Races (30+2) that Dollar General is scheduled to be the sponsor in 2015:
Daytona, Sprint Unlimited* - 2/14
Daytona 500 - 2/22
Atlanta - 3/1
Phoenix - 3/15
Martinsville - 3/29
Texas - 4/11
Bristol - 4/19
Richmond - 4/25
Kansas - 5/9
Charlotte, All-Star Race* - 5/16
Dover - 5/31
Pocono - 6/7
Michigan - 6/16
Sonoma - 6/28
Kentucky - 7/11
New Hampshire - 7/19
Indy - 7/26
Pocono - 8/2
Watkins Glen - 8/9
Michigan - 8/16
Bristol - 8/22
Richmond - 9/12
Chicago - 9/20
New Hampshire - 9/27
Dover - 10/4
Kansas - 10/18
Charlotte - 10/10
Martinsville - 11/1
Phoenix - 11/15, Erik Jones in for suspended Kenseth
Homestead - 11/22 *non-point races
Races (6) that DeWalt is scheduled to be the sponsor in 2015:
Las Vegas - 3/8
Auto Club - 3/22
Daytona - 7/5, Made in USA
Talladega - 10/25
Texas - 11/8, Erik Jones in for suspended Kenseth
There are five current race tracks the Sprint Cup Series runs on that Matt Kenseth has not won a Sprint Cup race:
Atlanta, best finish 2nd, 3/7/2010
Martinsville, best finish 2nd, 10/27/2013
Sonoma, best finish 8th, 6/22/2008
Indianapolis, best finish 2nd, 8/3/2003 & 8/6/2006
Watkins Glen, best finish 4th, 8/9/2015
Contract Status: Driver: 2015+; Primary Sponsors: Dollar General - 2015+; DeWalt - 2016+;
Kenseth and Logano meet before practice at Homestead: #20-Matt Kenseth met with #22-Joey Logano and NASCAR officials before practice Friday morning at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Kenseth, in his first race weekend back from a two-race suspension, met face-to-face with the driver he has feuded with over the past few weeks. "We had a little discussion before practice with NASCAR and met with them a little bit," Kenseth said. "Everything will be fine there. I wish none of it would have happened obviously. There's probably certain things we'll never totally agree on, but I think long term it probably will be fine, and I think we will work it all out."(ESPN)(11-20-2015)
Joe Gibbs also met with Brian France; talked to Penske: Joe Gibbs said NASCAR chairman Brian France came to the race shop on Monday to meet with both suspended driver Matt Kenseth and then the team owner. The meetings were separate and done in advance of Kenseth's return to the track this weekend. Kenseth was suspended two races for intentionally wrecking Joey Logano in retaliation. The payback ultimately cost Logano a spot in Sunday's finale. "We had good meetings, I think we're all in a good place right now," Gibbs said. "I think Matt is, too. I appreciated getting the chance to meet with Brian and I think Matt did, too." Gibbs also said he and Roger Penske had a pair of phone conversations as the feud between Kenseth and Logano brewed. He said Penske called him after Logano spun Kenseth at Kansas, and Gibbs called Penske after Kenseth wrecked Logano at Martinsville. "I think we really get along with each other," Gibbs said. "The things we kind of talk about it are between us."(Associated Press)(11-20-2015)
Teams receive warnings at Phoenix: Six Sprint Cup teams - including championship contender #18-Kyle Busch's team - received warnings for inspection issues last weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, NASCAR announced Wednesday. Busch's team received its third warning after it failed pre-race inspection twice. If Busch's team receives a fourth warning before pit stalls are picked this weekend, his team will have to pick last for this weekend's season finale. Other Cup teams with three warnings entering this weekend are the teams of #4-Kevin Harvick, #7-Alex Bowman, #11-Denny Hamlin and #23-Jeb Burton.
Other Cup teams receiving warnings at Phoenix:
#10-Danica Patrick's team failed pre-race inspection three times and also will lose 15 minutes of practice Friday.
#20-Matt Kenseth's team failed pre-race inspection three times and also will lose 15 minutes of practice Friday.
#46-Michael Annett's team failed pre-race inspection three times and also will lose 15 minutes of practice Friday.
#16-Greg Biffle's team received a warning after failing pre-race inspection twice.
#27-Paul Menard's team received a warning after failing pre-race inspection twice.
NASCAR asks to meet with Matt Kenseth UPDATE: NASCAR has asked to meet with Joe Gibbs Racing driver #20-Matt Kenseth on Monday in advance of the driver's return to the track this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Kenseth was suspended for the past two races following his role in an on-track incident with #22-Joey Logano at Martinsville Speedway. "NASCAR has asked the driver of the 20 to meet with Chairman and CEO Brian France," NASCAR Vice President David Higdon said. France and NASCAR handed down the suspension, which was upheld on appeals, following Kenseth's wreck of race leader Joey Logano in the Eliminator Round opener. The two had previous on-track run-ins, and Kenseth -- nearly 10 laps down at the time -- drove Logano into the wall with less than 50 laps remaining. Logano was eliminated from the postseason following Sunday's race at Phoenix International Raceway. Kenseth had been eliminated the week before Martinsville. In addition to his suspension, Kenseth is on probation for the rest of 2015.(NASCAR.com)
UPDATE: NASCAR Chairman & CEO Brian France and Joe Gibbs Racing driver Matt Kenseth met Monday in Charlotte, North Carolina, in advance of the driver's return to the track following a two-race suspension. France was "pleased" with the dialogue, according to a tweet from NASCAR Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer Brett Jewkes. Kenseth tweeted later Monday afternoon, noting that he's "glad to have all this behind (him)."(NASCAR.com)(11-16-2015)
More issues with JGR cars thru tech inspection: For the second week in a row, three of the four Joe Gibbs Racing cars have had issues clearing NASCAR technical inspection. Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway, the cars of #18-Kyle Busch, #11-Denny Hamlin and #20-Erik Jones went through the tech inspection multiple times without being cleared by the NASCAR officials. The issue with Busch's car was with the rear end skew and the left rear toe, while the issue with Hamlin's car was with the camber. As of 1:05pm/et, the cars of Busch and Hamlin had cleared the inspection process, but crews were still working on Jones' #20 Toyota. By 1:20pm/et, Jones' car had cleared tech and was pushed to the starting grid. A NASCAR official said the three teams would not face a points penalty for Sunday's issue, and they would not confirm how many times the cars passed through the inspection process. Despite the issue, none of the three teams were penalized and were allowed to retain their starting spot on the grid.(FoxSports)(11-15-2015)
Kenseth: no regrets over wrecking Logano: Pushed to his limit after three races worth of slights, #20-Matt Kenseth firmly believed he had no choice but to retaliate against #22-Joey Logano. His deliberate wrecking of Logano drew a two-race suspension from NASCAR, and Kenseth said Friday he would have handled the payback differently had he known he'd draw such an unprecedented penalty. But in a telephone interview with The Associated Press, Kenseth said he would do it again. "I really stand by my actions," he said. "I feel like there's a breaking point. It wasn't just about being mad, it was about getting this fixed. It was time to make it stop." Logano spun Kenseth while racing for a win at Kansas that Kenseth needed to continue his championship chances. Kenseth retaliated two races later by wrecking Logano as Logano raced for a win at Martinsville Speedway that would have landed him a berth in the championship field. Kenseth had returned to the track down nine laps after a wreck with Logano teammate #2-Brad Keselowski. "You have to have respect in the garage area. If you are going to go out and try to race for wins and race for championships, you can't be a doormat or next year you are going to get knocked out again," Kenseth said. "Drivers are going to be like, 'Well, he ain't going to do nothing. We'll just knock him out of the race and then jack with him as much as possible and make sure he's not going to make it through because he's not going to retaliate.' "At some point, in my opinion, you have to retaliate." His mood upbeat and his deadpan humor intact in a 30-minute interview from North Carolina, Kenseth accepted responsibility for wrecking Logano but insisted he feels no remorse that it potentially ruined Logano's title chances. Kenseth will return for next weekend's season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and admitted the first four days after the suspension were "were really hard on me" and he struggled to watch Erik Jones drive his race car. He watched Sunday's race at Texas on television, and is eager to get back to his Joe Gibbs Racing team for the finale. When he makes his return, he vowed to be more aggressive on the track than he's ever been.(see full article at the Associated Press)(11-14-2015)
Jones back in the #20 car: This weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, Erik Jones will be running triple-duty as he competes in the Camping World Truck Series, XFINITY Series, and Sprint Cup Series events. Jones earned his first career NASCAR series victory at Phoenix with his truck series win in November of 2013 (JGR). In two NASCAR XFINITY Series starts at Phoenix, Jones has finished fifth and sixth. Jones will race the #20 Dollar General Toyota, subbing for suspended Matt Kenseth. Kenseth is scheduled to return to the car at Homestead, after missing the Texas and Phoenix races.(11-11-2015)
Splitters confiscated from Gibbs cars before Texas race UPDATE: The Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas driven by #11-Denny Hamlin, #18-Kyle Busch and #19-Carl Edwards were all forced to surrender their front splitters and replace them with ones that were unaltered as the cars rolled through pre-race inspection for the AAA Texas 500. NASCAR officials said the confiscated carbon-fiber splitters, "did not fit the gauges" and would be taken back to the NASCAR R&D Center in Concord, N.C. for further scrutiny. The splitter on the #20 car being driven by Erik Jones, who is subbing for the suspended Matt Kenseth, did not have any issues.
A close inspection of photos taken by Kickin' the Tires appeared to show they were altered in a manner that made them look concaved. A source in the garage, who was watching the situation play out, explained that some type of resin or Bondo was used to misshape the splitters in a manner to let the car run lower to the track. The source said the resin would wear down easier and not impact the handling of the car as it went into the corners.
The matter is similar to what happened with the Team Penske #2 and #22 cars at Michigan International Speedway earlier this year but those splitters hadn't been altered by adding resin, according to the source.(Kickin the Tires) See several photos at the site. If there are any penalties from NASCAR, they would likely be announced on Tuesday.(11-9-2015)
UPDATE: No penalties to the JGR teams for the splitters NASCAR took before the race Sunday (ESPN's Bob Pockrass Twitter)(11-10-2015)
Penalty Announcement: Kenseth suspended 2 races; Patrick fined UPDATES Penalty upheld: Matt Kenseth , the driver of the #20 car, has been penalized for an infraction that occurred during the Nov. 1 race at Martinsville Speedway. This is a Behavioral Penalty (Sections 12.1, 12.8). Kenseth has been suspended from NASCAR through the completion of the next two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship events and placed on NASCAR probation for a six-month period following issuance of the penalty notice.
"Based upon our extensive review, we have concluded that the #20 car driver, who is no longer in the Chase, intentionally wrecked the #22 car driver, a Chase-eligible competitor who was leading the race at the time,"said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. "The #20 car was nine laps down, and eliminated the #22 car's opportunity to continue to compete in the race.
"Additionally, we factored aspects of safety into our decision, and also the fact that the new Chase elimination format puts a premium on each and every race. These actions have no place in NASCAR."
Danica Patrick, the driver of the #10 car, has been penalized for an infraction that also took place during the Nov. 1 race at Martinsville Speedway. This is a Behavioral Penalty (Sections 12.1, 12.8). Patrick has been fined $50,000, assessed with the loss of 25 series championship driver points and placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31.(NASCAR)(11-3-2015)
UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing announces today that driver Matt Kenseth will appeal the penalty issued by NASCAR. The appeal will challenge the severity of the penalty which is believed to be inconsistent with previous penalties for similar on-track incidents. There will be no further comments from JGR personnel during he appear process.(JGR)
UPDATE 2: JGR's appeal will be expedited, meaning Kenseth's case will be heard by a three-person panel this week before Sunday's race at Texas Motor Speedway. If he loses, he can make a plea to Final Appeals Officer Bryan Moss. While Kenseth appeals the suspension, it can be deferred at NASCAR's discretion. Depending on the timing of the appeal hearings, that means Kenseth could be driving his #20 Toyota in practice or qualifying at Texas this weekend in advance of Sunday's race. The appeal likely would be settled before then, however.(NBC Sports)
AND: Kenseth currently has 571 consecutive Sprint Cup starts, second only to Jeff Gordon's 794. He has run every race since the beginning of the 2000 season.
UPDATE 3: The National Motorsports Appeals Panel has scheduled Kenseth's expedited appeal of his NASCAR penalty for 9:00am/et Thursday in Concord, NC.(11-3-2015)
UPDATE 4: The National Motorsports Appeals Panel heard and considered the appeal of a Behavioral Penalty issued on Nov. 3 to Matt Kenseth (driver) relative to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series vehicle #20 at Martinsville Speedway. The penalty concerns the following sections in the 2015 NASCAR Rule Book: Sections 12.1 and 12.8. The original penalty assessed included suspension from NASCAR until the completion of the next two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events and placed on NASCAR probation for six months following the issuance of the Penalty Notice. Upon hearing the testimony, the decisions of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel are:
1. The Appellant violated the rules set forth in the Penalty notice;
2. The Panel affirms and upholds the original Penalty levied by NASCAR.
The panel consisted of the following three individuals: Mr. Ken Clapp, Mr. Bill Mullis, Mr. Dale Pinilis.
The Appellant has chosen to appeal the decision of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel to the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer in accordance with Section 15 of the NASCAR Rule Book. The appeal will begin at 1:00pm/et.(11-5-2015)
UPDATE 5: Today the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer, Mr. Bryan Moss, heard and considered the appeal of a Behavioral Penalty issued on Nov. 3, 2015 to Matt Kenseth (driver) relative to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series vehicle #20 at Martinsville Speedway. The penalty concerns the following sections in the 2015 NASCAR Rule Book: Sections 12.1 and 12.8. The original penalty assessed included suspension from NASCAR until the completion of the next two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events and placed on NASCAR probation for six months following the issuance of the Penalty Notice. Upon hearing this afternoon's testimony, the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer made the following decisions:
1. The Appellant violated the Rules set forth in the Penalty Notice;
2. The Penalty is amended to: "Suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Events. Placed on NASCAR probation through December 31, 2015."
The decision of the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer is final and binding on all parties.(NASCAR)
AND: "It didn't turn out like we wanted," Kenseth said after the final decision was announced. "I'm obviously more than a little disappointed on the decision and the penalties to start with. I'm the first driver in the 65-year history of NASCAR to get suspended for an incident that happened in a Sprint Cup Series race. I feel like I was unfairly made the example instead of knowing where the line is and what the penalties are. I'm extremely disappointed, but we'll get through this and go to Homestead.
"I'm not going to change who I am, not going to change what I stand for, I'm not going to change how I race. I've been in this business for a long time, I feel like I've had a pretty good career to this point and I feel like I'm going to continue to have the respect on the racetrack I feel like I deserve. I'm looking forward to going to Homestead, hopefully going there and getting a win before the year is out."(USA Today)(11-5-2015)
France discusses differing penalties for Kenseth, Patrick: NASCAR Chairman & CEO Brian France appeared on the SiriusXM Radio Speedway show on Wednesday and addressed the two-race suspension handed out to #20-Matt Kenseth for his role in the wreck that knocked himself and Joey Logano out of Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway. Also penalized coming out of Martinsville was #10-Danica Patrick for aggressive driving on #38-David Gilliland. Patrick received a $50,000 fine and the loss of 25 driver points. When asked about the difference between Kenseth's aggressive driving and Danica's, France noted the stakes that were on the line.
"Going back to Richmond, we made it very clear that anybody in the industry, any driver or participant who intentionally tries to alter the outcome of events or championships, that that crosses a different line than a racing problem between two drivers," France said.
When asked about whether NASCAR drivers should be allowed to self-police the sport, France clarified the sanctioning body's position. "What Robin (Pemberton) was saying a few years ago was hey look, boys have it, do your normal thing, and if we over-officiate, we'll draw back on that and let the normal racing action of NASCAR happen," France said. "And that's what he meant, and that's what we tried to do."
"... when there are lines that are crossed, like we believe there were in Martinsville, then NASCAR will step in and deal with that. And it's as simple as that."(NASCAR)(11-5-2015)
Logano comments on Kenseth's penalty: #22-Joey Logano said NASCAR made the right decision to suspend #20-Matt Kenseth two races for wrecking him at Martinsville Speedway because series officials "needed to regain control of our sport." "Obviously, they put their foot down," Logano told [NBC's Tony] DiZinno. "I feel like it's a good thing. They needed to regain control of our sport. I feel like it's a good direction and the right thing to do."
Logano also reaffirmed that his contact with Kenseth at Kansas was different from what happened at Martinsville. At Kansas, they were racing for the lead in the final laps. At Martinsville, Kenseth was 10 laps down and Logano led with 45 laps left. "If I look at Kansas, it's a racing thing," Logano told NASCAR Talk. "If I look at the way we were racing each other, he threw some blocks, I understand that. The third one, I was on the inside, I didn't back out. There's really not much for me to say to him after that. That was kind of what happened. And he knows what happened. He's a smart enough race car driver to know what happened. Whatever happened at Martinsville was, apparently to NASCAR, unacceptable."
Both Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. said this week that they believe Logano didn't help himself with comments he made after the Kansas race, saying that further ignited the situation with Kenseth and played a role in Kenseth's desire for retaliation. Logano said he had not heard what Gordon or Earnhardt said, but defended himself. "I think this is a test of your character and a test of your faith," Logano said. "You need to stay true to your character in these types of situations and the type of person you are. It's an amazing opportunity is the way I look at it. We have an opportunity right now to win a championship. "Our minds are focused on doing that. We can be the great team we know we are. This isn't going to shut us down. We're way stronger than that. I'm excited to get to Texas. I'm excited to get back on the track and give it our best shot."(NBC Sports)(11-4-2015)
Martinsville penalties to be announced later today: NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France indicated a harsh penalty could be in store for Matt Kenseth when officials release their decision later Tuesday. France, appearing on Sirius/XM Radio, said Kenseth went too far in intentionally wrecking Joey Logano at Martinsville Speedway as payback for an incident at Kansas Speedway last month. "We don't want that to happen again," France said. "We don't want any of our events to be altered in a way they shouldn't be. What we want to prevent happening is drivers or any participant in NASCAR to take matters into their own hands and begin to control the outcome of races beyond hard racing. When that happens, that's a very serious thing for us. And we'll be dealing with that."
Asked specifically about a possible suspension for Kenseth, France said all options were on the table and indicated some penalty could also be issued to Danica Patrick after she intentionally crashed into David Gilliland.
France said Martinsville was much different than the racing incident between Logano and Kenseth at Kansas, which he had termed "quintessential NASCAR." "That was an entirely different situation," he said. "What we're not going to do is take the style of NASCAR and parlay that into something where one driver believes the way to pay back somebody for something that happened is take matters into their own hands. Obviously, we won't be accepting that.The way to pay drivers back is to race them hard. That's NASCAR. But what happened on Sunday is not quite the way we'd like things to turn out."(USA Today)(11-5-2015)
Contact between Kenseth and Logano at Martinsville; NASCAR will consider penalties for Kenseth: Two weeks after #20-Matt Kenseth was taken out by #22-Joey Logano, Kenseth returned the favor, wrecking him when Logano was leading the Sprint Cup Series race with 47 laps remaining Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. Kenseth, who himself was vying for the lead a handful of laps earlier, was involved in a wreck that he felt was triggered by Logano's Penske Racing teammate #2-Brad Keselowski. But Sunday's wreck appeared to be in response to an incident two weeks earlier, when Logano turned Kenseth for the win with five laps remaining at Kansas Speedway, a move that eventually kept Kenseth from advancing to the third round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
"What happened at Kansas was a completely different deal," Logano said. "We were racing for the win, and he blocks you a few times, and we raced hard, and he blocked me and spun out. That's what happened there. Here, he was a complete coward. ... It's a chicken-you-know-what move to completely take out the leader when your race is over. ... He'll have his."
Although Kenseth's car was heavily damaged, NASCAR told his team not to repair it and that he couldn't return to the race.
"I had two chances to win in the last three weeks and got wrecked out of both of them going for the lead, one from him and one from Brad," Kenseth said. "That's disappointing." Kenseth didn't directly answer whether he turned Logano intentionally. "The right front was dragging down there and probably should've went to the garage area and went into the corner there and, man, couldn't get it to turn and collected him," Kenseth said. "I know it's got to be disappointing for him, you know? It's a tough sport. Some days you're the bat, and some days you're the ball. I was the ball a few weeks ago, and I was the ball again today, so that part is never fun."
Kenseth and team owner Joe Gibbs met with NASCAR officials after the race. They both declined to comment after the meeting.
Keselowski said he lost control of his car after getting hit from behind.
NASCAR executive vice president Steve O'Donnell said after the race that he was disappointed in Kenseth's actions and that NASCAR will make any decisions of additional discipline by Tuesday. He wouldn't rule out a suspension. "There's still a lot to digest from what happened tonight," O'Donnell said. "We'll do that and have some additional conversations. ... What was disappointing today was in the incident, [it was] a driver not competing for a win [and] was in fact many laps down when that happened. In our minds, that's a little bit different than two drivers really going after it coming out of Turn 4 for a win."(ESPN.com)(11-1-2015)
Kenseth still not happy with Logano: After late contact from #22-Joey Logano knocked #20-Matt Kenseth out of the lead at Kansas, causing him to finish 14th, Kenseth said Logano had wrecked him on purpose. He as asked about the incident again on Friday at Talladega:
Have you talked to Joey Logano?
Kenseth: "No. Um, no. Yeah, I haven't heard from him (Joey Logano)."
Is there anything you would do differently last week in Kansas?
Kenseth: "Well, I wouldn't have done anything differently because I didn't do anything wrong. I did everything I was supposed to do. I tried to get away. He (Joey Logano) drove the car in the wall himself twice. I don't know how you can possibly either, 'A,' block someone or put somebody in the wall when they're not up alongside you - it's pretty talented if you can do that when somebody's four feet behind you, so, no, I did everything I could to win the race. That's the way I'd race to win any race is to race hard as you can and do whatever you can, be clean about it and go as fast as I could go and that's all I was doing. I got hit from behind. I couldn't do anything about that. I couldn't change that."
Would you feel better if Joey Logano said he wrecked you intentionally to win?
Kenseth: "Yeah, some day he might mature a little bit, but, first of all, he should have stopped running his mouth, 'A,' and, number two, he's lying when he said he didn't do it on purpose because he lifted your tires off the ground offset to the left and he's too good a race car driver to do that by accident."
Kenseth, Logano comment on contact at Kansas:
What happened between yourself and Joey Logano in the closing laps?
Kenseth: "It's hard to drive a car with the rear tires off the ground. I was moving around the best I could, Joey (Logano) was a lot tighter, a lot faster on the short run, but we were so much better on the long run. I could still kind of get up to the top and get a run and get around him. We caught those two lapped cars, 'Crazy' (spotter) told me I was clear and I was, I pulled up in front of him and he just lifted my tires off the ground and he wrecked us."
What will you talk to Joey Logano about after the incident?
Kenseth: "I won't talk to Joey (Logano), I don't have anything to talk to him about really. You make decisions every day, you make decisions every minute behind the wheel. To me strategically, that doesn't seem like such a great decision for him, but it's the one he made and that's how he wanted to win. I'm one of the only guys that I think hasn't been into yet with Joey and I've always raced him with a ton of respect, I've actually been one of his biggest fans - I'm certainly not anymore, but I always was. It's a shame, I'm glad the cars not wrecked, we'll just go onto Talladega and race them there."(Toyota Racing)
Take us through what happened with Matt and the laps before:
Logano: "It was just hard racing. He raced me really hard. I raced him the same way he raced me. It was a lot of fun out there racing for a win like that. The cars were very fast, equally paired and I couldn't be more proud of what this Shell/Pennzoil team is doing right now. We're such a fast race car, such a great team. We've showed it two weeks in a row now and this is a lot of fun. We've just got to ride this wave and we've got to get to Homestead still."
You got to im and then fell back, and then caught back up. What happened at that point?
Logano: "He came up and started taking my air away, as he should, and I had to kind of adjust what I was doing and try to find a fast way back to him. I was able to get those runs back to him and get back to him."(Ford Racing)(10-19-2015)
2015 Joe Gibbs Racing Fall FanFest Scheduled for October 9: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) Fall FanFest will be held this Friday, October 9 from 9 AM to 1 PM at its team headquarters in Huntersville, NC. JGR drivers Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones, Kenny Habul, and Matt Tift are all scheduled to sign autographs at staggered times throughout the morning. In order to receive an autograph, fans must have a wristband for each respective driver. Beginning at 8 AM on Friday morning, wristbands for each driver will be distributed in separate lines. No wristbands will be required for Suarez, Jones, Habul, and Tift or the JGRMX riders, who will be on hand to sign from 9 AM to 10:30 AM.
The complete driver autograph schedule for Friday, October 9 is as follows:
9 AM Kyle Busch
9:30 AM Matt Kenseth
10 AM Denny Hamlin
11 AM Carl Edwards
9-10:30 AM Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones, Kenny Habul, Matt Tift
9-10:30 AM JGRMX Riders: Justin Barcia, Weston Peick, Phil Nicoletti
The fourth annual JGR Fan Fest Car and Motorcycle Show will be from 9 AM until 1 PM (registration begins at 7 AM and judging concludes at 11 AM with awards presented at 1 PM). Categories for the show include street rods, muscle cars, original class, custom, motorcycles, pick-ups, best engine and best in show. Participants can preregister at http://joegibbsracing.com/carshow. For more information and directions for JGR Fall FanFest please go to: joegibbsracing.com/fanfest. Funds raised from JGR Fall FanFest will be donated to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).(JGR)(10-7-2015)
Kenseth wins at New Hampshire: #20-Matt Kenseth won the Sylvania 300 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for his 5th win of the season, 2nd win at New Hampshire and 36th career win. Kenseth led 27 of the 300 laps.
#11-Hamlin finished 2nd followed by #22-Logano, #16-Biffle. #19-Edwards, #48-Johnson, #24-Gordon, #78-Truex Jr., #5-Kahne and #31-Newman.
With his 5th win of 2015, Kenseth now has the most wins of any driver in 2015.
#4-Harvick led 216 laps and dominated the race until running out of fuel, finishing 21st, putting Harvick 21 points out of moving to the Contender round after Dover.
#18-Busch, who came in to the race 4th in Chase standings, had a tire go down and hit the wall on lap 159. The crew made repairs and Busch was able to make up a few spots and finish 37th. Busch is now 13th in the Chase standings, a point out of the top 12 and advancing.
There was one red flag on lap 204 for a little over 6 minutes when #10-Patrick made contact with #31-Newman, the #10 spun and hit the wall then got collected by #55-Ragan, knocking both out of the race and leaving foam on the track.
There were 16 lead changes among 7 drivers. There were 9 cautions for 41 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 106.480mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Penalty Report (pdf) and Lap Summary Report (pdf).
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).(9-27-2015)
Kenseth wins at Richmond: #20-Matt Kenseth won the Federated Auto Parts 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway for his 4th win of the season, 2nd win at Richmond and 35th career win. Kenseth led 352 of the 400 laps.
#18-Busch finished 2nd followed by #22-Logano, #43-Almirola, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #11-Hamlin, #24-Gordon, #2-Keselowski, #48-Johnson and #15-Bowyer.
With his 4th win of 2015, Kenseth ties Johnson and Kyle Busch for most wins, will each start the Chase with 2012 points.
#4-Harvick led the points for the regular season with 978 points, 30 more tahn #22-Logano.
#1-McMurray clinched a spot in the Chase just by starting. Four other drivers got in the Chase via points: #31-Newman, #24-Gordon, #15-Bowyer and #27-Menard. McMurray and Menard make the Chase for the first time. #43-Almirola make a great effort to make the Chase and finished 4th but fell 17 points short of Menard.
One odd incident happened on lap 290 when #95-McDowell hit the safety truck, tearing much of the rear of the car off. It was the end of the race for McDowell, who escaped injury as did the safety workers.
There were 13 lead changes among 4 drivers. There were 6 cautions for 47 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 100.353mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Penalty Report (pdf) and Lap Summary Report (pdf).
Joe Gibbs Racing Launches Pit Road with Pals Game App: Joe Gibbs Racing announced the launch of their new interactive pit crew competition app: Pit Road with Pals. The new version of the popular pit stop game is now available for download on all Apple and Android devices. Pit Road With Pals App is a free app and provides fans the opportunity to test their skills in all facets of a pit stop. New to this version is the opportunity to play with friends in a best-of-three round competition style similar to many popular word games.(more info and links on JGRs Facebook page)(8-27-2015)
Kenseth has engine issues at Bristol, finishes 42nd: #20-Matt Kenseth while running in the top-10 at Bristol Motor Speedway when his engine lost a valve, comments from Kenseth:
Q) What happened to the engine?
Kenseth: "It broke in the middle of the straightaway - it had that hop and that noise that it makes when you know you dropped a valve. Unfortunate, but man these guys at TRD (Toyota Racing Development) have been doing such an awesome job, we've had so much power and everything has been really reliable here the last year and a half. Things like this happen every once in a while. It's a short night. Felt like we were really competitive - we were one or two adjustments away from where we needed to be, but I thought our Dollar General Camry had good speed. Wish I was out there mixing it up."
Is there anything the team can fix to get you back on the race track?
Kenseth: "It's terminal, dropped a valve or something. It was smoking out the pipes so you know there was a hold in the piston somewhere so we're done for the night unfortunately."
Q) What happened to take you out of the race early?
Kenseth: "Things just happen. We broke something in the engine - dropped a valve I think. The TRD (Toyota Racing Development) stuff has been awesome, making great power, been really reliable and things like this just happen sometimes. Overall we had a great car. Wish I was still out there. I thought we were an adjustment away from being able to run with the boys upfront so unfortunate I got cut short."
Q) What exactly broke to end your race early?
Kenseth: "Something in the valve train, we dropped a valve or something it felt like and sounded like. Things like that happen. Our stuff has been pretty reliable the last year and a half and we've been making a lot of power. Things like that happen and we'll go back and get it fixed up. The encouraging part is that our cars are really fast and I thought we were an adjustment away from having what we really needed to run with everybody. Wish we were still out there."
Q) Was there any warning?
Kenseth: "They never warn you, it would be cool if they would send you a text or something. Just the middle of the straightaway it made that pop where you knew that was it."(Toyota Racing)(8-22-2015)
Kenseth wins at Michigan: #20-Matt Kenseth won the Pure Michigan 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway for his 3rd win of the season, 3rd win at Michigan and 34th career win. He dominated most of the race, leading 146 of the 200 laps and winning by 1.7 seconds.
#4-Harvick finished 2nd followed by #78-Truex, Jr., #3-Dillon (his career best finish), #11-Hamlin, #19-Edwards, #22-Logano, #31-Newman, #2-Keselowski, and #88-Earnhardt, Jr.
#18-Busch finished 11th and moved up to 29th in the points standings. He is now 23 points ahead of 31st and remains Chase-eligible.
#4-Harvick continues to be the points leader, now 48 points over #22-Logano.
There were 16 lead changes among 8 drivers. There were 8 cautions for 31 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 143.455mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Penalty Report (pdf) and Lap Summary Report (pdf).
See the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf).(8-16-2015)
Erik Jones to run some Cup races next season; full-time in future: Coach Joe Gibbs shed light on Erik Jones' NASCAR career arc Tuesday morning, saying that a full XFINITY Series schedule and some Sprint Cup events were planned for 2016. Gibbs, appearing on "The Morning Drive on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, said that advancing the 19-year-old driver through the NASCAR development ladder was a top priority at Joe Gibbs Racing. "We look at Erik as a big part of our future," Gibbs told SiriusXM, "and we've got a plan laid out and it's not something we've talked about in public, but we all kind of know inside of our racing organization, and with his parents and his agent ... is just great. So we've talked over a plan, and basically the plan next year would be a full XFINITY season and try and run for a championship there and also to, in all likelihood, have him in some Cup races so that would be the goal for next year." Gibbs, 74, said plans to get Jones into a full-time ride are taking shape, though his organization currently stands at the NASCAR-mandated maximum of four teams, with Busch, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth on the JGR driver roster. "We've got a plan laid out in the future, and it's something we can't, you know, we don't want to talk about now, but there is no question -- this guy, Erik's headed for Cup," Gibbs said with a laugh. "He's headed for Cup and we've got a path charted that we think is the best to get him ready and to fulfill his goal of being in a Cup car as quick as we can get him there."(NASCAR.com)(8-4-2015)
Matt Kenseth wins at Pocono: #20-Matt Kenseth won the Windows 10 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway for his 2nd win of the season, 1st win at Pocono and 33rd career win.
#2-Keselowski finished 2nd followed by #24-Gordon, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #16-Biffle, #48-Johnson, #47-Allmendinger, #15-Bowyer, #14-Stewart and #19-Edwards.
#22-Logano led 97 laps and looked like he would cruise to the win but ran out of fuel with two laps to go. Logano was able to get to pit road and refueled, finishing 20th on the lead lap.
#18-Busch led 19 laps and was leading on the white flag lap when his car ran out of fuel, stopping just past the entrance of pit road, finishing 21st, down a lap.
Busch is 32nd in drivers points, only 13 points out of 30th (to get in the Chase).
On lap 4 #5-Kahne spun off turn 3 and hit the inside pit road wall hard. The race was red flagged for 14:33 so track workers could make repairs to the wall.
#4-Harvick, the points leader, had an engine blow on lap 20 and finished 42nd. Harvick's points lead is now 46 points over #22-Logano.
There were 18 lead changes among 13 drivers. There were 8 cautions for 32 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 132.159mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Penalty Report (pdf) and Lap Summary Report (pdf).
Special DeWalt scheme for Kenseth at Daytona: DeWalt, a leading manufacturer of industrial power tools, hand tools, and accessories, announces the expansion of its initiative to make products in the USA. With this expansion, an additional 60 corded and cordless power tools are being made domestically with global materials. The expansion brings the total number of DEWALT plants in the USA to seven, where they will produce approximately 14 million products each year. The #20 Toyota of Matt Kenseth will feature a special paint scheme this weekend at Daytona celebrating the initiative.(JGR), see an image of the car on the #20 Team Schemes page.(7-1-2015)
Matt, Ross Kenseth eager for memorable Father's Day weekend: On Father's Day weekend in the Kenseth family - everyone wins. Son Ross Kenseth intends to give his father something only an aspiring racing prodigy can deliver, and father Matt Kenseth prepares to hand over the wheels of the #20 Dollar General Toyota in an epic father-son moment. The duo hopes to celebrate in a big way as Ross makes his NASCAR XFINITY Series debut Saturday at Chicagoland Speedway. Coming fresh off his first career ARCA win last Friday in Michigan - in only his third ARCA start - the 22-year-old is eager to hit the track in Saturday night's Owens Corning AttiCat 300 with his dad standing by on the pit box. "Having my dad there that weekend will be a big help for me," Ross said. "I've been looking forward to getting to this weekend now ever since we announced it at Bristol. The closer it gets, the more real it feels and the more excited I get to go there this weekend." With the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series off for the second weekend of the season, Ross will drive the #20 Dollar General Toyota - the same paint scheme his father uses in Sprint Cup.(NASCAR Wire Service)(6-19-2015)
Ross Kenseth wins Michigan ARCA race: Ross Kenseth has earned his first victory on the ARCA Racing Series, beating Frank Kimmel by 2.1 seconds at Michigan International Speedway on Friday. Kenseth is the son of NASCAR Sprint Cup star Matt Kenseth. Ross Kenseth, 22, was making his third career ARCA start. Ross Kenseth was making his first ARCA start of 2015. He drove the #52 Chevrolet for Ken Schrader Racing. "This is the best I've ran at a big track," he said. "I felt like right out of the bat we were real fast."(Associated Press), Kenseth will make his NASCAR XFINITY debut next weekend at Chicago.(6-13-2015)
Edwards upset with NASCAR drivers not slowing for spin: As #19-Carl Edwards spun on the final lap Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR didn't throw the caution, and maybe the only person he knows who lifted off the throttle was his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate #20-Matt Kenseth. While Kenseth said he was "dumbfounded" there was no caution, Edwards was more upset at his competitors following the Geico 500, which #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. won for his sixth career victory at Talladega. The decision to throw the caution on the last lap has been a judgment call for NASCAR, which wants races to finish under green but, as it did in the Daytona 500, it will throw the caution on the final lap if it feels the need to dispatch emergency vehicles immediately. "Because there was a wreck at the end of the Daytona 500, I slowed down, and it cost us a bunch of positions," Edwards said. "I guess some people would say, 'Well, hell, your job is to stay on the throttle and go race,' but, man, we're all out here and we're all human beings. You've got a guy wrecking, you can't just lay into his door. That's pretty dangerous." No one actually hit Edwards in the door, but he obviously felt the potential was there for him to suffer a serious injury. He said he believes #51-Justin Allgaier went by him at 160 or 180 mph. "We make every effort to try to finish under green flag conditions," NASCAR Sprint Cup Series director Richard Buck said in a statement. "We believe the circumstances that occurred allowed us to do that today." Some drivers will keep the throttle to the floor until told there is a caution and also won't lift in the hopes that a spinning car in front of them will spin away before they make contact.
"Generally, if someone is spinning in front of you, you slow down a little bit, so if you do hit him, you don't break their legs or hurt them," said Edwards, who saw a potential top-10 finish turn into a 32nd-place day. "I don't want to rant too much about it, but I was frustrated with that." Kenseth, who lost some spots and finished 25th, also left frustrated. "I had to lift so I didn't send Carl to the hospital," Kenseth said. "I'm just dumbfounded that NASCAR didn't throw a caution. We were driving past wrecked cars for half a lap at 180 mph. It was a crazy ending."(ESPN)(5-4-2015)
Kenseth wins at Bristol: #20-Matt Kenseth won the Food City 500 In Support Of Steve Byrnes And Stand Up To Cancer Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway for his 1st win of the season, 4th win at Bristol Motor Speedway and his 32nd career win. The race ended with one green-white-checkered attempt.
#48-Johnson finished second, the rest of the top 10: #24-Gordon, #17-Stenhouse, Jr., #31-Newman, #14-Stewart, #42-Larson, #51-Allgaier, #10-Patrick, and #3-Dillon.
After starting an hour late, there were 3 red flags during the race - all for rain. The first was on lap 23 and lastest 3 hours and 58 minutes, the second was 13 minutes long on lap 273 and the final one was just before the green-white-checker restart.
Harvick, Logano, and Truex, Jr all came into the race with top-10 finishes in every race this season, but all three rain into trouble during the race. Harvick finished 39th, Logano 40th, and Truex, Jr 29th.
#11-Denny Hamlin started suffering neck spasms early in the race and was replaced by Erik Jones when the race restarted after the first red flag. Jones finished 26th.
Harvick continues to hold the Chase points lead. He and Johnson each have 2 wins on the season but Harvick has 314 points to Johnson's 258.
There were 21 lead changes among 6 drivers. There were 11 cautions for 117 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 74.997mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Penalty Report (pdf) and Lap Summary Report (pdf).(4-19-2015)
Kenseth not considering retirement: #20-Matt Kenseth is just a year younger than #24-Jeff Gordon, who has already said he'll retire at the end of this season. The 43-year-old former champion won't use Gordon's exit as a reason to consider his own future in NASCAR. He's got no plans to get out of the race car anytime soon and hopes his pole-winning run at Bristol Motor Speedway will lead to the end of a 51-race winless streak. Asked if Gordon's decision has led him to ponder retirement, Kenseth said he hasn't given the subject any thought. "I feel as good as I did 10 years ago, and I'd like to say that I do as good or better job behind the wheel than I did then," said Kenseth, who starts first Sunday. "Jeff got to that point where he knew that it was time to go do something else, and it doesn't seem like he has any doubts about that. The fortunate few who can keep jobs and keep running, and don't just fade out because they can't get a competitive job anymore, can decide when that happens. I hope I'm fortunate enough to be one of those guys."(Associated Press)(4-19-2015)
JD Gibbs being treated for symptoms impacting areas of brain function UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing announces today that J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing, is starting treatment for symptoms impacting areas of brain function. Gibbs has undergone a series of tests after experiencing a gradual onset of symptoms that includes speech and processing issues. Gibbs' doctors believe the complications he has experienced were triggered by head injuries likely suffered earlier in life, but no specific injury was referenced or identified. Gibbs has always enjoyed an active life participating in several sports including mountain biking, snowboarding, football, racing, and other extreme-type sports. Gibbs will be undergoing more testing and receiving treatments to help manage the symptoms. During that time, it is expected that his presence at the race track will be limited; however, he will continue many of his day-to-day responsibilities at JGR's headquarters in Huntersville, NC as well as involvement with his various ministry endeavors.(Joe Gibbs Racing)
Statement from Brian France: "All members of the NASCAR and France family extend our thoughts and prayers to J.D. Gibbs and his loved ones. We've all watched J.D. grow up within our community, and he always has represented himself, his family, the entire Joe Gibbs Racing organization and NASCAR with the utmost professionalism, enthusiasm and energy. We wish him the best during this time and eagerly anticipate his recovery."(NASCAR)(3-25-2015)
UPDATE: Joe Gibbs addressed the media Sunday morning at Martinsville:
"J.D. at our team meeting earlier this week, he got up and basically he said, 'I know God has a plan and God puts us through things for a reason.' I think J.D. gains his strength from the fact that he has a personal relationship with the Lord and I have to tell you that he's my hero. I kind of watch him and I don't know if anybody has ever dealt with anything as crazy as J.D. does. He went through a situation with his son Taylor having leukemia at two and we fought through that for about three or four years. By the way, appreciate all of you all's prayers for Taylor and Taylor's doing great today. Like I said, J.D. through his entire life has probably been the craziest person that I've ever been around or knew. Basically, his situation medically - there's very few answers. We've been dealing with this for about six months and basically what the doctor's say is that they really don't know. J.D. has lived a very active lifestyle. All the things that he's done in his life physically he's loved all sporting events and it's everything from football to snowboarding, racing cars, racing motor bikes - he's lived in a lot of ways for him, he loved all those things. We can't point to any one serious thing that happened to him, certainly any injury is a possibility that led us into some of the symptoms that he's experiencing now.
We've been dealing with this for about six months so as far as the management team for Joe Gibbs Racing, we have a senior management team and most of our people have been in place for the full 24 years - it's amazing really. I think very few people have noticed anything or any difference in the way we operate with the race team. The good thing there is that J.D. and I share the same responsibilities. If I'm not there for a particular reason, J.D. will be there and if J.D. is not there for some reason, I'll be there. As he goes through treatment, he will probably be doing less at the race track because he has a full week that demands quite a bit from him as he goes through treatment. You will probably see less of him at the race track, but he'll be there on a day-to-day basis with the race team and be in all of our meetings and all of the key decisions that we make, J.D.'s going to have a huge impact on that.(Toyota Racing)(3-29-2015)
Kenseth discusses not being able to qualify at AMS: #20-Matt Kenseth did not participate in Round 1 Qualifying session due to the inspection mess at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Kenseth was among the 13 drivers who did not get a chance to post qualifying times Friday after their cars didn't get through inspection in time to make a qualifying attempt, a few comments by Kenseth
What caused the issues with tech inspection?
Kenseth: "Yeah, I don't know. Obviously, they weren't organized enough to get everybody through tech it appears, so I don't know. We've got all the people up there to watch qualifying and they don't really get top watch everybody qualify, so it's kind of confusing and disappointing for sure."
Are you upset to start in the rear of the field?
Kenseth: "It's better than not starting. I feel bad for whoever didn't get through there and didn't make the race. I'm glad they're still on last year's points instead of this year's points or probably we wouldn't have made the race either, so I'm not really sure what the issue was, but when I walked up 10 minutes before qualifying was scheduled to start and it was only 14 cars on pit road, so I have a hard time believing it was the teams."
Do you know why this happened?
Kenseth: "I don't really know. I'm not educated enough on that to give you a good answer. I think you'd have to ask Jason (Ratcliff, crew chief) or somebody there. I don't really know. I don't typically go with the car through inspections, so I don't know."(Toyota Racing)(2-28-2015)
Kenseth wins the Sprint Unlimited: #20-Matt Kenseth won the Sprint Unlimited Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway, his first win in the event. #78-Truex Jr. led 29 laps (the most) and finished 2nd, followed by #19-Edwards, #13-Mears, #42-Larson, #22-Logano, #24-Gordon, #18-Busch, #88-Earnhardt Jr. and #10-Patrick. Only 12 of 25 cars were still running at the end of the race as there were four wrecks causing 17 caution laps and two red flags. There were 14 lead changes among 9 drivers. Pole winner #27-Meard was involved in a big wreck and finished 21st.
See race results, segments 1 results, race re-air dates/times, links and info on the Sprint Unlimited page.(2-14-2015)
Schedule for Kenseth's DeWalt sponsored races announced: After a five-season hiatus, DEWALT will return as a primary sponsor for Matt Kenseth's #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota on March 8 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, for the first of their six-race primary sponsorship in 2015. Announced in Sept. of 2014, Stanley Black & Decker will partner with Joe Gibbs Racing to sponsor both the #19 entry of Carl Edwards and Kenseth's #20 Camry beginning in 2015. While Stanley Black & Decker will grace the #19, the DEWALT brand returns to Kenseth, where the two partnered for many successes over their 11-year history together from 1999 to 2009 (at Roush Fenway Racing). DEWALT will be featured aboard the #20 Camry for a total of six races this season at tracks where Kenseth has earned a career total of 13 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories; recording multiple wins on five of the six tracks on this schedule: Las Vegas, Auto Club, Charlotte in May, Daytona in July, Talladega in October and Texas in November.(MattKenseth.com), see images of the scheme on the #20 Team Schemes page.(1-31-2015)
Kenseth, Johnson appear in new Gatorade ad: In 2015, Gatorade is celebrating its 50th anniversary and kicked off the celebration on Christmas Day with the debut of its new "50" television commercial. The ad celebrates five decades of fueling champions through a montage of 50 iconic sports moments ingrained in the brand and includes athletes like Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Cam Newton among many others. Each moment corresponds with a number relevant to Gatorade.(Charlotte Observer)(12-27-2014)
Todd Berrier joins Joe Gibbs Racing: Todd Berrier has joined Joe Gibbs Racing. The veteran crew chief started his new job on Monday and is expected to transition into Jimmy Makar's role. Makar, who has been with JGR since its inception in 1992 as Dale Jarrett's crew chief, is currently the senior vice president of racing operations. JGR president J.D. Gibbs confirmed Berrier's hiring on Thursday but was not certain of his title. Berrier was most recently the crew chief for Furniture Row Racing and the #78 Chevy but transitioned out of his role over the last year. Berrier honed his crew chief skills at Richard Childress Racing starting with truck in 1997. He led Kevin Harvick to the Nationwide Series title in 2001 before graduating to Cup full-time in 2002. Berrier has four Chase appearances, eight Cup wins, six Nationwide Series wins and four truck victories.(Motorsport)(12-5-2014)
Joe Gibbs Racing Announces 2015 Crew Chief Lineup: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced crew chief assignments for each of its four 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and three NASCAR XFINITY Series teams.
JGR's 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crew Chief lineup:
Jason Ratcliff, #20 Toyota driven by Matt Kenseth
Dave Rogers, #11 Toyota driven by Denny Hamlin
Darian Grubb, #19 Toyota driven by Carl Edwards
Adam Stevens, #18 Toyota driven by Kyle Busch
(Rogers moves from #18 Cup team, Grubb moves from #11 Cup team, Stevens moves up from JGR's NNS team)
JGR's 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series Crew Chief lineup:
Eric Phillips, #18 Toyota driven by Daniel Suarez
Chris Gayle, #54 Toyota driven by multiple drivers
Mike Wheeler, #20 Toyota driven by multiple drivers
"With the expansion of our NASCAR Sprint Cup Series operations to four teams next year with the addition of Carl Edwards, we have been able to take a step back and evaluate each of our teams and make decisions that we feel are best for our organization long term," said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. "Like Jason and Dave previously, Adam (Stevens) has clearly proven that he is ready to move into the Cup Series and we feel that his familiarity with Kyle (Busch) provides the opportunity for us to make that move now. We think pairing Dave (Rogers) with Denny (Hamlin) and Darian (Grubb) with Carl (Edwards) will also make each team stronger heading into next season. Jason (Ratcliff) and Matt (Kenseth) came together quickly and we felt it was in the best interest of the 20 team to keep it as is.
Stevens joins the Sprint Cup Series after spending the previous four seasons as a crew chief in JGR's NASCAR Nationwide Series. Over that time, Stevens has been a part of 31 wins, 73 top-five and 95 top-ten finishes in 124 starts.
"The XFINITY Series has been very important to us at Joe Gibbs Racing. Not only from a driver development standpoint, but also in the development of crew chiefs and other team members that eventually make their way into our Cup programs. Mike Wheeler has been a vital part of our success with Denny on the Cup side and we're excited that he will have a chance to be a crew chief. It is a similar transition to the one we made with Chris Gayle a couple of years ago, and Chris will remain with us, but move over to the 54 Toyota with Kyle. We're also excited to have Eric Phillips join our operations from KBM to work with Daniel Suarez next season."
Mike Wheeler has been with JGR since December 2002 and served as the race engineer on the #11 Cup team since that team's formation in 2005. He will now serve as crew chief on the #20 XFINITY team which will run a full season with multiple drivers. Gayle, who has served as the crew chief on JGR's #11 Nationwide Series team the previous two seasons and was an engineer on JGR's #18 Sprint Cup Series team prior to that, will now lead the organization's #54 XFINITY Series team. Eric Phillips joins JGR from Kyle Busch Motorsports where he served as crew chief for the NASCAR Camping World Series Owner's Championship #51 Tundra team. Phillips, who joined KBM in 2010, will work with Daniel Suarez on the #18 XFINITY Series team in 2015.(JGR)(12-4-2014)
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)
Stanley, DeWalt join Joe Gibbs Racing: Joe Gibbs Racing announced that it has entered partnership with world-leading tool and security provider STANLEY and professional power tool provider DEWALT beginning in the 2015 season. STANLEY and DEWALT will serve as primary sponsors for drivers Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth, respectively. STANLEY will partner with JGR as the primary sponsor for 12 races on the #19 Toyota driven by Carl Edwards beginning in 2015, while DEWALT will serve as the primary sponsor for six races on the #20 Toyota driven by Matt Kenseth. In addition, STANLEY will have associate branding on the #18 Toyota throughout the 2015 season, as well as on both the #19 and #20 Toyotas when not already serving as the primary sponsor. Other Stanley Black & Decker brands, including Mac Tools, BLACK+DECKER, and more, will continue to be a part of the NASCAR program with JGR.(Joe Gibbs Racing), see images of the cars on the #19 team paint scheme and #20 team paint scheme page.(9-17-2014)
Matt Kenseth's Race Against Bullying Children's Book Debuts: Today (August 26, 2014) on National Youth Literacy Day, Matt Kenseth debuted Matt Kenseth's Race Against Bullying, his first children's book aimed at educating and empowering children to make good choices if faced with bullying situations. Kenseth, a two-time Daytona 500 Champion and the NASCAR Sprint Cup series driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota Camry, released the book with his wife Katie at Joe Gibbs Racing headquarters. Published by Bendon, Inc., Matt Kenseth's Race Against Bullying is available today for purchase exclusively at more than 11,300 Dollar General stores nationwide and online at www.dollargeneral.com. It is also the first installment of a four-part series of educational children's books that Matt and Katie Kenseth championed. The series is designed for family reading for children ages 4 through 8 to become more self-confident and empowered to make good choices.
"As a parent of three small children, it's natural to worry about the issues they will face while growing up," said Kenseth, the 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. "Both Katie and I believe that openly talking about these issues is the best way to prepare them. This book is designed to help families discuss the effects of bullying with their kids. We believe it's important our kids not only know how to deal with a bully, but also understand that it's not OK to act like one."
"We're excited to partner with Matt to raise awareness and provide solutions to childhood bullying, especially since it reflects our mission of Serving Others," said Rick Dreiling, Dollar General's chairman and CEO. "The project also combines Dollar General's passion for literacy and reading through the Dollar General Literacy Foundation with the strong representation Matt brings to both Dollar General, Joe Gibbs Racing and NASCAR."
According to www.stopbullying.gov, more than 70 percent of students say they have seen bullying in their schools and less than 30 percent of students who are bullied notify an adult. Kenseth, an avid reader, has helped support literacy programs throughout his career and currently serves as an ambassador for the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. Sharing in both Dollar General and Kenseth's commitment to literacy is long-time Kenseth sponsor CITIZEN Watch, who made a $25,000 donation on Kenseth's behalf to the Dollar General Literacy Foundation in honor of the book launch.
"Our new brand statement Better Starts Now is about reaching inside yourself to do things better. With the launch of his new book, Matt has shown us that this motto is part of his character both on and off the track," said Jeffrey Cohen, President of Citizen Watch Company of America. "With statistics showing bullying and harassment becoming an even bigger social problem a book like this is just what is needed to help start the conversation earlier between parents and children. Citizen Watch Company has supported higher education for the past two years as a corporate sponsor of the National Merit Scholarship Foundation and we are proud to expand our educational support with a donation to the Dollar General Literacy Foundation in honor of Matt Kenseth."
Matt Kenseth's Race Against Bullying is a 22-page, 10 x 10-inch, soft-cover book, retailing for $3 at more than 11,300 Dollar General stores nationwide and online at www.dollargeneral.com. Written by Gina Gold, illustrated by Adam Devaney and produced by Judy O Productions, Inc., Matt Kenseth's Race Against Bullying was created by Matt and Katie Kenseth and is published by Bendon, Inc. To learn more about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, please visit www.dgliteracy.org.(JGR)(8-26-2014)
Tom McCrimmon Wins NASCAR Chicane in Bristol: Tom McCrimmon, #20 Joe Gibbs Racing, has won the third NASCAR Chicane of the 2014 Pilot Flying J Truck Driver Challenge. McCrimmon, the 2009 and 2012 NASCAR Champion of the Pilot Flying J Truck Driver Challenge, put his safe driving on display before the weekend's highly anticipated IRWIN Tools Night Race. He tied teammate Jamie Price (#18 Joe Gibbs Racing) for the top spot, but edged price out with a faster time. Ken Pitcher of Tommy Baldwin Racing finished in third place to round out the top-3.
After his victory, an overjoyed McCrimmon exclaimed, "That's all! Everybody wants to win at Bristol. It's exciting when the season starts to wind down and the championship gets closer. Having won this competition two times, I couldn't be more grateful for the benefits and opportunities Pilot Flying J has provided me in the Truck Driver Challenge."
The transport drivers of the Sprint Cup Series are competing for this year's grand prize of $30,000, in addition to a brand new GPS unit. Upon being named to this year's championship, the top-3 transport drivers of the Sprint Cup Series will receive a Rand McNally IntelliRoute TND 720, the official GPS unit of the 2014 Pilot Flying J Truck Driver Challenge. Committed to supporting the professional transport driver, Rand McNally provides this year's Sprint Cup finalists with a GPS unit specially designed to enhance their routes nationwide. The final NASCAR Chicane of the 2014 Pilot Flying J Truck Driver Challenge will take place at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on Monday, September 8 at 12:00pm/et. For more information, please visit pfjtruckchallenge.com.(Pilot Flying J/Victory 500 Marketing)(8-23-2014)
Joe Gibbs Racing extends Kenseth's contact; Dollar General expands sponsorship: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) and Dollar General announce an expanded partnership with a multi-year agreement for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and beyond. In addition, JGR announces the contract extension of driver Matt Kenseth that will keep him behind the wheel of the #20 Dollar General Toyota. Dollar General, based in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, will increase its sponsorship to 30 races with Matt Kenseth and the #20 team, up from 27 in 2014 and 17 in 2013. One of the top contenders within the Sprint Cup Series, Kenseth is currently fourth the 2014 point standings with five top-five, 10 top-10 finishes and one pole award through the first 16 races. In 2013, his first year driving for JGR and Dollar General, Kenseth celebrated seven wins, marking both a Series and career-best season.
"Extending my deal with JGR is exciting and I'm still hoping we can match our win total from last year, but it's really been a special year-and-a-half together," Kenseth added. "Joe and J.D. have been fantastic and show a commitment to providing all of us with the resources needed for a winning organization and I've been blessed with a great team led by Jason (Ratcliff). The support we get from TRD has been tremendous and I'm excited for the future here with the #20 Dollar General team."(Joe Gibbs Racing)(6-28-2014)
Home Depot leaving NASCAR at end of 2014: Home Depot, which has been a primary NASCAR sponsor since 1999 on the #20 car, will leave the sport after its contract with Joe Gibbs Racing ends this season, said sources familiar with Home Depot's plans.(Sports Business Journal), Matt Kenseth drives the #20 Toyota for JGR.(6-23-2014)
NASCAR champ's son moves to Grand Rapids area after joining Jenison team: Ross Kenseth, the son of #20-Matt Kenseth, has taken the year off from his studies at Clemson University, and he moved to the Grand Rapids, MI area after signing to drive for the Jenison-based Boyne Machine Racing team. Car owner Mike Blackmer has hired Kenseth to race his #77 Enterprise Iron & Metal Ford Fusion template-bodied Late Model in big-dollar races as well as select programs at Berlin - the team's home track. Kenseth, 20, will be competing in Saturday night's Super Late Model race at the Berlin half-mile. Kenseth's father won the 2003 Sprint Cup championship and finished runner-up to Jimmie Johnson a year ago. Kenseth's ultimate goal is to someday be battling for championships in the NASCAR ranks, too, and his journey has taken him to West Michigan this season. Blackmer hired Kelly Bires to serve as Kenseth's crew chief.(Michigan Live)(5-17-2014)
Congrats to the Kenseths: Joe Gibbs Racing's driver of the #20 Toyota, Matt Kenseth, and his wife Katie welcomed a new bundle of joy Tuesday evening with the birth of the couple's third daughter. Clara Mae Kenseth was born March 25 at 7:39pm/et weighing in at eight pounds and five ounces. Both mother and daughter are doing well as the family enjoys the latest addition who joins the couple's other daughters Kaylin and Grace, along with their son Ross. Kenseth will be able to spend a few days at home with his brand new baby girl before traveling to nearby Martinsville, Virginia for this weekend's STP 500 Sprint Cup Series event at the Martinsville Speedway.(JGR)(3-26-2014)
Artwork by Garry Hill: "NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge 2004" - Matt Kenseth In The Roush Racing Ford Battles Past A Sliding Ryan Newman For The Lead On His Way To Victory In The NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge Race At Lowe's Motor Speedway May 22, 2004. Garry Hill is pleased to present the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge 2004. The artwork captures the defining moment of the event as Matt Kenseth takes the lead from Ryan Newman. 500 prints and 50 artist's proof prints have been produced each signed and numbered by NASCAR licensed artist Garry Hill. Since 1987 Garry Hill has had the distinct honor and privilege of creating the artwork to commemorate the annual all-star race. More info at garryhill.com
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, FL
Congratulations 2015 Champ Kyle Busch
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Born in NOVEMBER:
26 Chip Bolin, Dale Jarrett, Katie Pearson
27 Billy Standridge, Kate Dallenbach, Ricky Carmichael, Shane Church
28 Chase Elliott, Billy Sutphin, Mitch Way, Nelson Stacy, Mason Mingus
29 Bob Dillner, Zach Brewer, Ryan Ellis, Tanner Berryhill
30 Danny Earnhardt, Dave Dion, Dick Hutcherson, Shawna Robinson, Chris Hussey, Andy Kirby, Brittany Glover
Born in DECEMBER:
1 Stanton Barrett Jr, Kenny Francis, David Evans, Danny Gill, Larry Gunselman
2 Erik Darnell, Kelly Kellis, Victoria Trickle
3 Bobby Allison, Cody Cook
4 Dean Johnson, Evelyn Andrews, Doug Keller
5 J.D. McDuffie, Jim Paschal, Jim Hurtubise
6 Stacey Witzke, Christian Elder
7 Geoff Smith, Dylan Lupton, Paul Moore, Richmond Gage
8 Susan Adamczyk (sister), Garry Hill, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman, Kerry Earnhardt, Jason Ratcliff, Nadine Lubejko, John Cohen, Zachary Jarrett
9 Tomy Drissi, Coy Gibbs, Brad Teague, Steve Richards
10 Mike Barrientos, Makayla Ann McSwain, Jerry Honeycut
11 Frankie Adamczyk, Mariah Belber, Eric McClure, Chris Horn, Tony Eury Sr.
12 Ed Watkins, Rick Pennington, Emerson Fittipaldi
13 Army National Guard, Jim Vandiver, Jarrett Andretti, David Stover, Mark Nickels, Michael Mumford
14 NASCAR (meeting at Streamline Hotel), Alan Kulwicki, Hershel McGriff, Darrin Dykes, Steve Hmiel, Bob Tracey, Harry McMullen
15 Jeff Beck, Eli Gold, Lance McGrew
16 A.J. Allmendinger
17 Mike Beam, Dustin Long, Matt Martin, Montgomery Lee Petty, Bobby East
18 Ted Musgrave, Vic Irvan, Tom Polansky
19 Patty Moise, Paul Tracy, Sheldon Schrader, John Monsham
20 Erin Marco, Taylor Nicole Earnhardt, Kinsley Parsons
21 Daniel Knost, Travis Kittleson, Michael McDowell
22 David Pearson
23 Greg Biffle, Peter Sospenzo, Ray Dunlap, Chris Cook, Addison Frye
24 Fr. Steven Janoski, David Ragan, Krista Marie Allison, Mike Gooch
25 Jesus Christ, Charles Comstock, Randy Earnhardt, Jimmy Buffett, Starr Elliott, Butch Lamoreux, Curtis W. Key, Noel Schafer
26 Ben Kennedy, Blair Makenzie Nemechek, Josh Mick
27 Mike Laughlin, Don Radebaugh
28 Jack Ingram, Nelson Stacy, Brittany Wallace, Joyce Kearns
29 Waddell Wilson, Boston Reid, Mike Bagley, Owen Kearns Jr., Jessica Stroupe
30 Fred Lorenzen, Donnie Mergard, Ryan Hemphill, Kole Kahne, Cooper Berrier
31 Ryan Blaney, Riley Craven, Benny Ertel, Joe Hicks, Dorthy Schrader, Beth Simons-Dykes, John Wes Townley