 36 races this season. Logano scored his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory in at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He finished the season with one win, three top-fives and seven top-10 finishes. At 19 years of age, Logano is the youngest driver to win Raybestos Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Logano is the third driver from Joe Gibbs Racing to win Raybestos Rookie of the Year, joining Tony Stewart (1999) and Denny Hamlin (2006). YOU OFICIALLY CLINCHED RAYBESTOS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR TONIGHT. "All right, cool. That's cool. That was one of our big goals this year. It's pretty neat to win Raybestos Rookie of the Year. I appreciate that," said Logano.(Camp & Assoc./Raybestos) and see more, plus rookie history, notes on my 2009 Rookies page.(11-23-2009)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • Robby Gordon Responds to Logano Incident in NNS race: Robby Gordon [#55] and Joey Logano [#20] both raced in the Watkins Glen Nationwide Race and got together late in the race, Gordon responded Sunday to the incident: "After reviewing the comments by Logano and the replay of the day's events, I felt that it was necessary to explain what happened during yesterday's race from my prospective. This whole turn of events started with Joey running into the back of my #55 in Turn 10. He then knocked me sideways in Turn 11. To show him my displeasure, I ran him down towards the inside wall on the front straight. I tried to do a crossover move in Turn 1 to get back by him; however, I missed judged a little resulting in both of us getting flat tires. During the final incident that ended Joey's day, we were racing for the lucky dog position. We both had good cars and were just trying to improve our finishing position for the day. After the bus stop chicane, Joey wrecked the No. 34 of Tony Raines. This contact allowed me to get underneath him in Turn 9. He saw that I was going to pass him for the Lucky Dog position, so he tried to block me. This maneuver resulted in his right rear tire connecting with my left front. From there, I felt he would be okay because he was in the section where the outer loop was. Rather than going down the inner loop, he decided to cut across the grass, hitting the tire barrier. At the end of the day I'm just glad Joey is okay. This is a highly competitive sport, and we are all very passionate when we are on the track. Tempers have a tendency to flare, but hopefully in the future we will both race each other cleaner. Under my own doing, I did stop by the NASCAR hauler this morning to converse with them about yesterday. There will be no repercussions from yesterday' events," commented Robby Gordon.(RGM)
    AND Joey Logano, who was wrecked pretty blatant by Robby Gordon and sent spinning into a tire barrier. Logano's fuel lines came loose and the car caught fire, forcing him out of the race. "Apparently, we got in a little grudge match after I cut down his tire," Logano said. "It's a pretty raw deal. You can't fix stupid, it's forever. You put that in your memory bank."(Alabama Live)(8-9-2009)

  • 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)

  • Logano is newest Gillette Young Gun: Gillette announced that it will heat things up this summer by adding recent NASCAR race winner Joey Logano, driver of the #20 Home Depot Toyota, to its elite group of Gillette Young Guns Drivers which includes Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne and Ryan Newman. Logano earned his rookie stripes from his fellow Gillette Young Guns during the filming of a new commercial to support the Gillette Optimal Shave indicator strip, which alerts consumers that it is time to change their blades when the strip color changes from blue to white. The commercial features all seven Gillette Young Guns and highlights Logano as the latest addition to the roster of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stars. The ads will begin airing during the broadcast of the July 11 LifeLock.com 400 from Chicagoland Speedway. (Gillette PR)(7-11-2009)

  • Zipadelli Named Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race at Loudon: Greg Zipadelli, crew chief for the #20 Home Depot Toyota driven by Joey Logano, has been named the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race following Sunday's Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Running mid-pack for most of the afternoon, Logano's left rear tire went down around Lap 180, sending him spinning and bringing out the caution. The #20 crew fixed the car and sent him back onto the track, one lap down. Shortly after restarting the race, the yellow came out once again on Lap 190, giving Logano the free pass. With rain in the area, crew chief Greg Zipadelli decided to gamble and leave his 19-year-old driver on track, saving fuel and hoping for a good finish. Because Zippy had brought his driver in just 80 laps earlier, Logano, who had plenty of gas, stayed out on Lap 273 while all the other lead-lap cars pitted under green, and was in the lead when the rains came and the red flag came out on. Shortly after, the race was made official and Zipadelli's daring pit call helped the #20 team score its first victory with rookie Joey Logano. In addition to the $1,000 check, the winning crew chief will receive signage to announce the win on their pit box the following week. The crew chief with the most weekly wins will be honored as the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year and will be presented a $20,000 check at the season finale in Homestead.(Wypall)(6-30-2009)

  • Logano first Rookie to win in 71 races: Raybestos Rookie #20-Joey Logano rallied from a lap down and stretched his fuel mileage to perfection to win the rain shortened LENOX Industrial Tools 301 Sunday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Logano scored his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory in just his 20th start and his first in two starts at New Hampshire. He became the first Raybestos Rookie to win in 71 races, dating back to Juan Pablo Montoya's victory at Infineon Raceway in 2007. He joined Ryan Newman (2002) as the only Raybestos Rookies to win in 29 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire. He won in just his second start at New Hampshire and led the race just once, covering the final 10 laps. Logano leads Scott Speed by 31 points (199-168) in the overall Raybestos Rookie standings. Logano scored his first top-five and fourth top-10 of the 2009 season.(Raybestos PR)(6-29-2009)

  • Logano wins at New Hampshire: #20-Joey Logano won the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for his first career Sprint Cup race in his 20th race. Logano is the youngest driver ever to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup race at 19 years, 1 months, and 4 days, besting Kyle Busch who was 20 years, 4 months, 2 days old. Logano is the third first time winner in 2009, there were no first time winners in 2008, but four in 2007. #24-Gordon finished 2nd followed by #2-Busch, #00-Reutimann, #14-Stewart, #09-Keselowski, #18-Busch, #77-Hornish Jr., #48-Johnson and #9-Kahne. There were 11 cautions for 47 laps, 2 red flags [big wreck and rain] and there were 23 lead changes among 14 drivers.
    For race results, awards and more, see my New Hampshire Race Results Page.
    For drivers and owners points standings, see the Drivers/Owners Points Standings.(6-28-2009)

  • Logano Makes Visit To David's House: #20-Joey Logano moved from his hometown of Middletown, CT at a young age, but he still maintains strong roots in the New England states. This is evident by his charities of choice -- Children's Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD) and David's House; two facilities that help give children and their family's first-class healthcare and support throughout the region. With the upcoming racing action at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS), Logano took time out to visit David's House on Thursday, June 25. While there he dropped off several video game consoles and games from his NASCAR Nationwide Series sponsor, GameStop, and visited with many of the children and families who use David's House while receiving treatment at CHaD. Logano also made the trip next door to CHaD to visit with children who were not able to make it to the David's House event. In addition, Logano was the guest speaker at the annual Governor's Breakfast on Friday morning, June 26, at NHMS.(MCG)(6-27-2009)

  • 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)

  • Logano gets punted in West Series race: Joe Gibbs Racing's Joey Logano was spun while leading on the final lap of the NASCAR Camping World West Series Bennett Lane Winery 200 on Saturday afternoon at Infineon Raceway. The driver who tapped him, Patrick Long, was penalized and scored at the tail end of the lead lap, with Jason Bowles inheriting the win. Logano finished 17th. Two other Sprint Cup drivers were in the field: Boris Said (EM Motorsports in Cup) finished fourth and David Gilliland (TRG Motorsports) finished 31st.(SceneDaily)(6-20-2009)

  • Logano wins ARCA race at Pocono: Joey Logano turned his test and tune day Saturday afternoon at Pocono Raceway into an ARCA RE/MAX Series triumph. Logano, in the Venturini Motorsports-prepared Home Depot Toyota, entered the Pocono ARCA 200 to get seat-time for the next-day Pocono 500 Cup race. The Middletown, Connecticut driver got that and plenty more as he led the most laps en route to his second series victory in his fourth series start.(ARCARacing.com)(6-7-2009)

  • Logano to Pull Double-Duty in Sonoma: #20-Joey Logano will compete in the Bennett Lane Winery 200, presented by Supercuts, NASCAR Camping World West Series race at Infineon Raceway on Saturday, June 20. Logano joins road-race veteran Boris Said as the latest two entries for the Camping World West Series race, which is part of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend, June 19-21. Logano will pull double-duty for Joe Gibbs Racing, competing in both events. Logano competed in the West Series event at Infineon Raceway two years ago, but was sidelined by engine trouble.(Infineon Raceway)(6-4-2009)

  • Logano to run ARCA race at Pocono: Since 1983 the ARCA RE/MAX Series has served as the show-opener for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on both Pocono Raceway race weekends. As a result, the RE/MAX Series at Pocono has become a key environment for Sprint Cup Series drivers to perfect their skills on the tricky 2.5-mile, high-speed, triangular-shaped track just in time for the next-day Cup 500-miler. The latest in search of Pocono seat-time is Sprint Cup Series rookie Joey Logano, who has yet to turn a competitive lap on the Long Pond, PA speedplant - which is why the Middletown, Connecticut driver is entered in the Venturini Motorsports-prepared Home Depot Toyota for the Pocono ARCA 200 coming Saturday, June 6. With NASCAR's ban on testing in place and no Nationwide and/or Camping World Truck Series races scheduled on the renowned triangle, the need for the likes of Logano to familiarize oneself with the unique Pocono layout could be even more pressing. Tickets for the Pocono ARCA 200, the SPRINT Cup Series event and the entire 2009 Pocono Raceway season are available by contacting the Pocono Raceway Ticket Office at 1-800-RACEWAY (1-800-722-3929), or through poconoraceway.com.(ARCAracing.com)(6-1-2009)

  • Moffitt breaks Logano's record: Brett Moffitt already broke one of Joey Logano's NASCAR Camping World Series records. It didn't take him long to take care of another. Moffitt became the youngest winner in NASCAR Camping World Series history Saturday night with his win in the South Boston 150 at South Boston Speedway. His #44 brettmoffitt.com Chevy led 81 laps - including the last 67 - and outpaced a pair of fellow teenagers in runner-up Ryan Gifford and third-place Ryan Truex.
    Moffitt doesn't turn 17 until August 7. Joey Logano, now driving the #20 Home Depot Toyota in the Sprint Cup Series, was 1 month, 5 days of turning 17 when he scored his first win in the NASCAR Camping World Series West, and he set the NASCAR Camping World Series East mark 11 days later with his win at Greenville Pickens Speedway. In the 2009 NASCAR Camping World Series East opener, Moffitt broke Logano's record as the series' youngest Coors Light Pole Award winner. With Saturday's win, Moffitt also secured a starting spot in the postseason NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown.(NASCAR)(6-1-2009)

  • Logano could make history with win in Coke 600: If #20-Joe Logano wins the Coca Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, on his birthday [May 24th], he could join Cale Yarborough [twice] and Kyle Busch as the only drivers to win a Cup race on their birthday. Logano would also break the record for the youngest driver to ever win a Sprint Cup race, current held by Kyle Busch at 20 years and 125 days [for his win at California in Sept 2005], plus he would become the youngest driver ever to win a Sprint Cup race at Lowe's Motor Speedway, currently held by Jeff Gordon, who won his first Sprint Cup race ay LMS in the 1994 Coca-Cola 600 at 22 years, 9 months, 25 days.(5-24-2009)

  • NMPA, Home Depot team up for award: Home Depot announced it is partnering with the National Motorsports Press Association to present a humanitarian award. This year's winner will be named during the NMPA Myers Brother Awards in Las Vegas. The award recognizes an individual in the NASCAR community who has shown a dedication to to helping others and improving communities through service and giving. Home Depot will award the winner a $100,000 donation for a charity of the recipeint's choice. "Giving back is a fundamental value of the Home Depot," said Frank Bifulco, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Home Depot.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(5-5-2009)

  • Yarborough shows Logano around Darlington Raceway: The learning curve in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is steep and on Wednesday at Darlington Raceway class was in session for one of the most heralded rookies in series history. The student, Joey Logano, got a one-on-one tutoring session with one of the most legendary names, not only in Darlington history, but NASCAR history, Cale Yarborough. Yarborough invited Joey into his classroom, in this case a 3,400 pound stock car, and took him for a ride at the track "Too Tough to Tame." Yarborough is no stranger to Darlington Raceway. The Timmonsville, S.C. native reminisced about sneaking under the fence during his younger days just to catch a glimpse of the action on the track. Sneaking in would eventually pay off, Yarborough would go on to win a record five Southern 500 victories making him the ideal teacher for the young driver looking to break out in NASCAR's top touring division. "Meeting Cale, spending time with him and listening to his stories about Darlington was by far one of the coolest things I have ever done," said Logano. "Just getting out on the track and riding with him was such a neat experience. He definitely had me on the edge of my seat a few times, but he also gave me some great tips that I can use when I get back here for the Southern 500."
    "Joey is a great kid who has a ton of talent and potential," said five-time Southern 500 winner, Yarborough. "I didn't sugar coat anything, I told him Darlington would be the toughest place he raced all year. I also told him that there is no victory as sweet as winning the Southern 500." Tickets can be purchased by calling the Darlington Raceway ticket office at 866-459-RACE or online at darlingtonraceway.com.(Darlington Raceway PR)(4-23-2009)

  • J.D. Gibbs gives Joey Logano vote of confidence: Rumors earlier this month that Joe Gibbs Racing considered replacing #20-Joey Logano with Martin Truex Jr. didn't reach Logano until Joe Gibbs told the rookie they weren't true. "I like this saying: the brighter the spotlight on you, the more bugs it attracts," Logano said. "The more people are going to talk about you, the more all that's going to happen. ... If people want to make stuff up that's fine." Since then, the organization has emphasized its confidence in the 18-year-old's future. "Watching everything he's done up to this point, he's really gifted," said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. "He's the guy; we feel like he's the guy of the future." Tony Stewart's departure from JGR one season before his contract expired caused the vacancy in the #20 Toyota. Gibbs said there was talk of keeping Logano longer in Nationwide, but Cup and Nationwide cars are too different. They knew 2009 would be a challenging year. "Before the year's out we expect to be out front challenging, and next year we'd like to come out of the box and grow," Gibbs said. "I don't care who you are in this sport, you have to perform as a team or you won't be here. There's no franchising to guarantee a spot."(Orlando Sentinel)(4-17-2009)

  • $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)

  • If #8 team closes, Truex could be free agent..to Gibbs? UPDATE Bass Pro Shops not leaving: The buzz in the garage has Earnhardt Ganassi Racing shutting down the #8 Chevy and sidelining Aric Almirola after this weekend if a sponsor doesn't magically appear. If that happens, three contracts are affected: #1-Martin Truex Jr., Bass Pro Shops Racing and Chevy. Truex's contract states that he must have two teammates or he can leave the team. Bass Pro Shops has a performance clause and with Truex 28th in owner points, the #1 team is in a precarious position. Finally, Chevy can alter its support to EGR if three teams are not under the roof. The hot rumor at Martinsville last week had Truex replacing Joey Logano in the #20 Home Depot Toyota. Joe Gibbs Racing president J.D. Gibbs insisted Sunday and again by phone on Wednesday that "Joey's our guy. We haven't had any conversations with anyone," Gibbs said. "We'd like to have someone in line by summer time, but you have to sit down, look at what partner is available, what driver is available and who would be a good fit for the team. We had [#96] Hall of Fame last year and we don't have it now. So we have room for a fourth team. We'd love to have it."
    Gibbs mentioned JGR's plans to run the #02 Farm Bureau Toyota to race later this season. An announcement was made in January that Farm Bureau Insurance was signed for six Cup races in 2009, including being the primary sponsor for two Cup races on Denny Hamlin's car at Darlington and Atlanta and on Logano's car at Martinsville. A fourth team will feature Farm Bureau as the title sponsor for the fall races at LMS, Texas and Homestead. Gibbs did not believe Farm Bureau was committed to a level where it could expand as a full-time sponsor in 2010.
    Truex said on Friday that he's committed to staying the course. "When I give someone my word by signing a contract, if they keep theirs and I keep my mind, there's no reason to ever think about doing anything else, obviously," Truex said. "Right now, my focus is on getting this car better and moving up in the points. We're back here where we shouldn't be. We've never been back this far before and we've had a tough start to the year."
    As for Bass Pro Shops, if Truex does leave. don't be surprised if the sponsor fills out Ryan Newman's program on the #39 Chevy at Stewart-Haas Racing [US Army is there for 23 races]. That deal, which is valued between $8 million and $10 million, could go down before summer.(FoxSports)(4-4-2009)
    UPDATE: SPEEDtv's Hermie Sadler reported that EGR's President Steve Lauletta said they would be meeting Tuesday to decide the fate of the #8 team and that Bass Pro Shops is signed with EGR thru the 2010 season and there is no 'out' for them.(4-5-2009)

  • 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)

  • Logano Slated To Be Youngest Driver To Start A Daytona 500: When Joey Logano climbs into the #20 Home Depot Toyota for the 51st running of the "Great American Race," on Sunday, Feb. 15, he will make history as the youngest driver to start a Daytona 500. If Logano, who will be 18 years, 8 months and 22 days old on the date of this year's Daytona 500, can get the #20 Home Depot Toyota and his Joe Gibbs Racing team into Gatorade Victory Lane in his first Daytona 500 start, he will surpass Jeff Gordon as the youngest driver to win "The Great American Race." Gordon won his first Daytona 500 back in 1997 at the age of 25. Before Logano suits up for the 51st annual Daytona 500, he will first compete in a rare "Daytona double" on Saturday, Feb. 7 when he races in the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 ARCA/REMAX Series season opener and the Budweiser Shootout All-Star race. In addition, Logano will participate in Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger on Sunday, Feb. 8, the Gatorade Duel At Daytona on Thursday, Feb. 12 and the Camping World 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series season opener on Saturday, Feb. 14.(DIS PR)(1-30-2009)

  • 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)

  • Farm Bureau Insurance to sponsor JGR for 6 races: Joe Gibbs Racing announced that the Farm Bureau Insurance Companies will serve as the primary sponsor for six Sprint Cup Series races during the 2009 season. Farm Bureau Insurance will be carried on the #11 Toyota driven by Denny Hamlin twice during the upcoming season including the May 9 race at Darlington and the September 6 race at Atlanta. In addition Farm Bureau Insurance will be on the #20 Toyota driven by Joey Logano at the October 25 race at Martinsville. Both FedEx and The Home Depot will still be represented on their respective cars at each of those races. Farm Bureau Insurance will also sponsor a fourth JGR entry at three races in 2009 on the #02 Toyota at the October 17 Charlotte race, the November 8 Texas race and the November 22 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series finale at Homestead. The driver for those three races will be announced later. "Farm Bureau Insurance has been an outstanding partner with us and we're thrilled to have them on these six Cup races this year," said Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs. "We were able to generate a lot of excitement for them last year and we'll work hard this year to provide their agents, members and customers a program to be proud of now in our Cup program."(JGR PR)
    IMAGES: see images of the cars on my #02 Team Schemes page, #11 Team Schemes page and/or #20 Team Schemes page.(1-19-2009)

  • 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

  • Logano to test at Daytona for ARCA: Joey Logano, 2009 Raybestos Rookie of the Year Candiate, is scheduled to among the more than 40 drivers expected to take part in the three-day ARCA Series test on Dec 19, 20, 21. The test is open to the public. Guests can purchase a tram-only $10 at Daytona 500 Experience for transportation into the Sprint FANZONE inside the infield of Daytona International Speedway.(ARCA PR), Logano is scheduled to run the ARCA races at Daytona and Pocono in 2009,(12-16-2008)

  • New gas man at the #20: Veteran racer Jeff Clark [formerly from DEI] is the new gasman for the #20 Home Depot Toyota of Joey Logano at Joe Gibbs Racing.(FoxSports)(12-11-2008)

  • Logano to run Daytona ARCA race? UPDATE 2: Look for Joey Logano, scheduled to run the #20 Home Depot Toyota in 2009, to test at Dayotna in December in Venturini Motorsports ARCA car and may run the ARCA race at Daytona in February. Logano ran for Venturini Motorsports at Talladega and finished 2nd.(12-1-2008)
    UPDATE: Venturini Motorsports announced that the Concord, NC-based team would be fielding a full-time ARCA RE/MAX Series team in 2009 with Surrey British, Columbia driver Ryan Fischer as the driver. Fischer has nine previous ARCA Series starts in 2007 and 2008 for Venturini Motorsports with a career-best finish of third at Kentucky Speedway in 2008. Venturini Motorsports also announced that veteran crew chief Steve Darne would be crew chiefing for Fischer. In addition, Venturini Motorsports announced a continued alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing under which Sprint Cup Series driver #20-Joey Logano would be running at least two ARCA RE/MAX Series races for Venturini Motorsports in 2009 at Daytona and Pocono.(ARCARacing.com)(12-7-2008)
    UPDATE 2: Venturini Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing will continue their alliance in 2009, beginning with the ARCA RE/MAX Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway on February 7th. JGR rookie phenom Joey Logano will be piloting the Venturini Motorsports prepared Toyota Camry in the legendary #25. On top of running the season opener at Daytona, Logano will also race for Venturini Motorsports on June 6th in the Pocono ARCA 200 at Pocono Raceway. "I am thrilled to have extended our alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing into the 2009 season, and am truly honored to have such a great talent as Joey Logano in our car," commented Bill Venturini. "Myself and my whole Venturini Motorsports team are excited for this upcoming season, and wish to thank Joe Gibbs Racing for this opportunity."(Venturini Motorsports PR)(12-10-2008)

  • Stewart's Foundation Awards $20,000 To Indiana Racehorse Charity The charitable organization of Tony Stewart has awarded a $20,000 grant to Indianapolis-based Friends of Ferdinand, Inc. (FFI), a not-for-profit volunteer organization that works with owners and trainers at the state's two horse tracks to identify and obtain thoroughbreds that are nearing the end of their racing careers. Funds provided by the Tony Stewart Foundation will help FFI evaluate and retrain the horses, and find new, forever homes with devoted, caring owners. More than 200 horses have been transitioned from the track into new careers as show horses, dressage competitors, pleasure and trail riders, equine therapeutic program partners, pasture mates and beloved companions. Several thoroughbreds, the first horses to be christened "Tony's Ex-Racers," were brought into the FFI program Nov. 17 during the annual end-of-season paddock sale at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson, Ind. Representatives of both Friends of Ferdinand and the Tony Stewart Foundation were on hand to take a look at available horses and select those destined to become "Tony's Ex-Racers." A total of 10 horses will be brought into the program as "Tony's Ex-Racers" - those obtained from the Hoosier Park paddock sale, and two or three others already in line to come off the track and into FFI's care.(IMS PR)(11-23-2008)

  • Home Depot to honor Stewart at Homestead: #20-Tony Stewart will close another chapter in his racing career this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway when he competes in his final Sprint Cup Series race with Joe Gibbs Racing after a 10-year relationship with the team and sponsor Home Depot. Home Depot will pay tribute to Tony Stewart's last start with the team with a card stunt that says, "Thanks Tony for 10 Great Years" on the frontstretch at Homestead-Miami Speedway prior to Sunday's Ford 400. See images at RacingOne.com.(11-16-2008)

  • Last race for Stewart at Gibbs: Tony Stewart will drive his last race behind the wheel of the #20 Home Depot Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing Sunday at Homestead, ending a 10-year run that saw Stewart earn rookie of the year honors in 1999, a championship in 2002, another championship in 2005, and 33 point-paying victories in between. Having accomplished almost everything there is to accomplish as a driver, Stewart will reach even higher in 2009 as he becomes a driver/owner in the Sprint Cup Series with Stewart-Haas Racing. As Stewart looks forward to 2009, in his rearview mirror lay the accolades mentioned above as well as 10 poles, 129 top-fives, 206 top-10s and 10,225 laps led in 355 career Sprint Cup starts - all of which have come with Joe Gibbs Racing. Sunday's season-ending race at Homestead will mark Stewart's 356th and last Sprint Cup start with the team owned by Joe Gibbs - the three-time Super Bowl winner as head coach of the Washington Redskins and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.(JGR PR)(11-16-2008)

  • Some spotter changes in 2009: Hearing that Earl Barban [currently at the #38 team] will be back as the spotter for #48 Jimmie Johnson and current spotter, Stevie Reeves will join Yates Racing and Paul Menard [will be the #98 team]. Bob Jeffrey, the spotter for #17 Matt Kenseth will join Stewart-Hass Racing to work with #14-Tony Stewart. Mike Calinoff, who started 2008 with #40-Dario Franchitti at Chip Ganassi Racing before the team shut down and has been spotting for #20-Stewart during The Chase, will return to Roush-Fenway Racing and work with #17-Matt Kenseth. Barban spent two years with Johnson previously and Calinoff was with Kenseth for six seasons, including the Championship season in 2003.(11-15-2008)

  • Logano out of the #20..before he gets in? UPDATE denied: Let's start the [ESPN] blog with a bang and throw out the latest rumor going around the Cup garage area. Will plans to have rookie Joey Logano replace Tony Stewart next season in the #20 Toyota change? Speculation is Joe Gibbs Racing officials are trying to work out a deal to get #1-Martin Truex Jr. from Dale Earnhardt Inc. to drive the #20 car next year. If JGR can't get Truex, they might make a run at #2-Kurt Busch, who wants out of his deal with Penske Racing.
    A quick warning: Rumors are rampant these days in NASCAR because of the difficult economic times. So here's another rumor: JGR president J.D. Gibbs is expected to arrive at Phoenix today and possibility address this issue to deny all of it. The Logano/Truex gossip started because of DEI's tenuous situation right now on sponsorship, and growing concerns that the 18-year-old Logano might not be ready to race Cup full-time next year. But Home Depot, primary sponsor for the #20 Camry, already has invested tons of money in a marketing campaign for Logano [as well as diecast's with Motorsports Authenics, see an image of the #20 Home Depot/Logano scheme on my 2009 #20 Team Schemes page].(ESPN blog)(11-8-2008)
    UPDATE denied: Joe Gibbs Racing president J.D. Gibbs reiterated on Saturday that Joey Logano will drive the #20 Toyota in 2009. "Everything he's done up to now he's done exceptionally well," Gibbs said. "When you get to this level, everybody is really good." Logano has failed to finish on the lead lap in the three Cup races he's run this season, which has left the rookie with an average showing of 37th. In last Sunday's Dickie's 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, he was unable to maintain minimum speed on the racetrack. But NASCAR still allowed Logano to compete. "We threatened him within an inch of his life - just finish the race," Gibbs joked. "It's just going to take time."(FoxSports)
    AND "For God's sakes, please write that Joey Logano is driving the #20 car next year. ... Unequivocally, Joey is in the 20. Please print that and tell everyone else." Those words were uttered by a frustrated and angry Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs Sunday morning in the Sprint Cup garage at Phoenix International Raceway. Gibbs made the declaration after ESPN.com reported Saturday that Logano might be replaced next year by Martin Truex Jr. [or Kurt Busch] in the #20 Home Depot-sponsored car. Responding to the report, Gibbs said, "I don't know where it started, where it came from, but it's frustrating for everybody. You can't just say stuff like that. That's crazy talk. So for me, I would say, look, he's in the car. It's done. That's been done a long time ago. The Nationwide stuff, he's done a great job with it. Cup is harder. Hey, you're going to have your struggles. All of our guys have. He'll be fine. He's going to be in good shape."(SPEEDtv)
    AND II: The rumor that Joe Gibbs Racing wanted to postpone Joey Logano's full-time entry into the Cup series until 2010 and put Kurt Busch or Martin Truex Jr. into the #20 next season was just that -- a rumor. "I don't know where that came from," JGR president J.D. Gibbs said. "Joey Logano will be in the #20 next year." Gibbs said he spent much of Saturday afternoon and early Sunday morning explaining to reporters and sponsors that there was nothing to the rumor and that the team was completely behind the 18-year-old phenom.(ESPN)(11-9-2008)

  • Stewart named parade grand marshall for Fiesta Bowl: Two-time Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 38th Annual Fort McDowell Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation. As grand marshal, Stewart will not only lead this year's Fort McDowell Fiesta Bowl Parade, but will also serve as a special guest at the 38th Annual Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on Monday, January 5, 2009, where he will participate in the pre-game festivities and coin toss. The 38th Annual Fort McDowell Fiesta Bowl Parade is scheduled for Saturday, January 3, 2009, at 11:00 a.m. in central Phoenix. This year's theme, "Spirit of the Southwest," honors the essence of Arizona's breathtaking desert landscapes and unique cultural heritage. Reserved seating for the Parade is $25 and is available by calling the Fiesta Bowl Ticket Office at 480-350-0911 or by visiting www.fiestabowl.org.(True Speed Communications PR)(11-8-2008)

  • Stewart finally wins at Talladega: #20-Tony Stewart won the Amp 500 at Talladega Superspeedway for his 1st win of 2008, his 1st win ever in a Cup race at Talladega after six 2nd place finishes and his 33rd career win [ties him for 17th all time wins with Fireball Roberts]. It was Stewart's first win in 43 races, Watkins Glen in 2007 and the 9th season in a row [every season] that Stewart has won at least one race. #01-Regan Smith was 2nd but he passed Stewart at the start-finish line after passing the #20 under the yellow line and was penalized and credited with a finish of 18th. So #15-Menard is 2nd [his best career finish and first ever top-5 finish] followed by #6-Ragan, #31-Burton, #07-Bowyer, #43-Labonte, #66-Riggs, #7-Gordon, #48-Johnson and #19-Sadler. There were 64 lead changes among 28 drivers, 10 cautions for 41 laps and 2 red flags for the two big wrecks which lasted a little over 29 minutes.
    For race results, awards and more, see my Talladega Race Results Awards Page.
    Chase and Classic Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Talladega.(10-5-2008)

  • New spotter for Stewart? According to The Home Depot pre-race report Mike Calinoff (Ganassi #40) is listed as the spotter for #20-Tony Stewart. (True Speed Communication), regular spotter, Mark Robertson, will spot for Joey Logano at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, who will drive the #96 Home Depot Toyota there.(9-12-2008)

  • Tony and Zippy OK: #20-Tony Stewart said Wednesday all is well between the two-time champion and crew chief Greg Zipadelli despite their post-race squabble at Richmond. Stewart criticized Zipadelli and his crew as he pulled onto pit road following Sunday's second-place finish at Richmond International Raceway. He blamed the team for the loss - he gave up the lead during a late pit stop and was unable to catch winner Jimmie Johnson in the closing laps - and Zipadelli sharply reminded him they win and lose as a group. "I don't know why everybody is making such a big deal about it," Stewart said during NASCAR's media day for the Chase for the championship. "That's two guys that were talking on the radio that are competitive and don't like to lose. I'd much rather have a crew chief that gets as fired up as me than I would a guy that said `Yeah, yeah, it's OK.'(Associated Press)(9-11-2008)

  • Smoke Show brings in $217k: #20-Tont Stewart made a special visit Tuesday to Texas Motor Speedway to conduct the inaugural "Smoke Show" fantasy camp to benefit the Speedway Children's Charities-Texas Chapter and the event raised a record $217,000. That total makes the "Smoke Show" the largest grossing single-day event in the history of SCC-Texas Chapter. The "Smoke Show" benefitting SCC was born from a public relations event with Stewart last year that was held with a select group of media. The concept was transformed into a fund-raising event and Stewart was more than willing to participate once again. Twenty-nine participants, who paid between $6,000 and $8,250 for the day, enjoyed the full race experience, complete with driver suit, parade laps, driver introductions, Victory Lane celebration and two 10-lap driving sessions where they got behind the wheel of a stock car. The group even got some driving tips and, of course, some good-natured ribbing from Stewart. The money raised will be distributed to non-profit organizations across Denton, Tarrant, Collin and Dallas counties.(TMS PR)(8-27-2008)

  • Logano tests in FL: Joey Logano, who was named Monday as Tony Stewart's 2009 replacement in the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, tested at New Smyrna Speedway on Tuesday with his future team. Logano is expected to make his first Sprint Cup start next weekend at Richmond [in the #02 Home Depot Toyota.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(8-27-2008)

  • JGR to announce new #20 driver Monday UPDATE 2: Joe Gibbs Racing has called a 2pm/et Monday news conference to introduce Joey Logano as the full-time driver of the #20 next season, according to a racing source. The 18-year-old phenom will replace Tony Stewart, who will be a driver-owner at Stewart-Haas Racing in 2009. "We still aren't ready to come out and say here's definitely the plan,'' Gibbs said. "So Monday is our press conference.'' Gibbs also would not acknowledge that Home Depot will be on the car even though it has another year on its contract with JGR or that Greg Zipadelli would stay on as crew chief of the #20. But he did acknowledge that Home Depot has been a great partner "so we'd love to see that go on.'' Logano is expected to make his Sprint Cup debut at Richmond in three weeks [either in the #02 JGR Toyota or #96 HOF Toyota].(ESPN.com)(8-24-2008)
    UPDATE: Logano will take the wheel next season of the #20 Toyota Camry Sprint Cup Series race car currently driven by Tony Stewart, the Bristol Herald Courier has learned. Logano's move - rumored and dissected for months - was confirmed Saturday evening at Bristol Motor Speedway prior to the start of the NSCS Sharpie 500 by a high-ranking official affiliated with one of NASCAR's premier motorsports manufacturing teams. "Joey Logano ... next year is going to be the 20 car," said the Toyota official, who did not want to be named because a Monday announcement is expected by Joe Gibbs Racing.(Bristol Herald Courier)(8-24-2008)
    UPDATE2: Joe Gibbs Racing announced today that The Home Depot will continue its sponsorship of the Sprint Cup #20 Toyota team in 2009 and beyond, and that Joey Logano, one of the sport's brightest emerging stars, will take over the duties behind the wheel of one of NASCAR's most successful race teams. Logano will make his NASCAR Spirit Cup series debut on Sept. 6 at Richmond International Raceway in a Home Depot sponsored car featuring a reverse color scheme and bearing the #02. In addition, Joe Gibbs Racing announced that Greg Zipadelli, crew chief of the #20 Home Depot Toyota Sprint Cup Series for the past 10 years, will remain atop the pit box as Logano's crew chief.
    "Obviously today is an exciting day for the Joe Gibbs racing family as The Home Depot has been and will continue to be an important part of our success," said J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR. "Joey (Logano) has already shown he will be a tremendous talent on the track and a great representative for The Home Depot off the track.We are also fortunate to have someone as talented and experienced as Greg Zipadelli guide him through the start of what promises to be a phenomenal career."
    The Home Depot is the Official Home Improvement Retailer of NASCAR and has sponsored the #20 Home Depot Racing team for the past 10 years. The Home Depot first entered NASCAR in 1999 with a multi-year deal with Joe Gibbs Racing and then-rookie Tony Stewart. Tony Stewart was honored as Rookie of the Year in 1999 and as the NASCAR Cup Series Champion in 2002 and 2005. Stewart has captured 32 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point victories since 1999.
    "The Home Depot is thrilled to welcome Joey Logano as the new driver of the #20 Home Depot car," said Frank Bifulco, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of The Home Depot. "To have such a talented, young driver, with a bright future join the team truly makes this a special opportunity for our NASCAR program. We're also extremely gratified to continue to be working with Joe Gibbs Racing and Greg Zipadelli, as we have had great success together over the past decade."
    Logano's ascent to NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series is the latest and greatest step in a rapid rise for the 18-year-old, who began competing in quarter-midgets at the age of six and has built an impressive career that includes numerous records and championships. This past May he celebrated his 18th birthday by making his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut just seven days later in Dover, DE, where he finished sixth. His first Nationwide Series victory would come just two races later when he captured the Meijer 300 at Kentucky Speedway on June 14. In just 10 starts in the Nationwide Series, Logano has already earned the pole twice and captured three top-five and seven top-ten finishes.
    "I just feel fortunate to have the opportunity to be in this position," said Logano" Joe Gibbs Racing has provided me tremendous support each step of the way and the opportunity to work with the absolute best in the business. I can't explain the feeling to become a part of such an awesome Home Depot team and I'm going to just focus on working as hard as I can to prepare for next season." Zipadelli has served as crew chief on the #20 team for the last decade, helping lead one of the most successful teams in NASCAR history that has included two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships. "Everyone on the #20 Home Depot team is excited about today's announcements," said Zipadelli. "Obviously our commitment remains focused on trying to win a championship this year, but we're thrilled to know our future is solid with The Home Depot on board and the opportunity to add someone as talented as Joey to our team."
    "The Home Depot has been such an important part of our history here," said JGR owner and founder Joe Gibbs. "I have been fortunate to develop a number of close friendships with many of the people at The Home Depot over the past 10 years and we want to make sure that we always deliver on their commitment to us. We feel the team we have in place going forward with Zippy as crew chief and Joey driving will keep that #20 team strong and represent The Home Depot in a great manner."(Joe Gibbs Racing site)(8-25-2008)

  • 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)

  • Logano to make Cup debut at RIR UPDATE maybe not: The plan is finally in place for Joey Logano to begin his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career, with a handful of races scheduled this season in Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas. A source close to the team said Saturday that Logano will run "six or seven" Sprint Cup races with sponsorship from Gatorade between now and the end of the 2008 campaign, in an effort to gain NASCAR approval for Logano to run for Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors next season. Plans call for the 18-year old Connecticut native to make his Sprint Cup debut at Richmond International Raceway on September 6th, with additional races to be announced within the next 2-3 weeks. He will also run the ARCA ReMax Series race at Talladega Superspeedway for Venturini Motorsports, to satisfy NASCAR requirements for him to compete in the 2009 Daytona 500.(Motorsports Soapbox)(8-12-2008)
    UPDATE: Logano will drive in selected Sprint Cup Series races this season for Joe Gibbs Racing, but the team is still deciding where he will make his debut. Logano made his first Nationwide start days after turning 18 in May and now boasts a victory and two pole positions for JGR. His early success has accelerated talks about moving the rookie into NASCAR's premier circuit. Bill Janitz, Logano's spokesman, said a debut next month at Richmond International Raceway was probable but the number of races was undetermined. Janitz denied Gatorade would be the sponsor. Richmond "has been talked about a few times," Logano said. Logano also is waiting on word from his team on whether he will replace Stewart next year in the #20 Toyota.(USA Today)(8-18-2008)
    UPDATE 2: A source close to the team told Sirius Speedway Saturday that Logano will run an orange-and-white #02 Toyota at Richmond with sponsorship from the Home Depot. In addition, that source said the home improvement giant will back the Connecticut youngster in his freshman season of Cup competition in 2009. Team President J.D. Gibbs said the team has not yet finalized plans for Logano, saying, "He'll run some Cup races this year, whether or not he's running the full thing next year or not."(Motorsports Soapbox)(8-18-2008)

  • Stewart involved in altercation at ORP UPDATE: #20-Tony Stewart expects to be fined by the U.S. Auto Club for an "altercation" with an official during Thursday night's race at O'Reilly Raceway Park. The incident occurred after points leader Tracy Hines, who drives for one of Stewart's two National Midget teams, got into the wall and there wasn't a track official or push truck present to help get the car back in the race. Hines' crew reportedly attempted to change a right rear flat and get him back into the race before another restart. As the crew pushed the car to the front of the straightaway, a USAC official indicated it was too late. Stewart then came down to pit lane to get an explanation for the call. He reportedly knocked the headset from the official's head and then shoved him. "We had an altercation," Stewart said Friday at IMS, "It was a situation [where] we didn't understand a call they made." In a statement Friday, USAC official Kevin Miller acknowledged that there was an incident but would not say who was involved.(ESPN.com and see video at wthr.com)(7-27-2008)
    UPDATE: Stewart was fined $10,000 and his team was placed on probation Monday following an altercation last week at the USAC's National Midget race in Indianapolis. Stewart was fined for unsportsmanlike conduct and conduct detrimental to racing. USAC said in a statement that Stewart was involved in an on-track incident Thursday at O'Reilly Raceway Park related to one of his Midgets driven by points leader Tracy Hines. Hines had scraped the wall and pitted for a tire change, but his car was not deemed ready to re-enter the race in time to rejoin the field for the restart. Stewart then came down to pit lane to get an explanation for the call. He reportedly knocked the headset from the official's head and then shoved him. "USAC immediately assessed the incident and it was determined that unacceptable behavior detrimental to the sport had occurred, and that the professionalism and the integrity of the series and its promoters had been severely compromised," Jason Smith, USAC's vice president of racing operations, said in the statement. "While we respect the passion of our teams in the spirit of competition, we regret this incident occurred and are dedicated to averting a recurrence in the future."
    Stewart, who apologized Monday, also agreed to pay for the costs of new radios and uniforms for USAC officials. "My own misinterpretation of USAC policies in place at the time led to confusion and elevated emotions," Stewart said. "I'm very passionate about my race team and will stand up for them when I think something isn't right. Obviously, I handled this particular situation the wrong way, and if I had to do it over again, it never would've happened."(ESPN.com)(7-29-2008)

  • Newman not going to the #20 car: Strike Joe Gibbs Racing from the list of potential employers for Ryan Newman. Newman's name has been most prominently mentioned to land with Stewart-Haas Racing next season. Sources close to the situation said he also has had discussions with JGR, Richard Childress Racing and Gillett Evernham Motorsports. An RCR official said on Friday that he expected Newman to go to Stewart, and JGR president J.D. Gibbs said on Sunday it was unlikely the driver of Penske Racing's #12 could join his Toyota team. "It would be hard," Gibbs said before the Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "Another time, another day, maybe. He's a great individual. You would love to have him on your team. It's just all those ducks aren't in a row." Gibbs did say he was getting closer to naming a driver to replace Tony Stewart in the #20 next season. Joey Logano, the 18-year-old sensation in the Nationwide Series, remains the front-runner for that spot. Gibbs also said speculation JGR would expand to four teams in 2009 was unlikely. "Next year would be hard," Gibbs said.(ESPN.com)(7-28-2008)

  • Office Depot/Old Spice to be co-primaries for Tony Stewart in the #14: Office Depot and Old Spice will serve as co-primary sponsors of Tony Stewart's #14 Chevrolet Impala SS Sprint Cup Series entry beginning in 2009. Officials from the two companies, as well as from Stewart-Haas Racing, made the announcement today near Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Office Depot, a leading global provider of office products and services, along with Old Spice, the #1 antiperspirant/deodorant stick and body wash choice for guys in the United States, have entered into multi-year agreements with Stewart-Haas Racing to sponsor the new entry driven by Stewart. In addition, both Office Depot and Old Spice are official NASCAR partners, successfully leveraging their relationships with NASCAR and their race team sponsorships as powerful marketing platforms for their brands.

    "To have Office Depot and Old Spice throw their support behind me and this race team makes me extremely proud," said Stewart, who announced on July 10 that he had acquired a 50% stake in what is now known as Stewart-Haas Racing. "These are two partnerships that make a lot of sense. Office Depot focuses on small business owners, and with my role as a driver and owner next year, I'm both their spokesman and their customer - and I have been for years, because with two USAC teams, two World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series teams and three race tracks, you need a smooth-running office if you expect your business to run right. Old Spice has been with me for nine years, but our 10th year together is obviously going to be pretty big. This is a major commitment for the Old Spice brand, and we're going to make sure the success we've enjoyed over the years continues."

    "Tony is a successful entrepreneur who has an impressive record as a small business owner. This is one of the reasons why he is such a perfect fit for Office Depot," said Chuck Rubin, President of North American Retail for Office Depot. "We believe that Tony's passion to win and relentless pursuit of excellence truly embody the essence of the Office Depot brand and represent the commitments we make every single day to help our customers be successful."

    Old Spice, a brand of Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble (P&G), is the official antiperspirant/deodorant of NASCAR, and its longstanding partnership with Stewart has helped Old Spice become the leader in its category, as well as the male body wash category. "We've really valued our relationship with Tony and have been growing our partnership for over nine years now," said Alex Keith, P&G Beauty, General Manager, North America Deodorants. "It's been a great program for Old Spice, and when he came to us with the opportunity to make it even bigger, we knew it was the right move. We're absolutely thrilled to be on board."

    Also supporting Stewart's Office Depot/Old Spice effort in 2009 will be Chevrolet. The winner of 31 manufacturer's championships since coming to Sprint Cup in 1955, Chevrolet adds another powerful team to its already potent lineup with the addition of Stewart-Haas Racing.Putting an exclamation point on Stewart's new ride for 2009 is that his red and black Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet will carry the #14, made famous by the legendary A.J. Foyt. "Tony and I have been friends for a long time," said Foyt, a winner of four Indianapolis 500s, the 1972 Daytona 500 and the 1967 24 Hours of LeMans. "I think I first met him when he was running Midgets. It was quite a while ago so I don't actually remember where and when. A few times he drove the Silver Crown car I had with George Snider back in the mid-90s and I gave him his first test in an Indy car in Phoenix (in 1995) and he ran pretty quick as I recall. In addition to being quick, he's always told it how it is. I don't think there's anyone better to carry the #14."

    Stewart has always admired what Foyt, currently an IRL IndyCar Series owner, accomplished in a driving career that began in 1957 and spanned such racing divisions as Indy car, NASCAR, USAC and sports car racing. "A.J. has always been my hero and will always be #1 on my hero list, with the best part being that we are really good friends," Stewart said. "We obviously have a tremendous amount of respect for one another. I remember him calling me after I won my first Cup championship in 2002 and I remember how much it meant to have him call that night and congratulate me. We really do have similar pasts and carry a lot of characteristics that are the same. He is one of the greatest icons in racing worldwide and to be compared to him in any way is always a huge honor. We came up through the same types of cars, from Sprint Cars to Midgets, and then I went to the IRL and moved into NASCAR. A.J. ran Indy cars for a long time and still came into stock car racing and was successful. There aren't a lot of guys that can go from car to car and still win races. It was something that A.J. was really good at and something that we have been very fortunate to replicate. He has given a lot back to racing and has been one of its biggest supporters. Without guys like him, guys like me wouldn't have had a chance to succeed."(True Speed Communication PR), see all the other past news/rumors on the #66 Team News and Links page AND no word if the #14 will be the #66 or #70 team, supposedly Stewart's 2nd team is looking to use the #4.(7-25-2008)

  • Tony Stewart donates bulletproof K-9 vests: Tony Stewart is donating bulletproof, stab-proof vests to police dogs in Indiana and four other states. Stewart, a Columbus native, donated the money to provide 30 vests for the Indiana State Police K-9 unit and 10 for police dogs waiting for vests in Georgia, New Mexico, North Carolina and Minnesota. Susie Jean of Socorro, N.M., requested a grant from the Tony Stewart Foundation for vests for the 14 dogs currently in the Indiana State Police unit. Stewart upped the amount to cover more vests upon learning the state police unit was expanding to 30 dogs. The vests cost $695 each, according to Jean's Web site, meaning 40 vests would total nearly $28,000. Stewart will present the vests to state police Thursday at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Clermont.(Associated Press/Indianapolis Star)(7-23-2008)

  • Gibbs Focusing on Logano to Replace Stewart UPDATE: Top management of Joe Gibbs Racing wouldn't come out and say on Saturday that Joey Logano will replace Tony Stewart in the Sprint Cup series next season, but they didn't say anything to indicate otherwise. Team owner Joe Gibbs and president J.D. Gibbs both agreed Logano will play a huge part in the organization going forward. They oozed with compliments for the 18-year-old phenom, who won his third Nationwide Series start and has three top 10s in four events. They talked about his maturity. They reminded that Stewart, who announced on Thursday he will leave the organization after this season to become the driver/owner at Stewart-Haas Racing in 2009, didn't have a win when he partnered with Home Depot in 1999. "We're going to look at everything out there before we make a decision," J.D. Gibbs said before the Sprint Cup race at Chicagoland Speedway. "Generally, guys that are really gifted and real good show it right away. We've had a lot of drivers at JGR. All the good ones have popped right away. He has that."(ESPN.com)(7-13-2008)
    UPDATE: Joey Logano says he isn't campaigning to drive the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Sprint Cup car next season. Even so, the 18-year-old JGR Nationwide Series driver contends that he is interested in the ride, which will be vacated at season's end by Tony Stewart. "Nothing has really changed," said Logano at Gateway International Raceway. "It's pretty much the same deal. If they offer it to me, I'd take it. It's something that has been talked about but I'm not in a position to say anything. I don't really know what I'm going to do yet. ... I'm focused on the # 20 Nationwide car right now and from there that is [team owner] Joe [Gibbs] and [team president] J.D.'s [Gibbs] deal."(SceneDaily.com)(7-20-2008)

  • NASCAR Drivers Headline M&Ms Night of Stars at I-55 Raceway July 23: Traditionally, it has been one of the biggest nights in racing in the St. Louis area and this year's M&Ms Night of Stars at I-55 Raceway isn't going to disappoint. In addition to drivers such as I-55 Raceway co-owner Ken Schrader and defending Craftsman Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday, two-time Sprint Cup Series champion and Eldora Speedway owner Tony Stewart is scheduled to race the high-banked 1/3-mile track on Wednesday, July 23. Stewart and his NASCAR comrades are racing UMP Modifieds that night with proceeds from the event benefitting the Special Olympics. In addition to Stewart, Schrader, and Hornaday, other drivers scheduled to appear are: Ken Schrader Ricky Carmichael and Craftsman Truck Series veterans Brendan Gaughn, Rick Crawford, and Dennis Setzer.
    AND: Two-time Sprint Cup Series champion Terry Labonte has been added to the stellar cast of stars scheduled to participate in I-55 Raceway's M&M NASCAR Night of Stars. Also added to the bill are Justin Labonte, Steve Wallace, and former World of Outlaws champion and Chili Bowl winner, Dave Blaney. Gates open at 4 p.m. on July 23 with practice starting at 6 p.m. and racing kicking off at 7 p.m. For ticket information, call 636-479-3219 or visit them on the Web at I55Raceway.com.(High Side Media PR)(7-19-2008)

  • 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)

  • Stewart to buy Haas CNC Racing rumors see the #66 Team News page or the #70 Team News page for the latest.

  • Statements about Stewart leaving Joe Gibbs Racing: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) and Tony Stewart have agreed to part ways upon the conclusion of the 2008 season. Stewart will finish the 2008 Sprint Cup season with JGR behind the wheel of the #20 Home Depot Toyota. Stewart will also compete for JGR in the two Nationwide Series races still remaining on his original, nine-race Nationwide Series schedule - July 11 at Chicagoland Speedway, and Aug. 16 at Michigan International Speedway. Stewart will pilot the #20 Old Spice Toyota in those two events.
    "We've had a lot of success with Tony in our 12 years here at Joe Gibbs Racing," said J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR. "While this moment is bittersweet, we're parting on good terms and we know that each of us has benefited greatly from the other. We grew to two teams in the Sprint Cup Series with Tony and The Home Depot in 1999, and two championships and 32 wins followed. While our time together is coming to an end, we know there's still a lot of racing left this season and we plan to make the most of it. On behalf of everyone at JGR, we're proud of everything we've accomplished together with Tony and we wish him the best in pursuing his dream of NASCAR team ownership."
    "I cannot thank Joe and J.D. Gibbs enough for the opportunity they gave me and for the support they've given me throughout my entire NASCAR career," Stewart said. "I've learned so much from them and have a tremendous amount of respect for what they've built. I've modeled my USAC and World of Outlaws teams the same way they built their NASCAR team, and I made it a point to find good people to run those programs. If I've learned anything from my time at Joe Gibbs Racing, it's that Joe Gibbs' saying of, 'You win with people,' is incredibly true. They always surrounded me with not just good people, but great people, and the results speak for themselves. My crew chief, Greg Zipadelli, is the best example of that. We've accomplished so much in our 10 years together on the track, and off the track, he's been like a big brother to me. It's a friendship I cherish and expect to continue, even while he stays at Joe Gibbs Racing and I move on. I also want to thank The Home Depot. We've had a fantastic run with them, and it's not over yet. We can still win races and compete for a championship and go out on top. For 2008, that's my number one goal."
    Stewart's parting from JGR at the conclusion of the 2008 season will end the longest active driver/crew chief relationship in the Sprint Cup garage. "No matter what, Tony and I will remain close friends," Zipadelli said. "I know when it comes to the #20 team, things will obviously be a lot different next year, but I remain as committed as ever this year to winning races with Tony and securing our spot in the Chase to contend for a third championship."
    "The 20 car has been one of the all-time great partnerships in NASCAR for the last decade with the combination of Tony, Zippy, The Home Depot and Joe Gibbs Racing," said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. "While we are losing one piece of the puzzle, we think the #20 team will remain strong for many years to come."
    Statement from Frank Bifulco, Chief Marketing Officer of The Home Depot regarding Tony Stewart's departure from Joe Gibbs Racing at the end of the 2008 season: "The Home Depot has had a remarkable relationship with Tony Stewart and Joe Gibbs Racing since our sponsorship commenced back in 1998. With two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships and 32 race wins, Tony is a true competitor and an excellent ambassador for our company. Details regarding our future plans will be announced at a later date."

    Statement from Lee White, President and General Manager, Toyota Racing Development: "We fully support the decision of Joe Gibbs and J.D. Gibbs regarding this arrangement between Joe Gibbs Racing and Tony Stewart. We thank Tony and wish him the best in his future endeavors. He has been synonymous with Joe Gibbs Racing and has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success with the team. In our first year together, Tony has been a valuable asset to the Toyota program. We will continue to work diligently to get Tony and his Camry to 'Victory Lane' as often as possible in the Sprint Cup Series during the remainder of this season. Our hope is that he will be able to qualify for the 'Chase' and contend for another championship."(in part from Joe Gibbs Racing site)(7-9-2008)

  • Office Depot to Stewart UPDATE 3 Stewart granted release from Gibbs: been told that Office Depot will be the sponsor for Tony Stewart in 2009 when he drives for Haas CNC Racing which is will buy in to. Hearing the announcement of the buy and deal will be made in Indianapolis the week NASCAR is in Indy for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, July 27th.(7-3-2008)
    UPDATE: Tony Stewart is expected to announce a 2009 move to Haas-CNC Racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in three weeks. Reliable sources tell Sirius Speedway that Stewart will also announce sponsorship from Office Depot and Old Spice as part of a new, multi-year package with Haas CNC, and that Penske Racing's Ryan Newman will join him as a teammate, with sponsorship from Jack Daniels. That surprise move comes as the result of an enviable situation at Richard Childress Racing, which now has five potential sponsors for next season, and only four teams. Sirius Speedway has learned that UPS will move from Michael Waltrip Racing's #44 Toyota to the quarterpanels of Clint Bowyer's #07 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet in 2009, leaving Jack Daniels in search of a new driver. That driver will be Newman, who is set to sign-on with Stewart at Haas CNC.(Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway)(7-7-2008)
    UPDATE 2: #20-Tony Stewart has been granted a release from the final year of his driving contract with Joe Gibbs Racing after 10 seasons with the team. "We've had a lot of success with Tony in our 12 years here at Joe Gibbs Racing," J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR, said in a statement. "While this moment is bittersweet, we're parting on good terms and we know that each of us has benefited greatly from the other." On Thursday at Chicagoland Speedway, Stewart will formally announce a move to Haas/CNC Racing as co-owner and driver, sources close to Stewart said. Sources close to both sides told ESPN.com the deal will make Stewart the highest-paid driver in NASCAR. Sources also said the Stewart Haas cars will carry different numbers. The #14, made famous in IndyCar racing by Stewart's hero, A.J. Foyt, is available, but sources would neither confirm nor deny that as his choice. Sources said Stewart will own a 50% stake in the organization, but his financial investment in attaining it was not disclosed. Per Stewart's agreement with JGR, he will not attempt to hire away any members of his current team. This was a significant key to making the deal happen because the only way that Gibbs felt comfortable with putting Joey Logano in the Cup Series so quickly was to surround him with Greg Zipadelli's established, experienced crew. As ESPN.com's David Newton initially reported, Office Depot will have a role in sponsoring Stewart's car. Ryan Newman remains the lead candidate to drive Stewart Haas' second car, sources said, though no deal had yet been finalized Tuesday night. Stewart Haas will continue to receive chassis and engines from Hendrick Motorsports. Haas/CNC's current drivers, Scott Riggs and Johnny Sauter, are ranked 36th and 44th, respectively, in the owner point standings. If the team's performance fails to improve its points position during the second half of 2008, Stewart's champion's provisional will guarantee him a slot in the field for the first five races next season, presuming NASCAR doesn't change the rule.(ESPN.com)(7-9-2008)
    UPDATE 3: Joey Logano acknowledged on Wednesday that he is a candidate to replace Tony Stewart in the #20 Sprint Cup car at Joe Gibbs Racing next season. "It has been brought up a few times," Logano said as he arrived at JGR for a morning workout. Logano wasn't shocked to hear that Stewart will be released from his final year at JGR next season to pursue other opportunities. Stewart was scheduled to tell his team on Wednesday that this will be his last season, then announce on Thursday in Chicago that he has bought into Haas CNC Racing and will drive for that team with another driver -- Ryan Newman, according to sources, is all but a done deal -- next year. Stewart will unveil his new car with Office Depot as the primary sponsor at a news conference in Indianapolis in two weeks, sources said. Logano, 18, said he will focus the rest of this season on his Nationwide Series ride and hope to get into a few Cup races before the end of the year to prepare him for next season.(ESPN.com)(7-9-2008)

  • Stewart Ill and replaced in car: #20-Stewart was ill before the race, had an IV in the infield care center at Daytona, and felt better, but as the Coke Zero 400 progressed, Stewart felt worst and was replaced by former teammate, J.J. Yeley on lap 73. Yeley drives the #96 DLP Toyota, but failed to make the race.(7-5-2008)

  • Stewart ticked, defends Zippy: #20-Tony Stewart sharply defended crew chief Greg Zipadelli's decision to pit late in last weekend's race at New Hampshire, saying "it's easy to be an armchair quarterback." Stewart dominated the race but wound up 13th when officials stopped it 17 laps early because of rain. Zipadelli called for the late pit stop -- most of the leaders followed suit -- and Stewart found himself in the middle of the pack when the rain started a few minutes later. Many of Stewart's fans were critical this week of Zipadelli's call. "You see all of this criticism from people and it's people who can't even control their own lives and they want to sit here and tell us how to run race teams on the weekend," Stewart said. "I find that highly amusing that people think that they've got a better solution all the time than what we do. It's easy after it's all over to say, 'Well you should've done this. What was he thinking? If they were that smart, they would be crew chiefs, and obviously they're not that smart listening to the criticism. It just frustrates you as a driver knowing that you've got a crew chief that's won two championships and 30-plus races with you that people think they are a lot smarter than and they're not."(Associated Press/ESPN)(7-4-2008)

  • 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)

  • "Smoke" screen or is Stewart interested in the #5 ride? #20- Tony Stewart said Friday the new opening at Hendrick Motorsports could effect his decision about where he drives next season. Hendrick Motorsports announced that Casey Mears would not return in the #5 Chevrolet. "There's no one in the garage area that's not going to look in that direction," Stewart said. "You've got to look at it. Absolutely." Stewart has said he is exploring an ownership option to become the co-owner and a driver for Haas/CNC Racing. He was asked Friday when he might have a decision on his future. "At this morning's announcement [on the #5 car], I don't know," he said. "It may be pushed back even more. We'll wait and see. It's however long it takes to make the right decision. There's a lot of variables to look at. We've got all the information except what happened today. The good news is we still have time to look at it." Stewart is under contract with Joe Gibbs Racing through the 2009 season. JGR officials have said they plan to hold Stewart to his contact obligations in the #20 Toyota. Hendrick did not say who will drive the #5 Chevy next season, but ESPN.com reported Sunday Mark Martin will join the team and take over for Mears full time in one final attempt to win a Cup title.(ESPN)(6-27-2008)

  • More on Stewart and Haas CNC UPDATE done deal?: Tony Stewart is shopping for car sponsorships in anticipation of a potential partnership with Haas CNC Racing, multiple sources told ESPN.com. Although Stewart has a year left on his contract at Joe Gibbs Racing and JGR officials insist he hasn't asked for a release, the two-time Sprint Cup champion appears prepared to share ownership of Haas Racing's two-car team in 2009. One source close to the situation said there have been discussions with Ryan Newman as the second driver. Newman has said he will not return to Penske Racing if the performance of that team doesn't improve quickly. Newman's name definitely would help draw sponsorship to Haas. "He's talking to every major sponsor that is available out there for this Haas deal," one source said of Stewart and his representatives. "I don't know if it's done, but it sounds like it's very close." Office Depot and Old Spice have emerged as the favorites for at least one of the cars. Office Depot lost its bid to remain with Carl Edwards of Roush Fenway Racing when Aflac was chosen as the primary sponsor of the #99. Sources said there have been discussions with Stewart's representatives that would make Office Depot and Old Spice co-primaries with Office Depot as the lead sponsor. Old Spice already has a relationship with Stewart in the Cup and Nationwide Series. Stewart would not address his future following Sunday's race at Infineon Raceway. JGR president J.D. Gibbs insisted Stewart had not closed the door on signing a long-term deal with the company that brought him to Cup racing in 1999 and helped him win titles in 2002 and 2005. But there is widespread speculation that the reason JGR has rushed Joey Logano into the Nationwide Series is to prepare him to take Stewart's place should Stewart leave. Stewart admitted two months ago there had been inquiries from other teams. He acknowledged there had been talks with Haas CNC that included ownership.(ESPN.com)
    AND: am hearing that Stewart leaving JGR and buying into Haas CNC Racing is a done deal, supposedly the 2nd driver could be Martin Treux Jr. Hearing the sponsors could be UPS and Bass Pro Shops.(6-26-2008)
    UPDATE: supposedly the deal is done, earlier Friday, a source close to the situation said that Chevrolet has agreed to terms with Joe Gibbs Racing to buy Tony Stewart out of his contract with the #20-Toyota Sprint Cup racing team. Stewart will indeed be making the move to Haas CNC Racing, a rumor that has been circulating for months. Supposedly Stewart's new sponsor will be Office Depot and terms have been finalized regarding the impending sponsorship. In addition, Stewart will be joined by #12 Penske Racing driver Ryan Newman, who would be sponsored by Burger King. No word yet on what car numbers the drivers will run and an announcement could come as early as next week at the Daytona International Speedway.( Captain Thunder)(6-27-2008)

  • Zippy has an out if Stewart leaves, but may not: #20 crew chief, Greg Zipadelli insists he doesn't know what Tony Stewart will decide about his future, which, according to his contract, should include at least another year at JGR. But Zipadelli believes a decision is all but made and sounds like a man resigned to a split. "I truly have tried not to get wrapped up in that, questioning about the unknown in my mind,'' he said. "When that comes, I'll worry about that. Right now, I need to worry about me, my guys, my family and this race team and being in the top 12 in points.'' Should Stewart leave, Zipadelli could go with him and extend the longest crew chief-driver reign in Cup. The long-term extension he signed with JGR last season has outs in it if Stewart is not with the organization. But Zipadelli doesn't sound like a man seeking to start over as Stewart would be doing to some degree if he joined a fledgling race team such as Haas. He is happy at JGR and enjoys the security the company offers him and his family, which expanded by one this past Wednesday with the birth of his second son and third child.(ESPN.com)(6-18-2008)

  • Stewart to help out hometown flood victims UPDATE: When #20-Tony Stewart returned to his hometown of Columbus, Ind., late Sunday night after the race at Poco# There, Stewart, a 1989 graduate of Columbus North High School saw his town under water. With people displaced and many homes severely damaged if not destroyed, Stewart quickly found a new perspective on true sorrow and disappointment. On Monday, he visited the Columbus Public Works garage and thanked all those who had been working around the clock to help restore the town's infrastructure. He also stopped by his old junior high school, which the American Red Cross had converted into a shelter for flood evacuees. There, Stewart chatted with those who had to call the gymnasium floor their temporary home, and allowed them a short distraction from the headaches and worry that came when rising flood waters significantly altered their lives. There were so many stories of hardship, Stewart wondered where to even start. The answer: Sunday's LifeLock 400 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. Whatever Stewart's portion of the race winnings are in the LifeLock 400, he'll donate them to the American Red Cross in Columbus, with the money specified for flood assistance. Those wishing to join Stewart in helping those affected by the floods throughout Indiana can call 812-379-9551 or send checks payable to The American Red Cross, 931 Repp Drive, Columbus, IN 47201. If writing a check, write "Indiana Flood & Tornado Relief" on the memo line. How is your home in Columbus? "My old house by the high school is good. The farm is just wet, absolutely saturated. You can't get on it. You can't do anything. And we're getting baby deer now. We have four little ones, and we've got them on the deck in a small pen because you can't get on the ground to put them anywhere. They're so young, you don't want them to get stuck."(True Speed Communication/JGR PR)(6-13-2008)
    UPDATE: Others who felt that #20-Tony Stewart's fifth-place effort at Michigan served as a win were those in Stewart's hometown of Columbus, Ind. The area was ravaged by flooding last weekend, and Stewart's portion of the $136,986 he earned by finishing fifth in the LifeLock 400 will be donated to the American Red Cross in Columbus, with the money specified for flood assistance. Those wishing to join Stewart in helping those affected by the floods throughout Indiana can call 812-379-9551 or send checks payable to The American Red Cross, 931 Repp Drive, Columbus, IN 47201. If writing a check, write "Indiana Flood & Tornado Relief" on the memo line. "I'm happy we got a top-five for everyone in Columbus, Indiana, and that we can do something to help our community out," Stewart said. "It's been on my mind all weekend. That's what this top-five is for. When it's your own community and your own neighbors, it's good to generate a good amount of winnings for them."(True Speed Communication/JGR)(6-17-2008)

  • 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)

  • Zippy thinks Stewart has made his decision: While #20-Tony Stewart continues to play coy about his future, at least one person believes the two-time Cup champion already has decided what he plans to do. "I honestly think the decision's made, I just don't think we all know yet," crew chief Greg Zipadelli said. Stewart and Zipadelli are in their 10th season together at Joe Gibbs Racing in the longest active driver-crew chief combination in the garage.(ESPN/AP)(6-9-2008)

  • Stewart wins Prelude to the Dream: the fourth annual Old Spice Prelude to the Dream at Eldora Speedway was won by Tony Stewart, just beating Robby Gordon. The rest of the results of the race held June 4th at Eldora Speedway: 3) Clint Bowyer, 4) Kenny Wallace, 5) Denny Hamlin, 6) Matt Kenseth, 7) Kevin Harvick, 8) Jimmie Johnson, 9) Ken Schrader, 10) Kyle Busch, 11) David Reutimann, 12) Ryan Newman, 13) Red Farmer, 14) Jeff Gordon, 15) Cruz Pedregon, 16) Ray Evernham, 17) Ron Capps, 18) Carl Edwards, 19) Aric Almirola, 20) Dave Blaney, 21) JJ Yeley, 22) Kasey Kahne, 23) Bobby Labonte, 24) Mark Martin [DNS], 25) Bill Elliott [DNS].
    Winner's average speed: 32.494 mph
    Time of race: 27:41.858
    Margin of victory: 1.502 seconds
    Cautions: 7 (Lap 2: Yeley spin T3; Lap 6: Yeley spin T3; Lap 8: Labonte spin T2; Lap 9: Yeley spin T4, Newman, Farmer contact T2; Lap 11: Blaney, Stalled T2: Lap 16: Almirola, Stalled Frontstretch; Lap 19: Evernham, Spin T2)
    Lead changes: No Lead Changes
    Lap leaders: Stewart 1-30
    Attendance: More than 23,000
    Broadcast: HBO Pay-Per-View
    Following victory lane, Tony Stewart presented Kyle Petty with a check for $1,000,000 for the Victory Junction Gang Camp! Much more on the way in the coming hours at eldoraspeedway.com.(6-5-2008)
    Prelude to the Dream Replays to air: For fans who missed Wednesday's live pay-per-view broadcast of the Old Spice Prelude to the Dream, and for those who must see again, by popular demand the event is now available to consumers for replay via Cable and Satellite. The pay-per-view replays are available now! The race, which drew more than 23,000 fans, was broadcast live on HBO Pay-Per-View with proceeds from the telecast going to support the soon-to-be constructed Victory Junction Gang Camp - Kansas City and the Tony Stewart Foundation.
    Cable: Replays of the race will be widely available via on cable systems nationally. The Replay schedule varies by system, check your electronic guide for dates, times and specific channels.
    Satellite: DirecTV & Dish Network customers should check their channel guides for replay information
    The commercial-free broadcast will have replays throughout the week and the following weekend. HBO Pay-Per-View's racing telecast has a suggested retail price of $24.95.

  • Stewart/Logano/Gibbs...the latest: As Joey Logano's first sponsor for his first Nationwide Series race next weekend at Dover was being announced on Saturday one question begged to be asked. Is the 18-year-old sensation being groomed to replace Tony Stewart in the Sprint Cup series? As much as Joe Gibbs Racing president J.D. Gibbs loves Logano his preference is to groom him to be the driver of a fourth Cup team instead of having him replace one of Gibbs' current drivers. Gibbs said negotiations to extend Stewart's contract beyond 2009 are ongoing. "We're still just trying to feel out exactly where he is and exactly how he feels," Gibbs said. "We want him to be here. I want him to be here for a long period of time. At the end of the day all we can control is through next year." Gibbs has said he will hold Stewart to the last season of his contract. Stewart has said he has not asked out of next season despite reports he has. The only thing Stewart has confirmed is many teams are pursuing him and ownership has been part of the enticement for one team, Haas CNC Racing. Sponsorship also will be part of the equation. Home Depot, Stewart's sponsor since he came into NASCAR's premiere series, reported a 66% decline in first-quarter earnings. There have been rumblings about the company's long-term future in the sport. "They really are in a lot of ways the decision maker," Gibbs said. "We want to make sure whatever we do is something that encourages them. We wouldn't do anything unless they were on board and excited about it." As for Logano, Gibbs said he will compete in 18 to 19 Nationwide events and possibly a few ARCA races the remainder of this year. "The Cup thing, we're in no hurry," he said. "We're just going to watch and wait. When the time is right, we'll all be ready to go."(ESPN.com)(5-25-2008)

  • Logano turn 18: Joey Logano is legal. Now let the hype begin for NASCAR's most talked-about young driver. Joe Gibbs Racing unveiled a giant birthday cake and owner Joe Gibbs sang to Logano, who turned 18 on Saturday. That makes him eligible to compete in the Nationwide Series, and Logano will make his debut next weekend at Dover in a car sponsored by video game retailer GameStop. "It's a very big day for us," Gibbs said. "I kept telling Joey, 'Cheat. Pay something, move it up, find another birthday.' We couldn't wait to get him on the race track." Logano started racing in quarter-midgets at age 6 and later became the youngest champion in Legends Car history. A month after Gibbs signed the then-15-year-old to the team's development program, Logano won a Hooters Pro Cup race. He continued his success through lower forms of racing, and won an ARCA race earlier this month. "I feel like I'm ready to go out there and win races," Logano said. "I've been waiting on this birthday forever."(AP/ESPN.com)(5-25-2008)

  • Stewart's monkey, Mojo, finds new home: Mojo, a 3-year-old patas monkey previously owned by #20-Tony Stewart and Krista Dwyer, recently made the Louisville Zoo his home. When Stewart and Dwyer noticed Mojo maturing and becoming aggressive, they sought help. They contacted the head of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) patas monkey Species Survival Plan who recommended the Louisville Zoo as a great fit for Mojo. "The transfer of Mojo from an environment where he's been a pet to Louisville Zoo's Gorilla Forest is a win-win situation," Louisville Zoo Gorilla Forest supervisor Roby Elsner said. "Mojo gets to experience a social life typical for his species, and AZA's North American captive population of patas monkeys, which needs to grow, is increased by one." Mojo and Dwyer arrived in Louisville via a private jet Aug. 24, 2007. Since that time Mojo has gotten acquainted with his new home and has also been introduced to the Zoo's three female patas monkeys. He will be on exhibit for the first time tomorrow, Friday, May 23. "Tony and I know bringing Mojo to the Louisville Zoo was the best thing for him," Dwyer said. "We want Mojo to be happy and live a good life." Stewart agrees. "The Louisville Zoo and staff are first-rate," Stewart said. "They are very passionate about the animals they care for and truly believe in their mission. I know Mojo is in terrific hands." Dwyer said saying goodbye to Mojo was the hardest thing she has ever had to do. "We will miss him, but we know this is the best thing for him. We have to let Mojo grow up and be the best patas monkey he can be," she said, "and that means being with other patas monkeys. I love Mojo but want people to know that primates and wild animals don't make good pets." Dwyer and Stewart plan to visit Mojo often. For more, see the louisvillezoo.org site.(5-24-2008)

  • Latest on Stewarts 'plans': From a Toyota Motorsports Post-Qualifying PR, #20-Tony Stewart talked about his future plans:
    Do you have any updates on your talks?
    "Not yet. I'm getting close, that's the good thing. I feel like I'm on the back side of the hill of getting everything done. We're a lot closer than we were."
    Have you gotten your release from Joe Gibbs Racing and have you asked for it? "No, I have not asked for it."(Toyota PR)(5-23-2008)

  • 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 problems.(5-19-2008)

  • Stewart praises Goodyear: Only two months ago, #20-Tony Stewart angrily blasted Goodyear after the Atlanta race, saying the company had given him "the most pathetic racing tire I've ever been on in my professional career." But it was a joyful, smiling Stewart who praised Goodyear for its research and hard work in delivering tires that helped the Joe Gibbs Racing star to his first win Friday night on NASCAR's oldest superspeedway, Darlington Raceway. "I really want to give Goodyear a pat on the back," he said. The company made two trips since March to test tires on Darlington's slick, new surface, repaved at a cost of $7 million for the first time since 1995. The results were absolutely perfect for Stewart. "I'm the first one to tell them when they screw up and I want to be the first one to tell them when they do a good job, too," Stewart said.(ESPN/AP)(5-10-2008)

  • Stewart gives few hints about future: #20-Tony Stewart returned to Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday to help Chevrolet unveil its new midget-car engine, an appearance that prompted another round of questions about Stewart's plans and whether they might include IndyCars. "There's a part of me that thinks running at Indy and in IndyCar is a chapter of my life that is closed," he said. "Then there is the emotional part of me that says, 'Never say never.' I don't know if I'll ever get in an IndyCar again, but if that happens, it's going to be a long way down the road because I have a lot of commitments on the NASCAR side." Stewart has been running with Joe Gibbs Racing since 1998, and his current contract doesn't expire until the end of next season. Yet he's already fielding offers from other teams and said last month he had discussed terminating the deal early, depending on which offer he accepts. Some of those offers also include ownership of a team. Many believe Stewart, who turns 37 on May 20, is looking to move in part because he has long ties to Chevrolet, one of the Cup series' manufacturers. JGR is now using Toyotas, and Stewart remains winless this season after winning 32 times in his first nine years on the Cup circuit. While Stewart acknowledged he considered Chevy's deal with his own open-wheel teams a personal endorsement, he brushed off the suggestion that he was upset with driving a Toyota. "It wasn't weird when we started the program," he said. "It wasn't weird then, and it's not weird now. When we started our (open-wheel) program, Mopar provided us with engines and both sides understood." As so often happens when the Indiana native visits the speedway, however, the discussion quickly turned to one of his favorite subjects -- the Indy 500 -- and whether he would still like to race here. The answer: Only if it's a full-time gig in the IRL. "If I was going to come to Indianapolis again, I don't want to come and show up for the month of May," he said. "If I am going to do it, I need to start at Homestead. I need to run all of the races leading up to the month of May to really feel like I am being fair to the team and being fair to myself. ... As long as I'm driving a stock car, that basically takes that part of it out of the equation."(Associated Press/ESPN)(5-8-2008)

  • Latest Stewart Rumor...Bass Pro Shops? There has been no official word from either side, but it is becoming increasingly likely that #20-Tony Stewart will indeed leave car owners Joe and J.D. Gibbs at the end of this season, to start his own team, under the Rick Hendrick Chevrolet [with Haas CNC?] umbrella, possibly with Bass Pro Shops as his sponsor. If Stewart does depart, that would leave the Gibbses looking for a new driver. Joey Logano's chances of getting the nod? Sunday's Carolina 500 at Rockingham Speedway could offer clues. Logano is to start from the pole.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-8-2008)

  • Toyota staying out of Stewart negotiations: Toyota officials don't want to lose #20-Tony Stewart to another manufacturer, but they won't get involved in negotiations to keep the two-time Sprint Cup champion at Joe Gibbs Racing after his contract expires in 2009. "We're not a company that gets in the middle between owners and drivers," Lee White, the general manager of Toyota Racing Development, said before Saturday's race at Richmond International Raceway. "If there is a manufacturer out there that is spearheading or brokering or promoting an activity like this, I can promise you it will not be Toyota. We don't consider that to be our role in the garage." There has been speculation that Chevrolet is behind a move to lure Stewart, who uses the manufacturer for his Sprint car organization, to CNC Haas Racing. Part-ownership of the team also is on the table, which Stewart has acknowledged. "I'm going to go out on a limb and say Tony really likes to win," White said. "I think Tony's best opportunity to win races, multiple races, and continue to threaten for championships is right where he is."(ESPN.com)(5-4-2008)

  • Stewart/Yocum to help Shephard at Richmond: Morgan Shepherd's Faith Motorsports Dodge will hopefully be making a lot more trips around the Richmond International Raceway this weekend, thanks to the generosity of two of the veteran driver's modern-day heroes. Two-time Sprint Cup Champion #20-Tony Stewart and broadcaster Matt Yocum will provide tire sponsorship to the #89 team this weekend in an effort to help Shepherd build on last week's 13th place run at Talladega. Shepherd was a surprise call-in guest to the Tony Stewart Live radio show on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio on Monday evening, and before the conversation between Shepherd and the two hosts was over the duo had come aboard as tire sponsors for Friday night's Lipton Tea 250 at Richmond. "You say you need some tires for this weekend," Yocum said during the interview. "How about if Smoke and I each buy you a set of tires." Stewart and Yocum said they would each set Shepherd up with a set of tires for this weekend's 250-lap event at the .75-mile track at the Virginia State Fairgrounds. Stewart followed up by saying he would provide as many tires as Shepherd might need this weekend. Stewart went on to talk about how many modern-day fans of NASCAR don't appreciate the personal dedication that Shepherd and many other racers from his era put into the sport. "I know how much you put into it personally and I can appreciate it," Stewart said. "We'll make sure you have plenty of tires for this weekend."(PR)(4-30-2008)

  • Ownership not an option at JGR for Stewart: If #20-Tony Stewart wants to become a NASCAR team owner, he'll have to do it somewhere other than Joe Gibbs Racing. J.D. Gibbs, president of JGR, said Sunday that co-ownership at Gibbs is not an option for Tony Stewart, but other options are available. "Our [ownership] deal is set the way it is," Gibbs said. "But we could do some stuff to help him get started with his own team if that's what he really wanted." Stewart said earlier in the week that he is interest in becoming a Sprint Cup team owner. He also said Haas/CNC Racing has offered that option while allowing him to drive for them. But Stewart is under contact with JGR through the 2009 season. Gibbs said they have no intention of ending the relationship with Stewart before the contract expires. The deal with Home Depot, the primary sponsor of the #20 Toyota Stewart drives, also goes through 2009.(ESPN.com)(4-27-2008)

  • Stewart to leave JGR? UPDATE 3 statements Gibbs and Stewart: Sources tell Sports Illustrated that #20-Tony Stewart is working on the final stages of a deal to move from Joe Gibbs Racing to Haas CNC next season. Considering the ramifications of such a move, no one's admitting anything quite yet, as you'd expect. When reached for comment, Haas CNC Racing spokesman Ron Mench claims there's been no communication between Stewart and the organization. Stewart's PR spokesman Mike Arning was noncommittal ("I've heard what you've heard," when asked about Haas CNC) but he reminded SI [Sports Illustrated] that Stewart's contract with Gibbs runs through the 2009 season. "He's there this year and he's there next year," claimed Arning. "And I know for a fact that JGR is interested in retaining Tony for '10 and beyond. They'd like him to retire at Joe Gibbs Racing. As Tony's said many times, 'Nothing's broke. Why change it?' Tony's going to have a lot of options in front of him; why wouldn't he? But I don't see [an early out happening] ... everyone is going to live up to the terms of the contract that runs through '09." However, sources are adamant that not just the talking, but deal-making is already taking place for Stewart to go elsewhere. And, while sometimes a formidable opponent, contracts can be easily bought out, as Jamie McMurray and Kurt Busch have shown us in recent years.(Sports Illustrated)(4-23-2008)
    UPDATE: Tony Stewart has begun discussion with Joe Gibbs Racing officials about his future with the company, ESPN.com has learned. And that future, sources say, is questionable. Multiple sources close to the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity said Stewart told Gibbs officials that he'd like to be released from the final year of his current driving contract, which expires at the conclusion of the 2009 season. "He definitely has some options," JGR president J.D. Gibbs said. "To me it's no different than any of the the options he's had before. The reality is he's racing here through 2009. There's no ifs, ands or buts about that one. Our stance is he's racing for us through 2009." Stewart's publicist, Mike Arning, said "Tony's contract is through the 2009 season. When that is up he'll have a lot of options for 2010 and beyond. But in terms of what he's going to do, or might do, for now and in between, as far as JGR is concerned he's their driver for 2009." Sources said Stewart is intrigued by the thought of team ownership. One potential scenario mentioned was a partnership with Haas/CNC Racing, under which Stewart would own as much as a 50% stake in the race team that currently fields the #66 and #70 Chevys. Under that scenario he would drive one of those two machines. Haas GM Joe Custer said he has spoken with several people about the future status of his team, including Stewart's group. He was adamant that his team has reached no deal with Stewart, but would "by all means be interested in discussing a partnership with a driver of his caliber." Such a move would reunite Stewart with Chevrolet, which sources said was of the utmost importance to the driver, given that he's driven for General Motors for most of his career, and that GM sponsors Stewart's open wheel sprint car program. Gibbs switched to Toyotas from Chevrolets in 2008. Haas/CNC Racing currently fields cars built and powered by Hendrick Motorsports, the organization that has won four Cup championships in the past 10 years, including the past two.(ESPN.com)
    UPDATE 2: The following is a statement from J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing, regarding the contract status of driver Tony Stewart: "There has been much speculation regarding the future of our driver, Tony Stewart. Tony is currently here through 2009, and from a Joe Gibbs Racing standpoint, we hope he drives for us longer than that and retires here. Tony is a great partner and a huge asset to Joe Gibbs Racing. Right now, we are focused on winning races and winning the next two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships under his current contract."(Joe Gibbs Racing/True Speed Communication)(4-24-2008)
    UPDATE Stewart speaks: Tony Stewart has several different offers to leave Joe Gibbs Racing, and he is considering every option - including ones that could make him the owner of his own NASCAR team. "We've got multiple offers on the table right now, and there's a couple in particular that really have caught our interest," Stewart told reporters Thursday after Nationwide Series practice at Talladega Superspeedway. "We haven't made a 100% decision yet on what we're going to do, but we're going to look at all the options. And the options are exciting, all the way around." Stewart's deal with JGR runs through 2009, and he said last summer he was interested in signing an extension with the team he's driven for since 1998. But contract talks moved slowly, with Stewart saying in January he was in no rush to get a deal done. Stewart said Thursday he has not ruled out staying with JGR, but when he began negotiating a new contract, other teams approached him with new opportunities. The same thing happened back in 2003, when Stewart was able to leverage several deals - including one from Chip Ganassi - to secure a more lucrative contract with Gibbs. "A wise person told me it never cost a dime to listen, so right now we're all ears," Stewart said of the latest offers. "Right now it's just a matter of figuring out what we want to do, and being smart. We've had a great run at Joe Gibbs Racing. It doesn't mean it's over. We're just going to look at everything that's out there." Stewart said Thursday he has informed Gibbs officials of his offers, and there were discussions of potentially leaving the team early depending on what deal he agreed to. But he said "a couple offers" included ownership, and the thought of running his own team excited him. Stewart said he has not discussed owning a portion of JGR with owner Joe Gibbs. "Right now we've not asked to be released out of our contract," he said. "They know there are other offers on the table and we've said, `What if this is the case? And what if this is presented to us? Is there a possibility we could be released from our contract early?' But we have not asked to be released from our contract." Cary Agajanian, who represents Stewart through the Motorsports Management Int. agency, cited the sensitivity of contract talks in declining to comment. "His contract is through 2009 with Joe Gibbs Racing," said Agajanian, "that's about all we know, and all we can say."(Associated Press)(4-25-2008)
    am sure this will be much discussed about over the weekend at Talladega, there are already many articles posted on the Article Links page about the subject.

  • Stewart going for 'a record': Tony Stewart, the driver of the #20 Home Depot Toyota, has finished second six times but never won in 18 Cup races at Talladega. He's tied with Bobby Allison at Martinsville and Mark Martin at Pocono for NASCAR's record for single-track second-place finishes without a victory.(Alabama Live), Talladega is one of four Cup tracks that Stewart has never won a CUP race at: California, Las Vegas and Darlington.(4-24-2008)

  • 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)

  • Yellow car for Stewart at Phoenix UPDATE: #20-Tony Stewart will run a Subway sponsor #20 Toyota in the Subway Fit Fresh 500(k) at Phoenix International Raceway this weekend, the car will be yellow with green strips, Subway logo on hood and Home Depot on the 1/4 panels, see images of the scheme on my #20 Team Schemes page.(4-9-2008)
    UPDATE: UPDATE: Furthering its relationship with Tony Stewart and Joe Gibbs Racing, SUBWAY Restaurants will serve as primary sponsor of the #20 Toyota Camry in the Sprint Cup Series for three races in 2008. Longtime sponsor The Home Depot will adorn the quarterpanels of the #20 Toyota, while SUBWAY will have signage on the rest of the car. The #20 SUBWAY/Home Depot Toyota will make its debut April 10-12 during the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500k at Phoenix International Raceway, and will return to the track Aug. 29-31 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., and again Oct. 3-5 at Talladega Superspeedway. SUBWAY Restaurants has a yearlong associate sponsorship of the #20 Home Depot Toyota in the Sprint Cup Series and a personal services agreement with Stewart.(True Speed Communication/Joe GibbsRacing)(4-11-2008)

  • Tony cuts his mane: Tony Stewart comes into Martinsville Speedway relaxed and refreshed after a rare off-weekend on the 38-race weekend Sprint Cup Series schedule. The driver of the #20 Home Depot Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing is also a bit more aerodynamic, for the long hair he had sported since the end of last season is gone. Stewart's mane looks more like it did when he was a rookie in 1999.
    Tony Stewart, driver of the #20 Home Depot Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing:
    What made you decide to finally cut your hair? "To be honest, I just woke up one morning and told one of my roommates, 'Today's the day. I'm going to get it cut.' There was no rhyme or reason for it. I just woke up that morning and decided to get my hair cut, and that was that. I kind of laughed about it myself because there wasn't anything that happened that made me do it. I just went ahead and did it. People who know me say I look 10 years younger now."
    How is the aftermath of having your back waxed? "It's already growing back. It's like a Chia Pet."
    Is it a testament to NASCAR's popularity that the length of your hair and your hair follicles in general have become a topic of discussion?
    "Yeah, it's kind of unbelievable, and it does say that the sport is popular because I never thought the length of my hair would ever gain so much attention."(JGR PR)(3-28-2008)

  • Stewart and Zippy at the Rock: Tony Stewart will be climbing into the flagstand for the first time to wave the green flag to start a major stock car race when 50 cars come roaring by to start the Carolina 500 at Rockingham Speedway on May 4th. Stewart's Sprint Cup crew chief will also be in Rockingham for the Carolina 500 and he will trade his normal race day duties as crew chief in for a position as driver. Greg Zipadelli will drive the pace car for the parade laps to begin the 312-lap race before relinquishing the steering wheel back to Jack Wallace, the regular ARCA RE/MAX Series driver. "It is an honor to have Tony and Greg join us for our race," said track owner Andy Hillenburg. "Tony has the same passion for the sport that our fans have and there is not a nicer person in the garage area than Greg." Stewart and Zipadelli will be traveling to Rockingham after trying to win the Sprint Cup Series race the night before in Richmond, VA. If weather is a factor in Richmond then both men will not be present for the Carolina 500.(Rockingham Speedway)(3-28-2008)

  • Milestone coming up for Stewart...laps led: after Bristol, #20-Tony Stewart has led 9,892 laps in his Sprint Cup career, which is 13th all time and 108 laps short of 10,000. Bill Elliott is 12th at 11,416. #24-Jeff Gordon is the leading active driver with 19,557. Richard Petty is the all time leader with 52,194 [racing reference or 51.382 NASCAR Stats], followed by Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison, Dale Earnhardt and David Pearson. #8-Mark Martin is 11th at 11,437.(data from RacingReference.info and NASCAR Statistics)(3-24-2008)

  • 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)

  • Stewart gets waxed...see images: Last night [3/17] on "Tony Stewart Live" on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, Stewart and Kevin Harvick discussed their run-in in the final laps of Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. While running second and third, Harvick's and Stewart's cars came together, spinning Stewart out and knocking him back to a 14th place finish. Immediately after the accident, words were exchanged between spotters for the #20 and #29 teams.
    Kevin Harvick: "I think for me the biggest thing is just Bristol brings out the best in everybody. I was mad when I got out [of the car]. The spotter was mad when I got into the side of Tony and the emotions run so high. And it's not the spotter's fault. It's not anybody's fault. It's just part of our sport. It won't be the last time we probably run into each other but we get better at handling it amongst each other as you learn more about the situations and things like that. The spotters didn't have anything to do with me running into the side of him."
    Tony Stewart: "That's the thing about our sport that you don't see in other sports. We don't get a cool-down period. You get that pure, raw emotion and a lot of times it doesn't give us all a chance to compare notes. Like we were talking about earlier, I had called Kevin and I didn't even know what had happened and this was 6 o'clock at night by the time I got home. It just shows how passionate I think everybody is. The crew guys are just as passionate about what is going on as we are. In our case my spotter is also head of our chassis department so when I crash something he's the guy that has to fix it."
    Stewart: "Obviously, I was disappointed that we were in a wreck but I know, of all people, I trust Kevin more than anybody else on that racetrack. I know that anything that happens with us, just like what happened yesterday, I knew it wasn't intentional."
    Later in the show, Stewart made good on a longtime bet with his buddy Harvick. After some teasing about his hirsute torso, Stewart said a year ago on SIRIUS that if Harvick was able to raise $100,000 for the Victory Junction Gang Camp, he would agree to have his back waxed. Having reached the stated goal with fan donations and a matching contribution from Harvick himself, Stewart made good on his promise, undergoing the painful procedure last night live on SIRIUS as Stewart's co-host, Matt Yocum, and Harvick provided rip-by-rip commentary for SIRIUS listeners nationwide. Thanks to late donations by Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs, who pledged $15,000, and Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson, who donated $10,000, the total raised for Victory Junction Gang Camp surpassed $125,000. Asked during the procedure if the pain was worse than hitting the wall at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Stewart laughed and said, "Yeah, it does actually. It does hurt worse than hitting the wall at Vegas. It just isn't lasting as long." To hear audio clips and see photos from last night's show, visit www.sirius.com/nascar. Last night's show re-airs tonight at 11pm/et, Thursday at 10pm/et, Saturday at 10pm/et and Monday at 8pm/et on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, channel 128.(Sirius PR))(3-18-2008)

  • Drivers celebrities join resort advisory board: Sheridan Ridge Private Reserve, a more than 1,400-acre upscale resort community located in Southwest Virginia, announced the joining of top NASCAR celebrities Tony Stewart, Elliott Sadler, Denny Hamlin, Jeff Hammond and Greg Zipadelli to the project¹s Advisory Board. The Advisory Board members¹ duties will include weighing in on the property¹s planned amenities, as well as introducing individuals to the unique lifestyle of Sheridan Ridge. Each Advisory Board member will have a vacation home on the property. Sheridan Ridge will also introduce interested individuals around the country to the beauty of Southwest Virginia. More info at sheridanridgeva.com.(3-15-2008)

  • Stewart getting waxed on Monday - "Operation Wax Smoke": After almost a year, Tony Stewart will finally be getting his back waxed on Monday night [March 17th] at an undisclosed top secret location. Kevin Harvick will fill-in for Stewart through out much of the show [8:00pm/et Sirius Satelitte NASCAR Radio Channel 128]. At some point during the show Kyle Petty will receive a check for $100k for the Victory Junction Gang Camp. Some of the folks scheduled to appear or call-in: Kevin and Delana Harvick, Ford Martin, Kyle Petty and Darrell Waltrip, plus you never know who may call in to check on Stewart's condition. Also Jimmie Johnson told Ford Martin, TSL's National Motorsports Correspondent, that if Ford pulled a piece of wax off Stewart's back, Jimmie would donate an extra 10k to Stewart's foundation.(3-14-2008)

  • More comments by Stewart about Goodyear; NASCAR's Helton responds: Monday night on "Tony Stewart Live" on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, hosts Stewart and Matt Yocum discussed the race this past Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway and the controversy over the performance of Goodyear's racing tires. NASCAR President Mike Helton was a guest on the show and discussed the issue with Stewart.
    Stewart: "I'm not overreacting about Goodyear tires. This was my opinion about what we had. I'm the only driver that is in all this that has raced in Sprint car and Midget racing, Silver Crown racing, modifieds, super modifieds, the IRL with Indy cars and stock cars. I'm one of the few guys that has run enough of this stuff to actually know what it is like to have driven for Firestone, to have driven for Hoosier tires, you name it. We've even drove for Goodyear in some of these series but what we had yesterday at this level of competition was not acceptable. We've complained for years on numerous occasions behind closed doors to Goodyear and the problem doesn't get solved. So maybe this was one of these cases where maybe finally something good will come out of this. And if it sounds like we're whining about it it's because we're trying to get their attention. For Goodyear to say that they were satisfied with that, if they truly believe that they were satisfied with the way the race went yesterday I'm more disappointed than ever. And I can't believe that NASCAR, at the end of the day, is truly, honestly, happy with the results. We invited Goodyear to come on [the show] and state their side of it two different times in the last 24 hours and they graciously declined. I think that basically covers what we're dealing with here."
    NASCAR President Mike Helton was a guest on last night's show and discussed the tire issue with Stewart.
    NASCAR President Mike Helton: "Tony, we're all well aware of your opinion and you're right to express your opinion, albeit, I think maybe a little bit too strong in this case. What NASCAR asks for Goodyear to do this year as we completely run this new chassis from racetrack to racetrack is, first and foremost, bring a safe tire, a tire that is safe for the competitors to race on. And then bring one that is durable. And certainly bring one that is consistent so that everybody up and down pit road has the same tire as they compete in the events every weekend. I think what we did have in Atlanta was a tire that did not fail and we had a tire that was safe from that aspect and that it delivered in an environment that is a challenge right now because we're going back to a lot of places in '08 with a new chassis, new configurations underneath them by the crew chiefs and the engineers that are throwing challenges at Goodyear. And Goodyear all along the way has stepped up. They have been responsible. They have made a major commitment to put the right tires under NASCAR's national series and we're proud of our relationship with them. I think it is a little bit too much to blame whatever your opinion on Sunday was completely on Goodyear because we're all in this thing together, every crew member up and down pit road, every car owner, every driver, every supplier like Goodyear in the sport that wants it to do good, wants their product to be right. And I think Goodyear has made a commitment to that for NASCAR and for the competitors. Now that doesn't mean we're going to be exactly right every weekend. Sometimes NASCAR does things wrong. We make mistakes and we go back and we learn from them and we fix them.
    Stewart: "You can understand from [NASCAR's] standpoint, listening to Mike, what their objective is and what they feel like Goodyear's objective is but I think they would feel totally different about it if we made every one of the high-ranking NASCAR officials ride in the right seat this past Sunday and feel what we felt. I think they might have a little different opinion about it."
    "Tony Stewart Live" airs every Monday (8-10pm ET) exclusively on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, channel 128. Monday's show re-airs tonight at 11pm/et and Thursday at 10pm/et.(SIRIUS PR), see the full transcript of the tire segment on my Tires Sponsor News page.(3-13-2008)

  • Home Depot Sells Off Sponsorship For Some Races; Subway?: the Long Island Press reports that Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs told the Press Wednesday that the [Home Depot, #20 Tony Stewart] home improvement warehouse has sold off the primary sponsorship for some races to another company. "At times we'll bring people to them and say, 'Hey, what do you think,' and usually in the past they say, 'Thanks but no thanks,'" Gibbs said. "I think they found a partner here that makes sense for them." Gibbs wouldn't divulge who the partner is, saying, "I'll let them go into all that detail when the time is right." He did add, though, that the agreement is more than a one-off deal. Home Depot has shared primary signage with assorted other sponsors, including animated movies Shrek 2 and Madagascar, for one-off races in the past. A Home Depot PR rep reached by the Press following the interview with Gibbs had no comment other than adding that such announcements would be made by JGR. But without prompting, the spokesperson asked if anything had been mentioned during the interview about restaurant chain Subway. Stewart regularly stars in commercials for the company, and his car has carried small signage of the company's logo. Selling off races obviously saves money in a sport that is getting increasingly pricey to sponsor. JGR's contracts with Stewart and Home Depot run through 2009.(Long Island Press)(3-7-2008)

  • 10th Anniversary Scheme for Stewart at Atlanta: Tony Stewart's #20 Home Depot Toyota will sport a slightly different look when it takes to the track for this weekend's Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The traditional orange and black colors of primary sponsor Home Depot will remain, but in celebration of the Atlanta-based company's 10-year anniversary as a proud NASCAR sponsor and staunch supporter of Stewart and Joe Gibbs Racing, a special paint scheme designed by one of The Home Depot's 350,000 associates will adorn the #20 machine. In a company-wide contest that began on Dec. 17, 2007 and ended on Jan. 18, 2008, Home Depot associates were encouraged to design the car that Stewart would drive March 9 at Atlanta. From a total of 351 entries, the winning design came from the pen of Scott Foreman, a Pro Desk Sales Associate who works at The Home Depot in Brighton, Colo. A Pro Desk Sales Associate like Foreman bleeds orange, for they are on the front line of The Home Depot's core customer - general contractors and do-it-yourselfers who view no home improvement project as too large. The Home Depot entered NASCAR with a bang in 1999, as the world's largest home improvement specialty retailer became the Official Home Improvement Warehouse of NASCAR. Augmenting that platform, The Home Depot also signed to sponsor a newly formed second team of Joe Gibbs Racing with a rookie crew chief and a rookie driver who had made a name for himself in open-wheel race cars but was still a stock car neophyte.(True Speed Communication/Joe Gibbs Racing), see images of the scheme on my #20 Team Schemes page.(3-5-2008)

  • Stewart OK after hard wreck at Vegas: #20-Tony Stewart experienced a case of déjà vu in Sunday's UAW-Dodge 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The driver of the #20 Home Depot Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) had led six laps and was running solidly in the top-10 until a blown right front tire on lap 107 sent Stewart hard into the SAFER Barrier that lines the outside retaining wall in turn four. "That's the hardest one I've taken in a long time," said Stewart after being evaluated and released from the infield care center. "It just blew a right front I guess and went straight in. It didn't try to turn or anything. It was a real tight part of the corner. It hit so hard it's got my lower back sore and made my legs feel about half numb. They just tingled until we got to the infield care center. I tried to knock the fence down yesterday in the Nationwide race and thought I'd made some ground on it and tried to finish it off, but it shows how good the soft walls are. They still don't go anywhere. Yesterday, I just hit my right foot on the pedals because I hit (the wall) with the left side (of the car). It just bruised it. It bounced off it and hit it again today," said Stewart, who wound up 27th in the Nationwide Series race and 43rd in the Sprint Cup race. "Today's hit was probably 10 times harder than yesterday's. My legs were tingling and my lower back is sore. That's probably from tensing up on the way to hitting the wall. When you see the wreck coming and you know you're not going to miss it, every muscle in your body tenses up and that makes it worse." Despite feeling sore and knowing some bruising would have to be dealt with in the days to come, Stewart declared himself healthy for the team's test Monday and Tuesday at Phoenix International Raceway and the upcoming Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "I'll be all right for the test tomorrow in Phoenix," Stewart said. "It's going to be a miserable two days. I was already sore today and my foot was sore from the wreck yesterday. It didn't make it any better today. We'll do what we have to do the next two days and get ready for Atlanta."(True Speed Cummications/Joe Gibbs Racing PR)(3-3-2008)

  • 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)

  • Stewart getting waxed: During last night's SIRIUS radio show Tony Stewart Live with Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick mentioned "Operation Wax Smoke," and the fact that the fans had met the goal [of $100,000]. In response, Tony said he would like to have Kevin host the show while he was getting "the procedure." Now, we are just waiting on Tony to set the date! The fans raised a total of $39,611.00 and Harvick has pitched in the rest, which totaled $60,389.00 just to make the goal. Details as things become more final.(Kevin Harvick site)(2-13-2008)

  • Penalties for Busch, Stewart after practice incident? UPDATE Probation: NASCAR chairman Brian France kicked off the 2008 media tour in Charlotte, N.C., last month by saying Sprint Cup drivers needed to show more of their personalities. #2-Kurt Busch and #20-Tony Stewart obliged on Friday night when they got into a sheet metal exchange on pit road after an on-the-track incident that wrecked both of their cars in the final practice for Saturday's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. Both drivers immediately were summoned to the NASCAR hauler to meet with Series director John Darby and competition director Robin Pemberton. They will meet again on Saturday before the governing body determines what fines, if any, will be issued. The only words spoken by either driver -- both left through a side door without commenting -- came from Busch before entering the hauler. "It's a great way to start off 2008," he said, clapping his hands together.(more at ESPN.com)(2-9-2008)
    UPDATE: On SPEED's NASCAR Live, Bob Dillner reported that he spoke with NASCAR's Jim Hunter that Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch met Saturday morning in the NASCAR Trailer and the meeting was cordial. It was also reported that Stewart may had thrown a punch in the NASCAR trailer Friday night after the incident, but NASCAR declined to comment on that and no more about possible penalties for either driver yet. Dr. Dick Berggren talked to Stewart during practice, who was very contrite and said it was part of racing and that what happened was over.(2-9-2008)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR has placed drivers Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch on probation for the first six races of the 2008 Sprint Cup Series season, a result of their on-track altercations this past Friday during practice for the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona. Stewart, driver of the #20 Toyota and Busch, driver of the #2 Dodge, violated Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing; altercation with another competitor) of the NASCAR rule book.(NASCAR PR)(2-12-2008) .

  • Stewart to be honored UPDATE: #20-Tony Stewart will receive a ring for winning last year's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard in a ceremony Monday at the Indiana Statehouse. Stewart, a native of nearby Columbus, will receive the champion's ring from Indianapolis Motor Speedway boss Tony George during a ceremony on the floor of the Indiana House. He won the NASCAR race last July in a late duel with Kevin Harvick. It was Stewart's second Brickyard victory in three years at the track he considers his home.(myfoxtoledo.com/AP)(2-2-2008)
    UPDATE: Tony Stewart, one of Indiana's most accomplished and popular sports figures in history, enjoyed the spotlight at the Indiana General Assembly and collected his second Allstate 400 at the Brickyard champion's ring Feb. 4. Members of the Indiana House of Representatives and Indiana Senate honored Stewart in a joint resolution for his many accomplishments on track - including Allstate 400 at the Brickyard victories at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in 2005 and 2007, and two Sprint Cup Series championships, in 2002 and 2005 - and his numerous charitable acts off track. IMS Chief Executive Officer Tony George presented Stewart with his champion's ring for his 2007 victory on the floor of the Indiana House of Representatives in Indianapolis. "Getting the ring from the Brickyard, it was the highlight of the day, for sure," Stewart said. Members of the Indiana House of Representatives gave Stewart a rousing ovation upon his introduction by State Representative Milo Smith of Columbus. "That was pretty cool," Stewart said. "Politics is definitely not my angle normally, but to see everybody so excited to see us here today ... There's always something special when you come home and when you're around people in a state you grew up in, and when the people in that community are excited to have you back, it's something that makes you proud." Stewart said he was more nervous about being at the podium in front of the House of Representatives than he will be before the start of the Daytona 500, the season-opening Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 17. He will attempt to become the first driver to win consecutive Allstate 400 at the Brickyard events, on Sunday, July 27 at the legendary 2.5-mile IMS oval.(IMS PR, see photos and audio at indianapolismotorspeedway.com.(2-5-2008)

  • Stewart in no rush to sign contract extension: #20-Tony Stewart, who has spent his entire NASCAR Cup Series career at Joe Gibbs Racing, says he is in no rush to begin talks regarding a contract extension with the successful racing operation. "Right now I just want to get started with this year," Stewart said Tuesday. "I'm really not concerned about the end of '09 right now because we've still got to get through '08. Obviously, it's a topic with the team here, and they want to get it taken care of, but right now I want to see how the beginning of this year goes. Get halfway through the season before we even worry about talking about it again." Stewart's contract ends after the 2009 season. A change in manufacturer - the team will field Toyotas in 2008 after a long, successful stint with General Motors products - is of a more pressing concern to the 36-year-old Stewart. "There's nothing that has to be done right now anyway," he said of contract talks. "I'm here. It's about now to me; it's not about what's going to happen. Right now ... we've got a big change with a new manufacturer coming in, let's worry about running good and winning races and worry about the rest of it [later]." Stewart and crew chief Greg Zipadelli have been paired together since Stewart departed the open-wheel ranks to make the move to NASCAR.(in part from SceneDaily.com)(1-24-2008)

  • 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)

  • Stewart to test at Daytona: Tony Stewart will test the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota during the Jan. 14-16 session [2nd session] at Daytona International Speedway after skipping the session for the last three years. Sprint Cup teams will begin testing Monday [Jan 7th] and are split into two three-day sessions. Stewart will test in the second session, according to a team spokesman. The test will be the first full NASCAR test of the car of tomorrow at Daytona and will be the first NASCAR test for JGR in a Toyota after the team left Chevrolet following the 2007 Cup season.(SceneDaily.com)(1-3-2008)

2007 News

  • Stewart wins the Rumble: Tony Stewart held off teammate Mike Fedorcak over the final 25 laps to capture Saturday's USAC midget feature, capping the Rumble in Fort Wayne at the Memorial Coliseum Expo Center. The two-time NASCAR champion won on the one-sixteenth-mile indoor track for the fifth time in eight races over the past four seasons. After posting the fastest qualifying time and winning his heat race, Stewart sliced through the feature field, moving from his eighth starting position to fifth by lap four and into second place on lap nine. Stewart took the lead with an inside move on Geoff Kaiser in the first turn on lap 17 and beat Fedorcak by nearly a straightaway in the 60-lap race. Dave Darland was third, followed by Derek Bischak.(Indianapolis Star and more at the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette)(12-30-2007)

  • Latest on Stewart contract: Joe Gibbs Racing wants to sign #20-Tony Stewart to a new contract, even though his current contract runs through 2009. But Stewart said Thursday he doesn't plan to negotiate during the offseason. "It's flattering they already want to do this and get it done and out of the way, but I'm taking this offseason off. I need it desperately."(Tampa Tribune)(11-30-2007)

  • Stewart and Sirius announce winners of "The Stewies": Winners of the inaugural 'Stewie Awards' were announced tonight by two-time Nextel Cup Series Champion and SIRIUS Radio host Tony Stewart at the SIRIUS Satellite Radio Studios in New York City. The 2007 'Stewie Award' winners were decided by fans around the country who logged on to www.SIRIUS.com to vote for the best, boldest and funniest moments of the 2007 NASCAR season. The 'Stewies' were awarded during a special broadcast of Tony Stewart Live, the weekly talk show hosted by Stewart and Matt Yocum on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio channel 128, in the midst of the 2007 Nextel Cup Series Champions Week. Winners in 12 categories including "Best Duet," honoring outstanding teamwork by a driver and crew chief, "Best Original Drama," honoring the year's most exciting race moment, "Best Driver2Crew Chatter Exchange," "Best Stunt Sequence" and others were honored. Among the evening's highlights was the presentation of the "Stewie Lifetime Achievement Award" to two legends of NASCAR - former NASCAR Chairman and CEO Bill France, Jr. and Hall of Fame driver/broadcaster Benny Parsons, both of whom passed away in 2007. The winners of the 2007 'Stewie Awards' are:
    Stewie Lifetime Achievement Award
    * Bill France, Jr., former Chairman and CEO of NASCAR
    * Benny Parsons, Hall of Fame driver/broadcaster
    Golden Stewie Award - Honoring a legendary driver from the Golden Era of racing (1960-85)
    * A.J. Foyt
    Best Duet - For outstanding teamwork by a driver and crew chief
    * Clint Bowyer & Gil Martin: Martin keeps Bowyer calm and team performs only one adjustment all day to get Bowyer's first career Nextel Cup win in Sylvania 300 (Sept. 16)
    Best Original Drama - For year's most exciting race moment
    * Kevin Harvick edges Mark Martin to win his first Daytona 500 (Feb. 18) New Kid on the Track Award - For year's most outstanding performance by a rookie
    * Juan Pablo Montoya: Wins first Nextel Cup race in Toyota Save Mart 350 (June 24)
    Best Stunt Sequence (Hal Needham Award) - For year's most spectacular crash
    * Clint Bowyer: Crosses finish line at Daytona 500 on his roof (Feb. 18)
    Best Original Comedy - For year's most entertaining on track "incident" or occurrence
    * Robby Gordon performs "victory celebration" burnout despite losing Busch Series race at Circuit Gilles Villaneuve in Canada (Aug. 4)
    Best Vocal Performance - For year's most memorable quote or sound bite
    * Actor Kevin James: Provides memorable "Start Your Engines" command before Pepsi 400 (July 7)
    Best Engineering and Special Effects (Smokey Yunick Award) - For year's most creative - and ultimately illegal - modifications to a race car
    * Crew Chief David Hyder & MWR VP of Competition Bobby Kennedy: Illegal fuel in #55 car at Daytona 500 (Feb. 18)
    Dazed and Confused Award - For year's the most baffling move
    * Teresa Earnhardt and DEI allow Dale Earnhardt Jr. to leave for Hendrick Motorsports
    'I Got Dumped' Award - For year's most memorable on-track bumping
    * Kyle Busch: Wrecked by brother Kurt in Nextel All-Star Challenge (May 19)
    Best Driver2Crew Chatter Exchange - For year's most memorable driver-to-pit crew communication
    * Denny Hamlin/#11 team: Discuss "plan of attack" against Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #8 car during Subway 500 (Oct. 21)
    (see more at Sirius.com)(11-30-2007)

  • 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)

  • Stewart to hold "Stewie Awards": #20-Tony Stewart will award the first ever "Stewie Awards" during a live broadcast of his Sirius Satellite Radio show from New York Nov. 29 at 6 p.m. The completely made-up awards will honor drivers in such categories as "Best Duet," for the best teamwork between a driver and crew chief and the "Best Vocal Performance" for the driver who had the best memorable quote or sound bite. Nominees will be revealed in an upcoming "Tony Stewart Live" show, and fans will be able to vote at www.sirius.com/nascar.(10-18-2007)

  • Stewart on the tube tonight: Tony Stewart, in partnership with Goody's Cool Orange and Orange County Chopper, will be featured on this week's episode of American Chopper on The Learning Channel (TLC). The episode airs on Thursday, October 11 at 9:00pm and 11:00pm/et on TLC. The chopper, sponsored by Goody's Cool Orange, the orange flavored, fast-acting headache powder, was auctioned off earlier this year for $60,599.96 to benefit the Tony Stewart Foundation. Stewart and American Chopper's Paul Teutel Sr. gave race fans a sneak peek of the chopper during pre-race ceremonies in April's Goody's Cool Orange 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Consumers will have the opportunity to win a version of the Tony Stewart and Goody's Cool Orange Chopper through an in-store promotion this fall.(Goody's Racing PR)(10-11-2007)

  • 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)

  • Stewart Could Face Penalty for Obscenity: UPDATE: #20-Tony Stewart could face his second points deduction this season for using vulgar language after telling a cameraman to "get the f-- away from me" during an ESPN2 broadcast shortly after the first Nextel Cup practice ended Saturday morning at Kansas Speedway. NASCAR officials requested a videotape of the exchange and said they were investigating the matter. A penalty could damage a bid for a third championship by Stewart, who will enter Sunday's Lifelock 400 trailing Jeff Gordon by two points in the Chase for the Nextel Cup standings. Stewart was docked 25 points and fined $25,000 for saying "bull--" in an ESPN interview after winning the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. He was fined $10,000 and placed on probation through Dec. 31 for skipping media obligations after finishing second at Phoenix International Raceway on April 21. ESPN broadcaster Dr. Jerry Punch apologized to viewers after Stewart's latest transgression. "It was an unfortunate incident," ESPN spokesman George McNeilly said. "The tape speaks for itself. In our view, the photographer was doing his job."(USA Today)(9-30-2007)
    UPDATE: Tony Stewart will not be penalized for uttering an obscenity Saturday morning during the ESPN2 telecast of the Nextel Cup practice session, NASCAR officials confirmed Sunday at Kansas Speedway. "It's unfortunate, but there's a lot of other noise when you see the tape," said Jim Hunter, NASCAR's vice president of corporate communications. "If you run it over and over, you get it. But if our viewers and ESPN's viewers are sitting at home watching it, there's a chance they might not have heard that." Hunter said the decision not to penalize Stewart is in line with similar decisions when drivers said an obscenity outside a formal interview session.(ESPN.com)(9-30-2007)

  • Stewart to promote Ryobi tools at Kansas: When Tony Stewart goes for a repeat win in Sunday's LifeLock 400 Nextel Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway, he'll do so with lithium power augmenting the 850-horsepower beneath the hood of his #20 Home Depot Chevy. Ryobi (pronounced Ree-Oh-Bee) is introducing a new line of lithium-powered tools this week exclusively at The Home Depot. Commemorating this line of green and black tools will be a touch of green and black to Stewart's traditionally orange Home Depot Chevrolet at Kansas. The special, one-race paint scheme showcases the first line of affordable lithium tools, which are compatible with all current blue Ryobi 18-volt tools, including the range of Ryobi One+ Tools. Like Stewart's Joe Gibbs Racing-prepared Chevrolet Monte Carlo, the powerful new Ryobi lithium battery has a fuel gauge to indicate current charge levels. It's also 20% lighter than conventional NiCd batteries, and offers better performance in cold temperatures and holds a charge four times longer than comparable NiCd batteries when idle.(True Speed Communication/JGR PR), see images of the scheme on my #20 Team Schemes page.(9-26-2007)

  • Chevy hopes to get Stewart back in Cup: One of the top executives in the General Motors racing operation said the automaker will attempt to sign Tony Stewart to a contract with another Chevrolet team after his current deal with Joe Gibbs Racing expires. "We'd be interested in Tony staying with Chevy," Brent Dewar, GM North America vice president of sales, service and parts, said Friday at Richmond International Raceway. "Most fans don't realize that the drivers sign with the teams, and we all respect that. I understand he's through 2009 currently with Gibbs. We'd love for him to continue with Chevrolet down the road. ... "We've had a great relationship with Tony." Dewar also said Chevrolet will continue to support Stewart's hobby-sprint-car racing-despite his defection to Toyota next year along with the rest of the Gibbs drivers. "We've just got to sit down and see if it makes sense for all parties," Dewar said. "We are starting to work with him and develop ... he's passionate about sprint cars, so we can see some avenues." Stewart said during last week's Toyota press conference that he is planning an aggressive round of contract negotiations with his team.(Ford Racing)(9-8-2007)

  • 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)

  • Extensions for Stewart & Hamlin close: [Joe Gibbs Racing's] Car owner J.D. Gibbs says that contract extensions are nearly set with #11-Denny Hamlin and #20-Tony Stewart. Both have contracts through 2009. Both are set to attend the team's press conference later this week announcing the [supposed] move to Toyota and their contact extensions could be announced there.(Roanoke Times)(9-4-2007)

  • 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)

  • Zippy to help build playground: Greg Zipadelli, crew chief of the #20 Home Depot Racing Team, along with volunteers from The Home Depot, Joe Gibbs Racing, KaBOOM!, Inland Empire United Way's (IEUW) Hands On Inland Empire initiative, and members of the Fontana, Calif., community are teaming up to build a racing-themed playground on Thursday, Aug. 30 at North Tamarind Park. The one-day playground build is part of The Home Depot's Racing to Play program that is aimed at making a lasting, positive impression in the lives of children who live in NASCAR race communities. The playground's design is based on drawings by children who live in the community. North Tamarind Park is centrally located in the community, and its current playground equipment is more than 25 years old and does not meet safety standards for daily use. IEUW's Hands On Inland Empire initiative strengthens volunteer impact in the community through programs, partnerships and services. IEUW helps disadvantaged kids succeed in school, provides easy access to social services, and develops volunteer opportunities to create positive change. IEUW serves more than 7,300 children each year. The Home Depot's Racing to Play program will build 10 racing-themed KaBOOM! playgrounds in 2007 and is a partnership between The Home Depot, Joe Gibbs Racing, and KaBOOM!, a national non-profit organization whose vision is to create a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America.(True Speed Communication PR)(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)

  • Stewart wins at Watkins Glen: #20-Tony Stewart won the Centurion Boats at The Glen at Watkins Glen International for his 3rd win in 2007 and 32nd of his career [ties him for 19th on the all-time list with Dale Jarrett]. Stewart beat #11-Hamlin by 0.464 seconds, the rest of the top-10 were #48-Johnson, #96-Fellows, #7-Gordon, #1-Truex Jr., #5-Busch, #99-Edwards, #24-Gordon and #16-Biffle. #24-Gordon was leading with two laps to go when he wheel hopped in the 1st turn and spun, falling to 9th and handing the lead over to a charging #20-Stewart. #8-Earnhardt Jr. finished 42nd losing an engine after running in the top ten most of the day, he drops to 14th in drivers points, 2 spots outside the Chase, but falls to 100 pts behind #2-Busch who is 12th, #12-Newman is now 13th, 96pts out of the Chase. There were 8 cautions for 20 laps [and a 25 minute red flag] and only 6 drivers led the race with 9 lead changes.
    Race Results on my Watkins Glen Race Results/Awards Page.
    Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Watkins Glen page
    Race Rundown: see my Watkins Glen Race Info/Rundown Page for my race rundown page, laps led, top 10, race notes, lucky dogs and more.(8-12-2007)

  • Prelude to the Dream Raises $800,000 after Ground-Breaking Telecast on HBO Pay-Per-View: The third annual Nextel Prelude to the Dream presented by Old Spice, held June 6 and broadcast live on HBO Pay-Per-View, raised $800,000 for charity. The 30-lap dirt late model event at the famed Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, featured some of racing's biggest stars, and in a thrilling race won by NASCAR Nextel Cup Series driver Carl Edwards, it allowed the Tony Stewart Foundation to make significant contributions to charity. The chief benefactor of the Nextel Prelude to the Dream presented by Old Spice was the Victory Junction Gang Camp. The Randleman, N.C.-based organization that serves as a year-round camp for children ages seven to 15 with an assortment of life-threatening illnesses will receive $600,000 from the Tony Stewart Foundation. Also receiving support from the proceeds generated by the Nextel Prelude to the Dream presented by Old Spice was the Autism Society of Delaware and Motor Racing Outreach, with each entity receiving $25,000. The remaining $150,000 stayed with the Tony Stewart Foundation, allowing the Foundation to continue its support of groups caring for chronically ill children, drivers injured in motorsports activities and charitable outfits specializing in the protection of various animal species. Charities actively supported by the Foundation include, but are not limited to, the Ronald McDonald House, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Indiana Special Olympics, Greyrescue (Greyhound Rescue Organization) and the Victory Junction Gang Camp.(True Speed Communication PR)(8-9-2007)

  • 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)

  • Harvick still ticked at Stewart: #29-Kevin Harvick is still upset with good friend #20-Tony Stewart, who ran into him in the closing laps at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and ruined what should have been a second-place finish. "He's called. I just haven't answered," Harvick said Thursday between practice sessions for the inaugural Busch Series race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. The contact between the two cars with 10 laps to go in Sunday's race damaged Harvick's front fender and ruined his Chevrolet's handling. Stewart drove off to victory, Harvick faded to seventh, and the difference cost him 24 points in the standings and $116,439 in prize money. As they head to Pocono Raceway for this weekend's Nextel Cup race, the duo will have to work through Harvick's hard feelings. Stewart admitted right after Sunday's race that he'd made a mistake by running into Harvick while attempting to retake the lead. "If I'm going to preach about give and take, it's stupid for me to not do the same thing," Stewart said. "If I want people to race me with respect, I'm going to race people with respect. I didn't mean to get into Kevin. That wasn't my intention. There was no logical reason to get into him. That was a mistake on my part." It's particularly awkward because Harvick and Stewart are good friends, and Stewart regularly drives Harvick-owned cars in the Busch Series. Stewart even drove Kevin Harvick Inc. cars to a pair of victories at Daytona. Harvick said he just needs some time. "I don't think you let anything on the track affect your relationship off the race track," he said. "For me, it's better to just take some time and think about things and just realize where we are and go from there. I'll get over it. At some point. And we'll still be friends."(Associated Press)(8-3-2007)
    UPDATE: from a GM Racing PR, #20-Tony Stewart was asked if had spoken to #29-Kevin Harvick:
    Q) Have You and Kevin Harvick Talked Since Indy? "Yeah, we talked last night. And I know what he was disappointed about. He should have run second. He had the second best car for sure. Kevin and I are good friends and we talked about it last night. I would have been upset if the roles were reversed too. I can't blame him for that. I made a mistake. I let the car get too high. I've heard differences of opinions from people watching the tape but I still take responsibility for it. I would never race Kevin like that on purpose. I don't race anybody like that on purpose because I'm big about racing guys clean and having them race me clean. But the thing is, when I make a mistake I fess up to it right away and I did it right in victory lane when we won the race. We had more to lose there then to gain in that situation. So it shows how big a race it is to everybody. Finishing second there would have been a heck of a lot better for him than seventh, for sure."(GM Racing PR)(8-4-2007)

  • Stewart's 'BS' slip UPDATE 2 fined: yes #20-Tony Stewart said 'BS' in his post race interview on ESPN [Cable..not network], NO word when/if Stewart will be fined and/or penalized by NASCAR, in 2004, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was penalized for dropping the 'S' bomb on network [NBC] TV after winning and was fined $10k and 25 drivers/owners points. If penalized, it would be announced on Tuesday.(7-29-2007)
    UPDATE: Tony Stewart, excited over winning at the track he cherishes more than any other, got a little carried away in his postrace interview. The expletive he uttered could cost him a penalty later this week. Stewart was celebrating his second win the Allstate 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday when he uttered the obscenity on ESPN. While NASCAR officials would later say they thought there was a network delay protecting the driver, ESPN officials said delays are only used on replays of radio conversations, not live victory lane interviews. "It was an unfortunate incident that we did not anticipate," said ESPN officials in a statement. NASCAR officials said they will address the issue at the beginning of the week. Vice President Jim Hunter said there could be a penalty or a loss of points. He also said that NASCAR would talk to ESPN officials.(SceneDaily.com)(7-30-2007)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR announced that Tony Stewart has been fined $25,000 and penalized 25 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series driver championship points, as a result of using inappropriate language during a post-race televised interview following his victory Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Stewart, driver of the #20 Home Dept Chevrolet, retains his fifth-place standing in the series points, with his total points reduced to 2,599. Stewart violated Section 12-4-A of the series rule book (actions detrimental to stock car racing) by using the inappropriate language. In addition, Stewart's car owner, Joe Gibbs, has been penalized 25 car owner championship points because of the infraction.(NASCAR PR)(7-31-2007)

  • Stewart wins at Indianapolis: #20-Tony Stewart won the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for his 2nd Brickyard 400 win, 2nd win of 2007 and in a row and 31st of his career. Stewart beat #42-Montoya by 3.535 seconds, the rest of the top-10 were #24-Gordon, #5-Busch, #41-Sorenson [the pole sitter], #01-Martin, #29-Harvick, #01-Martin, #22-Blaney and #17-Kenseth. 2nd in pts #11-Hamlin had a late race pitstop miscue and finished 22nd, a lap down and is now 371 pts behind pts leader #24-Gordon. #8-Earnhardt Jr. finished 34th losing an engine after running in the top ten most of the day. #48-Johnson wrecked when he lost a tire and finished 39th, falling to 9th in drivers pts. #29-Harvick was called to the NASCAR hauler after banging into Stewart after the race. Stewart passed Harvick with a few laps to go and banging his way past Harvick. There were 9 cautions for 43 laps and only 6 drivers lead the race with 14 lead changes.
    Race Results on my Indianapolis Race Results/Awards Page.
    Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Indianapolis page
    Race Rundown: see my Indianapolis Race Info/Rundown Page for my race rundown page, laps led, top 10, race notes, lucky dogs and more.(7-29-2007)

  • 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)

  • Drivers Have Different Plans for Off Week: The last open weekend on the Nextel Cup schedule until Thanksgiving means different things to different drivers as they gear up for a stretch of 17 races without a break starting July 29 in the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. Jeff Gordon is going to pack up his family car for a short road trip with wife Ingrid and month-old daughter Ella Sofia. Jimmie Johnson and wife Chandra are flying to Europe. Kyle Petty is getting on a motorcycle to join his annual charity ride. Elliott Sadler is heading to the golf course. And several drivers will be driving, either in a Busch Series race in suburban St. Louis or, in Tony Stewart's case, at a time and place still to be determined.(Indianapolis Star)(7-17-2007)

  • Stewart looking to tie Pearson: #20-Tony Stewart will be hunting for a record third consecutive Pepsi 400 victory in this year's 160-lap, 400-mile event at Daytona International Speedway. Stewart will attempt to tie David Pearson's record of three straight Pepsi 400 wins (1972-74).(DIS PR)(7-4-2007)

  • 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)

  • SPEED To Re-Air Tony Stewart's Nextel Prelude to the Dream: SPEED has secured exclusive basic cable replay rights for Tony Stewart's "Nextel Prelude to The Dream" dirt late model race, with the first airing scheduled for July 8 at noon ET. SPEED also will support the event's cause, donating advertising time to the Victory Junction Gang Camp.(SPEED TV PR)(6-30-2007)

  • 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)

  • Zipadelli to help build playground: Greg Zipadelli, crew chief of the #20 Home Depot Racing Team, is teaming up with volunteers from The Home Depot, Joe Gibbs Racing, KaBOOM! and members of the Detroit community to build a racing-themed playground on Thursday, June 21 with Communities In Schools of Detroit, Inc. The playground is part of The Home Depot's Racing to Play program that is aimed at making a lasting, positive impression in the lives of children who live in NASCAR race communities. The playground's design is based on drawings by children who are served by Communities In Schools, which works to help kids succeed in school and prepare for life. The organization operates in more than 100 schools in the city and serves more than 40,000 children each year. The playground is being built at the Center for Community Collaboration, which is located in an area that is easily accessible by hundreds of the students served by Communities In Schools. The Home Depot's Racing to Play program will build 10 racing-themed KaBOOM! playgrounds in 2007 and is a partnership between The Home Depot, Joe Gibbs Racing, and KaBOOM!, a national non-profit organization whose vision is to create a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. In the program's first two years, more than 4,400 volunteers donated approximately 33,300 hours of service to build 20 Racing to Play playgrounds that have impacted the lives of more than 11,000 children in race markets across the country.(True Speed Communications PR)(6-18-2007)

  • 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)

  • 300th career start for Stewart at Sonoma: As the Nextel Cup Series rolls into California's wine country for this weekend's Toyota/SaveMart 350k at Infineon Raceway, it's time to toast Tony Stewart's 300th career Nextel Cup start. The driver of the # 20 Home Depot Chevy first came to stock car racing's pinnacle circuit in 1999 when he teamed with Joe Gibbs Racing and crew chief Greg Zipadelli. They debuted in the Daytona 500, where Stewart qualified on the outside front row next to another up-and-coming driver - Jeff Gordon. Stewart scored his first win in his 25th career start at Richmond, and has gone on to post 28 other wins and two Nextel Cup championships in his 274 starts since.(True Speed Communication PR)(6-18-2007)

  • Stewart unhappy with Gilliland after Happy Hour incident: #20-Tony Stewart was none too pleased Saturday with #38-David Gilliland, who caused considerable damage to Stewart's Chevy during the final Nextel Cup practice prior to Sunday's Citizen's Bank 400 at Michigan. The accident occurred when Gilliland was headed to pit road in his #38 Ford at the end of a long run on old tires. Stewart was just coming out of the pits on new tires. "He checks up at the end of the straightaway, and we run into him," a frustrated Stewart said. "It's really, really easy to see it. They've got two different cameras views of it, and he never stuck his hand out of the window [to signal he was going into the pits]. It really screwed up a really good racecar for [Sunday]. It didn't need to happen. It shouldn't happen." Stewart said he was hoping NASCAR officials would talk to Gilliland about what happened.(NASCAR.com)(6-17-2007)

  • Encore of Nextel Prelude to the Dream Available on HBO Pay-Per-View: For those who want to experience the excitement and camaraderie of the third annual Nextel Prelude to the Dream presented by Old Spice at Eldora Speedway, HBO Pay-Per-View will have encore presentations of the all-star dirt late model race available until June 10. Contact your satellite or cable provider and check your local listings for dates and times. "I think from the time we got into hot laps to the time they dropped the checkered flag, we got as much drama as I have ever seen in a the Nextel Prelude to the Dream presented by Old Spice," said Tony Stewart, multi-time racing champion and owner of Eldora Speedway. "All of us drivers had a lot of fun, and everyone I talked to who saw the live broadcast said it showed a side of us they hadn't seen before." The more than three-hour production features all the racing action, including three heat races, a B-Main race and the 30-lap feature, which features a thrilling duel between Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch and winner Carl Edwards. The broadcast went behind the scenes as 26 world-class drivers went back to their racing roots by competing for nothing more than pride, a trophy and raising money for the Victory Junction Gang Camp.(True Speed Communication PR)(6-9-2007)

  • Nextel Prelude to the Dream - Edwards wins: Carl Edwards won the NEXTEL Prelude to the Dream presented by Old Spice dirt late model race June 6 at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. Edwards won the 30-lap race on the half-mile oval by .305 of a second over Kyle Busch. Jeff Gordon finished third. Edwards led all but two laps en route to victory, but had to contend with Gordon and Busch throughout much of the event. Gordon, who made his first appearance at Eldora since 1991, led lap 11 and challenged Edwards throughout most of the event. There were three cautions during the event, although the laps conducted under caution did not count. The only major accident occurred on lap 17 when Tony Stewart, Bobby Labonte and Kasey Kahne crashed in turn two. Labonte and Stewart, who finished 21st and 22nd, respectively, were done for the night. Kahne was able to continue and finished sixth. The race was broadcast live on HBO Pay-Per-View with the proceeds from the groundbreaking telecast going to support the Victory Junction Gang Camp and the Tony Stewart Foundation.
    Results of the NEXTEL Prelude to the Dream Presented by Old Spice Dirt Late Model event June 6 at the half-mile Eldora Speedway, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, laps completed and reason out (if any):
    1. (2) Carl Edwards, 30
    2. (8) Kyle Busch, 30
    3. (4) Jeff Gordon, 30
    4. (1) Ken Schrader 30
    5. (11) Clint Bowyer, 30
    6. (7) Kasey Kahne, 30
    7. (16) Matt Kenseth, 30
    8. (10) J.J. Yeley, 30
    9. (15) David Reutiman, 30
    10. (5) Mark Martin, 30
    11. (9) Aric Almirola, 30
    12. (18) Dave Blaney, 30
    13. (13) Kenny Wallace, 30
    14. (20) Kevin Harvick, 30
    15. (25) Juan Pablo Montoya, 30
    16. (17) Denny Hamlin, 30
    17. (21) Red Farmer, 30
    18. (12) Ryan Newman, 30
    19. (24) Cruz Pedregon, 29
    20. (22) Mike Wallace, 24
    21. (6) Bobby Labonte, 17, Accident T2
    22. (3) Tony Stewart, 17, Accident T2
    23. (23) Ray Evernham, 5, Spin T2
    24. (19) Ron Capps, 2, Mechanical
    Elliott Sadler, DNS
    Bill Elliott, DNS
    Race Statistics
    Margin of victory: .305 of a second
    Cautions: 3 (Lap 2: Capps stalled backstretch; Lap 6: Evernham spin T2; Lap 17 Stewart, Labonte, Kahne accident T1)
    Lead changes: 3 among 3 drivers
    Lap leaders: Schrader 1, Edwards 2-10, Gordon 11, Edwards 12-30
    Attendance: More than 20,000
    See results and more info about the Nextel Prelude to the Dream presented by Old Spice at www.eldoraspeedway.com.(True Speed Communication PR) (6-7-2007)

  • Stewart/Busch Tangle; Busch almost hits #20 crewman UPDATE 3 Suspension?: been asked why no penalty announced for #2-Kurt Busch on Tuesday [when penalties are usually announced], two reasons: 1) the Dover race was postponed from Sunday to Monday, so things got pushed back a day too; 2) the death of Bill France Jr. So we could see some sort of penalty announcement on Wednesday [June 6th]. ESPN2's NASCAR Now show reported that NASCAR officials met Tuesday afternoon about the situation. What happened? here is what I have posted in my race report: #20-Stewart and #2-Busch got together, Stewart finished 40th after the team made repairs, Busch came to pit road and ran close to the #20 and stopped, the jackman had to hustle to get out of the way, Busch then peeled out when he left, NASCAR parked Busch the rest of the race and will meet with NASCAR at the trailer after the race.(6-5-2007)
    UPDATE: #2-Kurt Busch and #20-Tony Stewart dealt with more than damaged cars following their incident on lap 271 of Monday's rain-delayed Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Speedway. They dealt with wounded feelings as well. The incident occurred when Busch tried to move up in front of Stewart and the left front of Stewart's car tagged the right rear of Busch's. Stewart then hit Busch again after Busch bounced off the wall. On pit road, Busch pulled up beside Stewart, who was sitting in his pit stall. NASCAR then parked Busch for endangering Stewart's crew members. A penalty is expected. They both paid for the accident, with Busch finishing 42nd and Stewart 40th.(SceneDaily.com)(6-6-2007)
    UPDATE 2: been hearing that Busch will be suspended one race and miss Pocono, nothing confirmed yet, no word who would drive the car. And Auto Racing Sport.com is reporting the same.(6-6-2007)
    UPDATE 3: ESPN2's NASCAR Now reported that NASCAR would not make any announcement on a penalty, if any, before Friday.(6-6-2007)

  • 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)

  • Stewart to work as pit reporter for SPEED during Nextel Open: #20-Tony Stewart will work as a SPEED pit reporter during the Nextel Open, a qualifying event that moves the top two finishers forward into the Nextel All-Star Challenge. Nextel Cup Series drivers #99-Carl Edwards, #18-J.J. Yeley and #84-A.J. Allmendinger have all agreed to make themselves available as SPEED pit reporters for the Nextel All-Star Challenge if they do not advance to the main event.(SPEEDtv PR)(5-15-2007)

  • 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."
    "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."
    "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)

  • Stewart in NASCAR Control Tower for Busch Race: NASCAR officials invited #20-Tony Stewart to the join them in the control tower Friday night during the Busch race at Richmond. He was not required to attend, but was asked to join NASCAR officials so he could better understand the calling of the races, especially caution calls.(5-5-2007)

  • Tony Stewart Fined And Placed On Probation: NASCAR announced today that Tony Stewart, driver of the #20 Chevy, has been fined $10,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31, 2007 for failing to fulfill his post-race media obligation following the Subway Fresh Fit 500 race last Saturday night at Phoenix International Raceway. Stewart violated Sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 12-4-H (any member who violates 7-2B: Failure to meet obligation of an accepted entry; failure to fulfill post-race media obligation - with addition to the winning driver, the second and third-place drivers and the highest finishing rookie of the year candidate must also report to the media center upon the conclusion of the race) of the 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series rule book.(NASCAR PR)(4-27-2007)

  • NASCAR responds to Stewarts comments UPDATE 4 Stewart penalized: NASCAR called Tony Stewart's comments "very, very disappointing." "NASCAR has been running races since 1948, and we place the safety of the drivers at the top of the list," said spokesman Jim Hunter. "We have more people and more resources than ever officiating our races. The safety of the drivers is our first priority. It has always been that way and will continue to be that way. There are thousands of talented race drivers out there who would consider it an honor to compete in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series."(Associated Press), see more on Stewart's comments below.(4-26-2007)
    UPDATE: been told that NASCAR didn't allow the #20 Home Depot team to unload the car until Tony Stewar went to the NASCAR Hauler to discuss his comments about NASCAR and the debris cautions/staging races.(4-27-2007)
    UPDATE 2: Tony Stewart met with NASCAR officials early this morning after a week in which he first skipped out on postrace media obligations following his second-place finish at Phoenix and then bashed the sanctioning body on his weekly radio show. According to the NASCAR entry blank, "the second and third place drivers, and the highest finishing Rookie of the Year candidate, must also report to the media center upon conclusion of the race." Since he left the track without fulfilling his obligation to speak to TV reporters or appear in the media center, Stewart has lashed out at NASCAR on his weekly radio show. Stewart met with officials at 7:00am/et, and NASCAR did not let his Joe Gibbs Racing team unload its car from the transporter until that meeting ended at 7:35am. Other competitors had unloaded their cars and begin work when the garage opened at 7am. Stewart is scheduled to meet with the media Friday.(SceneDaily.com)(4-27-2007)
    UPDATE 3: ........The remarks infuriated image-conscious NASCAR officials, who called Stewart in to address the issue at 6 a.m. Friday, the hour the garage opened. "It's a little tender for me to sit down right now," Stewart quipped. But it wasn't a joke to NASCAR, which was expected to announce penalties later Friday. Series officials watched from the back of the media center as a humbled Stewart made his comments, which contrasted starkly with his remarks Tuesday. "To be honest, the group that I spoke with this morning is a group of peers that I trust. If they tell me the stuff is out there, I believe them," he said. "I should have went to them instead of just saying it out in public. That's frustration that's been building up with all these debris cautions."(NASCAR.com)
    UPDATE 4: SPEED reported that NASCAR has fined Stewart $10,000 and place Stewart on probabtion for the rest of the 2007 season for failing to fulfill his obligation to speak to TV reporters or appear in the media center at Phoenix.(4-27-2007)

  • NASCAR responds to Stewarts comments: NASCAR called Tony Stewart's comments "very, very disappointing." "NASCAR has been running races since 1948, and we place the safety of the drivers at the top of the list," said spokesman Jim Hunter. "We have more people and more resources than ever officiating our races. The safety of the drivers is our first priority. It has always been that way and will continue to be that way. There are thousands of talented race drivers out there who would consider it an honor to compete in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series."(Associated Press), see more on Stewart's comments below.(4-26-2007)

  • Stewart not Happy with NASCAR: #20-Tony Stewart accused NASCAR of "playing God" by using caution flags to orchestrate closer racing. During his Tony Stewart Live program Tuesday night on Sirius Satellite Radio, Stewart lambasted officials for throwing four yellow flags for debris during Saturday's Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Stewart didn't feel any of the caution periods were warranted, implying NASCAR intentionally was trying to bunch up the field by slowing the pace of the racing. "To me it's not all about the money, it's about the integrity of the sport, and when I feel our own sanctioning body isn't taking care of that, it's hard to support them and feel proud about being a driver in the Nextel Cup Series when they're throwing debris cautions," he said. "It's like playing God. They can almost dictate the race instead of the drivers doing it. It's happened too many times this year. You get so frustrated ... But enough of it's gone on that fans are writing in and talking about it. At what point does NASCAR get the hint? I guess NASCAR thinks, 'hey wrestling worked, and it was for the most part staged, so I guess it's going to work in racing, too.' "
    NASCAR officials had no immediate reaction Wednesday to Stewart's remarks. Stewart was particularly displeased with a debris yellow that occurred as he was catching Kevin Harvick for the lead because "I was coming so fast, it was inevitable I was going to get around those guys, so NASCAR throws a debris caution ... I thought racing was about being better than the other guys." Stewart led a race-high 132 laps but finished second after falling behind winner Jeff Gordon when he pitted during the final yellow, which came for a three-car crash involving Dave Blaney, Kenny Wallace and J.J. Yeley. "That was only the second legitimate caution we had all day," Stewart said. "I can't understand how long the fans are going to let NASCAR treat them like they're stupid before the fans finally turn on NASCAR," he said. "I don't know that they've run a fair race all year." NASCAR has thrown 20 debris cautions in nine races this season, and finishes seemingly have been affected at least twice. At California Speedway in February, Jimmie Johnson was leading comfortably when a late debris caution eliminated his margin. After finishing third to Matt Kenseth, Johnson and runner-up Jeff Gordon both said he never saw any debris on the track to cause the yellow.
    about leaving the track: Stewart said the debris cautions were the reason he didn't address the media after the Phoenix race. "The aggravation for me was I didn't want to go in the media center and bash NASCAR," he said. "I don't mind doing it on my own radio show. Anyone who thinks this debris caution stuff is the right direction for NASCAR, I think you're crazy." NASCAR requires its top-three finishers to do interviews on pit road and the media center, but Stewart said it wasn't his obligation to comply. He's not expected to be penalized. "The thing with the media is they think it's our obligation to do those things," Stewart said. "It's a privilege that they get to (talk to us). That's the way it's always been. Maybe it is in some of these other guys' contracts, but it is not in my contract that says I have to go do any interviews after the race is over."(USA Today/Sirius Satellite Radio PR)(4-25-2007)

  • NASCAR investigates Stewart, Montoya incidents UPDATE: #20-Tony Stewart is not expected to be fined for skipping the post-race press conference last weekend at Phoenix, but #42-Juan Pablo Montoya may be for an obscene gesture made on camera prior to a Busch Series practice. NASCAR officials are reviewing whether to penalize the former Formula One star who made the gesture at a cameraman following him from Nextel Cup qualifying to the Busch garage for practice. According to officials at Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Montoya thought the cameraman was a person who has been shadowing him as part of a documentary for more than a month and that the gesture was all in fun. There is nothing in the NASCAR by-laws differentiating between using an obscene gesture or word in fun or anger. NASCAR officials plan to speak with Stewart and remind him of his post-race responsibilities. Stewart left the Phoenix track without fulfilling his media obligations because he was upset with a second-place finish.(ESPN.com)(4-25-2007)
    UPDATE: NASCAR announced today that Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #42 Dodge in the Busch Series, has been fined $10,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31 because of an inappropriate gesture made during a practice session this past Thursday at Phoenix International Raceway. Montoya was in violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) of the NASCAR Busch Series rule book.(NASCAR PR)(4-25-2007)

  • No retirement consideration for Stewart ... for at least 2 1/2 years: #20-Tony Stewart made headlines when he said he was "ready to retire" after a frustrating race at Texas Motor Speedway last Sunday. Although Stewart later said he had spoken in the heat of the moment, retirement remains a possibility when his contract with Joe Gibbs Racing expires at the end of the 2009 season. "I'm not going anywhere for 2½ years," Stewart said Friday as he prepared for the Subway Fresh Fit 500. "We just have to assess in 2½ years where we're at and whether we're still having fun or not. If we are, we'll stay. If we're not, we'll go do something else."(ESPN.com/AP)(4-21-2007)

  • Stewart to hold press conference about weight loss: A press conference will be held at Phoenix International Raceway with Tony Stewart on Friday, April 20 at noon. Stewart will be discussing his impressive weight loss of 20 pounds and 15% body fat drop, all due to the healthy lifestyle change he embarked on. The renowned NASCAR driver will discuss how living a fit and active lifestyle is important to him and why he partnered with Subway Restaurants to help launch the new Subway Fresh Fit menu for adults and kids -- which also helped to switch him into a smaller fire suit for this season. Their new Subway Fresh Fit menu initiative, launched in March 2007, is centered on trying to help Americans make healthier choices and giving them better on-the-go meal options like raisins, milk, apples and water. Stewart will be accompanied by famed Subway restaurant spokesman Jared Fogle, best known for losing 245 pounds by consumer Subway restaurant meals and walking to class while he attended Indiana University.(Subway PR)(4-20-2007)

  • Stewart discusses 'retirement' on his radio show: On last night's edition of his weekly SIRIUS NASCAR Radio show "Tony Stewart Live," #20-Tony Stewart and co-host Matt Yocum reviewed the weekend in Texas, looked back at Stewart's post-race comments on retirement, and talked about his run-in with #42-Juan Pablo Montoya. On his post-race comments on being "ready to retire" after a frustrating day at Texas Motor Speedway: "I love the Home Depot team. I love my guys. We've still got unfinished business with the Daytona 500 and four other tracks that we haven't won at, I guess. I don't know. It's just kind of a weird deal. I didn't mean to put all of our fans in a three-alarm fire situation. It was more just emotion speaking than it was common sense. Trust me. There's one thing I can promise you. I'm not retiring before my contract is up [2009]. I've made a commitment to Home Depot and Joe Gibbs Racing. Even as disappointing as it was we've been in this situation before and we've battled back and won championships with it. So there's nobody on our race team that will throw in the towel, myself included. It's definitely tough when you have a car that you think you're going to have a really good weekend with and all of a sudden the next day it kind of washes away. After you've been at the racetrack for five straight days it's easy to let that emotion get to you."
    On his run-in with Juan Pablo Montoya: Stewart said: "We had Juan Pablo Montoya behind us on a restart and he tried to go to the outside of me and put me in the middle of three-wide before we even get to the flag stand and I didn't really appreciate that much. So about 15 laps into the run here he comes and instead of just being courteous to him I thought, 'Well, he was going to put me in a bad spot so I'm going to put him in a bad spot.' So I raced him and raced him and raced him and that's where I made my mistake. Juan didn't get to this position and didn't get to Formula One by making bad decisions. Even as a rookie this year, and it being a different series, even as much as he's accomplished in his career, you've still got things to learn when you move to a different series. We'll talk on Friday morning before we go to practice. I know he tried to get a hold of me yesterday and I told the Godfather (Eddie Jarvis) to call Chip [Ganassi] and make sure he got a hold of Juan and said, 'Hey, we're cool. We'll talk about it this weekend.' But I don't want to do it on the phone. I want to sit down so I can explain it to him. I've got a lot of respect for Juan. I still stand behind what I said at the beginning of the year. He's got more natural ability than 99% of the guys I've ever raced with."
    "Tony Stewart Live" airs every Tuesday (8-10pm/et) exclusively on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, channel 128. The show re-airs Saturday at 7am/et.(SIRIUS PR)(4-19-2007)

  • NASCAR Day Scheme for Stewart at Texas: A special NASCAR Day paint scheme will adorn Tony Stewart's #20 Home Depot Chevy at Texas, as the world's largest home improvement retailer is the exclusive retailer of NASCAR Day pins. The paint scheme kicks off Home Depot's role with NASCAR Day, with pins available at stores nationwide April 16. NASCAR Day is a one-day celebration of the NASCAR spirit and its fans, and this year's edition will be held on May 18. In exchange for a $5 donation, participants will receive a commemorative 2007 NASCAR Day lapel pin. Proceeds from the sale of NASCAR Day pins at The Home Depot will equally benefit The NASCAR Foundation Family of Charities, which is comprised of more than 30 nonprofit organizations supporting children's causes, animal welfare and conservation efforts. NASCAR Day began in 2004 and celebrates its fourth observance in 2007. In 2006, NASCAR Day raised more than $1.3 million.(JGR/True Speed Comm. PR), see an image of the scheme on my #20 Team Scheme page.(4-12-2007)

  • Stewart/Home Depot start 2007 playground campaign: Racing to Play Kicks Off Third Year with Playground Build in Atlanta on Thursday, March 15th - #20-Tony Stewart and Joe Gibbs Racing president J.D. Gibbs, along with volunteers from The Home Depot, Joe Gibbs Racing, KaBOOM! and members of the Metro Atlanta community are joining forces to build a racing-themed playground in just one day at Evansdale Elementary School in Doraville, Ga. The playground is part of The Home Depot's Racing to Play program, which is aimed at making a lasting, positive impression in the lives of at-risk children who live in NASCAR race communities. The Home Depot's Racing to Play program will build 10 racing-themed KaBOOM! playgrounds in 2007. It's a partnership between The Home Depot, Joe Gibbs Racing, and KaBOOM!, a national non-profit organization whose vision is to create a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. In the program's first two years, more than 4,400 volunteers donated approximately 33,300 hours of service to build 20 Racing to Play playgrounds that have impacted the lives of more than 11,000 children in race markets across the country.(True Speed Communication/JGR)(3-15-2007)

  • Stewart headed for another Cup? in 2002, when #20-Tony Stewart won his first Cup championship, he finished 43rd in the Daytona 500. However in 2005, Stewart finished 9th, so...... anyhow, Stewart started the 2007 season off at Daytona, finishing 43rd.(2-22-2007)

  • Stewart going for history at Daytona: No one has ever won the Budweiser Shootout, Gatorade Duel (actually two races, but each driver only competes in one), Busch Series race and Daytona 500 in one season. #20-Tony Stewart, 35, has won the Shootout three times, a Duel twice and the Busch race the past two years. He has never won the 500.(Gaston Gazette)(2-17-2007)

  • Stewart Earns 100th Victory for JGR: #20-Tony Stewart's win in Thursday's Gatorade Duel non-point qualifying race at Daytona International Speedway marked the 100th professional victory for Joe Gibbs Racing. The 16-year-old company founded by Joe Gibbs, the three-time Super Bowl winning coach of the NFL's Washington Redskins, earned its milestone victory by way of 54 point-paying Nextel Cup Series wins, seven non-point paying Nextel Cup wins, five Busch Series wins, 22 NHRA Top Fuel wins and 12 NHRA Funny Car wins. Dale Jarrett earned the team's first victory on racing's biggest stage when he won the 1993 Daytona 500. Jarrett went on to record the team's second victory when he won at Charlotte (N.C.) in October 1994. Stewart, who joined the Nextel Cup Series with Gibbs in 1999 driving the #20 Home Depot machine, accounts for 35 wins, six of which were non-point races (1999 Winston Open at Charlotte; 2001, 2002 and 2007 Budweiser Shootouts at Daytona; and the 2005 and 2007 Gatorade Duels, also at Daytona).(True Speed Communication/JGR PR)(2-16-2007)

  • Stewart wins the first Gatorade Duel 150, #60-Said and #55-Waltrip race their way into the Daytona 500, #70-Sauter is in via his qualifying speed. #44-Jarrett will need to use the past champions provisional to start 43rd. There are two more spots available for the two drivers not already locked in, they need to race their way in. #00-Reutimann and #14-Marlin is in via speed. If Marlin or Reutimann get in by racing their way in, #36-Mayfield would make the race, if BOTH make the race, then Mayfield and #23-Skinner would make the Daytona 500. This is, of course, unofficial. See my Gatorade Duel 150's Results page.(2-15-2007)

  • Stewart has no plans to run Indy 500 again: Tony Stewart's efforts to win the Indianapolis 500 appear to have ended. Asked about whether or not he'd ever run in the event again, the former open-wheel star who has won two NASCAR Cup championships said that he wouldn't completely rule it out, but he couldn't really envision it. "I've learned to never say never, but I look at my life as a book, and it's kind of like it's a chapter that's either on its last page or almost closed," Stewart said. "My [Joe Gibbs Racing] contract takes me to 39, and I don't see myself getting back into IndyCar at the age of 39."(SceneDaily.com)(2-10-2007)

  • Home Depot to Launch 2007 NASCAR Ad campaign: The Home Depot will debut a new NASCAR-themed television ad during the broadcast of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 18 that features two-time Nextel Cup Series champion Tony Stewart. The spot accentuates The Home Depot's brand promise of "know-how" by introducing the Tony Stewart Institute where Stewart, driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing, brings his on-track success and "know-how" to home improvement. During the 30-second spot, titled "Drills," Stewart accidentally bumps into the corner of his desk and a screw falls loose. Addressing the freshman class of 2007, Stewart asks if anyone has a cordless drill. The class responds by raising their hand, each holding a cordless drill while still taking notes. Stewart looks up, and upon seeing the eager students proclaims, "This should be a good year." The ads emphasize that the secret to success is "know-how," whether the individual is an associate at the Tony Stewart Institute or a racing superstar. The commercials will air throughout FOX's coverage of the Daytona 500 and during subsequent NASCAR races on the major television networks covering the 2007 Nextel Cup season. The Richards Group, based in Dallas, developed the commercials.(JGR/True Speed Commications PR)(2-7-2007)

  • 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)

  • Stewart still talking to IROC about race at Eldora: Defending IROC champion Tony Stewart said he still is talking to IROC officials about hosting an event at his dirt track, Eldora Speedway, in Indiana [actually Ohio]. The International Race of Champions is on hold because no sponsor has stepped forward since Crown Royal pulled out. The traditional opener at Daytona already has been canceled.(ESPN.com/Newton Blog)(1-27-2007)

  • 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)

  • Stewart, Schrader and Kenny Wallace buy into Macon track: One of the oldest race tracks in Illinois gets new life with new owners. Macon Speedway revealed the new ownership team Sunday as part of the Racing Expo at the State Fairgrounds. Past track owner-operator Macon's Bob Sargent and NASCAR stars Tony Stewart, Kenny Wallace and Ken Schrader make up the team. Racing on the dirt track ended ahead of schedule last season because of financial hard times. The track was built back in 1946 in Macon.(wandtv.com)(1-22-2007)

  • Nardelli resigns from Home Depot: Bob Nardelli abruptly resigned Wednesday as chairman and chief executive of The Home Depot Inc. after a six-year tenure that saw the world's largest home improvement store chain post big profits but left investors disheartened by poor stock performance. Nardelli has also been under fire by investors for his hefty pay and is leaving with a severance package valued at about $210 million. He became CEO in December 2000 after being passed over for the top job at General Electric Co., where Nardelli had been a senior executive. Home Depot said Nardelli was being replaced by Frank Blake, its vice chairman, effective immediately. Blake's appointment is permanent, Home Depot spokesman Jerry Shields said. What he will be paid was not immediately disclosed, Shields said.(Associated Press), no idea what, if anything this means to the sponsorship of the #20 Home Depot Chevy that Tony Stewart drive for Joe Gibbs Racing, Home Depot is signed thru 2009.(1-3-2007)

  • Robby Gordon and Tony Stewart not testing at Daytona: #20-Tony Stewart and #7-Robby Gordon don't plan to attend the preseason Nextel Cup testing session scheduled to begin Monday [Jan 8th] at Daytona International Speedway. Stewart did not test at the track in 2005 and 2006 and once again will skip the session with approval from his team. Daytona testing typically means more for crews to get the cars set up right than it does for the drivers. Veteran racer Mike McLaughlin will test the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Chevy for Stewart. Gordon is competing in the Dakar Rally, which runs Jan. 6-21 through seven countries in Europe and Africa. Gordon, who has made the switch from Chevy to Ford, likely will be replaced by P.J. Jones for the test session.(SceneDaily.com), for the tenative list of drivers testing at Daytona, see my 2007 Testing Page.(1-2-2007)

  • Stewart tests winter driving skills: Year after year, vehicles slip and slide out of control as winter conditions wreak havoc, often rendering even the most experienced drivers helpless - but some of the rules drivers have been taught for years have changed. #20-Tony Stewart tested his winter driving skills in upstate New York at a charity event for his crew chief, Greg Zipadelli. He practiced several tips that experts say can help drivers stay safe when they find themselves behind the wheel in bad weather. (see more at ABCnews.com)(1-2-2007)

  • Stewart wins two at Fort Wayne: USAC "Triple Crown" winner Tony Stewart did what many of the sellout crowd wanted - win Saturday night at the Ft. Wayne Memorial Coliseum. And just like he did in Friday's campaign, he battled from midpack to take the point early. On Saturday, he started ninth, one spot behind where he was Friday, but it took him one less lap to get to the front. He stayed in eighth after the first lap, then picked off four cars on the second and was past Rich Corson - whom he took the lead from Friday - on Lap 7 on the inside of Turn 2 and ran away.(USAC Racing site)(1-2-2007)

2006 News

  • Chevy to Sponsor Tony Stewart Racing in USAC and WoO: #20-Tony Stewart and officials from GM Racing and Chevy announced that Chevy will power and sponsor Tony Stewart Racing's entries in the United States Auto Club and the World of Outlaws Sprint Series for three years beginning in 2007. Chevrolet will serve as the primary sponsor and engine supplier for all of TSR's USAC teams, with Bass Pro Shops carrying on as an associate sponsor. For the #20 Winged Sprint car in the World of Outlaws, Chevrolet will also provide engines while serving as an associate sponsor. Bass Pro Shops will maintain its role as the team's primary sponsor.(GM Racing PR)(12-13-2006)

  • 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)

  • Stewart makes surprise appearance: Two-time Nextel Cup Series champion Tony Stewart made a surprise appearance in the 66th running of the Turkey Night Grand Prix at Irwindale Speedway on Thursday night. Stewart spent the afternoon putting down test laps, but made no indication he was racing until he took his car out for qualifying. It turns out Stewart was trying to make his first USAC race of the year. Not that he has much time for USAC racing with his NASCAR schedule. But he owns a Midget team and apparently decided a week ago to race his own car in the traditional USAC event that is run on Thanksgiving. After beating a slew of NASCAR stars in qualifying, Kody Swanson of Kingsburg ended up battling his Western Speed Racing teammate Billy Wease {Penske Dev. driver] in the Midget race. Wease led the final 20 laps to win after he and Swanson ran into lapped traffic late in the race. Wease was able to maneuver his way through the lapped cars better than Swanson and won by 0.189seconds. Swanson, who crashed and rolled his car during the USAC Sprint car race, started from the pole in the 100-lap Midget race that included a NASCAR-filled field with Stewart, Mears, Jason Leffler and Truck Series driver Bobby East. Wease, who started fifth, caught Swanson on lap 80 and took the lead on the next lap. But on lap 90, Stewart crashed with Brady Bacon [Ganassi Dev. Driver] and set up a five-lap shootout between Wease and Swanson. Casey Mears was the highest finisher among the NASCAR drivers entered in the race, taking 16th. Stewart was 24th, Leffler was 30th and East finished last, in 34th place. Swanson, from Kingsburg, Calif., was the top qualifier of the 59 cars that came out for the Midget race. He beat out Stewart, Mears, Leffler and a host of USAC stars to win the pole in 16.988 seconds around the half-mile paved oval. Mears, Stewart and East, a driver on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, were in the same Midget B-main race to qualify for the feature. East won the B-main with Stewart in second and Mears in fourth. Tony Hunt led all 30 laps of the USAC Sprint car race and capped his championship season with a win in the Turkey Night GP. Mike Murgoitio was second and Tracy Hines was third. Mears, who started the Sprint car race in eighth, finished 16th, more than 10 seconds behind the race winner.(Los Angeles Daily News)(11-24-2006)

  • Stewart wins lap leader award: #20-Tony Stewart clinched the $75,000 cash prize as the WIX Filters Lap Leader of the 2006 season. This is the second consecutive season Stewart has captured the overall prize.(Camp & Assoc PR)(11-202006)

  • Stewart wins at Texas: #20-Tony Stewart won the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway for his 2nd straight win [won at Atlanta last week], 5th win of the 2006 season, 29th of his career and becomes the 12th different winner at Texas in 12 races. Stewart led the most laps with 278. #48-Johnson finished 2nd [for the 2nd race in a row] to take over the points lead over #17-Kenseth by 17 points. The rest of the top-10 were #29-Harvick, #5-Busch, #07-Bowyer, #8-Earnhardt Jr., #42-Mears, #24-Gordon, #2-Busch and #11-Hamlin. Other Chasers: #17-Kenseth 12th; #6-Martin 22nd; #9-Kahne [lost an engine with 10 laps to go while running 2nd] and #31-Burton [lost a tire on lap 91 and wrecked] finished 38th. There were 12 cautions for 51 laps and 13 drivers lead the race with 23 lead changes.
    Race Results on my Texas Race Results/Awards Page.
    Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Texas page
    Race Rundown: see my Texas Race Info/Rundown Page for my race rundown page, laps led, top 10, race penalties, race notes, lucky dogs and more.(11-5-2006)

  • Stewart wins at Atlanta: #20-Tony Stewart won the Bass Pro Shops 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway for his 4th win of the 2006 season and 28th of his career [tied for 17th overall with Rex White]. Stewart led the most laps with 146. #48-Johnson finished 2nd to close the points lead to 26 over #17-Kenseth who finished 4th after fighting with #8-Earnhardt Jr. for 3rd. #16-Biffle got he 5th spot with the rest of the top-10 being #24-Gordon, #99-Edwards, #11-Hamlin, #01-Nemechek and #7-Robby Gordon. Some Chasers had rough days with #9-Kahne wrecking and finished 38th and #6-Martin got caught up in a big wreck towards the end of the race and finished 36th. #31-Burton had some tire problems finished 13th. #29-Harvick just didn't have a good car, finishing 4 laps down in 31st. #5-Kyle Busch lost it early in the race, damaged the front of the car and was never a factor, finishing 27th, 4 laps down. Looks like a 5 driver race for The Chase. There were 9 cautions for 39 laps and 7 drivers lead the race with 24 lead changes.
    Race Results on my Atlanta Race Results/Awards Page.
    Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Atlanta page
    Race Rundown: see my Atlanta Race Info/Rundown Page for my race rundown page, laps led, top 10, race penalties, race notes, lucky dogs and more.(10-29-2006)

  • Ragan finds a way to talk to Stewart: With last week's on-track run-in with Tony Stewart still fresh in his mind, David Ragan came to Atlanta with reconciliation on his mind. Knowing that it might be hard to get Stewart alone, Ragan bid $5,750 at Thursday night's Speedway Children's Charities auction to buy the pre-race ride around the track with Stewart. "I've never spoken to Tony before; I'm kind of happy he knows my name actually, but not for these reasons," Ragan said. "This will give us a chance to talk a little bit." Ragan, the son of former NASCAR driver Ken Ragan, triggered a three-car wreck last weekend in Martinsville, taking out Ken Schrader and Tony Stewart, angering both veterans. Stewart had a few choice words for the young driver after the accident, and Ragan knows that he can't start his career in Nextel Cup making enemies. "Tony, he criticized me a lot after last week, and when a champion does that, it's good to go talk to him," Ragan said. "I think I'll ask him his thoughts, what I should have done different, just introduce myself so that if I step out of line in the future he'll come and talk to me about it." Ragan was expected to attempt to qualify for both Saturday's Craftsman Truck race and Sunday's Nextel Cup race, but NASCAR did not approve him to compete in the upper level event. He is still hopeful that he will be approved before next weekend's race in Texas. "I was disappointed, but at least I'll be running the truck race here," Ragan said. "I'm happy; I'm just 20 years old, and I'm here in the truck series."(AMS Pit Notes)(10-27-2006)

  • Stewart's 2nd's at Talladega tie a record: #20-Tony Stewart's six second-place finishes without a victory matches the record for current tracks. Bobby Allison never won at Martinsville but finished runner-up six times, and Mark Martin has the same distinction at Pocono.(Gaston Gazette)(10-8-2006)

  • Stewart's Pit Crew Takes Top Honors in Kansas: By claiming the Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge win in Sunday's Nextel Cup race at Kansas Speedway, Tony Stewart's over-the-wall crew moved into a three-way tie for first place in the season-long competition. It was the fourth win of the season for Stewart's crew, equaling the number of victories scored by Jimmie Johnson's and Kyle Busch's teams. Along with paying the winning pit crew $10,500 at each race, Checkers/Rally's will also award a $105,000 bonus to the crew with the most victories at the completion of the 36-race schedule. The weekly pit crew winner is determined by the team which spends the lowest cumulative time on pit road and finishes on the lead lap. Stewart, who drove his #20 Chevrolet to Victory Lane in Kansas, praised his crew for an outstanding effort during the 267-lap, 400-mile event. "I'm really proud of the guys on this Home Depot team," said Stewart. "They work so hard and had an awesome day at Kansas. We never lost a position on pit lane all day. We at least maintained or gained positions on each stop. It was the best day the guys have had on pit road all season." Stewart's over-the-wall crew is comprised of: Jason Lee (jackman), Tom Dean (front-tire carrier), Ira-Jo Hussey (front-tire changer), Jody Fortson (rear-tire carrier), Todd Foster (rear-tire changer), Jeff Patterson (gasman), Brian Larson (catch can) and Scott Geerts (windshield). The team's crew chief is Greg Zipadelli and the pit stop coordinator is Paul Alepa. "The Home Depot crew really picked it up and kept us in contention by being consistent," added Stewart, "That's what the Double Drive-Thru Challenge is all about. It proves that consistency means more than one quick stop." To date, Checkers/Rally's has paid out $304,500 in NEXTEL Cup Series prize money during this season. The Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge is in its second season with the Nextel Cup Series. Checkers/Rally's is the Official Burger and Drive-Thru Restaurant of NASCAR, more info at checkers.com.(DMF Communications PR)(10-4-2006)

  • Stewart buys into Paducah: Recently, provisions were made to welcome Stewart as a fourth partner in Paducah International Raceway along with Ken Schrader, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and Bob Sargent. This expansion will only benefit the track, local community and dirt racing industry and we look forward to having Tony onboard. We are all committed to building upon the successes of this inaugural year and optimistic about the 2007 racing season.(paducahinternationalraceway.com PR)(9-25-2006)

  • Six Flags Paint Scheme on the #20 Chevy at Dover: The hood of the #20 Home Depot Chevy will feature Six Flags graphics to commemorate the strategic partnership with The Home Depot and to launch the Fright Fest in-store promotion. From Sept. 29 through Oct. 31, over 1,000 The Home Depot stores nationwide will offer discount coupons to 12 Six Flags parks. Discounts range from "Buy One Get One Free" to "Save $15 to 10% Off." Coupons are available at stores within a 150-mile radius of Six Flags-branded U.S. theme parks. Motorsports Authentics and Six Flags have a licensing agreement for the production of 3,400 1/24-scale die cast cars to be sold online and through Motorsports Authentics dealer networks.(True Speed Communication/JGR PR), see images of the scheme on my #20 Team Schemes page.(9-20-2006)

  • Home Depot and KaBOOM up for award: The Home Depot and KaBOOM! have been selected as a finalist for the US Chamber of Commerce Corporate Citizen Business Partnership award. They were nominated for their "Racing to Play" program where they built 10 playgrounds in race markets (also built 10 last year) with Home Depot and Joe Gibbs Racing. The next round is a "Peoples Choice" selection determined by a vote through their website (voting ends on September 15th). They are only a few hundred votes behind, to vote, go to uschamber.com. The Home Depot's Racing to Play program is an initiative designed to make a lasting, positive impression in the lives of at-risk children who live in NASCAR race communities. Now in its second year, the program will build 10 racing-themed KaBOOM! playgrounds in 2006 and is a partnership between the company, Joe Gibbs Racing, and KaBOOM!, a national non-profit organization that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. More info at kaboom.org(PR)(9-13-2006)

  • Kahne's event raises $144k; Stewart ok after wreck: #9-Kasey Kahne's year-old charity, the Kasey Kahne Foundation, which raises money to aid disadvantaged and critically ill children, raised $144,000 from Race night at Skagit Speedway [WA]. Fans clamored to see him and fellow NASCAR driver Tony Stewart take part in the sold-out event. They came early and stayed late. They proffered everything from hats and glossies to model cars and T-shirts for autographs. Some just wanted to be near him, as evidenced by the squealing teenage girl who got close enough to take a picture on her cell phone before running off with a hugest of grins. It even took a little sting out of what could have been a bad break. Stewart, the defending Nextel Cup champion and currently eighth in the standings, flipped his car going around the third turn on the first lap of his qualifying heat. His car, which was later auctioned off, was badly damaged and Stewart appeared to have suffered a minor concussion. He was deemed fine enough to skip a hospital visit. Stewart returned later in street clothes, joking around in the pits with Kahne. Even the crash couldn't dampen the night's good vibes. "I love dirt track racing," Stewart told the crowd. "I was looking forward more to racing Kasey and being here than racing in (Sunday's Nextel Cup race at) Fontana (Calif.) this weekend. I love this kid like a little brother and I'm glad I could be here."(Seattle Post-Intelligencer)(8-31-2006)

  • Pocono Combatants Called in by NASCAR to talk: #20-Tony Stewart, #07-Clint Bowyer and #99-Carl Edwards were called to the NASCAR hauler Saturday for a chat with NASCAR president Mike Helton. Those three drivers were involved in a crash two weeks ago at Pocono when Stewart deliberately turned into Bowyer, causing Bowyer to hit Edwards. No one was saying exactly what was discussed, but no doubt Helton warned the drivers to mind their manners today in the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard.(Dallas Morning News)(8-6-2006)

  • Bowyer not satisfied with Stewart 'apology': #07-Clint Bowyer said Friday he and #20-Tony Stewart had talked about their incident at Pocono Raceway last weekend, but Bowyer didn't sound like he was satisfied with the discussion. Stewart bumped Bowyer on lap 32 of the Pennsylvania 500 after what Stewart later described was a lack of patience on Bowyer's part. On Monday, Stewart issued an apology to the media, but Bowyer said his talk with Stewart didn't seem like an apology. "I don't know exactly what you'd want to call it," Bowyer said. "I don't know if Tony knows what an apology is. It's probably as close as you're going to get with Tony." Bowyer didn't speak with the media at Pocono, leaving the garage area after also failing to talk with Stewart. But Bowyer did speak his mind to reporters at Gateway. "We drove from 14th to sixth in the first run, in 12 laps," Bowyer said. "It wasn't like we didn't have a fast car. It's a very long race. We over-adjusted a little bit and got the car too loose. I basically was giving spots up. I gave away four before him. I moved over to let him have it, but instead of going to the inside, he went to the outside. I guess he thought I was racing him. That's the biggest thing about the whole thing: I was trying to get out of his way. Somehow, he took it the wrong way and wrecked me for it."(SceneDaily.com)(7-30-2006)

  • Statement from Tony Stewart Regarding Lap 32 Incident at Pocono: The following is a statement from Nextel Cup Series driver Tony Stewart regarding the lap 32 incident in Sunday's Pennsylvania 500 that involved Stewart, Clint Bowyer and Carl Edwards. "I'm taking 100 percent responsibility for the final incident that occurred on lap 32 between myself, the 07 (Bowyer) and the 99 (Edwards). It was totally my fault. At the same time, there were circumstances that led up to that wreck, and after talking with Clint this morning, we both have a better understanding as to what happened. He was trying to get out of my way and didn't realize that I had gone to the outside. He thought I was to his inside, and when he tried to give me some room, he slid into us and it put us into the outside wall. I reacted, causing the wreck that I take responsibility for and regret." On lap 32, Stewart was racing on the outside of Bowyer through turn three of Pocono's 2.5-mile triangle when Bowyer's car pushed out toward the wall. Stewart gave as much ground as he could until scraping the wall with the right side of his #20 Chevrolet. As he came off the wall, Stewart made contact with Bowyer, sending Bowyer's #07 Chevrolet into Edwards' #99 Ford. NASCAR penalized Stewart one lap for aggressive driving, putting the two-time and reigning Nextel Cup champion 41st in the 43-car field. Stewart regained his lead lap status on lap 41 by passing then leader #12-Ryan Newman. Stewart went on to finish seventh in the 200-lap race.(True Speed Communication PR)(7-25-2006)

  • Stewart's Hearse Makeover to be featured on Unique Whips: Tony Stewart and his now famous 1984 Cadillac Brougham hearse will be the main subject of an upcoming Unique Whips mini marathon Aug. 2, starting at 8:00pm/et on Speed Channel. This Unique Whips mini marathon will focus on New York-based Unique Autosports' build and unveiling of the Indiana resident's unusual ride. The three one-hour shows begin with a reprise of the original delivery to Unique Autosports owner Will Castro, as he attended Stewart's dramatic victory during last year's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Two new episodes will then journey SPEED viewers through the tricking out and presentation of Stewart's well-publicized custom whip. "We had never done a build like this," Castro said. "We're always taking cars that are worth $100 thousand and up - making them unique. This was the first time we'd taken a $1.99 'hoopty' and turned it into a $100 thousand whip." Stewart was pleased with the results. "Will (Castro) and the crew did a great job with my hearse," Stewart said. "Both Will and I knew it was going to be quite a project, but I'm really pleased with how it turned out. As usual, Will assembled a great crew to work on the car and it's why I've always trusted Unique Autosports to complete builds like this. I hope the fans enjoy the makeover as much as I enjoy the car.(Speed Channel PR)(7-25-2006)

  • Rudd to 4th Gibbs team? car owner Joe Gibbs is possibly interested in expanding to a fourth Nextel Cup team - with Ricky Rudd, if Rudd is amenable. Rudd drove Dover for Gibbs last month while #20-Tony Stewart was recuperating, and the Gibbs team was pleased with how easy Rudd was to work with, and with how competitive Rudd still is. Red Bull has also talked with Rudd about a ride next year.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-17-2006)

  • Stewart honored at Indy: #20-Tony Stewart received more accolades and one-of-a-kind awards for winning the 2005 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard during a public ceremony and media event July 5 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum. Stewart accepted his race winner's ring from IMS President and Chief Operating Officer Joie Chitwood. Stewart will try to earn a repeat victory in the 13th Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on Sunday, Aug. 6. Two-time NASCAR champion Stewart also helped unveil a piece of artwork by noted motorsports artist Sam Bass that Bass has donated to the Hall of Fame Museum. The artwork on display at the museum is a one-of-a-kind color reproduction of an original painting that The Home Depot commissioned Bass to create for Stewart. The art commemorates post-race events from Stewart's long-sought, emotional victory at the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard: Stewart kissing the famous "Yard of Bricks," climbing the Speedway's catch fence, his No. 20 The Home Depot Chevrolet crossing the finish line and a headshot of Stewart. Stewart also officially opened an exhibit at the Hall of Fame Museum featuring five cars, scheduled to be on display until June 2007, which played a significant role in Stewart's rise from Indiana short-track racer to motorsports superstar.(IMS Site)(7-6-2006)

  • Stewart wins 2nd Pepsi 400 in a row: #20-Tony Stewart won the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway for his 2nd win in a row in this event, his 26th win of his career and his 2nd win of 2006. Stewart led 86 of 160 laps and came from 6th to 2nd before passing surprising #60-Boris Said to win the race, #5-Kyle Busch helped push Stewart and finished 2nd, followed by #2-Kurt Busch, #60-Boris Said, #17-Matt Kenseth, #38-Elliott Sadler, #42-Casey Mears, #26-Jamie McMurray, #29-Kevin Harvick and #07-Clint Bowyer. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr, even thou leading 8 laps, was never a factor and finished 13th. #24-Jeff Gordon got caught up in a late wreck and finished 40th and out of the race, dropping him out of the top-10 in points. #16-Biffle also was involved in the wreck and fell out of the top 10, with #5-Busch and #11-Hamlin move back up into the top 10 points. There were 29 lead changes among 15 drivers and 6 cautions for 19 laps.
    Race Results on my Race Results/Awards Page.
    Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points page.
    Race Rundown: see my Daytona Race Info/Rundown Page for my race rundown page, laps led, top 10, race notes, lucky dogs and more.(7-1-2006)

  • Stewart to run DEI car at LMS Busch race: Tony Stewart will drive a DEI entry in the October Busch Series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The car will carry sponsorship from Goody's Headache Powders, which will run a contest in conjunction with the race. As part of the promotion, Goody's will choose a Mayor of Goody's Country. That person will then get their picture on the hood of the #8 DEI Chevy. The nomination period ends July 23 at the conclusion of the Goody's 250 NASCAR Busch Series Race weekend at Martinsville Speedway.(more info at the DEI Site)(7-1-2006)

  • Stewart: last question about injury: His broken right shoulder blade is getting to be a sore subject for Tony Stewart. "This is the last time we're going to answer this," he said Thursday when the topic came up as he talked with reporters at Infineon Raceway in advance of Sunday's Dodge/Save Mart 350. "It's 100 percent."(Associated Press)(6-23-2006)

  • 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)

  • Father's Day message for Stewart at MIS: Tony Stewart's #20 Home Depot Chevy will have a special "Father's Day" paint scheme on the hood of his car for Sunday's race, and next week's race at Michigan.(CNNSI/AP)(6-11-2006)

  • Stewart plans to run full race at Pocono: from TonyStewart.com: Since you're still nursing a fractured right scapula, what are your expectations for Pocono?
    Tony Stewart: "I plan to make it through the whole weekend. Every day my muscles feel like they're getting stronger, and I don't think it's a bone issue as much as it's a muscle issue. I got fitted for a new ButlerBuilt seat and we'll have it in the car for this weekend. We think it's a better design - a newer version of what I had been running. It was time to put something new in there. Brian Butler and his staff did an awesome job of accommodating me and getting a seat pumped out in a short amount of time so we would have it for Pocono, so we really appreciate their effort. I fully believe that with the new seat and another week of rest that we'll be ready to go."
    TonyStewart.com: Will you have a relief driver on standby?
    Tony Stewart: "We'll make that decision closer to the end of the week. But I really don't anticipate needing a relief driver. I appreciate what Ricky (Rudd) did for us last week at Dover, but he's on vacation with his family this week and I want him to enjoy his vacation. I'm confident that by the end of the week I'll be strong enough to go do the whole race at Pocono by myself."(TonyStewart.com)(6-7-2006)

  • Rudd gets medical clearance to run at Dover; Ricky Rudd spent part of Wednesday getting medical clearance so he can stand by for Tony Stewart this weekend at Dover and part of the day practicing with the Home Depot Chevrolet crew getting in and out of the race car. Rudd said "We practiced driver changes...my part of it because I'm sure Tony's still resting. Everyone's seat belts and shoulder harnesses and seats are a little different so I've been working and trying to come up with something that is easy to make and quick enough to make on a pit stop without giving up a lot of time." His super sub role will apparently be decided on a week to week basis. "I think a lot of it is going to be let's see how it works this weekend" said Rudd. "When you have an alternate game plan like Tony Stewart and these guys are having to take right now I think you leave everything as open as you can and you've gotta be real flexible. We don't really know. Tony might be able to stay in the car the whole race. There are a lot of unknowns here so we're just kind of winging it as we go."(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(6-1-2006)

  • Stewart Sustains Fracture of Right Scapula UPDATE Stewart will start race, then Ricky Rudd to take over: #20-Tony Stewart sustained a fracture of his right scapula in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 Nextel Cup Series race when a flat right front tire sent his #20 Home Depot Chevy into the SAFER barrier on the outside retaining wall of turn one. Stewart was running in the 25th position when the accident happened on lap 33 of the 400-lap race. According to doctors at the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC, a CT scan revealed a minimally displaced fracture at the tip of the right scapula. Stewart is scheduled to meet with Joe Gibbs Racing's team physicians on Tuesday for further evaluation. An update on Stewart's condition will be provided following that evaluation.(True Speed Communication PR)(5-28-2006)
    UPDATE: Tony Stewart will start Sunday's Neighborhood Excellence 400 at Dover International Speedway, Joe Gibbs Racing President J.D. Gibbs said Tuesday afternoon. Gibbs said during a break of the test of the "car of tomorrow" that the team would release an official statement later in the day updating the condition of Stewart, who broke his shoulder blade in a crash during the Coca-Cola 600 last Sunday. "He's definitely sore, no doubt about it," Gibbs said. "We'll know more here in a little bit." JGR Senior Vice President Jimmy Makar said the team is looking at its options and has a short list of drivers available if needed to spell Stewart this weekend. Mike Bliss, a former JGR driver, is on that list. Bliss was at the track Sunday in case Stewart had to get out of the car from beings sore as a result of a Busch Series accident. "Usually an injury like that comes from the seat, and the design of the area of the seat, we're looking at that to see if there is anything we can do or something that needs to be given some attention," Makar said. "Bobby [Labonte] sustained an injury at Darlington years ago, a lot worse than Tony's. We think we know what it is, and we're going to address that area to see if we can get some more support under the shoulder." The accident, coming on the heels of a hard accident the day before in the Busch Series event, was the result of a bead melting in the tire. The outside of the tire was fine as far as temperature, Makar said. "That's something we see on occasion at short tracks - we use a lot of brakes and get a lot of brake heat," Makar said. "For a speedway like this, that's a really odd thing to see. Tony said he wasn't using an excessive amount of brake compared to what he has done here in the past. We're kind of shaking our heads a little bit about why that happened, where that heat came from."(SceneDaily.com) and hearing reports that Ricky Rudd is being considered as an option to drive the #20 Powerade Chevy at Dover.
    UPDATE 2: Tony Stewart will not require surgery for the fractured right scapula he sustained in an accident during Sunday's Coca-Cola 600. Stewart's #20 Chevy suffered a right front tire failure on lap 33 of the 400-lap race, sending the #20 machine into the SAFER barrier on the outside retaining wall of turn one. Stewart was running in the 25th position when the accident happened. "Tony sustained a non-displaced fracture at the tip of his right scapula," said Dr. Jerry Petty, a neurosurgeon who has consulted with many NASCAR drivers. "It is a non-surgical injury that only time and rest can heal." While Stewart's fractured right scapula won't require surgery, it will limit his participation in this weekend's Nextel Cup event at Dover.
    Veteran NASCAR driver Ricky Rudd has been secured by Joe Gibbs Racing to serve as the relief driver for the #20 team this weekend at Dover. Rudd, a winner of 23 Nextel Cup races - four of which came at Dover - will practice and qualify the #20 Chevrolet while Stewart will start the 400-lap race. Rudd will be on standby in the pit area to relieve Stewart at any point during the event. By starting at Dover, Stewart will receive all points toward the Nextel Cup driver's championship. "Tony's injury is unfortunate, and we are going to do everything we can to get him healed up quickly," said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. "Tony is as tough as they come, but we aren't going to take any chances on making his situation worse. We're very appreciative of Ricky Rudd for being able to drive the #20 car at Dover. He's a proven winner who will allow us to stay in contention for the championship." Stewart is currently fourth in the championship point standings, 231 points behind series leader Jimmie Johnson.
    "Tony's our driver and we'd love to have him in the car, but we want him to be 100%, not just for one race but for the rest of the season," said Greg Zipadelli, crew chief for the #20 team. "We'll do what we have to do until he heals up. This is a strong race team that's no stranger to adversity, so I know we'll make the best of this situation at Dover and in the weeks to come." Al Shuford, a certified athletic trainer formerly with the NFL's Carolina Panthers, will work with Stewart to get him ready for his limited participation at Dover and what is expected to be his full participation during the Nextel Cup race weekend at Pocono June 9-11. Shuford joined Joe Gibbs Racing in October 2000. "Basically, we're just going to work with Tony to make him comfortable," said Shuford. "As Dr. Petty said, Tony's injury is something that only time and rest can heal. But we can help speed up that timetable with a rehabilitation program specific to his injury and his profession."(JGR/True Speed Communication)(5-30-2006)

  • Stewart Sustains Fracture of Right Scapula: #20-Tony Stewart sustained a fracture of his right scapula in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 Nextel Cup Series race when a flat right front tire sent his #20 Home Depot Chevy into the SAFER barrier on the outside retaining wall of turn one. Stewart was running in the 25th position when the accident happened on lap 33 of the 400-lap race. According to doctors at the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC, a CT scan revealed a minimally displaced fracture at the tip of the right scapula. Stewart is scheduled to meet with Joe Gibbs Racing's team physicians on Tuesday for further evaluation. An update on Stewart's condition will be provided following that evaluation.(True Speed Communication PR)(5-28-2006)

  • Stewart OK after Busch wreck at LMS: #20-Tony Stewart has been cleared to drive in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., after crashing in Saturday night's Carquest 300 NASCAR Busch Series race at Lowe's. Stewart, driving for Kevin Harvick Inc., in the Carquest 300, spun in turn four and impacted the SAFER barrier on lap 10 of the 200-lap race. After being transported to the speedway's infield care center, he complained of discomfort in his right shoulder. As a result, NASCAR medical personnel dispatched Stewart to Carolinas Medical Center University for precautionary X-rays. Those X-rays proved negative.(True Speed Communication)(5-28-2006)

  • Stewart to sport POWERade scheme at Dover: #20-Tony Stewart will take on the infamous Monster Mile at Dover International Speedway on June 4, 2006 with a little extra power behind his ride and a little extra support for his charity. While Stewart's orange Chevrolet is recognized by NASCAR fans everywhere, the #20 will sport a different kind of orange in Dover after it's decked out in custom POWERade Orange graphics to support the launch of the new, commemorative clutch bottle of the popular sports drink and to raise money for the Tony Stewart Foundation. Stewart will officially unveil the new racecar following the personal delivery of multiple cases of POWERade 32oz Orange to a Home Depot location in Atlanta on May 31st. As part of the initiative, POWERade is donating $100,000 to the Tony Stewart Foundation.(Coca-Cola/POWERade PR), see an image of the scheme on my #20 Team Schemes page.(5-26-2006)

  • Stewart-Yocum Radio Show: Sirius Satellite Radio, the Official Satellite Radio Partner of NASCAR starting in 2007, announced that two-time and reigning Nextel Cup Series champion Tony Stewart will host a live weekly talk show exclusively on Sirius. Debuting in January, Tony Stewart Live will air exclusively on Sirius' upcoming 24/7 NASCAR channel, providing Sirius listeners with the ultimate insider's perspective on auto racing.  The weekly, two-hour show will feature Stewart - who has never been shy about expressing his opinions in 27 years of racing - taking calls from listeners, talking with prominent guests and covering the spectrum of motorsports - from NASCAR to open-wheel racing and beyond.  Matt Yocum, who is a pit reporter for the NASCAR broadcasts on FOX/FX and NBC/TNT, will be Stewart's co-host on Tony Stewart Live. Preview editions of Tony Stewart Live, hosted by Stewart, will begin airing exclusively on Sirius in October 2006.  Stewart will also be featured in Sirius' NASCAR related marketing and advertising. Beginning next year, Sirius will be the Official Satellite Radio Partner of NASCAR, broadcasting all Nextel Cup Series, Busch Series and Truck Series races live on a specially created, 24/7 NASCAR channel. "It's an honor to be a part of Sirius and its commitment to NASCAR," said Stewart.  "Our show will allow us to speak with the fans on our terms, where we're free to talk about anything and everything, from racing and rock-and-roll to our travels across America.  It's a unique opportunity, and we plan to make the most of it." Click on www.sirius.com to listen to Sirius live, or to purchase a Sirius radio and subscription.(True Speed Communications PR)(5-20-2006)

  • Modified Tour team owner Curt Chase of Mansfield confirmed to The Courant Monday that defending Tony Stewart will attempt to qualify a second car for him for the New England 100 July 15th at New Hampshire International Speedway.(5-17-2006)

  • Stewart to field cars for Mopar All Star Showdown: Tony Stewart has entered six cars in Sunday's Mopar All Star Showdown at Concord Motorsport Park. He will field three cars in each of the divisions competing in 50-lap features USAC Sprints and USAC Midgets. Stewart's trio of drivers -- Josh Wise, Levi Jones and Kyle Nicholas will pull double-duty driving in both divisions. The midget feature on Sunday will be the second race of the 2006 season. While the USAC sprints will make their North Carolina asphalt debut, the midgets actually raced on the quarter-mile paved oval on the frontstretch at Lowe's Motor Speedway in 1998. The winner of that race was Stewart. For more info and tickets, see MetrolinaBrand.com. Concord Motorsport Park is located on highway 601 north of Midland and south of Concord, NC.(PR)(5-16-2006)

  • Home Depot Store Represented at Talladega: Home Depot store #6901, located in East Brunswick, N.J., will be represented on the lower rear quarterpanel of the #20 Home Depot Chevy that Tony Stewart will drive during the Aaron's 499. Store #6901 was judged to be the outstanding store of the past week, thereby earning its place on the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing machine.[wich is done each week](True Speed Communications PR)(4-26-2006)

  • Stewart to the back...tire change UPDATE why?: #20-Stewart's team changed tires on his car, if you qualify in the top-10, you MUST start the race on the tires you qualified with, so Stewart goes to the back of the field before the start of the race at Phoenix.[MRN Radio](4-22-2006)
    UPDATE: Stewart qualified his #20 Home Depot Chevrolet third, but due to a miscommunication amongst the team, the tires with which Stewart posted that third-place qualifying time were taken to Goodyear and destroyed. Those tires needed to be on the car when Stewart began Saturday night's 312-lap affair, as NASCAR mandates that the top-10 qualifiers start the race on the tires with which they qualified. Since those tires weren't available to Stewart, NASCAR had no choice but to send Stewart to last-place in the 43-car field. Why were the tires destroyed? Due to the new-for-2006 tire leasing policy implemented by NASCAR and Goodyear, used tires from practice must be turned back into Goodyear. Those tires are then destroyed and later recycled so that teams can't stockpile used tires for future testing purposes. Stewart's qualifying tires were confused for a set of Stewart's practice tires, hence the reason his qualifying tires were unavailable and the subsequent penalty by NASCAR. "It was a fair judgment because we didn't start on the stuff that we qualified," said Stewart. "So we just didn't think about it much. We had to start 43rd and just be patient." Stewart finished 2nd at Phoenix.(JGR/True Speed Communication PR)(4-25-2006)

  • Tony will keep climbling: #20-Tony Stewart says he plans to continue his fence-climbing ways when he wins races. When he first scaled a catchfence after winning at Daytona in July 2005, the fans went wild. Since then, Stewart has turned the impulsive move into his own victory signature, pulling himself up some difficult wiring at tracks such as Indianapolis Motor Speedway. When he won at Martinsville Speedway Sunday, Stewart once more worked his way up the fencing onto the flagstand to the delight of the sellout crowd. "I wish everybody had the opportunity to be up there during something like that, because that is the coolest view to see people," he said. "No matter what kind of driver they're supporting, they're still cheering because they know that before you even celebrate with your race team, you're celebrating with them." So look for more of the Nextel Cup defending champion's flag-grabbing ways during future wins. "The response every time we've done that has been so overwhelming that that is part of [the] victory celebration," he said. "When I get that checkered flag first, that's part of what I look forward about winning races, celebrating with the fans like that."(SceneDaily.com)(4-4-2006)

  • Stewart wins at Martinsville: #20-Tony Stewart won the DIRECTV 500 at Martinsville Speedway, leading 288 or 500 laps for his first win of 2006, 25th of his career and first since Watkins Glen last August. #24-Jeff Gordon held on for 2nd, with #48-Jimmie Johnson 3rd, then #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. in a very beat up car and #5-Kyle Busch. The rest of the top-10 were #38-Sadler, #29-Harvick, #25-Vickers, #26-McMurray and #10-Riggs. Points leader #17-Matt Kenseth was 7th as late as lap 493 when he lost his brakes on a restart and smacked the wall, finishing 24th and dropping to 3rd in points with #48-Johnson taking over the lead, leading #6-Martin by 59 points going into Texas next week. There were 16 cautions for 87 laps and 6 leaders with 12 lead changes. The race will re-air on Speed Channel, Thursday, April 6th at 4:00pm/et.
    Race Results on my Martinsville Race Results/Awards Page.
    Points Standings on my Drivers/Owners Points after Martinsville page.
    Race Rundown: see my Martinsville Race Info/Rundown Page for my race rundown page, laps led, top 10, race notes, lucky dogs and more.(4-2-2006)

  • Stewart tests at Lakeland: #20-Tony Stewart tested at USA International Speedway at Lakeland, FL on March 21-22 in preparation for this weeks race at Martinsville Speedway.(Truespeed/JGR)(3-29-2006)

  • Stewart's Pit Crew Takes Top Honors in Atlanta: Tony Stewart's pit crew captured the Checkers / Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge competition in Monday's rain-delayed NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge is in its second season of rewarding pit crews, the unsung heroes in the Nextel Cup Series. The program awards $10,500 per week to the top pit crew. In addition, the pit crew with the most wins will be awarded a $105,000 bonus at the completion of the 36-race schedule. Stewart's #20 Home Depot Chevrolet spent the least amount of time on pit road (322.141 seconds) during Monday's 500-mile race. The winning performance by the #20 crew lifted Stewart to a fifth-place finish. Stewart's over-the-wall crew consists of: Jason Lee (jackman), Tom Dean (front-tire carrier), Ira-Jo Hussey (front-tire changer), Jody Fortson (rear-tire carrier), Todd Foster (rear-tire changer), Jeff Patterson (gasman), Brian Larson (catch can) and Scott Geerts (windshield). The team's crew chief is Greg Zipadelli and the pit stop coordinator is Paul Alepa. The #20 crew, part of the Joe Gibbs Racing stable, snapped a three-race win streak by Hendrick Motorsports teams. The first two Checkers/Rally's Double Drive-Thru Challenge wins of the season went to Jimmie Johnson's #48 crew. The round-three winner was the #5 crew for Kyle Busch. Daytona (2/19) Jimmie Johnson Team; California (2/26) Jimmie Johnson Team; Las Vegas (3/12) Kyle Busch Team; Atlanta (3/20) Tony Stewart Team.(DMF Communications PR)(3-22-2006)

  • Kyle and Stewart talk..again: Behind the Hauler Talk with Kyle Busch, #5 Kellogg's Chevy: Atlanta Motor Speedway:
    "I called him this week. We talked a little bit on the phone. It was a good conversation. A civil one. We just both talked about what I aggravated him with last week at Las Vegas and we both decided to elect on moving along and coming here to Atlanta and seeing how we can race out the rest of the year."
    "It's like he said. It wasn't quite 80 laps to go. It was more like 65. But I was holding him up a little bit. I was trying to preserve my race car and my position on the race track for the last pit stop. A lot of these guys say you don't race until after the last pit stop, but you'd rather come into the pits third for the last pit stop and have a chance to get out leading than come in eighth and only be able to get out third. So I was trying to preserve my position a little bit and try to get a better spot for my guys to have an easier job on pit road."
    "Oh, just trying to discuss how to race and how you race the race track. You'll see this weekend that this place definitely won't be anywhere near what Las Vegas was. At this place, you've got so many different grooves. You can run all over this place. The race track is old and aged. You have to race the race track here. It's worse than Darlington almost. It's a pretty bad place where you're not going to see a whole lot of side-by-side and bumper-tagging."
    "He did and he didn't. He had a sense of yeah, okay that makes sense. But still, I don't care. He's in his race car trying to run his race and I'm in my race car trying to run my race. Sometimes, conflicts connect and you have that."
    "There are a bunch of different scenerios. If you look at a 400 lap say at Dover, you're going to let people go for probably 300 laps or so and then in the last 100, you're not because you've got to plan yourself for your last pit stop. And then you've got to get out of the last pit stop and race to the end. It's different situations everywhere you go. I saw his point, but I also saw my point as well."
    "To answer your question in the fullest extent, I didn't do anything wrong. I was just racing my own race; racing my own race car."
    "On the track? Probably not very good. But as far as off the race track, once he takes his helmet off, he's a completely different person. You're able to talk to him and be receptive of him. It's good to be able to have that relationship off the race track, I guess."(in part from the GM Racing PR)(3-17-2006)

  • Stewart on Whips:· Wednesday, March 15 - Unique Whips (10 p.m. ET) ... Speed Channel's popular celebrity car customizing show, Unique Whips, takes on NASCAR as Will Castro and his team get a pair of special projects from NASCAR Nextel Cup Series champ Tony Stewart - including a Cadillac hearse, airs Wednesday, March 15 at 10:00pm/et.(SC), see TV Listing page for other air dates/times.(3-14-2006)

  • Stewart and Kyle Busch settle: - Kyle Busch said he and Tony Stewart hashed out their differences last weekend prior to the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway. Stewart had criticized Busch's driving ability after the Daytona 500. Busch said Saturday prior to qualifying for the Telcel-Motorola Mexico 200 that he and Stewart have cleared the air. "I was able to talk with him and get it over with and get it behind both of us," Busch said. "We were able to race against each other a little bit on Sunday and gave each other plenty of room, which was cool. We waved and said, 'Thank you' as we were passing each other. ... There's plenty more times throughout the year where I know we'll be racing and hopefully we can just keep it the way we did Sunday."(SceneDaily.com)(3-5-2006)

  • Kenseth and Stewart...still no speak UPDATE speak: #17-Matt Kenseth says he has yet to hear from #20-Tony Stewart about last weekend's incident in the Daytona 500 that sent Kenseth into the wall. "I'm sure we'll talk eventually," Kenseth said Friday at California Speedway. "I don't feel like I need to go talk to him because I didn't feel I was in the wrong at all. Obviously, he does, but I don't feel like I did anything wrong." Stewart ran Kenseth into the grass in turn 3 last weekend. That came after Stewart said Kenseth nearly caused him to spin by taking the air off his spoiler earlier in the race. "He started the whole thing, and I finished it," Stewart said after last week's race. NASCAR penalized Stewart for aggressive driving after Kenseth hit the wall. Stewart had to restart at the rear of the field. Series officials did not talk to Stewart about his post-race comments this week and didn't plan to talk to him this weekend. Kenseth admits the incident has been difficult to forget. Kenseth ran well until the incident. He finished 15th; Stewart placed fifth.(Roanoke Times)(2-25-2006)
    UPDATE: Tony Stewart has had a busy weekend even before starting today's NASCAR Nextel Cup race at California Speedway. Stewart said he talked to Matt Kenseth about last week's incident at Daytona this weekend and spoke with Kyle Busch for about 90 minutes Friday night. Stewart was one of a few drivers who complained about Busch's aggressive driving at Daytona. Stewart was upset with Kenseth at Daytona after Stewart nearly spun while running underneath Kenseth. Later, Stewart ran Kenseth down the track and into the grass. Kenseth spun back up the track and hit the turn-3 wall. Stewart declined to reveal details of that conversation. "What we talk about is between Matt and me," Stewart said.(Roanoke Times)(2-26-2006)

  • Bump Drafting Issue Resurfaces UPDATE NASCAR draws line on bump-drafting: Even though he finished a respectable third in the 72-lap exhibition sprint, defending Nextel Cup champion #20-Tony Stewart was livid afterward. Stewart had just finished a race that saw he and the 20 other contestants narrowly dodge, only by good fortune and luck, major accidents at the sprawling 2½-mile track. The reason for Stewart's ire was the bump drafting, which entails intentionally slamming into the car in front of you. The purpose is actually to push the next car along - and some drivers assert it's a necessary move - but do it at the wrong time or at the wrong angle, and wrecks easily can ensue. And wrecks at restrictor plate tracks have the potential to be especially brutal. Really, bump drafting isn't drafting at all. It's legalized road rage - legal, at least, in NASCAR terms. There are laws prohibiting this obviously unsafe maneuver on highways, so why aren't existing rules in NASCAR's books against unsafe or overaggressive driving being enforced when it comes to bump drafting? NASCAR vice president of communications Jim Hunter said after Sunday's race that the sanctioning body has tried to come up with different ways to, at the very least, control bump drafting. But, Hunter noted, sanctioning body officials have to be cautious to make major changes in one area, lest they unwittingly compromise safety in yet another area. Hunter says NASCAR has explored "softening up" front bumpers on cars so that there will be less resulting impact and damage - and thus less chance for a car being knocked out of control - when bump drafting occurs. Again, laudable, but not entirely realistic. Hunter also said NASCAR is reluctant to simply penalize every driver that bump drafts, as some of the allegedly guilty might actually be victims of circumstance, such as being unable to avoid impact when a car in front suddenly checks up.(Yahoo Sports)(2-13-2006)
    UPDATE NASCAR draws line on bump-drafting: NASCAR will post additional officials in the turns at Daytona International Speedway to monitor the act of bump-drafting between cars on the track, according to Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition for the sanctioning body. And left up to make the call, he said Tuesday, officials could penalize drivers for such contact. Pemberton said the officials would begin monitoring the situation beginning with Thursday's Gatorade Duals, twin 150-mile qualifying races that will set the remainder of the field for the Feb. 19 Daytona 500. "I think what we are going to do over the week as the races unfold," Pemberton said, "we may have some zones that we post added officials in where me might be forced to make a call of a bump draft that is unnecessary. The straightaways, obviously, don't appear to be a problem. But we're working on it. We've talked to the competitors about the problem and we may be put in the position that we have to make some calls that we really don't want to make."
    The act of bump-drafting occurs when a driver makes contact with his and another vehicle in front of him on the race track with the front bumper of his car. The "hit" is normally used to push the car in front past a car beside it. The practice has become fairly common at Daytona and Talladega, however, following Sunday's Budweiser Shootout, defending series champion Tony Stewart said the act of bump drafting could lead to another death at the 2.5-mile track. As far as penalties are concerned, Pemberton said it could be "a pass through as far as coming down pit road. It could be anything. ... This is a serious matter. "Everybody has to remember, we don't drive these things. The drivers are in control, they have the pedals they can push and the steering wheel they can turn. To leave it in our hands when we're not out there ... they may get a call that they didn't bargain for."(NASCAR Scene)(2-14-2006)

  • Stewart wins Driver of the Year Award: While Tony Stewart achieved many goals on the way to his second NASCAR Nextel Cup series championship he also earned one of the most coveted titles in auto racing as he was voted the Speed Channel Driver of the Year presented by Gillette M3 Power by a wide margin. Stewart, who was born and resides in Indiana, won the Allstate 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and totaled five wins and two poles winning the vote in the third quarter. "It's an honor to be named Driver of the Year," said Stewart. It's something I take a lot of pride in, especially since one of the guys I've always looked up to in racing - A.J. Foyt - won this award back in 1975. Although all of his wins came in his torrid third quarter Stewart consistently maintained his points lead in the Chase for the Cup as the series drew to a close, in November, at the Homestead Miami Speedway. A humble Stewart added "and while this award recognizes the driver, I want to recognize my team - Joe Gibbs Racing. Their hard work, knowledge and never-ending support allowed us to win a second championship. I couldn't have done it without them." Professionals, who voted - in a secret ballot - for a single driver, gave Stewart 12 votes out the 17 cast. He also won the fan vote. Indy 500 winner, and IndyCar Series Champion, Dan Wheldon, scored three votes and the NHRA's Tony Schumacher, and World of Outlaws, Steve Kinser tallied one vote apiece. There were almost 20,000 votes on the www.speedtv.com website. Stewart counted 10, 210 votes, while Champ Car titlist, winner of an IROC race, Sebastien Bourdais, garnered3,463 votes. Third place, Wheldon, winner of Driver of the Year for the second quarter took 2,423 votes. In its' 40th year, the Driver of the Year title is unique because it is the only award that encompasses all of the racing series in the United States and fan participation. A panel of 18 leading journalists from across the U.S. completed a secret ballot and and a fan vote on Speedtv.com combined to determine the winner. Stewart received a trophy, a custom made motorcycle and a Maurice Lacroix wristwatch which was presented on Speed TV. President of the Speed Channel Driver of the Year Foundation is Barry Schmoyer, businessman and sportsman of Sarasota, Florida.(Speed Channel)(2-13-2006)

  • 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)

  • Stewart: Rib might be cracked: Tony Stewart said Friday that his ribs are hurting more than his arm, two weeks after his accident in his Midget car at the Chili Bowl. Stewart said he likely has a cracked rib, but it did not shown up on X-rays taken after his Jan. 13 accident in the race in Tulsa, where he flipped his car. Stewart talked about his injuries before he had a chance to practice for the Rolex 24 At Daytona at Daytona International Speedway. The race begins at noon Saturday, and Stewart is teamed with road racing aces Butch Leitzinger and Andy Wallace. The team will start the race 21st. "It's actually my ribs that are bothering me," Stewart said. "The arm is fine. The arm is back to 100 percent. The ribs, there is really nothing you can do but rest and relax. That's what we've done from the time it happened until now. We just tried to rest as much as possible and give it time to heal. It's going to be a painful weekend, I'm sure. The good thing about adrenaline is that adrenaline will mask a lot of that and we will get through 24 hours no problem." Stewart said the X-rays on his ribs were inconclusive. "[The doctor] is pretty confident that there is a crack somewhere they couldn't find," Stewart said. "I'm not a doctor and don't understand this stuff, but he said if I came back two days later, he would probably be able to see it better. He said there's no point in coming back and verifying that because there's nothing they can do anyway. It's just painful." The injured ribs will hurt him more driving on a road course rather than when he tests Monday and Tuesday in his Nextel Cup car at Las Vegas, Stewart said. "The hard thing is we're doing it back-to-back for four straight days," Stewart said.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(1-28-2006)

  • Stewart and team visit President Bush: #20-Tony Stewart has had such a successful racing career that he's becoming a regular at the White House. Stewart said President Bush recalled his two previous visits to the Oval Office -- one for his first Cup championship and another with other top drivers -- when he came in for a third Tuesday. "It's a real big honor to be able to come here and have the president remember you," Stewart told reporters as he left the West Wing. "He said, `I'd like to see you back here next year.' So I'm definitely on his side on that. I would love to come back here next year as a champion again." Stewart's entire team was included in the meeting. Stewart gave Bush a team driving suit, and Bush checked out the car parked outside. Joe Gibbs, owner of the team and coach of the Washington Redskins, said Bush was joking with all the guys. It got so chummy that one team member gave the president a sporty pat on the rear and told him he is doing a good job, Gibbs said. "I was talking to Tony, and I said, `Who would believe that eight years ago when I was talking to you on this ramp at this little airport and we were trying to get together racing, we'd wind up at the White House?"' Gibbs said. "So, it's a big thrill for all of us."(ESPN.com/AP)(1-25-2006)

  • NMPA names Stewart DotY: #20-Tony Stewart, winner of the 2005 Nextel Cup title, added another award to his five-win season Sunday when he was named the National Motorsports Press Association's Richard Petty Driver of the Year. Stewart is the 11th driver to win the award, established in 1969, more than once. He also won it after his first Cup championship in 2002. Stewart did not attend Sunday's luncheon in the NMPA's annual convention in Charlotte, where the award was announced. He accepted via a videotaped message, saying he had a commitment at a charity snowmobile ride hosted by his crew chief, Greg Zipadelli.(Thatsracin)(1-23-2006)

  • Stewart Cleared to Race: #20-Tony Stewart got clearance Monday to drive in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona as well as the test session at the end of the month at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway following two separate flips last week in a U.S. Auto Club Midget race. Stewart left a Tulsa, Okla., hospital last Friday with his right arm in a cast, but doctors said there were no serious injuries during a follow-up visit on Monday, team president J.D. Gibbs said. "Everything checked out fine," Gibbs said. "We told him he's still driving in the Daytona 500 even if his arm was broken." Stewart was participating in the Chili Bowl, one of the premier Midget races of the team. Job Gibbs Racing teammate J.J. Yeley and Evernham Motorsports driver Kasey Kahne also participated in the race. Stewart flipped and crashed on Thursday during a heat race. He wasn't injured in that accident, Gibbs said, but he struck his right arm on the shifter when he flipped again on Friday. "The reality of it is, when he first started with us he did way more (races) than what he's doing now," Gibbs said. Gibbs said the race team has restricted Stewart from some of his outside races in the past, but the defending Nextel Cup Series champion has reduced his schedule in the past couple years. "For him to go back to the local tracks where he started, we think it's all right," Gibbs said. "He enjoys that."(Athens Banner-Herald)(1-17-2006)

  • Stewart flips again, Kruseman wins at Chili Bowl UPDATE Stewart is OK: Two-time Chili Bowl king Cory Kruseman outlasted P.J. Jones and a host of other challengers in Friday night's hotly-contested 25-lap Warren CAT Qualifying night feature at Tulsa Expo Raceway's 20th Annual O'Reilly Chili Bowl Midget Nationals. Friday night's feature was loaded with talent, it didn't include NASCAR Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart. Stewart, who scratched from Wednesday's card after a flip in hot laps, flipped wildly down the backstretch in his Friday night qualifying race after a heat race win. Shaken, the 2002 Chili Bowl winner was transported to a local hospital where he was treated and released. No word on any injuries. More info on the Chili Bowl at www.chilibowl.com or racinboys.com. Besides Stewart, other NASCAR drivers scheduled to be running some races there include Kasey Kahne, J.J. Yeley, Jason Leffler, Tracy Hines, Aaron Fike, A.J. Fike, P.J. Jones, Justin Allgaier and Damon Lusk.
    UPDATE: Tony Stewart, the reigning champion in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, was taken to a local hospital for a preliminary examination after he flipped his Midget car in the opening laps of last night's qualifying race for the 20th annual Chili Bowl Midget Nationals at the Tulsa Expo Raceway. Complaining of pain in his right arm after the crash, Stewart was taken to the hospital where X-rays revealed no broken bones and a CT scan proved negative. In a precautionary measure, Stewart was fitted with a cast until a more extensive evaluation can be made by his own doctors on Monday. "I'm a little sore," said Stewart. "The doctors were great and did a pretty thorough evaluation of me. They didn't find anything broken, but just to be sure, they fitted me with a cast that I'll wear until I meet with my doctors on Monday. It looks a lot worse than it is. "In no way should this affect my upcoming test at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, my plans to compete in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona or my participation in Daytona Speedweeks."(True Speed Communication)(1-14-2006)

  • Stewart skips Daytona testing: Considering Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart's dramatic Daytona victory in July, it's not surprising he's blowing off testing there this week to concentrate on competing in the 20th annual Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, Okla. Smoke won the Chili Bowl title in 2002 and this year will face an expected field of 270 competitors, including Steve Kinser, Danny Lasoski and Kasey Kahne. As happened last year, Mike McLaughlin will fill in for Stewart in the #20 Chevrolet during testing.(Sporting News)(1-9-2006)

  • Stewart hands out awards at Eldora: Eldora Speedway capped the 2005 racing season with its awards banquet on Sunday by awarding nearly 100 trophies to drivers and car owners at the Eldora Ballroom. Track owner and Nextel Cup Series champion Tony Stewart was on hand to help hand out the hardware, including points championships to Aaron Scott (Late Models), Scott Orr (Modifieds) Chad Kemenah (Sprints) and Mike Dirksen (Stock Car). Eldora also honored Sunoco American Late Model Series champion Brian Ruhlman and the series drivers.(Daytona Daily News)(1-9-2006)

  • Stewart..Hockey Coach: Tony Stewart will add another accomplishment Jan. 6 to his impressive career resume - hockey coach. Stewart, a native and resident of Columbus, Ind., will serve as "Honorary Assistant Coach" of the Indiana Ice against the Sioux Falls Stampede on Friday, Jan. 6 at the Pepsi Coliseum, located at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Game time is 7:00pm. The Ice will announce "lucky rows" throughout the game, and fans seated in those rows will have the opportunity to meet reigning NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion Stewart and get an autograph. The Tony Stewart Foundation, which supports numerous local and national youth-focused charitable causes, will benefit from the game as the Ice will pledge $2 from every ticket sold to the Foundation. In addition, the Ice will raffle two collectible jerseys during the game, and the winners will meet Stewart and get an autograph. A silent auction also will take place, with proceeds going to the Tony Stewart Foundation. "I've been a big fan of hockey since I attended a Dallas Stars game in Texas several years ago, but having the opportunity to support my hometown team and sit right on the ice will be a very cool experience," Stewart said. "I'm looking forward to greeting the fans and the Ice players, and my thanks go to the whole organization for supporting the Tony Stewart Foundation." J.D. Byrider, a longtime Stewart backer, is sponsoring the night. More info at indianaice.com.(PR)(1-5-2006)

2005 News

  • Stewart wins at Fort Wayne: Tony Stewart won the USAC midget competition at Fort Wayne's Allen County Memorial Coliseum on Friday night. Dave Darland was second across the finish line, followed by Matt Estep. Stewart, who finished 11th in Thursday's race, was the fast qualifier in both races.(Indianapolis Star)
    AND NASCAR star Tony Stewart closed the U.S. Auto Club's 50th season of racing with a victory in a 60-lap midget feature race at the "Rumble in Fort Wayne." Stewart, the reigning Nextel Cup champion, started eighth and took the lead on the seventh lap, staying in front until the end. He has won at least one USAC race each year since 1991 except in 1999, when he was the NASCAR Cup rookie of the year. "I'm going to say this because I know my fans like my brutal honesty," Stewart told the crowd after his victory. "Every year, all the competitors go out to the bar and try to get me drunk so I can't run the next day. It didn't work this time." Stewart also raced in Fort Wayne on Thursday night, finishing 11th in a 60-lap feature race after crashing.(ESPN.com/AP)(12-31-2005)

  • Stewart honored by U.S. House of Representatives: on Wednesday [12/14], the U.S. House of Representatives approved a resolution from U.S. Rep. Mike Sodrel of Indiana recognizing #20-Tony Stewart for his 2005 Nextel Cup championship. Sodrel, who sponsored the resolution, was joined by other members of the Indiana delegation - Reps. Mike Pence, Dan Burton, Mark Soder, John Hostettler and Julia Carson - as co-sponsors. House Resolution 587 passed unanimously. Sodrel represents Indiana's 9th Congressional District, which includes Stewart's hometown - and current residence - of Columbus. "I am proud to honor Mr. Tony Stewart for all of his accomplishments in NASCAR and the world of motorsports by bringing this resolution to the floor of the House of Representatives," Sodrel said. "Hoosiers and racing fans around the world are proud of Tony and his team and we look forward to his continued success." The resolution cites Stewart for his five 2005 wins, his two series titles in seven seasons, his eight other auto racing championships, his top-10 ranking in each of his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup seasons and particularly his Aug. 7 victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (in the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard). Following that win, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels awarded Stewart the state's highest honor, the Sagamore of the Wabash, on Aug. 29.(NASCAR PR)(12-15-2005)

  • Stewart to drive midget car race: Tony Stewart will drive in a pair of U.S. Auto Club indoor midget car races at Fort Wayne, IN, where he won a 60-lap feature a year ago under an assumed name in an old junker he bought during a poker game the night before. It wasn't until Stewart pulled into Victory Lane and took off his helmet that the race announcer and fans recognized him -- and became extremely excited. "It was just a kind of a joke," USAC spokesman Dick Jordan said Tuesday. "They didn't do any advance publicity on him, because he wasn't sure he was going to run. ... This time he's allowing the promoter to advertise the fact he's coming." The Dec. 29-30 "Rumble in Fort Wayne" will be USAC's final races of the year. Stewart has won 52 USAC features and in 1995 swept all three series championships -- Midget, Sprint and Silver Crown. He also has won at least one USAC race each year since 1991 except 1999, when he was the NASCAR Cup rookie of the year.(ESPN.com/AP)(12-14-2005)

  • Stewart visits GM Plant: Tony Stewart, the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup champion, visited the GM Arlington Assembly Plant this afternoon to help build a 2007 Chevy Tahoe. Stewart visited the Texas plant to perform several jobs in the general assembly process and meet with GM employees that work on the various lines. Plans are in development for the final Tahoe that Stewart drives off the line be used at several promotional events and eventually be auctioned off for charity. Stewart's visit to the plant today helped kick off Arlington production of the 2007 Chevy Tahoe. The new Tahoe will be available in dealer showrooms beginning in January.(GM Racing PR)(12-14-2005)

  • NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion sets single season winnings record: NEW YORK (Dec. 2, 2005) - NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion Tony Stewart (#20 The Home Depot Chevrolet) will collect $6,173,633 in point fund awards - a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point fund award record - along with special awards totaling $517,000. The post-season payouts bring his 2005 season total to $13,578,168, the largest single-season total in NASCAR history. Stewart's take exceeds the previous single-season record, $10,979,757, set by Jeff Gordon (#24 DuPont Chevrolet) in 2001. Stewart's career winnings now total $48,467,449, making him the fifth-highest money winner on NASCAR's all-time list. Over $25 million in point fund awards will be distributed to the top 25 drivers in the final NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings. Runner-up Greg Biffle (#16 National Guard Ford) will receive over $2.62 million in point fund awards, bringing his season total to over $8.35 million. With over $6.7 million in race winnings this season, fifth-place Jimmie Johnson (#48 Lowe's Chevrolet) was the season's next-highest money winner. Johnson will receive $20,000 in post-season special awards and more than $1.7 million from the point fund, for a 2005 season total of over $8.33 million.(NASCAR PR), see full winnings for top-25 on my 2005 Nextel Cup Banquet, News, Winnings page.(12-2-2005)

  • Stewart to get in shape: Tony Stewart went on a shopping spree last week that he hopes will lead to a new and improved Nextel Cup champion. "I went out and bought $17,000 worth of exercise equipment for my house," Stewart said Wednesday as he prepared for yet another of the dozens of media events this week in New York, leading up to Friday night's NASCAR awards ceremony at which he will collect checks for more than $5.8 million. The 5-foot-9 Stewart, who probably weighs at least 20 pounds more than the 185 listed in the NASCAR media guide, admittedly loves fast food and has often made himself the brunt of his own jokes about how out of shape he is. "I'm going to get in shape for next year," Stewart said Wednesday. "I've got to. As you get older, your body changes and I can't do the kind of things I used to do, like eat three cheeseburgers on my way home and then eat dinner an hour later. I'm tired of puffing and panting when I climb up two flights of stairs. I've got to start taking better care of myself." The first step, he said, will be getting together with a nutritionist to talk about diet. "Then all I need to do is stay away from the McDonald's drive-up window and not use all that new equipment to hang my clothes on," Stewart said, grinning.(ESPN.com/AP)(12-1-2005)

  • Nextel Cup Banquet Info and Stewart Appearance Schedule in NYC:
    Monday, Nov. 28 ... Tony Stewart begins his week with two memorable photo shoots, beginning at 11:30am He'll visit two famous New York City locations, the Top of the Rock observation deck on the 70th floor of Rockefeller Center and the distinctive Flatiron Building on Fifth Avenue between 22nd and 23rd Streets... Fox News Channel "Dayside" interview at 1:00pm/et.
    Tuesday, Nov. 29 ... Satellite media tour from 10:15am - 12:15pm/et. ... Visit to Staten Island Hospital Pediatric Burn Unit at 1pm/et. ... Visit to FDNY Fire Academy at 3pm/et. ... Appearance on MRN Radio's "NASCAR Live" talk show at 7pm/et.
    AND What's on tap Tuesday for the champion ... Tony Stewart will open day two of Champion's Week with a Satellite Media Tour featuring several West Coast news stations. Here's the rest of his Tuesday schedule:
    " Stewart will join Brian Vickers, Carl Edwards, Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson at the Staten Island University Hospital to visit with children in the Pediatric Burn Unit. The drivers will then make an appearance at The Vanderbilt hotel for a fan event.
    " Later in the afternoon, Stewart will visit the Fire Department New York Fire Academy on Randal's Island in Manhattan. Stewart will spend time with FDNY personnel and take part in various training exercises.
    Wednesday, Nov. 30 ... NBC Today Show appearance at 8:30am to kick off NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Victory Lap presented by Sprint ... Victory Lap departs from NBC Today Show Plaza at 9am The procession will wind across town and arrive at 375 Park Avenue, the site of NASCAR's New York office.
    Thursday, Dec. 1 ... New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) opening at 8:45am, attended by the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top-10 drivers, Sprint Nextel Chairman Tim Donahue and NASCAR Chief Operating Officer George Pyne ... NASCAR Press Conference and luncheon at Cipriani, beginning at 11am ... NASCAR Champions' photo, featuring Stewart and all of the other 2005 NASCAR series champions, 1:30pm/et. at Cipriani ... Times Square photo shoot at 3pm/et. ... Visit to Ronald McDonald House at 4:30pm/et. ... Stewart will also pay a visit to the NASCAR champion's dinner to honor the regional touring series and NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series champions, at The Waldorf-Astoria hotel at 7:15pm/et.
    Friday, Dec. 2 ... National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) / Myers Brothers Breakfast presented by Sunoco, in The Waldorf-Astoria hotel at 8:45am ... Photo shoot on Park Avenue at 3:45pm/et. ... NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Awards Ceremony doors open and "Yellow Carpet" festivities begin at 6pm/et. ... Champion's "Red Carpet" arrival at 6:40pm/et. ... NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Awards Ceremony in The Waldorf-Astoria Grand Ballroom at 7pm/et.
    Tune in ... NASCAR Radio on XM Satellite Radio will broadcast live from The Waldorf-Astoria, next Monday-Friday at 4pm/et. (ET). Host Claire B. Lang will report on each day's events and feature exclusive interviews with the Top-10 drivers and other personalities. ... MRN Radio will also broadcast live from New York, including an interview with Stewart on Tuesday and live coverage of the awards ceremony on Friday. ... SPEED Channel will air a special "NASCAR Takes Manhattan" show live, beginning at 7pm/et. on Friday. Marketing blitz ... The awards ceremony is the culmination of the season for NASCAR's top drivers, as well as an annual gathering for the sport's marketers and media personalities. Sprint Nextel plans a massive marketing campaign throughout the city, including its interactive NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Pit Stop Tour, show car displays and other fan events. There will be a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series display each day at the NBC Experience Store at Rockefeller Plaza, along with a driver autograph session there Wednesday afternoon. The annual Street & Smith's Motorsports Marketing Forum will be held Wednesday at the New York Marriott East Side, featuring several NASCAR executives and top drivers in a panel discussion on marketing trends and other industry issues.
    France to be honored at March of Dimes luncheon ... NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France will attend the 22nd annual Greater New York March of Dimes luncheon at The Waldorf-Astoria hotel on Wednesday, where he'll be recognized with the organization's Sports Leadership Award. Other honorees include Barry Frank Sr., Corporate Vice President, IMG and Vice Chairman, TWI, who will receive the Corporate Leadership Award; U.S. Women's Soccer stars Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, Brandi Chastain, Kristine Lilly and Joy Fawcett, who will be recognized as Sportswomen of the Year; and Willie Randolph, manager of the New York Mets, as Sportsman of the Year.
    Fast Facts
    What: NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Awards Ceremony Where: Grand Ballroom, The Waldorf-Astoria hotel New York City. When: 7-10:30pm/et, Friday, Dec. 2.
    TV: TNT, 9pm/et/pt
    Radio: MRN/XM Satellite.
    NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10: 1. Tony Stewart 6,533. 2. Greg Biffle 6,498. 3. Carl Edwards 6,498. 4. Mark Martin 6,428. 5. Jimmie Johnson 6,406. 6. Ryan Newman 6,359. 7. Matt Kenseth 6,352. 8. Rusty Wallace 6,140. 9. Jeremy Mayfield 6,073. 10. Kurt Busch 5,974.
    11th-place driver: Jeff Gordon
    Raybestos Rookie of the Year: Kyle Busch
    Special Guest: Comedian Jay Mohr
    Musical Entertainment: Singers Toni Braxton and Gavin DeGraw; Jazz pianist Eric Lewis.(NASCAR PR)(11-25-2005)

  • Parade for Stewart UPDATE 2 Postponed: Tony Stewart's hometown will hold a parade next month to honor him for winning the NASCAR series championship. The parade is planned for Dec. 17, starting at 2:20pm from the Hamilton Center Ice Arena and ending at Columbus [IN] North High School. It would be the second parade in Columbus for Stewart in four months. On Aug. 15, he was recognized for his win in the Allstate 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Judy Jackson, the city's community development director, said Monday that Dec. 17 was the earliest date Stewart was available for the parade.(Fort Wayne Sentinel/AP)(11-22-2005)
    POSTPONED: Columbus, IN: Mayor Fred L. Armstrong says that due to Tony Stewart's busy scheduled, a celebration will NOT be held on December 16 and 17. City officials are currently working with Stewart representatives to find a date and time that will accommodate Tony's busy schedule. As soon as plans are finalized, complete information will be released to the media.(columbus.in.gov)(11-24-2005)
    UPDATE 2: A parade to honor NASCAR champion Tony Stewart in his hometown has been called off because a conflict with his schedule, and city leaders are now planning for a two-day celebration sometime in January. The parade was scheduled for Dec. 17. The dates for the new celebration has not yet been set. The January celebration might include fireworks and a hog roast, said Lynn Lucas, director of the Columbus Visitors Center. "The economic impact of all this will be tremendous," she said. "This is an opportunity, and we want to take advantage of it. She said they hope to attract thousands of Stewart fans to the event, including some from out of town. "We're talking about 6,000," she said. "Some of them could be coming in for two nights, and that means they'll need a hotel." Stewart won his second NASCAR championship in four years Sunday, beating Greg Biffle by 35 points in the Nextel Cup standings. Columbus held a parade for Stewart in August to celebrate his victory in the Allstate 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. An estimated crowd of 5,000 lined downtown streets in the city about 40 miles south of Indianapolis. "Tony is from the city of Columbus, and that should be celebrated," Mayor Fred Armstrong said. "We need to recognize our citizens."(Indianapolis Star/AP)(11-26-2005)

  • Stewart Visits ESPN: Tony Stewart, who won the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series championship on Sunday, visited ESPN's Bristol, Ct. headquarters Tuesday (Nov. 22) when he communicated with his fans via several ESPN media platforms. Stewart, a two-time NASCAR champion (2002), arrived at noon, was interviewed live on ESPN Radio's The Herd with Colin Cowherd, taped a segment for tonight's GameNight on ESPN Radio, chatted with ESPN.com users (more than 1,500 users e-mailed questions), and taped segments for SportsCenter and ESPNEWS.(11-23-2005)

  • 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Champion: Tony Stewart:
    " Tony Stewart won the 2005 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Championship in the 57th season of NASCAR's premier series.
    " This is Stewart's second title in the seven seasons that he has competed in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. Stewart was also the Series champion in 2002.
    " Stewart has ranked in the top 10 every season since his 1999 rookie year and has never ranked lower than seventh in the final point standings.
    " Stewart posted three Bud Poles, five victories, 17 top-fives and 25 top-10 finishes this season.
    " This is Joe Gibbs' third championship as a car owner. Bobby Labonte won for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2000 and Stewart in 2002. Gibbs has fielded at least one full-time team since 1992.
    " This is also the second championship for crew chief Greg Zipadelli, both with Stewart. Zipadelli has been a NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Crew Chief for seven seasons, all with Stewart and Gibbs.
    " There have been 27 different champions Stewart is the 14th different driver to win multiple championships.
    " Stewart was the 1999 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year. He became the eighth Rookie-of-the-Year to subsequently win a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup championship.
    " Stewart started the season at Daytona in sixth place after leading the most laps en route to a seventh-place finish. He struggled for the next 13 races, finishing in the top 10 only five times but also finishing 24th or worse five times. He then finished second in the June Michigan race, beginning a 13-race streak of consecutive top 10 finishes that ran through Loudon in September. During the 13 races, he scored five victories and 10 top fives. His Brickyard 400 victory propelled him to first place in the point standings for the first time in 2005. He held the top position following all but one of the final 15 races.
    " His biggest point lead was 213 points following second Bristol. His smallest lead was when he was tied with Jimmie Johnson in points scored after the second Charlotte race.
    " Stewart started the Chase in first place by five points over Greg Biffle, 15 ahead of Johnson. Stewart led the standings after nine of the 10 Chase races (all but Dover when he fell to fifth after an 18th place finish).
    " This is the 22nd time in 57 seasons a Chevrolet driver has won the championship; the first since 2001.
    " Stewart's other championships:
    2001 World of Outlaws (Car Owner)
    1997 Indy Racing League (IRL)
    1995 USAC Midget; USAC Sprint Cars; USAC Silver Crown
    1994 USAC Midget
    1987 World Karting Association National Title
    1983 International Karting Foundation Grand National
    Stewart is 34 years old (5/20/71); Zipadelli is 38 years old (4/21/67); Gibbs is 64 years old (11/25/40).(NASCAR Statistical Services)(11-21-2005)

  • Nice Gesture: #45-Kyle Petty's wife Pattie gave Stewart a lucky charm from her late son Adam with the inscription John 3:16 on Sunday morning. Stewart had it in his pocket all day.(Yahoo Sports)(11-21-2005)

  • Stewart clinches Gatorback Championship The race season isn't over quite yet, but #20-Tony Stewart has already clinched one championship. Stewart has put enough distance between himself and the remainder of the field to capture the Goodyear Gatorback Fastest Lap Championship prior to this weekend's season-ending race at Homestead, Fla. The Gatorback award, sponsored by Goodyear Engineered Products, goes each week to a driver posting the fastest lap while leading a Nextel Cup race. At the end of the season, the driver compiling the most fastest laps is declared the Gatorback champion for the season. Stewart, driving for Joe Gibbs Racing, will receive the 2005 Gatorback Fastest Lap solid crystal trophy, along with check for $75,000, at the season-ending NASCAR banquet at New York in December. Stewart has dominated the Nextel Cup field by posting eight fastest laps this season. His closest challenge came from rival #16-Greg Biffle, who has recorded five fastest laps. With one race to go, Stewart is out of reach of the competition. Gatorback Poly-V belts were introduced at the 2002 Daytona 500 on rookie Cup driver Jimmie Johnson's pole-sitting racecar. Today, every Nextel Cup car uses the same straight-off-the-shelf belts that race fans can purchase from auto parts stores and installers. Goodyear has supplied belts to NASCAR for 24-years and is the exclusive NASCAR Performance licensee of automotive aftermarket belts and hose. For more information, visit goodyearbeltsandhose.com.(Goodyear PR)(11-15-2005)

  • ESPN: In NASCAR, attention to detail is a must. Details like analyzing every aspect of a pit stop. And washing every inch of the hauler. As the 2005 season rolls to an end, E-ticket spent a week with Tony Stewart's Home Dept team, unveiling the 20/20 foresight it takes to bring home the Nextel Cup, see more at ESPN.com - 20/20 : The End is the Beginning

  • Tony gets a bridge at TMS: Texas Motor Speedway christened a new pedestrian bridge over its south infield tunnel as "Tony Stewart Bridge." The 2002 champion had been lobbying TMS President Eddie Gossage for the upgrade since nearly missing a drivers' meeting in 2004 when the Budweiser Clydsedales blocked the tunnel. Stewart owns Eldora Speedway in Ohio and has promised to return the favor by renaming his track's infield tunnel after Gossage.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(11-6-2005)

  • New Goody's Commericals with Stewart: Goody's Headache Powders previewed its new commercials titled "Mr. Petty's Neighborhood" on Friday morning at Atlanta Motor Speedway. In the new spots, Richard Petty welcomes driver Tony Stewart, knocking on his door bearing a casserole from his wife, Linda. As one might expect, everything happens fast in Goody's Country, which Petty explains to the new resident Stewart. "Tony Stewart joining Goody's just makes so much sense," said Darren Singer, vice president of marketing for Goody's. Stewart answered snickers from the audience by saying, "I know what you guys are thinking. Don't worry, that's what I was thinking, too." The new commercials were filmed on Hickswood Drive in Greensboro, N.C. Singer said residents allowed their homes and streets to be used for the two days of shooting and even brought out their lawn chairs to watch the events. The Pettys and Stewart chatted with them and signed autographs - and definitely left their mark. Goody's has been associated with NASCAR and the Petty family for 30 years. The company was an early and major contributor to the Victory Junction Gang Camp. Stewart also is a major contributor to the camp for children with life-threatening conditions. Goody's also presented a check for $25,000 on behalf of the Tony Stewart Foundation for the Victory Junction Gang.(PR)(10-29-2005)

  • Goody's unveils new ad campaign geared toward NASCAR: NASCAR legend Richard Petty has been a long-time resident of Goody's Country, serving as the Goody's Headache Powders spokesperson for nearly 30 years. Tony Stewart has joined Petty and his son Kyle in a new advertising campaign for the "Official Pain Reliever of NASCAR" that includes a commercial depicting the day Stewart moves into "Mr. Petty's Neighborhood" and his appreciation for the speedy pace of life there. The first screening of the commercial will be during a press conference at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday, Oct. 28. Also at this event, as part of its continued support of Victory Junction Gang Camp, Goody's will present a check for $25,000 in Stewart's name to Kyle and Pattie Petty for their camp for seriously ill children and their families.(Williams Company PR)(10-27-2005)

  • #20 to sport Tools scheme at Martinsville: Tony Stewart will special paint scheme on the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet at the Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway featuring new Lithium-Ion cordless power tools that deliver the longest-lasting power available on the market. The gray, orange and white paint scheme features Lithium-Ion power tool lines on the rear corner panels and deck lid of the vehicle. Available exclusively at The Home Depot, the innovative tools from Makita U.S.A. and Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation operate with breakthrough Lithium-Ion technology which will run up to twice as long as leading cordless 18 volts per charge. The tools will be available in all The Home Depot stores in the United States starting in November. The new power tool lines include a Milwaukee V28, four-piece Cordless Combo Kit and Makita 18V LXT, four-piece Cordless Combo Kit, 18V LXT Cordless Hammer Driver-Drill Kit and 18V LXT Cordless Impact Driver Kit.(True Speed/Home Depot PR), see image on my #20 Team Schemes page.(10-18-2005)

  • Tony Stewart Concert does well: Tony Stewart held his 2nd annual Tony Stewart Foundation Benefit Concert on Wed. Oct. 5th. In attendance on this special night were drivers Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne, Michael Waltrip, and Kyle Petty, and NBS driver Martin Truex Jr. Entertainment on hand were country music stars Phil Vasser and Super duo Montgomery - Gentry with special guest Kid Rock. All artists put on outstanding performances. Greg Hultman of Hultman Inc. (event director) presented Tony with a check for $363,106.00 dollars, topping last years amount by more than $80,000.(10-10-2005)

  • Zipadelli Wins Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race Award at Talladega: Tony Stewart may not have won the UAW-Ford 500 this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, but he performed in award-winning fashion. Stewart led the parade 11 times for a race high total of 65 laps before claiming second-place in one of the season's most thrilling finishes. Stewart's big day brought his crew chief Greg Zipadelli the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race award. Although Stewart made his top-five run look easy, but his finish didn't come without a roadblock. The Home Depot Chevrolet seemed to battle overheating problems from the start of the race. Despite pulling all of the tape off the grill of the #20 machine, the temperature continued to climb before finally reaching 275 degrees. Water began to leave the engine, which gave Zipadelli no choice but to sacrifice his driver's track position and attempt fix the problem. The team made an extended stop on pit road to refill the engine and cool the motor. Zipadelli's plan got Stewart back on the track without losing any laps. Stewart battled back to claim second-place. More importantly, his race day comeback put him back on top of the championship point standings. "The Home Depot Chevrolet was pretty good, but we had an overheating problem," said Zipadelli. "We probably had a little too much tape on it and in traffic it got too hot. It pushed some water out, so we had to put some water in it. I think we got an air bubble in it. Once we got that worked out, we went to the front and led a bunch of laps afterwards. Everybody on the team did a great job today and we got the points lead back. That's the most important thing."
    The panel of voters, including a Wypall Wipers representative and Tony Eury Sr., agreed that Zipadelli deserved Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race honors for his incredible comeback.
    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 and Robbie Loomis are tied for third-place with two wins. Tommy Baldwin, Scott Miller, Fatback McSwain, Steve Hmiel, Greg Erwin, Slugger Labbe, Chad Knaus and Pete Rondeau are in a tie 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)(10-3-2005)

  • Petty's and Sprint Car Series? UPDATE 2: hearing there is supposed to be a press conference scheduled at Dover to announce the new sprint car league being formed by Petty Enterprises, called the National Sprint Car League?(9-21-2005)
    UPDATE: Been told Tony Stewart is involved and hearing the Petty family has a financial interest in thsi new series that will go head-to-head with World of Outlaws with a couple of Speedway Motorsports tracks. Also hearing that 12 of the top 17 WoO drivers are going with the new series, including Steve Kinser. Look for an announcement from Dover on Friday.(9-22-2005)
    UPDATE 2: Sprint car racing's biggest names have split into two separate series for 2006, drivers confirmed Wednesday. The World of Outlaws, owned by DIRT Motorsports, will retain five of its 18 full-time drivers - Altoona's Terry McCarl, Craig Dollansky, Brooke Tatnell, Daryn Pittman and Donny Schatz - and plans to add more for 2006. Danny Lasoski, who drives for Tony Stewart Motorsports, represents one of 13 current Outlaws teams who have signed with the National Sprintcar League for the 2006 season. The group is backed by Petty Enterprises and has lured drivers such as Steve and Kraig Kinser, Jason Meyers and Tim Shaffer. It's not immediately clear how the split would affect Knoxville Raceway, which draws thousands for Outlaws races. Those figures swell to 25,000 per night during the Knoxville Nationals each August - with fans lured by many of the Outlaws drivers. "We saw no light at the end of the tunnel," said Lasoski, a four-time Knoxville Nationals champion. "This is a breath of fresh air for all of us." DIRT Motorsports completed the acquisition of the Outlaws in February of 2004 from founder Ted Johnson. They have yet to secure a title sponsor. Lasoski said he felt a new direction was necessary. He added an announcement is scheduled to be made this weekend at the NASCAR events at Dover, Del. Lasoski's concerns with DIRT included the lack of live television - Outlaws events air on the Outdoor Channel on a tape-delayed basis. He expects the Petty organization to rectify that situation, although no TV package is set yet. Lasoski said he would not run any Outlaws-sanctioned events next season, and was unsure what would happen regarding a possible non-sanctioned 2006 Knoxville Nationals. He added that NASCAR names such as Stewart, Kasey Kahne, the Pettys and Dave Blaney would field cars in the National Sprintcar League next season. This season, the structure of the World of Outlaws series remains unchanged in terms of points and scheduling. The Outlaws' next race is Friday at Jackson, Minn.(Des Moines Register)(9-23-2005)

  • Stewart Wins 3rd Quarter Driver of the Year Vote: Tony Stewart, who smoked the race tracks in NASCAR Nextel Cup series, fired up the voting among the media and the fans, easily winning the Speed Channel DRIVER OF THE YEAR third quarter, 2005. "It's an honor to be named the third quarter Driver of The Year," said Stewart, the 2002 Nextel Cup Champion. "I didn't do it alone, though, as I had a great race team in Joe Gibbs Racing providing me with great race cars". Stewart drove the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet, into victory lane at the quarter's opening race, the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway and hasn't slowed to lookin his rear-view mirrors. Following an emotional win at the Allstate 400, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Stewart - known as "Smoke" - took over the points lead and held it as the Chase for the NASCAR Nextel Cup started this Sunday. During the 12 weeks of the third quarter Stewart amassed an unmatched record of five wins and no finish worse than eighth. In the fan voting Stewart garnered all the first-place ballots, except for one (where he was voted in second place). As a result he scored 150 points, or, more than double the 69 points tallied by Dan Wheldon, of the Indy Racing League, the second quarter winner. Britain's Wheldon won two races, in the quarter, has all but wrapped up the Indy Car Series title. France's Sebastien Bourdais, the reigning Champ Car World Series Champion and current series leader had one first-place vote and counted a total of 58 points. Bourdais, who drives for Newman/Haas Racing had a string of three consecutive wins. Fourth place went to King of the Outlaws Steve Kinser. Noteworthy, Stewart was first, Martin Truex Jr., of the NASCAR Busch Series, finished second and the IRL's, Tony Kanaan, finished third as fans clicked their votes on the www.SpeedTV.com website. In its' 39th year, the DRIVER OF THE YEAR title is unique because it is the only award that encompasses all of the racing series in the United States and fan participation. A panel of 18 leading journalists from across the U.S. and a fan vote on Speedtv.com determine the winner. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4,3,2,1 basis. Stewart received a trophy and a Maurice Lacroix wristwatch which was presented on Speed TV.(Speed Channel)(9-20-2005)

  • Stewart on Letterman TONIGHT....and: Tony Stewart, driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevy, is scheduled to appear on CBS's Late Show with David Letterman, Wednesday, Sept 14th [not the 13th, sorry folks been mixing up my days this week - DOH!], the airs at 11:30pm/et. Actress Reese Witherspoon and musical group Arcade Fire are also scheduled to be on the show.(Late Night with David Letterman Show site)
    AND Tony Stewart will appear tonight on CBS' "Late Show with David Letterman." There, Stewart and Letterman - both of whom are Indiana natives - will no doubt discuss their stirring victories at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Stewart won the Aug. 7 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard as a driver, while Letterman won the 2004 Indianapolis 500 as an owner with his driver, Buddy Rice.
    Stewart will maintain his national television presence with a Thursday [Sept 15th] morning visit to NBC's "Today" show. Following his trip to 30 Rockefeller Center, Stewart will appear on a variety of ESPN outlets, most notably ESPN2's "Cold Pizza" and ESPNEWS' "Hot List."
    Continuing the ESPN theme, Stewart is on the cover of this week's ESPN Magazine. Writer Tom Friend spent a day with Stewart prior to the Labor Day weekend Nextel Cup race at California Speedway, and before the interview, talked with numerous friends and family members to complete one of the most in-depth profiles of the 24-time Nextel Cup race victor.(9-14-2005)

  • 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)

  • Kaboom and Stewart at California: On Aug. 31 Tony Stewart, driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevy will be participating in a KaBOOM! playground build at the Pomona (Calif.) YMCA and will be running a special paint scheme during the Sony HD 500 to help promote the build. Stewart said: "It's a pretty cool deal. It's a partnership between The Home Depot, Joe Gibbs Racing and KaBOOM!. We've done some KaBOOM! builds in the past, and they're great because unlike an autograph session or other kinds of appearances, you know you're actually doing something. The Pomona YMCA build is the fifth of 10 playground builds we'll be doing this year, and all of them are done in a single day. All of the playgrounds are NASCAR-themed and they're all taking place in race markets. But I know that Joe (Gibbs, team owner) won't let me touch any power tools or anything with a sharp edge. So I might just be stuck shoveling gravel or something. But if my tools don't make some kind of noise or aren't capable of making mass destruction of something, I'll be a little disappointed."(JGR PR), see an image of the scheme on my #20 Team Schemes page.(8-31-2005)

  • 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)

  • Stewart ok after Sprint wreck: Tony Stewart was not hurt when he crashed while leading the Sprint Sizzler at Eldora [he owns] Speedway Wednesday night in Rossburg, Ohio. Stewart lost a right-front tire on the ninth lap and hit the wall creating a melee that also eliminated fellow NASCAR driver Dave Blaney, who was running second. Kasey Kahne, the third Nextel Cup driver in the winged sprint car field, took the lead after the Stewart-Blaney crash but lost it four laps later to eventual race winner Darren Long. Stewart, Kahne and Blaney joined 36 other drivers on the half-mile Eldora Speedway dirt track Stewart purchased in December.(Indianapolis Star)(8-19-2005)

  • Stewart turns over his hearse: #20-Tony Stewart quietly turned over a pair of cars from his collection to celebrity customizer Will Castro a few weeks ago at the 16th Street Speedway in Indianapolis. The first car, a Lamborghini, didn't raise many eyebrows, as A-list athletes and cool cars go together like peanut butter and jelly. In fact, Castro has worked on more Lamborghinis then he can remember. But the second ride was a little different -- a baby blue1984 Cadillac Brougham hearse. Yes, that kind of hearse. Intrigued by the challenge, however, Castro and his crew from Unique Autosports in New York believe they are up to the task of customizing the unusual car for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup points leader. "This will be, at the very least, a five-month project," said Castro, whose show Unique Whips airs Wednesday nights on SPEED Channel at 9:00pm/et/pt. "We will do a complete job inside and out -- new wheels, new tires and custom paint. We'll add a custom top, an all new interior with a home entertainment system, plasma screens and a wet bar. It will be crazy." Stewart, who purchased the car in Cincinnati "just to mess with people," trusts Castro and his team to have some fun with the car. "I'm not going to tell Will what to do," Stewart said. "That would be like Will telling me how to drive. He is a genius and this is what he does."(Speed Channel)(8-18-2005)

  • A parade for Stewart: Indiana native and NASCAR star Tony Stewart was ushered through Columbus, IN atop an antique fire truck Monday in a parade attended by thousands of adoring fans. "This just isn't a parade for me," said Stewart, addressing the crowd from the steps of City Hall. "This town has backed me and supported me. This parade is for the city of Columbus." The parade offered local residents a chance to thank the man who moved back to Columbus, one of two Indiana towns that claim him as a native, after years of living closer to his racing headquarters in North Carolina. Stewart has won five of the past seven NASCAR Nextel Cup races and leads the season points standings. Gov. Mitch Daniels, in his famous recreational vehicle, joined the parade. "As a devoted Tony Stewart fan," Daniels said, "I would've been glad to sit here on the sidewalk tonight."(Indianapolis Star)(8-16-2005)

  • Tony Stewart wins at Watkins Glen: #20-Tony Stewart won the SIRIUS Satellite Radio at The Glen at Watkins Glen International, dominating the race, leading 83 of 92 laps, for his fifth win of 2005 and 24th of his career, increasing his points lead to 105 points over #48-Jimmie Johnson who finished 5th. #7-Robby Gordon, who started 39th, finished 2nd, followed by #36-Boris Said [his best carrer finish], #40-Scott Pruett and Johnson. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 10th and #24-Jeff Gordon finished 14th. The race finished under a Green-White-Checker finish as there was a late caution, but no one ran out of gas.
    For cautions, some race narrative, lap leaders, etc see my Watkins Glen Race Info/Rundown Page.
    For race results and links, see Jayski's Watkins Glen Race Results Page.(8-14-2005)

  • Stewart's Indy Celebration to be seen on Watkins Glen prerace: Because last Sunday's Allstate 400 at Indianapolis ran a little bit long, fans watching at home didn't get to see much of Tony Stewart's emotional celebration after he got through talking with Allen Bestwick. That will change Sunday, as the network will show the remainder of Stewart's Brickyard victory party during the pre-race show from Watkins Glen.(NASCAR.com)(8-12-2005)

  • Home Depot to Offer a 10% Discount on Bricks, Wall Blocks and Pavers in Celebration of Historic Victory: Tony Stewart scored the biggest win of his career when he drove his #20 Home Depot Chevy to victory lane in the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard on Sunday. While the hometown hero cemented his leadership with his name on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's race trophy, Stewart's sponsor, The Home Depot , put a 10% discount on bricks, wall blocks and pavers this weekend at all U.S. The Home Depot stores. The official home improvement warehouse of NASCAR will take out full-page color ads in today's USA Today, and Friday's Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, Indianapolis Star, Evansville (Ind.) Courier, Syracuse (N.Y.) Post-Standard and Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat & Chronicle with a congratulatory note for Stewart and the #20 Home Depot Racing Team. Customers who present a copy of the coupon from the ad will receive a 10% discount on bricks, wall blocks and pavers this Thursday through Sunday (Aug. 11-14). "First it was ladders and fences, and now it's bricks and pavers," said Stewart, alluding to The Home Depot's previous 10 percent discount on ladders and fences that followed his fence-climbing celebratory antics at Daytona (Fla.) and New Hampshire. "I plan to keep winning races and helping to drive down the cost of home improvement for The Home Depot customers." Paved with 3.2 million bricks in 1909, the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway is best known as the Brickyard. While its surface is now covered with asphalt, a yard of bricks remains at the start/finish line as a testament to the track's famed history.(The Home Depot/True Speed Communication)(8-12-2005)

  • A Parade for Tony on Monday: Columbus, IN will have a chance to show its support for Tony Stewart [#20 Home Depot Chevy] at 7:00pm Monday at a parade through downtown. Following the parade, Stewart, a Columbus native and winner of Sunday's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, will be recognized at a ceremony at City Hall. The parade will form at Washington and Eighth streets at the Moose Lodge and will travel down Washington Street where it will end at City Hall. If Sunday's NASCAR race at Watkins Glen, NY in New York is rain-delayed until Monday, the parade would be postponed until Tuesday. Stewart is making a name for Columbus and Indiana by being the first Hoosier native to win a race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway since 1940. Stewart also leads the points standings in NASCAR's Nextel Cup Series and was the series champion in 2002.(The Republic)(8-11-2005)

  • Zipadelli Wins Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race Award at Indy: Greg Zipadelli made Tony Stewart's dream come true this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - he brought the Indiana native a win at the Brickyard 400. Stewart held the lead three times for a total of 44 laps before taking the checkered flag in one of NASCAR's most prestigious events. His victory marked his fourth win this season and his seventh consecutive top-10 finish. For arranging the appointment for his driver to "kiss the bricks," Zipadelli was voted the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race.
    Stewart had the car to beat this weekend. But unlike most winning cars that arrive to the track with hours of practice and test sessions already logged, Stewart's car came fresh to the Brickyard. The original car that Zipadelli planned on using for the race didn't test well, so he had his Home Depot crew piece together a brand new # 20 machine. "I'm just so proud of this team," said Zipadelli. "I'd like to thank my fab shop and motor room. This is a brand new car. Everybody worked night and day to get it built. We weren't happy with the one we tested. We went to the wind tunnel and the car looked good. And we brought it back here even without even taking it to the race track. So I couldn't be prouder of everybody in our organization."
    The panel of voters; including Steve Ballard of the Indianapolis Star, a Wypall Wipers representative and Robbie Reiser; all agreed that Zipadelli deserved Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race honors. Doug Richert leads the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year standings with five wins. Alan Gustafson, Bob Osborne, Greg Zipadelli and Robbie Loomis are tied for second place with two wins. Tommy Baldwin, Scott Miller, Fatback McSwain, Steve Hmiel, Jimmy Fennig and Pete Rondeau are in a tie for third place, each with one win. At the end of the season, the crew chief with the most weekly wins will receive $20,000. 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)(8-9-2005)

  • Tony the 1st since 1940: the last Indiana native [born in] to win a race at Indy had been the late Wilbur Shaw, who won the Indy 500 in 1940. Shaw was born in nearby Shelbyville, just 20 miles from Stewart's hometown of Rushville [he lives in Columbus now].(Yahoo Sports)(8-8-2005)

  • Tony Stewart wins at the Brickyard!: #20-Tony Stewart won the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, leading 44 of 160 laps, for his first ever win at his home track, setting off a prolonged celebration, doing a lap around, then a rever lap back to his turn 2 suite, got out of the car and climbed the wall to salute the people in his suite, then drove back to start-finish line, climbing the fence with his crew, who climbed the fence aa couple times. Stewart then laid down on the front stretch wall and gave interviews from there. It is Stewart's 4th win of 2005, the 23rd of his career and Stewart takes over the points lead after #48-Jimmie Johnson crashed late finished 38th. So Stewart also wins the NASCAR Nextel Cup Leader Bonus of is $90,000 for being the leader and winning the race. Johnson was taken to a local hospital for observation and to get checked out. Finishing 2nd was #9-Kasey Kahne, followed by #25-Brian Vickers, # 19-Jeremy Mayfield and #17-Matt Kenseth. Pole sitter, #38-Elliott Sadler ran in the top-10 all day until he had a tire go down around lap 151, lost a lap and finished 32nd, which knocked him out of the Chase for the Nextel Cup. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr, wrecked midrace and finished 43rd and is pretty much out of the Chase. Nice runs by Petty Enterprises with #45-Kyle Petty finishing 13th and #43-Jeff Green was 15th. And #0-Mike Bliss had another good runm finishing 11th after hanging around the top-10 the last half of the race.
    For my race rundown, caution narratives, race notes and more...see my Indy Race Info/Rundown Page
    For race results and links, see Jayski's Brickyard 400 Race Results Page.(8-7-2005)

  • Home Depot announces community initiative: With the physical activity of children on the decline, The Home Depot, sponsor for last weeks Cup race winner, Tony Stewart, and the national nonprofit organization KaBOOM!, announced an unprecedented community initiative to create and refurbish 1,000 playspaces in 1,000 days throughout North America. Over the next three years, The Home Depot will invest $25 million and nearly 1 million volunteer hours in support of this program, which is expected to benefit 1.5 million parents and children. Communities interested in bringing a new playspace to their area can visit www.kaboom.org for program details.(7-23-2005)

  • Home Depot wants customers to climb too: In wheeling his #20 Home Depot Chevrolet to three wins in the last four races, Tony Stewart has taken The Home Depot's do-it-yourself mantra to new heights. The 2002 series champion is chasing a second title, and his front-running ways have allowed him to climb from 10th to third in the championship point standings. But Stewart isn't just figuratively climbing, he's doing it literally.
    And while there isn't a ladder with a red flag hanging from the trunk of his Home Depot Chevrolet, there could be for consumers who read USA Today, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, the New Hampshire Union Leader or the Pocono (Pa.) Record. Ladders and all sorts of fences are 10 percent off Thursday through Sunday, only at The Home Depot. Just clip the coupon from the ads featured in the aforementioned publications and present it at purchase. Be sure to thank Stewart.
    The 22-time Nextel Cup race winner started climbing fences with a dominating victory earlier this month at Daytona (Fla.), where after leading all but nine of the race's 160 laps, he scaled the fencing along the track's front straightaway to retrieve the checkered flag. And when Stewart won again last Sunday at New Hampshire, he parked his Home Depot Chevrolet at the start/finish line, pointed to the flag stand and climbed the fencing as if it were a cargo net.
    That prompted Stewart's longtime sponsor - The Home Depot - to run a series of print ads featuring its driver's climbing prowess to proclaim, "Hey Tony, we have ladders," and offer its 10 percent discount. "I'm not sure if my contract has any sales incentives in it," said Stewart, "but if climbing some fences sells more ladders and fences at Home Depot, they better stock up, because I plan on climbing a bunch more before the season is over."(Joe Gibbs Racing/True Speed)(7-22-2005)

  • Stewart catching Johnson: Over the past five races, #20-Tony Stewart has gained 295 points on #48-Jimmie Johnson, outscoring the points leader 905-610.(Gaston Gazette)(7-18-2005)

  • Stewart dominates at New Hampshire: #20-Tont Stewart won the New England 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway, leading 232 of 300 laps. The win is Stewart's 3rd of the season and 22nd of his career [now tied with Terry Labonte for 22nd on the all-time list]. It is Stewarts 3rd win in 4 races. Stewart climbed the fence again and got to the flag stand to salute the crowd. #97-Kurt Busch finished 2nd, followed by #18-Bobby Labonte [that'll squash those rumors], #5-Kyle Busch and #16-Greg Biffle. #24-Jeff Gordon was running 6th with 15 laps to go when he lost the brakes and ended up 25th a lap down, really hurting his chances to make the chase. #48-Jimmie Johnson faded towards the end and finished 13th and lost a bit of his points lead, down to a lead of 77 over #16-Biffle and Stewart is now only 85 behind Johnson. Gordon is now 15th, 538 points behind the leader and 120 out of 10th. There are now only 9 drivers under 400 points behind the leader, so the top-10 are the drivers currently in. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. is 13th, 477 behind the leader and only 59 points out of 10th.(7-17-2005)

    For race results see Jayski's Loudon Race Results/Awards page.(7-17-2005)

  • 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)

  • Home Depot Racing Team Forced to Backup Car After Crash in Practice: Tony Stewart crashed his primary Home Depot Chevrolet midway through this morning's practice session at Chicagoland Speedway. He cut a right front tire upon entering turn four of the 1.5-mile oval, making a hard right side impact with the turn four retaining wall. The #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Team will now race Chassis No. 100 in Sunday's USG Sheetrock 400. This is just the second time in its six-and-a-half year existence the #20 team has had to use its backup race car following a crash in practice. The only other time where its backup race car was used due to a crash in practice was last year at Chicagoland. There, in the morning practice session, Stewart hit oil in turn three, spun, and impacted the turn three wall with the left side of the race car. Stewart went on to win last year's race at Chicagoland in his backup race car. Following today's crash, Stewart was evaluated in the infield care center. While Stewart was awake, alert and able to walk on his own, medical personnel determined that further examination was needed at St. Joseph's Hospital in Joliet. There, Stewart underwent precautionary X-rays. All tests came back negative.
    J.J. Yeley, driver of the #18 Vigoro/Home Depot Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR Busch Series, qualified the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet a respectable 13th for the USG Sheetrock 400. The sophomore Busch Series driver toured the 1.5-mile oval in 29.006 seconds with an average speed of 186.168 mph. Yeley was fitted into the seat of the #20 car and was able to make two mock qualifying runs before today's practice session ended. In his first career Busch Series start last year at Chicagoland, Yeley led 25 laps before a late race pit stop dropped him to ninth. With Yeley qualifying the #20 car, Stewart will start the USG Sheetrock 400 from the 43rd and last position. The benefit of Yeley making a qualifying attempt was for the #20 team to obtain the best pit selection possible. Stewart will drive the #20 car in tomorrow's two practice sessions and in Sunday's race.
    "My guys had to work and their efforts got us a 13th in qualifying trim," said crew chief Greg Zipadelli. "So our pit pick is a little bit better than if we didn't do it. And most importantly, we did the drill. We put somebody else in who hadn't been in our car and we just missed the top-10 in qualifying. So, I'm proud of my guys. I think a big part of it is keeping our momentum going, but also keeping our confidence that we can do what we need to do. That's important this time of year."
    "If Tony's not feeling up to it, we won't run that much tomorrow," added Zipadelli. "We'll let J.J. run some and go from there. We'll just keep J.J. as a backup driver. He's done a great job for us. If he's got a good race track, this is one of them. He just tested two days up here in his Busch car. He was really good this morning and really comfortable. He got in our car and did a great job. I wouldn't think twice about anybody else."(True Speed Communication)(7-8-2005)

  • Stewart wrecks in practice: #20-Tony Stewart crashed in turn 4 during cup practice for the USG Sheetrock 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. Rescue workers took their time in helping Stewart out of the #20-Home Depot Chevy. He appeared a bit groggy, however walked to the ambulance under his own power and waved to the fans. He was transported to St. Joseph's Hospital for precautionary xrays. The team will go to a back up car. Stewart's car may have cut down a right front tire, however at this time crew chief Greg Zipadelli doesn't know what happened. Joe Gibbs Racing's Busch driver, J.J. Yeley is practicing Stewart's backup car.(PRN's Garage Pass at the track)(7-8-2005)

  • 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)

  • Zipadelli Wins Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race Award: No one came close to topping Tony Stewart this weekend at the Pepsi 400. Stewart led the parade for a record breaking 151 laps of the 160 lap event. Despite the field ganging up on the #20 Chevrolet, Stewart easily held on to the top spot to pick up his second consecutive win. Stewart's dominant night made his crew chief, Greg Zipadelli, the easy pick for the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race.
    The panel of voters; including Buddy Shacklette of the Daytona Beach News-Journal, a Wypall Wipers representative and Robbie Reiser; all agreed that Zipadelli unquestionably deserved Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Race honors. "They (#20 team) came here with the right stuff," said Shacklette. "They were fast off the truck. I don't think Greg (Zipadelli) had to make very many changes all night. Obviously he did his homework. They were solid here in February and were solid here again. Greg is definitely the man of the hour."
    "That was one of the best cars that I've ever seen at Daytona," said Reiser. "No one stood a chance against it. Everyone is going to have to raise the bar on their superspeedway program before we go to Talladega or Tony (Stewart) will have another day like this. Greg (Zipadelli) had an awesome day and no one deserved to be Crew Chief of the Race more than him."
    Doug Richert leads the Wypall Wipers Crew Chief of the Year standings with five wins. Alan Gustafson and Robbie Loomis are tied for second place with two wins. Tommy Baldwin, Scott Miller, Bob Osborne, Fatback McSwain, Greg Zipadelli and Pete Rondeau are in a tie for third 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)(7-3-2005)

  • Stewart wins at Daytona: #20-Tony Stewart won the Pepsi 400 at the Daytona International Speedway for his first win restrictor plate points win, 2nd win of 2005, 2nd in a row and 21st of his career. In a move I have never seen and that was very cool, Stewart turned the car around, stopped at the flag stand, got out of the car, climbed the fence and onto the flagstand, high fived the two flagmen and saluted the crowd, very cool. #42-Jamie McMurray held on for second after running in the top five most of the night, following was #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. (after started 39th), #2-Rusty Wallace and #88-Dale Jarrett [now 10th in points]. #16-Greg Biffle. the points leader coming in to Daytona, was involved in a wreck when #15-Waltrip lost a tire on a restart and finished 36th. Biffle lost the points lead to #48-Jimmie Johnson, who finished 6th and now leads Biffle by 73 points.
    The rest of the top-10: #48-Johnson, #24-Jeff Gordon, #4-Mike Wallace [started 43rd], #17-Matt Kenseth and #49-Kenny Schrader grabbed the 10th spot. Stewart led 151 of 160 laps, a new record. There were 9 cautions for 41 laps.
    For race results see Jayski's Pepsi 400 Race Results/Awards page.(7-3-2005)

  • 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)

  • Stewart wins at Infineon Raceway: #20-Tony Stewart won the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway for his first win of 2005, 4th on a road course, 2nd at Infineon Raceway and 20th of his career. It is Stewart's first win in 30 races, since Watkins Glen last August. #21-Ricky Rudd coasted to the finish [ran out of gas after the checkered flag]. #97-Kurt Busch, #2-Rusty Wallace and #88-Dale Jarrett round out the top-five. #16-Greg Biffle, who started 41st, led 8 laps and finished 14th, which coupled with #48-Jimmie Johnson's transmission problems, vaulted Biffle into the points lead by 22 points. This is the first time Biffle has led the Nextel Cup Drivers Points standings. #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. had trouble from the get-go, having a transmission problem, getting into #0-Mike Bliss and spun out and wrecked. Dale Jr. finished 42nd, 22 laps down and is now 18th in points, 543 points out of the lead and out of The Chase. #24-Jeff Gordon also fell victim to the Hendrick Motorsports transmission woes and after dominating the first 32 laps, finished up 33rd and is out of The Chase, -414 points. Two road course specialists finished in the top-10, #32-Ron Fellows finished 8th and #33-Brian Simo was 10th.
    For more about the race, see my Sonoma/Infineon Raceway Race Info/Rundown Page for lap leaders, cautions, narratives, etc.
    For race results see Jayski's Infineon Raceway Race Results/Awards page.(6-26-2005)

  • 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)

  • KaBoom Scheme at California: #20-Tony Stewart will race a KaBOOM! paint scheme at California in September. As part of the Racing to Play Program Home Depot has teamed up with KaBOOM! to build playgrounds in communities across the U.S. Last week, Stewart and the Home Depot team helped build a playground in Jackson, Michigan.(Racing One)
    AND The Home Depot and NASCAR kicked off Racing to Play, a national partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing and KaBOOM! in Jackson, Michigan on June 16th. The campaign, which features playground builds in ten cities nationwide, is designed to make a lasting impression in the lives of at- risk children who live in NASCAR race communities. Racing to Play kicked off with a playground build at the Jackson Arts and Technology Academy in Jackson, Michigan prior to the Michigan 400 at the Michigan International Speedway. Tony Stewart and other members of Joe Gibbs Racing participated. "This program brings together two of my deepest interests -- racing and providing assistance to children in need," said Stewart. "In addition to building playgrounds, I hope that we can inspire these children to fulfill their dreams."(KaBOOM.org), see images of the scheme on my #20 Team Schemes page.(6-21-2005)

  • Tony and Jeff play phone tag: #24-Jeff Gordon hasn't talked with #20-Tony Stewart after the two exchanged barbs in separate interviews last week at Dover, but Gordon isn't losing sleep over it. "Tony gave me a call this week and left me a message, I called him back and left him a message," Gordon said. "I'm still not thrilled about what happened there and definitely not thrilled with what was said after the race, but it's hard racing. "I've been through this many times. I'm not going to pay any attention to it. I'm not going to worry about it. We've got a championship to win. I want to put it behind me and move on."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-11-2005)

  • Stewart speeds, get ticket, takes lumps: Tony Stewart, 33, first wanted his day in court to answer a May 5 speeding citation in northeast Jackson County [Indiana], but he has since changed his mind about requesting a trial and decided to enter a deferral program. That program will allow the 2001 NASCAR champion to avoid any points on his Indiana driver's license if he has no further traffic citations in the next year. Stewart's early morning trip through Jackson County May 5 cost him $141 to pay for his entry into the deferral program. Stewart received a ticket for traveling 80 mph in an area north of Seymour where the speed limit is 55 mph. The ticket was issued by an Indiana State Police Trooper after Stewart was stopped while driving north on U.S. 31 just south of Reddington. Stewart was driving a black 2004 Humvee. On May 17, Stewart pleaded not guilty to the speeding charge and requested a trial date. Jackson Superior Court Judge Frank W. Guthrie had set a trial date of 1:30 p.m. July 26, but that trial won't happen since Stewart entered the deferral program.(The Tribune-IN)(6-9-2005)

  • Home Depot and Gibbs to build Playgrounds UPDATE Vote in KaBOOM Ice Cream: Home Depot today announced a partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing and the nonprofit group, KaBOOM! - www.kaboom.org, to build playgrounds for at-risk children who live in NASCAR race communities. The Racing to Play program is designed to build a NASCAR-themed playground in a single day just prior to a scheduled weekend NASCAR race. Tony Stewart, whose JGR Nextel Cup entry is sponsored by Home Deport, is scheduled to take part when the first playground is built June 16 in Jackson, Mich., prior to the Michigan 400 at the Michigan International Speedway. Plans call for additional playgrounds in Daytona Beach, Fla.; Joliet, Ill.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Fontana, Calif.; Richmond, Va.; Talladega, Ala.; Kansas City, Kan; Atlanta, Ga.; and Phoenix, Ariz.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(4-28-2005)
    HELP name Ice Cream: KaBOOM! - www.kaboom.org, is a national non-profit organization that was created in 1995 with a vision of great playspaces within walking distance of every child in North America. Over it's short but illustrious history, KaBOOM! has become the leading authority on a child's right to play, built hundreds of community playspaces and renovated thousands more. Through participant feedback, they have developed, tested and continually improved their simple, fun and rewarding community-build process. More info at www.kaboom.org.
    To help out, go to the flavor graveyard at benandjerrys.com and vote for KaBerry KaBOOM!. If KaBoom wins, they will receive an estimated $10,000 and a huge PR campaign when they bring back the flavor. Last count had the flavor down by 2500 votes and today, May 31st, is the last day to vote. From now until the end of May, fans of KaBerry KaBOOM! can vote online to bring it back from Ben & Jerry's infamous Flavor Graveyard. The winning flavor will be available at Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shops nationwide this fall. Not only that, but if KaBerry KaBOOM! wins, KaBOOM! will receive a portion of the proceeds for each scoop sold. So cast your vote today and bring back the flavor that supports a child's right to play!(5-31-2005)

  • Dale Jr. and Stewart on the Today Show, May 17th: Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are expected to be featured on Tuesday morning's broadcast of the "Today" show making a NASCAR "dream" come true for Miechel Bassett of Evansville, Ind., a Home Depot press release says. The two Nextel Cup drivers took Bassett around Richmond International Raceway in a Richard Petty Driving Experience car as part of the show's "Live for Today" segment. The segment, taped with NBC "Nightly News" anchor and longtime NASCAR fan Brian Williams, is scheduled to air between 8 and 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(5-16-2005)

  • 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)
  • Stewart talks about 'feud' with Johnson: #20-Tony Stewart has no idea why everyone is making such a big deal over him and #48-Jimmie Johnson getting together on the track at Phoenix. At Talladega, Stewart told PRN's Garage Pass, "He's a good friend of mine. He's tried to call all week but I've been in Alabama fishing and didn't even bring my cell phone. There's not a problem between us, we're really good friends and nothing is going to change that. There's buddies that wreck into each other all the time and that's why they call it accidents. I don't know why everybody's making such a big deal about it." The part that you guys don't see is the part of where the guy's trying to call you on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday trying to get a hold of you and wants to apologize. Nobody will write about it 'cause nobody cares because it doesn't create good media. The part that ticks you off is that they'll do everything they can to make it a big deal but there's nothing there and there's nobody there to follow up on saying hey this guy called the next day first thing in the morning to try and get a hold of him to say sorry it happened and didn't mean to get into ya. It's no big deal."
    "When we talk after the race you guys (the media) have the luxury of being there right after the race so the emotion is there, you say things that by the time you get home that night you're like, nah, it wasn't a big deal. I know who he is, I know him as a person, I know it wasn't intentional and you discard it. We've done a pretty good job in the last six to eight months of being under the radar and something that wasn't even our fault last week is becoming a big problem for us. Not because it's a problem between the two guys that it happened with but it's because of the radio and the writers and this and that want to make a big deal about it. There is no deal, there's nothing there, there 's nothing there of any substance, it was a wreck that happened."
    When asked if some people want to try and create a rivalry Stewart agreed saying "Any time they can do something like that they do and that's what ticks me off more than anything in this sport, it's what I absolutely hate about it, is the fact that people are trying to make something out of nothing and that's what's frustrating." Stewart was asked if there needs to be some great on track rivalry. "Do you think there has to be? I don't care if it does or not. It doesn't matter to me when I get in the car whether there's a rivalry on the race track with anybody or not it doesn't change how I race. It doesn't matter, it's a waste of my time."(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(4-29-2005)

  • Stewart gets saucy: Tony Stewart introduced his owen brand of Bar-B-Que sauce this past weekend while in Texas. "SMOKE" Bar-B-Que Sauce more info at www.smoke20.com
    AND another racing related sauce is Buring Asphalt, a hot sauce, more info at burningasphalt.com.(4-21-2005)

  • Stewart Burned: Sidelined with a blown motor that erupted in flames on lap 297. Mike Arning, PR spokesman for Tony Stewart released this: "Tony has some first degree burns. There is a small burn on the lower back of his right thigh that's about the size of a fist. The other area is on his right elbow. It's about half the size of the one on his thigh, and it's more like a bad sunburn. Both are minor burns which he'll treat on his own in the coming days."(GM PR)(4-17-2005)

  • Stewart's streak snapped: when #20-Tony Stewart lost an engine at Texas and finished 31st, it knocked him out of the top 10 in drivers points [now 11th] for the first time in 51 races, since Dover - September 2003.(4-17-2005)

  • 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)

  • Top 10 Stuff: #20-Tony Stewart has ranked in the top-10 of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series point standings for 49 consecutive races (since Dover - September 2003), the longest current streak. #97-Kurt Busch, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #6-Mark Martin, #20-Tony Stewart and #2-Rusty Wallace have each ranked in the top 10 in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings after every race in 2005.(NASCAR Stat Services)(3-28-2005)

  • Sad News: Greg Zipadelli's [#20 Tony Stewart crew chief] grand father. Charles J. Zipadelli, 89, of New Britain, CT, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday (March 1, 2005). In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Zippy's Crusade for Kids, 114 Whaling La., Mooresville, NC 28117 [gregzipadelli.com], more info on Mr. Zipadelli at the Hartford Courant.(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.(2-26-2005)

  • Stewart wins....Contingency Awards: Tony Stewart led a race-high total of 107 laps during Sunday's Daytona 500 on his way to a seventh-place finish in Joe Gibbs Racing's #20 Chevy and collected three of the eight contingency awards announced after the event. Stewart's prizes were the Goodyear Gatorback Fastest Lap Award, MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award and WIX Lap-Leader Award. The Bud Pole Award went to Dale Jarrett, and the Commit to Win Award went to Jimmie Johnson. Mobil Oil Command Performance Driver of the Race went to Dale Earnhardt Jr., while Travis Kvapil was the Raybestos Rookie of the Race. Elliott Sadler earned the USG Improving The Finish Awards after starting 39th and finishing 11th.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(2-22-2005)

  • Meeting at the White Trailer: After the post-race garage altercation between #20-Tony Stewart and #48 Crew Chief Chad Knaus, NASCAR officials called Stewart, Johnson and their crew chiefs to the hauler. Ten minutes later, Stewart and Johnson emerged together proclaiming friendship, in a very unusual, almost bizarre peace scene. "It's fine," Stewart said. "Like Jimmie says, we're racing on the last lap of the Daytona 500. I was mad he pinched me into the fence. We bumped into each other; we both did the same thing to each other. So it's fine. We both had good weeks here; we both finished in the top-10. We're both leaving here in a good situation in the points. NASCAR, more than anything, wanted to make sure it wasn't something that would linger overnight. Like I told Jimmie, we're both really, really good friends, and this isn't even something that's going to linger tonight. It's over with."(Winston Salem Journal)
    AND #48-Jimmie Johnson and #20-Tony Stewart were called to the NASCAR trailer for rough driving in the closing laps. Stewart claimed Johnson "pinched" him into the No. 10 car of Scott Riggs while Johnson said Stewart ran him into the wall. When asked what was discussed with the sanctioning body, Stewart answered, "We were trading cooking secrets." Stewart, who finished seventh, had the dominant car, leading 107 laps. It was the second consecutive year he has led the most laps at the 500 and come away without a win. Johnson finished fifth.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(2-21-2005)

  • No Indy double? A handful of NASCAR drivers took notice when the start of the Indianapolis 500 was moved back an hour, making it almost impossible for them to compete at the Brickyard and in NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. Robby Gordon, Tony Stewart and John Andretti have all attempted "The Double'' in recent years. It was a tough task even when the Indy race began at 11:00am/et because it was still a scramble to make it back to North Carolina in time for the NASCAR event [Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway]. Now that the race will start at noon, Gordon said Indy will be hard-pressed to get any NASCAR drivers in the field. "That's the dumbest decision they could have made,'' Gordon said. "One of the draws of that race these days is seeing what NASCAR stars try to run the double, and I just don't understand why they would take that element out of it by moving the start time.'' Indy officials want to attract a larger television audience with the later start. Tony Stewart echoed Gordon's thoughts. Just him showing up last year on Bump Day drew significant attention as his mere presence at the track added excitement to an otherwise non-eventful day. "I wasn't planning on doing it again, but it's got to be the dumbest thing I've ever seen Indianapolis Motor Speedway do since I've been around,'' Stewart said. "I don't know what their theory was on that. I thought it helped them to have guys doing both races.'' Gordon said Indy officials should have moved the race to Memorial Day instead of trying to draw viewers on the same day as a NASCAR race. "That would be the better move for the Indy 500,'' said Gordon, a former IRL racer. "Not only would they be the only race on TV that day, but all the NASCAR drivers would have the day off and could consider entering the 500. I really think you'd get a lot more of us in the field if the race was run on Monday. You never know who might give it a try.''(ESPN.com/AP)(2-17-2005)

  • 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)

  • Lasoski wants to try NASCAR: World of Outlaws star Danny "the Dude" Lasoski told MRN Radio's Sirius Speedway host Dave Moody he would like to have a shot at NASCAR. "I love World of Outlaws racing but I might have to talk to Tony (Stewart) and see if he can do something for us here next year. These things are challenging to drive and I love a challenge." Lasoski is in Daytona practicing for the Crown Royal International Race Of Champions event February 18th. He also is running Tony Stewart's World of Outlaws sprint car at Volusia Speedway Park, East of Daytona, Friday and Saturday night.(MRN Radio/Sirius Speedway)(2-12-2005)

  • Stewart wins Poker Tournament: #20-Tony Stewart defeated Penske Racing South's Ryan Newman to capture the Michael Waltrip Celebrity Poker Tournament at the Palms Casino, according to a Dodge press release. Twelve participants began playing Monday night in the Texas Hold 'Em event in which each driver played on behalf of his favorite charity, and the field was cut to six for last night's final session. Chip Ganassi Racing driver Casey Mears finished third after going all in against Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s Dale Earnhardt Jr.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(2-3-2005)
    TV SPEED Channel taped the Michael Waltrip Celebrity Poker Tournament at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas this week for a special to be broadcast at a date to be determined ... will get you more information as dates and times are set. Players in the popular Texas Hold'em tournament included NASCAR's Michael Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Benny Parsons, Casey Mears, Brian Vickers, Ryan Newman, Kyle Petty, Elliott & Hermie Sadler. Speed Channel put up the $100,000 prize money, with half going to Petty's Victory Junction Gang Camp through Waltrip's "Operation Marathon" and the other half going to the charity of the winner's choice.(Speed Channel), see images of the drivers at the tourney at RacingWest.com.(2-3-2005)

  • Stewart not happy with the HANS UPDATE 2: #20-Tony Stewart said he is ''not comfortable'' wearing the HANS device, but has no choice. NASCAR made the head-and-neck support system mandatory this season. Stewart had been wearing the less-restrictive Hutchens device, but it's no longer allowed. Stewart initially balked at using even the Hutchens device, but was forced to do it two years ago when NASCAR ordered drivers to use either the Hutchens or the HANS. After further study NASCAR decided the HANS afforded greater protection and announced that starting with next month's Daytona 500 only the HANS can be used.(Tennessean)(1-27-2005)
    UPDATE: After struggling to find a comfort level with the HANS head and neck restraint device over the past couple of weeks, Tony Stewart wishes NASCAR, which has banned the Hutchens restraint device, offered an alternative. Stewart met with HANS co-creator Robert Hubbard last Tuesday to develop a solution but doesn't believe there will be a quick fix.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(1-31-2005)
    UPDATE 2: Not NASCAR but...ARCA sent out a Bulletin that the R3 Head and Neck Restraint from LFT Tech was approved for the 2005 Season giving the drivers a choice in their personal safety systems. The Hutchens Device will be legal through through the 2005 season. The R3 joins the HANS and Hutchens Device in the family of Head and Neck Restraints. Currently the R3 has been accepted in IHRA, NHRA, Hooters Pro Cup, SCCA, IMCA and USAC. NASCAR is currently reviewing the R3 for use in their top touring series. The R3 Head and Neck device was certified to the SFI 38.1 spec back in November at The Delphi Research Center.(2-1-2005)

  • Reggie to be honored: Joe Gibbs Racing's Late Model diversity program will keep its Reggie White Motorsports name in honor of the defensive end who died unexpectedly last month. One of the cars will carry White's #92. "Reggie White was somebody who changed the people around him in a great way," Gibbs said. "He did chapel services for us [at the shop]. I wish I had a chance to coach him."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(1-26-2005)

  • Sadler and Stewart test at Texas: #38-Elliott Sadler and #20-Tony Stewart completed two days of Goodyear tire testing preparing for the Samsung/RadioShack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Sadler is the defending champion of the race. "This is one of my favorite tracks," said Sadler. "It is like an old jacket you put on, it just feels comfortable when you come here, drive up on pit road to go out on the track." The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series will make its first of two 2005 appearances at Texas in the Samsung/RadioShack 500. Tickets are still available at the speedway ticket office, by calling (817) 215-8500, online at www.texasmotorspeedway.com and at Ticketmaster locations.(TMS PR)(1-20-2005)

  • Why no Stewart in the #20? why #20 testing this week? Tony Stewart's [#20 Home Depot chevy driver] absence was duly noted. Stewart was scheduled to test at Daytona next week [even owners points], but he [and the team] will be doing a Goodyear tire test at Texas instead. Stewart may not be the only star skipping Daytona 500 testing. Kevin Harvick might pass [due in next week]. Crew chief Greg Zipadelli said that the driver really has little to do here, so he's not worried about not having Stewart at the wheel. "We just tested Kentucky, we're going to Texas for two days of testing, then we're going to Vegas and California for more testing this month, and Tony is running in the 24 Hours here," Zipadelli said. "And Tony just ran the Chili Bowl too. So basically we're just giving him a couple of days off."(Winston Salem Journal)(1-12-2005)

2004 News

  • Stewart Wins: Tony Stewart fought off the advances of Dave Darland Wednesday night to win the Midget feature event in the "Rumble in Fort Wayne" at the Fort Wayne, Indiana - Memorial Coliseum Expo Center. Stewart started second in the 60 lap race, took the lead on the 14th lap and never looked back. The top-ten finishers were: 1. Tony Stewart, 2. Dave Darland, 3. Rich Corson, 4. Tony Elliott, 5. Mel Kenyon, 6. Aaron Pierce, 7. David Thompson, 8. Derek Bischak, 9. Doug Cross, 10.(Insider Racing News)(12-30-2004)

  • 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)

  • Jar for Stewart's pilot stolen: When the wait staff at Anapa's Country House learned that one of their favorite customers, an Army reservist, was killed in a plane crash in October, they decided to put out a collection jug to raise money for the man's wife and three teenage children. However, the good deed was ruined this week when a thief took off with the jug and the hundreds of dollars in it. According to Patricia Napa, co-owner of the restaurant on South Pemberton Road, someone stole the collection jug Tuesday morning between 7:30 and 8, shortly after the restaurant opened. The jug had been sitting by the cash register for weeks after the wait staff learned Scott Lathram, 38, an Apache helicopter pilot with the Army Reserve, had been killed in an airplane crash in late October. Lathram, along with other soldiers, had eaten at Anapa's almost every night for weeks this fall while stationed at Fort Dix and had befriended the wait staff. The wait staff originally collected about $110 in change in the jug, which they sent to the family in Kentucky about a month ago. Over the past few weeks, the jug had been refilled and contained several ten and twenty-dollar bills and a lot of change. Napa said police were never contacted about the theft because they felt, with no suspects, there was little police could do to solve the crime. In civilian life, Lathram was the helicopter pilot for NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Tony Stewart. Lathram was killed Oct. 24 when an airplane in which he was a passenger crashed into a foggy mountainside in Virginia. The plane, owned by Hendrick Motorsports, was carrying 10 people to the NASCAR Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Stewart was not aboard. Another collection jug for Lathram's family would be set up at the restaurant in a matter of days. A trust fund has been set up for Lathram's wife, Tracey, and their three children. Contributions can be sent to Scott Lathram Memorial Fund, c/o Heritage Bank, P.O. Box 525, Benton, KY, 42025.(Burlington County Times)(12-15-2004)

  • Stewart's Benefit Concert a Success: Friends of Tony Stewart help to raise $276,235.00 at a benefit concert held in the newly constructed Luther F. Carson Four Rivers center in Paducah, Ky. Head liner was Diamond Rio, along with Trace Adkins. Drivers that particapated in the event were Tony Stewart, Kyle Petty, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Danny Lasoski. The event was Presented By: Bass Pro Shops & Hultman Inc.(10-8-2004)
  • Stewart Concert on TV: The Tony Stewart Foundation Benefit Concert, which was held Oct.6 and featured Diamond Rio and Trace Adkins, will be televised Oct 24th: 5pm; Oct. 27: 3pm; Oct. 29: 11pm; Oct. 30: 3pm; Oct. 31: 11pm on the Great American Country channel [www.gactv.com]. The concert raised more than $270,000 for charity.(Richmond Times Dispatch), Check local listings, the Great American Country is channel #326 on DirecTV as part of the Total Plus Package.(10-23-2004)

    Tony Stewart being presented a check from Greg Hultman Owner of Hultman Inc. of Paducah, Ky.(Photo by Tim Parks)

  • Stewart donates his portion of USG Person of the Year award: #20-Tony Stewart was recognized for his philanthropy by being named NASCAR's 2004 USG Person of theYear. The award, presented to Stewart Dec. 3 at the National Motorsports Press Association's Myers Brothers Breakfast in New York City, is designed to honor NASCAR drivers for their community service contributions and charitable efforts. The annual award carried a $100,000 payment, which was to be split between the winning driver and his charity of choice. However, Stewart once again showcased his charitable compassion by donating the entire amount to Kyle and Pattie Petty's Victory Junction Gang Camp, a facility for chronically ill children located in Randleman, NC.(DMF Communications PR)(12-10-2004)

  • Tony Stewart Named Fourth Quarter NASCAR USG Person of the Year: It's not often that an event can benefit so many people, but that's exactly what a benefit concert hosted by the Tony Stewart Foundation did this summer, raising over $270,000 for the Victory Junction Gang Camp, the Easter Seals West Kentucky, the Dream Factory-Paducah Chapter and the Luther F. Carson Four Rivers Center. For his efforts, Stewart has been named the 2004 Fourth Quarter NASCAR USG Person of the Year.
    "It's an honor to be selected as the fourth-quarter winner," said Stewart. "This is a special award, because it's not about what you do on the race track, it's about what you do with your heart. I know that the previous winners of this award were some very deserving people, and to join them means a tremendous amount to me."
    Stewart created his Foundation in 2003 to assist groups caring for chronically ill children and drivers injured in motorsports, as well as to support other charitable organizations in the protection of animals. Other charities the Foundation supports include the Ronald McDonald House, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Indiana Special Olympics, Greyrescue (Greyhound Rescue Organization) and Charlotte (N.C.) Metropolitan Zoo.
    USG (United States Gypsum), a promotional partner of NASCAR, is in its second year as sponsor of the NASCAR USG Person of the Year program. The award is designed to honor drivers not only for their accomplishments on the track, but for their community service contributions and charitable efforts.
    To determine the NASCAR USG Person of the Year Award winner, the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season is divided into four quarters in which drivers are nominated for their off-track efforts. A select group of panelists chooses one of the four quarterly finalists as the NASCAR USG Person of the Year. This award will be presented the week of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Awards Ceremony in New York City, along with a prize of $100,000. The prize will be divided evenly between the driver and the charity of his/her choice.
    Other notable nominees were Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Jeff Burton. Gordon was the first quarter nominee, Elliott Sadler the second quarter nominee and Dale Jarrett was the third quarter nominee.
    In addition to the NASCAR USG Person of the Year, USG also sponsors the Driver of the Race Award, which goes to the eligible winning driver of each of the 36 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series championship events. Each USG Driver of the Race Award winner receives $2,500 with an additional $2,500 going to the charity of his/her choice.(NASCAR PR)(11-25-2004)

  • Stewart's Pit Crew Edges Earnhardt Jr.'s Crew For Season Title, $200,000 Champion's Bonus: The pit crew for Tony Stewart captured the season title in the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade. The #20 Home Depot/Joe Gibbs Racing crew will collect a $200,000 champion's bonus from McDonald's/POWERade, Dec. 3 in New York City. By winning the weekly competition three times and earning $20,000 for each victory, the total prize money earned in 2004 by Stewart's crew was $260,000. In the 36-race competition, Stewart's crew defeated the pit crew for Dale Earnhardt Jr. by a mere four points - 1262 to 1258. Earnhardt's crew won the inaugural McDonald's/POWERade championship in 2003. Elliott Sadler's crew, a seven-time weekly winner, finished third with 1248 points. The crew for Nextel Cup champion, Kurt Busch, was fourth (1240) and Kevin Harvick's crew rounded out the top five (1222). "I think it's awesome that my guys won the McDonald's/POWERade pit crew championship," said Stewart. "They've worked hard all year, in the gym and at the race track. And when track position was tough to come by, they gave it to me with fast pit stops. My guys definitely earned this championship."
    Stewart's over-the-wall crew consists of: Chuck White (jackman), Tom Dean (front-tire carrier), Mike Lingerfelt (front-tire changer), Jody Fortson (rear-tire carrier), Todd Foster (rear-tire changer), Jeff "Gooch" Patterson (gas man) and Brian Larson (catch can). The team's crew chief is Greg Zipadelli and the pit stop coordinator is Paul Alepa.(DMF Commincations PR)(11-24-2004), for the season standings see my Pit Crew News/Awards page.

  • Stewart not happy with penalty: #20-Tony Stewart had plenty reason to be upset about Sunday after a questionable penalty for ''disobeying a NASCAR directive'' dropped him from first to 25th on Lap 170, then a miscalculation by his pit crew left him short on fuel four miles from the finish. After climbing out of his car, Stewart had an angry exchange with members of his team, who immediately surrounded the driver to shield him from fans and photographers. As Stewart unclipped his protective harness and pulled off his gloves and other parts of his fire suit, he threw them angrily against the car. ''I'm just upset,'' said Stewart, who needed several minutes to regain his composure. Stewart, who led three times Sunday, lost two of those advantages coming out of cautions, the first when NASCAR officials said he failed to maintain ''a smooth and consistent speed'' before a restart on Lap 170, and the second when his car, desperate for gas, nearly stopped in front of eventual winner #16-Greg Biffle just after the green flag dropped for the final dash to the finish. ''I was lucky I didn't get run over,'' said Stewart, who finished sixth in the Chase for the Nextel Cup. ``I don't know [what happened]. I don't do fuel mileage. I just drive. I can't launch the space shuttle or anything else. I just drive, all right?'' As for the black-flag penalty, which forced the #20 Home Depot Chevy into the pits, Stewart had even less explanation. ''I'm kind of curious myself right now as to what that penalty was all about,'' said Stewart, who repeatedly has run afoul of NASCAR officials in his short six-year career. ``I'm going to talk to [NASCAR president] Mike Helton. I'm going to find that out myself.''(Miami Herald)(11-22-2004)

  • Zippy Sick..but gutting it out: Greg Zipadelli, #20-Tony Stewart's crew chief, is painfully ill with an excruciating spleen ailment, but Zipadelli is here this weekend working on Stewart's car. Zipadelli is ignoring doctors who want him in bed for four to six weeks of rest.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-20-2004)

  • Stewart Buys A Race Track after years of rumors........Tony Stewart has purchased Eldora Speedway from legendary owner Earl Baltes. Known as "Auto Racing's Showcase since 1954" thanks in large part to Baltes' vision and hands-on management, Eldora is a half-mile clay oval with an estimated seating capacity of nearly 20,000 that features some of the most prominent racing divisions in the country. "Eldora was a premiere racing facility long before I started racing there in 1991, and it's our goal to build on the tradition Earl and his wife Berneice started back in 1954," said Stewart, whose new role as a track owner augments his team ownership in the World of Outlaws and USAC racing series. "Eldora has been extremely successful for both its competitors and its fans. We have no intention of changing the look and feel of the race track. We want to maintain the Eldora experience fans have grown to love and appreciate over the years."
    Signature events pioneered by Baltes will also continue. The World 100, The Dirt Late Model Dream, the King's Royal, the Mopar Thunder, the Eldora Clash, the USAC Buckeye Nationals and the UMP National Championship will all return in 2005, as will its regular order of weekly racing action. And while not yet official, the 2005 racing schedule will be similar in scope to the 2004 calendar. Ticket information will remain available on www.eldoraspeedway.com or by calling (937) 338-3815.
    With Baltes' retirement, Stewart has named Larry Kemp as promoter and general manager and Larry Boos as director of facility and race day operations. Kemp comes to Eldora after having served as an owner, promoter and general manager of several local race tracks dating back to 1980. The Vinton, Iowa, native has held management positions at many of his home state tracks including 34 Raceway in Burlington, Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids and Benton County Speedway in Vinton. He most recently served as the promoter and general manager of Montgomery (Ala.) Motor Speedway. Throughout his motorsports career he has received such accolades as the "Regional Promoter of the Year" in 1984, 1986, 1997 and 1998 as well as the 1998 "Auto Racing Promoter of the Year" by the RPM (Racing Promotion Monthly) Promoter's Workshop. Outside of track management, Kemp has also promoted and operated the IMCA Florida Series from 1979 to 1986, developed the NASCAR Busch All-Star Tour for dirt late models in 1983, originated the IMCA Late Model Summer Series in 1985 and operated the McLeod Gold Star Series for asphalt late models from 1997 to 1999. "With the experienced staff we've put in place we're extremely confident we can follow in Earl's successful footsteps," said Stewart. "The history of Eldora is alive and well and no one wants to see this race track flourish more than me. Everyone can rest assured that Eldora is in good hands."(True Speed Communication PR)(11-19-2004)

  • 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)

  • NASCAR Looking at Stewart-Bliss Scuffle UPDATE 2 No Penalties: NASCAR officials confirmed Sunday they are investigating a confrontation between drivers Tony Stewart and Mike Bliss that took place following Saturday's Busch Series race at Kansas Speedway. The incident involved Stewart and Bliss as well as several others, said NASCAR vice president for corporate communications Jim Hunter. "There was apparently a little incident in a truck hauler after the Busch race and we're going to continue to look into it," he said. "We had some discussions (Sunday). It's a Busch issue. We'll decide what to do - if anything - after we have more details on what took place." Hunter characterized the episode as a "minor incident amongst teammates, I might add." Stewart and Bliss both drive for Joe Gibbs Racing, but Stewart was driving an entry for Chance2 Motorsports in the Busch race Saturday. The two traded several bumps on the track during the race. Stewart, Bliss, JGR president J.D. Gibbs and Stewart's Nextel Cup crew chief, Greg Zipadelli made trips to the NASCAR hauler Sunday morning. Gibbs stopped briefly to speak to reporters after his meeting. "We talked about some stuff that happened yesterday and I think we got it cleared up," he said. "We'll probably have to address it again this week some more and then move on." Hunter said he didn't want to get into the details of the incident, because NASCAR had yet to speak with some witnesses who were not at the track Sunday. Hunter said if a points penalty were involved as a result of NASCAR's investigation, it would only involve Busch points. Stewart is currently one of 10 drivers competing in the Chase for the Nextel Cup. "In my opinion, it was something that carried over from the race track where tempers were involved and in the end, a lot of strong words and that sort of thing," Hunter said.(ThatsRacin.com)
    AND Nextel Cup driver Tony Stewart was required to get a checkup at Kansas Speedway's infield care center Sunday morning because he failed to stay there for one Saturday after his late-race wreck with Joe Nemechek. Hunter said Stewart had to have the checkup before he was allowed to race in Sunday's Banquet 400.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-10-2004)
    UPDATE: According to observers this is what happened: On the track, Bliss was a couple of laps down and Stewart was the race leader when a caution flag came out. Stewart was coming up on Bliss, and Bliss waved him to pass on the inside, a wave that Stewart apparently missed. When Bliss held his high line, Stewart angrily popped him. That angered Bliss, who popped him back. The two traded a few more bumps and obscene gestures before the race resumed. After the race, Stewart waited in Bliss' trailer to talk with him. The exchange became heated, and Stewart punched Bliss, wrestled him to the floor of the trailer and threw at least three more punches, according to witnesses.(more at Winston Salem Journal)(10-11-2004)
    UPDATE 2 - No Penalties: NASCAR has elected not to penalize Tony Stewart or Mike Bliss in connection with a confrontation between the two that followed last weekend's Busch Series race at Kansas Speedway, spokesman Mike Zizzo said Wednesday. After reviewing the incident, NASCAR officials determined it to be "an internal team matter" within the Joe Gibbs Racing operation, Zizzo said.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-13-2004)

  • What Happened Between Gordon and Stewart? from a True Speed Communication PR [from Stewart's side] -- The ever-competitive driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet was far from thrilled with his sixth-place effort in Sunday's MBNA America 400 at Dover's high-banked, 1-mile oval. Part of his frustration stemmed from having an ill-handling race car, while another part came via Robby Gordon. Gordon, who intentionally spun Greg Biffle last Sunday at New Hampshire to trigger a multi-car accident that consumed Stewart, again used questionable judgment at Dover. On a lap 22 restart, Gordon inexplicably drove his car to the outside of Stewart in turns three and four before officially taking the green. And when Gordon ran out of race track while coming off turn four, he clipped the right front corner of Stewart's nose, altering the #20's aerodynamics. With 378 laps still remaining, it was a case of premature aggression. Stewart quickly put the incident and Gordon behind him with a convincing pass through turns one and two. And throughout the race Gordon would remain in Stewart's rearview mirror, as he wound up finishing 30th, 15 laps off the pace.(True Speed Communication PR)
    AND Stewart, wrecked out of the New Hampshire race last weekend by Robby Gordon, tangled with him briefly again early in Sunday's race. The two traded bumps, with Stewart finally getting by Gordon. Stewart was none too happy after the race and paid NASCAR officials a visit to complain about Gordon's conduct. Asked what he felt like after the race, Stewart replied: "Kicking Robby Gordon's butt, to be honest. It's racing."(ThatsRacin.com)
    AND II "Tell him to come on over," Gordon responded. "Or, here, give him my phone number and tell him 'Anytime.'"(Winston Salem Journal)(9-27-2004)

  • No More Indy 500-Coca Cola 600 doubles? The Indianapolis 500, which in 2005 will be held for the 89th time, will begin at 12:00noon/ct [1:00pm/et] on May 29 after starting at 11:00am/ct [12:00noon/et] the past 41 years. Track officials said the switch is seen as a way to improve television ratings that have sagged in recent years. Other changes include a new four-day qualifying formet with bumping each day, less practice time and moving Carburetion Day to the Friday before the race.(Indianapolis Star/IMS Site), with the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway starting around 5:30pm/et the smae day, it may be near impossible for a driver [such as Robby Gordon or Tony Stewart] do the Indy 500/Coke 600 double, running both races in the same day.(9-15-2004)

  • Home Depot to donate $200 a lap UPDATE: Saturday night's Sharpie 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway marks the 200th Nextel Cup start for Tony Stewart, driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet for Joe Gibbs Racing. Stewart's 199 previous starts have all come while driving for the #20 team, and in honor of the team's 200th start, The Home Depot is pledging $200 for every lap Stewart leads in the Sharpie 500. And regardless of how the race unfolds, The Home Depot will donate a minimum of $20,000 to the Tony Stewart Foundation. Established in August of 2003, the Tony Stewart Foundation was created to raise funds for future donation to groups caring for chronically ill children and drivers injured in motorsports activities, as well as to support other charitable organizations in the protection of various animal species. Charities actively supported by the Foundation include the Ronald McDonald House, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Indiana Special Olympics, Greyrescue (Greyhound Rescue Organization), the Charlotte (N.C.) Metropolitan Zoo, and Kyle & Pattie Petty's Victory Junction Gang Camp, where last October the Foundation announced a $1 million pledge. For more information, visit www.tonystewart.com.(JGR PR/True Speed Communication)(8-27-2004)
    AND no laps led, so it'll be $20,000....thanks.(8-29-2004)

  • #200 for Stewart: #20-Tony Stewart will make his 200th career NASCAR Nextel Cup start when he runs the race this weekend at Bristol. In 199 starts, Stewart has 19 wins [9.6%], 75 top 5's, 118 top 10's and 7 poles.(8-26-2004)

  • Stewart's Pit Crew Scores Big At Watkins Glen: It was a double win for the #20 Home Depot/Joe Gibbs Racing Team Sunday at Watkins Glen International. Not only did driver Tony Stewart capture the win on the 2.45-mile road course, but his pit crew also came away with a victory -- taking top honors and $20,000 in the weekly McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade. It was the third victory of the season for Stewart's crew, which has claimed $60,000 in prize money and is in position to contend for the $200,000 season champion's bonus. In the McDonald's/POWERade pit crew standings -- Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s crew regained the #1 spot with 800 points, six more than the second place crew for Elliott Sadler. Stewart's crew sits in third with 774 points. Earnhardt's crew placed sixth at Watkins Glen and earned 38 standing points. Sadler's crew, which held the points lead the past two weeks, picked up 27 points with a 17th-place finish. Stewart's Home Depot Chevrolet spent the least amount of time on the Watkins Glen pit road -- 77.743 seconds. Coming in second was Kurt Busch's #97 IRWIN Ford with a time of 89.704 seconds. Third was Casey Mears' #41 Target Dodge at 90.476. "These guys have never given up on me no matter what has happened. I'm never giving up on them," said Stewart, who battled severe stomach cramps for much of the 90-lap race. "With a car like we had at Watkins Glen and the pit stops my guys gave me, I wasn't going to take a win away from those guys knowing we had a car capable of winning the race." Stewart's over-the-wall crew consists of: Chuck White (jackman), Tom Dean (front-tire carrier), Mike Lingerfelt (front-tire changer), Jay Barry (rear-tire carrier), Todd Foster (rear-tire changer), Jeff "Gooch" Patterson (gas man) and Brian Larson (catch can). The team's crew chief is Greg Zipadelli and the pit stop coordinator is Paul Alepa.(DMF Communications PR), for the top 10 at Watkins Glen and season standings, see my Pit Crew Page, past results on my Pit Crew 2004 past news page.(8-19-2004)

  • Stewart to run Olympics scheme at MIS: This year the 2004 summer Olympics will be held in Athens, Greece, the birthplace of the modern and ancient Olympic games. Excited to support the U.S. Olympic athletes, Home Depot has renewed its sponsorship of the U.S. Olympics and Paralympics Teams through 2008. For the second time on the NASCAR circuit Tony Stewart will be racing his #20 The Home Depot Chevrolet to support this legendary athletic competition. To commemorate the 2004 Athens Olympics, Stewart's special paint scheme will feature the Olympic logo and graphics at the August 22nd race in Michigan.(Sunday Hauler) and see an image on my #20 Team Paint Schemes pages.(6-18-2004)
    UPDATE: The #20 Home Depot Chevrolet of Tony Stewart will sport an Olympic paint scheme at this weekend's GFS Marketplace 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. The car will feature images of athletes participating in the Olympic Job Opportunities Program (OJOP) who are currently representing the United States and Canada at the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. The athletes featured on the car are weightlifter Tara Cunningham, javelin thrower Erica Wheeler, Paralympic swimmer Kirby Cote, volleyball player Jeff Nygaard and track & field participants Melissa Morrison and Mark Crear. Of the current athletes on the United States, Canadian and Puerto Rican Olympic and Paralympic Teams, 71 of them are associates of The Home Depot. And through OJOP, The Home Depot allows Olympic and Paralympic athletes and hopefuls to work part time to accommodate their busy training and competition schedules while receiving full-time compensation and benefits to help offset their expenses. "It's an honor to have these athletes on our Home Depot Chevrolet this weekend at Michigan," said Stewart, winner of the series' most recent race at Watkins Glen (N.Y.). "They are the embodiment of hard work and perseverance. They've made a ton of sacrifices to get to the Olympics, and this entire race team is behind them 100 percent. While they're going for the gold in Athens, we'll be going for another checkered flag in Michigan."(Joe Gibbs Racing PR)(8-18-2004)

  • Stewart wins at Watkins Glen: #20-Tony Stewart, suffering from leg cramps and an upset stomach, gutted it out and won the Sirius @ the Glen at Watkins Glen International, his 2nd win of 2004 [Chicago], his 2nd win at Watkins Glen, his 3rd road course win and 19th career win. Stewart didn't give a victory lane interview as a cart was waiting for him to take him back to his trailer. #1-Ron Fellows ended up 2nd after starting 43rd, the rest of the top five were #6-Mark Martin, #41-Casey Mears [his best career finish] and #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. #31-Robby Gordon's brakes went away at the end and he finished 16th, #24-Jeff Gordon lost all but 4th gear with around 10 laps to go and finished 21st. Points leader, #48-Jimmie Johnson lost an engine early and ended up 40th and with Gordon finishing 21st, Johnson keeps the points lead, but just by 40 points and #-Earnhardt Jr. closed up to 128 points behind.
    For race results, see:
    JAYSKI's Watkins Glen Race Results / Awards page

  • Stewart finished 8th in sports car race: Despite Tony Stewart's torrid rush to the front of the field early from a 15th place starting spot, he and Andy Wallace dealt with a tire problem and finished eighth, one lap down in the Sahlen's 200 sports car race at Watkins Glen.(Corning Leader)(8-14-2004)

  • Special Tony Stewart Monte Carlo: Chevrolet will pay tribute to one of NASCAR's recent champions with the introduction of the 2005 Tony Stewart Signature Series Monte Carlo. The limited edition vehicle is the 10th NASCAR-inspired Monte Carlo that Chevrolet has created over the last five years. "We are delighted to announce the latest edition to the Signature Series Monte Carlo line as an on-going effort to recognize NASCAR and Chevy's past and present driving stars," said Jim Campbell, director of car marketing for Chevrolet. "The Tony Stewart Signature Series Monte Carlo is a perfect way to honor Tony's success on and off the race track." The Tony Stewart Signature Series will be a black supercharged Monte Carlo built with many elements of Stewart's No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet subtly incorporated into the vehicle. The exterior of the vehicle is modeled closely after Stewart's night race paint scheme with an all black body complimented by Stewart's signature displayed on the sail panel and No. 20 graphics and Home Depot orange accents prominently lining the bottom trim of the vehicle. A Joe Gibbs Racing signature badge is also displayed on the rear decklid. The attention to custom detailing is also prevalent within the interior of the Monte Carlo with Stewart's signature embroidered on the head restraints, displayed on the door sill plates and positioned within the gauge cluster. The gauge cluster also contains orange-outlined white numerals in the same typeface as exterior graphics and Stewart's signature while both front seats are accented with orange French seams.
    Beyond a unique design concept, the Monte Carlo maintains its powerful supercharged 3800 V6 engine, delivering 240 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft of torque. Other features include a heavy-duty four speed automatic transmission, sport front bucket seats with Ebony leather seating surfaces, a racing-inspired grill and 17-inch black-accented diamond-cut cast aluminum wheels. A total of 1,020 units of the Tony Stewart Signature Series Monte Carlo will be available later this year. Pricing has not yet been announced. "I am honored to be recognized as a part of an elite group of Chevrolet drivers and NASCAR champions," said Tony Stewart. "The Signature Series Monte Carlo is a unique way to promote the sport of NASCAR while also raising money for many important charities through The Tony Stewart Foundation."
    Chevrolet will make a donation from the sale of the Tony Stewart Signature Series Monte Carlo to The Tony Stewart Foundation, a private, non-profit corporation which focuses on raising and donating funds to help care for chronically ill children, drivers injured in motorsport activities and to help other charitable organizations.(GM PR) thanks WMS.(8-13-2004)

  • Stewart to run sports car race at Watkins Glen: #20-Tony Stewart will co-drive a Citgo-sponsored Pontiac-Crawford Daytona Prototype with Andy Wallace Friday at Watkins Glen International. Stewart, who nearly won the Rolex 24 at Daytona in February with Wallace and Dale Earnhardt Jr., will be making his third Rolex Series start of the season Friday, and fifth overall. The former Indy Racing League champ has finished third three times in the series, but believes The Glen's 2.45-mile short course could present a challenge. "It's going to take a little longer to get used to Watkins Glen, I believe," Stewart said. "When I first started driving sports cars a couple of years ago, it was at Daytona with the Crawfords (Max and Jan) in an open-cockpit car. All of the track time I've had in (closed-cockpit) Daytona Prototype cars is at Daytona in a Crawford car. So, the learning curve may take a little longer at Watkins Glen." Wallace has won each of endurance racing's crown jewels - Daytona, Sebring, Le Mans and Watkins Glen - and normally drives with Milka Duno. Wallace and Duno won at Homestead in March.(Corning Leader)(8-12-2004)

  • Remember Stewart vs. the Photographer? AND the reporter? #20-Tony Stewart's friendship with freelance photographer Gary Mook has continued. The two were involved in an incident following the 2002 Brickyard 400, when Stewart punched Mook. They have met several times since and enjoyed a quiet moment outside Stewart's transporter Sunday morning.(Indianapolis Star)(8-9-2004)
    AND Remember Stewart vs. the Reporter? Tony Stewart's friendship with reporter Mike Mulhern of the Winston Salem Journal has continued. The two were involved in an incident following the 2001 Pepsi 400, when Stewart slapped a tape recorder out of Mulhern's hand. They have met several times since and are enjoying a quiet trip to the Knoxville Nationals this week.(8-10-2004)

  • Tony Stewart concerned about his father's career: Nelson Stewart, the 66-year-old father of Tony Stewart, made his USAC Silver Crown spring car debut last weekend at Milwaukee. He finished 31st of 34 drivers. "I haven't exactly been supportive of that," Tony said. "I'm not sure he should be doing it, and I'm concerned about his safety. But they said they couldn't wipe the grin off his face all day."(Dallas Morning News)(7-30-2004)

  • Stewart Welcomes 3-car Team; Talks to Kahne also: #20-Tony Stewart is not concerned about dwindling resources at Joe Gibbs Racing if the team adds a third Nextel Cup team for the 2005 season. The team currently fields a pair of Chevrolets for Bobby Labonte and Stewart. "You don't have to have three times the equipment," Stewart said. "A lot of times you can utilize the same resources and not necessarily have to have so many extras. If you have adequate resources to start with I think it helps. If you're a team that doesn't have enough funding to begin with it can be a distraction and take away from the effort." Regarding the addition of a driver, Stewart doesn't have a preference between a veteran and a rookie. "There's pros and cons to having a veteran, and there's pros and cons to having a rookie. It could really go either way. You could have a rookie and do just fine or you could have a veteran and do just fine." The 2002 series champion also says that he had a phone conversation with Kasey Kahne today, discussed their Ju! ly 11 coming together at Chicagoland Speedway and that "there's no problems between Kasey and I. It was a very productive phone call."(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(7-27-2004)

  • Stewart / Foyt wreck at Indy - are OK: NASCAR drivers #20-Tony Stewart and #52-Larry Foyt, in the Ware Racing Dodge, crashed today -- but neither was hurt -- during testing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for next month's Brickyard 400. Stewart returned to the track in a different car. Stewart, fourth in the Nextel Cup driver standings, damaged the right rear of his car when he hit the wall in the second turn. Foyt hit the wall in the first turn, damaging the car's right side. He did not return to the track because his team brought only one car for the session leading to the Aug. 8 race.(Indianapolis Star/AP)(7-20-2004)

  • Home Depot Supports Stewart: Home Depot, the Atlanta-based worldwide chain of home improvement stores ran full-page newspaper ads last week celebrating Stewart's win in the Tropicana 400 at Chicagoland Speedway, and a statement from the company seems to indicate Stewart's post-race run-in at Sonoma, Calif., with Brian Vickers isn't a big concern. NASCAR fined Stewart $50,000, docked him 25 Nextel Cup points and put him on probation for grabbing Vickers, but he's received no penalties for several on-track incidents other drivers have blamed him for this season. Home Depot spokesman Eric Oberman issued only a brief statement in response to the recent events. "The Home Depot supports Joe Gibbs Racing and NASCAR in their response to recent incidents involving Tony Stewart," the statement read.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(7-17-2004)

  • Words from Tony - NOT going to DEI...: in an interview with XM Radio's Claire B. Lang, Tony Stewart answered some questions:

    On Talking To Kasey:(he's going to call him but hasn't yet) "I'm gonna call him and ask him what happened. You know it's easy to stand on the sidelines or watch on TV and say, 'Yea, he ran right over him,' but the only people who know what happened are Kasey and myself and, I don't even know what happened. I just know that for some reason his car checked up in front of us and we had contact and like I said' at that part of the race track, that wasn't the best place to have that happen by any means. We could have got taken out just as easy as he got taken out there but I definitely will call him and find out you know for two reasons. One to let him know that hey I truly did not mean for that to happen and second to find out what happened, what was the reason the car checked up."

    Should he have eased up on Kasey on the restart: "Nobody gives anybody a break, not as competitive as this series is. Especially as competitive a place as Chicago. track position is very, very important there, the situation we were in there was no where that I could go. It wasn't a situation where I could push him forward and make things better. Daytona and Talladega tracks like that you can push each other and help each other out but that wasn't a situation where that was going to help because Kasey had somebody who was in front of him so, There really wasn't anything to gain from it. Getting that one spot from Sterling (Marlin) that was huge that put us into second spot right away and the only guy we were racing for position at that point was Kasey so you know getting by the lapped cars and getting by the cars that were at the tail end of the lead lap was something that was very important at that point but you know it's not something that you can sit back and have the luxury, if you take it easy three or four guys are going to drive by you because they know it's important to get everything you can get when everyone is grouped up like that.

    Should Kasey have signaled if he had slow restart problems? "In Kasey's defense if he had a problem it's impossible for him to signal, you're in crowded quarters right there and if he was shifting and missed a shift he doesn't have time to signal so he's still trying to get the thing in gear so you know whatever happened it was something that he was trying to figure out the problem at the same time and it makes it impossible so in his defense it's hard for him to signal when you have a problem like that in that amount of time."

    On talk that Joe Gibbs departure has affected his attitude: "Look at all the other stuff that's happened in my career. Joe was always there then so what's different now. Joe's still around the race team. Don't be fooled into thinking that Joe's not a phone call away and Joe still talks to us quite a bit. Yet his presence isn't at the race shop every day but he's still in contact with Bobby and I and the crew chiefs and his son. J.D. (Gibbs) is just a younger Joe, .J.D. runs that race team just like his father did and I respect J.D. as much as I respect his father so there's no substance to that. It's people that are speculating."

    On the consistent rumor of him wanting to leave the sport and that he's causing riffs to get released:
    "I like what I do. Is there a lot of headaches and hassles? Sure there is but we're at the top form of racing in the United States and with that you're going to have hassles and headaches but you know the one thing that Joe Gibbs has always told me and especially with some of the cases that have happened in the past he goes, 'If you ever get to the situation that you don't want to be here anymore let me know.' If I didn't want to be there I'd call Joe right now and say, 'Joe I've had enough of this I'm ready to go do something else and we would work it out.' If I didn't want to be here I wouldn't have to go to the extent of causing problems to do that. I mean I want to win another championship. If it were up to me I'd try to win five more championships in the next five years so no it's not true. I love what I do I love my race team. Greg Zipadelli is like a big brother to me, it would be hard to not race with him, It's just not true."

    On continuous rumors that he has his eye on DEI and wants to get out of Gibbs: "Yea. I love it. Claire every time you hear something like that write it down because it's probably the most amusing thing that I hear. I mean I've been with Joe Gibbs racing since I started in the Busch series and Bobby Labonte's probably the best team mate you could ask for. I love driving for Joe Gibbs Racing..I love the guys there I mean the team I mean it's the best group of guys. We can start sentences and the guys can finish it or they start sentences and I can finish it. It would be crazy to leave Joe Gibbs racing now especially after we've won a championship with them so people if they would sit back and think about what they say before they say it like I need to stop and do sometimes and think of the common sense side of it, questions like that answer themselves when you sit back and think about it."(XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 144)(7-14-2004)

  • NASCAR....Stewart/Kahne = racing incident: NASCAR spokesman Herb Branham said officials considered the #20-Tony Stewart / #9-Kasey Kahne accident a "racing incident and nothing more," and if a penalty was required, it would have been assessed during the race. Branham said that NASCAR was reviewing the pit-road brawl. "If any penalties results, they will be announced later this week."(many sources) all kinds of columns with quotes and comments from all involved on my Article/Column/Story links page.(7-12-2004)

  • Stewart wins at Chicagoland: #20-Tony Stewart won the Tropicana 400 at Chicagoland Speedway in a backup car, his first win of 2004 and first since his win at Lowe's Motor Speedway last October, 22 races wins ago. It is Stewart's 18th career win. The big controvery came after the 4th caution on lap 127, when #9-Kahne was leading, with Stewart starting 3rd behind #40-Marlin, passed Marlin after the restart on the outside and cam up to the rear of Kahne, who seemed to checkup and Stewart didn't, Stewart hit Kahne in the rear bumber, who spun and hit head-on into the turn one wall. A bit of a brawl then ensued on pit road between the #9 and #20 crews, sending the #20 car chief to the infield care center for scapes and minor injuries. A few #9 crewmen tried to make their way to victory lane, but were not allowed in security. The rest of the top five were #48-Jimmie Johnson, #88-Dale Jarrett, #24-Jeff Gordon [was at one point a lap down and way off the pace] and #19-Jeremy Mayfield.
    The Stewart-Kahne incident as reported by ThatsRacin.com: Rookie Kasey Kahne was leading on the restart on Lap 127, but the first car in line because several cars were on the tail end of the lead lap and lined up ahead of Kahne. Stewart was second, Sterlin Marlin third [after the pass], Jeremy Mayfield fourth and Jimmie Johnson fifth. As the cars took the green flag, Stewart moved to the outside to pass [Marlin] and ran up on Kahne, hitting him from behind. Kahne went into the wall, which triggered an eight-car wreck and placed the race back under caution. The crews of Kahne and Stewart began scuffling on pit road, causing NASCAR to call Kahne's crew chief, Tommy Baldwin, and Stewart's crew chief, Greg Zipadelli, to be called to the hauler. Baldwin made one visit while the race continued on. Kahne's owner, Ray Evernham, was incensed NASCAR issued no penalty for Stewart's action. He argued with NASCAR officials over the lack of penalty as the race restarted. "That's just Tony Stewart doing what he's been doing all year, driving like a moron, you know? There's no reason to do that stuff," Baldwin said. "He gets away with it all he wants, and all NASCAR does is fine him. He's got plenty of money. The guy needs to sit out a race."
    Race Re-Air: Speed Channel, Wednesday, July 14th at 3:00pm/et.
    Race Rundown on Jayski's Chicago Race Info/Rundown page.
    Race Results at:
    Jayski's Chicago Race Results from NASCAR
    Motorsports One

  • Tornado Hits Stewart's WoO shop: Mother Nature has been a thorn in the side of many of the World of Outlaw teams these past few weeks with all the cancelled events due to rain. Things elevated to another level for the Tony Stewart Motorsports team early Sunday morning when a tornado hit the Lasoski Racing shop located Southeast of Higginsville, MO. The full extent of the damage is not known at this time but included structural damage to the building and shop equipment. "The most important thing is nobody was hurt and we are very thankful of that," said Tony Ross, team manager for Lasoski/Stewart Motorsports. "The tornado blew off part of the roof and blew every door off the shop. We are looking at four to six weeks before the structural damage can be repaired. We do not know the full extent of the damage just yet but we know we hurt some cars, top wings, and trophies and put a gouge in the hauler. It also blew a tree into the main part of the shop. We are really fortunate because it could have been so much worse than it was. Everything that was damaged can be replaced. Danny, Chris, Hope and Landon were all in the house just a few hundred yards away and luckily they were not hurt," said Ross. "None of the guys were at the shop when the tornado hit. I hate to think of what would have happened if anybody 'd been here when it hit. Most of the damage was on the side where we keep the racecars. It is a very unfortunate deal, but we can buy more racecars and we are lucky it wasn't worse." Jimmy Carr and Todd Splain were able to leave in the hauler as scheduled Monday for the upcoming events at Huset's Speedway in Brandon, SD and Red River Valley Speedway in Fargo, ND.(Danny Lasoski site)(7-6-2004)

  • 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)

  • Stewart fined, docked points, on probation NO Suspension: NASCAR is not taking lightly Tony Stewart's attack of rookie Brian Vickers after Sunday's road race in Sonoma. Stewart will receive a fine that could be as much as $50,000, a loss of at least 25 points in the Nextel Cup race, which will cost him at least one spot in the standings, and a lengthy probation, sources close to the sport said Tuesday. An official announcement will come Wednesday.(The State)
    UPDATE: Tony Stewart has been fined $50,000, penalized 25 driver championship points and placed on probation until Aug. 18, resulting from a post-race altercation with fellow driver Brian Vickers last Sunday at Infineon Raceway. In addition, Joe Gibbs, owner of the No. 20 Chevrolets driven by Stewart, has been penalized 25 car owner championship points. The point penalty drops Stewart one spot in the series standings, to sixth place. Stewart was found in violation of Section 12-4-A of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Rule Book (actions detrimental to stock car racing; involved in altercation with another competitor). "This action we've taken speaks for itself," NASCAR President Mike Helton said. "Tony Stewart is well aware of what is expected of him going forward."(NASCAR PR)(6-30-2004)

  • Some Selected Tidbits from Brian France's press conference at Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday:
    On the Tony Stewart/Brian Vickers incident:
    Q. I am curious as to your thoughts on the latest Tony Stewart incident, is this a big deal in your mind?
    BRIAN FRANCE: It is a big deal. We're going to see how big it is here shortly. But his behavior at Sears Point is unacceptable. We will be dealing with that shortly. Tony has to work within the same rule structure and behavioral expectations that we have for all of our drivers. And one way or the other, we will figure that out.
    Q. I was just wondering, you said on Tony that we'd know something soon. Can you be a little more clear on the timetable, is it going to be today or tomorrow?
    BRIAN FRANCE: It will be before the Pepsi 400, that's for sure. Look, we'll do it as fast as we can. We are still reviewing a few details to make sure we understand exactly what occurred and then we'll be reacting as soon as we get that completed.
    Q. Because a normal reaction to some-thing like this would be a fine, probation, points deduction, things like that. Because this is something of a continuing pattern, I guess, is it at least being discussed of doing something even more harsh than that?
    BRIAN FRANCE: Well, Tony is not on probation now. And he is like any other driver and we are going to look at the circumstances open mindedly. But we are on record, and I'll say it today, that his behavior at Sears Point is not acceptable. And so just how severe the punishment need to be to make a point that we are not going to accept that, and punish somebody for what they did, that's something we are going to have to work through.
    Q. I want getting back to Tony Stewart, have you or will you talk to Tony Stewart about his latest incident, and with regards to that, you said there's something that would come out shortly. Is this going to be your decision or something you're signing off with that Mike Helton's decided to do?
    BRIAN FRANCE: Well, I'll sign off on anything that is substantial. Mike will, as he always does, make his recommendations and we'll do that as a group. We have talked to Tony and I'm sure we'll talk again with Tony. That's where we are.
    See the full transript/Q&A, with MUCH more at NASCAR.com.(6-30-2004)

  • Stewart goes after Vickers UPDATE: #20-Tony Stewart again finds himself in the middle of controversy, this time involved in an alleged physical confrontation with rookie #25-Brian Vickers. Following Sunday's Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, Stewart brought his #20 Chevrolet to a rest on pit road, exited his car and hurried quickly to Vicker's car. Witnesses said the two engaged in what appeared to be an amicable conversation at first, with Stewart leaning over the driver's-side window of Vicker's car. After a few moments, Stewart became quite animated, began reaching into the car and tried to pull Vickers out, witnesses said. Members of Vicker's team quickly grabbed Stewart and hustled him away from the car. Stewart and Vickers both made a trip to the NASCAR hauler after the race. Late Sunday, NASCAR President Mike Helton said the sanctioning body was still gathering information about the incident. Vickers, who remained at the track well after Sunday's race while Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon celebrated the win, said he had no idea why Stewart was upset. "He hit me earlier in the race and then he wrecked us in Turn 11 and that's why we spun there. Then after the race he came over to the car and then it just went from there. "I was still strapped in the car with my helmet off. He came after me in the car. He reached for me and knocked the breath out of me. It was not a fist and he didn't hit me in the face." Vickers said he laughed when Stewart yelled at him because he had no idea why Stewart was so angry. "He said that I laughed about the situation and when I laughed I pissed him off and that's why he did it. I'm not going to lie to him and say that I didn't smile about it," Vickers said. "Somebody is upset at me because they wrecked me and I thought it was funny."(ThatsRacin.com)(6-28-2004)
    AND from a Raybestos ROTY report/PR: BRIAN VICKERS, #22 GMAC CHEVROLET:
    NOTES: Vickers finished 22nd and took Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors for the fourth time this season.
    "To be honest with you, I have no idea why he is upset. He hit me earlier in the race and then he wrecked us in turn 11 and that's why we spun there. Then after the race he came over to the car and then it just went from there."
    "I was still strapped in the car with my helmet off."
    "At first it was a discussion about why he hit me and I thought it was kind of funny. I was trying to figure out why he was coming to me, mad at me, when he hit me. I was a little confused there and I thought it was kind of funny and that's when he came in the car after me."
    "You'll have to ask them for that. That's a question that you will have to ask NASCAR."
    "My team grabbed him off and pulled him off of me. He came after me in the car. He reached for me and knocked the breath out of me. Here's the deal: it was not a fist and he did not hit me in the face. He hit the armrest and he reached in the car and he grabbed me in the chest and when he did he hit me. It was kind of open-palm, grabbed my shirt. It was hard enough to knock the breath out of me and then he tried to pull me out of the car and that's when my guys grabbed me."
    "He said that I laughed about the situation and when I laughed it pissed him off and that's why he did it. I said 'Yeah, I did laugh. I thought it was funny that you were mad at me because you wrecked me.' I thought it was funny. I'm not going to lie to him and say that I didn't smile about it. That's how I was raised. This is not a situation that I'm going to make a big deal out of. Somebody is upset at me because they wrecked me and I thought it was funny. He was always behind me. I never passed him, I was never behind him."
    "No, actually Tony I get along. Well, we used to [laughs]. We used to get along fine, actually, I guess as well as can be."
    "I'm sure NASCAR will do the right thing. I'm sure they will handle the situation. They'll take care of it. If this happened at a restaurant, it would be my problem to handle. This happened at their racetrack and they're running the deal. It's their problem to handle and I'm sure they'll do the right thing. Right now, I'm looking forward to next weekend. What happens down the road happens. Am I happy with the guy right now? No, not really but I'm not going to make a big deal out of it. That's NASCAR's job to penalize people for things like that, not mine. Whatever NASCAR decides is their decision and I' support them in whatever they do."(Camp and Assoc.)
    AND II After his visit to the NASCAR hauler Sunday, Stewart left without comment. But he and Vickers did speak afterward.(see another story at NASCAR.com)(6-28-2004)
    UPDATE: Tony Stewart could get word today or Wednesday from NASCAR officials about his run-in with rookie Brian Vickers after Sunday's Dodge/Save Mart 350.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-29-2004)

  • No IRL Team for Stewart? Indy 500 in....2010? Tony Stewart is back to saying he has no intention of competing in the 2005 Indianapolis 500 or starting an Indy Racing League team. After showing up on bump day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last month and toying with the idea of attempting to qualify an A.J. Foyt Racing car, Stewart said he would come back next year and do it for real. But asked about it before his 15th-place finish Sunday in the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, Stewart said he got carried away by "Indy fever."
    "I would love to do it for the fans, but I just can't," the Columbus, Ind., native said. "It's too much of a hassle. There's nothing in my contract (with Joe Gibbs Racing) that says I can't do it, but there's no way I can and be fair to these guys here." Stewart said the next possibility is 2010, when the new contract he signed last year with Gibbs will have expired. He'll be 39 then. He also backed off his comments of a few weeks ago, when he said he has considered buying an IRL team or starting one. "I'm not working on it and haven't done anything about it," he said. "I've got three full-time (U.S. Auto Club) teams and one World of Outlaws team. That's plenty to keep me busy."(Indianapolis Star)(6-28-2004)

  • Sunday's Illegal Part Confiscated: #20-Tony Stewart's Home Depot Chevy had an oversized fuel entry neck confiscated. The oversize would allow the gas tank to fill at a faster rate, saving time on pit road.(Insider Racing News)(6-21-2004)

  • Stewart walks out of drivers meeting, goes to the back: Nextel Cup driver #20-Tony Stewart walked out of Sunday's pre-race drivers meeting at Michigan International Speedway before its conclusion and was sent to the rear of the field to start Sunday's DHL 400. Several drivers were asking questions of NASCAR President Mike Helton and events director David Hoots regarding restarts, when Stewart appeared to get frustrated. He said in part, "Can't we just go race?" and walked out of the meeting. The meeting continued. Stewart had qualified 27th.(MRN Radio race coverage/ThatsRacin.com)(6-20-2004)

  • Special Coca Cola Schemes at the Pepsi 400 UPDATE: interesting, hearing that eight drivers will run special Coca-Cola C2 [never flavor of coke, less sugar or something] schemes at Daytona in the July 3rd, 'Pepsi 400'. The drivers? #29-Harvick, #1-Andretti, #91-Elliott, #16-Biffle, #97-Busch, #99-Burton, #21-Rudd and #20-Stewart. See images of the #29 and #1 on my 2004 Cup Schemes page.(6-4-2004)
    ADDED: #16, #21, #97 and #99 Coca-Cola C2 to my 2004 Cup Schemes page.(6-5-2004)
    UPDATE: Bill Elliott has become a big player in the cola wars that will be fought at Daytona International Speedway next month. The July 3 Nextel Cup race is sponsored by Pepsi, but Atlanta-based Coca-Cola has chosen the event for a huge promotion of its new mid-calorie, reduced-carb beverage, Coca-Cola C2. Elliott, who hasn't raced in Cup since April 4 at Texas, will drive a Coke-sponsored #98 Dodge [not sure how this effects the #98 Ford team and who would get to use the number, they are listed at #198 for owners, and last I heard, #98 is held by Yates, assume Elliott would be owner #298]. Because his usual car owner Ray Evernham has a deal with Pepsi, Elliott will have to be his own car owner. He will lease the car from Evernham, and after a recent test at Daytona is confident of a strong run. "I'm looking forward to this," Elliott said Wednesday. "Coke's from Georgia and so am I, so for me this is a really neat deal." Seven other drivers will be carrying the C2 colors at Daytona, including #1-John Andretti, who like Elliott, is running a limited schedule this season. Elliott's return as a car owner actually will come this weekend at Michigan when he'll field an ARCA car for his dirt racing buddy, Ray Cook. "Ray's a good young driver and he's worked awfully hard at racing," Elliott said. "I'm just trying to open some doors for him and help him get some credibility."(Atlanta Journal-Constitution) and see the #20 Home Depot/Coca-Cola image on my #20 Team Paint Scheme page.(6-17-2004)

  • Stewart to start IRL team? Tony Stewart said he has had some discussions over the past month about starting an Indy Racing League team. Stewart, who started his career in open-wheel racing, won the IRL title in 1997. "It started with other groups of people that approached me about the possibility of starting a team," Stewart said. "With our schedule in the Cup series, all my teams (World of Outlaws and U.S. Auto Club) teams are self-sufficient. The biggest thing would be hiring a team manager and a good crew. If we could do that, I would definitely entertain it." Stewart, who races sprint cars in his spare time and is also running in three Grand American Sports Car series events this season, said he could see increased participation on his part if there were more such races run in conjunction with Cup. "I would love to see the IRL run in conjunction with NASCAR," he said. "If they would do that just like the race at Daytona with the sports car, I could promise you I would definitely entertain that."(ThatsRacin.com)(6-13-2004)

  • Stewart's Pit Crew Wins in Dover: Tony Stewart's pit crew took home the $20,000 first-place check as a result of winning the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade in Sunday's MBNA 400 "A Salute To Heroes" at Dover International Speedway. It was the second victory of the season for Stewart's crew, which also finished first at the Daytona 500 opener. Stewart's crew remains third in the chase for the $200,000 bonus that will go to the McDonald's/POWERade season champion. Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s crew continues to lead in the standings with 501 points, 33 more than Elliott Sadler's team and 37 more than Stewart's crew. Stewart's Home Depot/Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet spent the least amount of time on Dover's pit road with a time of 305 seconds. Earnhardt's Budweiser Chevy was second at 338 seconds and Kurt Busch's Sharpie Ford was third at 355. "The crew gave me great stops all day long," said Stewart, who finished second in the 400-mile race. "They were definitely on their game at Dover. We led a bunch of laps and contended for the win, and they were a big reason why." Stewart's over-the-wall crew consists of: Chuck White (jackman), Tom Dean (front-tire carrier), Mike Lingerfelt (front-tire changer), Jay Barry (rear-tire carrier), Todd Foster (rear-tire changer), Jeff "Gooch" Patterson (gas man) and Brian Larson (catch can). The team's crew chief is Greg Zipadelli and the pit stop coordinator is Paul Alepa.(DMF Communications PR), for the top 10 at Dover, season standings, see my Pit Crew page.(6-10-2004)

  • Stewart to run Paul Revere 250 at Daytona: Tony Stewart will co-drive with sports car champion Andy Wallace in the Paul Revere 250 next month at Daytona and again in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series in August. "I really feel like it will help me be a better road racer when it comes time to go to road course races with Cup this year," said Stewart, the 2002 Cup champion. "We learn so much from the guys who are professional road racers. You pick up little things here and there."(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(6-10-2004)

  • 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)

  • Stewart in trouble? UPDATE unlikely: Tony Stewart may be in trouble with NASCAR for an incident in Saturday's Busch race: Stewart's car was sponsored by rocker Kid Rock, who bills himself as "American Bad Ass," from the title of his first hit single. Stewart's car had Kid Rock painted on the quarterpanel and "American Bad Ass" on the hood, but NASCAR officials made Stewart tape over the offending song title. However during the first pit stop Stewart ordered his crew to pull off the tape, which the crew did.(Winston Salem Journal)
    UPDATE: been told by folks with the team that Stewart's car started the race without the tape covering any part of the song title and that Stewart made no such orders.(6-1-2004)

  • 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)

  • Stewart...'bad what'? For those who like a little ridiculous with the sublime, there's the budding mini-controversy involving Tony Stewart's one-off sponsor for today's Busch Series race. The paint job for Stewart's Chevy, a car actually owned by Kevin Harvick, promotes a new album by Kid Rock, "American Bad Ass" -- except, of course, NASCAR temporarily taped over one of the words Friday (yep, that one). Stewart, as is his nature, reportedly removed the tape during the day. Stay tuned on this fun little episode. We're talking about a sanctioning body that recently gave a thumbs-down to sponsorship by "Redneckjunk.com," [Las Vegas-#50-Cope] but a thumbs-up to a diaper-rash product called "Boudreaux's Butt Paste," [#90-Donlavey Racing] so anything can happen.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(5-29-2004)

  • Robby and Tony almost team up for Indy: Robbie Gordon says he'd love to have Tony Stewart as a teammate for the 2005 Indianapolis 500. "It's something that we should consider next year. I don't know what his plans are but I will run a car next year and if he wants to drive one of them we'll put him in one." Gordon says Stewart asked him over a week ago about a back-up car. "I got pretty excited because hey, yeah, we'll run him in a back-up car...it's a Chevrolet...heck (Gordon joked) we could race cars, race helicopters, race airplanes and race helicopters again and see who wins." As for Stewart's appearance at the Brickyard over the weekend Gordon said "To do what he did and not drive the car was pretty disappointing because I was anxious to see him get out there and bust off a couple laps. It just would have been neat to see how quick he got up to speed. He's proven he can drive Indy cars...he could do it with his eyes closed...it was just disappointed he didn't drive it at all."(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(5-25-2004)

  • Stewart Eyes Indy 500: Tony Stewart says he plans discussions with team owner Joe Gibbs and Home Depot, the primary sponsor of his Nextel Cup car, about gaining permission to race in the Indianapolis 500 again in the future. "I'm going to talk to Joe and Home Depot and see if I can start working on something," Stewart said yesterday, according to IndyRacing.com. "I pretty much made the commitment to those guys that I wasn't going to do anything until I decided I was done with the Cup series, but you know, they've always been supportive. They've always said if I wanted to come back and run Indy, that they're behind me 100 percent." Stewart, a former Indy Racing League champion and 1996 Indy 500 pole-sitter, was at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday, although he never took to the track on the final day of qualifying for this year's Indy 500. He said contractual obligations prohibited him from competing this year in the race, which is run the same day as the Nextel Cup's Coca-Cola 600.(NASCAR Scene Daily Newsletter)(5-24-2004)
  • Stewart in the Indy 500? UPDATEs NO didn't happen: Tony Stewart is at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it was mentioned that Stewart passed a physical to run the Indy 500 on May 30th. At first when the camera's spied Stewart in the garage area, they were shown the door, but later Stewart was interviewed and was evasive and had a huge grin on his face. Stewart took a AJ Foyt #14 IRL car and said he felt comfortable, the reporter tried to lock down a yes / or no from Stewart, who said "I'm here aren't I?" with a big grin. Even mentioned his people were talking to Foyt about a contract, hard to read how serious this may be, PLUS, it is raining at the Speedway and it doesn't look good for any other attempts before the end of Bump Day today. Of course the IRL broadcast team was speculating on what kind of message it sends to drivers warring with Stewart and the Fox broadcast team.
    AND NASCAR star Tony Stewart, a former IRL champion, made an unexpected appearance at the track Sunday, passing a physical and chatting with team owner A.J. Foyt in his garage. That fueled speculation that Stewart might try to qualify one of Foyt's backup cars if the track dried in time. Foyt already has son Larry and grandson A.J. IV safely in the lineup. If he was successful in bumping his way into the lineup, Stewart would join fellow NASCAR Nextel Cup driver Robby Gordon in doing a difficult double next Sunday, racing in both the 500 and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 in Concord, N.C. Gordon qualified 18th on the opening day of time trials.(CNNSI/AP)
    UPDATE: it was mentioned and shown on ABC's Indy 500 time trials TV coverage that if the track dries, and it looks good now, Stewart will take the #14T car out to practice, his name is already on the car. HOWEVER, it was mentioned that Foyt Racing has not submiited the paperwork to make the driver change in the car....yet [as of 5:20pm/et]
    NO RUN: Stewart passed a physical and was getting ready to jump into one of team owner A.J. Foyt's backup cars to practice and perhaps attempt to bump his way into the lineup when everything came to a sudden halt. Stewart and Foyt were informed on the pit lane by Cary Agajanian, Stewart's agent, that there was an unspecified contract issue that would prevent him from driving the car. All Stewart could do at that point was grin and shrug off the disappointment. "I'm going to try to put something together for next year. I've got the fever now," Stewart said. The 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup champion, who drives Chevrolets for Joe Gibbs Racing, said the hang-up Sunday had something to do with his stock car contracts. He did give specifics.(CBS Sportsline and ThatsRacin.com(5-23-2004)

  • Gordon OK with Tony: Jeff Gordon says he's cool with Tony Stewart after Stewart apologized for their run-in at Richmond. "Tony's not a guy who walks up in my truck very often after a race so I'm gonna take his word for it. It doesn't do any good to go out there and have paybacks and that kind of stuff on your mind so I want to block it out and race him as hard and as clean as I always would and hope to get that same respect back." Gordon met with the media after being picked to win this weekend's Nextel All-Star Challenge by Lowes Motor Speedway President Humpy Wheeler. With a smile on his face Gordon said he accepted Stewart's apology and appreciated Tony coming into the hauler and that it meant something. Gordon then laughed and said he told Stewart "you'll have to accept mine for what I said to the media out there before I came up here. He (Stewart) said no problem.(PRN's Garage Pass radio show)(5-20-2004)

  • DW Comments on the Stewart Flap: Darrell Waltrip responded yesterday to a series of personal sideswipes by Tony Stewart by saying, ''I don't like it when it turns ugly. 'At first I thought he was just messing around with me, doing a little pre-race sparring, which is OK,'' Waltrip, a Fox Sports announcer, said from his home in Franklin. ''But then he just kept on and on, and I began to realize he wasn't joking around. 'I find it odd that he singled me out as his biggest critic. It's unfortunate.'' Stewart directed sharp remarks toward Waltrip before and after Saturday's race in Richmond. Stewart was upset by Waltrip's comments the week before that perhaps NASCAR should suspend him for one race for rough driving. Several drivers have complained about Stewart's over-aggressiveness in recent weeks. After the race Stewart, who had made slight contact with Jeff Gordon, said in a live, nationally televised interview: ''Darrell and those guys are up there in the booth now, lobbying to get me suspended for life.'' He continued to make pointed comments toward Waltrip. In reference to contact that was made among several drivers Stewart said, ''If Darrell had his way, we'd have only about 18 cars racing next week.''
    Yesterday Waltrip was asked if he was peeved, hurt or amused by Stewart's personal attacks. ''I don't really have a reaction,'' said Waltrip, a three-time champion whose 84 wins tie for third all-time. ''He drives his car and we talk about it. That's our jobs.'' Waltrip said he has always liked Stewart and has repeatedly praised his driving talent. ''I don't have anything against Tony,'' Waltrip said. ''What I said was not meant to be personal. Part of my job is to comment about situations on the track, and you can't ignore Tony's situation. This is reality TV. We don't make it up.'' Waltrip said he has had no contact with Stewart since last Saturday night's outburst. ''I kept thinking maybe he'll call me up and tell me he was only kidding around,'' he said. ''But so far I haven't heard from him.''(see full article at the Tennessean)
    The columns at FoxSports would be:
    Not the first to be singled out, Stewart doesn't deserve to be parked and
    Parking Stewart would teach him self-control.(5-18-2004)

  • Gordon unhappy with Stewart: #20-Tony Stewart found himself defending his on-track actions again Saturday night. This time, his target - #24-Jeff Gordon - is willing to forgive and forget, at least for now. With 40 laps remaining in Saturday night's Chevy American Revolution 400 at Richmond International Raceway, Stewart and Gordon were racing for position when Stewart nudged Gordon's #24 Chevrolet up and out of the main racing groove. Gordon wobbled and lost a position. He was running in the top five and eventually finished sixth. Stewart finished fourth. After the race, Stewart made an unexpected visit to Gordon's hauler and spoke privately with Gordon for several minutes. "From where I was at, it seemed like he just body-slammed me for no reason but he came up to me in the trailer and said he was sorry he got loose," Gordon said. "I questioned it. He was like, "Hey, I'm telling you the truth, I got loose.' I'll have to look. They say he got loose the time before that. Maybe he did. If he did, then I'll accept his apology. If he didn't, then he certainly needs to get his act together." Asked immediately after the race about the incident, Stewart said he knew Gordon was "mad at him." "I just got down into (Turn) 3 and I got loose and we made a change (on the last pit stop) and that's probably what made it loose," Stewart said.
    Earlier Saturday, during a visit to the Richmond's infield media center, Joe Gibbs, Stewart's car owner and coach of the NFL's Washington Redskins, said he did not believe Stewart's actions were a pattern of bad behavior. "Generally over the years, Tony may have had some stuff happen on the race track, but rarely with another driver. I think he has a great reputation with the other drivers," Gibbs said. "Rusty (Wallace) said the other night he and Tony had talked. I know Tony talked to Terry (Labonte) after that situation. I just kind of feel like it's just one of those things that happen. It has been a series of things that have happened here that haven't been good to him."(see full story at ThatsRacin.com)(5-16-2004)

  • Tony Stewart Comments: #20-Tony Stewart has had several on-track incidents lately leading some to speculate the Home Depot Chevy driver is driving frustrated...however, Stewart told PRN's Garagepass that's not the case. "No, I'm not frustrated at all, we're all working hard. We're not having a typical season for us by any means you know...yeah there's an element of frustration there but it's not making us a road warrior on the racetrack. We're racing hard just like we do every week but we're just struggling this year and we've been in a couple of altercations that we didn't want to be in but we've been in. It's not a situation where we've been looking to go out and get into wrecks with people and try to cause problems by any means. It just happens that we've been in a couple of incidents." When asked if he feels any more aggressive behind the wheel this season Stewart said, "I feel like I'm racing just as hard as I normally do, I'm just not as fast as I normally am so normally when I'm that aggressive I get by people and I drive away from people where this year I'm around a little bit more of a crowd than normal."(PRN's Garage Pass Radio Show)(5-11-2004)

  • Stewart wins Sprint Car Race: Tony Stewart was good enough Friday, but unlike his WOW victory in Sedalia [at Missouri's State Fair Speedway, a half-mile dirt track] on April 16, he had to battle to triumph this time. Columbia's Eric Shrock led through the midpoint of the 360-sprints feature, but at the completion of lap 10, his #86 car struck the wall under the flag stand. Shrock regained control but lost precious speed with Stewart closing in, in the #20 winged car maintained for him by friends Danny Lasoski and George Lasoski. Stewart seized the lead, overcame his own scrape with the wall at the flag stand in lap 11, and held off Shrock to take the checkered flag after 20 laps. Stewart had a layoff from the NASCAR schedule this weekend, for Mother's Day, so he called Lasoski, looking for a sprint race. The two decided Stewart would compete Friday at Sedalia, where he has driven a 360 four times -- easily the racer's most extensive experience in winged cars. "I've probably driven more types of race cars than anybody who races (NASCAR) right now," said Stewart, who turns 33 on May 20. "I just like the challenge of something I haven't done before, and (winged sprint) is probably one of the hardest things I've had to learn to drive right.(see full story at the Sedalia Democrat)(5-9-2004)

  • Stewart to run Atlanta Busch race with an all-star pit crew: The "McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERADE" competition is growing more intense this year [see last weeks standings on my Pit Crew Page]. McDonald's and Powerade have decided to take the competition to the next level by creating tow "All-Star Pit Crews" comprised of the best over-the-wall guys across the NEXTEL Cup Series. For the Atlanta Busch Series race in October. To win this event, the team whose car spends the least amount of aggregate time off the racetrack will be named the winner and awarded a monetary prize. To commemorate these unsung heroes, Tony Stewart will pilot the #92 Powerade car for the Powerade All Star crew. Both cars will feature the "McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERADE" theme [I assume they will use the standings up to that point as the competition runs thru the end of the series].(5-6-2004)

  • NASCAR OK with Stewart: after the incidents this past race at the California Speedway Cup race between Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon and Rusty Wallace, few have asked what would happen to Stewart, saw this........But NASCAR on Monday said, no harm, no foul. Well, at least no foul. "We addressed Tony Stewart's driving before [Friday's] practice started at California and there was nothing that happened on the race track [Sunday] that we would term anything other than a racing incident," said Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president of communications. I don't know if Rusty's had a chance to review film or video of the race, but it was just a racing accident. [Stewart] got loose. That happens. It just happened to be Tony Stewart." Stewart, who underwent anger-management counseling at the direction of his Home Depot sponsor two years ago, has been remarkably proficient at finding controversy on the track recently. He also banged doors with eventual winner Jeff Gordon, and drove behind Ricky Rudd and briefly lifted Rudd's Ford off the pavement with the nose of his Chevrolet. "Tony has a way of picking up the bull's-eye," Hunter said. "When stuff happens with Tony, he becomes an obvious target. He's a hard charger, there's no doubt about that. But so is Rusty and a lot of other drivers, and that's one of the things that makes our sport so great." Hunter also said NASCAR was not going to reprimand Wallace for his on-air comments.(Los Angeles Times)(5-5-2004)

  • Stewart meets with NASCAR: Nextel Cup director John Darby wouldn't go into specifics regarding his discussion with Tony Stewart on Friday morning, but did say he was confident it was a productive session. "It went real good," Darby said. "As normal, when we're up in the front of the trailer with the door shut, that's where it stays. But we had a real good conversation. We'll be alright." The meeting was spurred by what some folks deemed over-aggressive driving by Stewart last weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, including a run-in with Kurt Busch that resulted in the "Big One," and a post-race collision with veteran Terry Labonte. Stewart, following his Busch Series qualifying run in the #29 Chevrolet on Friday, walked to the #5 hauler and apologized to some of the crewmen, then entered the hauler, presumably to speak with Labonte. Darby doesn't see it as any issue any longer.(NASCAR.com)(5-1-2004)

  • Tony Stewart Day: Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and leaders from the state's House of Representatives and Senate will declare April 28 "Tony Stewart Day" in Kansas. The 2002 NASCAR Champion and driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet will speak before both houses of the Kansas Legislature and participate in a press conference with the governor, where she will present him with the official proclamation/resolution for "Tony Stewart Day."(Kansas Speedway PR)(4-28-2004)

  • Stewart to Meet with Darby at Calif. UPDATE penalty?: Tony Stewart will be required to meet with series director John Darby this weekend at California Speedway regarding his recent actions during and after races, NASCAR spokesman Mike Zizzo confirmed Monday. Stewart is not likely to face any official sanctions from his actions in and after Sunday's race at Talladega, Ala., Zizzo said, but Darby wants to discuss some of Stewart's recent actions with him. In Sunday's race, Stewart's crew chief, Greg Zipadelli, was warned on the radio at least twice by NASCAR to calm his driver down. Following the race, Stewart elected not to run the "cool down" lap and turned into the exit of pit road. However, he failed to notice driver Terry Labonte and turned in front of him and the two collided. Stewart then drove up the length of pit road the wrong way at a high rate of speed past a gathering of media, NASCAR and track officials, then stopped to talk with Dale Earnhardt Jr. at the entrance to the garage area. Several NASCAR officials, as well as Labonte's crew chief, Jim Long, complained about Stewart's actions. Labonte's team did not receive an apology or any explantion of his actions from Stewart. Monday, a spokesman for Stewart's Joe Gibbs Racing team said Stewart phoned and spoke with Busch about Sunday's incident and had attempted to reach Labonte, but was so far unsuccessful. Stewart's explanation for his quick turn to pit road was an attempt to avoid the debris being tossed on the track by race fans, the spokesman said.(more at ThatsRacin.com)(4-26-2004)
    AND Tony Stewart's actions following Sunday's race at Talladega were being reviewed Monday afternoon by NASCAR officials to determine if further action by the sanctioning body was necessary. "We're reviewing (Stewart's actions)," NASCAR spokesman Mike Zizzo said. "And gathering facts on what occurred to determine what we might do." Stewart caused one accident during the race when he hit Kurt Busch and was on the receiving end of some similar contact later in the race from Jimmie Johnson that sent Stewart spinning. He was being reviewed because, after taking the checkered flag at about 70 mph behind the pace car, he abruptly turned 90 degrees to the left, onto the track's asphalt apron heading into Turn 1. When he did, Stewart's car made contact with the front of Terry Labonte's car, causing it heavy damage, according to a team spokesman. Stewart drove up pit road in the opposite direction from the rest of the field, causing at least one television correspondent to report Sunday evening he and his co-workers had "feared for their safety" upon Stewart's actions. Stewart stopped at NASCAR's checkpoint to get the proper angle of his car's rear spoiler verified, and then drove into the garage area.(more at NASCAR.com)(4-27-2004)

  • What happened between #5-Terry Labonte and #20-Tony Stewart? Fox showed #20-Stewart making an abrupt left after the checkered flag and right into the the right front of #5-Labonte, but no further explanation was given and I have found none yet in articles or PR's. But have been told Stewart was avoiding some of the fan thrown debris and didn't realize Labonte was there and darted to avoid it, but have seen nothing 'official' about it.
    AND As NASCAR ruled that Jeff Gordon had edged-out fan favorite Earnhardt for the win because he was ahead of Earnhardt when the caution flag waved, fans littered the track with beer cans and other debris. When Stewart crossed the finish line, he made a hard left onto pit road to avoid the raining garbage. That caught Terry Labonte by surprise, who was just to the inside of Stewart. As Stewart turned, he clipped the nose of Labonte's #5 Chevrolet.(Truespeed PR/Joe Gibbs Racing)(4-26/27-2004)

  • Stewart making amends: #20-Tony Stewart knows he has angered a few of his rivals the last few days and his own teammates. So he's been making amends. First he called #22-Scott Wimmer to apologize for Sunday's temper tantrum at Bristol. So Tony, why all the anger? "Leave the innocents out of this," Stewart said with a grin, nodding toward his crew. "Just ask me."(Winston Salem Journal)(4-3-2004)

  • 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)

  • Tony not Happy with Biffle UPDATE: hearing that following the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 at Darlington Raceway, #20-Tony Stewart from his car to #16-Greg Biffle's hauler to "confront" him. Supposedly there was some incident on pit road where Stewart could not pit when Biffle supposedly cut off Stewart, causing Stewart to have to drive around anther lap to pit, explains why Stewart went from the top-10 to 17th for the final re-start.(3-22-2004)
    UPDATE: .....another caution came on lap 275 for oil on the track, which should've set the stage for the #20 team's last pit stop. But as the field headed to pit road, Biffle blocked Stewart from entering the pits. Livid, Stewart was forced to make a full lap around the 1.366-mile oval before getting his scheduled service. The silver lining in all of this was the five bonus points Stewart earned for leading a lap, as all the other lead lap drivers were getting four tires and fuel in their respective pit stalls. That was a tough sell to Stewart, however, as he emerged for the lap 283 restart in 17th.(Truespeed PR/Joe Gibbs Racing)(3-22-2004)

  • 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)

  • Stewart, Andretti talk about Daytona: After Tony Stewart publicly blamed John Andretti for causing two on-track incidents during practice at Daytona last week, he sought out Andretti for some one-on-one conversation at Rockingham. The two sat on the pit wall and talked for several minutes, but Andretti said afterward that he's still upset with the way Stewart acted at Daytona. "He came up and talked to me," Andretti said. "He was talking about what made him mad, and I disagreed with him." Andretti said he was mostly mad that Stewart made derogatory comments in public before having a private discussion. And he thinks any apology should have been as public as the criticism. "I'm still really disappointed in how he handled it," he said. "Everybody can say, 'Well that's Tony,' but when I have a family and kids that are old enough to understand, it's not good enough to come up and talk to me on pit wall."(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(2-22-2004)

  • Stewart to run Watkins Glen road race: With The Glen.com 200 Grand American race scheduled for the Sirius at the Glen NASCAR Nextel Cup weekend, Aug. 12-15. The event will get a boost from an appearance by former Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart. "The more attention we can draw toward that event just helps build that series, and having Tony Stewart participate is a bonus," said Julie Giese, director of public relations for Watkins Glen International. Stewart and co-drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Andy Wallace came close to winning the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona International Speedway in the Howard-BOSS Motorsport Chevy Crawford earlier this month. Wallace and Stewart will team up in the same Daytona Prototype at the Glen. Giese said the sports car event, being on the NASCAR weekend, will most likely draw a few more Nextel Cup drivers. Earnhardt is not expected to be among them, but Kyle Petty and Robby Gordon are possibilities. The Grand Am series has used its close connections to NASCAR in the past to help promote the Daytona Prototype class. Chemung native Geoffrey Bodine, voted one of NASCAR's top 50 drivers of all time, was brought in to race in the June Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen last year. The SPEED Channel will sandwich live coverage of the Formula One race between live coverage of the beginning and end of the Glen endurance race, which will start at 11 a.m. Viewers will rejoin the Glen action at 3:30 p.m. for the final hours.(Elmira Star Gazette)(2-19-2004)

  • New Home Depot Racing Site: Home Depot announced the launch of HomeDepotRacing.com, featuring several informational tools designed for race enthusiasts of all ages. Some of the features web surfers will find when browsing HomeDepotRacing.com include the latest race reports, current point standings, past and present statistics, a multimedia section, Stewart's Home Depot store appearance schedule, a Home Depot Chevy show car calendar, bios on members of the #20 team and a page outlining the history of the Home Depot Racing sponsorship.(PR)(2-12-2004)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • Stewart Gives: Tony Stewart's foundation made a $15,000 donation Wednesday to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central & Western North Carolina in honor of Hope Stout, the 12-year-old from Weddington, N.C., who made her dying wish to grant the wishes of the other local children with life-threatening illnesses. A fund-raising effort for the Make-A-Wish Foundation has raised more than $800,000 to meet Hope's request, with the goal of $1 million in sight. Hope died Jan. 4 from a rare form of bone cancer. Her story, first reported in The Charlotte Observer, has inspired many in the Charlotte area to contribute toward her wish. "We've been involved with Make-A-Wish in Indiana for a long time now, and it's impressive to see all the work that goes into granting a child's wish," Stewart said. "When we heard of Hope's story and what she was able to do before she passed away - it was amazing. Make-A-Wish is a great organization and she made it even better."(ThatsRacin.com)(1-16-2004)

  • 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 projects at Joe Gibbs Racing, said the organization received more than 200 resumes for the two openings. de Souza declined to name the two drivers but said Bristol was one of five who tested for the program last month. Bristol, a Greensboro resident, graduated from A&T in 1999 with a mechanical engineering degree. He finished second in the Late Model Super Truck division last season at Caraway Speedway in Asheboro, winning rookie of the year honors, along with three races. Bristol, an African-American, first began racing six years ago in A&T's motorsports program and has been trying to race fulltime since. He was one of 13 candidates selected to try out earlier this week for the NASCAR-backed Drive for Diversity program -- which will put at least four minority drivers with Late Model teams in the Southeast. Bristol called program officials before the tryout to say he had other plans and wouldn't need to take part in the program. Bristol and his new team are expected to race regularly at Caraway. The other team is expected to compete regularly at Ace Speedway in Altamahaw.(News and Record)(1-8-2004)

  • Gibbs back to the NFL? UPDATE 2 It's Official - He is Back: Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs could make a surprise return to the Washington Redskins. The Washington Post, citing sources with connections to Gibbs, reported late Tuesday on its Web site that Gibbs was in serious discussions about returning to the team that he led to three Super Bowl titles. The 63-year-old Gibbs coached the Redskins from 1981-92 before resigning to pursue a career with his own NASCAR team. He has been adamant over the years about not wanting to coach again, although he has retained NFL connections. He is currently a minority owner of the Atlanta Falcons. The Redskins are seeking a replacement for Steve Spurrier, who resigned last week. Calls to the Redskins and to Gibbs' racing team were not immediately returned. Gibbs' racing teams have been among the most successful in NASCAR with two Winston Cup championships in the last four seasons. #18-Bobby Labonte took the title in 2000 and #20-Tony Stewart in 2002.(CNNSI/AP)(1-7-2004)
    UPDATE: The Washington Redskins [Go Eagles] expect to name Joe Gibbs their coach Wednesday, a source within the NFL told The Associated Press. The Hall of Fame coach has been negotiating a surprise return to the team he led to three Super Bowls, said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity. The source said the team hoped to complete the deal and make an announcement later Wednesday. The negotiations were first reported by The Washington Post and CBS Sportsline.com. Gibbs' oldest son, J.D., is president of Joe Gibbs Racing. The former coach's youngest son, Coy, finished 14th last season in the Busch Series standings [but is not racing in 2004 and is supposedly 'retired'.(ThatsRacin.com/AP), no word on how this effects the team, but Gibbs has his son's in place running most of the day-to-day operation already.(1-7-2004)
    AND from the Joe Gibbs Racing site: Joe Gibbs, former head coach of the NFL's Washington Redskins and owner of Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), announced today his return as head coach of the Washington Redskins. Gibbs retired as head coach of the Washington Redskins following the 1992 season after leading the Redskins to three Super Bowl victories in four appearances. In 12 seasons, Gibbs' record with the Redskins was 140-65 with a 16-5 playoff record.
    "The desire to coach has always been with me, even after being away from the game for 11 years," said Gibbs, whose contract with the Redskins will run for five years. "After speaking with my wife Pat, we both agreed it would be a thrill to go back. I appreciate Daniel Snyder giving me the opportunity to coach again. But rest assured, I remain personally committed to Joe Gibbs Racing and each and every sponsor who supports the many employees of Joe Gibbs Racing."
    JGR, winner of two NASCAR Nextel Cup Series championships and 40 Nextel Cup victories since its inception in 1992, will not be affected by Gibbs' return to the NFL sideline. Key management remains in place, with Gibbs' oldest son - J.D. Gibbs - continuing his role as team president. All of the drivers and key sponsors have long term deals, and the management structure will not change, with Jimmy Makar and each team's respective crew chiefs directing the racing operations. Joe Gibbs will remain as the race team's CEO.
    "I am real excited for my Mom and Dad," said J.D. Gibbs. "I think this move gives our sponsors added value in terms of getting national exposure. JGR is a strong organization and it's in capable hands. I feel great about the state of this race team and its future success on the race track."
    Prior to making his decision to return to the NFL, Joe Gibbs met with the race team's key corporate sponsors, most notably The Home Depot and Interstate Batteries. "Joe Gibbs is an integral part of The Home Depot family, and I speak for the more than 300,000 company associates in support of his new challenges as coach of the Washington Redskins," said Bob Nardelli, chairman, president and CEO, The Home Depot. "Given Joe's success at building teams, it comes as no surprise that he would add NFL coach to his current responsibilities for the #20 Home Depot car driven by Tony Stewart. We look forward to a successful 2004 season with Joe Gibbs Racing."
    "All of us at Interstate are extremely excited for Joe and look forward to the Cowboys - Redskins rivalry heating up again". said Norm Miller, chairman, of Interstate Batteries. "Joe Gibbs has been terrific for racing, leading Interstate and Bobby Labonte to the 2000 Winston Cup Championship and I know he will quickly return the Redskins to Super bowl form." In addition to meeting with the race team's sponsors, Joe Gibbs also visited with his two NASCAR Nextel Cup Series drivers, Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte.
    "I'm very happy for him," said Stewart. "He's always been a coach, and football has always been very close to him. After working with Joe for a number of years, I know his commitment to winning is unmatched. Fans of the Redskins should be very happy."
    "I'm thrilled for Joe" said driver Bobby Labonte, who has driven for Joe Gibbs since 1995, "Donna and I think this is the coolest thing we've heard in a long time. The race team will be just fine, and all of us on the #18 team will work just as hard to win another championship in 2004 "(JGR site)(1-7-2004)

  • Dale Jr. and Stewart to run 24 at Daytona: Howard-Boss Motorsports and Crawford Race Cars announced that veteran road racer Andy Wallace will team with NASCAR stars Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the Rolex 24 At Daytona in the #2 Crawford DP03 Daytona Prototype. "This is an exciting time for all of us at Howard-Boss Motorsports," Rick Howard stated. "We have set our standards high with the new DP03 Daytona Prototype car. Our unique blend of driving talent with Andy Wallace, Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. makes this event even more exciting, not only for our team, but for the fans of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series. Our expectations are also high for our teammates in the No. 4 Boss Snowplow Dave Brule-owned car. The results of our recent test session at the Homestead-Miami Speedway are very encouraging and we're really looking forward to the Rolex 24 At Daytona."
    Tony Stewart will be making his second start in the Rolex 24 for Crawford Race Cars. Stewart teamed with Jan Lammers and Johnny Mowlem in a Crawford SSC2K Prototype in the 2002 endurance race. After an impressive run at the front of the field, engine problems sidelined the Stewart, Lammers and Mowlem team just past the midway point in the twice-around-the-clock event.
    Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be making his second start in the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Earnhardt Jr. teamed with his father Dale Earnhardt, Andy Pilgrim and Kelly Collins in a Chevrolet Corvette to finish fourth overall in the 2001 event.(Grand-Am Racing Series site)(1-1-2004)

2003 News

  • #18 and #20 Shrek 2 Paint Schemes at Lowe's: In this DreamWorks sequel to the $267 million dollar original SHREK movie all the original characters are back for yet another adventure and are also joined by a few new faces. To continue the hype of the movie release, on May 21, 2004, #18-Bobby Labonte will drive a SHREK 2 themed racecars during the Coca Cola 600 Race at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
    AND #20-Tony Stewart will drive a SHREK 2 themed racecar during the Nextel All-Star Race at Lowe's Motor Speedway on May 22nd, 2004.(12-28-2003)

  • Special Scheme for Tony Stewart at California Speedway in September, a reverse scheme of some sort for the #20 Home Depot Chevy.(12-27-2003)

  • Chili Bowl Stuff: Dirt-track star Danny Lasoski has entered two additional cars for the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals [www.chilibowl.com] and invited drag racer Ron Capps and NASCAR veteran Ken Schrader to drive them. They'll be competing against Tony Stewart, J.J. Yeley and Kasey Kahne in the 18th annual event Jan. 7-10 at Tulsa, Okla.(Indianapolis Star)(12-19-2003)

  • No 2004 Indy 500 for Stewart: Asked recently if he might consider a return to Indy next year to drive in the Indianapolis 500 should the opportunity arise, Tony Steart [#20 Home Depot Chevy] had a two-word response: "No chance." Stewart has made five Indy starts, the last in 2001 when he finished sixth. His name popped up several times last May, but he said then he wouldn't attempt another double of the Indy 500 in the afternoon and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 that night at Charlotte, NC. The Columbus, Ind., native was courted last summer by Chip Ganassi before re-signing with Joe Gibbs Racing. Stewart drove for Ganassi in the 2001 Indy 500 but said the NASCAR and Indy Racing League team owner didn't dangle Indy as a carrot in their discussions. Stewart said the decision to restrict his visits to Indianapolis Motor Speedway to August is his alone and not a stipulation of his contract with team owner Joe Gibbs. Staying away in May doesn't mean the race isn't still high on his priority list.(Indianapolis Star)(12-12-2003)

  • New Stewart Driver for USAC: Josh Wise's open-wheel racing career got a big boost this week when he was chosen to be the driver of a team former NASCAR Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart is forming to compete in the USAC National Midget series. Wise, 20, of Riverside, said by phone that Stewart called him Tuesday night, but no contracts have been signed because "they're just beginning the process of putting the team together." Stewart, who won the USAC Midget, Sprint and Silver Crown series titles in 1995, also owns a two-car USAC Sprint car team, a World of Outlaws sprint car team and is part-owner of a USAC Silver Crown car. Danny Lasoski is the driver of the Outlaws entry and Cory Kruseman was a teammate in the Sprint car series to J.J. Yeley, who also drove Stewart's Silver Crown car. Yeley, who emulated Stewart by winning all three USAC titles this year, is moving into NASCAR next season. Wise said Dave Steele, who won the recent Turkey Night Grand Prix at Irwindale Speedway, will replace Yeley for the pavement Sprint car events, but no one has been named to drive in the races on dirt. Wise said he would welcome that opportunity, but that isn't in the plan at this point. "I'm going to do the whole National Midget deal," Wise said. "I'm pretty excited. It's what I've wanted to do for a long time and I'm finally getting to do it."(Press-Enterprise)(12-5-2003)

  • Cup drivers in the Daytona 24? Chevrolet is trying to have a big presence in the Rolex Sports Car Series' Daytona 24 hour early next year. Daytona Prototypes are under construction at Crawford Race Cars in Denver, North Carolina, all powered by GM's Gen III V8 engines, which GM hopes will be piloted by its Winston Cup stars. Chevrolet is looking at various driver combinations and it's unclear how many cars will run. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart are strong candidates, and Jimmy Johnson and Jeff Gordon could figure in the mix. Regular GM road racers Kelly Collins and Andy Pilgrim are on deck as well. GM sources say there is no truth to rumors that another car is slated for Bobby, Terry and Justin Labonte.(Autoweek)(11-26-2003)

  • Yeley signed with Gibbs UPDATE: JJ Yeley, the 26-year-old USAC national sprint-car champ and Silver Crown champ, has signed a contract to join Joe Gibbs' team next season, team sources confirmed yesterday, though the announcement isn't expected for a few weeks. JJ, whose real name is Christopher Beltram Hernandez Yeley, has Tony Stewart as a mentor and now as a teammate. But Yeley may have a long way to go before making it to the Winston/Nextel Cup tour. Jimmy Makar, general manager for Gibbs, says that the new team is still in a formative stage. "We're trying to develop a program to develop a young driver," Makar says. "We've got some sponsorship irons in the fire, a few small things we're working on, but nothing major yet. We're looking at doing some Busch races and some ARCA races next year. We'll really just take it as it comes. There's nothing saying we have to run X-amount of races in any one division. We'll start testing and see how he develops, and add races as he develops." Who will run the team? "We've got six or seven guys on a list to talk to," Makar says. "We've talked to a few already, and we'll talk to more in the next few weeks, and decide which way to go."(Winston Salem Journal)(11-17-2003)
    UPDATE: Open wheel standout JJ Yeley said Tuesday he has signed a two-year contract with the powerful Joe Gibbs Racing team, whose drivers have won two of the past four NASCAR Winston Cup championships. "A lot of different teams were interested, but out of all of the programs, I think this is the best one for a long-term situation," said Yeley, a Phoenix native now living near Indianapolis. "They're very well respected, and they have everything it takes to get me to the next level." No one from the Gibbs team could be reached for comment, but Yeley said a formal announcement is expected today. Yeley recently turned his attention toward NASCAR after being unable to land a full-time Indy Racing League ride, and he immediately landed on the Gibbs' radar screen in part because Tony Stewart owns or co-owns two of the U.S. Auto Club cars Yeley drives. Stewart won the 2002 NASCAR title for Gibbs, and teammate Bobby Labonte was the 2000 champion. In time, perhaps as early as the 2005 season, Yeley hopes to reach the top NASCAR series, which will become the Nextel Cup in 2004. Until then, Yeley will divide next season between the NASCAR Busch Series and the ARCA circuit. "There's also a chance I could do a couple of Cup races," said Yeley, who is testing today and Thursday at Kentucky Speedway.(Arizona Republic)(11-19-2003)

  • Victory Lap at Homestead: been sent the image above my many readers and diecast dealers, been told Kenseth will NOT run the scheme at Homestead. The scheduled Victory Lap cars to run at Richard Petty and Tony Stewart, see images of those cars and the rest on my Victory Lap page.
    the PR - Seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Richard Petty, along with the reigning Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart, will honor Winston's final race as title sponsor of NASCAR's top series with a victory lap tribute prior to Sunday's Ford 400. Petty, also the first champion under the 33 years of Winston's sponsorship will ride alongside Stewart as part of a special "Victory Lap" tribute to honor NASCAR Winston Cup Series champions during R.J. Reynolds' 33-year tenure in the sport. The 2003 NASCAR season is the final for Winston's title sponsorship of NASCAR's top division, which they have held since 1971. Stewart will represent "active" NASCAR Winston Cup champions in the "Victory Lap" tribute. He will drive a specially painted #20 Home Depot Chevrolet alongside the famous #43 Dodge [not Chevrolet] driven by the "King" Richard Petty during pre-race ceremonies.(HMS PR)(11-10-2003)

  • Rusty looking to talk to Tony: #2-Rusty Wallace took the blame for an accident last weekend at Phoenix International Raceway that started when he bumped Tony Stewart. The wreck has caused Wallace so much anxiety that he's still not over it, he said at Rockingham. Wallace bumped Stewart in Turn 2, causing the two to slide up the track. As they slowed, Bobby Labonte and Kevin Harvick also piled in. "We had a pretty good car until I screwed up," Wallace said. "I caused that whole damn mess myself. I sailed off into the corner at Phoenix, totally uncharacteristic of myself, and got in too deep. I got the front end pushing, and I bumped Tony." Wallace said he would seek out Stewart this weekend. "I haven't talked to Tony about it yet, but I will," Wallace said Friday morning.(NASCAR.com)(11-8-2003)

  • And what is up with the Yeley rumor? For weeks, representatives of NASCAR Winston Cup Series owner Joe Gibbs and J.J. Yeley have engaged in contract talks, but a deal has yet to be finalized. Speculation is Yeley, who is on the verge of capturing the U.S. Auto Club Triple Crown (Silver Crown, sprint car and midget championships in the same season), and Gibbs are discussing a deal that would include ARCA, Busch and a few Cup races. The holdup may be in the number of ARCA and Busch races Yeley would do in each series.(Arizona Republic)(11-7-2003)

  • It's Back: This weekend #20-Tony Stewart is scheduled to drive the car that NASCAR impounded at Texas. It would be the first time the car has been run since NASCAR returned it. NASCAR officials impounded the car after it failed a pre-event inspection when the rear end was found to be offset beyond the rules. Series officials studied the car for several weeks before returning it.(Roanoke Times)(11-5-2003)

  • Cars to the Chassis Dyno at Phoenix; #20 had the most power UPDATE 2: NASCAR put nine cars on the chassis dyno after the race, to compared effective horsepower at the rear wheels: the Dodges of #12-Ryan Newman, #9-Bill Elliott and #22-Scott Wimmer, Fords of #97-Kurt Busch, #17-Matt Kenseth and #38-Elliott Sadler, and Chevys of #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #48-Jimmie Johnson and #20-Tony Stewart.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-3-2003)
    UPDATE: Of the nine cars NASCAR tested on the chassis dynamometer after the Phoenix race, Tony Stewart's #20 had the most horsepower.(Yahoo Sports/Sporting News)(11-3-2003)
    UPDATE 2: The preliminary figures from Sunday's chassis-dyno runs showed Tony Stewart with the strongest engine, pulling 742 horsepower at the rear wheels, and Kurt Busch with the weakest, 702 horsepower, according to sources. That's a sizable difference.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-5-2003)

  • NASCAR to meet with Stewart: NASCAR officials plan to meet with #20-Tony Stewart this weekend at Phoenix to discuss his failure to meet media obligations following Monday's race at Atlanta, said Jim Hunter, NASCAR's vice president for corporate communications. Stewart finished second in Monday's race, won under caution by Jeff Gordon. He did a brief TV interview immediately after the race, but did not report to the media center, a requirement for the top-three finishers in a race. This is the second time in four races NASCAR has had a driver who finished runner-up in a Winston Cup event fail to meet media obligations after a race. Bill Elliott refused all but a brief interview after his second place run at Kansas on Oct. 5.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-30-2003)
    UPDATE: Tony Stewart had a "productive" meeting Friday with NASCAR officials regarding his failure to meet media obligations following Monday's race at Atlanta, said Jim Hunter, NASCAR's vice president for corporate communications. After finishing second at Atlanta, Stewart failed to attend a post-race news conference, which is required of the top-three finishers of each race.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-1-2003)

  • NASCAR to meet with Stewart: NASCAR officials plan to meet with #20-Tony Stewart this weekend at Phoenix to discuss his failure to meet media obligations following Monday's race at Atlanta, said Jim Hunter, NASCAR's vice president for corporate communications. Stewart finished second in Monday's race, won under caution by Jeff Gordon. He did a brief TV interview immediately after the race, but did not report to the media center, a requirement for the top-three finishers in a race. This is the second time in four races NASCAR has had a driver who finished runner-up in a Winston Cup event fail to meet media obligations after a race. Bill Elliott refused all but a brief interview after his second place run at Kansas on Oct. 5.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-30-2003)

  • Tony Stewart Driver and RAD: On behalf of the U.S. Department of Defense and the Race Against Drugs (RAD) program, Eric Saunders, a fifth-grader at LaVille [IN] Elementary School, accepted an invitation to participate this week in the Pentagon's Inner Courtyard National Red Ribbon Week Celebration. The RAD exhibit is one of several recognizing and celebrating drug prevention programs and initiatives throughout the United States. Saunders also has something special that not many other young racers have: sponsorship. Besides Suzuki, several others are sponsoring Eric. He also has a bond with NASCAR Winston Cup 2002 champion Tony Stewart. Eric rides for Tony Stewart Racing.(see full story at the South Bend Tribune)(10-30-2003)

  • Stewart Blows Off Interviews: Members of the print media were enraged to learn following today's race at Atlanta that second-place finisher Tony Stewart and highest-finishing rookie Jamie McMurray both blew off ther post race press conferences. McMurray said he had to catch a flight. It was announced McMurray was excused. Stewart said he had a previous engagement to attend. This comes on the heels of the Kansas race where second-place finisher Bill Elliott failed to appear before the media. NASCAR said after Kansas that fines could be imposed if it happened again. NASCAR's Jim Hunter went into the Winston Cup garage after the race today searching for Tony Stewart. The driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet was nowhere to be found. Ironically while third-place finishing Jimmie Johnson, driver of the Lowe's Chevrolet, sat and fielded questions, Stewart, sponsored by Atlanta-based Home Depot quickly exited the premises. Hunter said he would look into the matter this week. Stewart did field an interview with TNT and PRN radio after the race.(source)(10-27-2003)

  • 3rd Cup team for Gibbs in 2005 UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing [#18-Labonte and #20-Stewart] will add a third full time Cup team in 2005.(XM Satellite- NASCAR Radio - Subscription Required). Assume the team will run part time in 2004 [has attempted/run a few 2003 Cup races in the #80 with Mike Bliss], so who drives? Mike Bliss? Coy Gibbs? J.J. Yeley?; Bliss and Gibbs run full time for Gibbs in the Busch Series now and Yeley supposedly will run Busch for Gibbs in 2004.(10-11-2003)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing was so impressed by J.J. Yeley's tryout at Lakeland (Fla.) Speedway last week that he is expected to run an ABC (ARCA, Busch, Cup) schedule with the organization next year. Yeley, a protege of Tony Stewart, is attempting to win the USAC Triple Crown (Silver Crown, Sprint, Midget).(Sporting News/Yahoo Sports)(10-13-2003)

  • Yeley tests car for Gibbs: J.J. Yeley, 27, will test a NASCAR Busch Grand National car for Joe Gibbs Racing today in what should be a step toward signing a multiyear contract with the team. Yeley is on his way to becoming the second driver in U.S. Auto Club history to win all three major divisions in the same season, following Tony Stewart in 1995. He has clinched the Silver Crown and sprint-car titles and leads in midgets by 75. Stewart drove for Joe Gibbs' team in 1998 before moving to Winston Cup the next year.(Indianapolis Star), hearing the test will be at Lakeland - USA International Speedway in Lakeland, FL where Bobby Labonte is testing the #18 Cup car.(10-7-2003)

  • Tony Stewart Launches New Website: For race fans looking for a behind-the-scenes look into the life of Tony Stewart, look no further than SmokeVIP.com. The recently launched subscription-based site provides an array of web entertainment including streaming audio/video, candid photos, screen savers, and e-postcards just to name a few of the features. Tonystewart.com will remain a free and up-to-date website where information about the #20 Home Depot Racing Team and the #20 World of Outlaws team can be obtained. All other aspects of tonystewart.com - message boards, appearance listings, pre and post-race reports and the online store - will also remain the same. However, for those who can't get enough of Tony Stewart, SmokeVIP.com is the place to be.(10-3-2003)

  • #20 Crew Wins Pit Crew Award at Talladega: #20-Tony Stewart's pit crew took first-place honors in the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade in Sunday's (Sept. 28) EA Sports 500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. It was the first victory of the season for the No. 20 pit crew, which earned $20,000 for the win. Stewart's pit crew also became the 15th different winner of the season to capture the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade. Stewart's Home Depot/Joe Gibbs Racing Chevrolet spent the least amount of time on pit road for participating teams in Talladega - 238.941 seconds. Ken Schrader's No. 49 BAM Racing Dodge was second with a total pit-road time of 248.257. Third was Dave Blaney's Jasper Engines Dodge at 257.022. "The crew did a great job on our last pit stop -- got us out first of the cars that pitted," said Stewart, who posted a third-place finish in Talladega. "We restarted 10th and got up to fourth or fifth -- something like that - and just stayed around the top-10. Their performance gave us the track position we needed to make our run during those last four laps. They definitely deserved to have won the McDonald's/POWERade contest."
    Stewart's over-the-wall crew consists of: Mike Lingerfelt (front tire changer), Tom Dean (front tire carrier), Todd Foster (rear tire changer), Jay Barry (rear tire carrier), Brian "Shaggy" Larson (catch can), Jeff "Gooch" Patterson (gas man), Chuck White (jackman) and Scott Geerts (windshield). The team's crew chief is Greg Zipadelli and the pit crew coach is Paul Alepa.
    With a strong pit crew performance at Talladega (fourth), Michael Waltrip's team increased its lead in the season standings for the McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade. Waltrip's team has 1028 points and leads by 44 over the No. 97 crew for Kurt Busch's team, which moved into second place following Talladega. Dale Earnhardt Jr's team dropped to third, 47 points behind the leader. The season pit crew champion will earn a $200,000 bonus.

    (DMF Communications PR), see top 10 results and full season standings on my Pit Crew News page.(10-1-2003)

  • Stewart Files Lawsuit Against Alleged Seller of Fake Racing Helmets: Reigning NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Tony Stewart has filed a lawsuit against Gary McColgin, a 45-year-old Florida native, accusing him of selling fake racing helmets and other non-licensed memorabilia featuring Stewart and his Winston Cup sponsor - The Home Depot. The lawsuit added to an already long list of charges against McColgin. In June at his home in Woodstock, Ga., McColgin was arrested by Detective Burt Love of the Cherokee County (Ga.) Sheriff's Office for selling fake Rolex watches on E-bay. Specific charges against McColgin include theft and counterfeiting, among others. Thanks to Stewart's lawsuit, which has been joined by Home Depot, police and the FBI are now investigating McColgin in connection with his alleged sale of fake racing helmets over the Internet. Fake Tony Stewart racing helmets have reportedly sold for over $4,000.
    "We've been trying to track this guy down for a while now," said Stewart. "It looks like fake racing helmets weren't the only things he was selling. The fake Rolexes were the first things to get him in trouble, but my management group has been gathering evidence and we've charged Mr. McColgin with selling fake racing helmets. "I want to be on the record in saying that selling fake racing merchandise of any kind will not be tolerated by me or anyone affiliated with Tony Stewart Motorsports. It's deceptive, and it hurts race fans and teams alike - race fans because they're not getting authentic merchandise for which they paid, and teams who are unable to secure the royalties from racing merchandise so they can't re-invest that money back into the race team. Mr. McColgin's antics are about to stop, as are any other persons looking to follow in his footsteps."
    The specific causes of action against McColgin regarding the sale of fake Tony Stewart racing helmets include federal trademark infringement, federal copyright infringement, federal false advertising, federal and state unfair competition, and violations of the Georgia Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act. The basis for McColgin's arrest regarding the sale of fake Rolexes are: two counts of theft by deception; two counts of theft by taking; possession of tools for commission of a crime; forgery in the first degree; making of a terroristic threat; forgery/counterfeiting of registered trademarks and copyrighted designs; and violation of Georgia RICO statute. Georgia RICO carries up to 20 years in prison, forgery in the first degree up to 10 years, and theft carries up to five years. McColgin has not yet been indicted, therefore, a date for trial has not been set yet, but it is likely to take place in Cherokee County unless the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office decide to take over the case. In the event the federal government takes over, the case will most likely be tried in federal court in Atlanta.(PR)(9-29-2003)

  • More on Tires: Last week's Dover International Speedway tire problems are again the talk in the garage here at Talladega Superspeedway. Dover is traditionally one of the tracks where allegedly inconsistent tires become the post-race issue for the teams that fail to reach Victory Lane. With so much at stake for each team it is not unexpected for those with unattained top-10 hopes to complain, but it is also important to know what's being discussed.
    Albeit unofficial, the problem, according to several high-profile crew chiefs, deals with the tire vintage uncorked at the abrasive Dover track last week. Specifically, the wide differences in tire build dates left some teams scratching their heads. The tires allegedly carried production tags and codes representing tires three weeks old or nine months old or maybe even 18 months old. And it is generally accepted that a newer tire compound more effectively sticks a car to the track than an older tire.
    The tire specialist from the Motorcraft Ford team countered, however, that reading the codes is not rocket science. "It's getting a little overblown," said the tire engineer. "All the information is right on the tires."
    The tire engineer continued, telling TFR that he could see that there were a number of tires from various tire runs and that he was able to identify and match sets to prevent or minimize any surprises. Other teams found a scapegoat for the weekend performance.
    "Where the problem lies is that an older tire will amplify any problem that you have with a car - or if it's pushing a little with a new tire it will absolutely plow with an older one," said one of the Ford crew chiefs. "Same with a loose car - or if it's a little loose on new tires it'll want to snap around on the driver in a heartbeat on old tires."
    Another crew chief told TFR that he'd bought 17 sets of tires trying to find five good sets in the lot. "And we threw away four of those sets. They were totally useless to me or anyone in this sport," the irritated crew chief said.
    A NASCAR source told TFR today that beginning in 2004, when Goodyear brings out a new softer compound tire, a date code will be stamped onto the tire as part of the production process. The NASCAR source also said that he understood "the good business sense" that Goodyear is using in clearing out their warehouse of the aging tires before they become obsolete.(Ford Racing)(9-29-2003)

  • Tire contract explained: from Speed Mail on Fox Sports by Jeff Hammond, since I been asked, here ya go: "Teams do have a contract with Goodyear, like a Joe Gibbs. I'm sure they are on some kind of bonus program with Goodyear because he has two past champions. Does everybody get in on the deal? No, it doesn't work out that way. And yes, NASCAR does get paid by Goodyear to be the official tire of NASCAR. Are any other companies allowed to be involved? No. NASCAR restricts involvement. A few years ago, we did have another company involved, Hoosier. It didn't work out quite like NASCAR wanted it to so Goodyear is the tire manufacturer for Winston Cup and NASCAR. With that being said, Goodyear works very, very hard to keep what happened at Dover from happening again. They work very hard to fix that problem. It's just a tough part of our game."(FoxSports)(9-29-2003)

  • Stewart loses Goodyear support? more on the growing Goodyear tire controversy, following Tony Stewart's angry complaints after losing at Dover. Goodyear officials fanned the debate when they again refused to respond to numerous questions about the issues: Was Stewart correct in claiming that a problem with the freshness of his tires cost him the race? Was crew chief Greg Zipadelli correct that the age of the tires used this season is a significant problem on the Winston Cup tour? Is Goodyear wrong to have special sponsorship deals with some of the top teams? Is NASCAR wrong to give Goodyear a monopoly and then allow Goodyear to make those special deals? Goodyear also declined to respond to complaints by some crews that the top six or seven teams are provided secret technological information unavailable to the other teams. NASCAR stayed on the sideline, but did fine Stewart $5,000 for using foul language on TV. Goodyear is expected to cancel Stewart's tire deal. After a similar tirade, Stewart lost his Goodyear sponsorship for 2002, making him the first to win a Winston Cup championship without a Good-year deal. Goodyear will return to its 'Born-on' tire dating next season, but Goodyear appears unlikely to reveal its current secret dating codes this fall. Goodyear yesterday was offered the opportunity to confirm or deny Greg Zipadelli's complaint that its Dover tires came from different batches, but the company declined. Goodyear sells on a no-return policy, and NASCAR selects tires at random for each team. So there is an underground economy among Winston Cup crew chiefs who trade tires with each other, trying to match sets.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-27-2003)

  • Stewart sits out practice; Kyle practices the #20 UPDATE and Kyle will stand by Sunday: #20-Tony Stewart was on the sidelines Saturday morning as Winston Cup practice rolled off at Talladega Superspeedway. Migraine headaches were to blame, the driver's No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team said. Kyle Petty was in the car for the two Saturday sessions on the 2.66-mile Alabama speedway.(Mercury News)(9-27-2003)
    UPDATE: Kyle Petty practiced the car during the first session, and Bobby Labonte drove the car four laps after crew chief Greg Zipadelli made a carburetor change for the second practice. Petty is standing by to fill in for Stewart should he not be able to race on Sunday.(GM PR). No idea why #80-Mike Bliss, who attempted to make the race in a third Gibbs car is standing by.(9-28-2003)

  • Home Depot stays with Gibbs until 2009: The Home Depot, the world's largest home improvement retailer, has extended its contract with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) through 2009 as primary sponsor of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet driven by reigning NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Tony Stewart. Home Depot's extension parallels Stewart's new contract with JGR, ensuring Home Depot's involvement with JGR and Stewart well into what will soon become the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. "Home Depot is pleased to extend its relationship with a partner that mirrors our culture. Winning 16 races and a national championship requires a team that has a passion for leadership, performance, and attention to detail. On behalf of our 315,000 Home Depot associates, we look forward to six more years of a great partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing and Tony Stewart," said John Costello, executive vice president for merchandising and marketing of The Home Depot. "The growth and success of our race team wouldn't have been possible without the support of The Home Depot," said Gibbs, who formed his race team more than 11 years ago. "Home Depot's drive to win is just as strong as ours, which is why there's so much pride built into those orange and black race cars. Our relationship with Home Depot allows us to perform at our best week in and week out, something that will continue for many years to come."
    "In my 23 years of racing I can honestly say that Home Depot has been the best sponsor I've ever had," said Stewart. "The support they've given to our race team has been excellent, and it's great to know that Home Depot will continue to be a part of our efforts to win more races and another championship."(True Speed Communication PR)(9-26-2003)

  • Stewart not happy with tires at Dover: Although it had been some time since Tony Stewart said anything critical of Goodyear and its tires, he did not hold back Sunday, accusing Goodyear of costing him a shot at victory in Sunday's MBNA America 400 at Dover International Speedway. Stewart, who has sparred verbally with Goodyear in the past, took four fresh tires on his final pit stop on Lap 326 of 400 but could not keep pace with the race leaders. He finished third after leading 97 laps. "You can't adjust on a car because it won't do the same thing from one set of tires to another set of tires. They sponsor all these teams and basically what it is, is 'hush money' to keep us from talking about it and I'm tired of covering their [expletive]," Stewart said after the race. "It's pretty bad when the sets of tires are so bad that you can't make an adjustment on the car and go out and win the race when you have the fastest car on the track. We'll just salvage third." When asked if the sets of tires were completely different from set to set, Stewart said: "Ask Goodyear, they're the ones who build the pieces of [expletive]." Goodyear officials met with team owner Joe Gibbs and Zipadelli after the race. Campbell said Goodyear would be talking more with the team this week about the issue.(more at [NOTE: adult content on this link] ThatsRacin.com)(9-22-2003)

  • Stewart's IRL Trophy Auctioned Off: Items commemorating Tony Stewart's 1997 IRL title were auctioned off on Sunday. The memorablia was owned by a former team manager who embezzled more than $1 million from Team Menard. Collectors paid thousands of dollars for auto racing memorabilia once owned by former Indy Racing League team manager Larry Curry. Curry was manager of Team Menard from 1996-98 and won the IRL title with driver Tony Stewart in 1997. A federal judge in June 2001 sentenced Curry to 33 months in prison for helping to embezzle more than $1 million from the racing team. Curry also was fined $250,000 and ordered to make restitution to team owner John Menard of Eau Claire, Wis. Menard took possession of Curry's championship rings and watches, trophies, racing crew and driving suits, helmets and framed pictures. They were auctioned Saturday in Indianapolis. The rings, leather jackets, Rolex watches and ladies jewelry fetched tens of thousands of dollars from hundreds of buyers. Police stood watch as visitors looked over the items. "How often it is it that you could get to see a championship ring, let alone own it," said John Sears, a collector. "Who knows what they are worth?" (Charlotte Observer/AP)(9-16-2003)

  • Tony Stewart DVD: Continuing a trend of blending NASCAR's wildly successful form of motorsports with mainstream pop culture, NASCAR Images recently unveiled production details for the forthcoming DVD release entitled: "Tony Stewart: SMOKE." The new production will include narration by multi-platinum artist and racing enthusiast Kid Rock, coupled with a dynamic soundtrack provided by top-selling rock group 3 Doors Down. As driver of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet, the Indiana native's forthright nature and overriding passion for winning is the backdrop for a career marked equally by success and controversy. In "Tony Stewart: SMOKE", NASCAR Images looks beyond the headlines to present a sincere and intimate look at the driver known as the "Rushville Rocket." Groomed for stardom at an early age on the dirt tracks of Southern Indiana, Stewart's rise to the pinnacle of racing achievement is a story which traces the "win at all cost" philosophy that is at the core of his pubic persona. As told via exclusive and insightful interviews with family, friends, rivals, teammates and Stewart himself, "Tony Stewart: SMOKE" will take viewers well beyond the headlines to examine the championship-winning driver's well-chronicled temper, his often bitter relationship with the media, and his lifelong obsession to reach Victory Lane. Perhaps the most misunderstood star in NASCAR, the new production also probes how Stewart's conflicts with the sport's establishment have made him both a hero and a catalyst for controversy. Set for release in October, 2003 (with pre-sales beginning September 1), "Tony Stewart: SMOKE" represents the fourth release in a series of increasingly popular NASCAR-themed video productions created to bring motion picture-quality home entertainment to a dedicated audience estimated at 75 million NASCAR fans. Earlier this year, the NASCAR Images / SMG partnership released "A Decade at the Brickyard" and "Road to Daytona 2003," following the 2002 debut of "Winston Cup 2002 Year in Review" - NASCAR's first-ever DVD home video release. In addition to the featured production video, consumers of the new "Tony Stewart: SMOKE" DVD will also enjoy special bonus material including a 3 Doors Down music video featuring Tony Stewart and rival NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr. More info at their site: www.SportsDVDHeadquarters.com or by calling (800) 856-4266. Price of the DVD is $24.99.(Shoreline Media Group PR)(9-12-2003)

  • Stewart on the tube for the Busch race: Benny Parsons to go behind the scenes of the TNT production during NASCAR Busch Series Race. Reigning NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Tony Stewart will join the TNT telecast team and will join TNT play-by-play announcer Allen Bestwick and analyst Wally Dallenbach in the booth at 8:00pm/et to give his insights during TNT's coverage of the Advil presents NASCAR Busch Series Racing from Richmond. This is the third consecutive season that Stewart has worked behind the microphone for TNT, having most recently made three appearances on the network last year.. Not one to take the night off, fellow NASCAR Winston Cup Series Champion Benny Parsons (1973) will go behind the scenes during Friday's NASCAR Busch Series race to try his hand as a cameraman, tape operator, a pointer for RF (wireless camera) and catering assistant.(PR)(9-5-2003)

  • Stewart and Schrader do some dirt trackin': Tony Stewart and Ken Schrader love to race anything, anytime, anywhere, and this love for turning fast laps brought them to the Sheboygan County Fair Park in Plymouth, WI on Wednesday night. Both racers gave a good show on dirt in the IMCA Modified cars but they were plagued by mechanical problems most of the evening. See more to the story and images of the cars at MotorsportsTV.com.(9-5-2003)

  • Stewart to run Truck race at RIR: Tony Stewart will drive Andy Petree Racing's Monaco Coaches/Diamond Rio Chevrolet in the Virginia Is For Lovers Truck Series race at Richmond. A year ago, Stewart and Petree won the event. The victory continued a string of strong runs for Petree's Truck teams, the previous ones coming with Petree himself behind the wheel. Stewart started 25th in the Richmond race a year ago but steadily made his way to the front, taking advantage of his own championship driving talents and the top-notch equipment fielded by Andy Petree Racing. He grabbed the lead from Kevin Harvick 34 laps from the end and never looked back, pulling away to a .259-second victory. Petree is also fielding a car for young up-and-coming driver Paul Menard through an ARCA, Busch and Winston Cup combination program. Menard is driving the Turtle Wax/Menard's entry in Friday night's NASCAR Busch Seires race at Richmond as well, and that car will have Monaco as an associate sponsor. Petree will be back behind the wheel of the Monaco Coaches Chevrolet in the Truck Series race at Martinsville in October. Monaco Coach Corporation, a Coburg, Ore., based company has become one of the world's leading RV manufacturer since it was founded in 1968, and remains one of the fastest-growing in the industry.(Williams Company)(9-3-2003)

  • Stewart Wins ARCA Race: Tony Stewart ran away with his first ever ARCA RE/MAX Series win at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds "We just had a blast today," said Stewart. "Some people go fishing to relax on their day off; I go racing. Just want to thank all the guys who helped with this. I love this place, and I'm really proud of this victory." Ken Schrader, in the Federated Auto Parts Pontiac, finished second with ARCA veteran Joe Cooksey third. "Tony (Stewart) was on his own page today," said Schrader. "There was no way we were going to catch him. Heck I feel good about finishing second."(see results at ThatsRacin.com)(9-2-2003)

  • Bye-Bye Rumors - Stewart Re-ups with JGR thru 2009:Reigning NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Tony Stewart agreed to terms of a contract extension with Joe Gibbs Racing that will keep him behind the wheel of the #20 Home Depot Chevrolet through 2009. "I'm happy to have all of this worked out,"