When FedEx Paint Schemes: Express, Ground, Freight, Office are scheduled to run in 2016
FedEx Express - orange (7+2 races):
Sprint Unlimited - 2/13
Daytona 500 - 2/21
Martinsville - 4/3
Talladega - 5/1
Charlotte - 5/21, All-Star race
Indianapolis - 7/24
Bristol - 8/20
Chicago - 9/18
Kansas - 10/16
Homestead - 11/20
FedEx Freight - red (9 races):
Phoenix - 3/13
Bristol - 4/17
Kansas - 5/7
Charlotte - 5/29
Daytona - 7/2
Kentucky - 7/9
Watkins Glen - 8/7
New Hampshire - 9/25
Martinsville - 10/30
FedEx Office - blue (9 races):
Las Vegas - 3/6
Texas - 4/9
Dover - 5/15
Michigan - 6/12
Sonoma - 6/26, FedEx Cares
New Hampshire - 7/17
Michigan - 8/28
Charlotte - 10/8
Texas - 11/6
FedEx Ground - green (9 races):
Atlanta - 2/28
Richmond - 4/24
Pocono - 6/5
Pocono - 7/31
Richmond - 9/10
Dover - 10/2
Talladega - 10/23
Phoenix - 11/13
Sports Clips (2) scheduled to be primary sponsor in 2015 at:
Auto Club - 3/20
Darlington - 9/4, throwback
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 (29)(Daytona 500)
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 = 209 (9-10-2016)
Contract Status: Driver: 2017; Primary Sponsors: 2016?;
Why did the #11 FexEx car change the FedEx paint schemes? FedEx has a highly recognizable, iconic logo, but the color scheme across the company's many business divisions varied-until now. FedEx announced back in August (yep, I missed it) that it's consolidating its look by turning all of its logos purple and orange. The simplified visual identity was created after FedEx's research showed that purple and orange is one of the most recognized representations of the logo by consumers. The purple and orange combination was previously used on FedEx's Express and Supply Chain logos and will now run on all of its business division logos, including FedEx Corp., Services, Office, Ground and Freight. FedEx Corp.'s logo will change from purple and gray to purple and orange, for example, while FedEx Ground will say goodbye to its purple and green color scheme (AdWeek), looks like the scheme has stayed the same since Chicago in September. See some of the differences on the #11 Team Schemes page.(11-16-2016)
Hamlin could set a record for speeding penalties: #11-Denny Hamlin is one pit road speeding penalty away from tying the mark for the most in a season in the past 10 years. Hamlin, who is among the drivers still eligible for the championship, has been penalized 10 times for speeding on pit road this year. Over the last 10 years, only Ryan Newman and David Gilliland have had more penalties for speeding on pit road in a season, according to Racing Insights Inc. Newman had 11 in 2008; Gilliland had 11 in 2012. Hamlin could tie - or top the mark - this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. He was caught speeding on pit road in this race a year ago. Six drivers - #16-Biffle, #42-Larson, #27-Menard, #31-Newman, #23-Ragan, and #17-Stenhouse, Jr. - have each been caught 7 times this season.(NBC Sports)(11-3-2016)
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)
Dillon fails to advance in Chase due to tiebreaker: Facing an overtime restart with two laps left in the Hellman's 500 on Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, crew chief Slugger Labbe reminded driver #3-Austin Dillon of the relevant numbers. Dillon had to finish no more than five positions behind #11-Denny Hamlin to secure a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup's Round of 8-as long as Hamlin didn't win the race. Dillon had done everything right to that point. He had earned a bonus point by staying out for an extra circuit and leading Lap 117 under the second caution of the afternoon. He gained three spots after a restart on Lap 186 and was 11th when the green flag waved for the final time on Lap 191. On the final two laps, he worked his way forward to ninth before the checkered flag ended the race. Only one problem. Hamlin beat #41-Kurt Busch to the stripe by .006 seconds-approximately two feet-to finish third. The two drivers finished the Round of 12 tied for eighth with 3,078 points, but Hamlin won a tiebreaker for the final Chase spot because his third-place finish on Sunday was better than Dillon's best Round-of-12 finish of sixth last week at Kansas.(NASCAR Wire Service)(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)
Hamlin wins at Richmond: #11-Denny Hamlin won the Federated Auto Parts 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway for his 3rd win of the season, 3rd win at Richmond and 29th career win. Hamlin started from the pole and led 189 of the 407 laps. The race ended with Overtime after a late race caution.
#42-Larson finished 2nd followed by #78-Truex, Jr., #2-Keselowski, #4-Harvick, #5-Kahne, #1-McMurray, #41-Busch, #18-Busch, and #22-Logano.
The field for the 2016 Chase for the Sprint Cup is now set. Drivers that made it on race wins are: #18-Busch, #2-Keselowski, #11-Hamlin, #4-Harvick, #19-Edwards, #78-Truex, Jr., #20-Kenseth, #48-Johnson, #22-Logano, #42-Larson, #14-Stewart, #41-Busch, and #34-Buescher.
Three drivers that made the Chase on points: #24-Elliott, #3-Dillon, and #1-McMurray.
There were 21 lead changes among 7 drivers and a record 16 cautions for 89 yellow flag laps. There was a red flag that lasted just over 20 minutes after a large wreck with 37 laps remaining.
The average speed was 85.778 mph.
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)
Hamlin's Darlington throwback scheme unveiled: Joe Gibbs Racing unveiled #11-Denny Hamlin's throwback scheme for Darlington on Wednesday afternoon. The SportClips Toyota is a throwback to Darrell Waltrip's #11 1984 race car design.(8-10-2016), see an image of the car on the #11 team paint schemes page.(8-10-2016)
AND - Hamlin & Sport Clips Honor Military at Ft. Bragg: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) driver Denny Hamlin, and long-time partner Sport Clips, officially unveiled the #11 Sport Clips Toyota Camry "Throwback" edition this past week at the Ft. Bragg Airborne & Special Operations Museum. The paint scheme is modeled after the #11 car driven by NASCAR Hall-of-Famer Darrell Waltrip in the 1980's. The special throwback edition will debut at Darlington Raceway on Labor Day weekend with Hamlin in the #18 Sport Clips Camry in Saturday's VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200, as well as the #11 Sport Clips Camry in the Southern 500 on Sunday.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(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)
Denny Hamlin wins at Watkins Glen: #11-Denny Hamlin won the Cheez-It 355 at the Glen Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International for his 2nd win of the season, 1st win at Watkins Glen, 1st road course win and 28th career win.
#22-Logano finished 2nd followed by #2-Keselowski, #47-Allmendinger, #14-Stewart, #18-Busch, #78-Truex Jr., #1-McMurray, #6-Bayne and #20-Kenseth.
#48-Jimmie Johnson finished last (40th) in a Sprint Cup race for the first time in his career after being involved in a four-car wreck on lap 53.
#10-Danica Patrick led 11 laps, a career best for a single Sprint Cup event, exceeding the seven laps she had led on two occasions at Talladega.
Joe Gibbs Racing now has the most wins at Watkins Glen in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with seven.
There were 9 lead changes among 8 drivers and 8 cautions for 20 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 89.513 mph.
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)
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Watkins Glen Race & Points Report (pdf).(8-7-2016)
Hamlin to help with West Virginia flood relief: #11-Denny Hamlin is heading to southern West Virginia to help out after deadly floods ravaged the region. A news release from The Greenbrier resort says that on Thursday evening, Hamlin will hand out toys and school supplies to Greenbrier County students affected by the June 23 floods. He'll be at the White Sulphur Springs train station. Kyle Larson, who competes in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series, will accompany Hamlin on Thursday. The floods killed 23 people and devastated homes, businesses and infrastructure. Greenbrier County accounted for 15 of the 23 deaths.(Associated Press)(7-27-2016)
Joe Gibbs Racing makes changes to pit crew management: Joe Gibbs Racing announced changes to the management structure of its pit crews with Matt Osborn now in charge of day-to-day operations and former athletic director Mike Lepp assuming new duties within the organization. Lepp has served as Athletic Director for the past 10 years overseeing Joe Gibbs Racing pit crew operations. In his new role as Senior Athletic Advisor, Lepp will assume an increased role in marketing and public relations duties. Lepp will continue to do public speaking events, drawing on his extensive experience in athletics and motorsports, on subjects related to pit crew training and trends related to pit stops. He remains available for media interviews on those subjects and will also be available for public speaking to JGR's sponsors and partners. In his new role, Lepp will also assist in seeking sponsorship opportunities with companies involved in athletic apparel and equipment.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(7-13-2016)
The Sprint Cup Drivers Council meets Thursday night: The Sprint Cup Drivers Council will meet Thursday night with large packs and safety on the agenda. That might seem appropriate at Daytona International Speedway, but this discussion with NASCAR officials won't center on the tight clusters of cars clogging the banking of the 2.5-mile track. The topic, instead, will be the large throngs of people mingling in the pits before Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 in the wake of a prerace pit atmosphere at Sonoma Raceway that seemed less than orderly for some. "I thought that the security on pit road (at Sonoma) was pretty bad during prerace, and we'll talk about that some," council member Dale Earnhardt Jr. said Thursday afternoon before practice. "Some of the drivers were concerned with how messy that's getting, considering what's going on and when we're trying to get in the cars. It was pretty crazy down there. It's great to see that much energy, but some tracks seem to be able to corral it and control it better and give the crews their space to work around the cars and so forth. So that's something I think some of the drivers are real concerned with; nothing too out of the ordinary that is going to change the sport too much."
Fellow Drivers Council member Denny Hamlin also said that Sonoma "was a mess to say the least. It was hard to even just walk to your car, and it's a very small pit road. There's some things that definitely could get done. I think really each team should have a 10-foot square space around their car that is designated for just driver and team. I think we definitely could work on that. I think a lot of tracks are working on that." Hamlin raised the possibility that a fan could put a car out of compliance in a manner that NASCAR might suspect a team intentionally had done.
Earnhardt said there weren't any "big-ticket" items to be hashed out at the meeting, which was the first since April 29 at Talladega Superspeedway. Also on the docket are the future of the Sprint Unlimited (the preseason exhibition event at Daytona will have a new name at a minimum in 2017 because of a new title sponsor) and the Sprint All-Star Race format (which was met with mixed reviews last month).(NBC Sports)(6-30-2016)
Denny Hopes going for the Daytona sweep: Following a slip-up on the final lap at Sonoma that allowed Tony Stewart to pass him for the win, 2016 Daytona 500 champion #11-Denny Hamlin hopes his luck changes when he attempts to become the sixth driver to sweep the races at "The World Center of Racing." The five drivers who have achieved the feat are Jimmie Johnson (2013), Bobby Allison (1982), LeeRoy Yarborough (1969), Cale Yarborough (1968) and Fireball Roberts (1962). In 21 starts at Daytona, Hamlin owns one win, six top fives and seven top 10s. Among active drivers, he ranks third in Daytona driver rating (91.5) and fourth in average running position (14.4). He has finished sixth or better in his last five races at the 2.5-mile track.(NASCAR)(7-2-2016)
Hamlin didn't give Stewart the win at Sonoma: Joe Gibbs Racing driver #11-Denny Hamlin was made available to the media at Daytona International Speedway, some of the Q&A's from the transcript:
: Q) Did you let Tony win at Sonoma?
HAMLIN: "I didn't let Tony (Stewart) win. I made a mistake and didn't execute good. Ultimately I made a mistake and thought we would maybe drag race to the line because we were in the center of the corner side-by-side and I thought this could be good. Once I saw him steer left, I knew it was over with. He had an opportunity to - if I'm in his situation, I probably would do the same. My biggest mistake I feel like is not recognizing the gap I had behind me. I don't know whether Tony would have gotten there. I thought it would have been very close if you really wanted to carry the car down in there, whether he still would have got to me or not. I still needed to execute to make him make the decision. Instead I made the decision for him." Q) Did you speak to your team after the Sonoma finish?
HAMLIN: "I did. I talked to the team and said I apologized. I mean, I hate to call one of my crew guys out, but I mean he even had a conversation with my girlfriend (Jordan Fish) and said - she says, 'Hey, we gonna get a win today,' and he says, 'We might want to play the lotto instead.' We hadn't had the best luck on road courses. I think statistically, I'm probably the worst average finish of any full-time Cup driver over the last six years and so it was out of the blue and I don't know. I'm sort of happy with second. I also could have been 32nd after the last corner if he was close enough, so who knows, but I'd love to play it over again and have the experience that I have now knowing what I maybe could have done because I've never really honestly broke down road course races to figure out the proper defensive move in the final corner of the final lap."
Q) How did you end up designing your own Camry paint scheme?
HAMLIN: "Yeah, I wanted - it was an awesome thing for me. Obviously after the Daytona 500, they presented my crew chief (Dave Rogers) with a nice gift and everything and I remember my first gift from FedEx and it's material things and it's all great, but they said, 'You know, what else do we give you?' And so they offered me an opportunity to design my own paint scheme for this July race coming back. I didn't think about the temperature with the color choices for sure, but I just wanted it to be like an old school-type car. This isn't really what my late models looked like, but just to me I look at the car and I think old school, short track-type paint scheme that they have on super late models, so it's cool. It's a lot of the colors that I have on my personal logos. It's black, red and white, so I think next year if they let me do it, it's going to be white on white on white."
Q) Do you provide input on your normal paint schemes?
HAMLIN: "I get to have a little bit of input for sure, but the people at FedEx are a lot smarter than I am with branding and figuring out what colors pop on certain things and so they're pretty consistent on doing everything and I'm okay with it."(Toyota Racing), see an image of the scheme Hamlin will run at Daytona on the #11 Team Schemes page (7-1-2016)
FedEx Cares scheme for Hamlin at Sonoma UPDATE: In May, FedEx asked NASCAR fans to help choose Denny Hamlin's special #11 FedEx Cares paint scheme for the Toyota/Save Mart 350. The winning design, which garnered the most votes on social media and triggered $55,000 in donations to five charitable organizations on behalf of FedEx through FedEx Cares, will be revealed via 360-degree virtual reality experience during the Sonoma Raceway media luncheon on Thursday, June 23 at McCormick & Keluto's in historic Ghirardelli Square in downtown San Francisco. Through the FedEx Cares global giving initiative, FedEx is investing $200 million in 200 communities around the world by 2020. How important is it for you to participate in initiatives such as FedEx Cares? Hamlin: "Obviously for me, being part of such a great company that does so much for communities around the world is very important to me. I've had the chance to volunteer and give back to people and places all over the country, and this weekend in Sonoma will be no different. We helped raise $55,000 for very deserving organizations through our social voting campaign in May, and I'm excited for the #11 FedEx Cares Toyota design to hit the track at Sonoma."(FedEx Racing)
UPDATE: Revealed! Denny Hamlin is at Fort Point in San Francisco and unveiled the special #FedExCares paint scheme for Sonoma Raceway. - with Safe Kids Worldwide, JA Worldwide, USO, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and The National Urban League.(FedEx Facebook page), see an image of the winning scheme as well as the images of the three choices fans voted for on the #11 team paint schemes page.(6-23-2016)
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)
Fans can choose Hamlin's Sonoma scheme: FedEx Racing is letting fans decide on Denny Hamlin's special #11 FedEx Cares Toyota paint scheme for the upcoming race at Sonoma Raceway in June. From May 16 - May 22, fans can vote for their favorite scheme by tweeting @FedEx with the corresponding hashtag or at Facebook.com/FedEx. Each vote will trigger a $1 donation from FedEx Cares -- up to $55,000 -- to the five charitable organizations that will be featured on the #11 machine in Sonoma, including the USO, Safe Kids Worldwide, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, JA Worldwide and Urban League. Through FedEx Cares, a recently-launched global giving initiative, FedEx is investing $200 million in 200 communities worldwide by 2020.(FedEx Racing), see the images on the #11 team paint schemes page.(5-18-2016)
Logano not angry with Hamlin after Kansas accident: #22-Joey Logano was caught in a late-race accident at Kansas Speedway when #11-Hamlin tried to go between #2-Keselowski and #42-Larson, but spun out. Friday at Dover, Logano was asked if he was mad about the incident:
Logano:"I feel like I am one of the hardest races out there and I would be quite the hypocrite if I asked why he was racing so hard. If you ask me, that is what fans show up to the race track to see. They come to watch a race. They expect us to race. They don't expect us to just say, 'oh, go ahead'. They expect us to race and that is what they pay money to see. I am going to race hard. I know that. I have done that in the past and I will continue to do that. When Denny made that move I didn't blame him. He made a run on the backstretch and had to do something with it. He got in a bad aero spot and both of them got loose. It happens. It is racing. I am not going to say, 'Hey, why did you do that?' We are racing and these things are hard to drive. We are going to make mistakes. There is a win on the line and it is a big deal, it is hard to do at the Sprint Cup level and anytime you have a shot it is expected out of us, not just from the fans but from the teams to go out and make the most of it and make it happen. When I look at Denny's move, I would do the same thing if I was him so I don't really have any room to speak."(Toyota Racing)(5-14-2016)
Hamlin was "going for it" before accident: #11-Hamlin was involved in a late-race accident at Kansas with Joey Logano, Kyle Larson and Brad Keselowski:
What caused the incident?
Hamlin: "I don't know. I'm looking - I had a huge run off of turn two and I was going to go low on the on 2 (Brad Keselowski), but he went to block, so I went through the middle and I didn't let off into turn three. I went through the middle of them and I either got touched from the 2 or I got loose underneath the 42 (Kyle Larson). I'm not sure really until I get a good look at it honestly."
What did you see during the accident?
Hamlin: "I was going in there three-wide. I wasn't letting off and the 42 (Kyle Larson) was just too close up there. It wasn't his fault by any means, but we were both trying to drive in there to clear each other and I just got loose and I mean that's crazy there was no contact, but both me and 2 (Brad Keselowski) got loose there. Shame - I just screwed us on pit road twice. Our car was a fast car today. Just didn't show it. We were just in the back because I sped twice. I've got to get better on pit lane to give us a chance and then I was just going for it there because I knew our car had some speed. I was on two tires and the guys in front of me were on none or two. I was just going for it. I've got the win and that's part of this format is going for it and that's what we did."(Toyota Racing)(5-8-2016)
Hamlin comments on driver council's reaction to Stewart fine: #11-Denny Hamlin was made available to the media at Richmond International Raceway Friday afternoon.
Q: Why did the driver's council make the statement supporting Tony Stewart's comments?
Hamlin: "I think it kind of shows a unity amongst us. It really has nothing to do with lug nuts or no lug nuts or anything like that, it's more so the drivers believing that they have a right to express their opinion especially when asked in an interview. We try to do our best to give honest answers and sometimes those aren't always the best thing. I know at times I've been very guilty of being too honest at times or too opinionated at times and it costs you a nickel or two. We just think that there should be a little bit of leniency there for someone that knows a lot about our sport and has been in our sport a long time. He gave his opinion and especially when it's something on safety too. I think it's pretty important. As far as what we believe, it's all said in the statement. Everything I'm telling you here is my opinion and my opinion only."
Q: Where is the line when it comes to comments from drivers?
Hamlin: "I don't know where the line is, I don't know if there is a line - obviously there is a line, but obviously we just believe that you should be able to express your opinion as long as you're not just totally trashing the sport itself or anything like that. I think every situation is different, but we'll just move forward from it."
Q: How has the driver's council evolved and what is the direction of the council overall?
Hamlin: "I think that the driver's interests and the owner's interests is 95 percent aligned most of the time. There's some things that we feel like we would like to see changed, sometimes it doesn't align with what NASCAR thinks or what the teams think, but I think that this was a pretty black and white thing from a driver's perspective to have a guy that's coming back and is in the middle of an interview and gets asked a question and he responds to the question and gets fined for it. That to us was a moment and I think for us it just shows solidarity that we're all in this together as the drivers and we want to have one voice because that one voice is obviously a little louder and clearer to NASCAR when we go into meetings talking about where it's going to head from competition to safety and amongst other things. I think that its grown a lot over the last year and our communication as drivers, the barriers that we have, those have been broken down tremendously over the last year to two. Our meetings with NASCAR have changed the sport and will continue to change the sport for many years. Mostly it's all positive, every now and then we feel like we should show solidarity to a guy whose done a lot for the sport and we still don't want to be so politically correct all the time and have to filter our thoughts and think about it because we have sponsors on our cars or owners we have to answer to or NASCAR, sometimes you just want to say what you feel and we feel like you should be able to do that at times."
Q: How did the discussion come about to pay Tony Stewart's fine?
Hamlin: "I think it's more of a council thing. Obviously we chat on a daily basis about issues within our sport or things we'd like to work on or change or stay the same. When Tony (Stewart) informed us of the fine, we didn't agree with it and no one agreed with it and we thought there was something we should do about it. This was a way for us to send a message back to NASCAR, not that we were trying to send any specific message that we just believe that we should have the right to speak our opinion. I don't know whether everyone agrees with the opinion he had or not, but it doesn't matter. It's what he was asked so he answered the question. I think that was the biggest thing for us. We should have the right to speak our opinion."
Q: Have you heard from the series about the statement yet?
Hamlin: "Nothing from the series at all, but I'm sure we'll all hear something at some point."
Denny Hamlin, Danica Patrick tangle in Saturday practice: #10-Danica Patrick and #11-Denny Hamlin had had their differences in the past, but what happened in Saturday morning's first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice at Bristol Motor Speedway had nothing to do with old grudges. Nevertheless, contact between their two cars bent the sheet metal on both vehicles, Hamlin's on the right front and Patrick's on the left rear. Patrick, on new tires, was struggling with the handling of her #10 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevy and had difficulty holding the bottom. She had just let Clint Bowyer's #15 Chevy pass her to the inside, and as she approached Turn 1, Hamlin was closing fast behind her.
Patrick entered the turn low but didn't hold the bottom, and as she drifted up off the bottom lane, Hamlin opted to try an inside pass but ran out of room. The resulting collision, though not a violent impact, was enough to do cosmetic damage to both cars. "I had just come out on tires," Patrick said. "They were cold and I wasn't very good anyway - I was pretty loose. I came down the front straightaway and I put my finger out the window to point him by, but he hit me on entry. I don't know if he... it looked like he came pretty close when he went to go to the inside, too. Man, I love Denny, but he makes a lot of mistakes behind me. I don't know if he misjudged it, or I was going slower than he thought, but I put my finger out the window and pointed him by. I had no intention to race him. I was not fast enough. I don't know, but the guys are going to try and fix it."
From his vantage point, Hamlin couldn't see Patrick's signal. "I was on the outside of her on the straightaway, so I couldn't see the left side of her car," Hamlin said. "I went to go low, but I don't know if she had stuff on her tires. It looked like she was struggling and had stuff on her tires for a few laps there. I tried to go low and obviously we hung bumpers." Patrick's troubles weren't over. In Saturday's final practice prior to Sunday's Food City 500, she was still fighting a loose handling condition and brushed the wall near the apex of Turns 3 and 4 approximately five minutes into Happy Hour. After repairs, Hamlin's #11 Toyota, on the other hand, was fast enough to top the speed chart during final Cup practice with a lap at 126.129 mph.(NASCAR Wire Service)(4-16-2016)
Hamlin comments on Martinsville accident:
Q Did you wheel hop before getting into the wall?
Hamlin: "It's my first time ever doing it here, so it's a little embarrassing, but I mean we were the fastest car those last 30 laps and we got back to the top-five and I was making up a lot of my speed on entry. As the tires wear, the rears get hotter, less grip, you can't brake at the same amount and I just - it was really out of the blue. I didn't ever have a hint of it up until that moment, so a bit of a rookie move on my part - been around here too much to do something like that, but learning for the fall and I'm really encouraged about how good our car came up through the pack and I really thought we had a car that could win."(Toyota Racing)(4-4-2016)
Hamlin says drivers would like to see race winnings published: The introduction of the new charter system - and the subsequent restructuring and distribution of purse money and other revenue streams - caused some feverish preseason reworking of driver contracts. It also caused some hand-wringing among stars who were accustomed to being paid by a percentage of a purse that was posted publicly in every race box score, along with the winnings for each finishing position. Citing the complicated revenue streams, NASCAR discontinued publishing winnings and races purses as part of the new charter system. Five races into the season, Denny Hamlin said concerns have settled about the latter as drivers are being paid as they'd expected, though the contracts vary much more widely than before when virtually every driver drew a defined percentage of the purse as a slice of the overall salary.
Hamlin, though, said drivers would like NASCAR to return to including race winnings in box scores, if only in appealing to fans who grew accustomed to the format. "I think some fans like to see that and us drivers I think we like to see purses posted personally," Hamlin said.
A NASCAR spokesman said the policy of whether to publish purses currently isn't being reviewed, but Hamlin believes officials are "considering it. I think if everyone knows what they're getting, I don't know what the benefit is from keeping it from the public. I don't know but there's probably some sort of reason that I don't know about."(NBC Sports)(4-3-2016)
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 Fenway Racing $155 million
Team Penske $140 million
Chip Ganassi Racing $75 million
Richard Petty Motorsports $55 million
Front Row Motorsports $26 million
BK Racing $24 million
Highest earning NASCAR drivers:
#88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr. $23.5 million
#48-Jimmie Johnson $22.2 million
Jeff Gordon $21.6 million
#4-Kevin Harvick $15.5 million
#11-Denny Hamlin $15.1 million
#18-Kyle Busch $15.0 million
#10-Dania Patrick $13.4 million
#14-Tony Stewart $12.8 million
#19-Carl Edwards $12.1 million
#20-Matt Kenseth $11.9 million
Total earnings equals salary/winnings plus endorsements and licensing
In addition, Forbes estimates the actual cash value of a NASCAR charter to be $15-$17 million.(Forbes)(4-1-2016)
Hamlin's Daytona 500 win means extra value for FedEx: A new study conducted jointly by the Los Angeles-based media agency Wasserman and Buffalo, New York-based Nervve showed that #11-Denny Hamlin's Daytona 500 victory was worth $1.9 million in earned media value for his primary sponsor, FedEx. According to the study, FedEx got nearly 23 minutes of clear exposure during the race, tops among the 40 cars in the field. There were some interesting tidbits from the study:
-- "For brands seeking to optimize their earned media performance in NASCAR, the wise place to focus initial efforts should be on the hood placement. Consistent with other races we've measured, the hood placement generated the most value of any single signage location," the study concluded.
-- The study measured clarity of sponsor logos "to help determine the effectiveness of the logo and creative execution." The winners in this category were Caterpillar and McDonald's, which each generated a 92 percent clarity rating.
-- The winner in the average duration of exposure was Kevin Harvick's #4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet, which managed an average of 6.7 seconds per exposure, 60 percent above the average for the field.(Fox Sports)(3-6-2016)
Daytona 500 winnings released UPDATE: Although NASCAR has stated that it does not plan to list winnings after races, it listed the winnings from Sunday's Daytona 500 in a media packet. The winnings that go to Joe Gibbs Racing for Denny Hamlin's victory is $1,507,592. That's less than what Team Penske received last year for Joey Logano's Daytona 500 victory. Those winnings were $1,581,453. Martin Truex Jr. finished second Sunday and the winnings that went to Furniture Row Racing was $1,201,998. That's more than what went to Stewart-Haas Racing last year when Kevin Harvick finished second and collected $1,157,470. The smallest paycheck went to BK Racing for Matt DiBenedetto's 40th-place finish. Those earnings were $297,128. The smallest paycheck in last year's race went to Hillman Racing for Landon Cassill's last-place finish. Those earnings were $262,390.(NBC Sports)(2-25-2016)
UPDATE: NASCAR sent a note to Sprint Cup teams Thursday stating that it released incorrect information for Daytona 500 winnings on its media website. NASCAR stated to teams: "The information on 2016 Daytona 500 race team earnings posted (Wednesday) on NASCARMedia.com, our media services website, was factually incorrect. We removed the information, rectified the errors and are providing the correct information to race teams. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and now collectively turn our focus to NASCAR racing action this weekend in Atlanta."(NBC Sports)(2-25-2016)
Denny Hamlin Begins Champion's Media Tour: Newly crowned DAYTONA 500 champion Denny Hamlin kicked-off his four-day media tour Monday morning with the annual Champion's Breakfast in the Bill France Room at Daytona International Speedway. Hamlin was presented with the traditional champion's jacket and a steel-and-gold Rolex Cosmograph Daytona watch - which he will need to stay on schedule for the media frenzy ahead of him. In addition, his #11 FedEx Express Toyota was brought to its new home for the next year, inside the speedway's Ticket and Tours Building where it will be viewed by fans.
"It has been a long day, I haven't been to bed yet," said Hamlin, who took some advice from past winners after his dramatic Sunday victory when he edged Martin Truex Jr. by 0.010 seconds. "The greatest advice that I've gotten is the schedule's [tough] but live in the moment because you never know. Plus, 'this will live with you forever, so enjoy the week.'"
Hamlin's win not only marked the first DAYTONA 500 championship for him and Toyota, but it also ended Joe Gibbs Racing's 23-year drought in the "Great American Race.". Gibbs was awarded his own Harley J. Earl trophy to bring home with him this time. Crew chief Mike Wheeler received the Cannonball Baker Trophy given to the champion crew chief, in his first year with Hamlin.
"I think about all the storylines: a first for Denny, a first for Toyota," Gibbs said. "It's a big deal for us. How many times do you lay out a plan, then have the thing actually play out?" During the Champion's Breakfast, DIS President Joie Chitwood III also unveiled the 2017 logo for the 59th running of the DAYTONA 500.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will return for a Saturday night showing of the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on July 2. On Friday, July 1, the NASCAR Xfinity Series returns for the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or by visiting daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)
Hamlin media tour Hamlin will continue to enjoy the spoils of victory in NASCAR's biggest race on Tuesday with appearances on FOX & Friends, Live! With Kelly and Michael and a host of SiriusXM shows. And that's just his morning schedule. On Tuesday afternoon, Hamlin will fly to Bristol, Conn., to take part in an ESPN 'Car Wash' that will include two live SportsCenter appearances, among a number of other hits across ESPN's bevy of platforms.
On Wednesday, Hamlin will take a breather, returning home to Charlotte, N.C., before flying to Atlanta for an interview on CNN Headline News and a visit to the Georgia State Capitol on Thursday morning.(2-23-2016)
Denny Hamlin wins the Daytona 500: #11-Denny Hamlin won the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway for his 1st win of the season, 1st win in the Daytona 500 and 27th career win. Hamlin led 95 of the 200 laps.
It is the 2nd Daytona 500 win for Joe Gibbs Racing and first since Dale Jarrett won in 1993. It is the first career win for crew chief Mike Wheeler.
It is the 11th straight season Hamlin has won a race (2006-2016)
#78-Truex Jr. led coming to the start-finish line, but Hamlin caught him and won by .010 seconds in a photo finish.
#18-Nusch finished 3rd, followed by #4-Harvick, #19-Edwards, #22-Logano, #42-Larson, #7-Smith (kids eat free at Golden Corral on Monday), #3-Dillon and #41-Busch.
#20-Kesneth led on lap 199 and was quite a bit ahead of the 2nd line which Hamlin was in, Kenseth moved over to race Hamlin and ended up falling back and finished 14th.
#24-Chase Elliott, the pole sitter, spun on lap 20 while in the middle of the pack and did a lot of damage to the front end. Elliott came back out down 40 laps and finished 37th. #88-Earnhardt Jr., who led 15 laps, and was the race favorite, spun off turn 4 on lap 169 hitting the inside wall and ended his day, finishing 36th.
There no large wrecks, termed 'the big ones', during the race.
There were 20 lead changes among 15 drivers and 6 cautions for 31 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 157.549mph.
Scheduled Race Re-Airs: Monday, February 22 at 8:00pm/et on FS1
See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and [NOTE: money won is no longer reported] more at:
Unofficial Race Results page (pdf)
Lap Summary Report (pdf)
Penalty Report (pdf) See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf). (2-21-2016)
Hamlin investing in solar farm: SunEnergy1, with an investment by NASCAR racer Denny Hamlin's recently formed Won One Energy, will build a 20-megawatt solar farm in Chesapeake, Va. The project will be the largest solar farm in Virginia. Dominion Virginia Power will buy the power produced by the project under a 20-year contract. One Won, like SunEnergy1, is based in Mooresville. Hamlin registered the company in December. He lives now in nearby Cornelius. He shares a racing connection with SunEnergy1 CEO Kenny Habul. Hamlin drives the #11 FedEx Car for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Sprint Cup Series. Kenny Habul, CEO of SunEnergy1, races the #20 car for Gibbs in the Xfinity Series. This year SunEnergy1 is also the principal sponsor for Chase Elliot's #24 car for Hendricks Motorsposts. There principals did not disclose how much Hamlin is investing. Nor has any information been released about the cost of the project. But based on current prices in the Southeast, the 20-hegawatt project is likely to cost between $30 and $40 million. The project will be built on 250 acres off Ballahack Road and U.S. Highway 17.(Charlotte Business Journal)(2-10-2016)
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)
Update on Denny Hamlin knee condition: #11-Denny Hamlin was featured on this weeks NASCAR teleconference and answered some questions, a few were about his knee injury, surgery and recovery:
Q. Saw you last week at the media tour, and you talked about the knee was probably only about 50%. What's the prognosis, and is it getting better this week?
DENNY HAMLIN: "Yeah, it really has, even in the last week. It's been quite a bit better. The biggest thing is the range of motion has not been very good, and it's kind of behind. But we're catching up to being on schedule here, and just in the last seven days, I think it's amazing how far we've gotten in rehab to getting this thing better. I'm very confident that in two weeks it's going to be a non-issue on track, and really for me it's more like when can I start running again. That's the biggest hurdle mentally that we fight through all this is not being able to do some of these activities that we use to kind of take racing off of our mind because once the racing season starts, any given Saturday I'm kind of looking for a golf course after practice is over to relax a little bit, and right now I'm not able to do any of that."
Q. Could you compare this rehabilitation to your previous one?
DENNY HAMLIN: "Well, this one is extensively worse than the first. The best explanation that I get is that the first one I used the cadaver and I needed to get back in the race car right away, so we did a cadaver and we didn't use any parts of my hamstring or any other parts of my leg simply for recovery purposes. It would recover faster, and we didn't think we'd have any injuries to that same leg going forward. But this is kind of a new latest way that they're doing these surgeries. Obviously when players are out in football or basketball, they're out for one year on an ACL, where we don't have that time to recover as race car drivers. Since this has happened in the off-season, they chose to do it this way, which is a little bit longer recovery process, but it should be stronger in the long run. Even if I gain one to two percent more reliability with it, it was worth it to me to go through that extra rehab process to know that it's just going to be a little bit stronger than if I would have done it the other way."
Q. As far as your knee surgery and coming off of that, and like Kyle came off of his surgery and look how great he did, sometimes -- it's hard to say you guys try harder, but it seems like when you're down, there's just something about your ability to -- for a driver that just seems to come back so much stronger mentally, even working physically to make sure you get it done. Do you have a feeling like that going into this year?
DENNY HAMLIN: Yeah, I mean, I believe so. There's something to it for sure. I mean, every time that something has happened with myself, it seems like the races that proceed at your level are just raised slightly and your performance seems to be a little bit better. You know, what it is I'm not sure. I don't know if it's determination or what have you, but Kyle was another prime example of that. Once again, another one I can think about is when Brad, when he busted his foot up a few years ago at a road course during testing, he won his first race not too long after that. It's just whatever it may be that we find within us to perform at a high level, it always seems to happen when we're injured. A lot of it probably is because we don't want to be the weak link. We don't want to be the one that is responsible for our team running bad, so we make sure we do all it takes to run good."(NASCAR)(1-29-2016)
Sport Clips to sponsor Edwards and Hamlin again in 2016: Sport Clips Racing is excited to enter its eighth season (2016) as a partner with Joe Gibbs Racing. Denny Hamlin enters his 11th full season with Joe Gibbs Racing in 2016 behind the wheel of the #11 Sport Clips Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2016, following an incredible 2015 season that left him contending in his ninth-career Chase for the Sprint Cup. Hamlin concluded his 2015 season with two victories, including his fifth-career victory at Martinsville and the Chase opener at Chicago, along with fourteen top fives, 20 top tens, three pole awards and 529 total laps led. Hamlin also scored Sport Clips their first-career NASCAR victory at Darlington in the XFINITY Series behind the wheel of the #20 Sport Clips Retro Camry in 2015. Denny Hamlin will continue to have Sport Clips as the primary sponsor of the #11 Toyota in two 2016 Sprint Cup Series races at Auto Club Speedway in March and Darlington in September.
Carl Edwards completed his first year with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) in 2015 driving the #19 Toyota Camry in the Sprint Cup Series. He finished the year by qualifying for his ninth Sprint Cup Series Chase. He scored two wins for Toyota and JGR, celebrating victories in two of NASCAR's crown jewels, the Coca-Cola 600 and the Southern 500. His impressive resume in NASCAR's top Series now includes 25 Sprint Cup victories, 115 top fives, 202 top 10's, and 16 poles. 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)(1-28-2016)
Hamlin makes cameo appearance on 'The Bachelor': #11-Denny Hamlin has a deep, dark secret: He's a big fan of the TV show, The Bachelor. When producers of the ABC show found out, they decided to put Hamlin on an episode. That took place Monday, where the Joe Gibbs Racing driver did about a two-minute cameo. This year's Bachelor, Ben Higgins, asked Hamlin if he is a fan of the show. "Absolutely, of course," Hamlin said via a Skype session. "Girls" star Allison Williams was also on the show. When Hamlin was introduced, Williams went into a typical fan routine. "I can't believe this, I'm such a fan," Williams told Hamlin. "Yeah, it's huge. I have to say Mark Martin in the #6 Valvoline was my main dude, but you're so awesome, I can't believe I'm looking at you."(NBC Sports)(1-27-2016)
Hamlin's knee at 50%: #11-Denny Hamlin still is struggling to get back to his old self after surgery Nov. 30 to repair his right ACL, which he injured playing basketball the week before the Chase for the Sprint Cup. He says he is able to get in and out of a car and will be ready for the Daytona 500 when the Cup season kicks off Feb. 21. "I wish it was a little bit better. ... I definitely can get in the car and do what I need to do right now, but I think the challenge of getting in the car was the toughest part. Once I get my range of motion back, it'll be fine," Hamlin said. "I am about 50 percent, but nothing that would keep me out of the race car. I'm not where I want or should be right now, but I'm getting there. I went on vacation, that sort of set me back a little bit."(USA Today)(1-20-2016)
Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown will not be held in 2016 UPDATE: Amid uncertainty about Langley Speedway's future, the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown, scheduled for the track April 21, has been canceled. Race coordinator Buck Reuss said Denny Hamlin Foundation management informed him Tuesday that the charity race will not be held at Langley or any track this season. "This is due to the situation at Langley Speedway," Reuss said. "I don't blame anyone operating the track, because I think (Victory Lane Motorsports owner) Bill Mullis and (Langley Speedway general manager) Chuck Hall have done more for the track than anyone since Joe Carver (Langley's promoter from the mid-1970s to early '80s). But the drivers needed to set their schedules by Jan. 5 at the latest." Mullis has not been able to purchase the property on which the track sits from the California-based landowner because they disagree on the purchase price. Mullis has leased the track from the landowner the previous six seasons, but has said it would be more viable financially for him to operate the track by purchasing it. Minus a purchase agreement or lease, track management has not released a schedule for the 2016 season and, during the past week, has moved much of its property off of the premises. In addition, Langley Speedway management did not re-sign with NASCAR for three races run at the track annually: one in the K&N Pro Series East and two others in the Whelen Southern Modified Tour Series. The Hamlin charity race was expected to be one of the biggest events in track history. Reuss said that in addition to Hamlin, he expected his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates, 2015 Sprint Cup Series champion Kyle Busch and 2003 Cup champ Matt Kenseth, to also be part of the Showdown field. Previous hosts were Southside Speedway, RIR and South Boston Speedway.(Daily Press)(1-14-2016)
UPDATE: Due to track operations and schedule uncertainty at Langley Speedway (Hampton, Va.), the 9th Annual Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown scheduled for April 21st at Langley has been cancelled for 2016. "The event is an around-the-clock, full year in the making," said race coordinator Buck Reuss. "But due to the very unfortunate timing of the property negotiations ongoing at Langley, it left us no choice but to look toward 2017 and bypass this year's running of the event."
"It is really disappointing as I was really looking forward to returning to Langley to race again, as were so many other drivers that were planning to participate," said Hamlin, who began his stock car racing career at Langley in 1997, winning both the track championship and track rookie of the year honors. "So we will turn our attention to 2017 and wish everyone the best of luck in their racing endeavors this year."(Denny Hamlin Foundation)(1-14-2016)
Denny & Mark's Pro-Am Jam raises over $200,000: The 4th annual Denny & Mark's Pro-Am Jam hosted by the Student Transportation of America Education Foundation, which was held on October 26-27, was another major success raising over $200,000 for charity. The Lowcountry celebrity charity event has raised over $700,000 in its first four years. The fundraiser again featured the partnership of NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin, Hootie & the Blowfish founding member and lead guitarist Mark Bryan and Denis Gallagher, CEO of Student Transportation Inc., and his company's philanthropic arm, the Student Transportation of America Education Foundation. Proceeds from the two-day fundraiser have increased each year and were recently donated to the charitable organizations represented by the three partners, which have a common mission in creating better opportunities for children. The Denny Hamlin Foundation was a beneficiary with the majority of its share being donated to MUSC Children's Hospital for Cystic Fibrosis research. Mark Bryan's non-profit, Carolina Studios, and STAEF, also received their portion of the funds raised that will benefit children throughout the Lowcountry. Each year the event picks out a compelling local charity to support with a donation and this year the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church was selected. The oldest AME church in the south, it is known as "Mother Emanuel" and was the site of a terrible tragedy last June. The Pro-Am Jam showed its support for the good works of the church with a $10,000 donation from the proceeds of a special event T-shirt that incorporated the event logo into an "I Am Charleston Strong" message. The dates for the 5th Annual Denny & Mark's Pro-Am Jam hosted by the Student Transportation of America Education Foundation are October 24-25.(Empire Sports Management)(1-11-2016)
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)
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)
Most-Mentioned drivers of 2015: According to Joyce Julius, a company that tracks media mentions for sport sponsors, #4-Kevin Harvick was the most-mentioned NASCAR driver on TV this year (the same position he held last season) while#11-Hamlin had the most interview time. Sprint Cup champion #18-Busch was the 12th most-mentioned:
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, FL
Sunday, February 19, 2017, 3:00pm/et
Happy Hour Practice:
Saturday, February 25, 2017, TBA
Born in DECEMBER:
10 Mike 'Jimbo' Barrientos, Makayla Ann McSwain, Jerry Honeycut
11 Frankie Adamczyk, Mariah Belber, Eric McClure, Chris Horn, Tony Eury Sr., Jon Bernal
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 Monsam
20 Erin Marco, Taylor Nicole Earnhardt, Kinsley Parsons
21 Daniel Knost, Travis Kittleson, Michael McDowell
22 David Pearson, Owen Larson
23 Fr. Steven Janoski, Greg Biffle, Peter Sospenzo, Ray Dunlap, Chris Cook, Addison Frye
24 David Ragan, Mike Curb, 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., Hal Martin, Jessica Stroupe, Harold Smith, Ray Kelly
30 Fred Lorenzen, L.D. Ottinger, Donnie Mergard, Ryan Hemphill, Kole Kahne, Cooper Berrier, Shane Huffman, Burt Myers
31 Ryan Blaney, Riley Craven, Benny Ertel, Joe Hicks, Dorthy Schrader, Beth Simons-Dykes, John Wes Townley