When FedEx Paint Schemes: Express, Ground, Freight, Office were run in 2015
FedEx Express - orange (? races):
Sprint Unlimited - 2/14
Daytona 500 - 2/22
Martinsville - 3/29
FedEx Freight - red (9 races):
Phoenix - 3/15
Bristol - 4/19
the rest TBA
FedEx Office - blue (8 races):
Las Vegas - 3/8
Texas - 4/11
FedEx Ground - green (? races):
Atlanta - 3/1
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 (25)
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 = 204 (3-29-2015)
Contract Status: Driver: 2015?; Primary Sponsors: 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)
Richmond International Raceway
Happy Hour Practice:
Friday, April 24, 2015, 1:00 pm/et
TV: FoxSports1 (FS1) 1:00pm/et
Born in APRIL
20 Frank Stoddard, James Barnwell, Ron Barfield, Adrian Fernandez, Dustin Skinner/P>
21 Bill Ingle, Bruce Silver, Bob Varsha, Greg Zipadelli, Ralph Seagraves
22 Wesley Gantt, Stella Paysor, Raygan Swan
23 U.S. Army Reserve, Brian Whitesell, Jason Keller, Phil Gould, Joe Keller, Skip Manning, Terry Glotzbach, P.J. Jones, Tommy Croft, Charles Gafrarar, William Shakespeare, Jacob Meetze
24 Hermie Sadler, Paul Wolfe, Harrill Hamrick, Stephanie Hillin, Amanda Lorenzen
25 Alex Bowman, Jason Lee, Alkie Cunningham
26 Martha Oliver, Jimmy Kitchens, Charles Moles
27 Shelly Bose, Jason Haynes, Austin Dillon, Jason Sheets
28 Tyler Hmiel, Jeff Neuendorf, Zach Case
29 Dale Earnhardt, Larry Frank, Angie Skinner, Chad Little, Jerry Schweitz, Alexandria Fennig
30 Michael Waltrip, Elliott Sadler, Andy Hillenburg, Joe Millikan, Amelia Joy Smith, Chris Browning, Ashton Glover, Frank Kimmel
Born in MAY
1 Randy Dorton, Johnny Sauter, Jimmy Parrott
2 Ed "Uncle Bud" Adamczyk, Kyle Busch
3 Greg Ely
4 Randy Tolsma, Bobby Burrell, Jennifer Eolin, Amanda Ebersole, Mike Thomas
5 Larry Pollard, Bob Welborn
6 Mike Borkowski, Tammy Jo Kirk, Jeff Hancock, Dean Mozingo, Gina Henson
7 Dave Steele, Danny O'Quinn Jr.
8 Bobby Labonte, Nathan Buttke, Don Hume, Jay Stewart, Judy Childress
9 Tim Fedewa, Scott Page
10 Amelia Andretti, Andy Rueger
11 Glenn Bobo, Tim Flock, NASCAR Hall of Fame
12 Jabe Thomas, Debra Adamczyk
13 Rich Bickle, Scott Eggleston, Bob Kennedy, Jim Spencer, Linda McReynolds, Kirk Almquist, Maggie Feeney Rossi
14 Steve Letarte, Bill Brooks, Dave Munari, Danielle Del Corio, Scott Lynch
15 Shane Hmiel, John Hubner
16 Josh Walker
17 Mike Shiplett, Craig Ferguson, Kevin Pennell
18 Mike Motil
19 Jody Ridley, Dario Franchitti, Danny Culler
20 Tony Stewart, Dave Despain, Steve Portenga, Mike Stefanik, Eric Norris, AJ Heister, Les Huntley
21 Cotton Owens, Mark Muller, Jeff Meendering, Brandon McReynolds, Rodney Fetters, Nathan McGuire
22 Jay Guy, Joey Knuckles, Janice Almirola
23 Kerry Tharp, Harvey Walters, Wally Dallenbach Jr
24 Joey Logano, Ricky Craven, Chip Ganassi, Lesa France Kennedy, Amy Rice, Brent Sherman, Colt Hammond, Tommy Chong, Jack Smith
25 Bud Moore, Paul Andrews, A.J. Foyt IV, Spenny Clendenen, Ross Kenseth, Kevin Hulstein, Smokey Yunick
26 Stacy Compton, Adam Gravitt, Kenny Trout
27 April Horner, Jeremy Mayfield, Dick Berggren, Van Colley, John Bickford, Carol Einarsson
28 Ray Fox, Butch Stevens, Marvin Panch, Dan E. Donnely, Ron Lemasters Jr., David Joy, Michael Klein
29 Joe Weatherly, Ken Schrader, Bobby Hamilton, Al Unser, Jimmy Means, Todd Berrier, John F. Kennedy, Germán Quiroga, Steve Allen, Kaye Jenkins, Jessica Taylor
30 Clint Bowyer, Erik Jones, Reagan Page, Gale Wilson
31 Jerry 'Dad' Adamczyk, Jack Baldwin, Gayle Barnwell, Pat Calkins, Charlie Lewis, Krista Voda, Faith Anne Yeley