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Yamaha extends Joe Gibbs Racing partnership and welcomes two new riders to the Family

Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA is pleased to announce the extension of our relationship with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGRMX) through a new contract that will see the successful team race YZ450Fs in both the AMA Supercross and Outdoor series for at least the next two years. On top of that, Yamaha is proud to welcome two new riders to the Yamaha JGRMX family.

After an illustrious amateur career, Justin Barcia started off his professional career with a bang, winning the AMA Rookie of the Year award in 2009. He followed that early success with two 250SX East Coast Championships. That same success followed Barcia when he moved up to the 450 Class, as he won two 450SX Supercross races in his first season and took home the 2013 AMA 450 Class Rookie of the Year award. Already a proven winner with an intensity that is unrivaled, Barcia is looking forward to the start of the 2015 Season.

“I have met everyone over at Joe Gibbs Racing and already feel like part of the family, I am excited to start riding and training for the 2015 season,” said Justin Barcia, who has been recovering from ankle surgery earlier in the season.

Joining Barcia on the Toyota/Yamaha/JGRMX team is perennial underdog fan favorite Weston Peick. A long-time Yamaha rider Weston had a breakthrough season in 2014 and looks forward to carrying that momentum into the 2015 season now that he’s back on a YZ450F.

“I couldn’t be more excited to see what the future holds for the Toyota/Yamaha/JGRMX team. With Barcia and Peick under the tent and the improved 2015 YZ450F at their disposal it should be a very exciting year,” said Yamaha Motor Co. Racing Division Manager, Keith McCarty.
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2014 Joe Gibbs Racing Fall FanFest Scheduled for October 10

Joe Gibbs Racing Fall FanFest will be held this Friday, October 10, from 9 AM to 1 PM at its team headquarters in Huntersville, NC.

JGR drivers Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Elliott Sadler, Darrell Wallace, Jr., and Daniel Suarez are all scheduled to sign autographs at staggered times throughout the morning. In order to receive an autograph, fans must have a wristband for each respective driver. Beginning at 8 AM on Friday morning, 300 wristbands for each driver will be distributed in separate lines. No wristbands will be required for Wallace and Suarez who will be on hand to sign from 9 AM to 11 AM.

The complete driver autograph schedule for Friday is as follows:

9 AM Elliott Sadler
9:30 AM Kyle Busch
10 AM Matt Kenseth
10:30 AM Denny Hamlin
9-11 AM Wallace, Jr. and Suarez

The third annual JGR Fan Fest Car and Motorcycle Show will be from 9 AM until 1 PM (registration begins at 7 AM and judging concludes at 11 AM with awards presented at 1 PM). Categories for the show include street rods, muscle cars, original class, custom, motorcycles, pick-ups, best engine and best in show. Participants can preregister at http://joegibbsracing.com/carshow.

For more information and directions for JGR Fall FanFest please go to our website at http://joegibbsracing.com/fanfest.

Race Report: Kansas

Kyle Busch led Joe Gibbs Racing with a third-place finish in today’s first race of the second round of The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship. Meanwhile teammates Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth finished seventh and 13th respectively in this afternoon’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.

Busch started the No. 18 M&Ms Toyota in seventh position and maintained a position just inside the top ten through the early going of this afternoon’s race. He would pit following a lap-71 caution and his M&Ms crew would gain him two spots to restart eighth on lap 75. Busch was hit with a speeding penalty while exiting pit road on lap 123 and the pass through penalty would leave him back in 22nd for a restart on lap 127. He would patiently gain ground on the leaders and was running 18th on lap 131. Busch continued to gain ground and was running 11th with just over 100 laps remaining. He would line up eighth for a restart with 73 laps remaining following a four-tire stop and managed to gain two spots to run sixth. He would take over the fifth position with 46 laps to go. A great two-tire stop following a lap 228 caution would give Busch the second position on the restart with 33 to go. Busch would drop two spots before another caution quickly followed. This time Busch would take advantage of restarting on the outside with 28 to go and jumped into the second position. He took the checkered flag in third to earn his first ever top-five finish in Kansas.

Hamlin started his No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota from 25th position and was patient early in the race while battling a loose handling car. He was running 22nd on lap 53 following the first round of green flag pit stops but the adjustments appeared to help the car turn better and Hamlin was able to drive his way into the top 20 and ran 15th on lap 71. He would restart 13th on lap 75. He would enter the top 10 and lined up eighth for a restart on lap 127. Hamlin would report smoke coming from the dash shortly after the restart but turning off the fans appeared to alleviate the problem and he managed to keep the FedEx Camry just outside the top 10. He would return to the top ten and was running seventh shortly after a restart with 100 laps to go. He would line up 12th following a four-tire stop with 73 laps remaining. Hamlin would drop two spots on the restart when the outside line couldn’t get going and he settled in to race in 14th. He would slowly work his way toward the top ten again and was running 11th with 50 to go and re-entered the top 10 on lap 224. A caution on lap 228 would bring the leaders down pit road and a great two-tire stop would place him third for the restart with 33 to go. Hamlin would get stuck on the bottom line however and dropped back to seventh before another caution. He would hold his position through the next restart and ran seventh to the finish.

Kenseth started his No. 20 Dollar General Toyota in the 27th position but was able to patiently race his way inside the top 20. He was racing 20th on lap 25 and following a round of green flag pit stops Kenseth cycled through in 13th on lap 53. He would line up 12th for restart on lap 75. The field would get bunched up in front of Kenseth on the restart and the No. 20 Camry would make contact with a car in front of him causing a small crack just above the headlight on the right side of the car. Kenseth would ride it out and held the 13th position at the 100-lap mark. However as the green flag run continued the crack became larger causing handling issues to his Dollar General Camry and Kenseth would drop back to run 18th. A caution would allow him to come down pit road on lap 123. Crew chief Jason Ratcliff would call for an extended pit stop to give the Dollar General crew ample time to make the necessary repairs. Kenseth would restart 19th on lap 127. The No. 20 Camry was back up to 13th following a restart with just over 100 laps to go. Following a four-tire pit stop he would line up in 11th for a restart with 73 laps remaining and managed to work his way up to run eighth as the race went past lap 200. With just over 50 laps to go Kenseth would radio in that he felt he might have a tire going down and he came down pit road from the 10th position with 47 laps remaining. The Dollar General team was hoping the race would remain green so he could cycle back in after the other leaders made their final stop, but unfortunately a caution would come out on lap 228. That forced Kenseth to take the wave around to get back on the lead lap and he would restart 22nd on lap 234. He would gain two spots before another caution followed and Ratcliff made the call to bring the Dollar General back down pit road for four fresh tires. He would restart 20th with 28 to go and was up to 15th just eight laps later. Kenseth would gain two more spots over the final laps to finish 13th.

Joey Logano won the race followed by Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex, Jr. and Carl Edwards rounded out the top five. There were eight cautions for a total of 34 laps and 25 lead changes among nine different drivers.

The point standings reset prior to today’s race. After round one it is Busch holding down the second position in the standings, while Hamlin is currently fifth and Kenseth seventh. There are two more races before the field is narrowed again to the Eliminator 8 round following the race at Talladega Superspeedway. Logano automatically advances courtesy of today’s win. Ultimately a final Championship 4 will race for the Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

It will be a homecoming of sorts next weekend, when the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship returns to Charlotte and Charlotte Motor Speedway for the second race of the Contender round under the new Chase format. Live coverage from Charlotte will begin on ABC Saturday, October 11 at 7 PM ET (race begins at 7:30 PM ET). The race will also be carried on Sirius NASCAR radio channel 90.

Race Report: Dover

All three Joe Gibbs Racing entries raced their way into the second round of The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship during today’s AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway.

Matt Kenseth led the way with a fifth-place finish, while Kyle Busch took the checkered flag in 10th and Denny Hamlin crossed the line in 12th.

Kenseth started his No. 20 Home Depot Husky Toyota in the 14th position and was able to race his way toward the top ten over the course of the opening green flag run. He was running ninth at the 100-lap mark and great work by his pit crew under caution would help him enter the top five where he ran at lap 150. He would restart third on lap 176 and was fourth at lap 200. Kenseth would pit under the green flag on lap 251 and cycled through in fifth when a caution came out on lap 254. He would remain out on the track and fell three spots on the restart as the inside lane struggled all day to get started. Despite tight handling conditions on his Home Depot Camry Kenseth would hold the seventh position with 100 laps to go. He would come down pit road under the green flag on lap 328 and cycled through to run sixth. He would gain another spot to earn a top five finish and lock in his spot to advance into the top 12.

Busch started the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota in second and settled in to run inside the top five over the course of the opening green flag run. A lap 125 caution would bring Busch down pit road for the second time on the day and he would lose several positions when he was blocked by the 2 car and missed his pit box. He would have to back into the box and the extra time on pit road would leave Busch to restart 17th. He would use a tremendous three wide move on the ensuing restart to vault all the way into the top ten again. He was running ninth on lap 150. Busch would restart in the top five on lap 176 and was sixth at lap 200. He was running fourth following a round of green flag pit stops when a caution came out on lap 254. He would remain on the track and jumped into second on the ensuing restart. Busch ran third with 100 laps to go. Busch would come down pit road under the green flag on lap 329 and cycled through in the seventh position. He would go on to finish 10th and secure his place in the next round of The Chase.

Hamlin started his No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota from the third position and was patient through the opening green flag run as he settled in to run sixth. His pit crew would pick him up several positions during the opening round of stops and Hamlin restarted fourth. He would gain a spot to run third when the next caution came out on lap 76. Hamlin would race just outside the top five for the remainder of the first half of the race. He would run seventh at lap 200. Hamlin would fall back to 10th before a round of green flag pit stops started at lap 248. When the field finished cycling through he was in seventh before a caution came out on lap 254. He would hold that spot through the next restart and was running eighth with 100 laps remaining. Hamlin came down pit road on lap 328 during a round of green flag stops and cycled through in the 11th position before moving back into 10th on lap 340. He lost a spot again to run 11th with 35 to go. Hamlin would hold off the leader Jeff Gordon over the final green flag run to remain on the lead lap and earn a 12th-place finish and earn his spot in the next round of the Chase.

Jeff Gordon won the race followed by Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, and Kenseth rounded out the top five. There were five cautions for a total of 23 laps and 10 lead changes among seven different drivers.

With today’s results Busch, Kenseth and Hamlin advance to the Contender round under the new Chase format. The points reset and the final 12 enter Kansas Speedway tied for the first of three races before the field is narrowed again to the Eliminator 8 round following the race at Talladega Superspeedway. Ultimately a final Championship 4 will race for the Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Race Report: New Hampshire

The second race of the first round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship certainly proved eventful for all three Joe Gibbs Racing entries in today’s Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Despite being involved in an accident nearly two-thirds of the way into the race, Kyle Busch would lead JGR with an eighth-place finish. Unfortunately Matt Kenseth was caught up in accident with only 30 laps to go and didn’t have time to execute a similar late-race charge back to a top ten. He would finish 21st. Denny Hamlin was extremely fast through the early portion of the race, but a mechanical failure in the fuel apparatus put him several laps down and an accident followed that sent him to the garage for repairs leaving him to finish the day back in 37th.

Busch started the No. 18 M&Ms Toyota in fifth and patiently raced inside the top ten during the opening green flag run before a competition caution on lap 35 brought the leaders down pit road for the first time. A quick two-tire stop would allow Busch to gain a couple of spots on pit road and he restarted fourth on lap 41. He would race as high as third before sliding back a few spots on the long green flag run. A four-tire stop under the next caution would put Busch back outside the top ten on the next restart but he quickly drove back up and was running eighth on lap 125. He continued to run eighth as the race went past the halfway mark. Busch would restart seventh on lap 177. The M&Ms Camry would be fighting for a spot in the top five on a lap 187 restart when his teammate Kenseth got loose in front of him and Busch got into the back of his No. 20 Camry causing him to spin and damage to the hood of his car. Busch would also have contact from behind by the 5 car of Kasey Kahne and he would come down pit road for extensive repairs. The M&Ms crew would keep him on the lead lap and Busch would restart 20th. Busch would struggle with the handling the remainder of the race and fought hard over the final 100-plus laps to remain on the lead lap. He would restart 20th with five to go and managed to jump eight positions to run 12th when yet another caution came out to set up a green white checkered finish. He would get yet another strong restart to get back into the top ten and earn an eighth-place finish.

Kenseth started his No. 20 Dollar General Toyota in 16th and patiently raced just outside the top 15 over the course of the first 35 laps prior to a competition caution. A quick two-tire stop would allow Kenseth to restart in 10th on lap 41. He would hold that spot until he passed the 48 to move into ninth at lap 100. The Dollar General Camry would gain another spot on pit road under the next caution and then moved into seventh on lap 124. Kenseth would become stronger over the course of the next green flag run and was into the top five by lap 160. He would restart sixth on lap 177 and jumped back into the top five. Kenseth would fight for a spot in the top five following a lap 187 restart and the Dollar General Camry would get loose under the 1 car and slide up the track. Unfortunately he would slide up in front of his teammate Busch who made contact with Kenseth. The No. 20 Toyota would not receive significant damage but the 18 car of Busch would have to go to pit road for extensive repairs to the hood of his car. Kenseth would restart seventh and this time the 2 car would get loose under him and slide up into the wall bringing out yet another caution. Amazingly the Dollar General Camry would seem to come through it all and Kenseth restarted sixth on lap 198. A two-tire stop on lap 213 would allow Kenseth to line up fifth on the ensuing restart and he would gain two spots into third. The Dollar General Camry would suffer from loose handling conditions on the short turn and drop back to seventh, but a caution for debris on lap 246 would allow him to restart fourth with 50 to go. He would line up third for another restart with 40 to go but the inside lane proved problematic all afternoon and he lost a few positions to run sixth. He would restart sixth with just over 30 laps remaining and was spun by the 27 car causing him to spin into the outside fence. He would come down pit road for repairs and fresh tires but would lose a lap in the process and restarted back in 26th. He would gain the necessary spot for the lucky dog position and the caution would finally come with nine laps to go when the 24 car lost a tire and was sent into the outside wall. Yet another caution would follow to set up a green white checkered finish and Kenseth would line up 24th for a final two lap run to the end. He would end up 21st at the finish.

Hamlin started his No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota from the fourth position and quickly settled into second-place for the opening green flag run. A competition caution on lap 35 would bring the leaders down pit road for the first time and a quick two-tire change by the FedEx pit crew allowed Hamlin to restart first on lap 41. He would go on to lead the next 32 laps. He would pit from the second position on lap 95 and was trapped a lap down when a caution came out a few laps later. An apparent problem with the fuel probe was not allowing the FedEx team to fill the No. 11 Camry and Hamlin would come back down pit road under the caution as the team made the decision to trouble shoot the issue rather than staying on the track for the wave around. They would make repairs to the fuel probe which was keeping the fuel from flowing, but the extended caution would cost Hamlin another couple of laps to the field. He would restart 41st and four laps down. Hamlin would remain four laps down but began to gain several positions on the track to improve his position in the Chase standings. Unfortunately Hamlin would get caught up in an accident on lap 181 that sent the FedEx Camry to the garage. He would come back to the track and managed to pick up another couple of spots before finishing 37th.

Joey Logano won the race followed by Kevin Harvick, Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top five. There were a record 15 cautions for a total of 63 laps and 10 lead changes among six different drivers.

With today’s results, Busch, Kenseth and Hamlin currently sit fifth, eighth and 13th respectively in the point standings. Four drivers face elimination following the third race of the Chase which will be held at Dover International Speedway next weekend. The top 12 advance to the Contender round before the field is narrowed to the Eliminator 8 round and ultimately a final Championship 4 at the final race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Only 12 points currently separate eighth place from 16th with Hamlin just six points out of 12th. Kenseth is eight points in front of 13th currently.