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Race Report: Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Denny Hamlin led Joe Gibbs Racing with a fifth-place finish in today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Speedway. Meanwhile teammate Matt Kenseth joined Hamlin in the top ten with a ninth-place run while David Ragan took the checkered flag in 22nd and an accident left Carl Edwards back in 42nd.

Denny Hamlin started the No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota from the 19th position and was able to climb his way quickly through the field and into the top ten prior to a competition caution following lap 25. Quick work by the FedEx crew on the opening stop put him in the top five for the initial restart of the race. Hamlin would remain in the top ten all day while battling mostly for a spot in the top five throughout the race. He would manage to avoid any major damage when his teammate Edwards drew contact with the No. 5 car and slid down into Hamlin on lap 195. The FedEx Camry would prove just fine as he drove into the third on the ensuring restart. Hamlin would go on to finish with a strong fifth-place effort.

Matt Kenseth started the No. 20 DEWALT Toyota in the sixth position but dropped back outside the top ten on the opening green flag run of the race prior to a competition caution after 25 laps. Kenseth would run outside the top 15 over the course of the next green flag run although he would eventually lead a lap on lap 79 during a round of green flag stops. Crew chief Jason Ratcliff would make adjustments to help his loose handling Camry turn better and the DEWALT car would return to the top ten by lap 100. Kenseth would struggle much of the day on restarts but was able to regain any lost position over the course of each green flag run. He would battle to remain in the top ten and managed to finish with a strong ninth-place effort.

David Ragan qualified the No. 18 M&Ms Crispy Toyota in 13th but a wreck during Saturday’s final practice forced the team to bring out the backup car for the race resulting in having to take the green flag for the start at the back of the field. He would climb to 34th prior to a competition caution following lap 25. The handling on the M&Ms Crispy Camry would struggle back in traffic and Ragan would eventually lose a lap to the leaders. Unfortunately the cautions would not fall when needed for the 18 team and Ragan would go on to finish two laps down in 22nd.

Carl Edwards started the No. 19 Comcast Business Toyota from the 14th position and was able to drive into the top ten on the opening green flag run prior to a competition caution following lap 25. He would remain in the top ten and eventually managed to lead during a round of green flag stops on lap 78. Edwards would battle for a spot inside the top five for much of the afternoon. The Comcast Business Camry was running third when he would draw contact with the No. 5 car on lap 195 causing him to spin down the track and into his teammate Hamlin and eventually making contact with the inside wall. The damage would force Edwards to the garage for repairs and although the No. 19 crew was able to get him back to the track he would finish 40 laps down to the leaders in 42nd.

Kevin Harvick of Stewart-Haas Racing captured the win, followed by Martin Truex, Jr., Ryan Newman, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and Hamlin rounded out the top five. There were six cautions for a total of 28 laps and 18 lead changes among nine different drivers.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series remains out west next week with a trip to Phoenix. Live coverage on Fox will start Sunday, March 15 at 3 PM ET (race starts at 3:30 PM ET). The race will also be carried on Sirius NASCAR radio channel 90.

J5 Tactical Will Serve as Associate Sponsor On No. 19 Toyota Camry in Sprint Cup Series for 2015

Becomes Official Flashlight of Joe Gibbs Racing

Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announces today that J5 Tactical will serve as an associate sponsor on the No. 19 Toyota Camry driven by Carl Edwards in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the 2015 season

In addition, J5 Tactical will become the official flashlight for Joe Gibbs Racing.

J5 Tactical produces industrial strength flashlights for everyday carry and use. With competitive pricing, the highest quality engineering and manufacturing, and world class customer support, the J5 Tactical flashlight brand is an exceptional choice for flashlight needs. They offer three models, our V1 with 250 Lumen power, the V2 with 750 lumen power, and the 732A with 1000 Lumen power. Their products and further information can be found at www.J5Tactical.com.

“J5 Tactical is excited to be associated with Joe Gibbs Racing and number 19 Carl Edwards,” said TJ Johnson, CEO of J5 Tactical. “We’re looking forward to our flashlights shining bright in the winner’s circle this year.”

Drivers Confirmed to Pilot No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota in Upcoming NASCAR XFINITY Series Events

Denny Hamlin and Erik Jones Add Additional Races
Boris Said to Pilot Monster Energy Camry in Seven Events in 2015

Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announces today that Denny Hamlin will fill in for Kyle Busch behind the wheel of the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota Camry in this weekend’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway and in four subsequent events.

Kyle Busch continues to rest comfortably in his home in Charlotte, North Carolina before rehabilitating from a compound fracture of the right lower leg and left mid-foot fracture, both injuries resulted from an accident during the February 21 XFINITY Series race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

No specific timetable has been announced for Busch’s return to the race track, however interim drivers have been confirmed to pilot the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota moving forward. JGR teammate Hamlin will compete in the role this Saturday, March 7, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and again March 21 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana (Ca.), April 10 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, April 18 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and May 23 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

Hamlin is currently running a full season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for Joe Gibbs Racing in the No. 11 Toyota and was previously confirmed to run in six JGR XFINITY Series events this season in support of other team sponsors. This brings Hamlin’s 2015 XFINITY Series schedule now to 11 events.

In addition, JGR announces that team member Erik Jones will again drive the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota in the XFINITY Series next weekend at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway on March 14 and subsequently April 24 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, for a total of three race events supporting the No. 54 team. Jones raced this past weekend with the Monster Energy program at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway and accomplished a 13th-place finish from a 12th-place qualifying effort.

Jones continues to run a full season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports and a partial schedule for JGR in the No. 20 NASCAR XFINITY Series Camry. This brings Jones’ 2015 XFINITY Series schedule now to an estimated 19 events.

Also joining the Monster Energy/Joe Gibbs Racing stable of drivers to support the No. 54 Toyota this season is Carlsbad, California native Boris Said. As in the previous two years when JGR named substitute drivers to supplement Busch’s schedule, the 52-year old NASCAR veteran will pilot seven XFINITY Series events with the No. 54 team including Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway on May 2 and non-companion XFINITY series events at Iowa Speedway in Newton on May 17 and August 1, Chicagoland (Ill.) Speedway on June 20, Mid Ohio Sportscar Course on August 15, Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin on August 29 and Kentucky Speedway in Sparta on September 26.

Although known primarily for his superior road-course racing abilities, Said has competed in 137 events across NASCAR’s top three divisions, on all types of racetracks. Additionally Said has recorded time in the K&N East/West Series, ARCA, V8 Supercars, Grand-Am Sports Car, American Le Mans, Tudor United Sports Car and other exhibition series races. Said has experienced on-track time with various team owners and with all of NASCAR’s manufacturer partners including Toyota Racing in 2010. In the XFINITY Series Said has registered 23 races and one victory earned in 2010 at the Montreal, Canada event.

“We hate this for Kyle (Busch) obviously and I think everyone is focused on getting him back healthy,” said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. “We can’t thank Monster Energy and all of our partners enough for working with us while Kyle is recovering and certainly it is nice to have Denny (Hamlin) and Erik (Jones) ready to fill in. We’re also excited that Boris (Said) will have the opportunity to drive the car for seven races in 2015.”

“We are excited to be able to have talent like Denny (Hamlin), Erik (Jones) and road racing guru Boris Said to come in and back up Kyle in tough times. Of course we miss Kyle and wish he was out there for us, but we have full confidence in all our guys,” states Vice President of Sports Marketing for Monster Energy Mitch Covington.