NOTE: many of the links in the past news will be old and may not work
decided it was not worth the time to go thru each one on all the Team Past News pages
Interstate Batteries returns to sponsor the #18: Interstate Batteries will return for the 21st season to sponsor the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota for six races in 2013. Kyle Busch is scheduled to drive the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota at: Auto Club (3/24), Texas (4/13), Daytona (7/6), New Hampshire (7/14), Michigan (8/11) and Dover (9/29). See an image of the scheme on the #18 Team & Schemes page.(1-26-2013)
Joe Gibbs Racing and Kyle Busch Agree to Contract Extension: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced today that it has signed driver Kyle Busch to a long-term contract extension. In addition, JGR will field the #54 Monster Energy Toyota in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2013 with Busch serving as the primary driver.
"I'm passionate about winning and that was a big factor in deciding to re-sign with Joe Gibbs Racing," said Busch. "I think JGR gives me the best opportunity to win a championship in the Cup Series for M&M's and Interstate Batteries. I know that everyone on our team is committed to that goal and will push towards making that a reality in 2013. I'm also looking forward to the opportunity to work with Adam Stevens in the Nationwide Series and put Monster Energy in Victory Lane where they belong. "I'm extremely proud of what we have accomplished in a short period of time at KBM in both the Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide Series. When we started KBM our attention was to build something for the long term and now we are going to put a greater focus on our future with Parker (Kligerman) competing in Nationwide and Joey (Coulter) running trucks."
The #54 Monster Energy Toyota will run a full season schedule for JGR with crew chief Adam Stevens calling the shots from atop the pit box. Busch is currently scheduled to drive the majority of the races in 2013. Additional drivers for the 54 team will be announced soon. "This is a big deal for us," said JGR President J.D. Gibbs. "It's no secret that you have to have great drivers to win in NASCAR and in the past year we've been able to secure long-term deals with Kyle and Denny and of course we were able to add Matt as well. Kyle is a big part of our success at JGR and we're thrilled to know he will be with us for a long time."(JGR)(1-24-2013)
Joe Gibbs Racing Notes from the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour: the final stop on the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Media Tour was Joe Gibbs Racing: Some notes from Twitter world
JGR officially announces multi-year extension with Kyle Busch.
Busch says he had two serious offers from other Sprint Cup teams to leave JGR (supposedly SHR was one).
Kyle Busch will also drive 25 Nationwide races for JGR in the #54.
Kyle says that Joe Gibbs Racing will supply engines for KBM (Kligerman in Nationwide, Coulter & Kyle in truck)
Denny Hamlin expects that new rear camber rules will make reliability a big topic in 2013.
Joe Gibbs says that all JGR Cup sponsors are signed for long term deals except one (Home Depot/Husky?).
Coach Gibbs says the 49ers will win this year's Super Bowl.
Matt Kenseth says changing teams at the same time as learning the new #car has been beneficial.
Elliott Sadler testing a Sprint Cup car today at New Smyrna Speedway but no Cup races set for him in 2013.
JD Gibbs says there will be an announcement on Bubba Wallace soon.
(from many Twitter reports/feeds)(1-24-2013)
Kyle Busch signed extension with JGR in December: #18-Kyle Busch has re-signed a long-term extension with Joe Gibbs Racing, removing one of the biggest names from the Sprint Cup Series' impending free-agent market. Two officials with direct knowledge of the deal told USA TODAY Sports that Busch, whose contract at JGR was set to expire after the 2013 season, signed a multiyear deal in December [supposedly thru 2017]. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the team had yet to announce the deal. The team had no comment on Busch's contract status. Asked Thursday night by USA TODAY Sports about whether he had a deal done, Busch coyly replied that "everybody will find out on (the team's) media day what's coming down." With Busch's future secure, JGR has its three drivers under long-term deals. Denny Hamlin re-signed an extension last season, and Matt Kenseth joined the organization this year in a multiyear contract. #78-Kurt Busch, #42-Juan Pablo Montoya and #39-Ryan Newman are the biggest names who aren't signed beyond 2013.(USA Today)(1-12-2013)
Study names NASCAR's Social Media Leaders: Joe Gibbs Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, and #48-Jimmie Johnson are among NASCAR's strongest and most engaging users of social media, a new social media study of the NASCAR industry finds. The study – conducted by Tuckahoe Strategies, a strategic communications firm - scored drivers, teams and select NASCAR sponsors and partners on a 20-point scale. Joe Gibbs Racing topped the charts with a Social Media Score of 15 points, Hendrick trailed by one point at 14 points and Johnson scored 13 points.
Gibbs' online accounts comprise one of the broadest social media strategies for reaching fans of the sport. The team site, www.joegibbsracing.com, is up to date with timely features, and the homepage points to six social media platforms, including a mobile app for iPhone, Blackberry or Droid. The team maintains active social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and FourSquare. Hendrick also has an active and diverse menu of social media platforms including a mobile app. Gibbs' social media score bested Hendrick's by a single point because of its slightly more effective home page promotion of its social media platforms.
Johnson is the most comprehensive user of social media among drivers. He reaches his audience on a broad array of platforms including: Facebook, 657,062 page likes; Twitter, 348,402 followers; YouTube, 265 subscribers; and Instagram, with an industry-leading 60,618 followers. Johnson's social media reach (the sum of all social media followers across platforms) is 1,066,347. This veritable "media machine" has a following larger than the circulation of the Los Angeles Times, which is the fourth largest newspaper in the country.
The sport's largest audience holder and content curator across the board is NASCAR. The sanctioning body regained a voice and a direct connection to its fan base this year after repossessing control of its online assets in a January 2012 agreement with Turner Sports Interactive. NASCAR's total social media reach is an astronomical 5,044,070, more than double the daily circulation of the largest U.S. newspaper, The Wall Street Journal. In fact, NASCAR commands the industry's top position in terms of audience on Facebook likes (3,239,504), Twitter followers (841,027) and YouTube subscribers (5,430). The sanctioning body also has 1,420 followers on Pinterest and a staggering 956,689 circles on Google+.(Tuckahoe Strategies)(1-10-2013)
Johnson favored to win 2013 title by oddsmakers: A well-known online bookmaker has spoken, and #48-Jimmie Johnson is the 2013 favorite to win the Sprint Cup. In the betting game, it's not even close. Johnson is listed at 4-1 by Bovada . Next comes a three-way tie for No. 2 with defending champ #2-Brad Keselowski, #11-Denny Hamlin and #18-Kyle Busch all at 17-2. Even though Busch failed to make the 2012 Chase, he is viewed as the second-most likely driver to win the 2013 title. Fourth on the list is #5-Kasey Kahne at 9-1, followed by three former champions at 12-1 -- #24-Jeff Gordon, #20-Matt Kenseth and #14-Tony Stewart, the 2011 champ. #99-Carl Edwards, the 2011 runner-up when he tied Stewart for the points total but had fewer wins, gets a decent betting line despite finishing 15th last season and going winless. He's 14-1 along with #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #15-Clint Bowyer and #16-Greg Biffle. #56-Martin Truex Jr. is 16-1, and #29-Kevin Harvick has the longest odds among the 2012 Chase drivers at 20-1, probably because he's a lame-duck driver at Richard Childress Racing. Harvick moves to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014. If you want to pick a real long shot, #39-Ryan Newman is listed at 50-1 along with #42-Juan Pablo Montoya. #1-Jamie McMurray, Montoya's teammate at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, is substantially better at 33-1. If you like #22-Joey Logano's chances in his first year at Penske Racing, you can get him at 40-1.(ESPN)(1-9-2013)
2013 silly season notes for #18-Kyle Busch / Joe Gibs Racing: no major changes in any way with the #18 team. With the new 6th generation car to Busch's liking, Busch could have a big year as he says he loves the new car. Busch only won one Sprint Cup Series race in 2012 and missed the Chase but had six top-five finishes in the last seven races. Dave Rogers returns as the crew chief. M&M's returns to sponsor 30 races, which includes Snickers and Wrigley Gum. No official word on longtime JGR sponsor Interstate Batteries, but they are expected beck for six races as the primary sponsor in 2013. See images of the M&M's regular scheme on my #18 Team Schemes page. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-9-2013)
Interstate Batteries [6 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2012 races:
Auto Club - 3/25
Texas - 4/14
Daytona - 7/7
New Hampshire - 7/15
Michigan - 8/19
Dover - 9/30
There are eight current race tracks the Sprint Cup Series runs on that Kyle Busch has not won at a Sprint Cup race:
Martinsville, Texas, Charlotte, Kansas, Pocono, Michigan, Indianapolis and Homestead.(11-20-2011)
More new 2013 car info: The 2013 season will mark the introduction of the 'Gen-6' NASCAR racecar. At the heart of the new car is a desire to see more competitive racing by cars that closely resemble their showroom counterparts. Here are some of the key changes that fans will notice:
1) Distinct body lines that match street vehicles
2) The "greenhouse" area is the same on every car
3) Longer nose and shorter tail to mimic street cars
4) Carbon fiber hood and decklid
5) New decals on windshield and roof
See the full post along with images at joegibbsracing.com.(11-30-2012)
Mars to be honored with NASCAR Marketing Achievement Award: Mars, Incorporated will be honored with the 2012 NASCAR Marketing Achievement Award at the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards held at Encore at Wynn Las Vegas on Thursday, November 29. Throughout its 23-year partnership, Mars has directly engaged race fans, customers and associates through an integrated marketing strategy that spanned across multiple activations, including: intellectual property, promotions, public relations, B2B, online, broadcast, event marketing and retail. The partnership represents one of the longest standing within the sport. In a recent study, it was revealed that Mars receives an impressive 4-to-1 return on its investment in NASCAR (measured by Mars tracking data). Additionally, its sponsorships create a fifth season of sales for the brand, which is on par with the size of the company's Christmas selling season.(NASCAR)(11-28-2012)
Latest on JGR extension with Busch: Joe Gibbs Racing is hoping to re-sign #18-Kyle Busch before the end of the year. Coach Gibbs said Saturday that his company is working on a long-term deal to secure both the M&M's sponsorship and the driver, whose contract runs through 2013. "We're working really hard on that. We want to do that early so we're not going into the last year," Gibbs said. "M&M's is on board, but their contract is still extended into the future. Hopefully, we get everything clarified in the next two weeks. I'm expecting everything to kind of be in place in the next two weeks. That would be a game plan for us if we could. That would be exciting." Monster Energy is expected to join Busch in the Nationwide Series at JGR. Kyle Busch Motorsports will continue to campaign in trucks and perhaps a NNS entry as well.(FoxSports)(11-19-2012)
NASCAR Sponsor Mars, Inc. Thrilled With Partnership: Mars, Inc., the company responsible for manufacturing M&M's, has been a NASCAR sponsor for over 20 years [currently #18-Kyle Busch], which is one of the longest standing partnerships within the sport. It takes a lot of goodwill and success for a brand to stay connected to any one sport for such a vast amount of time. The proof may be found in the raw data, which NASCAR has provided to Forbes.com in an effort to showcase the value of its longtime partner in Mars, Inc. (specifically M&M's). Perhaps the most impressive statistic produced by NASCAR (and measured by Mars, Inc. tracking data) is that Mars, Inc. receives an impressive 4-to-1 return on investment from their sponsorship in NASCAR. Further analysis reveals that M&M's is the 4th most recognized brand in NASCAR with a 72% brand loyalty over competitors and that sponsorships effectively create a 5th season of sales for Mars, Inc., which is on par with the size of Mars North America Christmas selling season.(see full article Forbes)(11-16-2012)
Gibbs feels good about re-signing Kyle Busch: The president of Joe Gibbs Racing is optimistic the organization will sign #18-Kyle Busch to an extension. "I feel good that we'll get it all together,'' J.D. Gibbs said before Sunday's race at Phoenix International Raceway in which Busch will start on the pole. "I'm not going to say anything official, but we feel good about it.'' Busch is entering the last year of his contract in 2013. There had been speculation he might go to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014. Sources told ESPN.com's Marty Smith on Friday that SHR has signed Richard Childress Racing's Kevin Harvick for the 2014 season and would go to four cars with Harvick, Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick and Ryan Newman if he re-signs after next season. Gibbs wouldn't confirm whether an extension with Busch would be signed before next season, but remained adamant he wants to get it done sooner rather than later. Busch was not available for comment.(ESPN)(11-12-2012)
Busch interested in Ross Kenseth for CWTS ride UPDATE: Kyle Busch would love to offer Ross Kenseth a Camping World Truck Series ride in 2013. While Busch is quite impressed with Kenseth and has raced against the 19-year-old in various series, the biggest stumbling block for inking a deal could be sponsorship. "I'd like to do something with Ross," Busch said. "It's just a problem trying to get funding. There's no backing for some of the drivers that are here right now. The price is obviously cheaper in the truck series. You can start small and grow big. But it's hard to get interest there." Ross Kenseth, the son of 2003 Sprint Cup champion Matt Kenseth, is currently studying engineering at Clemson University, but is earning quite the reputation on short tracks. In July, he won the Redbud 300 at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway. Last month he was victorious in the All American 400 (Fairgrounds Speedway, Nashville) and in the Winchester (Ind.) 400, besting Busch in both events.(Fox Sports)(11-3-2012)
UPDATE: Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) announced that the team has signed Joey Coulter to compete for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver's championship in 2013. Further details regarding sponsorship and truck number will be announced at a later date.(KBM)(11-7-2012)
Busch's crew finds problem with car: The crew of Kyle Busch's #18 M&M's Toyota found a cracked track bar mount on the car before the race and changed the part, preventing what could have been a serious failure at speed. Crews checked the other Joe Gibbs Racing cars and determined that the issue on the #18 was isolated. Busch posted the fastest lap in Friday's final practice session, but he was more concerned with longer runs. "It's nice to have the fastest lap, but it doesn't really mean much," Busch said. "What we're really looking at are lap averages - but it's a good car."(NASCAR Wire Service)(10-13-2012)
Gibbs Hauler driver wins challenge: Joe Gibbs Racing driver Tom McCrimmons was announced as the 2012 champion of the Pilot/Flying J Truck Driver Challenge Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It was McCrimmons' second title, having won in 2009. It was also the fifth win in nine years for a JGR driver. McCrimmons pocketed $30,000 for his win in this year's contest. "I told him, 'Hey it's just like [NASCAR] drivers; you've gotta split that with us. It's 50-50,'" Joe Gibbs Racing President JD Gibbs joked. "When the race is over, we all travel home, fly home, ride home. The guys who drive the trucks – your job just begins. So I just want to say thank you on behalf of what you guys do for the sport, the way you guys do it with safety, the way you guys do it with class. It's a big deal." Eric Burgoyne of Champion Tire and Wheel finished second, earning $7,500, and Richard Petty Motorsports driver Bob Decker finished third, picking up $2,500. The 2013 Pilot/Flying J Truck Driver Challenge will celebrate the event's 10-year anniversary and will be supported by special advertisements created with the hauler drivers promoting highway safety.(CMS)(10-13-2012)
Busch brothers have win streaks in jeopardy: The Busch brothers, Kurt and Kyle, both have significant streaks in danger of ending this year. From 2002 through 2011, Kurt won at least one race per year in the Sprint Cup Series. So far this year, in the #51 Chevy owned by James Finch, Busch has a best finish of third at Sonoma. He'll race for Finch Sunday at Talladega before starting his tenure at Furniture Row Racing Oct. 13 at Charlotte.
Kyle's eight-year winning streak in the Nationwide Series likewise is in jeopardy. Driving for his own team for the first time this year, and sharing Nationwide duties with Kurt, Kyle is winless in 17 starts. Kurt has the only Nationwide victory for Kyle Busch Motorsports, having triumphed at Richmond in April.(NASCAR Wire Service)(10-7-2012)
Toyota not happy with Kyle Busch's Dover comments: UPDATE: After leading - by far - the most laps in Sunday's AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway, #18Kyle Busch was forced to make a late pit stop under green flag conditions in order to make it to the end of the race. The stop cost him the win and he finished seventh, one lap down. Only six cars, including winner Brad Keselowski, finished on the lead lap. As he crossed the finish line, Busch let loose a short, vulgarity-laced tirade over his team radio directed at Toyota Racing Development, claiming the in-house tuning shop for all Toyota cars had cost him and his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team "another one." On Wednesday, Lee White, TRD president, took issue with Busch's comments. "We're as frustrated as he was that he didn't win that race considering how many laps he led, considering he and Denny (Hamlin) both literally dominated the race. We're as disappointed as he was. However, we've got used to saying 'That's just Kyle, you know' But this is a bit of a special case," White said. "We're extremely disappointed in his negative comments and the tone of the comments after the event. It is under discussion as we move forward. We certainly are very disappointed, having said that, Kyle is an amazing talent in a race car and he takes it very personally when something goes wrong and he loses a race he thinks he should have won. I look forward to take it up with coach (Joe) Gibbs and see if we can't do something to sort it out so that we have a better working relationship in the future. I am confident that we will."(Charlotte Observer)(10-4-2012)
UPDATE: The following statements are from Kyle Busch, Lee White, Joe Gibbs, and Ed Laukes regarding the conclusion of last Sunday's NSACAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover:
Kyle Busch, Driver of the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry: "I made some remarks out of frustration on my radio at the end of last weekend's race in Dover that were very misguided. I owe my friends at Toyota and TRD an apology. We have a great partnership with TRD and they built me a motor that helped me lead over 300 laps and nearly lap the field. It's just frustrating that the caution fell where it did and suddenly it became a fuel mileage race and we were set up for maximum horsepower. Obviously, that worked well for most of the day and you can't control when the cautions will fall. I think we have a great partnership with TRD and we will continue to communicate with them on what our team is looking for. I'm looking forward to getting down to Talladega this weekend and focusing on the race."
Lee White, President and General Manager, TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development): "We understand Kyle's passion for racing -- and winning. At TRD and Toyota, we have that same zeal for racing -- and winning. We were disappointed with Kyle's post-race comments from Dover -- a race that he dominated. Kyle's had a frustrating year with several car and engine mechanical failures which were not his responsibility, and we're working extremely hard on our end to improve our products and processes. We will continue to address these issues, but we're ready to put this behind us and move forward with the remainder of the season, including the Toyota drivers battling for the championship."
Joe Gibbs, Team Owner, Joe Gibbs Racing: "We have a great relationship with Toyota and obviously they are a major part of everything we do at Joe Gibbs Racing. Toyota is first class in every aspect of their company and they share our passion for winning. It has been a frustrating season for Kyle in many ways when you think about some of the issues we've had with that 18 team this year and obviously some of those frustrations carried over to his finish last week in Dover. We were able to lead over 300 laps, but unfortunately the cautions didn't fall our way and certainly you can understand the frustration of having to give up the lead late in the race. However, Kyle recognizes that his comments and the tone of his comments were misguided. We've been able to work through this issue and I think everyone is ready to get back to the focus being on racing and Talladega."
Ed Laukes, Vice President of Marketing Communications & Motorsports, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.: "We've had a fabulous relationship with Kyle Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing over the last five years. Kyle is a talented driver who wins races and can compete for championships, and he is a very important part of the Toyota brand. We look forward to a long-term relationship with Kyle and Joe Gibbs Racing for years to come."(Toyota/Gibbs PR)(10-4-2012)
Gibbs looking to extend Busch's contract: Next season is expected to produce a top crop of free agents in the Sprint Cup market - but if Joe Gibbs Racing has its way, #18-Kyle Busch's name will never reach the rumor mill. Principals at Gibbs Racing are working diligently to renew Busch's contract before it expires next season. According to sources, Gibbs approached Busch on an extension in the last couple of months and hopes to retain one of NASCAR's top talents. "They typically do (contracts before the expiration date)," Busch said. "They've brought it up to my attention. I just kind of put it off to, 'Let's get through, let's see what happens in the Chase.' Since we missed that, it's kind of like, now they want to re-talk about it. I'm like, let's just wait until the end of the year. There's no sense in causing a distraction."(Fox Sports)(9-30-2012)
Joe Gibbs Racing Fall FanFest - October 12: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) Fall FanFest will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at its team headquarters in Huntersville, NC on Friday, Oct. 12. JGR NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers-Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano- will be available to sign autographs. JGR NASCAR Nationwide and development series drivers will also be available for autographs from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. More info on my NASCAR Charities page.(9-27-2012)
Joe Gibbs Racing Captures NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win No. 100: Joe Gibbs' hard-to-fathom two-sport career has become statistically symmetrical. Consider… Three Super Bowl championships? Check. Three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships? Check. Triple-digit wins in the NFL? Check. Triple-digit wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series? Well, after two-plus decades in the sport, Gibbs can check that rare milestone off the list too. With #11-Denny Hamlin's dominant win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) reached a rare milestone, becoming only the sixth team in NASCAR Sprint Cup history to reach 100 victories. Joe Gibbs entered the series in 1992 as a one-car team with eventual series champion Dale Jarrett as his driver. Now, JGR exists as a three-car powerhouse that threatens to win another championship this season with Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup contender Hamlin. Its first championship came in 2000 with Bobby Labonte. JGR would follow that up win two more titles, both with Tony Stewart (2002 and 2005). Now, the team adds another accolade to the list – 100 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories. JGR has won with six different drivers, at 23 different tracks. Below is a timeline of Gibbs' notable and milestone victories on its way to 100:
1 – On Feb. 14, 1993, JGR won its first race – and it was on NASCAR's biggest stage, the Daytona 500. With his father Ned urging him to victory while calling the race from the CBS broadcast booth, Dale Jarrett captured his second and Gibbs' first win. JGR has won at least one race every season since.
3 – JGR won its first Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, on May 28, 1995 with Bobby Labonte driving.
22 – JGR won its first Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. On Aug. 5, 2000, during his championship campaign, Bobby Labonte led 21 laps prior to kissing the bricks. JGR would win two more Brickyard events, both with Indiana native Tony Stewart (2005 and 2007).
23 – The team's next win came in another of NASCAR's crown jewels – the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Labonte picked up the win again, on Sept. 3, 2000.
50 – JGR reached milestone victory No. 50 on July 1, 2006. Tony Stewart won the Daytona night race, starting second and leading 86 laps.
72 – On June 28, 2009, in a rain-shortened event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, JGR driver Joey Logano became the youngest winner in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history at the age of 19 years, one month and four days.
88 – On Nov. 7, 2010, Denny Hamlin won at Texas Motor Speedway for the team's 11th victory of the year, making the 2010 season the most prolific in JGR's history.(NASCAR)(9-24-2012)
Kyle Busch will run more Nationwide races after missing Chase: Kyle Busch has added one Nationwide Series race to his 2012 schedule and may add a few more after missing the Chase in NASCAR's premier series. Busch was a late addition to Saturday's Nationwide race at Chicagoland Speedway. He replaced his brother, Kurt Busch, who was scheduled to run most of the final eight races in the Kyle Busch Motorsports #54. Kyle's website lists him as the driver for the rest of the Nationwide schedule with the exception of next weekend at Kentucky. "We're playing it by ear, seeing what Kurt wants to do, what [sponsor] Monster Energy wants to do,'' the 2009 Nationwide Series champion said of the remainder of the season. Busch said "it sucks'' not being in the Chase. He hopes adding more Nationwide races will help his KBM program that has won only one race -- Kurt at Richmond in the spring -- this season.(ESPN)(9-16-2012)
NASCAR D-Day 60th Anniversary Show Car Returns to the National D-Day Memorial: The National D-Day Memorial received some very special guests last Friday: three staff members from the Bank of America motorsports team transported the MBNA show car that was created in honor of the 60th Anniversary of D-Day and the MBNA 400 "A SALUTE TO HEROES" race at Dover International Speedway on June 6, 2004. The car came for a visit shortly after that race, but the visit was different … the car will now reside in Bedford, VA. Bank of America has agreed to donate the car to the Foundation so that it can be displayed at special events at the Memorial, in the community and the greater NASCAR audience. Bearing a distinct military and D-Day theme with the words "We will accept nothing less than full victory," the car also sports the Memorial's logo on both rear quarter panels. This is an accurate replica of the #18 car Bobby Labonte drove for Joe Gibbs Racing during the Dover race.
Jeffrey R. Fulgham, the Foundation's Vice-President for Finance and Development said "This is a very exciting day for all of us. The Foundation played a significant role in the 60th anniversary race and was instrumental in helping to develop the paint scheme for this car. There are many opportunities to use the car in promoting the Memorial throughout the region. We extend our sincere gratitude to the great team at Bank of America Motorsports for their support and commitment to the Memorial. For more information about the National D-Day Memorial, and its mission and programs, please visit www.dday.org.(8-23-2012)
#18 JGR Team Penalized For Rule Infractions: NASCAR announced penalties and fines to the #18 team that competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, as a result of rule infractions at Michigan International Speedway. The #18 Toyota was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-2.3A (improperly attached weight) of the 2012 NASCAR rule book. The infraction occurred during practice on Aug. 18. As a result of the violation, crew chief Dave Rogers has been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Oct. 3. In addition, car chief Wesley Sherrill has been placed on NASCAR probation until Oct. 3.(NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)(8-21-2012)
Keselowski hasn't talked to Busch after Watkins Glen: #18-Kyle Busch hasn't spoken to #22-Brad Keselowski since the last-lap incident that knocked Busch out of the lead last Sunday at Watkins Glen International. Kyle Busch hasn't spoken to reporters either, declining to share his views of the collision after the race and after Friday's qualifying session at Michigan International Speedway. Busch had plenty of reason to be disappointed. After taking the white flag in the lead on Sunday, his No. 18 Toyota slipped in oil in the first corner. Busch went wide, to the left of the rumble strips that define the course. Keselowski would like to see any issues he might have with Busch resolved before the Chase starts at Chicagoland on Sept. 16. "I spoke with his crew chief, Dave Rogers, and tried to get a hold of him, but every phone number that I had was bad or something," Keselowski said Friday at Michigan. "Like I said after the race, it was unfortunate, because dumping the leader on the last lap is not something that I want to be known for. It certainly wasn't something that I wanted to see happen. I wasn't something that I intended to happen, but it obviously happened, and I can't make that go away and only hope he understands as a racer that he is that things like that happen, and it's just sometimes part of the breaks."(NASCAR Wire Serivce)(8-19-2012)
Kyle Busch wins pole at New Hampshire: #18-Kyle Busch won the pole for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with a speed of 133.417mph for his 1st pole of 2012 and 9th career pole. Busch becomes the 14th different pole sitter in 2012 and qualifies for the 2013 Shootout.
#5-Kahne will start 2nd followed by #11-Hamlin, #56-Truex, Jr. #15-Bowyer, #39-Newman, #48-Johnson, #24-Gordon, #88-Earnhardt Jr. and #14-Stewart.
The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #26-Wise, #87-Nemechek, #98-McDowell, #49-Yeley, #30-Stremme, #23-Riggs, #79-Bires and #33-Leicht.
The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (1): #19-Bliss.
See the full qualifying results, starting lineup, pdf links, pole progression, go-or-go homers and more on the New Hampshire Qualifying Page.(7-13-2012)
Kenseth wins Slinger Nationals; Kyle Busch second: Matt Kenseth has won a NASCAR championship. He's won two Daytona 500s. And now he's won a record six titles in the 33-year history of the Miller Lite Slinger Nationals. While that's not quite the same, it's not a bad accomplishment, either, for the old-school short-track racer from Cambridge. "It's always fun to win, that's for sure," Kenseth said Sunday in Slinger Speedway's victory lane. "It's always fun when you can beat Kyle. It's hard to beat him." That's Kyle Busch, always a threat in NASCAR and the 2011 Nationals champ. Kenseth beat him on a restart with 24 laps to go - after a caution flag he didn't want - and pulled away by nearly a second at the checkered flag. Busch didn't look happy when he climbed from his car and did not talk to reporters. Ross Kenseth, Matt's son and the pole-sitter, rallied and benefited from attrition to finish third, another second behind. Michael Bilderback and Rich Bickle filled out the top five.(Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)(7-2-2012)
Kyle Busch wins at Berlin again: Approximately 6,000 fans turned out to watch Kyle Busch win Tuesday night's ARCA/Super Series Rowdy 251 at Berlin Raceway, marking the third consecutive year that the Las Vegas native has won the race held in his honor. Busch led the race's final 38 laps, driving away from Chase Elliott and Coopersville's Johnny VanDoorn down the stretch. Busch began Tuesday's program by participating in an autograph session with Travis Pastrana that lasted more than an hour. He capped the evening with a cloud of smoke, which he created on the frontstretch after taking the checkered flag.(Michigan Live)(6-20-2012)
JGR working on engine issues: Joe Gibbs Racing experienced some highs and lows at Pocono Raceway a week ago with #20-Joey Logano winning the race but teammate #18-Kyle Busch suffering engine failure. On Sunday at Michigan International Speedway, it was all lows. Busch suffered another engine failure. #11-Denny Hamlin was involved in a wreck and then had to escape a fire when his car went up in flames. And Logano also crashed. On the day, Busch was 32nd, Hamlin 34th and Logano 35th. "I keep thinking to myself, I'm looking for something easy (to do) and I'm running out of time," said team owner Joe Gibbs, a retired NFL coach. "This certainly isn't it. It was a tough day for us." For Busch, it was his third engine issue in as many weeks. JGR merged its engine department with Toyota Racing Development after last season. All the engines are built at TRD in California and then shipped to JGR, which handles the final tuning and race weekend management. Busch's problems haven't been the same issue each week, but that can be even more exasperating for the team as it tries to fix multiple issues. Gibbs said the team knew what happened to the engines at Dover and Pocono.(Sporting News)(6-20-2012)
Snickers colors for Busch at MIS: Kyle Busch will run the Snickers Peanut Butter Squared scheme this week in the colors in the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway (JGR), see an image of the scheme on the #18 Team Schemes page. The scheme will also run at Texas in November.(6-15-2012)
Kyle Busch wins Prelude to the Dream: After knocking on the door to victory lane countless times in his five previous runs in the Prelude To The Dream at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, Kyle Busch finally broke through Wednesday night to score his first win in the all-star dirt Late Model race benefiting Feed The Children. "This is cool," said Busch, who outlasted strong challenges from Kasey Kahne and Clint Bowyer before finishing 2.283 seconds over runner-up Tony Stewart. "This is what it's all about when you go dirt racing. It's a lot of fun." Busch started the 40-lap feature event in second place and dueled with Kahne and Bowyer, who together led the first 24 laps (Kahne 1-12; Bowyer 13-21; Kahne 22-24) before Busch took over the lead on lap 25 when Kahne crashed into Bobby Labonte. Busch then checked out, beating three-time Prelude winner Stewart to nab his first career victory at Eldora. Finishing third was Austin Dillon in just his second Prelude start. Four-time World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion Donny Schatz finished fourth in his dirt Late Model debut. Stewart's NASCAR teammate at Stewart-Haas Racing, Ryan Newman, finished fifth. Aric Almirola, Cruz Pedregon, Dave Blaney, Ty Dillon and Justin Allgaier completed the top-10, all of whom will get a tractor-trailer filled with food from Feed The Children delivered to their hometown or city of choice.(True Speed Communications) see complete results on the Predule to the Dream page.(6-7-2012)
Could Kurt Busch join brother Kyle at Joe Gibbs Racing? #51-Kurt Busch is a free agent, and his brother, #18-Kyle, already drives a Cup car for Joe Gibbs Racing. While it might sound like a stretch for JGR to employ two brothers as drivers, it's not out of the question. JGR has room to add a fourth team, and if sponsorship is found, team owner Joe Gibbs wouldn't rule out the possibility. But he also said it has to be the right sponsor. "We love Kurt, mainly because of Kyle and Kyle has got a strong feeling for him," Gibbs said following the unveiling of Toyota's 2013 Sprint Cup car. "Kurt's kind of going through a process with everything he has got going right now. Everybody throws everything out there. We do have a fourth car possibility at some point. But we haven't seen that yet (come to fruition)." The older of the two Busch brothers, Kurt is driving for Phoenix Racing in Cup this year and for his brother's Kyle Busch Motorsports in an 18-race Nationwide schedule. "He could really helps us and lead us in the right direction," Kyle Busch said. "I'd love to have him over here. It would be great for Joe Gibbs Racing and for us to work together and to be able to make better racecars, faster racecars." JGR wouldn't necessarily need a fourth Cup team to add Busch. #20-Joey Logano's contract is up for renewal after this season in a car co-sponsored by The Home Depot and Dollar General. "He's 21 years old," Gibbs said. "He's one of the youngest guys out there. He's stepped up this year to 15th in points. That's been an improvement but he's still not where our other two cars are. That's the goal—get him to where our other two cars are. … We have a lot invested in Joey. We really like him."(Sporting News)(5-25-2012)
RWB M&M's on the #18 at CMS: The special Red, White and Blue M&M'S paint scheme on the #18 Toyota of Kyle Busch will sport for the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway is in support of the limited-edition Red, White and Blue-only bags of M&M'S now in stores. The new patriotic blend is designed to be the perfect snack for fans during the summer holidays of Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. Busch will also carry the patriotic scheme in late June at Kentucky Speedway in lead-up to the Fourth of July to be celebrated the following week (JGR), see images of the scheme on the #18 Team Schemes page.(5-23-2012)
JTG & JGR also re-sign with Toyota: Joe Gibbs Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing and JTG Daugherty Racing announced new multiyear extensions with Toyota on Tuesday. Lee White, the president of Toyota Racing Development, said all three teams will be with Toyota "for a long time to come." The announcement was made at TRD's Salisbury, N.C., shop where the re-designed 2013 Camry was introduced. It came amid speculation that Dodge, which loses anchor Penske Racing to Ford after this season, might target JGR. White admitted that one of Toyota's organizations was "ripe for the picking by one of our fellow manufacturers." "All have agreements with Toyota and TRD that extend beyond two more years," White said. "Rest assured, we enjoy our partners, we value our partners, and we expect to be competing with our partners on this dance floor for a long time." JGR owner Joe Gibbs said he never had conversations with Dodge.(ESPN)(5-23-2012)
Kyle Busch wins at Richmond: #18-Kyle Busch won the Capital City 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway for his 1st win of the year, 4th at Richmond and his 24th career win.
#88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr. finished 2nd followed by #14-Stewart, #11-Hamlin, #5-Kahne, #48-Johnson, #15-Bowyer, #55-Mark Martin (the polesitter), #2-Keselowski, and #99-Edwards.
#99-Edwards domanated much of the race, leading 211 laps, but was black flagged late by NASCAR for jumping a restart.
There were 5 cautions for 31 yellow flag laps. There were 14 lead changes among 7 drivers.
The estimated attendence was 88,000, down from 90,000 in the Spring 2011 race.
See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Richmond Race Results page (pdf) and the official rundown on the Official Race Report. (4-28-2012)
JGR close to extension with Toyota: Joe Gibbs Racing plans to sign a long-term extension with Toyota within the next month, ending any speculation it could move to Dodge. "We're working on that," JGR president J.D. Gibbs told ESPN.com on Sunday after Denny Hamlin's victory at Kansas Speedway. "We'll be with Toyota for a long time to come." Dodge has been looking for a team to anchor its 2013 program since Penske Racing announced earlier this year it would leave the manufacturer for Ford next season. JGR, since its contract with Toyota is up after this season and because the organization has the infrastructure to build its own engines, became a natural target. Gibbs said that is not a consideration (ESPN)(4-23-2012)
Kyle Busch makes appearance at school: Earlier Wednesday Toyota NASCAR driver Kyle Busch visited Williams Elementary School to speak about NASCAR, his racing career and Toyota Racing's Sponsafier program, as well as participate in a question and answer session with students, as part of the Sponsafier 4 contest grand prize package awarded to David Bulow and his son AJ. The special appearance came at the request of AJ, an avid Kyle Busch supporter, who opted to share part of his grand prize experience-time with his favorite driver-with his fellow Williams Elementary schoolmates.(Toyota)(3-22-2012)
Kyle Busch wins a WILD Bud Shootout #18-Kyle Busch won the 2012 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway followed by #14-Stewart, #9-Ambrose, #2-Keselowski, #11-Hamlin, #16-Biffle, #39-Newman, #15-Bowyer, #99-Edwards and #42-Montoya. Busch beat Stewart to the line to win by 0.013 seconds, the closed finish for a Bud Shootout. While the 2-car tandem racing is gone, the big packs are back, with three big wrecks during the race, which ended under a green-white-checked finished, going 82 laps. Pole sitter #56-Truex Jr. was involved in the 2nd wreck and finished 19th.
The first "big one" occurred in the first 25-lap segment when #34-Ragan and #27-Menard made contact, turning the #27, collecting #55-Waltrip, #5-Kahne, #11-Hamlin, #31-Burton, #17-Kenseth and #42-Montoya. The #27, #34 and #55 were too damaged to continue the race after 9 laps.
The second "big one" occurred on lap 56 when #9-Ambrose was pushing #20-Logano, the #20 moved up and got turned sideways, collecting Ambrose, #29-Harvick, #17-Kenseth, #88-Earnhardt Jr. and pole sitter #56-Truex Jr. All but Ambrose were too damaged to continue.
The final "big one" happened when #24-Gordon got into #18-Busch turning Busch, who recovered, but Gordon shot up towards the outside wall and into #51-Busch, collecting #1-McMurray and #48-Johnson, also some damage to #99-Edwards, #22-Allmendinger and #9-Ambrose. Gordon ended up on his side, then he barrel rolled a couple times, with the car ended up on the roof, but Gordon got out of the car and was OK.
Only 10 of 25 cars finished on the lead lap, only 13 cars finished the race and 12 cars did not finish the race.
See the full rundown and results link on my 2012 Bud Shootout page.(2-18-2012)
2013 cars to be tested at Homestead: UPDATES: All four 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car models are scheduled to be tested at Homestead-Miami Speedway February 1st…in a test that will apparently be closed. That may be the first time crewmen get to see all four models. Why is NASCAR, and its big marketing operation, taking such seemingly a low-keyed approach? Apparently because the sanctioning body has not yet 'aero-matched' the four models in the wind tunnel. Ford is billing its new model as a Fusion (not Mustang, as once planned), and when the car maker officially unveiled its 2013 street version, it was then free to take the wraps off the NASCAR version – which is decidedly different from the current Sprint Cup model, the still controversial and not greatly liked by many car-of-tomorrow. Chevrolet, for example, still hasn't officially named its model for its 2013 NASCAR Cup racer.(MikeMulhern.net)(1-25-2012)
UPDATE: #5-Kasey Kahne tweeted that he will be participating in the test. No other drivers have been announced.(2-1-2012)
UPDATE 2: #18-Kyle Busch (Toyota), #17-Matt Kenseth (Ford), and Sam Hornish, Jr. (Dodge) are also participating.(PRN Garage Pass)(2-1-2012)
Several treated for smoke inhalation at Joe Gibbs Racing: Several people were treated for smoke inhalation at Joe Gibbs Racing in Huntersville Tuesday afternoon, officials said. According to Huntersville police, some machinery at the racing compound caught fire. Firefighters were called in to battle the blaze around 2:45 p.m. The fire is under control, fire officials said. Medic officials said units responded to the fire, but had not yet transported anyone. No one has commented on what caused the fire or how much damage was done as a result of the fire. Almost a year ago, a similar fire happened at the facility that caused two people to be treated for smoke inhalation. According to officials, the 2011 fire started in an engine dyno during a test.(WSOC)(1-31-2012)
UPDATE: A piece of equipment in the machine shop caught fire today at our Joe Gibbs Racing headquarters in Huntersville, NC. The fire department was called and the fire was quickly contained and extinguished. A few of our employees received treatment on site for issues related to smoke inhalation. All employees were able to return to work within the hour to continue preparations for the 2012 NASCAR season.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(1-31-2012)
Kyle Busch wins SpeeFest Late Model race: Kyle Busch had to hold off some of the top short track talent in the country to do it, but Sunday afternoon he scored his career third SpeedFest Super Late Model victory at Watermelon Capital Speedway in Cordele, GA. He had to keep a hard charging Bubba Pollard at bay to record the win. Busch previously scored wins in the event in 2009 and 2010, when it was held at Lanier National Speedway in Braselton, Georgia.(Raceweek Illustrated) Also in the top 10: David Ragan finished 3rd, Chase Elliott finished 6th, Ross Kenseth finished 19th.(1-30-2012)
Kyle Busch says he's learned from mistakes: Kyle Busch has learned from the mistakes he made last season and ready to make a fresh go of it in 2012. Busch said during Monday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Media Tour he knows he can't continue to display the kinds of emotional actions that led to so much controversy - and trouble - last year. "I've got fans all the time that tell me they don't want to see me change," Busch said. "I've tried to keep that, but ultimately, it's not going to work. If you keep getting in trouble, you're not going to be here very long. I'm trying to change something." Although Joe Gibbs Racing management hasn't officially commented on Busch's limited Nationwide Series schedule this season, which will see time spent in both a Kyle Busch Motorsports entry as well as a JGR ride but no truck series starts, it is speculated sponsor M&M's also had a say in the decision. Busch insists he has support from his race team, sponsors and most importantly his family and friends that have helped him work through the situation and concentrate on moving ahead in his life both professionally and personally.(CBS Sports)(1-24-2012)
Busch would have trouble moving team to Cup with team limits: Kyle [Busch] will team with his brother Kurt at KBM this year in the Nationwide Series. "I was feeling pretty good about our ownership chances in Nationwide, that's going to be hard to beat," J.D. Gibbs said about the Busch brothers pairing." Joe Gibbs said he wasn't in the discussions of Kyle racing for his own team. "I will say that I was not in that meeting or we would not be doing this," Gibbs said. "These two (Busch and J.D. Gibbs) got together and somehow we are now racing against him." As for the day when KBM might be elevated to a Sprint Cup operation, Busch sees it down the road because of all the current complications associated with such a move. "That's obviously something I look forward to doing," Busch said. "The Cup side is kind of difficult just due to the constrictions that NASCAR puts on all of us with me driving for Joe Gibbs Racing. Essentially I could have one team, but if JGR ever went to four teams I would have to shut mine down so that makes it tough."(Motor Racing Network)(1-23-2012)
Several drivers getting new spotters: In addition to getting adjusted to new personnel on their teams, several drivers will be working with new spotters when testing opens Thursday at Daytona International Speedway. Jeff Dickerson, who has spotted for #24-Jeff Gordon the last couple of years, left to pursue an opportunity in racing that will give him more time with his family. He has not announced where he is going.
• Eddie D'Hondt, who had won 39 races across all NASCAR series with #18-Kyle Busch, will move to Hendrick Motorsports to work as Gordon's spotter.
• Tony Hirschman, who was spotter for AJ Allmendinger, will replace D'Hondt as Busch's spotter.
• Busch isn't the only Joe Gibbs Racing driver to have a new spotter for 2012 as two spotters whose drivers have not announced 2012 rides have found new gigs - Chris Lambert, who was the spotter for Brian Vickers, will replace Curtis Markham as spotter for #11-Denny Hamlin and Rocky Ryan, who was spotter for David Ragan, will replace Joey Civali as spotter for #20-Joey Logano.
• Chris Osborne, who was spotter for Kurt Busch at Penske Racing, will start the season spotting for Allmendinger while Busch will use his new boss - Phoenix Racing general manager Steve Barkdoll - as his spotter.
• #15-Clint Bowyer, who has moved from Richard Childress Racing to Michael Waltrip Racing, will go to the test with MWR general manager Ty Norris as his spotter.
• Kevin Hamlin, who was Bowyer's spotter, will remain at RCR and work with Ty Dillon in the Camping World Truck Series.
• #43-Aric Almirola will use Tyler Green as his spotter. Green spotted for Almirola at JR Motorsports and will now spot for him at RPM.(Scene Daily)(1-11-2012)
Interstate Batteries [6 + 2 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2011 races:
Auto Club - 3/27
Texas - 4/9
Daytona - 7/2, Special Gold
New Hampshire - 7/17
Michigan - 8/21
Dover - 10/2
added after Texas incident:
Phoenix - 11/13
Homestead - 11/20
No Trucks or Nationwide races for Kyle Busch in 2012? #18-Kyle Busch is unlikely to compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2012, at the request of Joe Gibbs Racing and their Sprint Cup Series sponsor, M&Ms. Kyle Busch Motorsports General Manager Rick Ren confirmed today that there is "a high probability" that Busch will withdraw from the 2012 Truck Series. "That topic is being discussed almost constantly around here right now," he said, adding, "It is not necessarily something that Kyle chose. If he doesn't run Trucks this year, it will be at the request (of JGR). Not by demand, but by request. Things change on an hour-by-hour basis, but if I had to answer you right now, I'd say he will probably not race in the Truck Series next year. There is a possibility of him running no Nationwide races under certain circumstances, as well. There are a lot of things being discussed right now, which makes it pretty tough on me. I've been trying to figure out whether Kyle's going to be available to run our Trucks and Nationwide cars, then determine whether the individual sponsors will stay around without him behind the wheel. I believe Kyle will drive a KBM Nationwide Series Toyota in a certain number of races next year," said Ren. "I can't swear to it, but that's what it look like today."(Sirius Speedway)(12-24-2011)
Kurt Busch still expected to drive for Kyle: On Thursday, Phoenix Racing announced it had hired [Kurt Busch] to drive for its #51 Chevy team next season. The #51 entered every Cup race in 2011 with several different drivers. The news release announcing Busch's move said he would drive a "full schedule" with the team. Busch is also expected to join forces with his younger brother, Kyle, and drive for Kyle's Nationwide series team in 2012. One option being considered is for Kurt Busch to run the full Nationwide schedule and compete for the series championship, multiple sources said. Under NASCAR's current system, Busch will only be able to earn driver points in only one series. It remains unclear what effect Thursday's Cup announcement will have on the Nationwide plans. A spokesman for Kyle Busch Motorsports said Friday the team was still finalizing its driver lineup and would not have any official announcements until after Jan. 1. (Charlotte Observer)(12-23-2011)
"The Loopies": The Fifth Annual Best-Of Loop Data For 2011 #5: For the fifth consecutive season, NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications combed through the statistics to hand out a number of awards celebrating the best – and worst – Loop Data performances of 2011. The fifth award goes to:
"Irregular Season" Award: Season-to-Date Loop Data is what it says -- a statistical representation of the entire season. That's why you'll find Kyle Busch -- winner of this Loopie -- at the top of so many Loop Data charts, but at the bottom of the Chase standings. Busch led 10 different Loop Data categories this year: Average Running Position (10.4), Driver Rating (104.1), Fastest Early in a Run (average rank of 5.9), Fastest Late in a Run (average rank of 7.8), Green Flag Speed (average rank of 6.1), Laps in the Top 15 (79.6%), Laps Led (1,455), Mile Leaders (1,777.77), Quality Passes (2,219) and Speed in Traffic (average rank of 9.3). So why the 12th place finish for Busch? The answer: Another subpar Chase. During the 26-race regular season, Busch had a Driver Rating of 108.4. In the nine races he ran in the Chase, his Driver Rating was 91.6.(NASCAR)(12-21-2011)
Kyle Busch Led NASCAR Drivers in Securing TV Exposure for Sponsors: #18-Kyle Busch's memorable 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series campaign led to $68 million of television exposure for his sponsors, a figure higher than any other driver managed to generate this past season, and nearly $1.7 million more than Series Champion Tony Stewart. According to research conducted by Joyce Julius & Associates, Inc. — which has monitored every NASCAR race telecast over the last 27 seasons — Busch's sponsors as a group appeared for 27 hours, 23 minutes, 10 seconds (27:23:10) during live and replayed telecasts of the season's 36 points races. When also factoring in verbal mentions (292) of Busch's sponsors, the 12th-place driver amassed more than $68.3 million of in-broadcast exposure value for his backing brands.
Joyce Julius calculates television exposure value by comparing the in-broadcast visual and verbal exposure to the estimated cost of a national commercial during the telecast and applying Joyce Julius Recognition Grading — which takes into account such factors as size and placement of the image on screen, as well as brand clutter and integration of the brand into the activity. While Busch hung on to lead the driver exposure battle wire-to-wire, Stewart's stellar run during this year's Chase may be more impressive, as the newly crowned champion moved up from 9th to 2nd in cumulative sponsor brand exposure, improving from $30 million at the start of the final 10 races to $66.7 million by season's end. Stewart's dominance during the Chase race broadcasts is further evidenced by the attention paid to him by the TV announcers. Stewart began the Chase 6th in individual driver mentions, but ended the season on top, collecting 57% of his driver mentions for the entire season during the final 10 races. Stewart also amassed the most interview time of any driver, appearing on camera for more than one hour, 20 minutes throughout 2011. Series points runner-up Carl Edwards managed to accrue the most mentions for his sponsors (610), while he was also interviewed most frequently (75 times) of any other driver. Not surprisingly, Stewart was the top exposure-gathering Chevrolet driver, collecting $6.3 for the auto brand. Edwards led the Ford drivers, delivering $8.1 million of in-broadcast exposure, while the attention Busch drew during 2011 race broadcasts led to $11.9 million for Toyota.(Joyce Julius & Associates)(12-6-2011)
Kyle Busch uncertain if he will run other series in 2012: Toyota NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, #18-Kyle Busch, in part from a Toyota Racing Transcript:
Q) Do you know if you will race in the Nationwide or Truck Series in 2012?
Busch: "No, not yet. We're working through all of the schedules. The schedules hadn't been put together prior to Texas and still haven't been put together yet either."(Toyota Racing)(11-20-2011)
Joe Gibbs & Kyle Busch press conference: Toyota Racing Notes & Quotes Phoenix International Raceway – November 11, 2011
Joe Gibbs, Owner, Joe Gibbs Racing Opening Statement: "First of all, I just want to say that hopefully we're able to convey our feelings this morning in the right way. It's real important to us. I want to say first of all, how proud I am of our sponsors. We think about Mars, Interstate (Batteries), Toyota -- we have great partners. In particular, we want to mention that Mars, one of the premier companies in America, they've been 19 years in racing and great supporters of racing. They've been great partners for us and the four years we've been together, we've developed strong relationships and I think a great partnership. The actions last week don't reflect Mars' values. As a consequence, they've asked Kyle (Busch) not to drive the M&M's car in 2011 -- for the two races this year (Phoenix and Miami) -- Kyle wouldn't drive the M&M's car. We'll come back in 2012 and going forward next year, we're all set and plan to have a long future in racing. The No. 18 will not have the Mars paint scheme for these next two races. We support this decision with the race team. We're also proud of Interstate Batteries, as you all know they've been our founding sponsor -- been with us for 20 years. They will take over the paint scheme on the car for the next two races here. I really appreciate also the way Mars and Interstate have worked together on a partnership for these last four years. It's been a great partnership. I appreciate how they work together. Kyle's penalties are going to be substantial. If you think about it, NASCAR taking him out of the car last week, there was also a fine associated with that, but the biggest thing for everybody on the 18 car was we went from seventh in points in the Chase to 11th. That's a huge deal. I know Kyle and all of us were excited about getting back in the top-five and this will probably take that away from us and we understand that. I am just emphasizing that was a big deal for us. We understood that, but it was a big deal. We also have other actions that are going to be in place. There will be other financial penalties and stuff that we're working through and we'll continue to do that as we go forward through this process. I think for me personally, I just want to make a point that when you're put in a situation like this, you really can make one of two decisions. I think the one would have been devastating and I think really discouraging for everybody associated with Kyle -- everybody around him and for the sport. What I've chosen to do, I want to support Kyle and I feel like this could have a positive impact on Kyle and I'm committed to him as a person. I like him -- we've gone through a lot together. As far as us at Joe Gibbs Racing, we're looking forward to a long relationship. That's pretty much what I'd like to say."(see full transcript at Toyota Racing)(11-11-2011)
Joe Gibbs & Kyle Busch press conference: Toyota Racing Notes & Quotes Phoenix International Raceway – November 11, 2011
Kyle Busch. #18 Interstate Batteries Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing Opening Statement: "First of all, obviously this has been quite a trying week for myself and my wife (Samantha Busch) and everybody at M&M's, Joe Gibbs Racing, Kyle Busch Motorsports, Interstate Batteries -- all the above. For me, I'm upmost apologetic to everybody that has been going through this situation and there's no one to blame but myself. I'm here today to basically say that I apologize to everyone involved in this ordeal. Joe (Gibbs, team owner) has been a huge supporter of mine through all of this and I can't say enough about him, all the folks at JGR, all the guys on my M&M's team and we're here to say we want to learn from this. We want to move on. Certainly there's some remorse from my side and to be apologetic to the M&M's brand and all of those folks that put their heart and soul into this NASCAR program for years, and we want to continue that relationship down the road. There's an opportunity for me to become a better person, to grow and learn from this and I'm looking forward to those days. Knowing that, I'm sure I've lost respect with my team, with my sponsors, with my peers, and I understand those consequences. I understand my actions last weekend were uncalled for, were disrespectful and that I'm here to make sure that I can continue on in a positive manner and make it to where everybody believes in me from this week forward. That's about it."(see full transcript at Toyota Racing)(11-11-2011)
Gibbs says he never considered firing Kyle Busch but: Joe Gibbs says he never considered firing Kyle Busch over the drivers' road rage incident in the Truck Series race at Texas. But Gibbs says Busch will face more punishment from the race team, including financial penalties. Busch will run Sunday's race at Phoenix International Raceway without primary sponsor M&M's. The company did want to sponsor Busch for the final two races of the season, so Joe Gibbs Racing longtime partner Interstate Batteries will be on the car [#18 Toyota]. Busch was suspended by NASCAR last weekend for intentionally wrecking Ron Hornaday Jr. under caution early in the truck race at Texas. He also was fined $50,000 and placed on probation through the end of the year.(Associated Press)(11-11-2011)
Why Interstate Batteries is sponsoring the #18: When Mars pulled out of the last two 2011 races earlier this week, Interstate Batteries decided to step in to support Joe Gibbs Racing – a relationship that has lasted 20 years. Interstate Chairman Norm Miller described the decision this way: "We feel NASCAR took the appropriate action with Kyle, and we think he will become a better person for it. We also understand and honor Mars' reasons for stepping back for these last two weeks of the season. As founding sponsor of Joe Gibbs Racing, we felt it was the right thing to do to support JGR, Kyle and the #18 team during this difficult time."(Interstate Batteries Facebook)(11-11-2011)
Kyle Busch out of ride for rest of 2011? UPDATES - Interstate Batteries for final 2 races; M&Ms will return in 2012: on the website, tireball.com is reporting.....the rumors and if they are true, like they appear to be, then Kyle Busch is out of a ride until Daytona and now without sponsorship. Busch was parked this [last] week at Texas due to actions in the Camping World Truck Series when he wrecked fellow competitor Ron Hornaday under caution.(tireball.com).
AND in Twitter, SceneDaily's Bob Pockrass reports in a few Tweets:
NASCAR has given Kyle the OK to race. It's in the hands of the sponsor and the team.
On Kyle Busch: JGR still hasn't confirmed if he'll race Cup at PIR. I lean toward he'll race but wouldn't be surprised either way.
For those asking about Kyle and PIR, I think more likely he races than not, but JGR has yet to confirm that he will race.
AND II the weekly race preview for JGR/Kyle Busch has not been released as of yet when it usually comes out on Tuesday.
UPDATE: The fallout from #18-Kyle Busch's road rage at Texas continued Thursday when one of his sponsors asked for him to be removed from the season-ending Nationwide Series race. Multiple people familiar with Busch's schedule told the AP that Z-Line Designs asked this week that Denny Hamlin replace Busch in next weekend's Nationwide race at Homestead. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because Busch's future was still being discussed Thursday with sponsors and Joe Gibbs Racing. Among the options being considered is Aric Almirola replacing Busch in the final two Sprint Cup Series races of the season, as primary sponsor M&M's decides how it wants to proceed with Busch. Although NASCAR has cleared Busch to race this weekend at Phoenix, JGR officials have been silent on his status in Sunday's Cup race.(more at the Associated Press website)
UPDATE2: Aric Almirola told ESPN.com on Thursday he has been contacted by Joe Gibbs Racing about possibly replacing Kyle Busch in the final two Sprint Cup races and is awaiting final word from the organization. ESPN's Marty Smith reported on SportsCenter and NASCARNow that Busch, according to sources, will be in the #18 Cup car this weekend at Phoenix and next weekend at Homestead. Multiple sources said the car likely will be sponsored by Interstate Batteries instead of M&Ms, which was scheduled to be on the car. Mars Incorporated, which manufacturers M&Ms, stated its displeasure with Busch over his intentionally wrecking Ron Hornaday in last Friday's Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. But according to sources the sponsor still had reservations about having its name on the Cup car with Busch for the last two races, prompting the call to Almirola. Almirola said JGR president J.D. Gibbs contacted him on Wednesday to see if he would be available. Almirola, who drives a Chevrolet for JR Motorsports in the Nationwide Series, said JRM has given him permission to drive for the Toyota team. "Your guess is as good as mine,'' Almirola told ESPN.com before Nationwide practice at PIR as to what will happen. "I know they're working through a lot of things. I just told them I was available if they needed me.''(ESPN)
for all the past news, statements, and updates on NASCAR's parking of Busch at Texas, go to Jayski's #18 team news page.(11-10-2011)
UPDATE 3: Kyle Busch will compete in the final two Sprint Cup races but without primary sponsor M&Ms as the sponsor of his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Sources said Busch will be sponsored by Interstate Batteries in Sunday's race at Phoenix International Raceway and next weekend's finale at Miami-Homestead Speedway. The decision ended several days of speculation that Busch would be parked for the final two races or possibly lose his job with Mars Incorporated, M&M's parent company, displeased with his behavior and threatening to pull out. Officials at Mars Inc. did not immediately respond to emails inquiring about the company's relationship with Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing past this season.(ESPN)(11-10-2011)
UPDATE 4: Statement from M&Ms: Mars, Incorporated announced that they will be removing Kyle Busch from driving the M&M'S car for the remaining two races of the 2011 NASCAR season as a result of the incident during last Friday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. The car will not run with the M&M'S paint scheme until 2012, at which time Kyle Busch will be the driver with the expectation that no future incident take place.
"As a proud member of the racing community, Mars and the M&M'S brand strongly support the partnership we have with Joe Gibbs Racing and are committed to NASCAR. Yet, Kyle's recent actions are unacceptable and do not reflect the values of Mars," said Debra A. Sandler, Chief Consumer Officer, Mars Chocolate North America. "While we do not condone Kyle's recent actions, we do believe that he has shown remorse and has expressed a desire to change. We believe our decision will have a positive impact on Kyle and will help him return next season ready to win."
"We strongly support Mars' decision," said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. "This gives us all time to work together to foster a positive change where Kyle can continue racing in a way we can all be proud of."(Mars, Inc.)(11-10-2011)
AND: Interstate Batteries, a partner of Joe Gibbs Racing since the team's inception 20 years ago, will be featured on the #18 Toyota Camry driven by Busch for the final two races of the Sprint Cup Series season. A press conference with Joe Gibbs Racing owner Joe Gibbs and driver Kyle Busch will be held in the media center of Phoenix International Raceway on Friday at 9:30 a.m. MST to further address this situation.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(11-10-2011)
NASCAR Fines Kyle Busch; Places Him On Probation For Remainder Of Year: NASCAR has fined Kyle Busch $50,000 and placed him on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31 for his actions during the Nov. 4 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. Kyle Busch violated Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) of the 2011 NASCAR Rule Book. NASCAR took immediate action, parking Busch for the remainder of Friday night's event and maintaining the parked position for the NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events scheduled for Saturday and Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway. On Monday, the parking directive was lifted by NASCAR. In issuing Monday's penalty, NASCAR went on to say that "if during the remaining NASCAR events in 2011 there is another action by the competitor that is deemed by NASCAR officials as detrimental to stock car racing or to NASCAR, or is disruptive to the orderly conduct of an event, the competitor will be suspended indefinitely from NASCAR."(NASCAR)(11-7-2011)
Kyle Busch apologizes to team; sits on pit box during race: Kyle Busch watched Sunday's race from the team's pit box after NASCAR parked him for the weekend for his incident in Friday night's truck race. Michael McDowell drove the car and finished 33rd. Crew chief Dave Rogers said Kyle addressed the team Sunday morning. He called me last night and said, 'Hey Dave, I'd really like to meet with the team,' '' Rogers said. "Can you have a team meeting this morning?' So we got everyone together and Kyle asked everybody, he looked them in the eye straight-up, man to man, 'This is where I stand, this is what I did, this is how I feel.' He didn't sugar-coat anything, didn't make excuses for anything, but he leveled with the team. That honesty is a strength of this race team. We are honest with each other whether things are going good or bad. He did that today and that made the guys feel good because it's like, 'Okay, that's our teammate.' He's not sugar-coating things. Then, at the end he asked the guys if they would mind if he sat on the pit box with us. That's something that he wanted to do, but he was humble enough to actually ask his pit crew members if that would be okay. Unanimously everyone started screaming 'Yes, we want you there.' So, I think Kyle handled today like a professional. It would have been much easier for him to get on an airplane and fly home and feel sorry for himself and he didn't. He was obviously disappointed, but he stood there and he backed his race team from flag to flag and I appreciate it. I know all the guys appreciate it. I don't know what he could have done better today. He apologized to the guys for not being in the race car. You know, and he apologized at length and let everyone know where he stood. I think everyone was comfortable with that."(Virginian-Pilot)(11-7-2011)
Busch parked for Texas Nationwide and Cup races; Busch releases statement: Tempers flared early in Friday night's truck race at Texas Motor Speedway. As they ran three-wide early in Friday's race, Ron Hornaday moved up the track, causing Kyle Busch, running on the outside, to hit the wall. Hornaday also hit it. As they slowly went around the track, Busch ran up on the rear of Hornaday and caused Hornaday to smack the wall head-on in what was hard contact. Hornaday was uninjured. NASCAR called Busch to the hauler to meet with officials after the race. NASCAR met with Kyle Busch for less than five minutes on Friday night after the race. They will meet with Busch before Saturday morning's Cup practice (which is at 8:45am/et) to discuss the incident. Hornaday went to the NASCAR hauler (he wasn't called there by officials) after Kyle left and said: "If NASCAR doesn't (park Busch), I'm hanging around, and I'm going to buy Tommy Baldwin's ride and that guy will never finish another race. That's a promise. He's got to be parked. They did it to Harvick at Martinsville.'' Hornaday was reminded that the Harvick parking was in 2002, which Hornday said: "So, let's have at it? So I can go over and beat his ass and let's have at it? He lives too close to me. We'll see what NASCAR does. If they don't handle it right, I'll be over at his house Monday morning.''(Virginian-Pilot)(11-5-2011)
UPDATE: NASCAR announced Saturday morning that they have parked Kyle Busch for the remainder of the Texas race weekend. He will not be allowed to participate in the Nationwide or Cup races. He will be replaced in the Cup race by Michael McDowell and by Denny Hamlin in the Nationwide race. Further penalties against Busch could be announced early in the week.(11-5-2011)
UPDATE 2: Joe Gibbs didn't argue with the severity of the penalty. "I always trust NASCAR," Gibbs said. "I think they do a great job. They manage the series. It's grown because of them and the way they handle it. I have great faith in the decisions they make. We've been a part of this for a long time, and we love it. We love being a part of it, and we love this sport. This was a tough one for us, but as I mentioned, sometimes in life you go through tough things. You don't like it, but we're certainly going to try and work our way through this one and do the right thing and try and handle it the right way." Gibbs now must deal with the fallout from the incident, and that means talks with Cup sponsor Mars and Nationwide sponsor Z-Line Designs, as well as other JGR partners. "I met with Kyle in his motor home this morning," Gibbs said. "It's one of those personal conversations you have when a real tough situation like this comes up. I think, for all of our other partners involved with this-and there's a number of them-we haven't even had a chance to get with everybody yet. So we're still trying to go through that as best we can. We'll be here the whole weekend trying to meet with everybody, trying to work our way through this and trying to handle it the right way."(Sporting News)(11-5-2011)
AND: Ultimately, Busch may face sanctions more severe than those levied by NASCAR. Addressing the media this morning in Texas, team owner Joe Gibbs accepted blame for his driver's actions, saying, "It definitely rests with me. When you own something… you're responsible. I take full responsibility for it." Gibbs hinted that conversations have taken place with team sponsors about how to proceed, and sources in the NASCAR garage say serious consideration is being given to parking Busch for the remainder of the 2011 Sprint Cup and Nationwide campaign.(Sirius Speedway)(11-5-2011)
Statement from Toyota: "Toyota understands it is NASCAR's responsibility to enforce their rules for the well-being of the sport. We recognize this is a difficult situation for both Joe Gibbs Racing and Kyle Busch with respect to the incident that occurred at Texas Motor Speedway during Friday (Nov. 4) night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. However, we are confident in the leadership of Joe and J.D. Gibbs, and are certain the team will handle this difficult situation in an appropriate manner. Toyota remains 100 percent committed to its support of Joe Gibbs Racing and its drivers."(Toyota)(11-5-2011)
Statement from Kyle Busch: I've had a lot of time today to sit and reflect, and try to put my thoughts into words as best I can. I want to sincerely apologize for my actions during Friday night's Truck Series race at Texas. I apologize to my fans, all my sponsors, everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing and Kyle Busch Motorsports. After talking with my team, it's great to have their support and encouragement to assure me that there are better days ahead. Even though this took place while driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports, I am sorry for how difficult this has been for everyone associated with Joe Gibbs Racing's Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series teams. I'd also like to apologize to Ron Hornaday Jr., and everyone associated with the #33 team in the Truck Series. I understand why I was taken out of the car for the rest of the weekend. NASCAR officials had to act, and I accept their punishment and take full responsibility for my actions. As a racecar driver, the hardest thing to do is to sit on the sidelines listening to cars on the track when you know you should be out there competing. For this, I have no one to blame but myself. Through a lot of support from the people around me, I feel like I've made a lot of strides this year, but this was certainly a step backward. Moving forward, I will do everything I possibly can to represent everyone involved in a positive manner. However, I know my long-term actions will have more of a bearing than anything I say right now.(Kyle Busch Motorsports)(11-5-2011)
Statement from M&Ms: "The recent actions by Kyle Busch are not consistent with the values of M&M'S and we're very disappointed. Like you, we hold those who represent our brand to a higher standard and we have expressed our concerns directly to Joe Gibbs Racing."(M&Ms Facebook page)(11-6-2011)
Kyle Busch to field Nationwide Series team in 2012: from a Toyota Motorsports Transcript, #18-Kyle Busch announced he will run a Nationwide Series team in 2012:
Busch: "On behalf of myself and Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM), it's just a subtle little announcement that KBM is transitioning into the Nationwide Series next year to go race a full-funded team for the championship and I can't announce any further details, besides that it will be a Toyota. Excited about it. It's a great opportunity for myself and for the Kyle Busch Motorsports organization for everybody there that's there now that we have on the line to hire to bring over in order to foresee that program being successful. We're excited. It's a great day for us. Crew chiefs, sponsors, drivers -- all that stuff will be announced at a later time. Wanted to get it out there before Jayski, so we did it. That was good." (so now 'my' mission is to find out the sponsor before announced......)
Q) Will Kyle Busch Motorsports continue to compete in the Truck Series?
Busch: "I did say transitioning in. We did run one race earlier this year, through help with NEMCO Motorsports, running Kimi Raikkonen at Charlotte, so we have the equipment started. We will run trucks also. We will keep the 18 truck going for a full season next year. We are just a few races shy being full sponsorship on that deal. Obviously, last week with Dollar General -- announcing those guys coming back to help us with the Truck Series program and, you know, with the driver and all that kinds of stuff, it's all pretty much done. It's just a matter of waiting until the time in which the sponsor is ready to announce all that stuff."
Q) Is it safe to assume you will drive Nationwide races for KBM and Joe Gibbs Racing next year?
Busch: "It's kind of the point to really announce later, but it's safe to assume that I will be running in some Nationwide races at Kyle Busch Motorsports. I will also still commit to my current obligations that I have at JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) and run over there too. I'll be split between two Nationwide teams essentially driving some races. What number that's going to be yet, that's to be decided. Certainly we've gone over it with JGR and everything. This is definitely nothing new to those guys. There's certainly the amount of races that I've already been set to run in the Nationwide car for next year with JGR. We'll still continue to plan all that out into these next few weeks or next few months maybe before our announcement."(Toyota Motorsports)(10-21-2011)
Dollar General leaves Turner Motorsports; headed to JGR? UPDATE - Official: Turner Motorsports announced Tuesday that Reed Sorenson, who is currently third in the Nationwide Series standings, is out as driver of the #32 Dollar General Chevy. Brian Vickers will assume driving duties from Sorenson beginning this weekend at Kansas Speedway. Turner offered no reason why Sorenson has been sidelined despite the driver currently sitting third in the Nationwide Series points standings. "I'm pretty confused right now," Sorenson said. "I really don't know what's going on right now. I'm trying to figure some stuff out and get through this weekend. It's hard on me, it's hard on the guys that work on this car and where we finish in points. So it's a bad deal." The announcement comes on the same day that Turner Motorsports acknowledged that Dollar General was leaving at the end of the year. Dollar General is expected to be a limited sponsor on one of Joe Gibbs Racing's Sprint Cup cars and as a primary sponsor in the Nationwide Series. Calls to J.D. Gibbs were not returned.(FoxSports)(10-5-2011)
UPDATE: The sponsorship picture at Joe Gibbs Racing is set to undergo a vast change next season. At a news conference Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Dollar General is expected to announce will greatly increase its involvement in NASCAR, sponsoring both Sprint Cup and Nationwide series teams at JGR in 2012. Among the changes:
- Dollar General will become the primary sponsor on driver Joey Logano's #20 Toyota in the Cup series for 10 to 12 races in 2012.
- Dollar General will become the primary sponsor on JGR's #11 Nationwide Series team driven by Brian Scott.
- The company will also be the primary sponsor for several races for JGR's #18 and #20 Nationwide teams.
Dollar General will likely also continue its involvement with the Truck series team owned by JGR driver Kyle Busch, sources said. A JGR spokesman declined to comment on Tuesday when asked about the sponsorship changes. The move means Home Depot, which has been a primary sponsor in the Cup series with JGR since 1999, will relinquish roughly a third of the races on the #20 next season.(Charlotte Observer)(10-11-2011)
UPDATE: Dollar General announced its new sponsorship agreement with Joe Gibbs Racing that includes contenders in both the Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series in 2012. Dollar General also announced plans to continue its Camping World Truck Series sponsorship with Kyle Busch Motorsports in 2012. Dollar General will become the primary sponsor of JGR's #20 Toyota Camry, driven by Joey Logano, for 12 Sprint Cup races. In addition, Dollar General will be the primary sponsor of JGR's #11 Toyota, driven by Brian Scott, for a full season in the Nationwide Series. In 10 Nationwide races, Dollar General will also support an additional JGR car, either #18 driven by Kyle Busch or #20 driven by Logano. In the Camping World Truck Series, Dollar General will return for 10 races with KBM. The #18 truck will be driven by Busch.(Dollar General PR)(10-13-2011)
Kyle Busch is most mentioned Cup driver: According to a study by Joyce, Julius & Associates, #18-Kyle Busch was the most mentioned Spring Cup driver during telecasts of the first 20 races of the year. The results:
|Driver||# of Interviews||Interview Time||Mentions|
|Earnhardt Jr., D.||17||0:26:51||1,898|
Hero R-W-B scheme for Kyle Busch at RIR: M&M will once again run a special red, white & blue scheme on the #18 M&M's Toyota to be driven by Kyle Busch in the Wonderful Pistachios 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 10th. The paint scheme is reminiscent of the #36 September 11th memorial car driven by Kenny Schrader at Dover following the attacks ten years ago. See an image of the car on the #18 Team Schemes page.(9-7-2011)
Kyle Busch's speeding ticket resolved today: UPDATE: The 128-mile-an-hour adventure of NASCAR driver Kyle Busch is expected to come to an end Tuesday afternoon in an Iredell County Courtroom. It began on May 24 in a rural part of Iredell County. Busch, who drives a Toyota on the Sprint Cup Circuit for Joe Gibbs Racing, was driving a high powered, $400,000 Lexus supercar. The bright yellow LFA (Lexus Fuji Apex) was given to Busch to test drive for the manufacturer. Busch and his wife took the car out on narrow, two lane, 45 mile an hour Perth Road in an area near a subdivision, a day care, and a church, and was clocked by an Iredell County deputy going 128 miles an hour. After being stopped, Busch told the deputy that the car was "just a toy." Busch was charged with speeding and careless and reckless driving. Law enforcement authorities and attorneys not involved in the case said that the treatment Busch received was fair that he had not been given any special privileges. In July, Busch was already making plans to make amends for his reckless driving by volunteering in a program that is designed to help teen drivers be safe behind the wheel. The program is called B. R. A. K. E. S., it stands for Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe.(WBTV)(8-23-2011)
UPDATE: Kyle Busch has pleaded guilty after he was cited for speeding more than 128 miles per hour in a 45 mph zone in Iredell County back in May. Busch pleaded guilty to speeding charges and "no contest" to charges of careless and reckless driving on Tuesday afternoon in an Iredell County Courtroom. He was sentenced to 30 days suspended and was given a one-year unsupervised probation. He was fined $1,000 in the case and the court took his driver's license for 45 days. Busch was given a prayer for judgment on the reckless driving charge.(WBTV)(8-23-2011)
Kyle Busch wins at Michigan: #18-Kyle Busch won the Pure Michigan 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway for his 23rd career win and 4th win of 2011. The 23 wins ties him with his brother Kurt and Ricky Rudd for 20th all time ranking of all time wins. Kyle Busch clinces a place in the chase, at least via a wild card spot. The race had one green-white-checkered, increasing the race to 203 laps.
#48-Johnson finished 2nd [his best finish at Michigan] followed by #2-Keselowski [last three races 1-2-3], #5-Martin, #39-Newman, #24-Gordon, #4-Kahne, #33-Bowyer, #14-Stewart and #17-Kenseth. The pole sitter, #16-Biffle finishing 20th.
Points leader going in to the race, #18-Busch, won the race and increased his points lead to 10 over #48-Johnson.
There were 20 lead changes among 10 drivers and 5 cautions for 21 yellow flag laps. The attendance is listed as 81,000, down from 105,000 last year.
Scheduled Race Re-Air:
ESPN2, Monday, August 22 at 12:30 am/et;
SPEED, Wednesday, August 24 at 12:00pm/et
See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Michigan Race Results/Awards page.
See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.
For the owner points standings, see my Owners Points Standings page.(8-21-2011)
Gibbs fourth team "a long shot": Joe Gibbs Racing President JD Gibbs said plans for a fourth Sprint Cup team were not necessarily derailed when Carl Edwards opted to remain with Roush Fenway Racing, rather than jump to JGR. "In each of the last three years, we've looked around to see what kind of things pop-up that would allow us to make (a fourth team) work," Gibbs said. "But it all has to come together. You have to have a driver, which is key. You need the right partner to sponsor the team (and) you have to have the right crew. If all that comes together, we're good to go. We can go quickly. But we've also learned that if all that doesn't come together, we're better off waiting, instead of trying to force something to go together. That's where we are right now. We can go quickly if it all lines up, and that's our hope." He admitted that a fourth Sprint Cup Series Toyota in 2012 is "probably a long shot, (since) we're not lined up with the right partners. But I also wouldn't rule it out. We don't have to plan something out six months in advance. We can cut it a little closer and make it work. We're in no hurry. There's no panic and we're not going to force it, but if the opportunity is there, we can take advantage of it quickly."(Sirius Speedway)(8-12-2011)
Gibbs to close engine shop? UPDATE: hearing that Joe Gibbs Racing [#11, #18, #20] will lay off half their engine shop staff and get engines supplied, supposedly for free, from TRD - Toyota Racing Development. Hearing it is a three year deal, not sure if it starts soon or with the 2012 season. Employee's not laid off will be reassigned within the company, as there are reports that JGR will expand to a fourth team and are in the hunt for Carl Edwards to drive for them in 2012. Edwards is a free agent and currently drives for Roush Fenway Racing in the #99 Ford. Just last week, Toyota'a Lee White told FoxSports: "No, they're not shutting down their engine shop and no we will not be building their engines," White said. "Of course, hell can freeze over and pigs can fly, but not in this world." Currently, the JGR engines would not even fit in the other Toyota cars with their configuration.(7-15-2011)
UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota Research and Development announced Thursday that they are combining their engine efforts in 2012. Officials said there is a chance that JGR cars could use engines out of TRD headquarters in Costa Mesa, Calif., before the end of this season, but that the focus is on next year. Economics in part drove the merger. As Lee White, the president of TRG said, "Building for three teams or less is extremely expensive and inefficient." JGR builds all of its engines while the other Toyota teams -- Michael Waltrip Racing and Red Bull Racing -- receive engines from TRD. With JGR looking to expand its Nationwide presence and add a Trucks program, the merger gives the organization more flexibility. With the future of Red Bull Racing in doubt, the addition of JGR also allows TRG to maintain a full workload if Red Bull's organization folds or is moved to another manufacturer with new investors. Gibbs said JGR will maintain its engine shop in Huntersville, N.C., so that it can make any tweaks to the engines it deems necessary and to work on other projects.(ESPN.com) See earlier updates on the #18 team page.(8-11-2011)
Kyle Busch to work with B.R.A.K.E.S.: #18-Kyle Busch has a plan to turn negative publicity from being charged with going 128 mph in a 45 mph zone down a rural road in North Carolina into a positive. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver and his foundation have pledged to help 10 schools put more than 300 teens through the B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe) program that NHRA Top Fuel drag racer Doug Herbert began in 2008 after his sons Jon and James were killed in an automobile accident while speeding. Busch also plans to appear in several public service announcements promoting the nonprofit program that teaches teens and their parents safe driving and will incorporate the organization as an associate sponsor on his #18 in the Truck Series. "One of the things I focused on and said back in May was I really wanted to use this situation to generate positives from it and learn from it," Busch told ESPN.com on Wednesday. "Anytime you have situations like this you hope to at least make something positive of it." Busch was charged on May 24 with careless and reckless driving and speeding. He has a hearing set for Aug. 23. If convicted of speeding and reckless driving the 26-year-old driver could have his license automatically suspended for 60 days. He could also be found guilty of a second-class misdemeanor that has a maximum punishment of up to 60 days in jail and suspension of license for up to 12 months.(ESPN)(7-27-2011)
Kyle Busch gets two wins over the weekend: Kyle Busch capped a perfect weekend at Oxford Plains Speedway by stamping an exclamation mark on his stay in Maine by winning the prestigious 38th annual TD Bank 250 on Sunday. The victory came less than 24 hours after a win in 150-lap Pro All Stars Series event at the track. Busch started fifth on the 38-car field by virtue of a win in his qualifying heat ran comfortably in the top five throughout most of the event. The 26 year-old NASCAR superstar Busch escaped a race-deciding restart on lap 234 with a hard-charging performance from Nick Sweet to win New England's biggest short track event. Busch's familiarity with his Super Late Model paid off on Saturday night when he won the PASS 150, but the driver who currently sits fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings was unsure of how his Late Model would handle around the 3/8-mile oval in its maiden voyage. Busch pocketed $25,000 for the victory and a total of $31,800 after lap leader bonuses.(Vermont Motorsports Magazine)(7-25-2011)
Busch's speeding case postponed: The court appearance for NASCAR driver Kyle Busch set for Wednesday will likely be postponed to a later date. Busch was set to be in administrative traffic court after he was caught going 128 miles an hour in a 45 mile an hour zone in rural Iredell County in late May. Busch was driving a high performance Lexus LFA super car given to him by Toyota, whose cars and trucks he drives in NASCAR. If convicted of speeding and reckless driving, Busch would have his license automatically suspended for 60 days by the department of motor vehicles. A judge also could find him guilty of a second-class misdemeanor, which under North Carolina law has a maximum punishment of up to 60 days in jail and a suspension of a driver's license for up to 12 months.(WBTV)(7-19-2011)
UPDATE: The court appearance for NASCAR driver Kyle Busch was postponed from Wednesday to Aug. 23. Busch's attorney, Cliff Homesley, requested the continuance, which is standard procedure when a case first comes to court. Busch was scheduled to appear in administrative court Wednesday but the continuance was granted. Homesley indicated Busch would resolve the charges at his Aug. 23 court date.(Stateville Record & Landmark)(7-21-2011)
Gibbs to close engine shop? UPDATES: hearing that Joe Gibbs Racing [#11, #18, #20] will lay off half their engine shop staff and get engines supplied, supposedly for free, from TRD - Toyota Racing Development. Hearing it is a three year deal, not sure if it starts soon or with the 2012 season. Employee's not laid off will be reassigned within the company, as there are reports that JGR will expand to a fourth team and are in the hunt for Carl Edwards to drive for them in 2012. Edwards is a free agent and currently drives for Roush Fenway Racing in the #99 Ford. Just last week, Toyota'a Lee White told FoxSports:
"No, they're not shutting down their engine shop and no we will not be building their engines," White said. "Of course, hell can freeze over and pigs can fly, but not in this world." Currently, the JGR engines would not even fit in the other Toyota cars with their configuration.(7-15-2011)
UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing President JD Gibbs told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that he has no plans to shutter the team's engine shop and merge motor-building operations with Toyota Racing Development. "I think a lot of that started when Red Bull Racing announced they were going to cease operation," said Gibbs. "A lot of people started trying to plug things into different spots. There are some things that TRD and Toyota do really well, and there are some things that we do really well. For several years, we've been working on how to bring all those strengths together. (JGR Head Engine Builder) Mark Cronquist has got some real sharp guys… and the question – again – is how do we bring all that together (with Toyota and TRD)? If we can do that, I think there will be some real value. But there is no shutting down our shop, or shutting down theirs. We're going to keep working on combining what they do well with what we do well."
Gibbs also commented on persistent rumors of negotiations with Roush Fenway Racing driver Carl Edwards, saying, "We get the most attention because we have an open spot. If other (teams) had spots, they'd all be in the rumor mill, too. The reality is that Carl is a gifted, talented driver. But you have to have all the parts; driver, crew chief, team and sponsorship. And that sponsorship piece is difficult to put together. From our standpoint, we are far from having any concrete decisions or directions. We have the availability to add a fourth car. We look at it each year and examine the possibilities. But we haven't been able to make it work." Gibbs said Joey Logano's job is secure, whether or not Edwards joins the JGR camp. "People in general just assume things," he said. "If we do a fourth car, it will be a great addition. For Joey, the key is that we finished last year so strong, but just haven't had that same consistency this year. We've had it the last few weeks, so that's encouraging for us and the whole (#20) team. He's young, but we have to perform. We all know that, and what we saw (out of Logano) last year is what we're starting to see again now. That's encouraging."(Sirius Speedway)(7-15-2011)
UPDATE 2: While there's talk in the garage that Joe Gibbs Racing might be getting rid of its engine program (and using Toyota's program, which supplies engines for its teams), here's what Joe Gibbs told [Dustin Long] after the race: "No truth to that at all,'' Gibbs said of talk JGR's engine shop was closing after this year. "We're not closing our motor shop at all. What we're doing is moving closer and closer to TRD (Toyota Racing Development) to run one motor. So far we've been running two different packages. Now we've been getting closer and closer as we go and doing more R&D. Now that we'll be fuel injection (in 2012), we'll be closer yet. So that's all it is. We're going to be doing the things that we've been doing well. Mark (Cronquist, who oversees the engine department at JGR) is going to be in charge of horsepower stuff. We'll be working together (with TRD) on our motor package.''(Virginian-Pilot)(7-18-2011)
Harvick says he's been warned to not touch Busch: Kevin Harvick says he is racing with handcuffs when competing against rival Kyle Busch, whom he and his owner have feuded with since May. Harvick, who finished second behind Busch in the New England 200 on Saturday, told his Nationwide Series team over his radio that he had to be careful around Busch and then confirmed afterward that NASCAR President Mike Helton had warned him at Michigan in June not to touch Busch on the track. "I was told a few weeks ago that if we touched the 18 car [of Busch], we'd be parked," Harvick said. "I've just got to be really careful. I would have liked to have gotten the track position and slid up and do what I needed to do. But I've just got to be really careful. That's the way NASCAR put it to me." NASCAR spokesman Kristi King said if there was a conversation between Harvick and Helton, it would remain private. Busch said he has received no warning. "It would have been a lot easier to win if you didn't have handcuffs put on you, but that's the way NASCAR said we had to do it," Harvick said.(Scene Daily(7-17-2011)
Kyle Busch wins Late Model Race: Erasing his late race demons from a year ago, Kyle Busch muscled past Dave Feiler following a restart with 26 laps to go and drove to his first victory in the Miller Lite Nationals 200-lap super late model main event Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway.(full story at Slinger Super Speedway), quite a weekend for Busch: won the Truck Series race at Kentucky on Thursday, 3rd in the Nationwide race at Kentucky on Friday, won the Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky on Saturday and then won Sunday ay Slinger.(7-11-2011)
Kyle Busch wins at Kentucky: #18-Kyle Busch won the inaugrual Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway for his 3rd win of 2011, 22nd career win and taking the points lead. #00-Reutimann finished second followed by #48-Johnson, #39-Newman, #99-Edwards, #17-Kenseth, #2-Keselowski, #6-Ragan, #22-Busch and #24-Gordon.
The points leader going in to the race, #29-Harvick finished 16th and lost the points lead to #18-Busch, who goes to the points lead by 4 points over Edwards.
There were 20 lead changes among 12 drivers; 6 cautions for 32 yellow flag laps. The attendance is listed as 107,000 for the first race.
Scheduled Race Re-Air: SPEED, Wednesday, July 13 at 12:00pm/et
See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Kentucky Race Results/Awards page.
See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(7-9-2011)
Kyle Busch going for another Trifecta UPDATES: As Kyle Busch is set to compete in all three races this weekend at Kentucky, he will look to repeat his record-breaking weekend sweep at Bristol Motor Speedway last August. Busch won the Camping World Truck Series race, along with the Nationwide Series race, before wheeling his #18 Toyota to victory and into the history books in the Sprint Cup race. Busch led four times for a race-high 282 laps in the Sprint Cup race. For the weekend, the Las Vegas native led 514 of a possible 956 circuits. Before finally completing his historic trifecta at Bristol last August, Busch won two out of the three
weekend NASCAR races five times in his career (Phoenix fall of 2007 1st in Truck, 1st in Nationwide, 8th in Sprint Cup; Atlanta 2008 spring of 2008, 1st, 24th, 1st; Auto Club Speedway in February 2009, 1st, 1st, 8th; Bristol in August 2009, 1st, 28th, 1st; and Texas in November of 2009, 1st, 28th, 1st). So far in 2011, Busch almost accomplished a weekend sweep once again by winning the Truck Series and Nationwide races in February at Phoenix before coming up just short of winning Sunday's Sprint cup event, when he settled for a solid second-place finish.(JGR/True Speed Commincations)(7-7-2011)
UPDATE: Busch won the Truck Series race.(7-8-2011)
Busch came in 3rd in the Nationwide race.
Busch won the Sprint Cup Series race.(7-9-2011)
The Kyle Busch / Kevin Harvick 'handshake': at separate press conferences, #29-Kevin Harvick and #18-Kyle Busch were asked their thoughts about Kyle Busch walking up to Kevin Harvick after the race at Infineon Raceway and shaking Harvick's hand.
Q) KYLE BUSCH CAME UP AND SHOOK YOU HAND LAST WEEK AFTER INFINEON, IS THAT ALL OVER WITH AND YOU GUYS ARE GOOD TO GO?
Harvick: "I wouldn't call it good to go on that. I mean we raced together for a lap and a half. I was as confused about all that as everybody else."(Team Chevy).
Q) Why did you shake Kevin Harvick's hand after last weekend's race?
Busch: "I felt like we had a really good race with each other. So, just wanted to let him know that."
Q) Did you feel like you gave each other room in last weekend's race?
Busch: "Yes. We gave each other great room and raced each other hard and clean. And, that's all there is to it. You all are reading way too much into things."(Toyota Racing)(7-1-2011)
Special scheme for Kyle Busch at Daytona: Interstate All Battery Center stores promise to have "Every Battery for Every Need" with the expertise to solve any battery-related problem. So it's only appropriate that this weekend's new metallic and reflective green-and-gold scheme on the #18 Interstate All Battery Center Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) will be driven by Kyle Busch, a driver who has proven he can win at every type of track. Busch will run the scheme at the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Interstate All Battery Center stores promise to have "Every Battery for Every Need" with the expertise to solve any battery-related problem (JGR)(6-30-2011)
JGR teams face penalties for oil pans UPDATE 3 - Penalties announced: The Joe Gibbs Racing teams of #18-Kyle Busch, #11-Denny Hamlin and #20-Joey Logano all face possible penalties after an issue was discovered in inspection Friday morning at Michigan before practice began. John Darby, Cup series director, said that all three Gibbs cars had oil pans that had not been submitted for approval before competition. "We had them pull (those) off and put what we're accustomed to, what has been submitted back on their cars,'' Darby said. All three teams face possible penalties for the infraction. "Chances are great (a penalty) wouldn't involve points,'' Darby said.(Hampton Roads)(6-17-2011)
UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing had unapproved- and unusually heavy - oil pans seized from its three NASCAR Sprint Cup cars Friday morning at Michigan International Speedway. Officially, the issue was that the oil pans had not been submitted for approval by NASCAR, a standard procedure for the thousands of parts and pieces on race cars. But a bigger issue ultimately might be weight. While a standard NASCAR Sprint Cup oil pan weighs about 4 pounds, the three taken off the Gibbs cars weighed an estimated 20-30 pounds apiece. Competitors contacted by SPEED.com and FOXSports.com said the heavy oil pans would allow the teams to remove weight elsewhere in the car and put it low and on the front of the car, which could provide a handling advantage, perhaps a substantial one. Officials did not penalize JGR at the track but said in a statement, "NASCAR will discuss early next week if there will be any additional penalties assessed to these three teams."(SPEED)(6-18-2011)
UPDATE 2: NASCAR announced today that the #11, No. 18 and No. 20 teams that compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series have been penalized for rules violations discovered during opening day inspection June 17 at Michigan International Speedway. All three of the Joe Gibbs Racing cars were found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in an event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the NASCAR rule book, or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the event); and 20-5.5.4A (oil pan, failure to submit component) of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book. As a result, the three crew chiefs – Mike Ford (#11 car), Dave Rogers (#18 car) and Greg Zipadelli (#20 car) have been fined $50,000 each and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. In addition, all three car chiefs – Chris Gillin (#11 car), Wesley Sherrill (#18 car) and Jason Shapiro (#20 car) along with Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Jimmy Makar have been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.(NASCAR)(6-21-2011)
UPDATE 3 - Statement from JGR: "We received NASCAR's ruling today with regard to penalties for having oil pans on our cars that had not been submitted for approval prior to going through inspection on Friday. Although the parts were not illegal, we did not follow the proper submission for approval process. We will not appeal NASCAR's ruling."(JGR)(6-22-2011)
Roush supportive of Childress: Jack Roush drew a few laughs after his team's NASCAR Nationwide victory, when he was asked his view of the fine handed down to fellow owner Richard Childress. Childress was fined $150,000 earlier this month for an altercation with Kyle Busch at Kansas Speedway. Childress was upset that Busch bumped into Joey Coulter on the cool-down lap after a race. "It was pretty high," Roush said about the fine. "I guess that pretty much puts the nail in the coffin of, 'Have at it, guys.' Maybe that was a boy and a man. I am not sure. Maybe that is different than the boys having at it. Kyle has been pretty rough on my cars over a period of time and for Richard to stand up for himself was OK," Roush said.(Associated Press)(6-19-2011)
Kyle Busch is the Most-Mentioned in Sponsor Exposure: Even before his most recent dustup, #18-Kyle Busch had been the center of attention during this year's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series broadcasts. Interviewed longer and mentioned more frequently than any other driver on the circuit during the first 12 event telecasts of 2011, Busch parlayed the spotlight into $28.4 million of exposure value for his sponsors-some $6.5 million more than the next most sponsor-potent driver, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.
According to research conducted by Joyce Julius & Associates, Inc. -- which has monitored every NASCAR race telecast over the last 27 seasons -- Busch's sponsors, with logos appearing on his car, uniform and pit crew, etc., were monitored for eight hours, 30 minutes, 39 seconds (8:30:39) during live and replayed coverage of NASCAR's Daytona 500 through last month's Coca-Cola 600. Additionally, Busch and the FOX TV crew verbally mentioned his sponsors on 95 occasions.
Earnhardt Jr.'s cumulative exposure value ranked him second among all drivers with $21.8 million, based on 5.5 hours of on-screen time for his sponsors and 18 brand mentions. The popular driver was third in interview durations (0:13:07), but interestingly, Earnhardt Jr. sat just seventh in total driver mentions (1,140).
Meanwhile, Trevor Bayne, despite starting only eight of the first 12 points races this year, rode the wave of his Daytona 500 win to earn $12.3 million of exposure value for his sponsors, the seventh-most among the drivers. Bayne placed 20th in terms of cumulative sponsor on-camera time and 22nd in driver mentions. (for charts and more, go to Joyce Julius & Associates)(6-15-2011)
#18 fails inspection UPDATE 3 Penalties announced: The #18 M&M's Toyota of Kyle Busch failed post race inspection at Pocono with a height issue on the left-front end. The car will be taken to NASCAR's R&D center, any penalties normally announced Tuesday.
UPDATE: Kyle Busch's third place finishing car in Sunday's 5-Hour Energy 500 at Pocono raceway failed post race inspection. Busch's Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was found to be too low after NASCAR officials inspected it three times following Sunday's race. Busch's left front was too low and NASCAR will take the car back to its R&D Center in Concord, N.C. While he will be allowed to keep his third place finish a fine and points penalty will more than likely be assessed. "it's the last thing I expected - I have as many questions as you," said crew chief Dave Rogers.(CBS Sports)
UPDATE 2: NASCAR officials said the front left was too low on the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Crew chief Dave Rogers said the car was 1/16th of an inch outside the tolerances already allowed by the governing body. Because the car passed pre-race inspection Rogers speculated the violation was the result of a broken part. Because NASCAR doesn't typically differentiate whether the violation was intentional or unintentional, Busch faces a potential fine, points deduction or both. He currently is fifth in points, 25 behind leader Carl Edwards who lost his big lead after an engine failure left him 37th at the 2.5-mile track. Rogers said it was a "huge surprise'' when NASCAR informed him the car failed and would be taken to the Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C., for further evaluation. "It's disappointing," Rogers said. "I can't tell you a whole lot right now. We sit on bump stops in these race cars. Your springs often don't damage. We were struggling all weekend and we went back to what we raced last spring when we finished second. We put the same package in -- same front shocks, same front springs. We went through tech just fine last year, but obviously everything has a year on it and everything is mileaged out. I don't have any excuses for you. It's the last thing I expected after the race." Rogers said there was a lot of damage on the left front fender, apparently from bottoming out on the rough Pocono surface. He said Busch also got into the fence on the right side. "There is plenty of body damage, but nothing that I could look at and say,'Hey, NASCAR, here's a problem,'" Rogers said. "I would just be trying to make excuses if I tried to justify it."(ESPN.com)(6-12-2011)
UPDATE 3 #18 Team penalties announced: NASCAR has penalized the #18 team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as a result of rule infractions discovered during post-race inspection Sunday at Pocono Raceway.
The #18 Toyota was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR officials that race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-12.8.1B (body height requirements – car failed to meet the minimum front car heights) of the 2011 NASCAR rule book.
As a result, crew chief Dave Rogers has been fined $25,000, while owner Joe Gibbs and driver Kyle Busch have been penalized with the loss of six championship owner and six championship driver points, respectively.(NASCAR)
STATEMENT FROM JGR: "We brought the #18 car back to our race shop and have identified the problem which caused us to measure low during the post-race inspection process in Pocono yesterday afternoon. We have made NASCAR aware of our findings and we accept the penalty they have issued today."(JGR)(6-13-2011)
Harvick vs. Busch resurfaces: #29-Kevin Harvick made it clear Sunday at Pocono Raceway that his feud with #18-Kyle Busch isn't over. The Richard Childress Racing driver forced Busch down the track early in the Sprint Cup race when the two were fighting for position in the last event of their four-race probation, handed down by NASCAR after their pit road incident at Darlington. It was a continuation of the feud between the drivers, as well as the one with Harvick's team owner, Richard Childress, who put Busch in a headlock and punched him in the Truck Series garage after last weekend's truck race at Kansas. The incident came after Busch made contact with RCR driver Joey Coulter on the cool-down lap. "He knows he's got one coming," Harvick said after finishing fifth at Pocono on Sunday, two spots behind Busch. "I just wanted him to think about it." NASCAR warned the two drivers to just race, and the battle seemed to settle down after that. "It seemed like he was trying to make it awfully difficult on me," Busch said. "There were a couple of times I had to back off and wait (before passing)." Busch said what Harvick did simply showed his character. "It's not my fight," Busch said. "He's trying to turn it into one."(ESPN.com)(6-13-2011)
Kyle Busch discusses incident with Childress: Toyota Racing, #18-Kyle Busch, spoke to the media at Pocono, some notes and quotes:
Do you feel you have a respect issue in the garage and do you need respect in the garage to be successful?
"Can't answer the first part for you -- you would have to ask everybody else. As far as needing respect in the garage area -- certainly. It makes your day a little bit easier. Makes your job a little bit easier. I've been able to have good conversations and talk to people outside the race car or at driver intros or stuff like that. Whether it's the case that they're not being true to my face -- I don't know, I can't read that. I'm not in people's minds. If you're mad at me, you'll have to tell me."
Do you understand why Richard Childress was mad last week?
"Me giving a congratulatory bump to Joey Coulter is what tipped him (Richard Childress) over the edge there. I don't recall anytime -- face-to-face conversation where Richard did tell me that, 'If you touch another one of my cars I'm going to come find you.' I don't know if it was ever said in the media, but it was never relayed to me."
Have you received any secret fines in the last seven days?
How should NASCAR handle penalties if someone is threatening a lawsuit?
"I don't know. That's not to my discretion to be honest with you. It's further to NASCAR to depose. That's a great question for the, but for myself, I need an instance of what you're explaining. Besides all the information you've just given me and the question you've asked, I can't really comment further."
Did you know how much damage there was on Joey Coulter's truck at Kansas?
"No, I didn't feel like I hit him all that hard. I just thought I rubbed him a little bit. Typically when you rub a guy, you don't see much damage from it. The trucks are so different too. I forgot about how the left-front fender on a truck -- the nose is so much wider than the tire is so it kind of sticks out a little further so maybe there was more damage than I thought I would have caused. That's entirely my fault -- I'm the one that instigated it there or initiated it. As far as him having to fly out body hangers and all that stuff -- if it's something they didn't feel that they could hammer and dolly out, sorry it came to that."
Did the media interpret malicious intent toward Joey Coulter?
"There can be an easy way to interpret things sometimes and it seems like maybe I might be on the wrong end of interpretation a lot of those times. There was no malicious intent to be involved in hurting or damaging a RCR (Richard Childress Racing) vehicle."
Was anything said to you by Richard Childress prior to last week's incident?
"No. We were in that NASCAR hauler from Darlington after the race and he (Richard Childress) never said a word in there."
How are M&M's handling the recent situations?
"M&M's is handling things the best that they can handle it and going through things day by day. There's a lot of support there. We just had a NASCAR day at Hackettstown, New Jersey yesterday and people were awesome. They had a lot of great questions about racing, about the sponsorship, about the partnership that we have and how things have really been working well for them over the past few seasons and how we can continue to grow the brand. They're doing everything they can in their power to make sure that we continue to carry on the presence of M&M's in NASCAR and with Kyle Busch."
Childress discusses penalty, incident with Busch: Richard Childress, Owner of Richard Childress Racing, met with members of the media at Pocono Raceway. The transcript:
RICHARD CHILDRESS: "Here is the deal. I am going to make one statement on this deal. I appreciate everyone's patience during the last week when I couldn't talk to everyone. The main thing is I take all the responsibility for my actions last week. I am very passionate about this sport. I am passionate about my race teams, our fans and I let my emotions get…come in front of my passion. But that is behind us. I guess the next thing is the fine that was levied against me, I'm going to pay it personal. I agree that NASCAR should have done something with me. I don't agree that they didn't handle the situation that happened on the cool-down lap. With that said, we had a lot of fans to send in donations last week toward our fine, I am going to pay it personally. All that money that has been sent in, that is still coming in, we're going to take and donate to the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma. At least in every bad situation, something good will come out of it. Hopefully Kyle (Busch) and myself will both end up learning something from this. Thank you all very much. Talk to you later. That's it.(Team Chevy)(6-10-2011)
Kyle Busch says Childress' fine is 'end of it': #18-Kyle Busch says that the $150,000 fine NASCAR levied against Richard Childress is the end of the matter for him. Childress was fined on Monday for assaulting Busch after a NASCAR Trucks race at Kansas Speedway, the latest incident between the driver and Childress' race teams. Busch was in Ohio on Wednesday to participate in Tony Stewart's annual charity race. "NASCAR decided to make the decisions that they felt were necessary," Busch said before the race at Eldora Speedway. "It's pretty much the end of it. It's not my fight."(Associated Press)(6-9-2011)
Jimmy Spencer says Childress was wrong: from a Jimmy Spencer article on SPEED - But take it from someone who has been there – Childress crossed the line in punching Busch. No one should ever hit or physically confront another individual. Arguing, hurling insults or yelling at someone is okay, but you shouldn't touch them. I picked the wrong way to handle my problem with another Busch brother, Kurt, years ago, and I still regret it. I think Kurt learned something from me punching him but I learned more, and if I had the chance to do it over again, I wouldn't have hit him. I've been in several brawls in my time and nobody ever wins.
Childress got off too easy. NASCAR should have come down on him harder than a $150,000 fine. They should have suspended him for three races – that would get his attention. He took responsibility for what he did but never apologized because he's really not sorry. I speak from experience when I say that situations like last weekend's affect the younger generation a lot, especially the kids watching our sport. My biggest problem with what Childress did stems from the fact that he is representing major corporations with thousands of employees. Yet he let his temper get the best of him and he assaulted someone. That gave the sport the biggest black eye it has had in years. Fans and folks inside the sport may think it's funny, but these companies probably aren't happy about having a car owner representing them who assaulted someone.
And believe it or not, I think that Busch's sponsors can be proud of the way he handled himself. We're usually criticizing Busch's behavior, but I admire him for not fighting back and also for staying in the car at Darlington when Kevin Harvick came up to his car on pit road. Busch is the most exciting driver in our sport right now. Yes, he ruffles feathers, but so did the late, great Dale Earnhardt. But Earnhardt didn't outright attack other drivers. I admire Kyle for respecting Childress enough, although he got punched, to not punch back. It takes a strong person not to retaliate.
I still don't really see what Childress was so upset about. Busch wasn't out of line in bumping Coulter's truck on the cool-down lap. Rewind a few laps to when they were putting on a hell of a race for fifth place and Coulter slid up in front of Busch. If Busch hadn't lifted and let him go, both of them would have wrecked. Coulter was the one at fault there, so Busch bumped him after the race to teach him a lesson. That's just part of racing and how you teach younger drivers who are coming along. Sure, Busch did a little damage to Coulter's quarter panel, but he also did the same to his own truck.(in part from SPEED)(6-9-2011)
Altercation between Childress and Kyle Busch after CWTS Race: UPDATE: fine and probation for Childress: From the SPEED Center Facebook page, "multiple witnesses tell SPEED there was a physical confrontation between Richard Childress and Kyle Busch after today's NASCAR Truck Series race..RCR driver Joey Coulter and Kyle battled for position..Kyle hit Coulter's truck on the cool-down lap..multiple sources say Childress took matters into his own hands".(6-4-2011)
UPDATE: Richard Childress had an altercation with Kyle Busch in the Camping World Truck Series garage area after the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250, sources confirmed Saturday night. NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp confirmed that NASCAR was looking into the rumors of an altercation following the Camping World Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway. The altercation happened in the garage area about 30 minutes after the conclusion of the race, according to the sources, who indicated that Childress initiated the altercation. Childress likely was upset that late in the race, Richard Childress Racing driver Joey Coulter and Busch had a tight battle for fifth with contact on the final lap. Busch tapped Coulter on the cool-down lap following the race.(Scene Daily)(6-4-2011)
UPDATE 2: NASCAR officials are investigating a physical altercation involving team owner Richard Childress and driver Kyle Busch in the garage area following Saturday's Truck series race at Kansas Speedway. According to a member of a Truck team who asked not to be identified, Childress took off his jewelry before approaching Busch in the garage area and struck him with his fist. The two were separated; traded insults and then Childress grabbed Busch in a headlock and struck him again before the incident was broken up. The crew member said Childress initiated the incident. Officials with Busch's team and Richard Childress Racing declined to comment on the incident.(Charlotte Observer)(6-5-2011
UPDATE 3: NASCAR officials met with Richard Childress and Kyle Busch Sunday morning at Kansas Speedway. Later NASCAR president Mike Helton met with the media and said that, in NASCAR's view, Kyle Busch did not do anything during or after race to violate his probation. NASCAR considered ejecting Childress from the track but decided to allow him to stay because his teams needed a race-day leader. However, Childress will have restrcitions on where he can go during the race and it not likely to be allowed on pit road. In addition, further penalties to Childress will be announced by Tuesday. Following is NASCAR's complete statement: "NASCAR has reviewed the incident involving Richard Childress and Kyle Busch after the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race Saturday at Kansas Speedway. We have met with all parties involved and have determined what happened yesterday is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by NASCAR. Richard Childress's actions were not appropriate and fell far short of the standard we expect of owners in this sport. We have met with Childress this morning and made our position very clear to him. Further, we expect he will make it clear to all in his organization to ensure this situation does not escalate any further. We will announce our actions regarding this incident Monday. Kyle Busch remains on probation with NASCAR and we continue to watch his actions carefully. However, we have determined that Kyle's involvement in this incident does not violate his probation and no further action is required."(6-5-2011)
UPDATE 4: NASCAR has fined owner Richard Childress $150,000 and placed him on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31 for violating Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing – involved in an altercation in the garage area) of the 2011 NASCAR rule book. The violation occurred following the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race June 4 at Kansas Speedway. The probation includes all NASCAR-sanctioned events.
STATEMENT FROM NASCAR: "The penalty we have announced today for Richard Childress reflects NASCAR's response to the incident at Kansas Speedway on Saturday. We feel this action is appropriate and are confident all parties involved understand our position on this matter and will move forward appropriately."(NASCAR)
Statement from Childress: "First of all, I'm responsible for my actions, plain and simple. As you know, I am a very principled person and have a passion for what we do at Richard Childress Racing. I believe passionately in defending my race teams and my sponsor partners. In this instance, I let that passion and my emotions get the best of me. I accept the penalty NASCAR announced today and, as a company, we will now focus on this week's races at Pocono Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway."(RCR)(6-6-2011)
Kyle Busch talks to media about speeding ticket: #18-Kyle Busch spoke to the media in the Charlotte Motor Speedway media center, a few tidbits from the Q&A about the recent speeding ticket Busch got for going 128mph:
Q) What is your reaction to the speeding ticket?
Busch: "I'm certainly sorry for my actions and for my lack of judgment. This is something that I can take and learn from and hopefully move forward and not let happen again."
Q) How do you look back on the speeding incident?
Busch: "I'm certainly sorry that it happened and my actions led me to speed. It was a lack of judgment and all I can do is apologize to the public, my friends, my fans, my sponsors and everybody, look at this experience as a learning experience, and to move forward."
Q) Is it difficult to have a learning experience in the public eye?
Busch: "It's certainly challenging sometimes with things you have to think about and of course actions that you may cause yourself. Thankfully, I've got some good people around me that can help me through these experiences and help me learn from them. Take the good from it and take the bad from it and just be able to apply that for later on down the road."
Q) Can you make a case for yourself?
Busch: "I'm sorry I'm not the jurisdiction to make a case. I leave that to the court systems and everything else like that. This matter will be handled through that as best as we can handle it and as best as the authorities decide to handle it. I have the utmost respect for the authorities across the United States of America that try to keep all of us safe every day. Of course, being Memorial Day weekend with all the men and women serving our country to keep us safe as well too. It's not in my place to decide what does or does not happen."
Q) Has Joe Gibbs Racing given you any penalties?
Busch: "We have certainly discussed some things. We're working through the process of that now and looking at what might be done later on down the road."
Q) Have you personally spoken with your team owner, your sponsors and your neighbors about the speeding incident?
Busch: "I have certainly had discussions with Mr. Coach Gibbs (team owner) as well as Joe Gibbs Racing and my sponsors as well too. It's just a matter of showing your utmost respect for them and what they do for you. That they believe in you to do what you can in order to represent them well and obviously I had a lack in judgment and just made a mistake. I'm sorry for making that mistake, but as far as any of the people that have made comments or anything like that, I don't have a relationship with any of those people. Unfortunately, I don't go door-to-door knocking on the door and commenting to them. All I can do is say my piece here and let it be."
Q) How much have you thought about the potential of what could have happened on Tuesday?
Busch: "There's if, ands or buts to a lot of different things in life. Fortunately, there was no one hurt, but that doesn't make any kind of excuse for what happened and for my lack in judgment and for what I did. Like I said, there's a lot of processes to be thought about here. There's some learning experiences to be taken from this and the best I can do is just try to move along past it for this weekend and take my course of action during the week in what might lie ahead."
Q) What did you mean when you said the Lexus was, 'just a toy?'
Busch: "Well it was a car that was on loan to me from Lexus and it wasn't that it was a toy, it's a high performance vehicle and that shouldn't be taken lightly. Should be driven with caution. Obviously, I didn't have caution and I had a lack in judgment and there's probably a reason why on TV commercials and such they always show at the bottom, professional driver, closed course. Mine was not that. Again, I apologize sincerely to all those affected and that all I can do is try to make sure it doesn't happen again and that I make sure that lack of judgment doesn't overcome me."(Toyota Racing Transcript)(5-26-2011)
Did Kyle Busch get special treatment? The WBTV web sites and Facebook have been blowing up with angry comments from viewers who say NASCAR driver Kyle Busch got special treatment when he was caught speeding 128 miles an hour in a 45 zone on Perth Road Tuesday afternoon. According to the Iredell County Sheriff's Office, Busch was driving his new 2012 yellow Lexus LFA supercar when he was clocked doing nearly three times the posted speed limit. Busch was issued a citation for careless and reckless driving and speeding, deputies told WBTV. That made many WBTV viewers very angry.
So was Kyle Busch given special treatment? A North Carolina police chief and traffic attorney contacted by WBTV said it appeared to them that Busch was treated properly and that the issuing of the citation was the appropriate action on the part of Iredell County Sgt. Chris Stone. "The attitude of the person...unless they get unruly, question the ancestry of the officer involved, I wouldn't think they would take them to jail, put them under a bond, have the vehicle towed and impounded, all of which could happen, but it's been a long time since I've seen it," said attorney Cecil Whitley.
A police chief told WBTV that officers have discretion in such cases, and that most of the time for speeding an reckless driving, a citation would be issued. The driver would only be arrested if there were other circumstances, such as additional charges for eluding arrest, alcohol, involvement in an accident, or if the officer determined that the driver would be unlikely to show up for court. He said in this case, Kyle Busch would not be considered a flight risk. As far as the penalty is concerned, if Busch were to be convicted on the charges he now faces, he would lose his North Carolina driver's license for one year. That would not impact his ability to drive a race car since NASCAR requires each driver to have a NASCAR license, not a driver's license.(WBTV)(5-26-2011)
Kyle Busch cited for speeding UPDATE2: NASCAR driver Kyle Busch was cited for careless and reckless driving after deputies said they clocked him doing nearly three times the posted speed limit Tuesday afternoon. Iredell County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Chris Stone, a member of the Aggressive Criminal Enforcement (ACE) team, stopped a yellow Lexus sports car after he clocked it doing 128 mph in a 45 mph zone on Perth Road near Judas Road, between Troutman and Mooresville, NC. Busch, driver of the #18 M&Ms/Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, was cited for careless and reckless driving and speeding, said Lt. Troy Miller, who supervises the ACE team for the sheriff's office.()(5-24-2011)
STATEMENT: The following is a statement from Kyle Busch: "Today I received a traffic citation in Iredell County. I was test driving a new sports car and I got carried away. I went beyond the speed I should have been going on a public road. I apologize to the public, my fans, sponsors, and race teams for my lack of judgment. I take responsibility for my actions and I can assure you that something like this will never happen again. I thank the Iredell County Sheriff's Department and all law enforcement for the hard work they do every day to protect the public and to enforce the laws in a fair and equitable manner."(KBM)(5-25-2011)
UPDATE: Busch was driving a yellow Lexus LFA sports car, and his wife, Samantha, was a passenger. A spokesman for JGR said the organization was aware of the incident and was looking into it. According to the N.C. Department of Motor Vehicles website, Busch could lose his driver's license for at least 60 days with a conviction. That would not affect his NASCAR career, however. Competitors in NASCAR need a license from the organization but not a state driver's license to compete. NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said the speeding ticket does not violate the probation Busch received from the sanctioning body for a pit road altercation at Darlington, S.C., this month. "This is a matter that Kyle will have to handle with the authorities in Iredell County," Tharp said. "Based on what we know right now, this would not impact his status as a NASCAR driver."(Charlotte Observer and a poll at WSOC)(5-25-2011)
#18 Over-the-Wall Team Voted First Quarter Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew: The pit crew of the #18 M&M's Toyota for Kyle Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing has earned first-quarter honors in the 2011 Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award competition, taking home the $5,000 quarterly prize. The Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award, which is determined by a vote of each team's crew chief, is given quarterly to the top-performing pit crew in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The four quarterly winners are eligible for the year-end Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award presented during Champion's Week in Las Vegas – and the $100,000 grand prize. "I think that our M&M's/Interstate Batteries team is the best week in and week out on pit road. It's great to see them get the credit they deserve," said Kyle Busch. "I say it every week – those guys win me a lot of races and get me a lot of good finishes. A big thanks to Mechanix Wear for honoring all of their hard work." So far, Busch and the #18 team have two wins, five top-fives and six top-10s. As Busch continues to perform well on the track, Dave Rogers, crew chief on the #18 Toyota, continues to maintain that same level of performance by keeping the pit crew at the top of its game. Members of the #18 M&M's pit crew include: Nick Odell (Front Tire Changer), Brad Donaghy (Front Tire Carrier), Jake Seminara (Rear Tire Changer), Kenny Barber (Rear Tire Carrier), Jeff Fender (Jackman), and Dan Bajek (Fueler). The team's pit crew coach is Dave Rogers.(Mechanix Wear/VMG)(5-18-2011)
Kyle Busch discusses Darlington incident: #18-Kyle Busch met with members of the media at Dover International Speedway and discussed the incident and penalties from last week at Darlington, the transcript in part:
Q) Where was your team following the incident at Darlington?
Busch: "To be honest with you, I don't know if they were aware of the antics. I had already unplugged my radio, so I don't know what was going on over the radio, but we were pitted down in pit stall three or four or something like that last week. I do know that it was an awfully long way to haul, if you ask me. As I did turn in to the garage area after what happened down on the end of pit road, I did see some guys coming from that way. They were behind the pit wall, they weren't out on pit road. When I turned into the garage area, some of them were turning in with me and following the car. When I got back to the truck, there were about four or five at the truck. They were where they were supposed to be, I will say that."
Q) Do you think hitting Kevin Harvick in the quarter panel during the race meant you were 'throwing the gloves down?'
Busch: "Apparently he's watching too much hockey. That's what you do in your own time during the week I guess. To me, I did have a left rear tire flat and I wasn't sure that if I turned too hard to the right to stay off of him or to get away from him that the car would actually spin out the wrong way -- my car would. Believe that for what it's worth. I believe there's some in car cameras you can see and I did have to come to pit road during that caution period to change left side tires because they were flat."
Q) Why do you and Kevin Harvick not get along?
Busch: "As far as us getting along, I'm not sure that we ever really did. I think he (Kevin Harvick) tried and that's why at Homestead I kind of talked about the two faces of Kevin Harvick. I still believe that's out there. He'll talk to you to your face like your best friends, but then behind closed doors or him at home or whatever, he has the utmost disrespectful thoughts or whatever else. That's all -- I don't care. I'm going on with my own business."
Q) Is there anything you want to clarify about your actions last week?
Busch:"No, I don't feel like I'm lying about anything because there's video cameras and what is it, 85 video cameras around the race track that will pretty much simplify or backup anything that you're saying. Not lying about anything. The only thing I will say I guess is that I'm sorry I came off of turn two on the flat trying to give Kevin (Harvick) room and maybe I slid a little too far and I got into him first. Maybe that's what initiated everything. I apologize about that. It wasn't my intentions to get into him and then have everything go down the way it went down. I was just trying to race the final five laps as hard as I could, as clean as I could to get the best finish we could. We shouldn't have been back in that situation anyways, but we did have pit road -- a loose wheel and problems on pit road that we had to rebound from and come back from."
Q) Do you like Kevin Harvick?
Busch: "I don't know. I've never gotten along with the guy. I don't know that he (Kevin Harvick) really ever got along with my brother either. I think there's something beyond from his past growing's up maybe and racing with Kurt (Busch) that I don't know and I was just kind of thrown in that I was never really liked. I don't know."
Q) Do you feel like you have a clear understanding of the NASCAR rules?
Busch: "I do. I understand it perfectly actually. It's the 'boys have at it,' that happens out on the race track and it seems like they allow us to police ourselves pretty simply out there. When matters get taken into the drivers hands or anything else onto pit road, where innocent bystanders can be injured or something , NASCAR is going to step in and they're going to intervene and they're going to set penalties the way that they feel need to be levied. To me, it's not a gray area, it's pretty simple, it's black and white. I'm not focused in all that really or what penalties should be during what circumstances because I'm a racer and I know that going out there on the race track and trying to win is the utmost thing. If you do that, then you certainly shouldn't be getting in any brawls or anything like that."
Q) Do you agree that NASCAR probation does not change the way you race between the flags?
Busch: "I think the focus of probation is between the two of us -- it's between the situation. If I was out there on the race track -- say racing for fourth or fifth-place or something like that, and I got loose and I got into Jimmie Johnson or somebody like that and I spun them out and wrecked them. That has no consequences to the probation. If I'm out there racing hard and trying to pass Kevin (Harvick) for instance or something, and I feel like he's blocking me and I spin him out and wreck him. There's going to be consequences to that. That's how I see it. And, of course, to anything happening off the race track or something like that. That's also what it relates to. But as far as on the race track goes, good, clean, hard competition -- somebody making a mistake, something like that, it doesn't mean anything."(Toyota Racing)(5-13-2011)
Kevin Harvick discusses Darlington incident: #29-Kevin Harvick met with members of the media at Dover International Speedway and discussed the incident with #18-Kyle Busch and penalties from last week at Darlington, the transcript in part:
Q) KYLE CALLED YOUR RACING UNCALLED FOR AND UNEXCEPTABLE, IS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU THOUGHT YOU DID LAST WEEK THAT FITS THAT DEFINITION AND HOW DO YOU RACE HIM GOING FORWARD?
"Well I think when you look – after I got the I hooked you after I got a flat tire comment yesterday, the incident started off of turn two. We came off of turn two, I was driving straight behind the car in front of me. We can talk about being three feet off the wall or whatever, but I was directly behind the car in front of me coming up off the corner and at the time I didn't even know it was the #18. The car hit me in the door and as soon as he hit me in the door I drove it to the left, we got to the other end, I let it go and ran into the back of him and ran him up the race track, took the position back. At that moment we got three wide and there wasn't really a lot of room and things happened and he hooked me on the straightaway. Look the wrecking doesn't bother me but the only thing that bothers me is the right-rear quarter panel because in my mind I know what that means. I don't mind getting wrecked back. If you think it's a payback for Homestead that's fine. Those parts don't bother me, I understand how it all works but when you throw them off its time to handle it."
AS FAR AS YOU TWO GETTING ALONG, WHAT WOULD BE THE IDEAL SCENARIO?
"That probably won't ever happen."
HOW DO YOU RACE KYLE BUSCH GOING FORWARD AND DOES THIS ALSO IMPACT HOW YOU RACE EVERYBODY ELSE.
"It definitely affects how you race for the next four weeks. We got the ultimatum yesterday of the explanation of how probation worked and how NASCAR expected us to race on the race track was put to us very clear yesterday. I think the way that the next four weeks go was basically dictated to us yesterday in the NASCAR trailer."
Q) A LOT WAS TALKED ABOUT THAT THE PENALTIES WERE SUPPOSEDLY FOR WHAT TRANSPIRED AFTER THE RACE, BUT IS THAT REALLY FAIR ON THE DRIVERS PART BECAUSE AREN'T THE THINGS THAT LEAD UP TO WHAT TAKE PLACE AFTER THE RACE A DIRECT RESULT OF WHAT HAPPENS IN THE RACE. CAN YOU JUST TALK ABOUT HOW DIFFICULT IT IS?
"For me I didn't use my car as a ram or dry to make a point with running into somebody on the race track or knocking them out of the way after the race, I didn't do any of that stuff after the race. I wanted to handle it so that the guys didn't have to do more work than they already did. The bottom line is I know there are changes this week with the officials and how they are going to approach things after the race, but I mean there was a split screen on TV, there were no NASCAR officials in sight and they got what they wanted and in the end you suffer the penalty for what it's supposed to be on pit road but has carried over to the race track now when it was stressed to me in the hauler after the race and when I received my penalty on Tuesday it was stressed to me it was for the pit road. So it just doesn't make sense to me. But it is what it is. It's not like I can do anything about it. I'm not complaining about it, I just want to understand it. I don't understand it. I'm not going to lose sleep over it. I'm going to move forward and it's done and over with. I don't want to be the nice guy that has to understand why the penalties are ramping up like they used to be."
Q) CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE MEETING YOU HAD YESTERDAY AND TONY STEWART MADE A COMMENT THAT MAYBE THEY SHOULD OUTLINE THE RULES MORE SPECIFICALLY ABOUT HOW MUCH YOU GUYS CAN HAVE AT IT?
"Well I mean the meeting was just basically NASCAR explaining how probation works and how we need to stay away from everybody basically and each other. So that was basically the jest of the meeting. I think as far as you talk about the Tony Stewart comment, I think for me it's definitely to the point where it's a little bit confusing with how it all works. I think when you look at the boys have it theme, it's obviously changing as we go through the process. I think when you go back and you look at the very first major incident that you saw on the race track, I guess it would be Carl (Edwards) and (Brad) Keselowski in Atlanta and you saw the car go upside down. Carl was parked for hooking him in the right rear quarter panel and then it happened again and you see a lot of people coming out of the pits and retaliating and sometimes it's a one-lap penalty and sometimes you are parked for the race and sometimes you look at the Keselowski and Hamlin thing at Homestead so there's a lot of different things happening. I understand that it's evolving but from a drivers standpoint you don't really 100 percent understand how it works. Last week they stressed a lot to me that the penalties were for pit road violations after the race and the jeopardy that it put everybody in after the race and I understand that part. Yesterday it was all about being on probation and on the race track. So just a little bit confused about that. Nobody really had any clarification as to what we were supposed to do and not supposed to do other than we are on probation for four weeks and now it's a penalty on the race track. I don't really know if it was a penalty for the race track because we saw the same right-rear hook and obviously there was a lot that led up to that lap. I felt that Kyle (Busch) got into my door. I ran him down on the back straightaway. I got into him in (turn) three and we got three wide. Yesterday Kyle's explanation was he had a flat tire and hooked me on the straightaway. It's kind of one lie after the other and you see everything that happened after the race and for me the way that I was brought up and taught to race, when you hook somebody in the right-rear quarter panel that's the equivalent of throwing your gloves off in hockey. That's the point where everybody has reached the boiling point and basically the only answer I get out of Kyle is I'm a race car driver not a fighter but if you drive like that you're gonna have to learn how to take care of yourself. It's just a lot that went through the mind and for me it's done and over with and we'll move on. Just a lot of questions I think more than answers were a part of this week."
Q) HOW SPECIFIC DO YOU WANT IT TO BE?
"Well, there just has to be consistency. I can race either way. We can flip each other over. I don't mind wrecking. I don't mind getting wrecked. I don't mind eye for an eye. I don't mind any of that but just tell me what the rules are. Explain to me what the penalty is if you are going to hook somebody in the middle of the straightaway, if you are going to spin them out, if you are going to retaliate, what is the penalty? Tell me what the penalty is. A consistent answer."
WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT WANTING TO UNDERSTAND, DO YOU FEEL LIKE NASCAR NEEDS TO GO MORE BLACK AND WHITE LIKE IN OTHER SPORTS?
"It can't be for a certain circumstance and how you wake up in the morning as to how you think it needs to be treated. There has to be some guidelines on where it all is. You here the upper brass talk about wanting to do things more like the NFL or this or that, but you have to be consistent in order to do that."
CAN YOU GIVE US THE READER'S DIGEST VERSION OF HOW PROBATION WORKS? ALSO CAN YOU ADDRESS THE FACT THAT WHY THE #29 TEAM CAME OUT TO DEFEND YOU THE 18 TEAM WAS NO WHERE IN SIGHT TO BACK UP THEIR DRIVER?
"Obviously I've got a bunch of guys that are just a great bunch of guys. We all get along. We all have the same approach to how we like to see things, what we think is fair and what we think is not fair. There isn't a guy on that team that wouldn't lay under a bus for the next guy. That really happened last year as we went through the year. It's something that you just don't find very often and this is a bunch of guys that I consider friends and I think they consider themselves all friends. Them running up pit road is not a surprise to me. I think they would back me whether I was right or wrong, they are going to back me up and I will do the same for them. That's the great part about our team. The No. 18 team not backing him up, I mean when you don't have a backbone how do you back someone up?"
DOVER, CHARLOTTE, KANSAS, THE NEXT THREE RACES ARE ALL THREE RACES THAT ARE IN THE CHASE, YOU'RE NOT LOCKED IN BUT YOUR PROBABLY AS COMFORTABLE OR MORE COMFORTABLE THAN ANYONE ELSE WITH THE WINS AND YOUR STANDING IN THE POINTS, HOW DO YOU APPROACH THESE THREE RACES?
"I think it's a combination of a lot of things. I think over the past few weeks we've been able to try things that we wouldn't have tried in the past. We struck out at Richmond on what we tried. I think Darlington was a huge success for us as far as the way the race track performance was and hopefully that bleeds over into Charlotte. This week is a little bit different than some of the race tracks because of the type of race track that you are racing on. These are important weeks. Dover is in the Chase, Charlotte is in the Chase, just to kind of zero in on what exactly you need when it comes time toward the end of the year. So we're shooting for better set-ups and more wins. That's basically where we are at right now points wise."
NASCAR YESTERDAY SEEMED TO SAY THAT IF ONE PERSON REALLY PRESSES THE ISSUE THAT'S ITS MORE COMPLICATED THAN BEING ABLE TO LINE UP A MENU OF PENALTIES AND THAT IS ONE PERSON REALLY PUSHES IT, IT WOULD KIND OF BE DETRIMENTALTO THE SPORT TO HAVE EVERYTHING LAID OUT IN FRONT OF YOU, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?
"I have a lot of experience of this in the past so I'll reference the past, as things ramp up and you get in trouble the first time it's best to just not get in trouble again because you're gonna be the poster child to either change this process to make it more clear and see the fines ramp back up or you're going to be the guy that shows it's not really going to change. I just don't think for us it's not going to be the smartest thing in the world to be that next guy. I don't know if you are referring to, are you referring to me or the #42 and #39, I don't know which one you are referring to but there are just a lot of different elements to the whole thing that are happening right now that are confusing to the drivers."(Team Chevy)(5-13-2011)
NASCAR revises procedure for pit road officials: NASCAR will change how it dispatches its officials after a race in response to the pit road incident between #29-Kevin Harvick and #18-Kyle Busch on Saturday night at Darlington. The change is to make sure all cars are clear of pit road before series officials are released to head toward their post-race duties. The move is intended to help NASCAR better control pit road. At Darlington, Harvick stopped his car near pit entrance and blocked Busch after the race. The cars sat for several seconds before Harvick exited his car and reached in to hit Busch as he sat in his car. Busch ran into the back of Harvick's car as he drove off, sending Harvick's car into an inside pit wall. At the time of the incident only a couple of Harvick's crew members were in the vicinity of the cars. NASCAR's officials were positioned further down pit road where the top five finishers (and any random cars) stop, or in Victory Lane to monitor the winning car or throughout the garage. Video replays showed that after Busch hit Harvick's car, several of Harvick's crew members were en route to the scene along with three NASCAR officials.(Virginian Pilot)(5-13-2011)
Harvick & Busch meet with NASCAR at Dover: #29-Kevin Harvick and #18-Kyle Busch were called to the NASCAR hauler before Thursday's Truck Series practice at Dover International Speedway, their second meeting with the governing body since Saturday's post-race pit road confrontation at Darlington. The meeting came two days after each driver was fined $25,000 and placed on four-race probation for the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series. Neither was eager to discuss details of the second meeting, which included NASCAR president Mike Helton and vice president of competition Robin Pemberton, or the fine before heading onto the track for the first of two practices. "I've got better things to do," Busch said. "NASCAR has to police their series as best as they feel they need to. I'm all for it. I think it was fine." Harvick smiled and repeatedly said he would answer all questions during Friday's media availability.(ESPN)(5-13-2011)
Harvick -Busch fined, probation: per a Kevin Harvick tweet: "4 weeks probation and $25,000 fine....I understand because of the car on pit road.." And from ESPN.com: Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch were placed on four weeks' probation and fined $25,000 Tuesday for their pit road confrontation following Saturday night's Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway. Harvick tweeted about his penalty and officials from Kevin Harvick Inc. confirmed the punishment Tuesday.
AND NASCAR has penalized NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick as a result of rules infractions committed at last weekend's event at Darlington Raceway. Busch, driver of the #18 car, and Harvick, driver of the #29 car, have each been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation for the next four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points events until June 15 for violating Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing – involved in an altercation on pit road after the conclusion of the race). "These penalties are a result of what occurred on pit road after the race was over," said Kerry Tharp, senior director for communications, competition. "They are about maintaining a safe environment on pit road."(NASCAR)(5-10-2011)
NASCAR will look into driver altercations: NASCAR will address altercations that occurred between Ryan Newman and Juan Pablo Montoya in the sanctioning body's hauler and the dustup on and off the track between Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch. "We'll look at both of those," Kerry Tharp, NASCAR's senior director of communications, said Sunday morning. Montoya requested a meeting with NASCAR after his feud with Newman was reignited at Richmond International Raceway last weekend. Newman and officials from Stewart Haas Racing elected to meet with NASCAR immediately after the Richmond race. When the drivers gathered in the hauler on Friday morning, a punch was thrown by Newman, according to sources. Harvick vs. Busch came to a crescendo last November at Homestead Miami Speedway when the driver of the #29 complained that Busch was racing him too hard and Harvick then dumped Busch's #18 Toyota, which erupted into flames. The rivalry was rekindled Saturday night at Darlington Raceway on the second-to-last restart on Lap 363 as the drivers jockeyed for position among the top 10 on the lead lap. After the race, Harvick chased Busch onto the entrance of pit road, where the #29 crew waited to defend their driver. Harvick climbed from the car and approached Busch's vehicle. Harvick attempted to throw a haymaker, but Busch hit the gas and plowed the #29 into the wall. Both drivers were called to the NASCAR hauler after the incident. The last time a NASCAR driver intentionally hit another car on pit road was Steven Wallace at Memphis Motorsports Park in October 2009. Wallace was fined $5,000 and placed on probation.(Fox Sports)(5-9-2011)
Busch brothers 5th best in brotherly wins: With #18-Kyle Busch's win at Richmond, he now has 21 Sprint Cup wins and his bother #22-Kurt Busch has 22 for a total of 43 for brothers. The record for two or more brothers wins combined [both have had to win] is 94 by Bobby Allison  and Donnie Allison . The Busch's are tied for 5th with Terry  and Bobby  Labonte. The top-10 Brother wins list:
94 - Allison: Bobby (84), Donnie (10)
88 - Waltrip: Darrell (84), Michael (4)* [both Daytona 500 Champs]
62 - Flock: Tim (39), Fonty (19) Bob (4)
49 - Thomas: Herb (48), Donald (1)
43 - Labonte: Terry (22), Bobby (21)* [both Series Champs]
43 - Busch: Kurt (22)*, Kyle (21)*
26 - Burton: Jeff (21)*, Ward (5)
22 - Parsons: Benny (21), Phil (1)
19 - Bodine: Geoff (18), Brett (1)
[Petty Note, Richard won 200, Maurice won 0, only count if both bothers have won]
* still active.(5-2-2011)
Kyle Busch wins at Richmond: #18-Kyle Busch won the Crown Royal Presents the Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway for his 2nd win of 2011 and 21st win of his career.
#11-Hamlin finished second followed by #4-Kahne, #6-Ragan, #99-Edwards, #33-Bowyer, #43-Allmendinger, #48-Johnson, #14-Stewart and #83-Vickers. Pole sitter #42-Montoya was involved in two incidents with #39-Newman and finished 29th, 5 laps down. There was no confrontation after the race. Montoya hopped on a waiting golf cart and headed out of the track, while Newman walked to the NASCAR hauler to complain about Montoya's driving. #36-Blaney finished 13th and moves into the top-35 of owners points and a guaranteed spot at Darlington.
There were 14 lead changes among 10 drivers; 8 cautions for 60 yellow flag laps. The attendance is listed as 90,000 down a bit from 93,00 last year.
Scheduled Race Re-Air: SPEED, Wednesday, May 4 at 12:00pm/et See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Richmond Race Results/Awards page.(4-30-2011)
1st Quarter Driver of the Year named: #18-Kyle Busch won races in all three of NASCAR's top divisions tallying the most first-place votes in the 1st quarter Driver of the Year 2011 balloting by leading broadcasters and journalists in the United States.
The driver of the #18 Toyota Camry in the Sprint Cup series, #18 Z-Line Designs Toyota in the Nationwide Series for Joe Gibbs Racing and is the owner/driver of the #18 Dollar General Toyota Tundra in the Camping World Truck series credited his teams for his early 2011 success. "It's been a great start to the season in all three series' and that's because of the great people we have at JGR and KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports)," said Busch. "This award is testament to all of those guys. Each of my teams have done a great job bringing me good cars to the racetrack each week and if we haven't won, we've been in contention more times than not. In particular, Dave Rogers and all the guys on the M&M's Toyota team and everyone at JGR are working very hard and we hope to have a shot at bringing home a Sprint Cup championship at the end of the year." Busch, 25, won the Bristol Motor Speedway Sprint Cup race, four Nationwide races and one Camping World Truck race in the first quarter voting.
Barry Schmoyer, President of the Driver of the Year Foundation, said "calling Kyle Busch versatile would be an understatement. He certainly proved that he is a triple-threat to win on any given weekend. And he's only 25-years-old. I wouldn't be surprised if, some year soon, I will be handing him the Driver of the Year trophy."
In the voting Busch took nine first-place ballots and totaled 121 points according to the Driver of the Year points system. NASCAR drivers swept the virtual podium with Carl Edwards garnering six first-place votes and 89 points and Kevin Harvick also earning six first-place votes and 84 points. A total of 14 drivers scored points in the first quarter voting. In its' 45th year, the Driver of the Year title is unique. A panel of 21 leading journalists from across the U.S. determines the winner. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4,3,2,1 basis. Busch will receive a trophy and a Tissot wristwatch to be presented at Infineon Raceway on the SaveMart 350 weekend.(Driver of the Year Foundation)(4-25-2011)
Kimi Raikkonen to run Truck races for Kyle Busch: Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) announced that they have signed former Formula 1 champion Kimi Raikkonen to drive a limited schedule in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series during the 2011 season. Raikkonen is scheduled to make his NASCAR debut as a teammate to owner Kyle Busch in the N.C. Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 20.
Raikkonen comes to NASCAR with a resume that includes the 2007 Formula 1 World Drivers' Championship. Over his nine year career in Formula 1, the Finnish driver registered 18 wins and 62 podium finishes. The 31-year old is currently competing for a World Rally Car Championship for his own team, ICE 1 Racing.
"We are honored that Kimi Raikkonen, a former Formula 1 World Drivers' Champion and proven winner, has chosen to start his career in NASCAR with Kyle Busch Motorsports," said Busch. "Adding one of the most talented drivers in the world is a continuation of building a team of proven winners and champions at KBM. I look forward to assisting in Kimi's transition to NASCAR as both an owner and teammate."
"I am really excited to have the opportunity to start my venture into NASCAR with Kyle Busch Motorsports," said Raikkonen. "Kyle is one of the best in NASCAR, and being able to draw on his knowledge will be a valuable asset as I make my transition to a new form of racing. He has put together an experienced team that builds fast race trucks. I look forward to being a part of a team that has proven to be a winner on and off the race track."
"We are extremely excited to have Kimi Raikkonen begin his transition to NASCAR behind the wheel of Kyle Busch Motorsports' Toyota Tundra's," said KBM General Manager Rick Ren. "As NASCAR looks to expand their fan base and generate further interest in certain demographics, having a former Formula 1 Champion with worldwide appeal is a huge deal not just for KBM but for the sport as a whole." Details of sponsorship and a schedule of races that Raikkonen will compete in will be released at a later date.(KBM)(4-2-2011)
JGR pinpoints some engine issues: #18-Kyle Busch says Joe Gibbs Racing has determined that problems with two of its engines last weekend at Auto Club Speedway in California were valve-related. #20-Joey Logano's team switched his the morning of Sunday's race when valve leakage was discovered. Logano's team didn't think the engine would last for 400 miles. #11-Denny Hamlin's engine failed 105 laps into the race due to an unrelated value train issue, leaving last year's Chase runner-up with a 39th-place finish that dropped him to 21st in points. Busch said Friday that identifying the problem is a huge step in the right direction for JGR, which has had engine issues in all five races this season. "Is there concern? Of course," Jimmy Makar, JGR's senior vice president of race operations, said earlier this week. "We've had a lot more issues than we'd like to see, this early in the season especially. Probably the bigger issue is for the most part they are non-related. That makes things harder to figure out. If you had the same thing happening over and over again you could focus on it." Makar said only Hamlin's failure on Sunday showed signs of a potential bad part. He said the batch that the part came from would be quarantined for this weekend's race at Martinsville to see if any issues arise.(Associated Press)(4-2-2011)
Gibbs working to identify cause of engine problems: Joe Gibbs Racing officials are scrambling to uncover the cause of an unusually high number of engine issues during the first five races of the Sprint Cup season. JGR had two issues this past weekend at Auto Club Speedway in California. The engine in #20-Joey Logano's Toyota had to be replaced on Saturday when valve leakage was discovered following the final practice. #11-Denny Hamlin's engine failed 105 laps into the race due to an unrelated value train issue. In all, JGR has had three engine failures in races and three more engines replaced prior to a race because problems arose. Last season, the organization had only two DNFs due to engine failure between Hamlin, Logano and #18-Kyle Busch. "Is there concern? Of course," said Jimmy Makar, JGR's senior vice president of race operations. "We've had a lot more issues than we'd like to see, this early in the season especially. Probably the bigger issue is for the most part they are non-related. That makes things harder to figure out. If you had the same thing happening over and over again you could focus on it." Makar said only Hamlin's failure on Sunday showed signs of a potential bad part. More alarming, Makar said there were very few changes made to the engines during the offseason. He said the organization purposely left things the way they were, with minor adjustments to improve fuel mileage that may have cost Hamlin the championship last season, before experimenting with new ideas.(ESPN.com)(3-29-2011)
Three drivers dominate the short tracks: With his win Sunday at Bristol, #18-Kyle Busch remained a part of an exclusive group. Busch, #48-Jimmie Johnson and #11-Denny Hamlin are the only drivers to have won the last 15 Sprint Cup races at Bristol, Martinsville and Richmond, the circuit's lone short tracks. The last driver other then those three to win on a short track was #99-Carl Edwards in 2008.(Sports Illustrated)(3-22-2011)
Kyle Busch wins at Bristol: #18-Kyle Busch won the Jeff Byrd 500 presented at Food City Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway for his 1st win of 2010, 20th win of his career and 5th stright at Bristol [2 Cup, 2 NNS & 1 Truck race]. Busch has now won at least one race a season for seven straight seasons.
#99-Edwards [the pole sitter] finished second followed by #48-Johnson, #17-Kenseth, #27-Menard, #29-Harvick, #22-Busch, #16-Biffle, #4-Kahne and #39-Newman. Points leader going in to the race, #14-Stewart finished 19th.
There were 17 lead changes among 8 drivers; 10 cautions for 57 yellow flag laps and the attendance is listed as 120,000 down from last years 138,000.
Scheduled Race Re-Air on SPEED, Wednesday, March 23 at 12:00pm/et.
See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Bristol Race Results/Awards page.
See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(3-20-2011)
Mars continues partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing: Mars, Incorporated announced that it is continuing its partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) through a new multi-year deal. The deal will extend the winning partnership that has brought the #18 Toyota to victory lane 14 times since 2008. The centerpiece of the partnership will continue to be the popular M&M'S brand as the primary paint scheme on JGR's #18 Toyota. "From connecting with NASCAR fans to engaging our retail partners, our partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing has proved to be tremendously successful," explained Debra A. Sandler, Chief Consumer Officer at Mars Chocolate North America. "We're thrilled to extend this partnership and look forward to celebrating more wins both on and off the track."
"Mars and its iconic brands are a big part of the Joe Gibbs Racing family and we're excited to continue what has become a winning relationship," added Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. "We are blessed through our relationship with Mars and the privilege to continue our partnership for years to come. Their brands have been a big part of our sport for a long time and we're honored to carry them on the No. 18. Everyone at JGR is committed to ensuring they experience the type of success on and off the track deserving of such an outstanding company." "Our partnership has worked so well because everyone at Mars welcomed us from the very beginning and it's grown from there." said Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Toyota for JGR. "This is great news for everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing and our fans, but also shows how dedicated Mars is to our sport. We've really enjoyed our trips to victory lane with all of the Mars brands and we are committed to doing our part to continue a winning partnership and friendship." The multi-year partnership will continue the current level [approx 30 races] of Mars sponsorship of the #18 Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the sport's top series.
About Mars, Incorporated: In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen and established Mars' first roots as a confectionery company. In the 1920s, Forrest E. Mars, Sr. joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY bar. In 1932, Forrest, Sr. moved to the United Kingdom with a dream of building a business based on the philosophy of a "mutuality of benefits" for all stakeholders – this vision serves as the foundation of the Mars, Incorporated we are today. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $30 billion and six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks and Symbioscience. More than 65,000 Associates worldwide are putting our Mars Principles in action every day to make a difference for people and the planet through our performance.
Mars brands include: Chocolate – M&M'S®, SNICKERS®, DOVE®, GALAXY®, MARS®, MILKY WAY® and TWIX®; Petcare – PEDIGREE®, WHISKAS®, SHEBA®, CESAR® and ROYAL CANIN®; Wrigley – ORBIT®, EXTRA®, STARBURST®, DOUBLEMINT® and SKITTLES®; Food – UNCLE BEN'S®, DOLMIO®, EBLY®, MASTERFOODS® and SEEDS OF CHANGE®; Drinks – ALTERRA COFFEE ROASTERS™, THE BRIGHT TEA CO.™, KLIX® and FLAVIA®; Symbioscience –SERAMIS®, CIRKU™ and COCOAVIA™.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(3-17-2011)
Edwards, Busch talk about Phoenix accident: #99-Carl Edwards said Friday he's over his anger toward #18-Kyle Busch for the accident that wrecked Edwards' car at Phoenix. Edwards started from the pole last week and believed he had a car capable of winning the race until early contact from Busch wrecked his Ford. Edwards fell to a 28th-place finish, while Busch went on to finish second. The two talked about the incident in Las Vegas, Edwards said. "I give him a lot of credit for coming over and talking to me and I think we will be fine," Edwards said, adding that Busch claimed he tried several times to call Edwards during the week, but had an old number. Busch has apologized repeatedly for causing the accident.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(3-5-2011)
Kyle Busch's wedding on Style Network: When news broke about the engagement of Kyle Busch and model Samantha Sarcinella, anticipation quickly arose about their upcoming nuptials. Now, fans will get the inside track on the planning and execution of this loving couple's glamorous wedding. From Samantha's search for the perfect dress, to the hilarious bachelor and bachelorette parties, to the over-the-top New Year's Eve ceremony and the reception attended by America's racing elite, cameras document each dramatic moment leading up to the grand finish in the special, "Fast and Fabulous: A NASCAR Wedding," premiering Saturday, March 5 at 8pm ET/PT on The Style Network.(Style Network)(2-28-2011)
Forbes names most valuable NASCAR teams & highest paid drivers: The weak economy has pummeled NASCAR over the past three years, with sponsorships, merchandise sales, race winnings and subsidies from automakers falling. Fans have tuned out, sending TV ratings down 24% since 2006 and leaving more than 40,000 empty seats at some races last year. One of its longest-tenured teams, Richard Petty Motorsports, was scrambling for cash on a week-to-week basis so it could race on weekends last fall. Is NASCAR headed for a full-blown meltdown? Hardly. Yes, the value of the top 10 teams slid 5% in 2010, on average, to $136 million by [Forbes] count, as prize money dropped and sponsors dialed back their commitment, but a rebound in 2011 for the sport is a strong possibility. NASCAR's strongest and most valuable team remains Hendrick Motorsports. With a valuation of $350 million on revenues of $177 million in 2010, Hendrick is worth 56% more than the next-highest-grossing team, Roush Fenway Racing, which [Forbes] value at $224 million on revenues of $140 million last year. Hendrick earned a NASCAR-high $18 million in operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) in 2010. Richard Childress Racing was third on the list, followed by Joe Gibbs Racing and Penske Racing. Rounding out the top 10: Stewart-Haas, Michael Waltrip Racing, Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, and Red Bull Racing.
AND: Despite his lack of success in recent years on the track, Dale Earnhardt Jr. remains NASCAR's highest-paid driver, earning $29 million in 2010 thanks to merchandise sales that are the best in the sport and reportedly account for one-third of all NASCAR licensed merchandise sales. Other income streams include a 10-figure annual salary from Hendrick and a 50% share of his $4.9 million in winnings and bonuses in 2010 from Sprint Cup races. Earnhardt also has a bevy of personal endorsements, including Chevrolet, Nationwide and Wrangler. Hendrick teammate Jeff Gordon follows Earnhardt in the NASCAR money standings with earnings of $25 million last year. It is a clean sweep for Hendrick at the top with five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, the third-highest-paid driver at $24 million. The rest of the top 10: Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, and Matt Kenseth.(Forbes)(2-24-2011)
Special Interstate Batteries scheme for Busch: Interstate Batteries, scheduled to sponsor #18-Kyle Busch for six races in 2011, will run a special scheme at Daytona in the Coke Zero 400 in July. See an image of the scheme on the #18 Team Schemes page.(2-2-2011)
Kyle Busch, Hamlin return as Gillette Young Guns: Gillette announced the launch of its expanded Gillette Young Guns program by unveiling the 2011 roster of six rising stars in their respective sports: Matt Ryan and Ray Rice from football, Evan Longoria and Carlos Gonzalez from baseball and Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch from auto racing. Gillette Young Guns is a sports marketing platform connecting Gillette's full line of grooming products with avid sports fans in North America. The program highlights up-and-coming stars and gives fans an in-depth look into the keys to their success both on and off the field. The Gillette Young Guns will appear in print and broadcast advertising, consumer promotions, point-of-sale materials, online and public relations activities.(Gillette PR)(1-3-2011)
Congrats - Kyle Busch gets married: #18-Kyle Busch exchanged vows with his beautiful fiancee, 24-year old Samantha Sarcinella, on Friday Dec. 31 in Chicago. The service was attended by 300 of their close family and friends, including many in the NASCAR community. The wedding reception followed at the Chicago Cultural Center, as the newly named Mr. and Mrs. Busch and guests celebrated their marriage while also using the opportunity to ring in the New Year together. The couple will take a two-week honeymoon before returning home to North Carolina. They have requested fans follow them both on their respective Twitter accounts for special news about the wedding. Twitter.com/KyleBusch and Twitter.com/SamanthaBusch.(KyleBusch.com)(1-2-2011)
Interstate Batteries [6 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2010 races:
California - 2/21
Texas - 4/18
New Hampshire - 6/27
Daytona - 7/3
Michigan - 8/15
Dover - 9/26
Kyle Busch the dirtiest competitor in NASCAR history?: the website Complex Media listed the 50 dirtiest athletes in sports history. And two NASCAR drivers are on the list. #18-Kyle Busch ranked 38th (ahead of Mike Tyson who was 40th) and highest among NASCAR competitors. The website noted Busch's recent episode where he flipped off an official during a race, the guitar-smashing episode after winning the Nashville Nationwide race and other things. One other competitor from NASCAR made the list. #99-Carl Edwards was #48. He earned the ranking for wrecking Brad Keselowski at Atlanta in the spring. With no other NASCAR drivers listed, that would make Edwards the second dirtiest competitor in NASCAR history, according to this list.(Virginian Pilot)(12-16-2010)
Havick, Busch Homestead incident comments: from Toyota NSCS Homestead Post-Race Notes & Quotes:
Q) What happened to take you out of the race?
#18-Kyle Busch “I don’t know. (Kevin) Harvick pulled a slide job on me earlier in the day and I crossed over and passed him clean, but apparently it wasn’t in the time of day in order to do that. I don’t know. My guys work way too hard to be in this position and fight hard all day long to be put with a wrecked race car at the end of the year. We wanted to come out here and finish strong. We felt like we had a top-four or top-five car. It just means so much to me -- to those guys -- that we come out of here with a good run like we were having. It’s very unfortunate. It’s just a guy that doesn’t have his head on straight apparently today. I thought everything was good. I talked to him in the pre-race in the driver’s meeting and all of that, but he’s such a two-faced guy it just doesn’t matter.”(Toyota)
#29-Kevin Harvick from a Team Chevy transcript in part
THE INCIDENT WITH KYLE BUSCH, GIVE US YOUR THOUGHTS ON THAT:
Harvick: "Kyle raced me like a clown all day and cut me off and ran up in front of me. The last time I just didn't lift."(Team Chevy Racing News)(11-22-2010)
Gibbs has spoken to Busch: Joe Gibbs told Sirius NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that he has spoken with Kyle Busch about the profanity laced tirade at Texas Motor Speedway that resulted in Busch being fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation for the remainder of 2010. “(Kyle) gets so uptight that every now and then, he makes mistakes,” said Gibbs. “We’ve got to do everything we can here – inside Joe Gibbs Racing – to make sure that doesn’t happen. That’s what we’re totally focused on. We’ve got a plan laid out, and Kyle has agreed to do the things he needs to do… to ensure that we don’t put ourselves in that position again. We think he’s a huge talent; a smart, bright guy that we enjoy being around. His whole life is Sam (his fiancée)… and racing. There are no issues with him running around drinking or anything. He doesn’t care about any of that. He’s totally focused, and all he wants to do is race cars. (Unfortunately) he gets so wound up at the race track that it’s hard for him to handle some of the things he needs to handle. We love his competitive nature, but he just needs to learn to handle things better.” Gibbs declined to speak specifically on what discussions have been had, or what guidelines have been put in place regarding Busch’s future behavior. He stressed, however, that all parties agree that incidents like his recent outburst at Texas Motor Speedway cannot continue to occur. “(It) was not good for us at Joe Gibbs Racing, and it certainly wasn’t good for our sponsor,” he said. “We feel like there was a plan that we had to put out there, to assure that this doesn’t happen again. We’re going to keep that in-house, but it’s something that we think is smart, and Kyle does too. He realizes where he is, and that’s a great part of this. We just have to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”(Sirius Speedway)(11-17-2010)
NASCAR Penalizes Kyle Busch For Actions at TMS: NASCAR has fined Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, $25,000 and placed him on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31 for his actions during last Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway. Kyle Busch violated Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing – inappropriate gesture and verbal abuse to NASCAR Officials) of the 2010 NASCAR Rule Book (NASCAR)
. AND The following is a statement from Kyle Busch: “I accept NASCAR’s penalty and realize what I did during Sunday’s race at Texas was inappropriate. Even in my relatively short time here in NASCAR, it’s pretty obvious to everyone that I wear my emotions on my sleeve. Sometimes that passion has allowed me to find that little something extra I needed to win, and other times it’s made me cross the line. Sunday at Texas was one of those days. I lost my cool, plain and simple. It’s not acceptable, and I know that. I apologize to NASCAR, its fans, all the partners who support Joe Gibbs Racing, and all the people who work so hard to give me a racecar that’s capable of winning races every week. All of those people deserve better from me, and I owe it to them to keep my emotions in check.”(TSC/JGR)(11-9-2010)
Combos returns on the #18 in 2011: A longtime sponsor of NASCAR, Combo’s Brand partners with Joe Gibbs Racing’s #18 Toyota and Kyle Busch. In February 2011, a new black and orange paint scheme will hit the track at Phoenix. See an image of the scheme on my 2011 #18 Team Schemes page.(11-6-2010)
Halloween scheme for Kyle Busch: #18-Kyle Busch will run an oranage M&M's scheme at Martinsville and Talladega in October. See images of the scheme on my #18 Team Schemes page.(10-14-2010)
Kyle Busch sets testing record at Gresham: Kyle Busch posted a new NASCAR track record in testing at Gresham Motorsports Park Wednesday wheeling his #18 Toyota Tundra NASCAR Camping World Truck Series entry to a lap of 16.992 seconds. The blazing lap marked the first time a full-size NASCAR vehicle turned a sub 17-second lap on the GMP half-mile oval. Jamie McMurray holds the GMP NASCAR Sprint Cup testing record with a lap of 17.361 seconds while Martin Truex, Jr. has been the fastest NASCAR Nationwide car at GMP to date with a 17.295-second lap. Finally, Brendan Gaughan has been the fastest in testing the new Nationwide COT car with a time of 17.598 seconds.(Gresham Motorsports Park)(10-7-2010)
NASCAR to talk to Reutimann & Busch; no penalties: NASCAR officials plan to talk to #18-Kyle Busch and #00-David Reutimann about Sunday's incident at Kansas Speedway before this weekend's Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway. Cup series director John Darby said no penalties will be levied, that NASCAR just wants both drivers to understand there are 41 cars on the track that may be impacted by their decisions.(ESPN)(10-6-2010)
Waltrip responds to the Reutimann-Busch incident at Kansas: As Kyle Busch entered turn two on lap 53 at Kansas, the front of his #18 Toyota made contact with the rear of the #00 Toyota of David Reutimann. The touch sent Reutimann spinning into the SAFER Barrier on the outside of turn two. Busch continued on and was still in the top-10 on lap 156 when he had another encounter with Reutimann. As the duo exited turn two with Busch on the high side and Reutimann’s car on the low side, Reutimann’s car moved up and slammed into the left side of Busch’s machine, causing severe damage to the rear of the M&M’s Toyota. Reutimann's car spun and was much more damaged and spent time in the garage, finishing 35th, 11 laps down. Some quotes:
Michael Waltrip quote:“There are 43 drivers on the race track each Sunday and there is no delineation between Chase participants and non-Chase participants when it comes to respect. Everyone at Michael Waltrip Racing is working hard to deliver great results to our owners, employees and sponsors. All organizations have a lot at stake each week as we are all measured by our performance and finishing position. When David Reutimann’s chance to compete for a win at Kansas was taken away, it set off a series of events that have been well documented. I stand behind David because his record of sportsmanship is flawless. It is the duty of MWR’s drivers to deliver for Toyota and our other partners, and I expect them to be treated fairly while doing so.”(MWR)
Reutimann quote: “I don’t care if you’re in the Chase or not, you need to think about who you’re running over when you’re running over them. I don’t care who you are. If you’re in the Chase, you have as much responsibility to drive with respect as I do to everybody else. If you guys want me to feel bad about what happened today, I feel bad, yeah, that our car got wrecked and it ruined our day. That’s what I feel bad about. He just rolled over me. I’m on the bottom of the race track and he had the whole top of the race track to go to, and he run over me. I got wrecked.”(MWR)
Busch quote: “It’s just really unfortunate,” Busch said. “These guys work their butts off to put ourselves in the Chase and to have the opportunity to try to go after a championship and to have it end up like it did today is disappointing. The guy (Reutimann) was loose. He said it on the radio. He slid up off the bottom and I got into him unintentionally and just spun him out. My fault 100%, but then the retaliation to a guy that’s in the Chase that’s racing for something… he’ll be here next year. He could’ve wrecked me in any of the first 26 races next year. That would’ve been fine. It’s just hard to swallow something like a day like today where we had a solid top-five car going (M&M's Racing)(10-4-2010)
Gordon, Stewart, Busch Visit ESPN Campus; Stewart Wins 5-lap Race: NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch visited the ESPN campus in Bristol, Ct., today and appeared on various ESPN programs and platforms in advance of Sunday’s first race of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. During their day at ESPN, the three drivers competed against each other with radio-controlled race cars on an oval track set up outside of some buildings on the ESPN campus. They raced for five laps, with Stewart taking the win. Gordon finished second and Busch was third after rolling his car trying to catch Stewart on the last lap. Highlights were shown on NASCAR Now, ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program.
Kyle Busch Featured in New All-Access ESPN2 Series: A new and highly innovative five-part television series featuring #18-Kyle Busch will air on ESPN2 the week of Sept. 13-17 to help kick off ESPN’s live coverage of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship.
Riding Shotgun: Kyle Busch, produced for ESPN by the Emmy Award-winning NASCAR Media Group, will take viewers on a week-long, all-access journey into the life of the driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing #18 M&Ms Toyota. Cameras will follow Busch starting with this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway and will continue throughout the week leading into the start of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sept. 19.
The half-hour program, which will require a less than 24-hour turnaround time for production, will debut in prime time on Monday, Sept. 13, at 8:00pm/et on ESPN2, following the Monday roundtable edition of ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program NASCAR Now. The rest of the week, Riding Shotgun: Kyle Busch will air following NASCAR Now at 5:30pm/et on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, and at 6:00pm/et on Thursday.
In addition to tagging along for meetings at the shop, an open test date, life in the motorhome and preparation for a double duty weekend, viewers also will follow Busch on his trip to ESPN’s campus in Bristol, Ct., on Thursday, Sept. 16, where he will join fellow NASCAR drivers Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart in appearing on multiple ESPN platforms such as SportsCenter, First Take, NASCAR Now, ESPNEWS, ESPN Radio and others. “I’m excited to give the fans a peek into everything that I have going on over the next couple of weeks,” said Busch, one of the drivers who will be competing in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. “Everyone knows how much racing I do, but there are a lot of other commitments that go along with it that fans will get to see. It’s busy for sure."(ESPN)(9-11-2010)
Four straight wins for Kyle Busch, going for record: The fourth consecutive NASCAR win at Chicagoland was the second time this season Busch has accomplished the feat, matching his sweep of the Nationwide and Sprint Cup races at Dover in May, followed by Truck Series and Nationwide wins at Charlotte. It put Busch alongside Billy Wade (1964), David Pearson (1966 and 1968), Cale Yarborough (1976), Darrell Waltrip (1981) and Mark Martin (1993) as four-time winners in consecutive NASCAR events.
With Busch entered in all three NASCAR National events this weekend [Trucks at Kentucky and Nationwide & Sprint Cup at Atlanta], Busch could find himself having leapfrogged past another handful of legendary NASCAR competitors on the all-time winning streak list. Should Busch emerge victorious at Kentucky, he’ll join Fred Lorenzen (1964), Richard Petty (1971), Bobby Allison (1971) and Pearson (1973) with five wins in a row. Saturday’s Nationwide race could then put Busch alongside Harry Gant (1991) with a six-race winning streak. And Sunday’s Emory Healthcare 500 would then be Busch’s opportunity to make it seven wins in a row and join Mark Martin (1993) with the second-longest streak in history. Petty’s 10-race streak of Sprint Cup wins in 1967 is the longest.(JGR)(9-2-2010)
Kyle Busch has tough night in TORC race: Kyle Busch endured a disappointing off-road racing debut in the Traxxas TORC Series Presented by AMSOIL PRO 2WD class on Wednesday night at Route 66 Raceway in Illinois. Busch made a quick exit from the race, falling out on the second lap with a broken rear suspension. Even though Busch didn't get the result he wanted, he still enjoyed the experience. "It’s fun," said the driver who swept NASCAR's three national series races last week at Bristol Motor Speedway. "I enjoy going out there and going out to the sand dunes and messing around and jumping some stuff out there. "Anytime you can put a big heavy vehicle up in the air like that, it’s always cool. For myself, running the Traxxas TORC Series PRO 2s, it’s fun." While Busch may have gotten most of the attention, it was Ricky Johnson who earned the trophy, taking the victory at the end of the night. Johnson received another gift when PRO 2 points leader Rob MacCachren broke down at the white flag and finished seventh, his first non-podium finish of the year.(SPEED)(8-26-2010)
Kyle Busch wins at Bristol: #18-Kyle Busch won the IRWIN Tools Night Race Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway for his 3rd win of 2010, 3rd at Bristol and 19th of his career. Busch won all three national series races at Bristol this weekend, winning the Camping World Truck Series, Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series races, the first time ever a driver has done so. #00-Reutimann finished second followed by #1-McMurray, #33-Bowyer, #9-Kahne, #39-Newman, #42-Montoya, #16-Biffle, #2-Busch and #17-Kenseth. Bowyer's 4th place finish and #5-Martin finishing 23rd now has Bowyer in 12th place by 100 points over #1-McMurray, who moved to 13th, Martin dropped to 14th. Many of the points leaders had problem with #11-Hamlin having a drive shaft problem and finishing 34; #48-Johnson wrecking midway and finishing 35th; #14-Stewart getting hit and spinning early, finishing 27th. #29-Harvick's points lead dropped a bit to 279 over #24-Jeff Gordon. Only Gordon [along with Harvick] clinches a spot in The Chase after the race in Bristol.
There were 15 lead changes among 9 drivers and 7 cautions for only 39 yellow flag laps. The attendance was reported at 155,000 down from last years sold out 160,000.
See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Bristol Race Results/Awards page.
See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(8-21-2010)
Fireworks in driver intros: Prerace driver introductions typically are a routine, humdrum affair. Not Saturday night at Bristol Motor Spedway. Fresh from Friday’s Nationwide Series victory, in which he dumped Brad Keselowski to take the lead on Lap 219 of 250, Kyle Busch was greeted with boos as he walked down the gangway toward a waiting pickup truck.
“Aw, you’re so loving,” was Busch’s sarcastic response to the crowd. Moments later, Keselowski strode down the gangway. “I’m Brad Keselowski, driver of the #12 Penske Dodge,” he announced. “Kyle Busch is an ass.”
AJ Allmendinger subsequently told the crowd, “I just hope I’m ahead of Brad and Kyle when this stuff goes down tonight.”(Sporting News)(8-21-2010)
No punishment for Kyle or Brad: NASCAR officials plan no punishment for Kyle Busch or Brad Keselowski over an issue between the drivers late in Friday night's Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Busch admittedly "dumped" Keselowski after Keselowski got into the back of Busch's car with 31 laps remaining. Vice president of competition Robin Pemberton called it "good, hard racing" and said no action would be taken against either driver. He added they would keep an eye on the two in case further incidents develop. Keselowski already is on probation for an incident involving him and Carl Edwards in the Sprint Cup race at Atlanta earlier this season.(ESPN)(8-21-2010)
Kyle Busch to Make Off Road Debut: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch is scheduled to make his Pro 2WD off-road racing debut in the Traxxas TORC Series Presented by AMSOIL Aug. 24-25 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. The 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion will face drivers such as seven-time AMA champion Ricky Johnson; off-road star Rob MacCachren; and motocross legend Jeremy McGrath, who is being inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America that same week. Many drivers have raced in off-road prior to their careers in NASCAR, Brendan Gaughan and Jimmie Johnson to name a few. Busch has previous dirt racing experience, driving a dirt late model in the annual "Prelude to the Dream" race founded by NASCAR champion Tony Stewart. The event, held the same week as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series' and IZOD IndyCar Series' events at the speedway, puts the The Traxxas TORC Series and its drivers right in front of a whole new group of enthusiastic motorsports fans.(TORC PR)(8-15-2010)
Joe Gibbs Racing Launches New App For Mobile Devices: Joe Gibbs Racing announces that it has launched Joe Gibbs Racing iCrew, a new application for mobile devices that will allow fans to follow all news related to the team's NASCAR and Motocross operations. The new app allows JGR fans to follow all the latest news, information and special features with ease from wherever they might be. JGR fans will now have the ability to receive instant notifications on qualifying and race results, as well as breaking news, special events, and contests. In addition, content includes exclusive JGR and JGRMX photographs, videos, and features. The app also allows fan interaction syncing comments through Twitter and Facebook accounts. Joe Gibbs Racing iCrew is available for free in the Android Market and the App Store.(JGR PR)(8-12-2010)
Kyle Busch's Crew wins Tissot Pit Road Award at Watkins Glen: Kyle Busch's pit crew won the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup road race at Watkins Glen International. It was the second Tissot win of the season for the #18 crew, which moved into a tie for third place in the season standings. Jeff Gordon's #24 crew continues to lead the Tissot competition with four wins while Jamie McMurray's #1 crew is second at three wins. Busch's #18 M&M's Toyota Camry spent the least amount of time on pit road during the 90-lap race in central New York - 84.438 seconds. Coming in second was Carl Edwards' #99 Aflac Ford (84.821) and third was Kurt Busch's #2 Miller Lite Dodge (85.358). The quick work by the #18 crew helped Busch post an eighth-place finish. The No. 18 over-the-wall crew consists of: Nick Odell (front-tire changer), Brad Donaghy (front-tire carrier), Jake Seminara (rear-tire changer), Kenny Barber (rear-tire carrier), Jeff Fender (jackman), Tom Lampe (gasman), Jason Hinson (catch can). The team's pit crew coach is Mike Lepp and the crew chief is Dave Rogers. The winning pit crew in each Sprint Cup race will earn $5,000 and a Tissot V8 Quartz Chronograph watch. The team with the most Tissot Pit Road Precision Award wins at the completion of the 36-race schedule will receive a $105,000 bonus plus Tissot watches for the over-the-wall crew members and driver (Tissot). See standings and past news on my 2010 Pit Crew News page.(8-11-2010)
MAF Honors NASCAR Teams’ Response to Haiti Quake: In the aftermath of the catastrophic Jan. 12, 7.0 earthquake that destroyed the capital of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, two renowned NASCAR auto racing teams shuttled relief workers and supplies into Haiti and transported evacuees, rotating workers and quake victims to the United States. This week at their respective shops in North Carolina, MAF (Missionary Aviation Fellowship) President John Boyd presented Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing with special service awards for their work in Haiti.
In the crucial days following one of the world’s greatest disasters, the teams generously provided aircraft from their fleets. The Hendrick and Gibbs crews worked with MFI (Missionary Flights International) and MAF to shuttle planes between Fort Pierce, Fla., and Port-au-Prince, Haiti, enabling the rotation of high-impact volunteer medical teams and humanitarian workers. The planes also evacuated adopted orphans to their American homes. In addition, the aviation crews offered care, personal concern and warm fellowship to the MAF missionary pilots and ground workers as they toiled amid heat, chaos, suffering and death.
“With these awards, we at MAF want to express our sincere gratitude to Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing for their support of the MAF team in Haiti,” Boyd said. “We honor two fine motorsports teams for their selfless actions, and for the special blessing they were to us during a very trying time.” Boyd also invited the two teams’ aviation staffs to participate in one of the MAF advanced mountain training workshops at the ministry’s headquarters in Nampa, Idaho.
MAF has served the missionary community and the people of Haiti since 1986. Eight MAF missionary families and seven Haitian staff members provide air service with three bush aircraft that fly to 16 remote airstrips from Port-au-Prince. Within the first three months of its disaster relief efforts, MAF had partnered with dozens of relief agencies, including the United Nations. In addition to having coordinated the flights of 3,500 international passengers and 1.5 million pounds of cargo between Florida and Port-au-Prince, MAF logged 1,037 flights within Haiti, transported 1,801 relief workers, missionaries, patients and medical staff in and out of inland towns and villages urgently needing help, and delivered 315,498 pounds of urgent relief and medical cargo. MAF continues its disaster response work in Haiti, having now shifted from the crisis-relief phase to a rebuilding stage that is expected to last several years.(MAF PR)(7-29-2010)
New spotter for Jeff Gordon: #24-Jeff Gordon will have a new spotter starting this weekend at Pocono Raceway, a move the team believes will help the four-time NASCAR champion snap the longest losing streak of his career. Hendrick Motorsports hired Jeff Dickerson Wednesday, moving quickly to grab the spotter after he unexpectedly parted ways last week with #18-Kyle Busch. Dickerson had been with Busch since his early days at HMS, and the driver often credited Dickerson for guiding him on the track to several victories. Crew chief Steve Letarte said after listening to tapes of Dickerson, he believed the spotter could be the key to helping Gordon close out races. Gordon is winless since Texas in April 2009, a span of 49 races. Dickerson replaces Shannon McGlamery, who began spotting for Gordon at the start of the 2007 season. McGlamery still will be a mechanic at Hendrick Motorsports, building the cars for Gordon and teammate Jimmie Johnson. "Shannon is a very good spotter, but I think Jeff Dickerson is one of the best," Letarte said. "The spotter is the third musketeer on the radio, and when he became available, I listened to a lot of tapes, I did a lot of research, and although the timing was short, I recognized his style will help us build upon our continued communication improvements."(ESPN/AP)(7-28-2010)
Kyle Busch gets new spotter: #18-Kyle Busch has changed spotters, with Jeff Dickerson no longer serving as his eyes in the sky. Eddie D'Hondt is spotting for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver this weekend on an interim basis. Dickerson had been Busch's spotter since early in his first Cup season in 2005 at Hendrick Motorsports and they had won 18 Cup races together. Dickerson eventually became Busch's agent and business manager but that job was transferred to another member of the Motorsports Management International staff prior to the 2010 season. "Jeff was going to leave at the end of the year and go do something else anyway, so we figured we might as well get it going now and build something with a spotter for next year and hopefully before the Chase starts," Busch said after finishing second in the Camping World Truck Series race Friday night at O'Reilly Raceway Park.(Scene Daily)(7-25-2010)
Kahne to Drive for Kyle Busch Motorsports at Pocono: Kasey Kahne, who is undefeated in two career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts, will pilot the #18 Toyota of Scranton (Pa.) Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) in the inaugural Pocono Mountains 125 Truck Series event July 31 at Pocono Raceway. Kahne, who drives the #9 Budweiser Ford full-time for Richard Petty Motorsports in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, won Truck Series races in November 2004 at Darlington Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway. “It’s a big deal for us to have someone like Kasey in the #18 Toyota Tundra,” said KBM driver-owner Kyle Busch. “His Truck Series record is about as good as it can get, given that he’s never lost a race. He’s obviously got a good record at Pocono in the Sprint Cup Series as well, so we know he’ll give us a great chance to go to victory lane.” The Pocono Mountains 125 is the first-ever Truck Series event at Pocono Raceway, which is located 38 miles south of Toyota of Scranton. Busch is hoping to win as an owner and a driver all in the same day, for while Kahne will drive the #18 Toyota of Scranton Toyota Tundra for KBM at Pocono, Busch will pilot the #18 Z-Line Designs Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway in Newton.(KBM)(7-16-2010)
JGR and NASA: Joe Gibbs Racing [#11-Hamlin, #18-Busch & #20-Logano] recently used the 3-mile runway NASA utilizes for its space shuttle program to run its car up and down to gather information about aerodynamics. The team basically driver Matt DiBenedetto, a development driver at JGR, run the car to 205 mph on the landing strip, coast to about 150 mph and then run it back up to 205 mph, doing this three times before turning around and coming back and doing the same thing. Such straight-line testing is common in NASCAR. Teams go to various places to do this but going to NASA's runaway is unique.(Virginian Pilot)(7-15-2010)
Rusty apologizes for remark: Rusty Wallace apologizes for comment at Kyle Busch during Nationwide race ESPN broadcaster Rusty Wallace apologized Monday for an expletive he directed toward Kyle Busch during Friday night's Nationwide broadcast from Chicagoland Speedway. The comment could be heard after Busch finished his Victory Lane interview. Said Wallace in a statement from ESPN: “At the end of Friday night’s telecast, I made an unfortunate remark regarding Kyle Busch. There’s no excuse and I certainly know better. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to everyone including Kyle for my mistake.” Wallace made the comment after Busch referenced the fans who booed him after he won the race. Wallace then can be heard uttering a one-word comment. An ESPN spokesman said the network would not suspend Wallace for the comment and stated: "ESPN has spoken to Rusty and he understands his remark was uncalled for.''(Virginian Pilot)(7-13-2010)
Gibbs and family selected as 2nd quarter Spirit Award Winner: Members of the National Motorsports Press Association selected J.D. Gibbs and his family as the second quarter winner of the NMPA Speedway Motorsports Spirit Award. The award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Each year, quarterly winners are selected, and an overall winner is determined by a vote of the National Motorsports Press Association membership.
Gibbs and his family were selected for hosting Taylor's Finish Line Festival in May. The festival was held to celebrate the end cancer treatments for Gibbs' 5-year-old son, Taylor. Proceeds benefited the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Western, N.C., and the Levine Children's Hospital of Charlotte. More than $600,000 was raised at the event, attended by more than 5,000 people.
Also receiving votes were: Drs. Joseph and Rose Mattioli for contributions to support trauma care at Lehigh Valley Health Network; employees of Richard Childress Racing and Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines for delivering and distributing cleaning supplies to Nashville, Tenn., residents affected by the flooding there; Tony Stewart for his annual Prelude to the Dream charity dirt late model race; and Kyle Petty for his annual charity motorcycle ride across the country. Bobby Hutchens, competition director at Stewart-Haas Racing, won the award in the first quarter.(JGR)(7-8-2010)
Interstate returns to sponsor the #18: The familiar green Interstate Batteries paint scheme returns to the #18 Toyota of Kyle Busch for the next two Sprint Cup events as the Dallasbased company’s livery will adorn the car this weekend at New Hampshire and for next weekend’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway (JGR), see images of the scheme on my #18 Team Schemes page.(6-25-2010)
Kyle Busch wins at Berlin: Kyle Busch was out of clean clothes by the time he hopped on his plane Wednesday night in Grand Rapids and headed to California. However, Busch did have a shiny new trophy to take with him, along with $20,000 after winning the Rowdy’s Revenge 251 at Berlin Raceway. Busch held off a pair of second-generation racing teenagers, Chase Elliott and Ross Kenseth, for his first victory at the Berlin half-mile. Busch took the lead for good on lap 150, then survived a caution-filled finish in which the yellow waved four times during the final 18 laps. The race originally was scheduled for Tuesday, but action was rained out. Busch returned for the CRA Super Series sanctioned race in his #51 template body Late Model. Elliott, 14, started eighth and dominated the first half of the race in his first Berlin appearance. Elliott, the son of 1988 Cup champion Bill Elliott, was out in front on lap 125 when the mandatory caution dropped. That gave drivers an opportunity to take their cars to the pits for their crews to work on while the 50-lap Modified feature was run. A.J. Allmendinger won the Modified main, passing Mike Brooks with 20 laps to go and holding off Brian Bergakker for the win.(Michigan Live)(6-17-2010)
Interstate Batteries Extends Relationship with Joe Gibbs Racing: Interstate Batteries announced that it has reached an agreement on a long-term extension of its sponsorship package with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), which paves the way for one of NASCAR’s longest-standing partnerships to surpass the 20-year milestone. Interstate Batteries first established its sponsorship of JGR prior to the 1992 season, enabling the start-up team to open up its doors for competition in time for that year’s season-opening Daytona 500. The sponsorship will continue to include six races as primary sponsor of the #18 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Camry driven by Kyle Busch, as well as one NASCAR Nationwide Series event each season. In addition to the seven total primary sponsorships, Interstate will continue to have promotional rights with all of JGR’s drivers, specifically, Busch’s teammates, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano, under their Team Interstate platform. “We have been blessed by our relationship with Norm Miller and Interstate Batteries,” said Joe Gibbs, owner of the team that bears his name. “They took a chance on us 19 years ago as our founding sponsor, and the partnership has been outstanding ever since. They are a great example of the type of relationships we seek to build with our partners, and we’re thrilled to have them continue with us.” Interstate Batteries is currently in the 19th season of its partnership with JGR, and the company has joined the family-owned team in victory lane at 12 different racetracks in the last 18 seasons, including such prestigious venues as Daytona International Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway.(TSC/JGR)(6-3-2010)
Kyle Busch to set new record at Pocono: #18-Kyle Busch will make his 200th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start on Sunday in the Gillette Fusion ProGlide 500 presented by Target at Pocono Raceway. In doing so, at 25 years, one month and four days, Busch will become the youngest driver in series history to reach start No. 200. The previous youngest was Brian Vickers, at 25 years, 11 months and three days (Dover International Speedway, Sept. 27, 2009).(NASCAR)(6-2-2010)
Kyle Busch says he and Hamlin have moved on UPDATE maybe not? #18-Kyle Busch says he is not taking back radio chatter in which he threatened to kill JGR teammate #11-Denny Hamlin after some hard driving in the All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Busch insisted Thursday that he and Hamlin have moved on from last week's incident. Hamlin was leading late in the race when he blocked Busch's run. The defensive driving caused Busch to hit the wall, and he later got a flat tire that led to a race-ending wreck. Busch was so angry afterward, he warned his team he was going to kill Hamlin. Busch went directly to Hamlin's hauler after his accident, and team owner Joe Gibbs mediated a post-race meeting with his drivers. Busch says his threat was out of anger, but not literal, and he's moved past the incident.(Associated Press)(5-27-2010)
Hamlin comments: Denny Hamlin didn’t just throw Kyle Busch under the bus Thursday, he ran over him with it. “For me, I’m over the Denny Hamlin issue,” Busch said Thursday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he made his first public comments on the issue. “It’s done, we’re moving forward and we look forward to the rest of the year and the [Coca-Cola] 600 this weekend.” Hamlin, however, was considerably more blunt when discussing his feelings towards his teammate. “I definitely wouldn’t change anything that I would do and nobody in my position would,” said Hamlin. “I challenge anyone to be in that position and to change the way that I drove. The thing is that he [Busch] was never there, there was never a hole for his car to fit in, so he has a gas pedal and a brake just like I do. He could choose to check up and pass me in the next corner or put his car in the fence like what happened.” And from there, he was off and running. Asked if he’d work with Busch, Hamlin indicated his displeasure with his hot-tempered teammate. “I’m not going to put too much effort in it, to be honest with you,” Hamlin said. “Kyle brings this stuff up himself and he gets mad at the media for asking him questions about his blow-ups and stuff, but he does it to himself. I don’t want to be part of it. Any drama that he wants to create or anything is on him. Anything he says on the radio is on him. [That’s] all I’m going to say and I’m going to be done with it. Each year I think Kyle’s going to grow out of it and he just doesn’t. Until he puts it all together, that’s when he’ll become a champion. Right now he just doesn’t have himself all together.” And then, for good measure, this little bon mot: “I didn’t say that I was going to take over this team or be the leader of this team, but somebody’s got to be the leader—it ain’t going to be Kyle.”(Ford Racing)(5-30-2010)
Hamlin talks about incident with Kyle Busch: Joe Gibbs Racing teammates #11-Denny Hamlin and #18-Kyle Busch were battling for the lead late in the Sprint All-Star Race, Hamlin used defensive driving to protect his lead, Busch didn't have room on the outside and slammed into the all, pushing in his right front fender that would later cut down a tire and end the night for Busch [and #9-Kahne], Busch was so angry he threatened to kill Hamlin over his team radio and camped out in the #11 hauler, waiting for Hamlin....so
. Denny Hamlin, #11 FedEx Office Toyota Camry, answers questions in this Toyota PR/quotes
What happened between yourself and Kyle Busch on the race track? “First he (Kyle Busch) got a big run off the corner and I was clear getting into the corner. Basically I just throttled up extremely early and really it was a bad corner. He was going to go by me. He kind of went to the bottom and then went up high it looked like. Of course, I’m looking out my front windshield and he says I’m clear so I’m going to use all the race track I can. The problem is that Kyle had a run to the outside and with me moving up and getting real tight, it then took some air away from the front of his car and he slid up into the wall. It’s tough for me. We talked about it and basically Kyle was just frustrated, he felt like he had a really good car. Me, I just came from the back with no practice and got back to the front where we needed to be and I felt like if I gave up the lead right there then I was going to give up the win. I don’t think Kyle would do anything different if he was in my situation. It’s just when you’re the leader, my feeling is that you’ve got the whole race track. If a guy is to the outside then that’s when you need to hold your line.”
What was the conversation between yourself, Kyle Busch, Joe and J.D. Gibbs? “It’s a good conversation to have. Me and Tony (Stewart) has had this same conversation and it was under a little different circumstance, but this is a good problem to have for our team. For two guys to be wanting to go for the win like they are, that’s all we can ask for. Myself, I’m so confident that one of the two of us are going to win that 600 next weekend, it was a good meeting. Kyle (Busch) was fiery at the beginning, but calmed right down at the end. I think it’s just kind of his personality and me, I’m a little more reserved and kind of quiet about it. I think it’s just two teammates that happen to be teammates going for a race win right there.”
What are your thoughts on Kyle Busch’s comments about you on the team radio? “That’s Kyle in the moment and he’s said worse things about me for sure at other times. I told him my job as the leader is to do everything I can to win that race. This race in specific is a much different beast than what a points race is and I think he understands that. From my standpoint, we’re going to drive each other different, no doubt about it. We’ve seen it in years past, guys suck each other around, guys running each other up the race track, but I felt like if Kyle had position on the outside, then I definitely should have given him the lane. I just basically took the air off and like he said, he was just dumb and didn’t check up. It’s just one of those things. The air is so important that if you’ve got the lead then it’s extremely hard for anyone to get around you and we just flat over-adjusted our race car and we got it way off right there. I felt like if we couldn’t get the win, then I probably should have just moved over and let him go because it looked like he had a race winning car. That is the only thing I fault myself is not understanding my race car that time.”
How will you and Kyle Busch move forward from this? “We don’t need to let it affect these team guys. They work with each other inside the race shop and the important thing for me is that everyone gets along. Right now, everything is going good between the 11 and the 18 (Kyle Busch) on the race track, we’re both battling for race wins each and every week. This is like the fifth of sixth time that we’ve been beside each other with less than 10 (laps) to go and this is not going to be the last time. What’s good is that we have an understanding of how we race each other. One thing that we do realize too is this individual race here is a different beast so the racing of each other is always going to be a little different.”(Toyota)(5-23-2010)
Kyle Busch to run a M&M's Pretzel scheme UPDATE: Kyle Busch is scheduled to run a #18 M&M Pretzel Special the All Star Challenge and Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May. See am image of the scheme on my #18 Team Schemes page...mmmm, m&m's AND pretzels.
At the 2009 NACS show, Mars Snackfood US unveiled its M&M’s Pretzel Chocolate Candies, which combine sweet and salty in every bite-size piece. M&M’s Pretzel Chocolate Candies are kosher certified and feature a crunchy, salted pretzel center covered in M&M’s brand milk chocolate and coated in a colorful candy shell. The product will be available in May 2010.(4-17-2010)
UPDATE: The new salty and sweet Pretzel M&M’s Chocolate Candies blue colors will adorn Busch’s #18 Toyota for the next four events, including Saturday night’s Sprint All-Star race, and the SPrint Cup Series races at Charlotte, Pocono and Michigan. The scheme is to help promote the launch of the newest sweet creation from Mars Chocolate North America.(True Speed Communication), see an image of the scheme on my #18 Team Schemes page.(5-20-2010)
Kyle Busch wins at Dover: #18-Kyle Busch won the Autism Speaks 400 presented by Hershey's Milk & Milkshakes Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway for his 2nd win of 2010. 2nd Dover win and 18th win of his career. Busch also won the Nationwide race Saturday and finished 16th in the Camping World Truck Series race [after leading the most laps], all at Dover. Busch led 494 of 900 laps at Dover. #31-Burton finished 2nd, followed by #17-Kenseth, #11-Hamlin, #00-Reutimann, #16-Biffle, #29-Harvick, #99-Edwards, #14-Stewart and #20-Logano. Pole sitter #56-Truex Jr. finished 12th. #48-Johnson finished 16th down a lap after getting caught speeding exiting pit road and had to do a pass thru penalty. #9-Kahne, who started 2nd finsihed 20th, down 2 laps after having shifter problems. #88-Earnhardt Jr. had another tough day and finshed 30th, down 10 laps. Harvick still leads the points with 1768. down to 69 over Kyle Busch, who moved up to 2nd with his win and Johnson's miscue.
There were 20 lead changes among 8 drivers and only 5 cautions for 24 yellow flag laps. The attendence was reported at 88,000, down from 100,000 last year and 133,000 in 2008.
See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Dover Race Results/Awards page
See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(5-16-2010)
Kyle Busch wins 5 races...in one day: It was Kyle Busch's best day in racing -- five wins from six starts in the #18 M&M's machine. Well, make that the M&M's electric go-kart at Craig's Cruisers indoor kart track Tuesday in the Grand Rapids suburb of Wyoming. Busch took on race fans, sponsors and media members in a series of eight-lap sprints at Craig's during a visit to promote the upcoming Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Michigan International Speedway on June 13 in Brooklyn, MI. The kart racing was as tough as any at Bristol, Martinsville or Richmond, where Busch, who is third in Cup points, won May 1. Starting from the back, Busch drove his way through wrecks, spinning karts and yellow flags. "I haven't won more than one race in a day," Busch said later, laughing. "It was neat to help MIS sell tickets to the June race and run against the fans. It was a good day at the wheel. There's nothing like coming from the back to win one." Busch and MIS president Roger Curtis banged bumpers most of the day, with Curtis appearing to have Busch's measure in the first eight-lapper before hitting the barrier -- or the brakes -- within sight of the checkered flag. "Don't know what happened to Roger's kart," Busch said. "I think he stalled it on the final turn." About 500 people -- locals and some from as far away as Ohio and Ontario -- turned out to watch and/or compete against Busch, including four friends from Dexter who drive and crew on a super late model team at tracks such as Berlin Raceway in Marne and Toledo Speedway.(Detroit Free Press)(5-12-2010)
Doublemint makes debut on #18: This weekend's race will mark the first time Doublemint Gum has served as primary sponsor for #18-Kyle Busch, as the chewing gum brand's mint paint scheme will adorn Busch's #18 Toyota at Darlington and again at Bristol Motor Speedway in August.(JGR/True Speed Communications), see images of the scheme on my #18 team paint schemes page.(5-6-2010)
Kyle Busch wins at Richmond: #18-Kyle Busch led the most laps  and made a late race pass of #24-Gordon on a restart and won the Crown Royal Presents The Heath Calhoun 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway for his 1st race of 2010, his first win in 21 races and 17th of his career. It was the first Sprint Cup Series win for crew chief Dave Rogers. Busch is the first pole sitter to win a race in 2010. #24-Gordon hel on to 2nd, followed by #29-Harvick, #31-Burton, #99-Edwards, #42-Montoya, #56-Truex Jr., #39-Newman, #47-Ambrose and #48-Johnson. Harvick takes the points lead by 10 points over Johnson. There were 13 lead changes among 8 drivers and 6 cautions for 37 yellow flag laps.
See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Richmond Race Results/Awards page
See drivers points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(5-1-2010)
Conractors say Kyle Busch owes them: A subcontractor who helped build NASCAR driver Kyle Busch's new multi-million-dollar headquarters has filed a lien against the project, and four others also say they're owed money. Collectively, the contractors say they are owed hundreds of thousands of dollars by the building's owner and general contractor. As small business owners, they said, they can't afford to go for months without being paid. Paul Davis of Creative Carpets LLC said he filed a mechanic's lien against the general contractor Friday. Davis said he is owed $60,000 for installing roughly 18,000 square feet of carpet and flooring. "As a business, I can't function," he said, adding his suppliers won't give him more materials until he pays them. "I'm spending more of my time chasing my money than making it. And in this economy, I can't do that." Davis said he filed the lien because he'd grown worried that he might not get paid the full amount he is owed. He said Busch's attorney told him "one group was going to walk away unhappy." The building is owned by L.B. Builders Construction Group, which also is overseeing construction. It is being built for KB Investments, a Kyle Busch-related entity. The subcontractors said they've been told by L.B. Builders that they haven't been paid because Kyle Busch owes nearly $3 million. On Friday, a blue tarp was taped over a sign outside the building that says KBM. Attorneys representing Busch and L.B. Builders confirmed a "construction dispute" over the building's cost, and said the groups are working to resolve it. A meeting to discuss the issue is set for mid-May, they said.(See full story at the Charlotte Observer)(5-1-2010)
Kyle Busch going for Nationwide record: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Z-Line Designs/Conn's Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Nationwide Series, has won four consecutive NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Texas Motor Speedway, and the "Drive for Five" will take place during Saturday's O'Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. In the four victories, Busch led a combined 657 of 800 laps available to him, meaning he has been at the point for 82% of the Nationwide Series circuits conducted at Texas since 2008. Only two other drivers – Jack Ingram and Dale Earnhardt – have won five consecutive Nationwide Series races at one track. Ingram, the 1982 and 1985 Nationwide Series champion, won at South Boston Speedway in July 1985 and then won four more races at the .357-mile oval in southern Virginia in April, May, June and July of 1986. Earnhardt won the February Nationwide Series event at Daytona every year from 1990 to 1994.(JGR)(4-17-2010)
Gibbs could not commit to fourth Cup team: Joe Gibbs wouldn’t get into the reasons, but he said Friday night that it just wasn’t feasible for JGR to currently commit to a fourth Sprint Cup team when he was asked about Kasey Kahne signing with Hendrick Motorsports. Gibbs thinks that Kahne knows where he’s racing in 2011 even though Hendrick announced Wednesday that his plans for 2011 are uncertain before he takes over the #5 car in 2012. “I am going to have to say he’s not in limbo,” Gibbs said prior to being inducted into the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame. “I would say there’s been a decision made of what’s going to happen there.” The decision doesn’t include JGR, which had made a strong run at Kahne but couldn’t get the package done before Kahne made the decision to sign with Hendrick. “It’s extremely hard to put together something where you’re trying to put together right sponsor, right driver,” Gibbs said. “That’s part of life in what you do here. You try to craft things as best you can for your race team. We’ve probably been the most cautious of adding a fourth team among the big teams.”(SceneDaily)(4-19-2010)
Kyle Busch not happy with Boris: #18-Kyle Busch walked away from a banged-up car shaking his head, clearly miffed about a scrape in the final practice for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Busch tangled with #26-Boris Said coming onto the back straightaway and was forced to park his Toyota after getting in 37 practice laps. While the damage around the right rear tire was mainly cosmetic, that didn't improve Busch's mood. "You've got guys who don't belong out there," he said. "He's off the pace at every track we've been to. But he keeps getting in on owner points." Said drives for Latitude 43 Motorsports, a new venture started by a Vermont businessman who bought the #26 team from Roush Fenway Racing, inheriting its points from a year ago. Since that team finished 22nd in the Cup standings, Said is guaranteed entry into the first five races of 2010. "I'm out there minding my own business, running my car at the bottom of the track," Busch said. "He's at the top, then all of a sudden he wants to run in the middle on the straightaway. Usually if you're running at the top, you stay up there." Said, who's gotten into the last three races based on his owner points, managed only two laps in his final tuneup for the race. He was next-to-last on the speed chart, beating out rookie Kevin Conway.(Associated Press/ESPN)(3-7-2010)
Busch wins at Speedfest: Kyle Busch is making Lanier National Speedway his home away from home. The NASCAR Sprint Cup star won for the second straight year at Speedfest on Sunday, running away with the checkered flag in the Super Late Model Division. In other races, Greg Simpson won the Pro Late Model Division, while Brad Springer won the Modified race, which had been pushed from its originally scheduled spot on Saturday. The cold, wet weather, which forced race officials to postpone all of Saturday's events, made for a busy day at the track Sunday.(Gainsville Times)(2-1-2010)
Seven Cup drivers on America's 100 Most Powerful Athletes list: What is power? In athletics it is usually thought of as bulging muscles and dominating performance. But in sports today, power has a different meaning, as well: the earning potential of athletes, owners, agents, communities, and brands, ranging from breakfast cereal to beer. To determine who the 100 most powerful athletes are on and off the field, Bloomberg BusinessWeek teamed with CSE, an integrated sports and entertainment company that connects brands with fans, and Bloomberg BusinessWeek columnist Rick Horrow, to create the 2010 version of the Power 100. Unlike previous Power 100s, this year's ranking would focus only on the athletes-not the owners, the agents, the commissioners, or the coaches. On-field metrics included athletes who scored the best on the field (or the rink, the greens, or the court) over a two-year period. The more popular the sport, the more weight those achievements garnered.
Drivers on the list: Jimmie Johnson, 21st; Jeff Gordon, 28th; Mark Martin, 41st; Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 45th; Tony Stewart, 48th; Carl Edwards, 67th; and Kyle Busch, 70th. Danica Patrick also made the list at 88th.(Business Week)(1-28-2010)
KBM Opens Chassis Shop: Kyle Busch Motorsports announces the opening of a full service Chassis shop in Mooresville, NC. The chassis operation at KBM is located in close proximity to the heart of NASCAR and can provide chassis related services to NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams. More info at KyleBusch.com.(1-22-2010)
JGR signs Kyle Busch to extension: Joe Gibbs Racing announced it has signed driver #18-Kyle Busch to a "multi-year" contract that will keep Busch with the team for the next several seasons. "It's something we've been working on for a while," said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. "We probably could've announced this earlier. We were just getting some of the details ironed out and finalized. Watching him grow off the track as well as on the track has been exciting for us. We look forward to many years together racing up front." Busch said there "wasn't much convincing needed" to come back to the team after the 2010 season, when his first contract was set to expire. The team wouldn't say how many years the contract is, though Gibbs said they could announce that in the future.(CMS Media Tour Notes), Details were not revealed. JGR president J.D. Gibbs said only that it was for less than seven years.(1-19-2010)
TV Special to go behind the scenes at JGR: Beginning Jan. 24, NASCAR fans will be given unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to one of the sport’s most successful teams as it prepares for the season-opening Daytona 500. SPEED and IMG Sports Media are working together on a series of four one-hour specials featuring Joe Gibbs Racing and giving fans a unique perspective of what it takes to be ready to perform in The Daytona 500. JGR’s Countdown to the Daytona 500 will take viewers to previously restricted areas, including wind tunnel testing, the engine department and team plane.(SPEEDtv)(1-12-2010)
Interstate Batteries [6 races] is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following 2009 races:
New Hampshire [6/28]
Gibbs working on contact extension for Busch UPDATE: J.D. Gibbs say he's close to re-signing #18-Kyle Busch and hopes to have the contract completed before the 2010 season.(FoxSports)(11-24-2009)
UPDATE: a high-ranking source has confirmed Kyle Busch is off the market. The source would not confirm when the extension was signed, but has knowledge of one that ties him to both Gibbs and M&M's through 2011. Sources at Joe Gibbs Racing could not be reached for comment by press time, but it appears that they have addressed the top priority on their Christmas wish list by stabilizing Busch's contract and by rebuilding the #18 Toyota this offseason. Busch can now focus on establishing a positive relationship with crew chief Dave Rogers and launching himself back into Chase contention -- although a one-year extension isn't exactly the type of deal that screams long-term association.(Sports Illustrated)(12-24-2009)
Rusty Wallace forms alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing: Officials of Rusty Wallace Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing announced the formation of a technical alliance between the two teams, under which JGR will provide RWR with technical support for the development of NASCAR Nationwide Series Toyota Camry race cars. In the last two Nationwide Series seasons, RWR has fielded a pair of Chevy Impalas and in 2009 was the only team with multiple drivers among the top-ten in the year-end driver standings. For the 2010 season, the team will campaign factory-backed Toyota Camrys, with engines provided by Triad Racing Development. Stated RWR team owner, Rusty Wallace, “We’re excited about working with J.D. (Gibbs) and his guys; they’ve built a very solid Nationwide Series program over the past several seasons. Between all of the support that we’re receiving from Toyota and this new partnership, I feel that 2010 will be a strong year for our team.” Regarding the partnership, JGR President J.D. Gibbs noted, “We’re looking forward to working with Rusty and his team at RWR. We’re excited to have them join the Toyota camp next year in the Nationwide Series and we look forward to providing assistance to their program as well.”(RWR PR)(12-14-2009)
Kyle Busch Wins 42nd Annual Snowball Derby: Kyle Busch has won the 42nd Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida. Busch started third in the 300-lap race and took the lead late from 2005 Snowball Derby winner Eddie Mercer to collect the $22,500 winner’s check. Mercer held on to finish second with NASCAR Nationwide Series regular Steven Wallace placing third. Two-time Snowball Derby winner Bobby Gill came from last place at the start to place fourth at the finish. John Bolen overcame an early wreck to finish fifth. This is the fourth major Super Late Model event that Busch has won this season. He also won Speedfest at Lanier Speedway (GA), the Redbud 300 at Anderson Speedway (IN) and the Winchester 400 at Winchester Speedway (IN) in his free time from his NASCAR obligations. This event concludes the racing season at Five Flags Speedway for 2009. The track will open its 2010 season with the TBARA Winged Sprint Cars on March 19th. For more information on the 43rd Annual Snowball Derby, contact Five Flags Speedway by calling (850) 944-8400 and be sure to visit www.snowballderby.com and www.fiveflagsspeedway.com.(51 Sports)(12-6-2009)
Addington moving on UPDATE 4: during the Ford 400 Sprint Cup Series qualifying at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Andy Petree of ESPN2 reported that Steve Addington, former crew chief for #18-Kyle Busch at Joe Gibbs Racing, informed JGR he would leave and is moving on. No word what team or job he is going to.(11-20-2009)
UPDATE: Bob Dillner reported on the SPEED Report that Addington is talking to Penske Racing about being #2-Kurt Busch's crew chief in 2010, supposedly the hold up is that Addington wants a 3-year contract.(11-24-2009)
UPDATE 2: former #18-Kyle Busch crew chief Steve Addington supposedly cleaned out his office and said his goodbyes on Monday after six seasons with Joe Gibbs Racing. Addington has been rumored to be a candidate at Penske Racing for #2-Kurt Busch and Richard Petty Motorsports for #19-Elliott Sadler.(FoxSports)(12-2-2009)
UPDATE 3: [Penske Racing president Tim] Cindric said the organization hoped to decide on a new crew chief for Kurt Busch within the next two weeks. He confirmed that Steve Addington, former crew chief for Busch's younger brother, Kyle, is among the final "two or three" candidates. Penske is mulling at least two internal candidates.(Sports Illustrated)(12-3-2009)
UPDATE 4: Addington had been offered the head post for Elliott Sadler's #19 team at Richard Petty Motorsports, but sources say that he turned it down.(FoxSports)(12-4-2009)
Kyle Busch, other drivers running Snowball Derby: Race fans might have thought the 2009 racing season ended on Nov. 22 when NASCAR's three major series competed at Homestead-Miami Speedway. But they were wrong. Racing purists know the racing season is never complete until a champion is crowned in the Snowball Derby, the country's most prestigious short-track race that occurs each December at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola. The 42nd Snowball Derby is slated for Sunday, Dec. 6 and will culminate four days of exciting racing action at Northwest Florida's half-mile gem. Several NASCAR stars, including 2009 Nationwide Series champion Kyle Busch, will compete against the country's best Super Late Model drivers, all of whom are seeking to affix their name to the coveted Tom Dawson Memorial Trophy. Hoping to earn a spot in this year's elite 38-car field will be former Snowball Derby champion Steve Wallace and David Stremme, who race on the Nationwide Series. James Buescher and Brian Scott from the Camping World Trucks Series also hope to make the big show. Two other potential future stars with famous last names will try to qualify for the Derby - Chase Elliott, son of former Cup champion Bill Elliott, and Ross Kenseth, son of another former Cup champ, Matt Kenseth. The green flag waves at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, in the 42nd annual Snowball Derby.(Gulf Breeze News)(12-3-2009)
Kyle Busch may run full Nationwide season in 2010? #18-Kyle Busch hasn't announced he'll defend his Nationwide Series championship next year, but Busch indicated over lunch earlier this week in Miami Beach there might be a scenario under which he would try for a second title. As it stands now, Busch intends to run all the Nationwide races that are companion events to Sprint Cup events in 2010. His schedule also may include a few stand-alone Nationwide events during off-weeks for Cup. "I think 24 to 27 (races) is what we're planning," Busch said. "The races haven't been quite all worked out yet." Whatever the final number, Busch has to run the bulk of the Nationwide schedule in his #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota to keep sponsors interested in the program. "We're going to do a combination next year where Kyle's going to run, (and) we're going to split that car up some," JGR president J.D. Gibbs said. "We love being on the Nationwide side, because it allows you to bring in young guys. Whether its crew guys, pit crews, drivers—we've got (driver) Matt DiBenedetto next year for sure and one other young guy, and it gives them an opportunity." Busch also admitted that how well he starts the season may factor into whether he lobbies Gibbs to run the full Nationwide schedule. Eleven of the first 12 Nationwide races are companion events. The fifth race of the season, at Nashville, is scheduled for April 3, an open week for the Cup series. Asked whether there might be circumstances under which he would defend his title, Busch nodded. Gibbs shook his head emphatically, indicating, "No."
"I'll talk him into it," Busch said.(Sporting News)(11-28-2009)
One final triple for 2009 by Kyle Busch: With #18-Kyle Busch participating in Friday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race, as well as Sunday’s Sprint Cup event at Homestead, Busch will make his 84th 85th and 86th overall starts in 2009 across NASCAR’s top three series. By merely starting Saturday’s Nationwide Series race, Busch will clinch the series championship, his first in NASCAR.(JGR)(11-20-2009)
M&M’S Most Colorful Fan of NASCAR at Homestead: Cynthia Peace, grand prize winner of the M&M’S Seeks the Most Colorful Fan of NASCAR Contest, will receive a VIP experience at Homestead-Miami Speedway that includes meeting Kyle Busch and viewing all three season-ending races in style. An avid NASCAR fan for more than a decade, Peace attended her first race at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill., in 1999. She has completed the Richard Petty Driving Experience, her favorite track is Bristol Motor Speedway, her favorite driver is Kyle Petty, and she is excited to share her VIP experience at Homestead with family from California, Oklahoma and Texas. Peace and her husband Bobby are parents of 16-year-old daughter Kelsey and live in Havana, Ill. Peace will also become the first fan recognized in the new NASCAR Hall of Fame.(JGR)(11-20-2009)
Busch's truck team "not looking good," maybe back to Ballew in 2010? During a testing session for the upcoming Snowball Derby [Dec. 2-6] at Five Flags Speedway located in Pensacola, Florida, had a chance to ask Kyle Busch how things were progressing with the truck team he's been trying to put together.
Q: You and your truck team --- how are things progressing on that?
A: It's going nowhere fast. I've got no shop to put my stuff in, my builders can't build a building in three years, got no hauler, no trucks no equipment….so, it's pretty late in the year. Obviously we're already to Homestead; we only have two months before Daytona so it's a short amount of time to put a lot together. I don't think it's going to happen. So if Billy's [Ballew] got an open seat for me over at Ballew, I'd be happy to take it again and hopefully we can get Miccosukee to return. They've been a great partner for us, as well as Toyota.
Q: So it looks like you are going back to Billy Ballew next year?
A: Yeah right now. I'd love to run some truck races. He's got Aric Almirola over there…he's done a great job for them…if he wants to run one deal. If he wants to stay two, I'd take it.
Q: It's been reported that you were talking to Johnny Benson about the new team?
A: We talked to Johnny Benson; we had some conversations with the Con-way people. Unfortunately for us, fortunately for Jack [Roush], they decided to go the Nationwide route. So that deal feel through…there's nothing else that JB's dragged up. He's got championship driver points, where he can make any race he wants too, but for me, I've got no equipment. All I have is my late model stuff here and these things don't translate anything close to what a truck is. None of the suspension parts are the same; nothing. So I'd have to start over, buy all new.
Q: Rumor has it that you are buying Brian Scott's trucks?
A: We've been in discussions with Brian Scott. Nothing has come close to being finalized…the price is way too high. Of course they want to get their money's worth from what they bought, so, for whatever the economy is, for whatever the price of the Truck Series is, I feel it's a bit expensive. You know if I wanted to do it right, I would be sure that I would have the right stuff and the right people built up before I got to Homestead.
Q: You said the new shop's not done yet?
A: Not even close. It started out being 62,000 sq ft and we've added on a couple of different areas for toys and stuff like that because I'm putting my late models in there. We're also going to start building our own late model chassis'. I was going to put my play toys in there - I've got sand cars and four-wheelers some Corvettes some Toyota Tundra's. I've got some nice stuff that I want to keep indoors and that's what I'm building it for and every time we take a step forward it's like we take three or four steps back … the process is not going good. I started this project back in '07 and I'm still nowhere close. It's frustrating. It's been an ongoing process for three years. The building looks great, it's awesome from the outside…. love to be inside of it…we're working as hard and as fast as we can.
Q: So it's not looking good for the truck team?
A: It's not looking good. I'd love to do it and I wish I could do it, but it's not looking good.
Three drivers attempting triple duty at Phoenix: Two drivers will be aiming to make history this weekend by becoming the first to win in all three NASCAR national series at Phoenix International Raceway — Kyle Busch [#18 Cup, #18 NNS, #51 CWTS] and Kevin Harvick [#29 Cup, #33 NNS, #4 CWTS]. And Kevin Conway is attempting to make all three races [#70 Cup, #26 NNS and #71 CWTS]. Busch came close to scoring the feat last weekend at Texas when he won both the NASCAR Camping World Truck and NASCAR Nationwide Series races, but fell just short when he ran out of gas a few laps short of the checkered flag in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race, relegating him to a 11th-place finish. Both Busch and Harvick have won at Phoenix in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Conway will be attempting to make his Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series debuts. Conway is guaranteed a spot in the NNS race, the Cup and Trucks race, he needs to qualifying by speed to make the races.(11-11-2009)
UPDATE: Texas was the third time Busch had won the Trucks and Nationwide races in a weekend and gone on to go for the triple in the Cup series. What makes it more amazing is that he's the only driver to have won those first two races and even had an opportunity for the triple. Stranger still, was this was his worst finish when going for it. Here are Busch's Cup results after winning the Truck and Nationwide races in the same weekend:
Year -- Track -- Finish
2009 -- Texas -- 11th
2009 -- California -- third
2007 -- Phoenix -- eighth
Terry Labonte is the only other driver to get a top-5 in all three series in a weekend, at Richmond in 1995.(ESPN)(11-12-2009)
Kyle Busch going for triple at Texas: Kyle Busch attempts to become the first driver in NASCAR history to win all three national series races - Sprint Cup [#18 M&M's Toyota], Nationwide [#18 Toyota] and Camping World Truck Series [#51 Toyota] - in the same weekend when he competes in the Dickies 500, O'Reilly Challenge and WinStar World Casino 350k, respectively, at Texas Motor Speedway. In Sprint Cup competition, Busch has three top-six finishes and 207 laps led in his last four TMS starts, including a best of third in the 2008 Samsung 500. In Nationwide action, he has been a dominant force and will arrive having won three consecutive races. In the truck series, he still is seeking his first win, but has finished runner-up in three of his last four visits, the most recent being in this event last year. Busch nearly pulled off the triple earlier this season at California's Auto Club Speedway, winning Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series races in the same day and finishing second the following day in the Sprint Cup Series race. Busch has 59th career wins among NASCAR’s top three divisions. Busch has won in all three of NASCAR’s top divisions at six tracks: Auto Club Speedway, Phoenix, Bristol, Dover, Chicago and New Hampshire. Of the 30 tracks to host NASCAR’s top three divisions in 2009, Busch has competed at each circuit at least once and has won at 22 of them. The eight venues where Busch has raced but not scored a victory are Martinsville, Pocono, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Homestead, Iowa, Milwaukee, Memphis (now closed) and Montreal.(many different PR's)(11-4-2009)
RESULTS: Busch started the #51-Toyota 12th in the Camping World Truck Series race Friday night at Texas and won the race
Busch started the #18-Toyota 6th in the Nationwide Series race Saturday afternoon at Texas and finished ?
Busch starts 5th in the #18 M&M's Toyota at Texas on Sunday and finished ?.(11-7-2009)
Steve Addington looking at options: Steve Addington said he was "surprised" by the change that will put replace him as Kyle Busch's crew chief and plans to explore all options inside and outside of Joe Gibbs Racing. On Tuesday, JGR announced that Dave Rogers, who has worked in JGR's Nationwide Series program will take over as crew chief of the #18 following Sunday's race at Tallaadega Superspeedway. Is it possible that Addington will leave JGR for another Sprint Cup Series team? "That would be ironic," Addington said Friday morning at Talladega. "Yes, I'm going to look at everything." One of those options could be the #2 Penske Racing car of Kurt Busch, which is losing Pat Tryson to Michael Waltrip Racing after this season. #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. also could be in the market for a new crew chief, but Addington said he has yet to be contacted by anyone high up at Hendrick Motorsports.(ESPN.com)(10-30-2009)
New crew chief for Kyle Busch? UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing is looking at several things to improve the performance of #18-Kyle Busch's team in 2010, including the possibility of replacing crew chief Steve Addington. "There's not a lot we can say on it," team president J.D. Gibbs said before Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway. "We just want to evaluate on what makes us the best, how do we capitalize on the resources we have, personnel, technology? How do we utilize that? You look at everything. It's frustrating because we know ... we've had some good runs. We just should be better than that week in and week out." Busch failed to make the Chase for the first time since his rookie season in 2005. He has only one win over the last 21 races and nine finishes of 20th or worse after winning three of the first 10 races. He has only 11 top 10s on the season after registering 21 a year ago and 20 in 2007. "Rarely do you go from running OK to now all of a sudden you're out of the box," said Gibbs, reminding no decision has been made on Addington's future. "Tony [Stewart] when he missed the Chase [in 2006], he was coming on strong consistently at the end of the season." Asked if the performance of Busch and Addington over the final four races would determine whether they stay together, Gibbs said, "It probably has more to it than the next four weeks."(ESPN)(10-25-2009)
UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing announces that Dave Rogers will be assuming the duties as crew chief for the Sprint Cup Series #18 Toyota starting with the November 8 race at Texas Motor Speedway. Steve Addington, who has served as crew chief for the #18 team the previous five seasons will be reassigned to a position within JGR following this weekend's race at Talladega Superspeedway. Rogers is currently in his fourth season as crew chief on the #20 NASCAR Nationwide Series entry for JGR. He led the team to JGR's first Nationwide Series Owner's Championship in 2008 amassing nine victories, six poles, 16 top-five finishes and 26 top-10 finishes despite utilizing four different drivers over the course of the season. The team has captured another five wins thus far this season under Rogers' leadership. He first joined JGR in 1998 and spent six seasons from 1999 to 2004 working under Greg Zipadelli with the #20 team, including the team's 2002 Championship season.(JGR PR)(10-27-2009)
Gibbs has no plans to return to Redskins: Hall of Fame former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said Sunday he has no plans to return to the struggling team. Gibbs laughed when asked at Martinsville Speedway about rumors and Internet reports that he could return to the team as an adviser or even general manager. "That's what it is. Talk," the owner of three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams said. "Right here's where I'm GMing."(Associated Press)(10-25-2009)
New crew chief for Kyle Busch? Joe Gibbs Racing is looking at several things to improve the performance of #18-Kyle Busch's team in 2010, including the possibility of replacing crew chief Steve Addington. "There's not a lot we can say on it," team president J.D. Gibbs said before Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway. "We just want to evaluate on what makes us the best, how do we capitalize on the resources we have, personnel, technology? How do we utilize that? You look at everything. It's frustrating because we know ... we've had some good runs. We just should be better than that week in and week out." Busch failed to make the Chase for the first time since his rookie season in 2005. He has only one win over the last 21 races and nine finishes of 20th or worse after winning three of the first 10 races. He has only 11 top 10s on the season after registering 21 a year ago and 20 in 2007. "Rarely do you go from running OK to now all of a sudden you're out of the box," said Gibbs, reminding no decision has been made on Addington's future. "Tony [Stewart] when he missed the Chase [in 2006], he was coming on strong consistently at the end of the season." Asked if the performance of Busch and Addington over the final four races would determine whether they stay together, Gibbs said, "It probably has more to it than the next four weeks."(ESPN)(10-25-2009)
US F1 eager to let Kyle Busch take the wheel in 2011: US F1 sporting director Peter Windsor is so enamored with Kyle Busch, he keeps very informed on what the Sprint Cup driver is doing "on a daily basis almost." Windsor would like to eliminate "almost" in 2011. "If he wanted to drive for us in 2011, we'd certainly be keen on that," Windsor says. "I think there'll be a lot of speculation about that as time goes on. If I was Kyle, I'd be saying to myself, yeah, those guys all talk the talk, let's see what they do, let's see what the car's like. Let's see what the race shop is like. Fair enough. We're going to do a good job. I know when Kyle gets to see it, I'm pretty sure it'll get his pulse rate going." Busch already has shown some interest. Windsor says he met with the driver's business team after being approached about the team. Though he hasn't met Busch yet, Windsor is convinced the 58-time winner in NASCAR (16 victories in Cup, 28 in Nationwide, 14 in Camping World Trucks) has the talent to complete the difficult switch from stock cars to open wheel. "I've watched him a lot and have massive respect for him," Windsor says. "I know people who know him very well. I believe Kyle can win a world championship in Formula One. I think he's got exactly the right talent, the right approach. I'd love to see him in a Formula One car. If he wants to jump in our car next year for doing some demonstrations here in the States, he's very welcome to do that." Busch's contract with Joe Gibbs Racing won't expire until after next season, and there've been no indications he is planning to leave. But Busch, 24, did express interest in F1 when asked shortly after US F1's launch in February. "It's definitely something I wouldn't shoot down," the Las Vegas native said. "If I could win a championship (in NASCAR) in the next two or three years then I wouldn't mind going doing (F1) for a few years and coming back. I think I'd still be young enough that if I could win a championship by 25, go run Formula 1 for a few years and be back (in NASCAR) by 28." Windsor wants to make US F1 a destination for young American upstarts such as Busch by employing only American drivers. But when the team makes its March debut in Bahrain, Windsor says its two drivers probably will be foreign born.(USA Today)(10-22-2009)
Halloween scheme for the #18: Kyle Busch's #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota will sport a special paint scheme on his #18 M&M’s Toyota this weekend at Martinsville Speedway showcasing M&M’s Halloween Fun Packs since Halloween night is just around the corner. Of the 30 tracks that will host NASCAR’s top three divisions in 2009, Busch has competed at 28 of them at least once and won at 22 of them. This weekend, he’ll compete at two of the six venues where he has not been victorious. In addition to Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Martinsville, Busch will fly to Memphis Motorsports Park to compete in Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race.(JGR), see images of the scheme on my #18 Team Schemes page(10-21-2009)
Drivers to appear on Raw: #18-Kyle Busch and #20-Joey Logano are scheduled to serve as special guest hosts of WWE's Raw in Buffalo, N.Y., this Monday night [10/26]. The show airs on the USA Network at 9:00pm/et.(WWE)(10-26-2009)
Hamlin subbing for Busch in Truck race: Denny Hamlin will take to the track in the #51 Miccosukee Resort/Graceway Pharmaceuticals Toyota Tundra at Martinsville Speedway Saturday, October 24, 2009 in the running of the Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Kyle “Rowdy” Busch, who has typically piloted the Billy Ballew Motorsports entry at companion races, will be at Memphis Motorsports Park with the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Busch leads the Nationwide Series Driver Points Championship. Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Denny Hamlin will step-in for Busch and pilot the Billy Ballew Motorsports NASCAR Camping World truck at Martinsville, Virginia track for the first time since the spring 2008 event. In his last appearance for Ballew in 2008, Hamlin led 64 laps but was caught-up in an on track incident causing rear end damage relegating him to a 21st-place finish. Hamlin has three career Camping World Truck Series starts at Martinsville, posting a best finish of eighth-place in 2006.(Billy Ballew Motorsports)(10-19-2009)
Kyle Busch Wins Winchester 400: Kyle Busch had chances to win the Winchester 400 on a couple of occasions before, finishing second in 2008, and running for the lead with only a few laps to go a few years ago only to have a wheel come off. The 2009 Winchester 400 trophy went home with him as he raced out to the lead and stayed there. Chris Gabehart took the early lead and ran out to a strong lead before Busch started to reel him in and took the lead on the 61st lap. From there Busch only gave up the lead once under green. Gabehart was a strong challenger until hitting debris and damaging a spindle. Jeff Fultz took the lead from Busch under green but his day ended when his transmission went out with 288 laps to go.(RCA)
Busch says pneumonia forced him out last week: #18-Kyle Busch said it was pneumonia that forced him to give way to a backup driver in last weekend's Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series races at California. But said he's strong enough that he won't need relief in either this weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "I'm still having side affects, still being on the medicine still throws your head for a little loop until you get out there for a few laps,'' Busch said after qualifying for Friday night's Nationwide race. "You just have to get reoriented and have a clean focus on it all. I never had to do it before in my life. It was pretty hard to do. It's something you don't ever want to have to do, but when you get in the car and get hot and your fever starts to rise and you get dizzy, it's just not safe being out there. I never got to that point of being dizzy, but I knew if I stayed in, I would.''(ESPN.com)(10-17-2009)
Busch still sick; replaced by Gilliland during race: #18-Kyle Busch is still sick today, apparently from the flu. Denny Hamlin will standy by in case he needs to step out of the car during the Nationwide race this afternoon. David Gilliland will stand by on Sunday for the Cup race.(10-10-2009)
UPDATE: Busch will reportedly get out of the car at the first pit stop during the Nationwide race and let Hamlin take over.(10-10-2009)
UPDATE 2: Hamlin relieved Busch during the first Nationwide race caution on lap 37. Busch said he was getting too hot in the car and wanted to try to get rid of his fever before Sunday's Cup race.(10-10-2009)
UPDATE 3: SPEED reported on RaceDay that Kyle Busch is still not feeling well this morning.(10-11-2009)
UPDATE 3: Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch is feeling worse Sunday morning and is not expected to drive the entire Pepsi 500 at Auto Club Speedway in California, team president J.D. Gibbs said Sunday morning. David Gilliland will be his replacement. Gilliland is driving for TRG Motorsports but he is not expected to drive the complete race.(SceneDaily)(10-11-2009)
UPDATE: 4: David Gilliland parked the #71 on lap 11 and went to the #18 pits. Kyle Busch came down pit road on lap 61, during the first caution, and was relived by Gilliland.(10-11-2009)
Mars releases 2010 Paint Schemes for #18; adds Doublemint: Mars, Incorporated announced its 2010 NASCAR paint scheme schedule for the #18 Toyota piloted by Kyle Busch in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, which includes the addition of Wrigley's Doublemint gum as another primary sponsor. Mars is also expanding its relationship with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) and COMBOS, shifting gears to sponsor Kyle Busch and the #18 Toyota in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with three paint schemes, replacing the single paint scheme in the 2009 Sprint Cup Series. Mars brands will serve as the primary sponsor of JGR's #18 Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for 30 points races in 2010, including 23 M&M'S races, three Pedigree races, two Snickers races and the two inaugural races for Wrigley's Doublemint gum. M&M'S will also be the primary sponsor of the #18 during the Bud Shootout and Sprint All-Star Race.(Mars PR), see images of the cars on the 2010 #18 Team Schemes page. Interstate Batteries will return and sponsor the car for six (6) races: Auto Club Speedway in February, Texas in April, New Hampshire in June, Daytona in July, Michigan in August and Dover in September (same races as 2009).(9-24-2009)
#18 car too low in post race inspection: UPDATE 2: #18-Kyle Busch, who missed making the Chase by just eight points, finished 5th in the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. But the left front of the #18 M&M's Toyota was too low in post-race inspection, and he could be penalized by NASCAR this week, usually announced on Tuesday afternoons.(ESPN/Associated Press)(9-20-2009)
UPDATE: NASCAR has issued penalties to the #18 team that competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as a result of a rule infraction found last Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The #18 car was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-I (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-12.8 1B (the height of the car at the left front fender did not meet the required specification; too low in post-race inspection) of the 2009 NASCAR rule book. Crew chief Steve Addington has been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Driver Kyle Busch and car owner Joe Gibbs have been penalized 25 championship driver and 25 championship owner points, respectively.(NASCAR PR)(9-22-2009)
UPDATE 2: A statement from Joe Gibbs Racing: "The situation was caused when the left front spring became dislodged. This resulted in the left front corner of the car to be lower and resulted in a change to the car's handling which had to be compensated for during the race. Consequently, the car measured low during post-race inspection. We accept NASCAR's ruling on the issue today."(JGR PR)(9-23-2009)
Kyle Busch has triple 'won' at six tracks: New Hampshire became the sixth track at which #18-Kyle Busch has won a Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck series race, and to appreciate that accomplishment consider this: Only 20 drivers in history have won even one race in each of NASCAR's three national series. Busch won the Truck Series race Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.(Concord Monitor), for the list of drivers who have won in all three series, see my All Time Wins page.(9-21-2009)
JGR hopes to re-sign Busch soon; no 4th team in 2010: Joe Gibbs Racing president J.D. Gibbs said "there's no timetable" on re-signing #18-Kyle Busch, but as far as he's concerned, "the sooner the better." Busch's contract expires after next year . Gibbs added the organization will not race four full-time cars in 2010. When it came to potential sponsorships, Gibbs said there was nothing JGR "felt was appropriate" to properly run a four-car operation. With the way driver contracts fall, 2011 will have a better pool of candidates, namely #9-Kasey Kahne and #29-Kevin Harvick. Gibbs admits that Kahne "is awesome" but indicated a package deal with Budweiser, given the family's religious convictions, "would be hard."(FoxSports)(9-13-2009)
Joe Gibbs Racing wins 75th Sprint Cup Series race: With the victory by #11-Denny Hamlin on his hometrack of Richmond International Raceway, Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) has now totaled 75 victories in NASCAR’s elite racing series. Joe Gibbs Racing, founded by Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach Joe Gibbs in 1992, claimed its first victory on NASCAR’s biggest stage when Dale Jarrett captured the checkered flag at the 1993 Daytona 500. Since then JGR has gone on to win 74 races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (previously Winston Cup Series). “We’re proud to have earned our 75th victory today,” said JGR President J.D. Gibbs. “We have been blessed with dedicated and talented employees as well as outstanding partners and sponsors. When you look back at our 75 victories you realize how fortunate we have been to have such talented drivers and crew chiefs, but the reality is it takes a lot of people working together to be successful in this sport,” added Gibbs. “A big part of the credit belongs to the guys in the shop working long hours preparing our cars for the track and our crews that travel each week to put it all together. JGR’s 75 wins have also helped the multi-car race team capture three NASCAR Cup Series Championships (2000, 2002, and 2005). The team record for wins in a season is 10, which has been done twice, both in 2008 (Kyle Busch 8, Denny Hamlin 1, and Tony Stewart 1) and in 2000 (Stewart 6, Bobby Labonte 4). JGR has seven victories thus far in 2009. In addition to the Cup Series, JGR has now captured 37 NASCAR Nationwide Series victories earning its first Owner’s Championship in that series in 2008.
The list of JGR’s Cup victories by driver:
Tony Stewart (#20).................. 33 Bobby Labonte (#18)............... 21 Kyle Busch (#18).................... 12 Denny Hamlin (#11).................. 6 Dale Jarrett (#18)...................... 2 Joey Logano (#20).................... 1 Total JGR NASCAR Cup Wins.. 75.(JGR)(9-13-2009)
Kyle Busch donates Guitars: #18-Kyle Busch and the Kyle Busch Foundation has donated $30,000 to the National Alliance for Public Education toward the purchase of 150 guitars to be donated to several Nashville schools, apparently as atonement for smashing a classic Gibson guitar in an embarrassing “rock star-style celebration” after a June Nationwide Series victory. But Busch refuses to put his mouth where his money is. He declines to apologize for the guitar-smashing incident that drew widespread criticism and added to his image as the brat-boy of racing. Nashville music producer Mike Curb who co-owns the Baker Curb Racing team, helped facilitate the Busch donation.(Racin' Today)(9-3-2009)
Kyle Busch wins at Bristol: #18-Kyle Busch won the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway for his 4th win of 2009, 16th of his career, and was the first driver to sweep both Bristol Sprint Cup races since his brother Kurt did it in 2003. #5-Martin finished 2nd after giving Busch a run for the win followed by #47-Ambrose [best ever oval track result], #16-Biffle, #11-Hamlin, #39-Newman, #2-Busch, #48-Johnson, #88-Earnhardt Jr. and #17-Kenseth. #48-Johnson was leading late in the race but had a lug nut problem and had to make a 2nd pit stop but was able to recover with an 8th. Points leader #14-Stewart finished 33rd after having all kinds of problem with the radio and some sort of electrical issues, dropping his points lead to 220 points over now 2nd place, #48-Johnson. Busch is now 39 points out of the Chase and the 12th spot with two races to go before the chase, #17-Kenseth is now 12th even thou he finished 10th. There were 11 cautions for 76 caution laps, an 10 minute red flag for a late wreck on lap 492 and there were only 12 lead changes among 5 drivers.
The Sprint Cup Series takes off a week before racing at Atlanta on Septmber 6h - Labor Day weekend.
Scheduled Bristol Race Re-Airs: ESPN2: Sunday, August 23 at 3:00am/et; ESPN Classic: Sunday, August 23 at 1:00pm/et; SPEED, Wednesday, August 26 at 12:00pm/et.
For race results, awards and more, see my Bristol Race Results Page.
For drivers and owners points standings, see the Drivers Points Standings page.(8-22-2009)
Driver wins before age 25: With #18-Kyle Busch winning his 16th career Sprint Cup race, he is now holds the recrod for the most wins under the age of 25 with 16 wins. Busch has 22 more points races to add to that toal before he turns 25 May 2, 2010. The list of dirvers under the age of 25 who have won races:
1. Kyle Busch, 16
2. Jeff Gordon, 15
3. Kurt Busch, 7
(tie) Richard Petty, 7
5. Junior Johnson, 5
Tied with one each: Joey Logano, Bob Burdick. Bobby Hillin Jr.; Parnelli Jones; John Kieper; Terry Labonte, Ryan Newman, Bill Rexford; Fireball Roberts; Donald Thomas; Brian Vickers.(8-23-2009)
Vickers: Busch out of strikes: #83-Brian Vickers says #18-Kyle Busch is "out of strikes" when it comes to how they race each other. On Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway, Vickers was expecting to discuss Sunday's win at Michigan and his new contract with Red Bull Racing. Instead, he was peppered with questions about an argument with Busch following the Nationwide Race. Vickers says "I'm just done," with Busch, and "he's out of rope." The two were once teammates at Hendrick Motorsports, but have since joined new teams. They argued at the end of last Saturday's event when they raced each other so hard that Brad Keselowski was able to scoot past on the final lap to steal the Nationwide win.(Associated Press)(8-21-2009)
Congrats to Joe Gibbs Racing's Jeff Price and wife Lisa on the birth of their son Preston Garrett Price, August 7th , 7 lb, 15 oz, 18 1/2 inches long.(8-7-2009)
No full time Nationwide Series for Kyle Busch in 2010: Kyle Busch joined members of the media on Tuesday night, Aug. 4, 2009 for dinner in Dover. During an interivew he was asked about Nationwide plans for next season. "The plan was last year when we were winning all the Nationwide races and running really well. The plan was initially to go full season and then I felt like our Cup stuff sort of stalled. We cut it back. I didn't go to Milwaukee. I didn't go to Nashville, and I didn't go to a couple others...We thought about it and how our cars are really good and Joe and J.D. (Gibbs) said man wouldn't it be cool to have a Nationwide championship solely JGR owner and driver points, and so I said I want to do it. I want to win a Nationwide championship. Anybody would so our cars have been strong enough and that's why we have done it. We won six races this year. It's been good and maybe it's taken a little bit away from the Cup effort. I don't think it has but were already talking about next year and cutting it back and getting our Cup efforts back up to where they need to be. Hopefully we can get it down to about 22 or 24 Nationwide Series races, just companion stuff not flying all over the place."(Dover Speedway PR)(8-5-2009)
Kyle Busch wins at Anderson Speedway: Racing in his fourth race in four days, Kyle Busch started sixth in the CRA Super Series event and worked his way through traffic to take the lead on the 50th lap of the Redbud 300, his first ever race at Anderson Speedway (IN), then held it until the half way break. After the restart Eddie Hoffman inherited the lead as he only took 2 tires. Busch restarted in fifth and retook the lead on lap 190 and stayed to win going away. Rick Turner prevailed in the fierce fight for second, with Aaron Pierce third, Johnny VanDoorn fourth and Chuck Barnes, Jr. fifth.(craracing.net)(7-30-2009)
Ganassi to Gibbs? UPDATE denied: The latest rumor is that Chip Ganassi somehow will merge his Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing team [Chevy's w/#1-Truex Jr. (leaves end of 2009) and #42-Montoya] with Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota's w/#18-Busch, #11-Hamlin, #20-Logano], possibly eliminating another owner.(SPEEDtv/Jimmy Spencer)(7-23-2009)