When FedEx Paint Schemes: Express, Ground, Freight, Office were run in 2015
FedEx Express - orange (8 + 2 races):
Sprint Unlimited - 2/14
Daytona 500 - 2/22
Martinsville - 3/29 (WON)
Talladega - 5/3
Charlotte - 5/16, All-Star race
Michigan - 6/14
Indianapolis - 7/26
Richmond - 9/12
Kansas - 10/18
Phoenix - 11/15
FedEx Freight - red (8 races):
Phoenix - 3/15
Bristol - 4/19
Kansas - 5/9
Sonoma - 6/28
New Hampshire - 7/19
Michigan - 8/16
New Hampshire - 9/28
Talladega - 10/25
FedEx Office - blue (7 races):
Las Vegas - 3/8
Texas - 4/11
Charlotte - 5/24
Kentucky - 7/11
Pocono - 8/2
Dover - 10/4
Texas - 11/8
FedEx Ground - green (10 races):
Atlanta - 3/1
Richmond - 4/25
Pocono - 6/7
Daytona - 7/5
Watkins Glen - 8/9
Bristol - 8/22
Chicago - 9/20 (WON)
Charlotte - 10/10
Martinsville - 11/1
Homestead - 11/22
FedEx Cares (1 race):
Dover - 5/31
Sports Clips (2) scheduled to be primary sponsor in 2015 at:
Auto Club - 3/22
Darlington - 9/6
Breakdown of wins by driver in the #11:
Cale Yarborough (55)(won 3 championships in car #11)
Ned Jarrett (49)(won 2 championships in car #11)
Darrell Waltrip (43)(won 3 championships in car #11)
Denny Hamlin (26)
Junior Johnson (11)
Bill Elliott (6)
Geoff Bodine (4)
Terry Labonte (4)
Bobby Allison (3)
Buddy Baker (2)
A.J. Foyt (1)
Mario Andretti (1)(won 1967 Daytona 500)
Parnelli Jones (1)(1st driver to win in #11)
TOTAL WINS = 205 (10-4-2015)
Contract Status: Driver: 2016?; Primary Sponsors: 2015?;
Hamlin to have knee surgery Nov. 30th: #11-Denny Hamlin is scheduled to have surgery Nov. 30 to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Hamlin injured his knee playing basketball in September and opted to wait until after the season to have surgery. He plans to attend NASCAR's season-ending awards ceremony in Las Vegas a few days later. Dr. Patrick Connor, the team physician of the NFL's Carolina Panthers, will perform the operation in Charlotte.(Associated Press)(11-21-2015)
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)
Hamlin loses rear tire changer for the last two races of the year: The #11 pit crew of Denny Hamlin will be without rear changer Mike Hicks for the remaining two races. Early in the week, Hicks broke a bone in his right foot. From the sounds of it, the injury was kind of a freak accident but doesn't seem to pose any problems for next year. When we asked Mike about the injury this is what he had to say. "It was a weird deal. It happened Wednesday at practice and I was just walking backwards. My ankle kind of gave out and my foot rolled over and popped a bone. Thankfully its not bad and I should be walking in two weeks and good to go in about 4." The good news is that JGR hired long time tire changer David Mayo from HMS a few weeks back. Mayo was the back up for JGR and will now be changing rears for the #11 at Phoenix and Homestead. Mayo was able to practice with the #11 crew for a few days this week and should do just fine.(PitTalks)(11-15-2015)
Splitters confiscated from Gibbs cars before Texas race UPDATE: The Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas driven by #11-Denny Hamlin, #18-Kyle Busch and #19-Carl Edwards were all forced to surrender their front splitters and replace them with ones that were unaltered as the cars rolled through pre-race inspection for the AAA Texas 500. NASCAR officials said the confiscated carbon-fiber splitters, "did not fit the gauges" and would be taken back to the NASCAR R&D Center in Concord, N.C. for further scrutiny. The splitter on the #20 car being driven by Erik Jones, who is subbing for the suspended Matt Kenseth, did not have any issues.
A close inspection of photos taken by Kickin' the Tires appeared to show they were altered in a manner that made them look concaved. A source in the garage, who was watching the situation play out, explained that some type of resin or Bondo was used to misshape the splitters in a manner to let the car run lower to the track. The source said the resin would wear down easier and not impact the handling of the car as it went into the corners.
The matter is similar to what happened with the Team Penske #2 and #22 cars at Michigan International Speedway earlier this year but those splitters hadn't been altered by adding resin, according to the source.(Kickin the Tires) See several photos at the site. If there are any penalties from NASCAR, they would likely be announced on Tuesday.(11-9-2015)
UPDATE: No penalties to the JGR teams for the splitters NASCAR took before the race Sunday (ESPN's Bob Pockrass Twitter)(11-10-2015)
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)
Hamlin wins at Chicago: #11-Denny Hamlin won the myAFibRisk.com 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway for his 2nd win of the season, 1st win at Chicago and 26th career win. After starting 29th, the lowest of any Chase competitor, Hamlin spun on lap 2, and lost a lap, and restarted the race in 43rd. He eventually got his lap back and worked his way through the field. The team stayed on track during the final caution and he took the lead with 4 laps to go. He led just 10 of the 267 laps.
With the win, Hamlin automatically advances to the next round of the Chase.
#19-Edwards finished 2nd followed by #41-Busch, #31-Newman, #20-Kenseth, #22-Logano, #42-Larson, #2-Keselowski, #18-Busch, and #43-Almirola.
Polesitter #4-Harvick finished 42nd. He cut a tire down and spun into the wall after contact with #48 Johnson on a restart midway though the race. He had to go to the garage for repairs for more than 50 laps.
#20-Kenseth now leads the Chase points standings, 2 points over Hamlin.
There were 17 lead changes among 10 drivers. There were 6 cautions for 28 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 140.117mph.
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 UNOFFICIAL drivers championship points standings on the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings (pdf).
See the UNOFFICIAL owner points standings on the Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf).(9-20-2014)
Hamlin has begun physical therapy on torn ACL: His pace is slightly slower, while his gait is noticeably stiffer. But make no mistake about it, #11-Denny Hamlin is not going to let a torn ACL in his right knee keep him from winning the Chase for the Sprint Cup. At Thursday's Chase Media Day, Hamlin brought reporters up to speed on his condition, nine days after tearing the ACL while playing basketball. "It's good," Hamlin said when asked how his knee is feeling. "I'm walking a little bit more normal now, so everything's good and everything should be good in the car as well." Hamlin, who hopes to be able to walk without a knee brace by Sunday's MyAFibRisk.com 400 Chase opener at Chicagoland Speedway, has begun physical therapy, which could potentially play a big part of his getting to the final round of the Chase. Hamlin hopes the knee-strengthening therapy will get him through the next 10 weeks before he has off-season surgery to repair the ACL. Hamlin said he's ready for nine of the 10 Chase races but admits to hesitancy about racing at Talladega. "Talladega will be the biggest challenge," he said. "It's not the heavy braking race tracks, it's the one where you're holding the throttle wide open the longest. But I've driven many, many laps at Talladega anyway with my left foot hung over there pushing the gas down because you're leg falls asleep there anyway holding the gas down so much."(NBC Sports)(9-18-2015)
Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown Proceeds Top $200,000: With Thursday's $50,000 check presentation by Mary Lou Hamlin to Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR), the Denny Hamlin Foundation reached $200,000 in donations to fight cystic fibrosis through proceeds from the annual Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown. The eighth installment of the late model race was held last April at South Boston (Va.) Speedway. The donations help fund the Denny Hamlin Cystic Fibrosis Research Lab at CHoR and support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation-accredited Therapeutics Development Center at VCU. Former South Boston track champion and current NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Timothy Peters won the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown on April 23, beating a celebrity line-up that included Hamlin, NASCAR drivers Chase Elliott and David Ragan, plus Virginia natives Jeb Burton, Gray Gaulding, Hermie Sadler and Peters.
"The Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown continues to be a big success in raising awareness and funding to support Cystic Fibrosis research," said Hamlin. "South Boston has been a perfect venue for us the last couple of years by providing great track and fan support." Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a fatal genetic disease that affects about 30,000 children and adults in the United States. CF causes chronic infections in the lungs and inadequate digestion of nutrients. There is no cure for CF, but medical advances have doubled the life expectancy of children in the last 30 years and increased the overall median age of survival to 40.
CHoR has a large research staff focused on finding a cure for CF and in developing new therapies for CF. As the only CF Foundation-accredited center in the greater Richmond area, CF patients cared for at CHoR have access to the latest therapies and can participate in groundbreaking clinical studies.
"Thanks to the generosity of the Denny Hamlin Foundation, we have been able to accelerate the discovery of new therapies for cystic fibrosis," said Bruce Rubin, M.D., professor and chair of the VCU Department of Pediatrics and physician-in-chief of CHoR. "We have been able to enhance research collaboration to increase our understanding of the nature of CF lung disease, and we are excited that a new medication discovered at VCU, is now undergoing testing. Just as important, the Denny Hamlin Foundation funds are supporting a scientist in training to become a CF research scientist. It is through the generosity of the Denny Hamlin Foundation and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation that we hope that "CF" will come to mean "Cure Found."
The Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown began in 2008 at Southside Speedway, a local short track near Hamlin's hometown of Chesterfield, Va., outside of Richmond, before moving to Richmond International Raceway in 2011 to pair up as a doubleheader with the NASCAR K&N Series. For its seventh year in 2014, the race moved just over 100 miles southeast to South Boston Speedway, another Virginia short track with a long history in stock car racing. For 2016, the event will move to Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va. as the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown continues its tour of local Virginia-based speedways.
The success of this event was also made possible by the support of sponsors FedEx, Sun Trust, Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing, Sprint, Danville Toyota, Sport Clips, Denny's Restaurants, NAPA Auto Parts, Stock Car Steel, Mattioli Foundation, Racing for a Reason, and the NASCAR Foundation. The Short Track Showdown is one of two major fundraising events hosted by the Denny Hamlin Foundation this year. The other is Denny & Mark's ProAm Jam concert and golf event, held Oct. 19-20 at Daniel Island Club in Charleston, SC to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation-accredited Center at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) among other beneficiaries.(Denny Hamlin Foundation)(9-13-2015)
Hamlin talks about knee injury, plans to wait for surgery: Joe Gibbs Racing driver #11-Denny Hamlin was made available to the media at Richmond International Raceway, some of the Q&A's:
Q) What happened when you were playing basketball to get injured and what is the pain like inside the car?
Hamlin: "In the car I'm as comfortable as any place that I am. Obviously the swelling is the biggest issue. It hurts mobility and it kind of shuts down my quad so there's challenges there. But, in the car we ran 15 or 20 consecutive laps which isn't a whole lot but it was fine then. And, what I was doing I was just playing. I play in a league every week and it was just the exact same scenario as it was the first time. I had actually felt that I jarred it earlier in the game and unfortunately I tied the game up with five seconds to go and so it went to overtime and I hurt it in overtime."
What are you allowed to do and not allowed to do as a driver outside the track and what is the toughest part of the injury?
Hamlin: "I can do anything I want, just don't break the law. There's really no provisions or anything like that. I think Joe (Gibbs) does a good job of letting us be whoever we want to be outside the race car. My activities really aren't that dangerous that I do. It just seems like I have had some freak accidents over the last few years that's gotten us, but I don't think there's been anything that's kept us from being competitive on the race track. The one time I missed the Chase was from an injury that happened on the race track so I don't think that these side injuries have hurt our performance at all. So, I mean, I'm just going to continue to do whatever it is I want to do outside the car and obviously just try to better prepare yourself and get physically stronger to typically prevent injuries in the future. Other than that, won't change much."
Q) Are you risking damaging your knee more the next 11 weeks by not having the surgery immediately?
Hamlin: "I think with that off-week (last time) we had a buffer there of time to recover. I had moments outside the race car where I had buckling moments where my knee would give out and I felt like I was doing more extensive damage to it. So, we had the off-week to play with earlier in the year so we decided to do it then. We don't have that luxury this time around especially with the Chase coming up next week so I think that the best thing to do is just hold off and make sure we're 100 percent in the car and if I'm what I feel like is 100 percent now in the car just three days after then the next 10 weeks I've just got to be real careful outside the car making sure I pay attention to every step so I don't have those moments again. But, it looked like from what the MRI showed it was really I've damaged the same things that I damaged on the left. There was obviously the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) - the ACL gets all of the hype but there's more to it that gets knocked around in there."
Q) Could you have had the surgery this week and sought an exemption to take Richmond off before for the Chase?
Hamlin: "Well, I thought about it but I think that we were pretty confident that doing the surgery or not doing the surgery either way I would be the same inside the car. So, why skip a week if I'm going to end up being the same anyway. It's really just to improve life outside the car. Obviously I'm going to go through the next 10 weeks and can't do any running or can't do anything active for the next 10 to 11 weeks so that part of it sucks but other than that there just isn't a benefit to do it right now especially you don't know how you're going to react recovery-wise. I thought I was pretty lucky the last time around. I was back playing basketball really within seven months or so which is pretty fast for an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). And you just don't know how your body will react to the second one so I think it was safer for us to just let it go. There are people that live without ACL's all of the time and walk around and you never know the difference. It's more the other activities that it hampers you with. I thought the smarter thing would be to just fix it when we're done with the season."
Do you have any limitations with your knee and what was the shot that you hit in the basketball game to tie the game?
Hamlin: "I don't have any limitations other than I can't fully walk on my own. I think I'm probably about a day or maybe two away from maybe ditching the extra crutch to walk around, so I think I'll get rid of that tomorrow. But other that I've got to start rehabbing as quick as possible to make sure that I can get my leg working properly so I can walk without having those buckling moments like I had in 2010. I'll work on that. What shot was it - just drove into the lane and made a layup."
If you got eliminated from the Chase would you have the surgery earlier?
Hamlin: "Good idea, I'll take your advice and use it as motivation to not get it done. Actually had not even thought about being eliminated, that's how confident I am right now that we're not going to. If we do, I don't know. You want to finish the year strong and I think the way the points all work out you still can move up to fifth or something like that. I think either way, off-season is going to be the best option as long as I can make it that long."(Toyota Racing)(9-12-2015)
Denny Hamlin Suffers Torn ACL in Right Knee: Joe Gibbs Racing announced that driver #11-Denny Hamlin suffered a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in his right knee while playing basketball Tuesday night. Hamlin had a MRI this morning to confirm the diagnosis and has been evaluated by the medical team at OrthoCarolina. He has received the medical clearance necessary to continue racing activities and is expected to race the remainder of the season and through the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship. Hamlin will require surgery to repair the ACL damage following the season.(JGR)(9-9-2015)
Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown to be held at Langley Speedway in 2016: When Buck Reuss was asked why the Denny Hamlin Foundation is finally bringing the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown to Langley Speedway on April 21, 2016, he got right to the point. "It's Langley's turn," said Reuss, Langley Speedway's pit road race announcer and the race coordinator of Hamlin's annual charity race. "I've been saying for years that the race should come to Langley. Langley is where Denny Hamlin won the 1997 Mini-Stock championship and raced Grand Stocks in 1998. This gives the fans in Hampton Roads a chance to see it and businesses all the way to Virginia Beach a chance to contribute to charities supported by the Denny Hamlin Foundation." The Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown is held each spring in conjunction with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stop at Richmond International Raceway. It annually draws many of the top Cup drivers in a race against some of the best Late Model drivers in the Mid-Atlantic region." The race - held previously at Southside Speedway, RIR and South Boston Speedway - benefits a number of charities supported by Hamlin: the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Kyle Petty Victory Junction Gang Camp, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the VCU Children's Hospital. Reuss says the race raises from $30,000-$100,000 annually for Hamlin's foundation.(Daily Press)(9-6-2015)
Joe Gibbs Racing Launches Pit Road with Pals Game App: Joe Gibbs Racing announced the launch of their new interactive pit crew competition app: Pit Road with Pals. The new version of the popular pit stop game is now available for download on all Apple and Android devices. Pit Road With Pals App is a free app and provides fans the opportunity to test their skills in all facets of a pit stop. New to this version is the opportunity to play with friends in a best-of-three round competition style similar to many popular word games.(more info and links on JGRs Facebook page)(8-27-2015)
Hamlin visits Chicago's James R. Jordan Boys & Girls Club: #11-Denny Hamlin took to the basketball court at the James R. Jordan Boys & Girls Club on Wednesday in advance of the kick-off race to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup on Sunday, Sept. 20. "I love coming to Chicago and today was no exception. It was a great experience visiting with the kids at the James R. Jordan Boys & Girls Club," said Hamlin. "Although I love basketball, fortunately I'm a better driver than jump shot shooter so I'm looking forward to getting back to Chicago to kick off the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup." Joining Hamlin at the Boys & Girls Club was former Chicago Bulls center Will Perdue, member of the '91, '92 and '93 championship teams, along with Chicagoland Speedway president, Scott Paddock, member of the 1995 U.S. Men's National Basketball team. In front of 50 kids ranging in age from 12 to 15 years old, Hamlin, Perdue and Paddock played against each other in a game of 'C-H-A-S-E,' otherwise known as 'P-I-G' or 'H-O-R-S-E.' After close competition which included jump shots, fade aways and lap-ups, Perdue took the victory before the trio went on to lead a group of kids in a dribbling relay race utilizing Goodyear racing tires as cones. Paddock and his team of five James R. Jordan Boys & Girls Club kids took the checkered flag victory. In addition to the afternoon of fun, the James R. Jordan Boys & Girls were provided race tickets to the first race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Chicagoland Speedway on September 20. Tickets can be purchased online at ChicagolandSpeedway.com, by calling 888-629-RACE, through the Chicagoland Speedway mobile app, or by visiting the Chicagoland Speedway Administrative office Monday-Friday.(Chicagoland Speedway)(8-20-2015)
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)
Sport Clips Haircuts Joins Darlington's Tribute to the 1970's: Sport Clips Haircuts unveiled today the #11 Sport Clips Toyota Camry Denny Hamlin will pilot for the September 6 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway. As part of Darlington's throwback weekend to celebrate the 1970's, the #11 Sport Clips Camry in the Cup Series will run a retro scheme inspired by Cale Yarborough. This will not be the first time Hamlin has driven a Camry inspired by Yarborough at Darlington. For the 2012 Bojangles' Southern 500, Hamlin donned a retro firesuit and a retro paint scheme to honor Yarborough's induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Of all drivers who have won in the #11 car, Yarborough leads the list with 55 total wins (see the full list on the #11 Team News & Links page). In addition to Hamlin piloting the throwback schemes, Sport Clips will continue their partnership with Darlington Raceway to raise awareness and funds for their 'Help A Hero' program (Joe Gibbs Racing), see an image of the car on Jayski.com's #11 Team Schemes page.(8-1-2015)
Five teams given warnings after New Hampshire: NASCAR issued written warnings to five teams this week for multiple inspection failures last weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The cars of #27-Paul Menard, #15-Clint Bowyer, #11-Denny Hamlin and #32-Eddie MacDonald were warned for failing prequalifying inspection twice. #21-Ryan Blaney's team was warned for failing prerace inspection twice. The Sprint Cup Rule Book states in section 188.8.131.52.c that if the same team receives two warnings during two consecutive events - whether a points event or not - then the team faces a P1 penalty that could include one or more of the following: Deduction of practice time, deduction of qualifying time, last choice in selecting pits, delay in order of inspection and/or other penalties.(NBC Sports)(7-22-2015)
Drivers met with NASCAR on Saturday UPDATE:In a first of its kind, NASCAR met with a group of Sprint Cup drivers for about two hours Saturday night, discussing safety, competition, attendance and more. #11-Denny Hamlin, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., and #4-Kevin Harvick confirmed they were among about eight drivers in the meeting, which was held in the Kent Room at the Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. It marked the first time that a council of drivers - selected by their peers - had met with NASCAR in such a formal setting. "The drivers got together and organized a vote and all the drivers voted for the guys they wanted on this council," Earnhardt said before Sunday's race at Dover International Speedway. "NASCAR asked us to do that so we could get together and just have a better ability to communicate. It's just a better way to have discussions." A source told NBC Sports that NASCAR was represented by Mike Helton, vice chairman, and Steve O'Donnell, executive vice president and chief racing development officer, among others. "The drivers, we always talk amongst ourselves anyway, but having that open line of communication to NASCAR has never been this open before," Hamlin said before Sunday's race at Dover International Speedway. "You look around the room and you're like, 'Wow, this is a monumental time to where you've got the powers that be and some of the greatest drivers talking about how we can make this sport better." The meeting comes after a recent spat of complaints from drivers about the rules and racing. So what was discussed? "There was talk of competition," Earnhardt said. "What we think about the new package and the direction that they want to go and what we're doing with tires and testing." NASCAR recently came out with a rules update eliminating the 2016 tire testing at all Goodyear tire tests until October. Hamlin said safety was a big topic discussed. "We talked about a lot of safety issues we want to see changed at various racetracks," Hamlin said. "We went racetrack by racetrack, and I feel like we're going to make our sport better." NASCAR did not offer details of the meeting. Brett Jewkes, NASCAR senior vice president and chief communications officer, issued a statement: "NASCAR meets with drivers frequently on a wide range of topics. As part of our ongoing commitment to foster dialogue between all stakeholders, we've met formally with drivers on several occasions this season, including here at Dover. We'll meet with them again later in the season as normal course of business. The meetings have been productive and we find the dialogue very valuable." Hamlin said he's unsure how often the group will meet but expected it would be "at least a few times a year."(NBC Sports)(5-31-2015)
UPDATE: Three-time NASCAR champion #14-Tony Stewart confirmed he was among a group of drivers that met with NASCAR officials for about two hours Saturday evening at the Dover Downs Hotel and Casino adjacent to Dover International Speedway. Stewart came away impressed by the intent and encouraged by the content of the discussions. He said it was the first time in his 17 years in NASCAR racing he can remember this kind of informal get-together session between the sanctioning body and a group of drivers that also included Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick and Greg Biffle among others. "They want to sit down, and they want to listen," Stewart told NASCAR.com on Sunday just prior to the FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks. I think it's just everyone staying on the same page which is good. It was a good thing, it was positive and makes me feel good about our sport that they want to keep everyone staying on the same page. I'd call it very, very positive."(NASCAR.com)(6-1-2015)
Hamlin wants to stay at Gibbs long-term: Hamlin's year to date has been a bit of a roller coaster. The Virginia native scored his first victory of the season at Martinsville Speedway, earning his spot in the 16-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup field. However, he has also recorded six finishes of 22nd or worse. Despite the up-and-down results, Hamlin believes his team is headed in the right direction and the poor finished are not indicative of how his cars are running. After his victory in the All-Star Race, questions were raised about Hamlin's contract status with Joe Gibbs Racing. However, the driver of the #11 set the record straight, saying this is not a contract year. "I've still got some time left on my deal," he said. "I've been with Gibbs for really a lot time. I'd hope to stay with them." Would Hamlin ever entertain offers from other teams? "As long as the Gibbs family will have me, I'll stay there," he said.(FoxSports)(5-30-2015)
Hamlin says exhaust leak contibuted to dehydration: #11-Denny Hamlin fell ill in his car late during the Coke 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway last weekend. He was taken to the infield care center after the race and treated for dehydration. Friday at Dover, he was asked about the incident:
What happened with the dehydration you experienced last weekend in Charlotte?
Hamlin: "We also had an exhaust leak in the car. We blew a hole in our header and exhaust system that was leaking in the car. That didn't help at all either. We were also running the XFINITY race the day before -- we're not doing that this week. You just have to be prepared. I felt like I kept up with my fluids pretty well last week, but obviously it wasn't enough. I've got to go above and beyond. The conditions and the car didn't make things very easy for me. The headache had nothing to do with the dehydration. The migraine that I suffered, what I felt like, was from the exhaust inside the car."(Toyota Racing)(5-30-2015)
Hamlin Tries To Become Eighth Driver To Sweep May Charlotte Races: #11-Denny Hamlin led the final 10 laps of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race after beating the field off pit road for the Segment 5 restart to give Joe Gibbs Racing its first victory in the event since entering the NSCS in 1992. Hamlin's triumph was JGR's first on a 1.5-mile track since he won the 2013 season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. If Hamlin can parlay his weekend success into a win in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, he will become the eighth driver to sweep the Charlotte May races, joining Darrell Waltrip (1985), Davey Allison (1991), Dale Earnhardt (1993), Jeff Gordon (1997), Jimmie Johnson (2003), Kasey Kahne (2008) and Kurt Busch (2010).(NASCAR)(5-21-2015)
Hamlin finished 8th.(5-24-2015)
Did Denny Hamlin jump the final restart of All-Star Race? #41-Kurt Busch and #4-Kevin Harvick weren't exactly sore losers Saturday night, but they did accuse winner #11-Denny Hamlin of bending the rules to win the Sprint All-Star Race. Both Busch and Harvick said Hamlin jumped the final restart of the 110-lap race.
Hamlin won the final race off pit road, putting him in the lead for the final 10-lap segment. He jumped out to a quick lead on the final restart while Harvick passed Busch for second. Harvick tried to run Hamlin down over the final 10 laps, but Hamlin was able to hold him off for his first all-star victory. Busch and Harvick said Hamlin took off too soon on the final restart.
"We'll have to go to the tape to see if Denny went too soon," said Busch, who finished third. "His car went two car lengths before (the line), in my mind. I was asleep at the wheel."
Harvick, who finished second, also said it appeared Hamlin may have restarted too soon. "It just depended on how everything shook out on the restart," Harvick said. "Denny sped up, slowed down and took off way early."
Hamlin admitted he might have restarted just a bit early, but not enough to matter.(Sporting News)(5-17-2015)
Hamlin wins Sprint All-Star Race: #11-Denny Hamlin won the Sprint All-Star Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway for his first All-Star win, the first All-Star race win for Joe Gibbs Racing and first Toyota team to win the All-Star race. #11-Hamlin is the fourth driver to win from race from the pole and the fifth time it has happened. #11-Hamlin beat #2-Keselowski off pit road during the final pit stops between segment 4 & 5, but Keselowski sped off pit road and had to restart at the rear on the restart. Hamlin held off #40Harvick who put on a charge early in the final segment before fading and finishing 2nd.
#4-Harvick finished 2nd (for the 2nd year in a row) followed by #41-Busch, #24-Gordon, #20-Kenseth, #18-Busch, #5-Kahne, #22-Logano, #2-Keselowski and #88-Earnhardt Jr.
The three drivers who transferred into the race via the Sprint Showdown: #15-Bowyer (finished 12th), #16-Biffle (finished 13th) and #10-Patrick (finished 20th/last, had engine problems).
See the results for each segment Jayski.com's 2015 All-Star Race Page.(5-16-2015)
Sprint All-Star Race Fast Facts:
#11-Denny Hamlin won the 31st Annual NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, his first victory in the annual non-points race.
This was Hamlin's ninth start in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. His previous best finish was fourth, in 2009 and 2010.
This is the first win in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race for Joe Gibbs Racing. The organization's previous best finish was second, four times (1997, 1998, 1999, 2011).
This is Toyota's first victory in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.(NASCAR Statistics)(5-16-2015)
Hamlin questions NASCAR's delay in throwing caution UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing's #11-Denny Hamlin had a rough couple of laps late in Saturday night's SpongeBob SquarePants 400 at Kansas Speedway. Hamlin was caught in the middle of a four-wide battle off Turn 2 and was pinched between #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Sam Hornish Jr. Contact with the left rear of Hornish's #9 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford cut Hamlin's right front tire and caused him to slow dramatically on the track. With cars racing at full speed under him, Hamlin was unable to make it to pit road initially and had to limp his #11 JGR Toyota around for another lap before hitting pit road for four fresh tires. Once back on track, Hamlin saw his night get worse on Lap 207 when he cut a tire off Turn 4 and slid down the frontstretch before hitting the outside wall. While Hamlin was able to drive his car to the garage, he was not too pleased with NASCAR's timing on the caution flag. "There was no caution there (on the first incident) and then we cut a left rear, blew it off of turn four and spun out, hit the wall at the start finish line. I keep spinning out, I keep hitting the wall and I can't figure out why everyone is still coming at 200 (miles per hour) and I look and the green light is still on," Hamlin said of NASCAR while standing in the Sprint Cup garage. "They didn't throw a caution until seven seconds after I wrecked. Luckily nobody hit us. They'll continue to monitor the situation, I'm guessing is what they'll say." Last weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, Hamlin's JGR teammates #19-Carl Edwards and #20-Matt Kenseth both questioned NASCAR's decision not to throw a caution flag when Edwards wrecked on the final lap of the race.(FoxSports)(5-10-2015)
UPDATE: Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR's executive vice president and chief racing development officer, said the sanctioning body plans to reach out to Joe Gibbs Racing and driver Denny Hamlin to discuss safety and the timing of a caution period at last weekend's race at Kansas Speedway. O'Donnell said Monday morning during NASCAR officials' weekly debrief with NASCAR.com that he planned to keep the lines of communication open. "First and foremost, we always talk to our competitors," O'Donnell said. "A lot of times, they'll come up to the hauler after a race with a concern. We didn't see Denny or anyone from the team post-race, so we'll certainly reach out during the week to talk to them, but talking to the folks that were in race control Saturday night, David Hoots, as soon as he was alerted to the incident, looked down and saw Denny's car and threw the caution immediately."(NASCAR.com)(5-12-2015)
Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown on NBCSN: The Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown, presented by FedEx, will air as a primetime, one-hour special on NBCSN this Saturday, May 2 at 9:00 pm/et. Providing commentary and analysis are Rick Allen, Steve Letarte and Jeff Burton. NBCSN will re-air the Showdown broadcast on May 7 at 12:00 am/et, following NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Tucson coverage, and again on May 9 at 12:30 am/et, following NHL playoffs coverage. The Showdown special features top NASCAR drivers competing against the best regional Late Model drivers. The 2015 field includes Hamlin and fellow NASCAR drivers Chase Elliott and David Ragan, plus Virginia natives Timothy Peters, Jeb Burton, Curtis Markham and Hermie Sadler. Previous Showdown winners representing the Late Model lineup are 2014 winner Matt Bowling, a Whelen All-American Series driver, and 2010 winner C.E. Falk. Both are the only non-NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers to win the event. Proceeds from the 200-lap Showdown go to support the Denny Hamlin Foundation, which has donated $150,000 in grants to help fund the Denny Hamlin Cystic Fibrosis Research Lab at Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU and support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation-accredited Therapeutics Development Center at VCU.(DHF)(5-2-2015)
NASCAR was willing to approve Jones at Bristol based on experience: Erik Jones had never turned a lap in the Sprint Cup Series when he became a last-minute replacement driver for Denny Hamlin at Bristol last weekend. Jones was flown in from North Carolina during a lengthy rain delay in Sunday's race when because Hamlin had neck spasms. The 18-year-old arrived 5 minutes before the race resumed, and jumped into Hamlin's car for the remainder of the event. NASCAR had to approve Jones as the replacement driver, something that isn't done until the competitor has at least turned some laps. But in the case of Jones, NASCAR was satisfied he was capable of driving. Sprint Cup Series director Richard Buck said Friday that Jones was approved "based upon his recent experience at the track, and we had just gotten a fresh look at him the day before at Bristol."(Associated Press)(4-25-2015)
Timothy Peters wins Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown: Josh Berry ran into leader Lee Pulliam on the last corner of the last lap, allowing Timothy Peters to win the 8th annual Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown on Thursday night at South Boston Speedway. The race will air on NBCSN in May. A date is to be announced. NASCAR penalized Berry for aggressive driving and dropped the JR Motorsports driver to 17th, the tail end of the cars running at the end. Pulliam, who hit Barry's car in Turn 2 after the checkered flag, declined to talk to the media but tweeted his displeasure calling Berry the "Biggest joke in racing." Pulliam finished 10th. Peters, meanwhile, celebrated his first victory in the charity Late Model event. Peters started from the pole and led the first 109 laps. He never dropped out of the top five in the 210-lap race, which ended on the second attempt at a green-white-checkered. Denny Hamlin had engine issues and finished 31st in the 36-car field, completing 69 laps. Chase Elliott placed 22nd after engine issues. David Ragan was collected in a late crash and placed 16th. Jeb Burton had engine issues and finished 28th. Proceeds from the event benefit The Denny Hamlin Foundation, which is committed to raising awareness and funds for the needs of children with cystic fibrosis.(NBC Sports)(4-24-2015)
Hamlin expects to be fine for Richmond races: Less than a week after neck spasms forced him to hand over his car to a relief driver 22 laps into Sunday's waterlogged event at Bristol Motor Speedway, #11-Denny Hamlin plans to be back behind the wheel for Saturday night's Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Hamlin, who turned over his seat to Joe Gibbs Racing XFINITY Series driver Erik Jones in Thunder Valley, also expects to compete in Friday night's XFINITY race at RIR. Hamlin watched most of Sunday's race at Bristol from the #11 Joe Gibbs Racing team pit box as Jones brought his Toyota home in 26th. "Obviously, getting out of the car on Sunday was a very tough decision, and Erik did an admirable job under difficult circumstances," Hamlin said in a team release issued Wednesday morning. After treatment this week, I feel close to 100 percent, and I'm confident that I'll be good to go this weekend in Richmond. It's a great track for our team, and one that means a lot to me personally. Hopefully, we can go out there and compete for the win on Saturday night."(FoxSports)(4-22-2015)
Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown to be shown tap-delayed on NBCSN: The Denny Hamlin Foundation announced that the eighth-annual Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown, presented by FedEx, has partnered with NBCSN to present the April 23rd celebrity Late Model charity race held at South Boston Speedway. Thursday's race is expected to air as a one-hour special in May amid the network's coverage of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Showdown, which features top NASCAR drivers competing against the best regional Late Model drivers, again serves as a weekday prelude to the weekend NASCAR races at Richmond International Raceway. Proceeds from the 200-lap Showdown go to support the Denny Hamlin Foundation, which has donated $150,000 in grants to help fund the Denny Hamlin Cystic Fibrosis Research Lab at Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU and support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation-accredited Therapeutics Development Center at VCU. Last month, South Boston Speedway announced two new fan-friendly features for the Showdown, including a post-event fireworks show sponsored by Danville Toyota and Scion and a very limited special suite ticket package available to the first 25 people. The $200 package includes a suite ticket, invitation to the driver's meeting and the opportunity to attend a celebrity driver meet-and-greet and autograph session. General admission tickets are still available for $25 and children, ages six and under, will be admitted free with a paid adult.(South Boston Speedway)(4-21-2015)
Jones fills in for Hamlin at Bristol: #11-Denny Hamlin suffered a neck spasm Sunday and was replaced by Joe Gibbs Racing development driver Erik Jones for the remainder of the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Hamlin said he pulled something in his neck during the 22 laps that were run prior to a rain delay of nearly four hours. He was running fifth when the race was halted. The 18-year-old Jones, who has never competed in a Cup car, got in the JGR #11 car when the race resumed Sunday night. "I just pulled something in my neck to upper back about lap 12," Hamlin said during the race telecast. "I started going backwards at that point. ... I stretched it out and we've been working on it the last few hours. I'm not 100 percent. With this format, it's all about winning, and there was no way I would have been able to go out there and compete for a win. It's just doing my team a complete injustice for me to go out there and run a bunch of laps. Instead, I think it's just better to have Erik come here and run some laps, get used to these Cup cars. We know where he is going to be in a few years."(ESPN.com)(4-20-2015)
Hamlin wins at Martinsville: #11-Denny Hamlin won the STP 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway for his 1st win of the season, 5th win at Martinsville Speedway and his 25th career win.
#2-Keselowski finished second, the rest of the top 10: #22-Logano, #20-Kenseth, #18-Ragan, #78-Truex, Jr., #10-Patrick, #4-Harvick, #24-Gordon, and #1-McMurray.
#25-Chase Elliott, making his Sprint Cup debut, was involved in an early accident and spent some time behind the wall for repairs. He finished 38th.
#42-Regan Smith, filling in for Kyle Larson, overcame a spin midway through the race to finish 16th.
Harvick's 8th place finish is his first finish outside the top 2 since Martinsville in October last year.
Harvick continues to hold the Chase points lead, now 24 points over #22-Logano.
There were 31 lead changes among 13 drivers. There were 16 cautions for 112 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 68.843mph.
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).(3-29-2015)
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)
Hamlin opposed to shifting at Phoenix: #11-Denny Hamlin met with the media Friday at Phoenix International Raceway:
Are you shifting here at Phoenix?
"I wish NASCAR would really come up with a ban on that. There is no reason why we should be shifting on a one-mile race track. This is a short track, not a road course. Make the gearing so we cannot shift because it's just dumb for us to have the option to be able to shift. Everything that they're trying to do with the whole gear rule and less horsepower, it throws that all out the window when you're able to go out here and shift. It will be an option and people will try to do it. I'm sure late in the runs it will be effective, but it's just with the gear taken out and the horsepower, we're just lugging off these corners and you're just flat footing it. As a driver, it's tough to be able to race that way so we're having to shift to try to get up off the corner. Hopefully looking forward we can change it to where you don't have to do that."
If other drivers shift, are you forced to shift?
"I think on restarts most everyone will shift when you're all bottled up. I think people will be successful both ways, but it's just that option. Come one, we're on a short track, why are we shifting?"(Toyota Racing)(3-14-2015)
Hamlin talks about the accident at Atlanta: #11-Denny Hamlin got lose on lap 257 in Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, spinning and collecting other drivers in a wreck, including #24-Gordon, #17-Stenhouse Jr and #1-McMurray. Hamlin finished 38th. A comment by Hamlin:
What happened to cause your accident?
Hamlin: "I was right on the 19 (Carl Edwards) entering (turn) one and he checked up and if I didn't move to the right, I was going to spin him out. I was going to run right in the back of him and when I moved to the right of him it put me right on the door of the 4 (Kevin Harvick) and I just sucked around and that was it. I apologize to all those cars involved, but it's tough. I mean, we had a good FedEx Ground Toyota for most the day. Just lost the handle there on the last run and kind of put us in a spot where we hadn't restarted all day and just got sucked around and got a little loose."(Toyota Racing)(3-1-2015)
Hamlin motorcoach hit by rolling SUV: A driver parking his white SUV adjacent to the driver motorcoach lot mistakenly left his car in gear Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, allowing it to roll backward through a fence and into the side of #11-Denny Hamlin's personal coach. A team spokesman said Hamlin's rolling house sustained superficial damage and that no one was injured.(USA Today)(2-28-2015)
Despite Late Crash, Danica Patrick Qualifies -- Then Tempers Flare: #10-Danica Patrick took a long, deep breath and finally exhaled after qualifying for the 57th Daytona 500 on Thursday night. But not before letting #11-Denny Hamlin have it. The two had a lengthy and animated conversation on pit road after Patrick overcame a late-race spin through the field prompted by a nudge from Hamlin in the corner to finish 10th and make the race. It was the second such incident in two days -- Hamlin and Patrick crashed in Wednesday's practice. "I don't want to have these issues, but if we're going to have these issues, we're going to deal with them," Patrick said afterward. "We can't be putting ourselves out of the race on someone else's expense and nothing happens to him. I like to race hard, but there's no point in being out there wrecking each other. I just wanted to let him know I was disappointed, of course." The pit-road conversation lasted at least three minutes, with Hamlin taking an explanatory pose, his arms outstretched and his palms turned up. Hamlin's explanation: He was racing Patrick the same as he would anyone else. "If you're in this Cup series, you earned your way here and you can handle a lot of situations," Hamlin said. "I got close to her and her car got loose again. I just tried to explain that to Danica. I can't just say, 'Oh, it's you, so I've got to stay away 2 feet because your car's loose.' We're trying to move forward." Tony Stewart, Patrick's car owner, apparently wasn't buying it. Stewart appeared to yell something at Hamlin. "Tony came down and said, 'You need to watch the replay,' which is good to hear," Patrick said. "My boss obviously was sitting on the pit box and saw it. We're going to have to figure it out because this isn't going to end well."(ESPNW)(2-20-2015)
Quotes about Wednesday's practice crash at Daytona: #10-Patrick, #11-Hamlin, #13-Mears, #16-Biffle, #26-Burton and #46-Annett were involved in a multi-car accident during Wednesday's first Daytona 500 practice session. Patrick, Annett and Burton will go to back-up cars and start at the rear of the field in Thursday's Budweiser Duels. Hamlin, Mears and Biffle sustained minor damage to their cars. Some quotes:
#10-Danica Patrick's comments:
Q) WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON THE ACCIDENT?
Patrick: "It's unfortunate. I know it was a car. I know it was a good coming from the shop. And with this new format that we have with qualifying and the race and everything, we knew we were going to have to race hard through the Duels anyway. That's not going to change. It just makes extra work for everybody having to get everything ready with the other car. Hopefully we'll get out soon and we'll go make sure everything is all right and we'll make sure it's good on time."
Q) WE JUST SAW YOUR BACK-UP CAR COMING OUT IN THE GARAGE. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE BEFORE WE SEE YOU BACK OUT ON THE TRACK?
Patrick: "That's a good question. Hopefully we get out by the end of second practice. If not, we didn't plan on running tomorrow, but I would imagine that would mean we might run tomorrow. But hopefully we should get out here in the second practice and we'll have 40 minutes to make sure everything is okay. We probably won't get through our list of things that we wanted to try to make sure on single car runs that we were getting the most speed out of it. But, at the end of the day when you're in a pack, you see cars with damage all over the place and they manage to hang on just fine. So, we've just got to make sure everything is okay to roll for tomorrow."
Q) WHAT HAPPENED? ARE YOU OKAY?
Patrick: "I'm fine. I'm obviously disappointed and I know that it was a good car and it's never a good thing to crash. But, I was just riding along and it turned, so it's the nature of pack racing and that's what makes it challenging, too. Sometimes there's not much you can do about it. I could have collected more people and it wouldn't have been anything that they were a part of. But that's just group racing at Daytona. That's the gamble that we all face. That's what makes it exciting and very frustrating. So, we knew we were going to have to run hard in the Duels no matter what, and that just doesn't change."
Q) DENNY HAMLIN KIND OF TOOK RESPONSIBILITY. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR CHANCE OF GETTING IN THE DAYTONA 500
Patrick: "I was following the #6 (Trevor Bayne). He (Hamlin) pulled out in front of me in our lane out of (Turn) 2; I was riding behind him and the car sort of started turning toward the right and the back end was coming around and then it swapped ends. So, it just looked like he was trying to pull out and make a third lane in the middle and it felt like it mush have caught my bumper."(Team Chevy)
#11-Denny Hamlin's comments:
Q) How aggressive were drivers in practice?
Hamlin: "People say in practice that you can't make aggressive moves, but we also have to put ourselves in decent positions where we're going to have to figure out what our car is doing. I went through the middle and it was really wide - it just closed as soon as I had already got inside of her (Danica Patrick) and the lane closed. It knocked me into the 13 (Casey Mears) and we had some attrition after that."
Q) How much damage was sustained to your Camry?
Hamlin: "It's nothing that we have to go to a backup car for, but it messed up other cars. That's the tough part about it. You always have to give a little bit extra room in practice. There's typically not a whole lot of blocking in practice and things like that - that you'll see in the race. Also, you do have to go three-wide in those situations because you have to figure out what your car is going to do. That's just a miscalculation one way or another on one of our parts. Unfortunately some cars got torn up."(Toyota Racing)
#16-Greg Biffle's comments;
Q) WHAT DID YOU SEE WHEN THAT WRECK WAS HAPPENING IN FRONT OF YOU?
Biffle: "That wreck wasn't in front of me, it was all over me. It was in front of me, behind me, beside me, and then I got hit in the left-rear. I thought the wreck was done and I still got hit. It scared the death out of me because I already wrecked once pretty good and I don't want to wreck again."
Q) HOW DO YOU APPROACH THESE PRACTICE SESSIONS?
Biffle: "We feel good about the way our car drafts and does all that, so we're pretty much done with all that. We're just gonna work on single car speed. It looks like we're off two or three tenths on speed compared to the fast cars, so we're gonna work hard and diligently to see if we can find that little bit of speed left in our Fusion."
Q) HOW EXTENSIVE IS THE DAMAGE FROM THE WRECK?
Biffle: "It's very light, just some left-rear bumper cover damage, so it's pretty light."(Ford Racing)(2-19-2015)
Earnhardt Jr.'s car fails post qualifying tech inspection: Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s crew chief, Greg Ives comments on the #88 being too low in post qualifying inspection:
ON BEING TOO LOW FOLLOWING POST QUALIFYING INSPECTION FOR THE DAYTONA 500:
Ives: "Obviously NASCAR does a great job inspecting the cars and they found that our ride heights after qualifying were too low. They did their due diligence of allowing us to go through their processes of how they deal with it. In the end we still ended up low. It's unfortunate for the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS team. We were definitely not trying to do anything intentional here. I don't feel it was an advantage that got us to our 10th place position, but it is definitely something that can be frowned upon and not looked as being compliant to the rules and that is what we need to stick to." The #88 Nationwide Chevy will start from the 25th position in Thursday's qualifying race.(Team Chevy), #11-Hamlin's car also failed post qualifying inspection and will start the qualifying race from the rear.(2-15-2015)
Jackman for Hamlin re-injured during off season: Last year during the Charlotte race in October, #11 Jackman for Joe Gibbs Racing, Nate Bolling, suffered a torn tricep and was sidelined throughout the Chase. Pit Talks is getting word that Bolling has torn the same tricep during the off season. Details of how it happened are not very clear but talking with guys familiar with this kind of injury suggest that he might be out till mid April and even May. Nate is a top level Jackman on the Cup Series and his absence will be missed. As far as who is going in on the #11 team....not sure yet. When the injury went down last year the #11 team had back up Kenneth Purcell step in and he did a great job. Purcell is scheduled to be the Gasman on the #19 JGR team and Carl Edwards this year. To make the situation even trickier, Jackman Jeff Fender of the JGR #18 just recently retired this year.(Pit Talks)(1-21-2015)
Sport Clips to sponsor Edwards and Hamlin: Sport Clips Racing enters its seventh season (2015) as a partner with Joe Gibbs Racing. Denny Hamlin will continue to have Sport Clips as the primary sponsor of the #11 Toyota in two 2015 Sprint Cup Series races at Auto Club Speedway in March and Darlington in September. Carl Edwards starts a new chapter in 2015 joining Joe Gibbs Racing to drive the #19 Toyota Camry in the Sprint Cup Series. Sport Clips will be the primary sponsor of the #19 in two Sprint Cup Series races at New Hampshire in July and Texas in November.(SportClips / JGR), see images of the #11 and #19 on the #11 Team Schemes page and the #19 Team Schemes page.(1-14-2015)
Denny & Mark's Pro-Am Jam raised $200,000 for charity: The 3rd annual Denny & Mark's Pro-Am Jam hosted by the Student Transportation of America Education Foundation, raised $200,000 for charity making it another successful event. The annual 'can't miss' fundraising event has raised over $500,000 in its first three years. This year's event was held October 27-28 at the Daniel Island Club in Charleston, S.C., and again featured the partnership of NASCAR driver and Chase for the Sprint Cup finalist Denny Hamlin, Hootie & the Blowfish founding member and lead guitarist Mark Bryan and Denis Gallagher, CEO of Student Transportation Inc. (STI), North America's leading provider of school bus transportation services.
Proceeds from the two-day fundraiser have increased each year and are intended to benefit children within the community. Donations were made recently to the charitable organizations representing the three partners, which all have similar missions of improving the lives of children. The Denny Hamlin Foundation was a beneficiary with part of its share being donated to MUSC Children's Hospital for Cystic Fibrosis research. Mark Bryan's non-profit, Carolina Studios, and STI's philanthropic arm, the Student Transportation of America Education Foundation (STAEF), also received their shares of the funds raised that will go toward helping children in the Charleston area.
"This year's Pro-Am Jam was another huge success. It was a wonderful experience for our guests and sponsors who once again enjoyed themselves and thought the venue, auction, concert and golf were all outstanding," stated Denis Gallagher. "We had a very successful event for our charities that will benefit many young children and students. This was another showcase event that Daniel Island is known for."
The event included a celebrity "Pro-Am" golf tournament on Daniel Island Club's award-winning Ralston Creek course and a "Jam" music concert presented by SunTrust featuring music by Mark Bryan and friends. Celebrity guests included greats from the worlds of NASCAR, music, entertainment and sports.
"I look forward to this event every year now as it is such a fun time and we are able to benefit many children in different ways," said Hamlin, a 24-time winner on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series who finished third overall in the 2014 driver championship standings. "Mark and Denis are such great partners and we have so many great guests and celebrities come out that we all just have a blast together at the concert and on the golf course."
Celebrities in attendance included Bill Murray along with fellow actors Gregory Harrison, Bill Smitrovich, Terry Serpico and Ed Marinaro, and actresses Aimee Garcia and Debbe Dunning; NASCAR drivers Danica Patrick, Hermie Sadler and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.; PGA professional golfers Tommy Gainey and Robert Gamez; former NBA players Rick Barry and Gus Williams; Heisman Trophy winner and NFL Super Bowl football champion George Rogers and former NFL star and now commentator Sterling Sharpe to name a few.
Mark Bryan again spearheaded a fantastic concert featuring some of his friends from the music industry. Those who joined Mark onstage included Chris Barron of the Spin Doctors, Chris Kirkpatrick from NSYNC, country legend Johnny Lee, Grammy winner Dan Tyminski, Steve Azar, The Voice's Justin Pohl and fellow Hootie & the Blowfish band members Darius Rucker, Dean Felber and Jim Sonefeld among others who graced the stage.
"I am so thankful for what we've created in three years with this Pro-Am Jam. I'm lucky to be working on this with amazing partners like Denny Hamlin and Denis Gallagher," stated Mark Bryan. "Together with our gracious sponsors we've been able to continually increase the amount of money we've raised for charity, and we've caught the attention of some great names for our golf tournament and concert, so it's also a ton of fun. Here's to years to come."
This event was made possible by the support of major sponsors SunTrust, FedEx, Blue Bird/Roush CleanTech, Collins Bus Corporation, Thomas Bus and Navistar/IC Bus. The dates for the 4th Annual Denny & Mark's Pro-Am Jam hosted by the Student Transportation of America Education Foundation are October 26-27, 2015. To keep up with Denny & Mark's Pro-Am Jam please follow at www.facebook.com/TheProAmJam and www.twitter.com/ProAmJam.(Denny Hamlin Foundation)(12-26-2014)
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)
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)
Toyota teams have limited time to test new Camry: Toyota unveiled its 2015 Sprint Cup Camry on Saturday with five weeks left in the 2014 season. That means the teams have five weeks to test. With a testing ban going into effect after Nov. 16's 2014 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing will experiment with the car. The 2015 car conforms with NASCAR's new lower horsepower, less downforce rules package. "We'll be at Nashville and things like that," MWR driver Clint Bowyer said. "We have (Goodyear test at) Auto Club Speedway, we have a Phoenix test coming up. We've got opportunities to get in this race car. I really see the new rule package that NASCAR has implemented being a bigger change feel-wise for a driver than this new car. If you're going to unveil a new car, this is a perfect time to do that because it's basically start over from scratch across the board for everybody."
The 2015 car includes changes to the hood, nose, tail and quarter windows. Both Ford and Chevy racing engineers were present at wind tunnel tests conducted by NASCAR to approve the Toyota design. "We hope it races better," said Dave Wilson, president of Toyota Racing Development. "But realistically, practically speaking, it's not outside the box. It's still working with the same set of rules that we've had. We've got until the Sunday of Homestead. We'll test our guts out. We'll have this car on the race track a couple of times." While his drivers will want to test, JGR owner Joe Gibbs said the team must focus on 2014. All three of his drivers remain in the hunt for the title. "It'll be hard" to test, Gibbs said. "Our whole focus is on right now with where we are with the Chase and everything. I can't see us being able to do much."(Sporting News)(10-12-2014)
Short Track Showdown donation to CHoR & CFF: With proceeds from the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown race held last April, Mary Lou Hamlin of the Denny Hamlin Foundation presented a $50,000 check today to Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR) and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The donation represents the third and final installment of the $150,000 grant commitment made in 2012 to help fund the Denny Hamlin Cystic Fibrosis Research Lab at CHoR and support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation-accredited Therapeutics Development Center at VCU. A sell-out crowd and great racing action once again made the seventh annual Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown a huge success this year. The celebrity-laden Late Model charity race, held April 24 at historic South Boston (Va.) Speedway for the first time, featured the Virginia-bred Hamlin and other stars of NASCAR against many of the area's top Late Model racers.
"The Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown was a big hit again," said Hamlin, who last raced at South Boston in 2003. "The crew and fans at South Boston really responded and gave us former SoBo regulars a great welcome back. With such great fan and sponsor support of the event, the Denny Hamlin Foundation is able to advance the great work coming from the Cystic Fibrosis Research Lab, and help move vital Cystic Fibrosis therapies forward to help all individuals with CF."
While Hamlin was joined by fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, and David Ragan, plus former South Boston track champion Timothy Peters, it was Matt Bowling of Ridgeway, Va. who sped past race leader Matt Waltz with five laps to go to take home the checkered flag and the $10,000 winner's check.
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a fatal genetic disease that affects about 30,000 children and adults in the United States. CF causes chronic infections in the lungs and inadequate digestion of nutrients. There is no cure for CF, but medical advances have doubled the life expectancy of children in the last 30 years and increased the overall median age of survival to 40. CHoR has a large research staff focused on finding a cure for CF and in developing new therapies for CF. As the only CF Foundation-accredited center in the greater Richmond area, CF patients cared for at CHoR have access to the latest therapies and can participate in groundbreaking clinical studies.
The Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown began in 2008 at Southside Speedway, a local short track near Hamlin's hometown of Chesterfield, Va., outside of Richmond, before moving to Richmond International Raceway in 2011 to pair up as a doubleheader with the NASCAR K&N Series. For its seventh year in 2014, the race moved just over 100 miles southeast to South Boston Speedway, another Virginia short track with a long history in stock car racing. For 2015, the event returns to South Boston Speedway on Thursday, April 23. The success of this event was also made possible by the support of sponsors FedEx, Sun Trust, Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing, Sprint, Danville Toyota, Sport Clips, Steel and Stock Car Aluminum, Inc., and the NASCAR Foundation.
The Short Track Showdown is one of two major fundraising events hosted by the Denny Hamlin Foundation this year. The other is Denny & Mark's ProAm Jam concert and golf event, held Oct. 27-28 at Daniel Island Club in Charleston, SC to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation-accredited Center at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) among other beneficiaries.(dennyhamlinfoundation.org)(9-7-2014)
Win 204 for car #11: #11-Denny Hamlin's win in the Aaron's 499 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway on May 4, 2014 was car #11's 204th win in the Sprint Cup Series. This win is now five wins ahead of the iconic #43 for all-time wins in Sprint Cup Series history for a car number. Richard Petty, who drove the #43 for most of his 200 wins, actually won 192 races running the #43 and 8 in other car numbers [#41 & #42]. The car number in third is the car #3 with 97 wins. See all kinds of car number stats and records on my Wins by Car Number page.(5-5-2014)
Hamlin joins a select crowd, winning in 300th start: #11-Denny Hamlin won the Aaron's 499 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway for his 24th career win in his 300th career start. Four other drivers to have won in their 300th start:
Ned Jarrett in 1965, Rusty Wallace in 1993, Kasey Kahne in 2012 and Kyle Busch in 2013.(5-5-2014)
Hamlin wins at Talladega: #11-Denny Hamlin won the Aaron's 499 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway for his 1st win of 2014, his first restrictor plate track win and his 24th career win.
#16-Biffle finished 2nd followed by #15-Bowyer, #55-Vickers, #47-Allmendinger, #27-Menard, #4-Harvick, #5-Kahne, #42-Larson and #17-Stenhouse Jr. #40-Landon Cassill scored his career best finish at 11th and #7-Michael Annett scored his career best finish at 16th.
#33-Scott, who won the pole, was involved in a wreck on lap 137 and finished 42nd.
#24-Gordon, who came into the race as the points leader, was involved in the first big wreck and finished 39th but still leads the points by 3 over #20-Kenseth.
#22-Logano leads the Chase Seeding with two wins. #4-Harvick is second, also with 2 wins, but lower in points. They are followed by #18-Busch, #99-Edwards and #88-Earnhardt, Jr.
There were two big wrecks:
On lap 137: #2-Keselowski, who was 6 laps down at the time, got loose and spun, involving: #21-Bayne, #24-Gordon, #14-Stewart, #7-Annett, #18-Busch, #20-Kenseth, #23-Bowman, #26-Whitt, #27-Menard, #33-Scott and #48-Johnson.
On lap 175: #48-Johnson got loose, got into #17-Stenhouse, moved up into #22-Logano who went into the outside wall involving: #41-Busch, #34-Ragan, #95-McDowell and #36-Sorenson.
There were 48 lead changes among 23 drivers and there were 8 cautions for 31 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 152.103.(5-4-2014)
Career start #300 for Hamlin: #11-Denny Hamlin will make his 300th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start on Sunday at Talladega. In the first 299, Hamlin has 23 wins, which ranks tied for 30th on the all-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins list.(NASCAR)(5-2-2014)
Matt Bowling wins Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown: Matt Bowling won the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown on Thursday night at South Boston Speedway, fighting off Matt Waltz in the seventh edition of the charity race. The event benefits the Denny Hamlin Foundation and raises awareness and funding to support Cystic Fibrosis research and new therapies in the region. Nick Smith finished third. Hamlin was eighth, while defending Showdown champion Kyle Busch ended the night in fourth. Matt Kenseth was fifth, and David Reagan 20th. Truck Series driver Timothy Peters finished 27th after his night was cut short following a tangle with Jeb Burton, who finished 25th after getting into a scuffle with Blake Stallings.(Associated Press/ESPN)(4-25-2014)
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)
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)
Win 200 for #11: #11-Denny Hamlin's win in the Irwin Tools Night Race Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway was car #11's 200th win in the Sprint Cup Series. This win is now 2 wins ahead of the iconic #43 for all-time wins in Sprint Cup Series history for a car number. Richard Petty, who drove the #43 for most of his 200 wins, actually won 192 races running the #43 and 8 in other car numbers [#41 & #42]. The car number in third is the car #3 with 97 wins.(8-25-2012)
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, FL
Congratulations 2015 Champ Kyle Busch
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Born in NOVEMBER:
30 Danny Earnhardt, Dave Dion, Dick Hutcherson, Shawna Robinson, Chris Hussey, Andy Kirby, Brittany Glover
Born in DECEMBER:
1 Stanton Barrett Jr, Kenny Francis, David Evans, Danny Gill, Larry Gunselman
2 Erik Darnell, Kelly Kellis, Victoria Trickle
3 Bobby Allison, Cody Cook
4 Dean Johnson, Evelyn Andrews, Doug Keller
5 J.D. McDuffie, Jim Paschal, Jim Hurtubise
6 Stacey Witzke, Christian Elder
7 Geoff Smith, Dylan Lupton, Paul Moore, Richmond Gage
8 Susan Adamczyk (sister), Garry Hill, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman, Kerry Earnhardt, Jason Ratcliff, Nadine Lubejko, John Cohen, Zachary Jarrett
9 Tomy Drissi, Coy Gibbs, Brad Teague, Steve Richards
10 Mike Barrientos, Makayla Ann McSwain, Jerry Honeycut
11 Frankie Adamczyk, Mariah Belber, Eric McClure, Chris Horn, Tony Eury Sr.
12 Ed Watkins, Rick Pennington, Emerson Fittipaldi
13 Army National Guard, Jim Vandiver, Jarrett Andretti, David Stover, Mark Nickels, Michael Mumford
14 NASCAR (meeting at Streamline Hotel), Alan Kulwicki, Hershel McGriff, Darrin Dykes, Steve Hmiel, Bob Tracey, Harry McMullen
15 Jeff Beck, Eli Gold, Lance McGrew
16 A.J. Allmendinger
17 Mike Beam, Dustin Long, Matt Martin, Montgomery Lee Petty, Bobby East
18 Ted Musgrave, Vic Irvan, Tom Polansky
19 Patty Moise, Paul Tracy, Sheldon Schrader, John Monsham
20 Erin Marco, Taylor Nicole Earnhardt, Kinsley Parsons
21 Daniel Knost, Travis Kittleson, Michael McDowell
22 David Pearson
23 Greg Biffle, Peter Sospenzo, Ray Dunlap, Chris Cook, Addison Frye
24 Fr. Steven Janoski, David Ragan, Krista Marie Allison, Mike Gooch
25 Jesus Christ, Charles Comstock, Randy Earnhardt, Jimmy Buffett, Starr Elliott, Butch Lamoreux, Curtis W. Key, Noel Schafer
26 Ben Kennedy, Blair Makenzie Nemechek, Josh Mick
27 Mike Laughlin, Don Radebaugh
28 Jack Ingram, Nelson Stacy, Brittany Wallace, Joyce Kearns
29 Waddell Wilson, Boston Reid, Mike Bagley, Owen Kearns Jr., Jessica Stroupe
30 Fred Lorenzen, Donnie Mergard, Ryan Hemphill, Kole Kahne, Cooper Berrier
31 Ryan Blaney, Riley Craven, Benny Ertel, Joe Hicks, Dorthy Schrader, Beth Simons-Dykes, John Wes Townley