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Race Report: Texas Motor Speedway

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Carl Edwards led Joe Gibbs Racing with a 10th-place finish in today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Meanwhile teammates Denny Hamlin finished 11th, David Ragan was 13th and late-race issues left Matt Kenseth to finish 23rd.

Carl Edwards started the No. 19 STANLEY Racing for a Miracle Toyota in 16th and patiently worked his way into the top 15 and was running 11th at lap 125. He would work his way into the top ten and following a tremendous pit stop by his STANLEY crew he would restart fifth on lap 179. Edwards would hold the sixth position at lap 200. A caution on lap 228 would bring them back down pit road and Edwards would line up fifth for the ensuing restart with 100 laps to go. He was running seventh when another caution came out with 86 laps to go and the STANLEY Racing for a Miracle Camry held seventh for the restart with 80 to go. Another caution quickly followed and Edwards would bring the 19 back down pit road for four fresh tires. With several teams making the decision to remain out on the track he would restart 13th with 65 to go. The decision proved a good one for the 19 team as Edwards quickly climbed up to eighth and was sixth with 54 laps to go. He continued to climb forward and was fourth when a caution came out with 41 laps to go. Another great stop allowed the 19 to line up fourth for a restart with 36 laps to go. Edwards would get pushed up high on the restart and dropped back to run eighth before eventually taking the checkered flag in 10th.

Denny Hamlin started the No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota from the 18th position and struggled with tight conditions early on as he dropped back outside the top 20 on the opening green flag run. Hamlin would work his way back toward the top 15 and was set to line up 16th after a round of pit stops following a lap 109 caution, but NASCAR ruled he had driven through too many pit boxes forcing him to drop to the rear of the field. He would work his way back to 21st with 200 laps remaining. A caution would keep Hamlin on the lead lap and he was able to drive up to 15th at lap 200. A caution on lap 228 would bring the FedEx Camry down pit road and a great stop allowed Hamlin to restart ninth with 100 laps to go. He would hold that spot until another caution with 86 laps to go brought the 11 down pit road yet again. Hamlin would get boxed in his pit stall during the round of stops causing him to lose several spots and he would restart 13th with 80 to go. A quick caution followed and the FedEx team made the call to gain track position by not pitting. Hamlin would restart fifth with 65 laps to go. Despite having older tires he would hold onto the eighth position with 50 laps to go. Another great stop by the 11 team allowed him to restart eighth with 35 laps to go and Hamlin would go on to finish 11th.

David Ragan qualified the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota in 30th and proved fast from the outset as he climbed into the top 20 over the opening 20 laps. He would continue to climb his way toward the top 10 and was running 14th at lap 125. Ragan would crack the top ten and was into ninth with 150 laps remaining and gained another spot to run eighth at lap 200. A caution on lap 228 would bring the leaders down pit road and Ragan would line up 10th for a restart with 100 laps to go. He would report that the car had become loose and he dropped back to 16th prior to the next caution with 86 laps remaining. He would restart from 16th with 80 to go. Crew chief Adam Stevens would make the call not to pit following a quick caution and Ragan lined up sixth for the restart with 65 to go. Despite having older tires than those that pitted and battling a loose handling race car he was able to hold the 10th position with 40 to go. He would restart 10th with 35 laps remaining and went on to finish 13th.

Matt Kenseth started the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota in 17th and was able to gain five spots on the opening green flag run. He would race 10th at lap 100 despite battling tight handling conditions throughout the evening. Kenseth was running 11th at lap 200. A caution on lap 228 would bring the Dollar General Camry back down pit road and he would restart 11th with 100 laps to go. He would continue to hold that spot for another restart with 80 to go. A quick caution followed and the Dollar General team made the call to remain on the track and lined up fourth for a restart with 65 to go. The older tires would give way to some who pitted for fresher tires but Kenseth was able to hold the ninth spot with 50 laps to go. Kenseth would continue to battle the handling on his Dollar General Camry which was loose entering the turns and tight in the center. He would get loose and make contact with the outside wall bringing out a caution with 41 laps to go. Quick work by his Dollar General crew allowed him to still restart 11th with 35 to go. The damage would impact the handling even further however and Kenseth was forced to drop back in the field. He would finish 23rd.

Jimmie Johnson captured the win, followed by Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Joey Logano and Brad Keselowki rounded out the top five. There were eight cautions for a total of 40 laps and 29 lead changes among nine different drivers.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will come back to the east coast next week for a race on the small track confines of Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday April 19. Fox will broadcast the race live with coverage starting at 12:30 PM (race begins at 1 PM ET).

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ACE HARDWARE FOUNDATION RACES FOR MIRACLES IN FORT WORTH, TEXAS

Carl Edwards vies for win to benefit children through ninth annual “Racing for a Miracle” program

The Ace Hardware Foundation has its hopes set on Joe Gibbs Racing driver Carl Edwards, as he races for miracles this weekend at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.
The “Racing for a Miracle” initiative is a multi-faceted program celebrated in collaboration with the No. 19 STANLEY Racing team, the Ace Hardware Foundation and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals) – all to benefit children by raising funds for the hospitals that provide their care.

If Edwards and the No. 19 team win, STANLEY will donate $1 million to CMN Hospitals through the Ace Hardware Foundation. The pledge is part of one of the most successful and longest-running campaigns in NASCAR that benefits patients of CMN Hospitals. Regardless of the race’s outcome, the “Racing for a Miracle” program with STANLEY and the Ace Hardware Foundation will once again pledge $100,000 to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. It’s a total contribution to CMN Hospitals of more than half a million dollars since the program started.

“Our STANLEY team never needs to be motivated to win a race, but we have the opportunity to race for $1 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, and that really encourages all of us,” said Edwards. “We have to thank the Ace Hardware Foundation for continuing to support this program and giving us this opportunity. It would be the highlight of my career to be able to win this Saturday night for these kids.”

As part of the special week of events, representatives from the Ace Hardware Foundation, CMN Hospitals, STANLEY, and Joe Gibbs Racing, including Edwards and members of the No. 19 STANLEY pit crew, visited Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth. While at the hospital, representatives spent time with the patients and their family members by giving them an inside look at the STANLEY race team, including pit stop demonstrations.

On April 10, Edwards along with representatives from STANLEY will present the $100,000 donation to the Ace Hardware Foundation and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at the Texas Motor Speedway. The special scheme includes four very special children who will also serve as “Honorary Crew Members” of the No. 19 team throughout the weekend.

As part of the campaign, the No. 19 racecar made special appearances at several Ace Hardware stores throughout the greater Fort Worth area, including two of Ace retailer Bill Jablonowski’s stores in Keller and Fort Worth, Texas. “I’m incredibly proud to be involved in this year’s ‘Racing for a Miracle’ events,” said Bill Jablonowski, owner of Jabo’s Ace Hardware. “Fundraising is in the DNA of our stores, in fact, in 2014 alone we raised more than $20,000 for our local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Cook Children’s in Fort Worth and Children’s Medical Center of Dallas,” Jablonowski said.

For more information on the “Racing for a Miracle” program, including more ways to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, visit www.stanleymotorsports.com. For more information about Ace Hardware and the Ace Hardware Foundation, please visit www.acehardware.com.

Bosch Charitable Contribution to Benefit Denny Hamlin Foundation

Fourth 2015 NASCAR® Sprint Cup Series™ Win for Bosch-Supported Teams

$1,000 contribution recognizes Hamlin’s STP 500 victory at Martinsville

In recognition of Denny Hamlin’s win at Sunday’s STP 500 at Martinsville, Bosch Automotive Aftermarket NA is contributing $1,000 to the Denny Hamlin Foundation.

Based in Mooresville, NC, the Denny Hamlin Foundation works to raise awareness and funds for children with cystic fibrosis. The foundation partners with organizations that focus on cystic fibrosis research, treatment advances and overall quality-of-life care. The Foundation also helps children with other chronic illnesses. Beneficiaries of the Denny Hamlin Foundation include: Children’s Hospital of Richmond, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Medical University of South Carolina Children’s Hospital, The NASCAR Foundation and Victory Junction Gang Camp.

Sunday’s win marked the fourth of the 2015 NASCAR® Sprint Cup Series™ by a Bosch-supported team and the fourth donation made by Bosch to team charities.

“It was great to see Denny Hamlin, and Joe Gibbs Racing, back in Victory Lane at Martinsville. Denny Hamlin is as good as it gets when it comes to short track racing, and Bosch is pleased to make this contribution to his foundation,” said Tony Pauly, director of advertising and brand management for Bosch Automotive Aftermarket North America. “Bosch also takes tremendous pride knowing that winning racing organizations like Joe Gibbs Racing depend on quality parts from Bosch to get them to Victory Lane.”

Bosch Aftermarket has a long-standing partnership with the NASCAR® Sprint Cup SeriesTM. Bosch has been providing quality parts — such as oxygen sensors, spark plugs, injectors, alternators, coils, filters, fuel pumps, starters and pressure regulators — to several NASCAR® top-performing teams for more than a decade.

Race Report: Martinsville Speedway

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Denny Hamlin wins Martinsville

Joe Gibbs Racing brought four strong cars to battle at the famed short track of Martinsville Speedway in today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500.

Denny Hamlin would win and it appeared his teammates would join the celebration in the top ten with the team running first, second, fifth and sixth and just 75 laps remaining. Matt Kenseth and David Ragan finished strong days with fourth- and fifth-place finishes respectively and only two late-race flat tires kept Carl Edwards for joining them up front as he finished 17th.

Denny Hamlin started the No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota from the 15th position but as is often the case at the famed short track, the now five-time Martinsville winner showed great speed as he worked his way through the field to take his first lead of the day on lap 148. Hamlin would lead the next 17 laps before a caution brought the leaders down pit road. A penalty for an uncontrolled tire during the ensuing stop would force him toward the back of the lead lap cars and he would restart 27th on lap 172. Following a caution Hamlin would restart back inside the top-20 in 19th on lap 188 and was up to 14th by lap 200. He would re-enter to top 10 at the halfway mark of the 500-lap race. Hamlin would restart fifth on lap 283 following a round of pit stops. He would continue his march forward as he took over third on lap 308 and second-place just two laps later. The run would be completed on lap 317 when he passed the 2 car to take the lead once again. He would restart third following another round of stops on lap 363 and found the lead once again with 100 laps remaining. A caution would bring the field down pit road again and Hamlin would restart fifth with 61 laps to go. Hamlin would make his way back to the front passing his teammate Kenseth with 28 laps remaining. He would hold off the 2 car over the final laps to earn his first win of the 2015 season and fifth career victory at Martinsville Speedway. The win essentially clinches his spot in the 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Championship.

Matt Kenseth started the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota in eighth. The outside lane proved problematic all day on restarts and Kenseth would drop several position outside the top 15 on an early restart, but he would manage to recover and was back inside the top ten again for a restart on lap 188. He ran sixth at lap 200 and was seventh at the halfway mark. Kenseth would restart fourth on lap 283 following a round of green flag stops and lined up second for a restart on lap 363 following another great stop by the Dollar General crew. A great pit stop again put Kenseth on point for the restart with 61 laps to go. Kenseth would hold the lead with less than 30 laps to go, but was unable to hold off his teammate Hamlin. The Dollar General Camry would finish a strong day with a fourth-place finish.

David Ragan qualified the No. 18 M&Ms Crispy Toyota in 20th and was able to fight his way through the tight field to race in 15th. Ragan would continue to battle in that spot and was running 13th at lap 200 and continued to hold that position at the midpoint of the race. The M&Ms Crispy would restart the race inside the top ten from eighth on lap 283 following a round of pit stops. Ragan held his spot inside the top five throughout the next green flag run and lined up seventh for restart on lap 363 following another great stop by the M&Ms Crispy crew. A caution would bring the field down pit road once again and Ragan would restart seventh with 61 laps to go. He would gain two more spots to deliver a fifth-place finish.

Carl Edwards started the No. 19 ARRIS Toyota in 11th and was able to drive his way inside the top five to run fourth on lap 75. Edwards would remain racing in the top ten and restarted eighth on lap 188 and held that spot at lap 200. He would run third at the midpoint of the race. Edwards would have the ARRIS Camry out front to restart the race 283 on lap following a round of pit stops. Edwards would restart fifth on lap 363 following another strong pit stop by the ARRIS crew. He was running fifth when he right rear tire went flat causing him to slow and ultimately spin with 68 laps remaining. He would restart back outside the top 20 with 61 laps remaining. Edwards would suffer another flat, this time on the left rear tire coming out of the pits following a final round of stops. He would have to come back down pit road for new tires and battled back from the setbacks to finish 17th.

Hamlin captured the win, followed by Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Kenseth, and Ragan rounded out the top five. There were 16 cautions for a total of 112 laps and 31 lead changes among 13 different drivers.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will take a week off for the Easter holiday next week before returning for a Saturday night race at Texas Motor Speedway on April 11.

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JGR President J.D. Gibbs Undergoing Treatment For Symptoms Impacting Areas of Brain Function

Joe Gibbs Racing announces today that J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing, is starting treatment for symptoms impacting areas of brain function.

Gibbs has undergone a series of tests after experiencing a gradual onset of symptoms that includes speech and processing issues. Gibbs’ doctors believe the complications he has experienced were triggered by head injuries likely suffered earlier in life, but no specific injury was referenced or identified. Gibbs has always enjoyed an active life participating in several sports including mountain biking, snowboarding, football, racing, and other extreme-type sports.

Gibbs will be undergoing more testing and receiving treatments to help manage the symptoms. During that time, it is expected that his presence at the race track will be limited; however, he will continue many of his day-to-day responsibilities at JGR’s headquarters in Huntersville, NC as well as involvement with his various ministry endeavors.