Joe Gibbs Racing
J. D. Gibbs
|Base||Huntersville, North Carolina|
|Series||Sprint Cup Series
|Race drivers||Sprint Cup Series:
11. Denny Hamlin
18. Kyle Busch
20. Matt Kenseth
81. Number of Drivers
11. Elliott Sadler
20. Matt Kenseth (17 races)
54. Kyle Busch
Sam Hornish, Jr.
|Sponsors||Sprint Cup Series:
18. M&M's//Interstate Batteries/Snickers/Skittles
20. Husky Tools/Dollar General
11. OneMain Financial/Sport Clips
20. Reser's Fine Foods/Game Stop
54. Monster Energy
|Debut||1992 Daytona 500|
|Drivers' Championships||Sprint Cup Series: 2000, 2002, 2005
Nationwide Series: 2009
Sprint Cup Series: 112
Nationwide Series: 91
Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) is a group of NASCAR racing teams owned and operated by former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs, who first started racing on the NASCAR circuit in 1991, and J. D. Gibbs, his son. Headquartered in Huntersville, North Carolina, near Charlotte, the team has amassed three Sprint Cup championships since the year 2000 and participated in other lower-tier NASCAR series for driver development, winning one championship in the East Division of the NASCAR Camping World. For the team's first sixteen seasons, JGR ran cars from General Motors. During that period, the team won their three championships, two in Pontiac Grand Prixes and one in a Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Despite this, JGR felt as if they weren't as important as some of the other GM teams such as Hendrick Motorsports and Richard Childress Racing. Therefore, during the 2007 season Joe Gibbs Racing announced that they would be ending their arrangement with GM at the end of the year and begin running Toyotas the following season. Since then, JGR has become the strongest and has won the most out of any Toyota team.
The team currently fields the No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry for Denny Hamlin, the No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry for Kyle Busch,the No. 20 Husky / Dollar General Toyota Camry for Matt Kenseth and the 81 Toyota Camry as a R&D car in the Sprint Cup Series. They also field the #11 OneMain Financial Toyota Camry for Elliott Sadler, the #20 Reser's Fine Foods/GameStop Toyota Camry part-time for Kenseth, as well as the #54 Monster Energy Toyota Camry for Busch and Sam Hornish, Jr. in the Nationwide Series.
Car #11 History
Previously JGR's research and development car, what is now the #11 car debuted at the 2003 Pepsi 400 as #80, driven by Mike Bliss and sponsored by Advair and finishing 26th. The car remained idle until the 2004 Tropicana 400, when Bliss finished 31st in the ConAgra/Slim Jim machine. After a fourth place finish in the fall race at Richmond International Raceway, the team switched to #11, and Ricky Craven finished 30th at Talladega, and J. J. Yeley running two races in the car. The car went full-time in 2005, receiving sponsorship from FedEx and Jason Leffler driving. Leffler was released after struggling in 19 starts and Yeley, Terry Labonte, and Denny Hamlin finished out the season with Mike Ford replacing Dave Rogers as the crew chief. Hamlin had the most starts (7) and finished in the top 10 three times. He was awarded the #11 FedEx Express full-time ride in 2006 in addition to his full-time Busch schedule in the #20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet. By the end of July 2006, Hamlin had three poles and three victories (the Budweiser Shootout and both Pocono Raceway races) to give the rookie a berth in the Chase for the Cup, where he would finish 3rd in points. In 2007, Hamlin won the first of two races at New Hampshire International Speedway in 2007, and finished 12th in points. In 2008, Hamlin won the Gatorade Duel and the first race at Martinsville Speedway, and improved to eighth in points. He qualified for the Chase again in 2009 after winning the second race at Pocono Raceway and Richmond International Raceway. He ended the season with four victories after winning Martinsville and Homestead-Miami Speedway in the chase.
2010 was Hamlin and the 11 team's breakout year. They won at Martinsville and Denny followed the win by having knee surgery. After the surgery, the team won 4 of the next 10 races at Texas, Darlington, Pocono, and Michigan. The team made the chase after another win at Richmond. The team won races during the chase at Martinsville and Texas and held the points lead going into the season finale. However, an early wreck would put them behind the competition, and Hamlin wound up finishing second to Jimmie Johnson during the 2010 chase. Hamlin later admitted to putting too much pressure on himself during the Chase, which mentally impacted him. As a result, Mike Ford took a "no compromise" attitude for 2011, hoping to right the ship. However, the team struggled throughout 2011, with multiple blown engines and a single win at Michigan to push the #11 into the Chase. Hamlin would finish 9th in the final standings. At season's end, Mike Ford was released as crew chief and was replaced by Tony Stewart's crew chief Darian Grubb.
Under Darian Grubb the team started 2012 off in the best way possible by winning the second race of the season at Phoenix. That win was followed with another victory at Kansas six weeks later. The 11 team once again proved dominant on the short tracks pulling off a convincing win in the Bristol Night Race in August. The week after Bristol, the No. 11 FedEx team brought home another victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway, making the No. 11 the car number with the most wins in NASCAR with 200 wins. Hamlin then won the Sylvania 300, giving Joe Gibbs Racing its 100th win.
Car #18 History
Joe Gibbs Racing debuted at the 1992 Daytona 500 with Dale Jarrett driving the #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet Lumina to a 36th place finish after a crash. The team improved dramatically the next year, when Jarrett won the Daytona 500, and finished a then career-high 4th in points.
In 1995 Labonte won 3 races, sweeping Michigan and winning at Charlotte and finishing 10th in points started a decade of success between Labonte and Joe Gibbs Racing. In 1996 the team struggled to win until the season finale at Atlanta and finished 11th in points. In 1997 the team had a similar year to the previous but managed to improve to 7th in points. Their lone win came at the season finale. The team improved in 1998 by winning races at Atlanta and Talladega en route to 6th place in points.
1999 was a breakout year for the 18 team. They scored 5 wins which came at Dover, Michigan, Atlanta and both races at Pocono. The team came just short of the championship and finished 2nd in points. once again at Atlanta. In 2000 the team rebounded from the disappointments of finishing 2nd in 1999 to win the championships in 2000. The championship year included wins at Rockingham, Indianapolis, Darlington and Charlotte. The 18 team has failed to win a championship since this year.
The team faced disappointment in 2001 after high expectations following the championship season. Only 2 races were won at Pocono and Atlanta. He finished 6th in points. 2002 was the team's worst year since Labonte joined the team. After only scoring a win and Martinsville and finished a disappointing 16th in points. The team rebounded in 2003 scoring 2 wins at Atlanta and Homestead and finished 8th in points. The team failed to win races in 2004 and 2005 finishing 12th and 24th respectively. Even though the team made some progression in 2004, the team made a midseason firing of crew chief Michael McSwain, and Brandon Thomas took over for the rest of the season. Steve Addington, a Gibbs Busch Series crew chief, was named new crew chief for the 2005 season, but a rash of troubles, some caused by mechanical problems, continued to daunt the team, including a loss in the final turn at the Coca-Cola 600, led to the departure of Labonte following the end of 2005. In total, Labonte won 21 races in the car, and won the then Winston Cup championship in 2000. After Labonte's departure, Gibbs announced that Busch Series driver J. J. Yeley would replace Labonte in the #18 for 2006 and 2007. Yeley raced two seasons for Gibbs, and after failing to finish higher than 21st in points, he moved to Hall of Fame Racing.
On August 14, 2007, Kyle Busch signed a contract to drive the number 18 with Joe Gibbs Racing through 2010. Mars, Inc. was signed as the team's primary sponsor, leaving Robert Yates Racing, as Interstate Batteries became a secondary sponsor and the team left the GM brands in favor of becoming Toyota's highest-profile team. Busch gave Toyota its first Cup win on March 9, 2008. Busch led a race-high 173 laps to win the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. In his first year in the 18, Busch had brought the car back to its former glory, winning 7 other races at Talladega, Darlington, Dover, Infineon, Daytona, Chicagoland, and Watkins Glen all after only the first 23 races. In 2009 he won the Gatorade Duel, Las Vegas, Richmond and both Bristol races, but failed to qualify for the Chase by only 8 points. As a result, longtime JGR crew chief Steve Addington was fired near the end of the season, and coincidentally went to crew chief for Kyle's brother Kurt Busch at Penske Racing. Dave Rogers, Busch's Nationwide Series crew chief, took over the pit box in 2010. The year produced 3 victories at Richmond, Dover and Bristol, but another struggle in the final 10 races to finish 7th in the standings. 2011 was a definite up and down year for the 18 team. The team won at Bristol and Richmond early in the season, as well as the inaugural Cup race at Kentucky and the August race at Michigan. However, the team struggled through the beginning of the 2011 season, but pulled up to 4th after finishing 2nd at Charlotte. However, Busch was parked by NASCAR for intentionally spinning out Ron Hornaday in the Texas Truck race, and the ban extended to include the Nationwide and Cup series races at Texas. Hamlin and Michael McDowell would replace Busch that weekend, but the damage had been done. Mars pulled its sponsorship for the final two races, forcing JGR to run the #18 with its Interstate sponsorship. Busch struggled in those races and was relegated to tenth in the final standings.
In 2012, Busch had one points victory which he got at the Capital City 400. He also won the Budweiser Shootout to open the season. However, he didn't make the Chase by 3 points, but although he wasn't in the Chase, he got the best Chase ever with 7 top 5 and 8 top 10 finishes and he finished the year in 13th place nearly 100 points ahead of Ryan Newman who finished the year 14th.
In 2013, Busch returned to the #18. He won the second Budweiser Duel, and won the pole at Bristol. He also swept the Fontana and Texas race weekends, winning the Nationwide and Cup races, giving Joe Gibbs his first win at Fontana in Sprint Cup competition and first win for himself at Texas. Later, he finally won the race at Watkins Glen and got his second victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Car #20 History
Tony Stewart trotted out the #20 Home Depot car at the 1999 Daytona 500, qualifying on the outside pole. He won three races at Richmond, Phoenix and Homestead as well as the Winston Open and the NASCAR Rookie of the Year honors and finished 4th in points.
2000 was an up and down year for Stewart as he won six races, including both Dover races, Martinsville, New Hampshire, Michigan and Homestead but only finished 6th in points. 2001 was another good year for Stewart, as he won the Budweiser Shootout, Richmond, Infineon and Bristol and finished 2nd in the overall standings.
2002 was a break-out year for Stewart with wins at Atlanta, Richmond and Watkins Glen along with the Budweiser Shootout and the team won the 2002 championship. In 2003, Stewart won twice at Pocono and Charlotte and finished 7th in points. In 2004 the team had a similar year to 2003 with 2 wins and finished 6th in points in the first ever chase.
Stewart won his second championship in 2005. After winning the Gatorade Duel, the team didn't win again until Infineon and went on to win the Pepsi 400 at Daytona, New Hampshire, Indianapolis and Watkins Glen and held the championship through the Chase.
2006 was Stewart's worst season statistically. After winning early at Martinsville, Stewart suffered an injury at Charlotte and was replaced during Dover. He won again at Daytona but missed the Chase. During the Chase, Stewart won 3 races at Kansas, Atlanta and Texas and finished 11th in points. 2007 was another good year for the team. Though Stewart won the Budweiser Shootout and Gatorade Duel, an early wreck smashed his Daytona 500 hopes. The team won 3 races though at Chicagoland, Indianapolis and Watkins Glen and finished 6th in points.
In 2008 Stewart struggled, getting a lot of second place finishes. On June 9, 2008, Stewart was granted a release from his final year of his contract with Joe Gibbs Racing and moved to Haas CNC Racing, renamed Stewart-Haas Racing due to Stewart's 50% ownership. On August 25, 2008, Joe Gibbs Racing announced Joey Logano would replace Stewart as the driver of the #20 car for the 2009 season in the Sprint Cup Series. Stewart won the 2008 AMP Energy 500 at Talladega during the Chase.
In 2009 Logano won the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 and won Rookie of the Year with seven top-ten finishes. The team finished 20th in points.
Logano failed to win in 2010 and finished 16th in points.
In 2011 Logano again was winless and finished 24th in points. On October 13, 2011, Joe Gibbs Racing announced The Home Depot will become co-primary sponsor for Logano's car with Dollar General. Dollar General is set to sponsor 12 races while the other 22 will continue to be sponsored by The Home Depot. The Home Depot had served as the sole primary sponsor of the #20 car since its debut with Tony Stewart in 1999. Logano won his second career race at Pocono from the pole in the 2012 Pocono 400 after passing Mark Martin with 3 laps to go.
Beginning in 2013, the #20 car was taken over by Matt Kenseth, who left Roush Fenway Racing, as Joey Logano moved to the #22 at Penske Racing. The team saw a resurgence, with Kenseth winning five races in the regular season (Las Vegas, Kansas, Darlington, Kentucky, and Bristol), and led the most laps at several other races (Daytona 500, Kansas, Richmond and Talladega). Kenseth also won the first two races of the Chase, bringing the team up to 7 wins - which was more wins in a single season than the car had ever achieved with Stewart or Logano.
Car #81 History
JGR occasionally fields a fourth car for R&D purposes. In 2007, Aric Almirola made his NEXTEL Cup debut in the #80 car at Las Vegas. He was scheduled to drive at the All-Star Race and Coca-Cola 600, but he suffered a practice crash and the car was withdrawn from both races. In 2008, Joey Logano drove this car, renumbered as 02, with The Home Depot sponsorship and a reverse scheme of teammate Tony Stewart's. He was to make his Sprint Cup debut at Richmond International Raceway, but qualifying was rained out by Tropical Storm Hanna and at Atlanta qualifying was rained out so he could not race. This car returned in 2009 with sponsorship from Farm Bureau Insurance, who had been banned from the Nationwide Series due to the Viceroy Rule. David Gilliland drove in the three races it ran. After the 2009 season, Farm Bureau Insurance announced they would not return for the 2010 season, plans have not been announced yet for this team.
Elliott Sadler planned to drive the #81 Alert Energy Caffeine Gum Toyota Camry in 2 races in 2013. At Kansas, he got out of the racing groove and wrecked in turn 3. He failed to qualify at Talladega after rain washed out qualifying and was set by owner points as the 81 was too low in points. After Alert Energy was pulled from the market, Doublemint sponsored the car at Talladega.
Car #11 History
What would become the #11 car debuted during the 2005 season as the #19 car at the CarQuest Auto Parts 300. It was driven by Labonte and sponsored by Banquet Foods. Labonte ran seven races that year, with three top-tens. With Labonte moving to Petty Enterprises, JGR development driver Aric Almirola ran the car in seven races in 2006. Tony Stewart also drove the car at select races in 2006, using his NEXTEL Cup crew when he raced. The #19 team was disbanded after the 2006 season. The car returned as the #11 for 2011 and was driven by Brian Scott, who brought sponsorship from his family-owned Shore Lodge. The new team was constantly hampered by bad luck during races. For 2012 Scott was sponsored by Dollar General, but experienced more struggles with a best finish of 3rd at Dover. Scott was released at the end of the season and was replaced by Elliott Sadler, who brought sponsorship from OneMain Financial with him from Richard Childress Racing.
Car #18 History
The current 18 car came under Gibbs control when he purchased the #44 Shell Oil Pontiac from Labonte, who had been operating the team under his control. The team made its debut under the Gibbs banner at the 1998 NAPA Auto Parts 300 with Stewart driving, he qualified 9th but finished 31st after a crash. At the next week at Rockingham Speedway, Stewart qualified on the pole, led 60 laps and finished 2nd. Stewart ran a total of 22 races that year, with five top-five finishes and winning two pole positions. Labonte ran five races that year in that car in 1998, winning the Diamond Hill Plywood 200. The team switched to #18 with sponsorship from MBNA for 1999, but Labonte ran only one race before he suffered shoulder injuries in a qualifying crash at Darlington. Late in the year, Jason Leffler ran four races in the car that year, his best finish being a 20th at Memphis Motorsports Park. Leffler ran the car full-time in 2000, winning a pole at Texas Motor Speedway, and posting three top-ten finishes. After that season, he left for Chip Ganassi Racing, and Jeff Purvis took his place. Purvis started off strong and was seventh in points but was released after the GNC Live Well 250 because of sponsorship issues. Mike McLaughlin took his place, and finished seventh in points that season. Despite not winning again in 2002, he moved up to fourth place in points. However, Gibbs wanted his son Coy a ride in the car, and forced McLaughlin out. In his rookie season, Gibbs had two top-ten finishes and finished runner-up to David Stremme for Rookie of the Year. Despite new sponsorship from Vigoro and The Home Depot, the team decided to run a part-time schedule in 2004, with Labonte returning for two races and J. J. Yeley running seventeen races, garnering four top-ten finishes. Yeley ran the car full-time in 2005, finishing in the top-ten twelve times and finishing 11th in points. Yeley continued to run full-time in 2006, finishing 5th in the points standings with 3 poles, 9 top 5's, 22 top 10's and 27 top 15's. Yeley announced in Daytona that he would be driving in the #1 Miccosukee Gaming and Resorts Chevrolet for Phoenix Racing in the 2007 NASCAR Busch Series. In late November, former Brewco Motorsports development driver Brad Coleman signed a contract to drive for Joe Gibbs Racing. Coleman ran 17 of the 35 NASCAR Nationwide Series races during the 2007 season, sharing the #18 Chevy with Tony Stewart, Aric Almirola, and Kevin Conway. Carino’s Italian Grill sponsored Coleman, while Z-Line Designs sponsored Conway and Goody's/ConAgra Foods sponsored Almirola and Tony Stewart. Almirola put the car on the pole at the season opener at Daytona, while Coleman earned his first career Busch Series pole at Talladega. Coleman returned to Brewco Motorsports and the #18 was piloted by the team of Hamlin and Busch with sponsorship coming from Southern Farm Bureau, Interstate Batteries, and Z-Line Designs. Despite running a partial schedule, Busch won ten races in 2008, eight in the #18, while Hamlin won once at Dover. Busch would finish seventh in points. In 2009, Kyle Busch won the Nationwide Series Championship driving the #18 Z-Line Designs, NOS Toyota. In 2010, Kyle Busch shared with Brad Coleman in the #18 car, with Busch running most of the companion weekends and Coleman running the stand alone races.. For 2011, Busch drove the #18 for a majority of the season, splitting the ride with Michael McDowell, who ran both Iowa races, Lucas Oil Raceway, and the road courses Road America and Circuit Gilles Villeneuve with sponsorship from Pizza Ranch. McDowell won the pole at Road America and dominated until late race contact with another car. Drivers Kelly Bires, Drew Herring, and Joey Logano also took turns in the 18. Bires ran at Richmond and Chicago with International Comfort Products Corporation, Herring drove at the second Nashville race with Sport Clips, and Logano drove the 18 at Chicago, Dover, Kansas, and Phoenix. For 2012 the 18 would have a similar lineup, featuring Hamlin, Logano, Herring, McDowell, and Ryan Truex. Logano would take a whooping 7 victories with the 18 team, handing the team the Nationwide Owners' Championship. For 2013, the 18 and 20 teams swapped. Matt Kenseth drove the 18 for 16 races with sponsorship from Reser's Fine Foods and GameStop. He won the July race at Daytona and the October race at Kansas.
Car #20 history
After JGR purchased the team from Gary Bechtel in 2000, the team got sponsorship from Porter-Cable. Despite missing three races, driver Jeff Purvis had eleven top-tens and one pole, finishing 11th in points. The team switched to #20 for 2001, and Mike McLaughlin was named the driver. Without a major sponsor, McLaughlin was able to win the Subway 300 and was sixth in points when Gibbs decided to shut down his team because of sponsorship problems. He moved to the 18, and finished seventh in points that year. Coy Gibbs ran five races in the #20 in 2002, with sponsorship from ConAgra Foods. His best finish was a 14th at Kentucky Speedway. After he moved to the 18, Gibbs was replaced by Mike Bliss and Rockwell Automation came aboard as sponsor. Bliss had fourteen top-tens and finished tenth in points. In 2004, he pulled off a win at Lowe's Motor Speedway and had three poles. In 2005, Denny Hamlin came aboard, and posted eleven top-ten's and finished fifth points, the third-place finisher in rookie points. He ran the full schedule in the #20 in 2006, winning twice and finishing 4th in points. Denny Hamlin and Aric Almirola drove the 20 in 2007 with Tony Stewart also piloting the #20 at Atlanta. Hamlin took the car to victory lane four times including Darlington, Milwaukee, Michigan, and Dover with Milwaukee being credited to Almirola for starting the race. The #20 finished 2nd in the owners points behind RCR's #29. The #20 was shared by Hamlin, Busch and Stewart for 9 races before defending NASCAR Camping World East Series champion Joey Logano was named the driver of the 20 for the rest of the season's races except for Loudon (which Stewart won in the #20), Daytona (which Hamlin won in the #20), and Chicago (which Busch won in the #18). All four drivers of the #20 won races driving it in 2008. In 2010, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin and Matt DiBenedetto shared the #20 car, with Hamlin winning at Darlington and Logano winning at Kentucky and Kansas. For 2011, Logano returned to the #20 with sponsorship from GameStop and Sport Clips. Logano ran the first 10 races but picked up last minute sponsorship from Harvest Investments to run Nashville. Due to a lack of sponsorship, the 20 was unable to run a full schedule for the owners championship. In the 20, Logano grabbed his first superspeedway win at the July Daytona race with help from Kyle Busch. The 20 was also driven by Denny Hamlin at Las Vegas, Richmond, and Darlington, with Hamlin winning at Richmond. Drew Herring drove the 20 with Sport Clips at both Iowa races, where Herring won the pole for the May race, and Lucas Oil Raceway. Ryan Truex stepped into the 20 late in the season for six races.
The 20 team returned in 2012 to run most of the season. Its primary driver lineup consisted of Logano, Hamlin, Truex, and JGR development driver Darrell Wallace, Jr. Michael Waltrip Racing driver Clint Bowyer also drove the #20 at Daytona when Hamlin was sidelined from the race by back problems.
Car #54 History
This is JGR's 4th Nationwide team for 2013. JGR driver Kyle Busch ran 26 races. Busch didn't take long to get to victory lane. He won the pole, lead the most laps, and won the race in only the second race of the 2013 season at Phoenix International Raceway. He too had won at Bristol Motor Speedway (4th race) and at Fontana (5th race). During the 2013 season, he won a total of 12 races.
Following the August 16, 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Michigan International Speedway, NASCAR used a dynometer to test the horsepower of several cars from all competing manufacturers. While testing the Joe Gibbs Racing cars, officials found that the throttle pedal on the two Joe Gibbs Racing cars had been manipulated using magnets a quarter-inch thick to prevent the accelerator from going 100 percent wide open. Joe Gibbs issued a statement saying "we will take full responsibility and accept any penalties NASCAR levies against us" and "we will also investigate internally how this incident took place and who was involved and make whatever decisions are necessary to ensure that this kind of situation never happens again. Subsequently, NASCAR made regulation change specifically to Toyota, which mandated them to run a smaller restrictor plate to cut horsepower by estimated 15 to 20 horsepower (15 kW) from their engines. Toyota went on to win 20 of the 35 races in the season, 19 of them by Joe Gibbs Racing.
On January 5, 2008 the Muscle Milk/Toyota/JGRMX Supercross / Motocross Team which was founded by Coy Gibbs debut at round one of the 2008 Supercross Series in Aneheim CA. In 2009 JGRMX rider Josh Grant won the opening round of the Supercross Series Championship at Angel Stadium. The team has grown in numbers and in 2014 riders include Josh Grant and Phillip Nicoletti. Josh Grant runs the number 33. The team also has an amateur support program that just in its first year yielded numerous amateur national titles, including multiple titles for 16 year old star- Chase Bell.
- http://www.racing-reference.info/drivdet/sadleel01/2013/W. Missing or empty
- Spencer, Lee (January 5, 2014). "Sources: Hornish to share car with Kyle Busch in Nationwide Series". FOX Sports. Retrieved January 5, 2014.
- "Reser’s Fine Foods and GameStop Return to Sponsor Matt Kenseth in 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series". Business Wire. January 22, 2014. Retrieved January 22, 2014.
- autosport.com – Gibbs facing penalties for dyno 'cheat'